The director of the state's election division, which is part of the secretary of state's office, is resigning to pursue other opportunities, he said in an email to colleagues Thursday.
In his email, sent to colleagues that included county election directors, Steve Trout said he had been thinking about leaving the job for a while but waited until the 2013 legislative session ended before he made a final decision.
"Although I am looking forward to new challenges, I will also very much miss working with all of you," he wrote. "It has been my privilege to work with such dedicated public servants."
Trout was hired in 2009 shortly after Secretary of State Kate Brown took office for her first term, Deputy Secretary of State Brian Shipley said. Brown, a Democrat, defeated Republican Knute Buehler in 2012 to win a second term.
Trout touted his office's accomplishments during his tenure, including online voter registration, ballot tracking, MyVote and technology to help people with disabilities vote. He also pointed to the seven statewide and special elections the state has "very successfully administered."
He said Brown will conduct a national search for a new director that is expected to take a few months. Meanwhile, senior policy adviser Gina Zejdlik will serve as director in the interim.
Trout’s last day will be Aug. 16.
I wanted to let you know that I informed my staff this morning that I have decided to leave the Elections Division so I can pursue new challenges and opportunities. I have been thinking about making a change for a while, but I wanted to wait until the completion of the legislative session before making a final decision. Although I am looking forward to new challenges, I will also very much miss working with all of you. It has been my privilege to work with such dedicated public servants. As a team we’ve accomplished a lot: implementing a successful online voter registration system, adding ballot tracking and all of the functionality of MyVote. We developed Vote-By-Tablet to help Oregonians with disabilities cast ballots and used HAVA dollars to improve your operations at the county level. Most of all I am proud of the seven statewide and special elections that we have very successfully administered. I’m confident that new leadership will continue to maintain Oregon’s position at the forefront of elections innovation.
Kate is planning on a national search for a new director. She expects that to take a few months. In the meantime, you will be in good hands with Gina Zejdlik serving as interim director with Brenda right by her side continuing as Deputy. We have had a great partnership and I am proud of the things we have accomplished together and am thankful for the opportunity Kate gave us to innovate and make elections in Oregon the envy of the industry. My last day in the office will be Aug. 16.