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King County
Executive Office

Ron Sims, King County Executive 701 Fifth Ave. Suite 3210 Seattle, WA 98104 Phone: 206-296-4040 Fax: 206-296-0194 TTY Relay: 711
Image: King County Exeutive Ron Sims, News Release

April 19, 2007

Sims names new director of Records, Elections and Licensing Services Division

Sherril HuffThe elections manager instrumental in transforming King County Elections is named the new director. County Executive Ron Sims today announced the appointment of Sherril Huff as the director of the King County Records, Elections and Licensing Services (REALS) Division. Huff, twice elected as Kitsap County auditor, has served as King County's assistant director for REALS since February 2005.

"Sherril has had a strong hand in the improvements made and underway to accommodate changes in the elections process mandated at the federal, state and local levels," said Sims. "Once she decided to put her hat in the ring, she clearly was the best candidate, in both experience and keeping continuity as we move to all mail balloting."

Huff served eight years as Kitsap County auditor and the past two and a half years as assistant director for King County REALS.

"She is a seasoned administrator with the right experience, management skills and political awareness for the job," Sims said. "Over the past two years, Sherril has championed significant reforms and partnered with staff to propel King County Elections into a nationally respected office. King County will benefit greatly from her expertise and insight," Sims said.

"I've worked with Sherril since she and I were county auditors, I know she has been a driving force in turning the division around over the past two years," said Secretary of State Sam Reed. "King County is in good hands for becoming the nation's largest county to process all-mail voting next year. She is exactly what the county needs to continue making strides in elections, recording and licensing."

As the assistant director of the division, Huff has led improvements and ensured consistent and steady reforms. Using the 14 new positions the council approved for Elections in 2005, Huff has infused the division with private industry expertise to improve office culture and establish best practices. Under her leadership, King County Elections received a national award for its mail ballot reconciliation efforts last August. King County was also the first county in Washington to allow election candidates to file for office online using banking industry encryption technology. She oversaw hundreds of election reforms and began an outreach program last year to hire a new generation of tech-savvy poll workers to run new, federally required, voting equipment at the polls.

Huff offers continuity of direction and support to all elements of the REALS Division. She has earned respect from division staff for listening to them and for her ability to make tough decisions when needed.

Huff submitted her application in February after the county was already engaged in a nationwide search for a director. The company the county hired to recruit a new director endorsed Huff as clearly the best candidate.

"While I did not apply early in the recruitment, I had been considering it and evaluating my current role in REALS for the significant changes that would be taking place over the next few years," said Huff. "I believe that continuity of leadership and my demonstrated commitment to building stability and high performance in REALS speak for themselves. The accomplishments our dedicated team has made in the past two years inspire me and I look forward to the continued improvements across the REALS Division."

Many critical projects are pending at REALS:

  • electronic records management transition;
  • providing additional services to rural residents through Community Service Centers;
  • transfer of Elections facilities to Renton;
  • changes for Animal Services;
  • establish and Animal Control Citizens Advisory Board;
  • the transition to vote by mail in 2008;
  • growing collaboration with stakeholders; and
  • continued compliance with HAVA (Help America Vote Act).

Jim Buck, the interim director of the REALS Division, will assist Huff in the immediate transition and will return to his position as the deputy director of the Department of Executive Services. Huff will serve as the director designee until she is confirmed by the County Council.

"I've worked with Sherril, I've learned from Sherril, I recommended Sherril, and I will be only too happy to fully support her as the director," Buck said. "Her commitment to enfranchising voters, running a smooth and transparent election counting process, and building the team's confidence is her mission. She has been driven by these goals since the day she arrived, and now its time she accomplished them from the director's position."

"Sherril has demonstrated that she can implement needed changes," said King County Councilmember Kathy Lambert. "She has the ability and the personal skills to work closely with the executive and legislative branches to continue implementing changes until we reach the point that all citizens will again have full trust in the election process."

Sherril Huff Background

Professional:

  • Assistant Director, King County Records, Elections and Licensing Services Division, February 2005 to current
  • Deputy Mayor of Bremerton, 2002 to 2004
  • Executive Director, Kitsap Regional Coordinating Council, 1997 to 1999
  • Elected Bremerton City Council, 1993 to 1997
  • Assistant Director, Washington State Lottery, 1989 to 1992
  • Elected Kitsap County Auditor, 1979 to 1986

Community and Service Awards:

  • Chief HyasThunderboard Award for Outstanding Community Service by the Bremerton Chamber of Commerce
  • Recognized by the Washington State Auditor's Association for leadership on legislative issues during her tenure as county auditor
  • Awarded "Excellence in County Programs," for the Internal Audit program and Kitsap County's Annual Financial Report by the National Association of County Officials
  • Board member, Admiral Foundation
  • YMCA Partners with Youth Campaign, chair
  • Naval Museum of Undersea Technology, membership co-chair
  • Bremerton Symphony Association, board member
  • Clearcreek Elementary School, mentor
  • Education: University of Washington, Western Washington University, and the University of Southern California.
  • Personal: Huff is a mother of two, grandmother of two and native of the Puget Sound region.
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  Updated: March 17, 2010