The Stanislaus County Board of Supervisors recently honored Clerk Recorder Lee Lundrigan, who is retiring after nearly two decades of overseeing the county’s most important exercises – voting.
At the Dec. 11 Board meeting, Stanislaus County CEO Jody Hayes commended Lundrigan for her many accomplishments as just one of six elected officials who represent the entire county. First elected in 2002, Lundrigan has administered official services for tens of thousands of marriages and provided access to hundreds of thousands of business filings, records and real property documents.
Lundrigan also held the title of the County’s Registrar of Voters, ensuring local elections ran smoothly by registering voters, accepting candidate nominations and conducting the elections themselves.
“That is a lot of work,” chuckled Hayes while reading off everything Lundrigan was responsible for during her tenure.
Raised on her family’s walnut ranch in Escalon, Lundrigan is a graduate of Escalon High, Modesto Junior College, California State University, Chico and Humphrey’s Law College in Stockton. Prior to becoming clerk-recorder, she served as an active business and employment law attorney and was motivated to run for office following the Sept. 11 attacks.
As county clerk-recorder, Lundrigan oversaw over 2.17 million property documents recorded with 375,000 copies issued, 280,000 vital records recorded for births, deaths and marriages with 435,000 certified copies issued, 46,000 marriage licenses issued and $98 million in certificate fees. Lundrigan also oversaw 11,000 wedding ceremonies.
“I would imagine you’ve been in your fair share of wedding photos,” said Hayes.
During her time as county registrar, Lundrigan and the county elections team conducted over 2.5 million election ballots during 43 elections, oversaw the examination and verification of 1.5 million signatures on candidate petitions and processed over 800,000 voter registration forms. During her tenure, 128 local measures were voted onto Stanislaus County ballots.
“In all the times that I did observe the elections – which was close to 40 times – I never found any issue at all with the count of the elections,” Supervisor Jim DeMartini told Lundrigan. “It was very well-organized and it’s actually improved through the years, so I compliment you on that because everyone wants a fair, fast and accurate count of the elections — especially those that just live and die by it.”
During her four terms, Lundrigan worked to make voting in Stanislaus County an easier process. She took the area from its former punch card voting method into the new age, giving residents the ability to become permanent absentee voters, vote on touch screen and optical scan voting systems, and even partake in a new voting system which was purchased through Lundrigan’s work with a panel including all nine city clerks within Stanislaus County.
“For those who remember the punch card voting, it was quite something. It caused lots of controversy after the 2000 election,” Lundrigan said. “We quickly moved into the current status that we have now, which marks the ballot and runs it through the counting machines.”
On Jan. 7, Lundrigan’s successor will be sworn in. Donna Linder, who is currently serves under Lundrigan as the Assistant Clerk Recorder and has been employed in the office since 2003, ran unopposed in the June Primary Election and will take over upon Lundrigan’s retirement.
At the Board meeting, Lundrigan took time to thank those who have supported her role as clerk-recorder — one that directly touched the lives of all people in Stanislaus County.
“It has been an interesting and unique journey, and I’ve had really, really wonderful people to do it with,” she said. “Thank you all for this wonderful ride. It’s been such a pleasure and a lot of work at the same time, but everything we do in the county, we work for the people.”