Olivia Hale will begin her tenure as the new San Joaquin County Registrar of Voters next week.
The county’s Board of Supervisors voted unanimously to officially give the job to Hale, who stepped into the role on an interim basis after the previous registrar died unexpectedly in June, at its meeting Tuesday.
Hale will formally take up her new position on a permanent basis on Monday.
“This community is my priority. I have focused my entire adult life on supporting those in need and striving to make our community a better place to live,” Hale said in a county press release Friday.
Former Registrar Heather Ditty died suddenly June 4, just days before California’s primary election. Hale was assistant registrar at the time and was enlisted to supervise the election process with the help of former Registrar Austin Erdman.
San Joaquin County Administrator Jay Wilverding praised Hale’s performance under such difficult circumstances.
“Oliva certainly proved herself during this past election under the most challenging of circumstances,” Wilverding said in the press release. “Between the passing of her boss and friend just days before the election and a cumbersome ballot machine error, she went above and beyond to ensure a transparent, timely and thorough election.”
Damaged barcodes on vote-by-mail ballots initially caused major delays in tabulating votes during the Primary Election.
County officials described Hale as an area native, having been born in Lodi and grew up in Stockton. She started her tenure working for the county as an elections technician in 2018 before being promoted to assistant Registrar of Voters just four years later, a position the county said was created by Ditty, who personally chose Hale for the job.
“I served with one of the genuinely best public servants around while working with Heather,” Hale said. “I am excited to carry on her legacy and the opportunity to increase transparency and voter engagement throughout the County.”
With the November General Election on the horizon, Hale assured the county’s Board of Supervisors she can be trusted and that everyone can expect to be included in the process.
“I am dedicated to delivering fair, impartial, accurate, secure, transparent and accessible elections to every voter in San Joaquin County,” Hale said. “I plan to implement several different strategies to include our youth, our community partners, and the citizens of San Joaquin County in the election process.”