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U of C prof to head Elections BC



By Janice Lee

Political science professor Dr. Keith Archer has been named British Columbia’s
new chief electoral officer.

“I am absolutely delighted to have received the nomination,” says Archer,
whose appointment was the result of a unanimous recommendation of a bipartisan
legislative committee in B.C. “With that kind of support to start with, it is
very encouraging to take on new challenges of what is really quite a demanding

As the head of Elections BC, Archer will be responsible for the fair,
impartial and efficient administration of provincial elections, by-elections,
recall campaigns and other electoral events. He will lead a team of 45 full-time
election professionals—a team that can swell to over 13,000 employees on the day
of an election.

“The area of election administration is something I have been concentrating
on increasingly both in my teaching and research at the U of C,” says Archer.
“For me it seemed like a natural fit to move into this kind of work given the
way in which my teaching and research interest shifted over the years.”

In addition to his professorship, a position he has held since 1984, Archer
is director of research at the Banff Centre. He has served in a number of senior
administrative positions at the university, including associate dean (research)
in social sciences, associate vice-president (research) and interim
vice-president (research).

Archer received a PhD from Duke University and completed BA and MA degrees in
political science at the University of Windsor. He has served on many boards,
commissions, and agencies, such as the Canadian Federation of the Humanities and
Social Sciences and the Alberta Electoral Boundaries Commission. He is the
author, co-author, or co-editor of seven books and over 30 articles and chapters
in the area of elections and voting.

Archer will relocate to Victoria, BC for his term as chief electoral officer,
which lasts through two provincial general elections plus one year. He will
begin in his new role Sept. 1, 2011.