Berks Focused on Fair Elections Amid Director’s Resignation | Regional News from Berks
READING, Pennsylvania – With Berks County losing its second Chief Electoral Officer in just over a year, county officials said Thursday they remained focused on the next election as Ronald Rutkowski stepped down next week for a employment in the private sector.
“We think he’s done a great job for us,” Berks County Commissioner Kevin Barnhardt said. “Another opportunity presented itself and we gave it a warm farewell, but we must continue.”
County leaders have said they have a deep footing when it comes to their election office.
“We have a phenomenal staff who have risen to the occasion,” said Barnhardt. “They are stepping up and doing all the necessary work. We will support them as a leadership team in our county.”
As the county focuses on the elections now and after, they will consider all options to take the top spot, potentially including promotion from within.
“Immediately after that, we’ll see who we have in a talent pool in the county and also potentially in other counties in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania,” Barnhardt said.
This is a job posting in a volatile environment as the county continues to adjust to electoral reform and the impact of the pandemic on civic duty.
“We are working under the pretext that nothing is going to change under Bill 77,” said Barnhardt, referring to state law which, among other things, gave individuals the ability to vote by mail without having to provide d ‘excuse.
“There have been discussions about changing the pre-boot deadlines for mail and mail ballots,” Barnhardt added. “We are working on the assumption that these will be postal ballots at 7 a.m. on Election Day.”
Barnhardt said there is no deadline to find a replacement for the Chief Electoral Officer, as the goal for the coming weeks is to have a fair and efficient election.