Frederick County Election Director Stuart Harvey is hanging it up after 31 years of public service.
Harvey is retiring effective Sept. 1, though he’s going on leave beginning Thursday, according to a county news release Wednesday.
“It’s been a long and fascinating career, but now it’s time to take a moment, and see what’s next on the horizon,” Harvey said in a prepared statement.
Harvey began his career in 1990 in Montgomery County, when voters were using punch cards to cast their ballots. He was appointed election director by the Frederick County Board of Elections in July 2002.
According to county officials, one of his first actions was making sure election returns were posted on the county’s website, starting with the September 2002 primary election. Harvey then oversaw and experienced the following elections innovations during his tenure:
- Provisional voting (2002)
- Statewide voter registration system (2005)
- Electronic poll books (2006)
- Early voting (2010)
- Electronic campaign finance system (2011)
- Optical scan voting and ballot-making devices (2016)
- Vote-by-mail election (2020)
- Permanent absentee voting (coming in 2022)
“There are so many things to reflect on,” Harvey said, “and I am extremely grateful to my board for the consistent support they have given me and the election office staff for the past 19 years.”
Barbara Wagner, who has worked with the elections office in the 2018 and 2020 elections, will serve as the interim election director while the Frederick County Board of Elections proceeds with the hiring process for a permanent director.