The Prince William County Electoral Board has announced the hiring of a new local director of elections.
Eric Olsen will take the helm of the Prince William County election department following the upcoming November 2021 elections. Olsen has spent more than a decade working in elections for large jurisdictions in Virginia, Maryland and the District of Columbia. He currently serves as deputy director for the Arlington County Office of Voter Registration and Elections and “has extensive experience in election administration, operations and best practices,” according to a county press release.
Olsen’s salary with Prince William County will be $157,000 a year.
Prior to working in Arlington, Olsen worked in election offices in Washington D.C. and Montgomery County, Maryland. He received a national grant from the Knight Foundation for his work using data modeling to reduce lines on election day in Washington D.C. by more than 40% between 2012 and 2016. Olsen also previously served as co-chair of the elections committee for the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments.
“I am so excited to get to work for the residents of Prince William County to ensure we have fair, accurate, accessible and transparent elections,” Olsen said.
Olsen graduated from St. Mary’s College of Maryland with his bachelor’s degree in political science and sociology and completed his juris doctorate at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio. He is a licensed attorney and a resident of Prince William County.
The county’s acting-Director of Elections Phil Campbell will continue to serve through the current election. Campbell stepped out of retirement earlier this year to replace former director Michele White, who resigned in March.
White was hired to lead the office of elections in February 2015. She previously served as the Culpeper County general registrar for 10 years. The reasons behind White’s abrupt departure from the county elections office remains unclear, although a former elections officer said the office was experiencing higher than usual staff turnover prior to her resignation.
Prince William County’s three-member electoral board conducted an extensive search and competitive hiring process for a new director, the press release said.
Early voting is currently underway for statewide elections for governor, lieutenant governor, attorney general and all 100 seats of the Virginia House of Delegates. The last day to vote is Tuesday, Nov. 2.