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Assistant Registrar of Voters announces retirement five days before primary election

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Posted at 4:42 PM, Feb 26, 2020
and last updated 2020-02-26 20:27:27-05

There has been a shake-up in the elections office just five days away from the primary election. Assistant Registrar of Voters Jackie St. George announced her retirement, but election officials say they do not foresee any problems on Election Day.

The elections office wouldn’t provide details into why St. George retired from her post, leaving behind more than 20 years of experience, but they said it had been part of their plan since 2015.

"I don't expect any impact on Tuesday's elections," said Registrar of Voters Mary Bedard. "But we were planning for it, we put together a reorganization plan in 2015."

Bedard says election officials presented a restructuring plan to the Board of Supervisors five years ago that would allow them to hire new positions, account for numerous retirements and to promote within. And they said Amy Espinoza, the assistant auditor controller, would be stepping into St. George’s position.

Espinoza would be “temporarily stepping in as the assistant registrar of voters and then we will look at reorganizing, going back to the Board of Supervisors to see what other changes we need to make,” explained Bedard. She says St. George had more than 20 years of experience working in elections and Espinoza has several years as well.

Officials say they believe it should be a smooth temporary transition for Espinoza and they expect everything to ready to go when the polls open on Tuesday morning

"[We are] already geared up. All the preliminary work is done. We got the polls places. We got poll workers recruited and trained,” said Bedard.

Bedard also told 23ABC News that this departure had nothing to do with recent concerns surrounding whether or not the Kern County Elections Office was fully ready to tackle Super Tuesday.