Bill Turner knew he had a tough job. He took over as acting director of Voter Services in Chester County, Pennsylvania, in September, just two months before a divisive presidential election amid a global pandemic. A huge voter turnout was expected, and Covid-19 required election managers like Turner to handle mail-in ballots on a scale they’d never seen and confront the threat of their staffers becoming sick.
These challenges had forced many election offices to burn through their budgets months earlier. Turner had previously served as the county’s emergency manager, experience that seemed apt for overseeing an election that many observers feared would become a catastrophe.