Under the Board’s authority, responsibilities of the elections administration include canvassing of returns, certification of abstracts and certificates for elected offices. All candidate filings, campaign finance compliance, voter registration, programming and maintenance of voting equipment are directed through this office.
The department also establishes all election precincts and is responsible for recruiting and training precinct officials, providing voter outreach and education to the citizens of New Hanover County and keeping the public informed of all conduct relating to elections.
One of the most important duties of county government is conducting all elections in a fair and equitable manner. Derek L. Bowens has been helping make that happen since 2012. He began his service as elections specialist, transitioning up the ranks to elections compliance specialist and elections supervisor before being appointed as director in 2015 by the North Carolina Board of Elections. He is responsible for the administration of all elections, including recruitment of hundreds of precinct officials, preparing and testing voting equipment at 43 polling locations, and other duties as required under North Carolina law. Derek and his staff work under the authority of the New Hanover County Board of Elections.
Under Derek’s leadership and working with the county Information Technology Department, an online training resource tool for precinct officials was developed. With the creation of this online portal, the New Hanover County Board of Elections is one of the few boards of election in the state to offer an online resource tool for knowledge-base advancement.
Derek graduated cum laude in 2012 from the University of North Carolina Wilmington with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science and Government. In 2015, Derek received his North Carolina Elections Administrator Certification (NCEAC). He is currently pursuing a Certified Elections Registration Administrator’s (CERA) certification through Auburn University, a program recognized nationally for election officials. He has also earned a project management certification from UNCW’s Swain Center.