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Ottawa Co. withdraws from election excellence program

Justin Roebuck
Ottawa County/Courtesy Photo
Justin Roebuck

Ottawa County’s Elections Division was one of 10 communities invited to join the U.S. Alliance for Election Excellence. Now, it’s withdrawing from the program

The U.S. Alliance for Election Excellence is a nonpartisan organization committed to protecting democracy. Its purpose is bringing together election officials along with design and tech experts from across the country supporting local election departments. It kicked off a five-year, $80 million program naming its 2023 cohort of 10 Centers for Election Excellence. Ottawa County is, or was, one of them.

“We are basically in a collaborative effort to think outside of the box for ways that we can improve election administration, for ways that we can better communicate with our voters. Ways of making the election process more secure.”

That’s Justin Roebuck Ottawa County Clerk/Register of Deeds back in November. Today. His office sent out a news release outlining the reasoning for his department’s withdrawal from the alliance citing private grant funding supporting the program.

“While I value the overall stated goals of the Alliance, I firmly believe that funding for election administration must come from federal, state and local governments. Election administration is critical government infrastructure and when private individuals seek to fund election operations, it casts a shadow over public trust in the process, particularly when the resources can be tied to individuals or groups who may have also contributed to political parties or candidates.”

Roebuck maintains his department’s commitment to election integrity and providing county voters with high-quality customer service.

Patrick joined WGVU Public Media in December, 2008 after eight years of investigative reporting at Grand Rapids' WOOD-TV8 and three years at WYTV News Channel 33 in Youngstown, Ohio. As News and Public Affairs Director, Patrick manages our daily radio news operation and public interest television programming. An award-winning reporter, Patrick has won multiple Michigan Associated Press Best Reporter/Anchor awards and is a three-time Academy of Television Arts & Sciences EMMY Award winner with 14 nominations.
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