FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
SAN DIEGO, CA - Lori Steele, Chief Executive Officer of Everyone Counts, today announced that the Hon. Pedro A. Cortés, former Pennsylvania Secretary of State, has joined the company as Executive Vice President. In his role, Cortés will support all aspects of the company’s operations with an emphasis on strategic business development and customer service.
On June 11, Cortés concluded his tenure with the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania as the longest-serving Secretary of State in its history. He led the Department of State since 2003.
As the Commonwealth’s Chief Elections Official, he successfully promoted the integrity of the voting process among all eligible voters, including first-time voters and members of the Armed Forces. He also built strong coalitions throughout Pennsylvania with key organizations, such as the League of Women Voters, Common Cause and the Disability Rights Network of PA that advocate for greater access for historically disfranchised voters such as persons with disabilities.
With his executive staff and team of able professionals, Cortés successfully administered 15 primary and general elections in Pennsylvania. He led the implementation of the Help America Vote Act to make voting more accessible and secure for all eligible voters. During that time, the state transitioned from punch cards and lever machines to electronic voting systems. The Commonwealth also consolidated its 67 county voter registration systems into a centralized database that maximizes accuracy and efficiency.
Cortés was also the first Pennsylvanian to serve as President of the National Association of Secretaries of State (NASS), a position he held during the historic Presidential Election cycle in 2008. Under his leadership, NASS strengthened cooperative relationships between the states and actively engaged the White House, Congress and federal agencies.
“Secretary Cortés has proven himself as a successful public servant and also as a most accomplished leader who placed access to voting and ensuring the integrity of electoral process as top priorities in one of the largest states in the nation,” Steele said. “His thoroughness and ability to inspire teams of professionals are consistent with Everyone Counts’ organizational goals and objectives.
“In addition, Secretary Cortés’s extensive network of professional, business and government contacts makes him an ideal spokesperson for the innovative products and services Everyone Counts proudly offers domestically and around the world.”
In 2008, Cortés led a delegation of secretaries of state to Afghanistan, Iraq, Kuwait and Germany at the request of the U.S. Department of Defense. During this historic visit, Cortés and the secretaries from California, Florida, Indiana and Mississippi met with the troops to discuss increased ballot access and improvements to their voting experience. That year, Pennsylvania participated in the Federal Voting Assistance Program’s Voter Registration and Ballot Delivery system.
In 2005, Cortés chaired the Pennsylvania Election Reform Task Force. Created by an executive order, the Task Force was charged with making recommendations on changing the presidential primary date in Pennsylvania and reviewing absentee statutes to increase voter participation. The Task Force’s work and recommendations ultimately led to the passage of Act 45 of 2006, which extended the deadline for receipt of UOCAVA absentee ballots from the Friday before Election Day to seven days after.
“I am excited to continue my service in the elections field as a member of Everyone Counts.” Cortés said. “The company is a world leader in military and overseas voting technology, with a guiding mission to deliver affordable, secure, transparent and accessible elections for all eligible voters. Those are goals I hold dearly.”