Donna Johnston

Sutter County Clerk-Recorder Donna Johnston is sworn in as president of the California Association of Clerks and Election Officials by Secretary of State Dr. Shirley Weber via video conference on Feb. 4.

Sutter County Clerk-Recorder Donna Johnston was recently elected to serve as the 2020/21 president of both the County Recorder’s Association of California (CRAC) and California Association of Clerks and Elections Officials (CACEO).

Johnston is only the third person in the 113-year history to be elected as president for both associations. She is also the second woman from Sutter County to hold both offices, upholding the tradition of retired Sutter County Clerk-Recorder Lonna Smith, who was the first female president of both associations.

She previously served as president of CRAC in 2018/19 after having served in executive chairs of vice president, treasurer and secretary.

“During my time as president of CRAC, education of members was improved, as well as successful legislation proposals to better serve citizens who use recording services,” Johnston said. “As president of California Association of Clerks and Elections Officials, I will work for the betterment of our members as we continue to persevere through the pandemic by looking for better ways to serve the public, whether it is conducting an election, a board meeting, and marriage services to name a few that as essential workers we are responsible for.”

Johnston was elected by her peers in February. She said the purpose of CACEO is to develop and promote a standard of administrative ability and efficiency, to promote efficiency through legislation, and to promote uniformity of practice and procedures in the application of the laws governing the departments of the county clerk and the registrar of voters while avoiding partisan politics.

She said she will work to help rebuild public trust in the elections process, which was shaken in recent years. She will also work to educate association members by offering virtual educational opportunities in place of in-person opportunities. Collaboration with the new Secretary of State Dr. Shirley Weber and other legislators will also be another priority in order to improve services for California citizens through open dialog and new legislative proposals.

“I am honored to have been elected by my peers across the state to serve in our state association leadership,” Johnston said. “I have served both associations in various committees, as I believe collaboration with other offices who perform the same function allows me to bring back to the county best practices to improve services we offer. It can be hard work, however being active in these associations has allowed me to be a better clerk-recorder, and I wanted to give back to the associations.”

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