published: Friday, July 27, 2012
Ogg: highest priority as supervisor would be 'keeping the vote safe'
By CHRISTOPHER TUFFLEY
SEBRING -- Penny Ogg is a candidate for supervisor of elections.
Her parents instilled a sense of civic duty early in life.
"As a child I used to stay up with my parents listening to election returns," she said. "As early as I can remember. I've voted every time."
She also volunteered, first serving as a poll worker. As she became knowledgeable she was tapped to train new poll workers. Eventually, she was offered a position in the elections office. In total she said, she has eight years of experience -- in all of the elections office divisions: Voter registration; early voting; maintaining, repairing and training workers on the Electronic Voter Identification System computers (EVID); assisting in updating the street index and helping with the budget process.
"I didn't really start out to be supervisor," Ogg said. Her career just kind of unfolded. When she heard Supervisor of Elections Joe Campbell announce his retirement, she did give the idea thought. When no one else in the office expressed an interest, Ogg decided to run.
"Joe's done a fabulous job," she said. "He's been fiscally responsible and run a non-partisan office. It is definitely the citizen's place."
Ogg wants to built on new technology and expand access to information.
"Our job is to educate people," she said. "We can't make people vote.
"We do have to train people to be at each (polling) site with answers to everyone's questions -- there are a jillion of them every election day. We need to keep people informed with sample ballots, how to work the equipment and where they are to vote." Transparency is a crucial piece of keeping the voter engaged, Ogg said. "My highest priority is keeping the vote safe."
Regarding Governor Rick Scott's voting roll purge, "Campbell is still the supervisor, (so all decisions this election cycle are his)" she said, but the non-citizen issue is huge. There are all kinds of rumors, Ogg said. "We'll have to step back and watch, because it will take some time to work its way through. I will be reaching out to other counties, for other superintendents' positions." She added that a clean voter roll is essential in maintaining public trust, but every vote "is so important it must be counted right."
She sees a time of change down the road as many supervisors are retiring and a new generation is slowly taking their place.
Electronics will be a part of the future, Ogg said, adding that Campbell made a good decision in getting rid of touch screen computers and going to the Automark.
She wants to post more information on the election office website, including candidate financial reports.
As to moving the office into a larger space, Ogg said, "It's not on my priority list. We'll move forward as the county sees fit. Right now the whole thing is on hold with the county commission" She added that the office was spread between three sites at the moment, with training at one place, warehousing equipment and supplies in another, and then the main office. "We'd love to have it all in one place," she said.
Ogg is married to Brad Ogg. They have one daughter.
Small Banner Ads