Commissioner, Virginia Department of Elections – Edgardo Cortés
Edgardo Cortés has worked in elections for more than a decade, with experience in all facets of the electoral process including campaigns, non-partisan voter registration, federal election policy, and local and state election administration. He was appointed as Virginia’s first Commissioner of Elections on July 1, 2014, by Governor McAuliffe. In that role, he serves as agency head for the Virginia Department of Elections and as chief state election official for the Commonwealth of Virginia. Cortés served as the Deputy Secretary for the Virginia State Board of Elections (SBE) starting in February 2014.
Cortés worked for SBE in the lead up to the 2012 elections and was responsible for updating the state’s Help America Vote Act State Plan and Voting System Certification program. He is the former General Registrar of Fairfax County, responsible for administering elections in the largest county in Virginia until 2011. Cortés began working for the U.S. Election Assistance Commission (EAC) in 2005, first as the Grants Director and then as Deputy Director for Policy. His responsibilities included oversight of more than $3 billion in federal funding provided to states and coordination of the agency’s responsibilities under the National Voter Registration Act.
He began working on voting issues as director of a national non-partisan voter registration program that was responsible for registering more than 300,000 Puerto Rican and Latino voters in 14 states during the 2002 and 2004 election cycles. He was named a Rising Star in 2004 by Campaigns and Elections Magazine for his work. Cortés has also directed Congressional field campaigns and worked on restoration of voting rights for individuals with prior felony convictions.
Edgardo holds a Bachelor’s degree from Cornell University and a Master’s degree in political management from the George Washington University. He lives in Springfield, Virginia with his wife and son.