Lee County Supervisor of Elections Sharon Harrington intends to continue serving voters in the office she has held since 2004, and is pleased to announce that she will seek reelection in 2016 as the only experienced candidate in the field. Harrington, who first came to the Lee County Elections office in 1989 as Fiscal Officer/Human Resources Director, expects to rise above the field on the merits of her depth of commitment to the office, and the many significant milestones it has achieved under her watch.
“Facilitating free, fair elections and removing hurdles so that anyone who is eligible may exercise their right to vote is my life’s passion.” Harrington said. “It is with pride that this office is able to do so while returning ad valorem tax money back to the Board of County Commissioners year after year.”
Since 1989 the number of registered voters has increased from 169,000 to more than 425,000. Harrington has supervised the conduct of more than 51 national, state, county, municipal and special elections since 2004. By enforcing a culture of fiscal discipline, she has enabled the Lee County Elections office to return ad valorem tax money to the Board of County Commissioners every year since 1990, including $9.5 million in just the last 10 years.
Harrington’s significant milestones include the implementation of the National Voter Registration Act in 1993, participation in the pilot project to develop the Florida Voter Registration System (a centralized database of all registered voters in Florida), and the conversion from punch card voting to a touchscreen voting system after the passage of the Help America Vote Act in 2002. A transition from touchscreens to the optical scan system now in use in Lee County was a second major voting equipment change.
Lee County made its voice heard during hearings conducted by both the Florida House and Senate that resulted in numerous new bills in 2013 to reverse those passed in 2011. Those 2011 laws had a direct effect on the problems of the 2012 election. One productive solution was to reduce the wording on constitutional amendments being placed on a ballot.
By retaining Harrington, voters can expect continued advocacy in Tallahassee on their behalf, refinement of the Office of Elections’ procedures including due diligence and improved transparency in its budgeting and operations, expanded outreach on behalf of the office and enhanced technology to improve access, convenience and accountability in elections. High-speed ballot readers are on the horizon, for instance, which can process 300 ballots per minute while sorting out those that require review for issues or write-in candidates without requiring the machine to pause.
For more information visit www.vote4harrington.com.
About Supervisor of Elections Sharon Harrington
Born in Cleveland, Sharon Harrington moved to Fort Myers in 1975. She attended Cuyahoga Community College and Edison Community College, majoring in accounting and business administration. She brought 25 years’ business management and administration experience to the Lee County Elections office in 1989 as Fiscal Officer/Human Resources Director. She was appointed Assistant Supervisor-Administration in 2002. Governor Jeb Bush appointed her Supervisor of Elections from a field of five applicants to replace retiring Philinda Young in 2004. She was elected Supervisor in the primary and general elections in 2004.
- State of Florida Certified Supervisor of Elections, 2006
- •Master Florida Certified Elections Professional from the Florida Institute of Government through FGCU and the Florida State Association of Supervisors of Elections
- •Advanced Chancellor’s Certificate in Public Administration from the University of Missouri-St. Louis and George Washington University
- •Certified Elections and Registration Administrator through Auburn University in Alabama and the Election Center
In service to the Florida Association of Supervisors of Elections
Harrington has been a member of the Florida Association of Supervisors of Elections since 2004, and served on the following committees: Canvassing Board Committee, Legislative Committee, Audit Rule Committee, Vote Center Task Force and Florida Voter Registration Implementation. She also served on the Education and Training Committee, which developed and instituted a continuing education program through FGCU Institute of Government called the Florida Certified Elections Professional, which was recently recognized nationwide by the Election Center. In addition, she has served as the Florida Delegation Director to the International Association of Clerks, Recorders, Elections Officials and Treasurers for the past 10 years.
- Board of Directors for Southwest Florida Crime Stoppers since its inception in Lee County in 1981
- •Life member of Kiwanis International, Charter President of the Harborview Club, the first female Kiwanis club in Florida. District Chairman of Club Achievement and Grading for six years. Received the Distinguished Kiwanis Lady Award in 1994.
- •Previous member of the American Business Women’s Association and named ABWA Woman of the Year
- •Member of the Fort Myers Women’s Community Club since 1980
- •Member of the Fort Myers Republican Women’s Club
- •Member of St. Michael Lutheran Church, serving on the Altar Guild
- •Two-year Advisory Board member for Suncoast Schools Credit Union
- •CCMI Thanksgiving volunteer