March 21, 2007
Director of Communications
Secretary Handel Appoints New Elections Director
Atlanta - Secretary of State Karen Handel names Michael McCarthy as Georgia’s Elections Director. McCarthy served as Minnesota’s Supervisor of Elections for nearly eight years where he oversaw three successful statewide elections and the implementation of the Help America Vote Act.
“Mike brings a tremendous amount of experience in establishing standardized elections procedures, and conducting fair and accurate elections,” Secretary Handel said. “His hands-on expertise in managing statewide, HAVA-compliant elections will be invaluable as we begin to make enhancements to the voter registration list, expand voter outreach efforts, and prepare for the 2008 Presidential election cycle.”
McCarthy’s hire is the culmination of a national search for someone who could adequately fill this most important position. With his appointment, Secretary Handel will begin to implement various elections initiatives to make Georgia’s elections more secure. These initiatives include developing a truly centralized voting list to establish uniformity in voter registration and identification qualifications, and providing a practical approach to a Voter Verified Paper Audit Trail.
Prior to working with the Minnesota Secretary of State’s Office, McCarthy had a 12-year tenure with the Minnesota Department of Public Service where he advocated for the state in federal forums including the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission , the Securities and Exchange Commission the Nuclear Regulatory Commission and the Department of Energy. During this time he received a personal commendation from the Governor for leading a team of state agencies, non-governmental organizations and volunteers through a year-long process to establish Minnesota’s first policy on sustainable energy use.
A Minnesota native, McCarthy received a Bachelor of Science degree in Geology from Winona State University in Winona, Minnesota in 1978 and a master’s degree in Mineral and Energy Resource Economics from West Virginia University in Morgantown, West Virginia in 1986.
McCarthy has two sons, Pat, a freshman at Century College in White Bear Lake, Minnesota, and Dan, a senior at Stillwater High School in Oak Park Heights, Minnesota.
Karen Handel was sworn in as Secretary of State in January 2007. The Secretary of State's office offers important services to our business community, our government, and our citizens. These services include an efficient and secure election process, and the regulation of corporations, securities, and professional license holders. The Office also controls the state archives and the Capitol museum.