They say experts come from 30 miles or more away. What about the experts in our own community who are recognized on a national level as tops in their field? Marion County Supervisor of Elections Wesley Wilcox is a highly sought-after expert on elections. As a graduate of the Election Center’s Professional Education Program, he earned the Certified Elections/Registration Administrator (CERA) designation, the profession’s highest designation. He was one of the first in the state to become a Master Florida Certified Election Professional, a program sponsored by the Florida State Association of Supervisors of Elections. He is also an instructor for the Association teaching classes in Contingency Planning and Information Technology. He is regularly invited to speak on multiple panel discussions and special workshops across the state and nation. Most recently he spoke in San Antonio, TX. to share his expertise on elections security and securing voter data. Wesley Wilcox is a national expert humbly residing in our community. He is just as excited and passionate about speaking to a class of elementary students in Marion County about their future as responsible voters as he is presenting on a national panel on the importance of election security, efficiency and protecting voter data.
All citizens meeting voter eligibility requirements have a right to vote. However, whether or not those voters are informed and engaged has no regulators, only advocates. Wesley Wilcox is passionate about empowering and motivating voters to understand the election process and how to research issues to make informed decisions and chose candidates who most align with their values. He is an advocate for the voters and remains unbiased and nonpartisan in his role as Supervisor. He sees leadership and staff development as a key responsibility. Though he has the authority and ability to hire someone to conduct all the speaking engagements in the schools and community, he chooses to volunteer his personal time outside of regular office hours to speak to various clubs, associations, and organizations in the community to educate citizens on voting and elections and encourage civic participation. There is no self-serving reason to do this other than the passion he has in his role and dedication to the profession and voters of Marion County. If his schedule permits, he commits. No matter if it’s an audience of two or 200.
In addition to speaking engagements, he also personally instructs each one of the Election Worker training classes that are held during an election cycle with sometimes over 1,000 workers and willingly shares his expertise on any non-partisan, election related topics and questions. Also not part of his required job description. As a result, voters are more informed, engaged, and confident in the elections process.
As a respected journalist in his day, Wilton F. Martin abided by a code of unbiased reporting to educate the readers with fair and balanced facts. At this time in our polarized political climate, it is refreshing to witness someone who so diligently maintains his neutral status in order to present voters with only the facts. While neutrality is required of his position, there are those who look to him hoping for a subtle wink or nod to discern his political preference or opinion on an issue or candidate. He stands firm with a genuine smile and respectful demeanor and reiterates the facts. Wesley Wilcox understands and respects the role communication plays in moving registered voters with a right to cast a ballot to become informed and engaged voters with the power to support their convictions.