The Illinois State Board of Elections announced longtime staff member Bernadette Matthews as the agency’s executive director.

Matthews had served as assistant executive director and had been acting executive director since April 2021. Matthews’ appointment to the position of executive director was approved by an 8-0 vote from the board at the January 19 meeting. Matthews is graduate of The Catholic University of America and Seton Hall University School of Law and joined the Board of Elections as legal counsel in 2009.

Bernadette Matthews, Illinois State Board of Elections Executive Director (photo:

In other news, Tonya L. Genovese was sworn in as a member of the board. Genovese practices law with the Gori Law Firm of Edwardsville and fills the vacancy created following the death of Board Member William Haine in August.

Tonya L. Genovese, Illinois State Board of Elections Board Member (photo:

The State Board of Elections is an independent state agency that was provided for by the 1970 Illinois Constitution to supervise the registration of voters and the administration of elections throughout the state.