August 13, 2003 - Washington Post: Marshall Islands RPCV Joe C. Baxter dies in Washington DC

Peace Corps Online: Directory: Marshall Islands: Peace Corps Marshall Islands : The Peace Corps in the Marshall Islands: August 13, 2003 - Washington Post: Marshall Islands RPCV Joe C. Baxter dies in Washington DC

By Admin1 (admin) on Wednesday, August 13, 2003 - 3:15 pm: Edit Post

Marshall Islands RPCV Joe C. Baxter dies in Washington DC

Marshall Islands RPCV Joe C. Baxter dies in Washington DC

Joe C. Baxter, 53, Dies; Elections Consultant

Wednesday, August 13, 2003; Page B07

Joe C. Baxter, 53, an international elections consultant who served from 1983 to 1994 as Washington's first registrar of voters and was credited with a major culling of inaccuracies and duplications in the city's long-bloated voter registration list, died Aug. 9 at Washington Hospital Center.

He had cancer.

Working under former Board of Elections Director Emmett H. Fremaux Jr., Mr. Baxter eliminated nearly 200,000 invalid registrations his first year as registrar. He then set about determining the accuracy of the remaining 283,000 with an annual mail canvass to verify addresses. Names of people who had moved without informing the board were also eliminated.

The canvass was an attempt to prevent the kind of Election Day chaos that had resulted from inaccurate rolls in previous years. The massive revalidation process took about two years and almost $1 million to complete.

"Joe Baxter is the man who brought democracy to the nation's capital," said Fremaux. "Joe's heavy lifting in the District, since he became our first registrar of voters in 1984, included rebuilding the voter roll from the bottom up, handling our first real redistricting effort in 1990 and teaching an entire generation of candidates the ins and outs of qualifying for the ballot."

Mr. Baxter also oversaw redesign of the voter registration form, which subsequently was used as a model when Congress drafted the 1994 National Voting Rights Act.

Mr. Baxter began advising the United Nations as an elections consultant while serving in the D.C. post.

Since 1994, he had traveled widely in Africa and Asia as an election expert for the United Nations and with the International Foundation for Election Systems.

He was the chief elections officer in Liberia and managed assistance to the elections commission of Nigeria and in Ghana.

As the Foundation's senior adviser for elections, he helped set up election commissions and voter registries, draft election laws and launch voter education and poll worker training programs in Uganda, Namibia, South Africa, Equatorial Guinea, Malawi, Nigeria, Pakistan, Georgia and Armenia.

Mr. Baxter, whose home was in the District, was a native of Paragould, Ark., and a graduate of the University of Arkansas. He served as a Peace Corps volunteer in the Marshall Islands.

Early in his career, he was a confidential assistant to the registrar of voters in Orleans Parish, La.

Survivors include two brothers.

© 2003 The Washington Post Company

Some postings on Peace Corps Online are provided to the individual members of this group without permission of the copyright owner for the non-profit purposes of criticism, comment, education, scholarship, and research under the "Fair Use" provisions of U.S. Government copyright laws and they may not be distributed further without permission of the copyright owner. Peace Corps Online does not vouch for the accuracy of the content of the postings, which is the sole responsibility of the copyright holder.

Story Source: Washington Post

This story has been posted in the following forums: : Headlines; COS - Marshall Islands; Obituaries



Add a Message

This is a public posting area. Enter your username and password if you have an account. Otherwise, enter your full name as your username and leave the password blank. Your e-mail address is optional.