MOVIN’ ON UP


Tina Barton

Rochester Hills Clerk Tina Barton, who ran unsuccessfully the last two cycles for Oakland County Clerk, is shucking her partisan cloak and going national. As of March 29, Barton will be the Senior Program Advisor to the Executive Director for the Election Assistance Commission, an independent U.S. government agency created by the Help America Vote Act in 2002 with a mission to improve voter experience and support election administrators. “I’ll be working on the needs of election officials across the country,” Barton said, who will work from home for the Washington D.C. agency, traveling about 25 percent of the time. Among her responsibilities will be creating best practices and helpful documents related to election procedures for state and federal regulations, media requests, and overseeing election-related work product – right up her alley. “This is an opportunity for me to have a voice on a national scale,” she said, along with about a $20,000 pay bump from her local clerk salary. “We’re seeing lots of areas where local election laws are being changed or curtailed. This gives me the opportunity to be in the mix.” Barton said that in 2016, and since, clerks across the country were hyper-focused on foreign adversaries. “2020 was the most challenging election of my career,” she said. “We were so focused on the outside and forgot about the inside. We neglected the damage that can happen from within.”  Since 2018, Barton, a Republican, has worked on state election security issues with Michigan Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson, a Democrat, and the Brennan Center for Justice, and was sent to Atlanta for a week in early 2021 to oversee the Georgia audit. “Rochester Hills was the first community in Michigan to do a risk limiting audit,” she said. Barton said she’ll miss Rochester Hills, where she worked for eight years after working in Bloomfield Township as assistant clerk – but is excited for her newest challenge. “I know where my heart is – with elections and election administrators. This allows me to do it on a national, non-partisan scale.”

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