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Two Election Officials Resign

Two long-time District elections officials have announced their resignations at the end of May, leaving two key positions open just four months before the city's primary.

Board of Elections and Ethics director Alice P. Miller is out after 12 years to accept a position as the chief operating officer of the U.S. Election Assistance Commission. One of her right-hand veterans, Bill O'Field, will leave his position as public information officer. O'Field was not only the board's spokesman, but he recruited, trained and supervised poll workers.

Their departures come three months after there was a shortage of ballots during the February presidential primary where historic numbers of voters turned out to support Democrat Barack Obama. Days later Miller testified before the D.C. Council Committee on Workforce Development and Government Operations that the shortage resulted from an unanticipated number of voters. She said voters registered as independents demanded to participate in the primary and were given ballots, though they did not belong to a political party, as required.

Board Chairman Charles R. Lowery Jr. said Miller, who was the board's general counsel before becoming director, has built confidence, credibility and integrity in the city's voting process. He plans to name an acting director soon, a statement released by the elections office said.

O'Field began his career with the District as the committee clerk to the late Council member Hilda H. M. Mason in 1982. After working for the school board and Council member Bill Lightfoot in the early 1990s, O'Field came to the elections board.

"I have been honored to serve the citizens of the District of Columbia for 26 years," O'Field told the D.C. Wire. "I always knew at the age of 55 I would assess the situation and look at a second career. It's hard because it's life-changing."

By Yolanda Woodlee  |  May 14, 2008; 7:00 AM ET
Categories:  2008 District Election  
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