Gregg County’s new elections administrator isn’t new to the elections office.
Jennifer Briggs has worked in the elections office since September 2017 as the “No. 2” person under recently-retired Elections Administrator Kathryn Nealy, said Gregg County Judge Bill Stoudt.
Briggs was one of 18 people who applied for the job. Most didn’t have the required elections experience, Stoudt said, and Briggs was the only one with current elections experience.
By law, the elections administrator is chosen by the election commission, which consists of the county judge, the county clerk, the tax-assessor collector and the county chairs of both political parties.
“We just thought it was a much better fit and she could hit the ground running,” Stoudt said of Briggs.
Briggs said she came to the county elections office with experience in the nonprofit sector and as a substitute teacher in the prison system and at Pine Tree ISD schools.
She already has plans for improvements she wants to make in the elections office, including looking for technology that could be used to schedule election workers.
“I have to give it to Kathryn Nealy. She was able to somehow take the hundreds of workers that we had and all the time slots we had and do that marvelously,” on her own, Briggs said. She’s hoping to find a system that will provide text messaging with election workers and online scheduling.
“I think that will be beneficial to us,” she said.
She said when she started working in the elections office, she found she enjoyed the organization and administrative aspects of the work, the deadlines and rules that had to be followed.
“I’m a little bit nerdy,” she said. “It’s kind of fun.”
It can also be stressful, she said. The November election was challenging considering all the issues surrounding it, she said, but it also was one of the “most successful” elections she’d seen.
“There were no hiccups and no problems,” she said, because of the elections office’s planning and preparation.
Briggs said she’s going through the training manual for elections workers, trying to streamline everything.
“I would like to get some of our training on video and have online functionality so people can click on and review portions of the training class remotely,” Briggs said.
Briggs is married to Phillip Briggs.
On Tuesday, county commissioners were to consider setting her salary as elections administrator at $48,000. She’ll be officially sworn into office in a couple of weeks.