Dr. Virginia Martin was appointed Democratic Election Commissioner in Columbia County, New York in 2008. She received her PhD from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in rhetoric and communication and has taught at both RPI and the University at Albany. Since the introduction of optical scanners in 2010, she and her Republican counterpart have conducted full hand counts of paper ballots in every election. They have developed an efficient, prompt, cost-effective, and fully secure bipartisan process that welcomes public oversight. Its modest funding is spent locally on appreciative and well-trained poll workers. Martin is frequently called upon by various organizations and the media to speak about her county’s vote-tabulation process.