SANTA CRUZ, Calif. (KION) After more than 27 years working in Santa Cruz County elections, Gail Pellerin announced that she is resigning.
She said she will be leaving to pursue other interests, and her last day will be Dec. 30.
“I am humbled and honored to have worked with so many amazing people over the years. I am eternally grateful to my staff, and especially appreciative of the voters who put their faith in me to protect their democracy,” Pellerin said. “I often tell my children, ‘The only thing permanent in life is change,’ and it is time for me to make a change.”
The county said Pellerin is considered a leader in California elections and an expert in election integrity and the future of elections.
In addition to serving as County Clerk, Pellerin was the president of the California Association of Clerks and Elections Officials between 2010 and 2012, has co-chaired California's Voting Accessibility Advisory Committee since 2006 and has been a member of the Future of California Elections since 2011. The county said she has also written guidebooks to help voters with election procedures.
The county said it has some of the highest turnout rates in the state, but "Santa Cruz County elections are known to be fair, transparent and orderly."
“Gail has dedicated her career to ensuring the right to vote is protected and expanded,” Supervisor Zach Friend said. “As a time when many have created barriers, she has broken down walls. Because of her, we are a national model for voting access.”
County Clerks are also responsible for services that include passports and marriage licenses, and the county said Pellerin created a wedding chapel for Valentine's Day wedding and has married many couples.
Pellerin moved to Santa Cruz after working briefly as a journalist and legislative staffer in Sacramento. Between 1993 and 2004, she worded as the elections manager under the previous County Clerk before being appointed to the role. She was re-elected four times.