May 14, 2021

In the public eye: Windham Registrar of Voters and Deputy Town Clerk Judy Vance loves working with people

Judy Vance has worked in the Windham 
Town Clerk's Office for 24 years and serves
as Windham's Registrar of Voters and 
Deputy Town Clerk. SUBMITTED PHOTO
By Elizabeth Richards

Editor’s note: This is another in an ongoing series of Windham and Raymond town employee profiles.

Judy Vance is a familiar face in the town clerk’s office.  For 24 years, the Windham native has served as registrar of voters and a deputy town clerk.

Her job is a busy one, Vance said, which includes processing all vital records along with hunting, fishing and business licenses, and running two elections per year, with an occasional special election.  Her department also helps as needed with processing registrations for motor vehicles, boats, ATVs, and snowmobiles, as well as processing taxes, she said.

“It seems like every day we’re learning something new,” Vance said, even though she’s been on this job for so long.  Things are coming up regularly that she didn’t know was possible, she said, often regarding motor vehicle registration and taxes

.“I love to work with people,” Vance said when asked what she liked most about her job.  She also enjoys the hours of operation, and her teammates.  The people she works with are a big part of her love for her job, she said.

The office is normally open from 8 am to 4 pm Monday through Friday. A week to seven days before elections, they stay open until 7 p.m. one evening to allow for voter registration, address changes and requesting absentee ballots, Vance said. 

During an election, Vance said she and Linda Morrell, the town clerk, are at the polls while the other two deputy clerks keep the office running.  Absentee ballots are normally offered thirty days prior to an election. Processing these can keep things busy, she said. This was especially true during the presidential election last year.

Work in the clerk’s office can be quite detailed, Vance said, especially when processing births, deaths and marriages, which require certification. People can also get married right at the town office, she said.

“We normally ask for a little bit of notification, but if someone comes in and they apply for a marriage license and say “Hey, what are the chances of getting married right now?” we try to accommodate them and try to make them happen,” she said. “People love it.” During COVID, she said, these spontaneous marriages happened more frequently.

Overall, COVID didn’t change a lot of their operations, Vance said. “We were only closed for a very short time,” she said. The office reopened to the general public in May 2020. While many municipalities are still requiring appointments, Vance said, appointments are not required in Windham. People are welcome to walk in.

For Vance, the job doesn’t pose many challenges.

“The most recent challenge was the presidential election, and it wasn’t really a challenge,” she said, though it required working many nights and weekends. “The whole election went very smoothly, and it was enjoyable for the most part,” she said. The clerk’s office has a lot of help both from a roster of volunteers and employees in registration and taxes. “We appreciate each and every one of them for their help,” Vance said.

Every once in a while, Vance said, a problem arises that leaves a customer unhappy.

“We do everything in our power to help them and make their transaction or resolve their problem so things go smoothly,” Vance said. “I can certainly understand that people have a bad day here and there. We try to work through everything and there’s really not a whole lot for challenges, for me,” she said.

Vance was raised in Windham and is a graduate of Windham High School and the University of Southern Maine. She married her high school sweetheart and will celebrate her 39th wedding anniversary this week.

Vance and her husband remained in Windham, where they raised two daughters. Her daughters live in the same neighborhood as Vance with their significant others and children. Living in the same neighborhood as her children and their families, including four grandchildren, is “amazing,” Vance said.

“It’s wonderful. I’m lucky,” she said.

When not working, Vance said she likes to try to keep up with her grandchildren. Her family enjoys boating and riding ATVs, she said.

Her husband has several Street Rods, including some that he’s built, and they spend a lot of time going to Street Rod shows, Vance said. She also enjoys walking and gardening in her spare time. <

No comments:

Post a Comment