By Marilyn Odendahl

The Indiana Citizen

September 29, 2023

Dustin Renner, a chief deputy clerk for Bartholomew County and former deputy legislative director for the Association of Indiana Counties, has been named the election director for Indiana Secretary of State Diego Morales’ office.

“I am very grateful for the opportunity to join the administration of Secretary of State Diego Morales,” Renner said in a press release. “I am appreciative of his demonstrated commitment to support and engage with county clerks. I am excited to continue working with county clerks and represent the secretary of state’s office in my new role.”

In response to an inquiry from The Indiana Citizen, the secretary of state’s office said Renner was not filling a newly created job.

“The Election Director position, within the Secretary of State’s Executive office, is not a new position. Mr. Dustin Renner is the first Election Director under Secretary Morales,” the office said in an email.

However, Julia Vaughn, executive director of Common Cause Indiana, said from the couple of decades she has been advocating for voting rights in the Indiana Statehouse, she does not remember anyone else being the election director.

Still, she said, the new official could be helpful because counties are doing the heavy-lifting of elections and could use “direction and guidance” from the state.

“More people focused on the meat and potatoes of administering voting in Indiana is a good thing,” Vaughn said. “I think more is better than fewer.”

According to the secretary of state, Renner will provide technical assistance to county clerks and the Association of the Clerks of Circuit Courts of Indiana. He will also be the secretary of state’s representative on the Statewide Voter Registration (SVRS) Core Team and he will be responsible for working with Ball State University’s Voting System Technical Oversight Program (VSTOP).

In addition, Renner will assist with election-related legislation.

“I’m excited to have Dustin as part of our team in this Election Director role,” Morales said in a press release. “His proven experience and prior developed relationship with county clerks make him an exceptional choice for this position.”

Dwight Adams, a freelance editor and writer based in Indianapolis, edited this article. He is a former content editor, copy editor and digital producer at The Indianapolis Star and, and worked as a planner for other newspapers, including the Louisville Courier Journal. 

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