Begin Main Content Area

 PA.Media.BreadCrumbs - MediaBreadCrumbs

Media > State > Details

Department of State Launches Responsive Training Program for County Election Directors

New training team providing election administration education and support to new and experienced election directors in Pennsylvania’s 67 counties

03/20/2024

Harrisburg, PA – In keeping with Governor Shapiro's commitment to ensure safe and secure elections in Pennsylvania, Secretary of the Commonwealth Al Schmidt launched the Department of State's new Election Directors Training Team, providing election administration education and support to Pennsylvania's county election directors.

"The Department of State is working closely with counties to ensure they are prepared for the 2024 presidential primary and general elections, and we believe this team will give our county election officials additional tools to help them administer free, fair, and safe elections," Schmidt said. "Because the election administration landscape has changed so much since the last presidential election in 2020, and counties have seen an unprecedented amount of turnover among their top election officials during that time, the Department made it a priority this year to offer this additional training and support."

The Department began building a new Election Directors Training Team in 2023. The team's goal is to provide county election directors and their teams with the tools and training they need to ensure elections in Pennsylvania – including the 2024 presidential primary and general election – run smoothly and are administered fairly and securely.

So far, the team has conducted 20 trainings on nine different topics, with two additional sessions planned before the April 23 primary election.

"We are committed to reaching out to all county election administrators to help them better understand what the state's Election Code requires them to do to ensure free, fair, safe and secure elections for Pennsylvania voters," Schmidt said. "This team is providing training on everything from ballot completion deadlines to managing hundreds of polling places."  

The team includes professionals with hands-on experience overseeing elections in Pennsylvania counties. In addition to providing group trainings, the team provides one-on-one assistance for election administrators as needed.

"I greatly appreciate Secretary Schmidt and the Department developing a comprehensive training program for elections offices across the Commonwealth," Mercer County Elections Director Thad Hall said. "The trainings have been especially effective because a former county elections director has been leading the effort. Having people who have run county elections leading the training effort makes all the difference."

Last month, the Shapiro Administration announced the establishment of the Pennsylvania Election Threats Task Force, led by Schmidt. The task force is composed of federal, state, and local security, law enforcement, and election administration partners who are working together to share information and coordinate plans to mitigate threats to the election process, protect voters from intimidation, and provide voters with accurate, trusted election information.

For more information on voting and elections in Pennsylvania, including how to contact your county elections office, visit the Department of State's voter education website, vote.pa.gov.

MEDIA CONTACT: Matt Heckel, ra-st-press@pa.gov

 Content Editor

 PA.AgencyPortal.Media - MediaPageTitle