Emily Rome, who works as an election specialist in the El Paso County Clerk and Recorder’s Office, left for the Republic of Albania Tuesday, May 3, and will spend eight days there, studying the election process in the city of Tirana.
Rome took a temporary leave of absence from her job to volunteer with the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, a United Nations-chartered agency. Rome and another observer will monitor the city’s entire election, from the opening of the voting centers to ballot counting and tabulating the results.
Clerk and Recorder Wayne Williams said he hopes Rome brings back insights from the emerging democracy’s electoral process that can be applied in next year’s presidential election here.
Last year, Rome observed the presidential election in Ukraine, then later returned to watch the run-off election.
“Traveling to these foreign countries and seeing people’s struggles and challenges all to be able to cast a ballot in a newly free society is an unbelievable experience,” she said. In Ukraine, she saw elderly women and men climb steep staircases and stand in line in subzero temperatures to cast their ballots.
Rome will blog about her trip at the Clerk and Recorder Office’s website: http://car.elpasoco.com.