Bakersfield · Politics

Kern Co. loses elections chief one week before Election Day

The operational head of the Kern County Elections Division is out less than a week before the March 3 primary election.

Jackie St. George, the Assistant Registrar of Voters, joined Kern County in July, but she has left due to personal reasons, according to a report from The Bakersfield Californian.

Mary Bedard serves as the Auditor-Controller-County Clerk and Registrar of Voters, but the assistant registrar of voters has had the most control of election operations.

Former elections chief Karen Rhea and three other high-ranking and experienced stepped down in November 2019.

St. George’s departure comes after voters received sample ballots after they had received their official mail-in ballots earlier in February.

Assistant Auditor-Controller Aimee Espinoza will take St. George’s place for the time being.

Bedard told The Californian that she does not expect there to be any problems with the primary election next week, despite the turnover in the department.

“I’ve been a Registrar of Voters now for seven years,” Bedard said. “We’ve got other people that have been coming on for the last several years. We’ve been preparing for months, so I really don’t see it impacting this upcoming election at all.”

Daniel Gligich is a reporter for The San Joaquin Valley Sun, focusing on Fresno State Athletics and the southern San Joaquin Valley. Email him at