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Ciao to Choosing and Hello to Hiring?

Ciao to Choosing and Hello to Hiring?

By Scott McIntyre

Can we be sure the best people are being secured for positions that require highly qualified skills when the decision is made by voting?

In the state of Washington, nine officials are elected and many: secretary of state; state treasurer; attorney general; state auditor; superintendent of public instruction; insurance commissioner; commissioner of public Lands; have specific and difficult job descriptions.  Here’s a brief look at them…

  • Secretary of State – Supervises all state and local elections; collects and preserves the historical records of the state; manages the Address Confidentiality Program for victims of domestic violence.
  • State Treasurer – Provides for the banking, financial and investment needs of the state government; is custodian for all state-owned investments (securities, bonds, stocks, etc.); chairs the Public Deposit Protection Commission.
  • Attorney General – Serves as legal counsel to the governor, members of the legislature, state officials, and the more than 230 state agencies, boards and commissions; enforces the Consumer Protection Act; defends the state officials and employees for actions performed in their official capacities.
  • State Auditor – Performs regular financial and legal compliance audits of all state agencies and local governments; administers the Employee Disclosure, or “Whistleblower Act;” investigates citizen reports of government impropriety.
  • Superintendent of Public Instruction – Administers the basic education program for Washington public school students and over 747,009 students attending approved private schools; prepares the biennial state budget and administers that budget for the 296 school districts of the state; regulates apportionment of federally-supported program funds.
  • Insurance Commissioner – Regulates overall industry, making sure companies meet all their obligations and abide by the standards set for doing business in the state; responsible for the testing, licensing and oversight of more than 36,000 individual companies and licenses each year; collects a special tax levied on insurance companies.
  • Commissioner of Public Lands – Leads management of about 5 million acres of public lands; enforces laws regulating logging practices, reforestation requirements, petroleum and natural gas exploration and surface mine reclamation; has a chief role in preserving Washington’s natural heritage.

There’s a lot more to many of these positions, which you can read about here. But the bottom line is, with voting so much different than the hiring practice, I wonder how voters, no matter how well intentioned and informed, can ensure the best person gets one of these crucial positions.

And these aren’t the only working roles I’m concerned about.  We also elect judges to various courts and sheriffs in each of Washington’s 39 counties.

The hiring process can be extremely complex, especially depending on the requirements of the position, and there is so much of that procedure that most voters haven’t had access to when they sit down and make their selections. 


  • Weren’t able to utilize the skills of a recruiter or other resources to find the best contenders.
  • Didn’t have any part in creating a job description and qualifications for the role.
  • Wouldn’t have been fully aware of the skill sets each aspirant possessed.
  • Couldn’t interview the candidates.

And then there’s the fact that no voter will have access to a potentially more qualified person, just because they didn’t happen to be seeking election. That person might be identified in a professionally designed and implemented hiring process, but there’s a much smaller chance that an individual voter would find someone worthy of the job, convince them to run for the office, and help them get elected.

As a Christian, I trust, ultimately, in God to enable our world to function in a way that promotes health, joy, peace and love among its citizens.  But that doesn’t preclude me, or any of us, in my opinion, of being responsible to speak out when we see things that could be changed to bring improvement to our fellow American’s lives. Maybe God will use me, or you, to help launch a new process in our culture that helps mankind grow and thrive.

Do we need to make some changes in how we get people into important roles in our state?

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