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Herrick retiring as city’s last registrar

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By Tom Wilmoth

Randi Herrick has presided over 30 elections while serving as Bedford City Registrar.

    Last Tuesday’s was the lowest in turnout she’s seen. It was also her last.
    Herrick is retiring, having served in her position since 1999. Beginning July 1—and the city’s reversion to town status—Bedford County will assume those duties for Bedford.
    “That was my last election., my 30th election, the smallest I’ve ever administered,” Herrick said of Tuesday’s statewide primary, which selected candidates to fill out the Democrats’ ticket for lieutenant governor  and  attorney  general.  Fifty-four people turned out in the city to vote, about 1.4 percent of the registered voters.
    Herrick worked as a deputy registrar in the city in the late 1980s and early ‘90s, prior to applying for the registrar’s position. She is the longest serving registrar the city has ever had.
    Herrick hopes to have more time for volunteer work in retirement. She recently was honored by the State Registrar’s Office for her service here.
    “I’ve seen a tremendous advance in technology on the state level,” she said of what’s changed over the years. “That’s been challenging. Every year ... we’ve had to be retrained on something, to learn something new.”
    Of course the presidential elections, because of voter turnout, are always the most challenging to administer. Herrick has done four.
    “The years where I’ve had three elections have been difficult,” she added. “That’s just a lot of extra work.”
    Herrick said following all the laws is sometimes hard for residents to understand. “Especially in Bedford, when everybody knows everybody, with identification at the polls, for instance,” she explained.
    She said the State Board of Elections and other registrars have always been helpful with their advice.
    With the changeover of the office at reversion, the city will be left with 11 voting machines. Herrick said she’s trying to sell those; the county has enough units already.
    “I think that the county will do a wonderful job of taking over these responsibilities,” Herrick said of the city losing that office. “They are prepared to do it. It will be just as convenient for the citizens of the town to vote as in the past.”