October 27, 2020 News & Features » Cover Story

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Jessica N. Bowman, 34 

Chief Deputy Commissioner, Virginia Department of Elections

click to enlarge feat44_jessicabowman2.jpg

Scott Elmquist

As if this political season weren’t wild enough, imagine being in the Virginia Department of Elections when road workers hit a fiber-optic cable, sending online service crashing on the last day voters can register.

A day later, Jessica Bowman sounds positive. “Today is better than yesterday, let’s put it that way,” she says. In court earlier that morning, the registration deadline was extended. It’s one more twist leading to Nov. 3.

“It’s a little busy,” she says, “but we’re getting through it.”

Bowman oversees agency operations – specifically policy and legislation, compliance and media and community relations.

Bowman, a member of the Junior League of Richmond, grew up in Southwest Virginia. After graduating from Christopher Newport University, she served as a field organizer for a political campaign and became chief of staff to then-Delegate, now state Sen. Lynwood W. Lewis Jr.

The governor appointed her to her current position in 2018, where she’s helped push for and implement the expansion of voting rights and modernizing elections. Some 5.8 million registered Virginia voters depend on her team.

Along with the 20,000 Virginians signed up to work the polls, Bowman says she and her team will do their best to get results as quickly and accurately as possible.

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