[Brian Hancock with EAC Commissioner Ben Hovland – Images via eac]

Brian Hancock, director of testing and certification of the Election Assistance Commission’s voting equipment testing and certification program, retired yesterday after a career of distinguished service to the election community. EAC Chair Christy McCormick has more in a blog post:

Today, U.S. Election Assistance Commission (EAC) Testing & Certification Director Brian Hancock has retired after 35 years in the federal government. Brian is a highly respected election technology expert and a treasured colleague. On behalf of all the Commissioners, and the EAC staff, I would like to take this opportunity to express our sincere appreciation and gratitude to Brian for his lifetime of service to the election community.

Brian Hancock has served as the first and only Director of the EAC’s Help America Vote Act-mandated Testing and Certification Program since the Commission’s office opened its doors in 2003. He came to the EAC after nearly two decades of outstanding service at the U.S. Federal Election Commission. During his time with the Commission, Brian has successfully shepherded the development of three sets of Voluntary Voting System Guidelines used to test and certify voting systems, and led the Testing and Certification team to complete 52 campaigns to certify in full, or modify, voting systems. Brian has also worked closely with the National Voluntary Laboratory Accreditation Program to accredit and audit independent testing laboratories used by the EAC.

Many in the election community have relied on Brian’s expertise as they’ve prepared Requests for Proposals associated with the acquisition of election equipment, and he has presented at countless gatherings and meetings over the years. His work will continue to impact the way our nation’s voters cast their ballots for generations to come.

Today, as Brian prepares to embark on his retirement, we thank him for his faithful service to the EAC, state and local election administrators, and the nation’s voters. His tireless work has ensured the availability of federally certified voting systems that safeguard election accuracy and security, and his contributions to the field have been tremendous.

As Brian closes this chapter, I offer my best wishes to Brian for continued success, happiness, and good health in the years to come. We hope he enjoys his retirement from the federal government and we hope you’ll join us in thanking him for he has done for the field of elections.

I first met Brian when we worked together at the Federal Election Commission in the late 1980s, where he was already a full-fledged electiongeek. From his bio:

From 1984 to 2003, Mr. Hancock served on the staff of the Federal Election Commission (FEC). For the last thirteen of those years, he served as an Elections Research Specialist in the FEC’s Office of Election Administration [a precursor to today’s EAC – DMCj]. In addition to Mr. Hancock’s primary duties of providing assistance and guidance to State and local election administrators throughout the United States, he also edited The FEC Journal of Election Administration, and authored several essays describing the foundations, development and organization of electoral bodies in the America; and co-authored Implementing the National Voter Registration Act of 1993: Requirements, Issues, Approaches, and Examples. Mr. Hancock spoke about the American political process to political figures, election officials and journalists from the many emerging democracies in Africa, Eastern Europe and Asia.

I’m not sure why all these people I know are retiring, when I am not getting any older … but I can say without a doubt that no one has dedicated more of his life to the American election system than Brian Hancock. His retirement is simultaneously well-earned and too soon … and I thank him and wish him well for a lifetime of public service. I’d be shocked if he’s leaving the field entirely – so stay tuned!