AUSTIN (Nexstar) — When Rebecca Duff started as a data entry clerk at the elections office in Grimes County, voters were using pencil and paper, dropping their ballots into “election cans.”
July 31 marked Duff’s last day as elections administrator and voter registrar for Grimes County after 29 years.
“I got hired on by the county clerk as a clerk to do data entry through voter registration, and it progressed into an assistant deputy, and then I had a great opportunity of becoming an election administrator in 2006,” she said.
Duff, 68, showed up to the annual election law seminar hosted by the Texas Secretary of State’s office wearing a tiara and sash.
“I thought, ‘what great fun to go out in this manner,'” she laughed.
She said election administrators “make it happen.”
“You make sure that everybody has the right to vote in a timely manner and to be able to express their vote,” she explained.
“You become obsessed with doing the best thing you can for your job. You either love it or it is not for you and you move on to something else. But you just know every day that you do the best you can or more than the best, that 110%”
Duff said she is ready to turn her work over to the next generation.
“There are great people coming up behind me that have the energy level to take care of this kind of job,” she mentioned.
Grimes County Commissioners recently presented her with a plaque for her service. The county, which sits between College Station and Houston, had 16,165 registered voters in 2018.
As she steps away from her role, she does not have any plans to slow down. She wants to pursue a volunteer position with the Silver Haired Legislature, which provides senior citizens a chance to advocate for issues relating to older Texans and gets them involved in the legislative process.
“Being involved and having such a passion for your job helps you stay young,” Duff said.