THE ANNOUNCED retirement plans of Warren Slocum, San Mateo County's clerk-recorder and chief elections officer, compel a word or two regarding his handling of that last vital function.
Slocum and his colleagues in the Elections Office have developed what amounts to a model of efficiency. Through innovative use of technology, they have come up with a vote-count reporting operation that has become the envy of its peers throughout the state.
Election night here typically goes like clockwork. Absentee ballots are reported on the Internet at 8:05 p.m. and, after that, precinct and remaining votes are posted at stated intervals.
Surprises, glitches and delays are kept to a merciful minimum. The Elections Office Web site is reliable and easy to use, even for those who aren't tech-savvy.
Slocum has built a reputation as one of California's exemplary elections officials. For some time, a fear here was that Slocum might be lured north to San Francisco to improve that city's often frazzled and gaffe-riddled election system.
County residents have been very fortunate that Slocum never caved in to any siren song from elsewhere in the Bay Area.
We are far better off because of that circumstance. His replacement, whoever he or she may be, has an exceedingly tough act to follow.
NOTE: Article posted on 2.12.10 in the San Mateo County Times by John Horgan