Frederick County Board of Elections Appoints New Director


December 2 — The Frederick County Board of Elections on Wednesday named Barbara Wagner its new manager.

Wagner, who had been acting principal since longtime principal Stuart Harvey retired in July, oversaw the recent Frederick town election and drafting of the new county council district lines adopted by the commission. county redistribution.

After starting in 2008 as a poll judge at Carroll Manor Elementary School in Adamstown, Wagner became increasingly involved in local elections. She taught future election judges as a trainer in 2018 and worked with the board in 2020 before Harvey finally appointed her to be his interim successor.

“I have done everything from the cradle to the grave,” Wagner said, adding that becoming director of the county electoral board marks the peak of her tenure in local elections. She noted that she was the first black person to play this role.

In coordination with the State Board of Elections, the county electoral board selected Wagner from a dozen candidates, said council attorney Dan Loftus. The board’s vote for Wagner came two weeks ago, but the body did not recognize its new director until Wednesday to allow candidates to be notified.

Wagner is assuming her role as director following a presidential election defined by unproven allegations of voter fraud – something that has undermined confidence in the U.S. election for some fringe political groups.

As director, Wagner said she hoped to maintain confidence in county elections by promoting transparency and communication from the electoral board to community members as a way to combat disinformation and encourage participation. About 22% of eligible voters participated in the municipal elections which ended in November.

“My goal for this office is to increase our visibility in the community,” said Wagner.

Wagner said she was particularly keen to see more young people vote and participate differently in local elections as polling judges.

She plans that electoral council officials will visit local high schools and colleges to engage the county youth. She has found that people connect quickly to national elections, but are less inclined to participate in elections that shape issues closer to home.

“Local elections are where they are at,” Wagner said.

Follow Jack Hogan on Twitter: @jckhogan

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