Michael Ertel has been Supervisor of Elections for Seminole County for nine years. In that time, the office has operated under the organization's new mission statement: Efficient Elections — Excellent Service — Fiduciary Conservatism — Voter Confidence.
Prior to becoming supervisor he was a radio personality and an award-winning writer and journalist. Ertel spent eight years in the U.S. Army with stints as a public affairs representative during the Los Angeles riots, Macedonian, and Bosnian operations.
After the Army, he was in the public affairs field, including serving as Seminole County government's first public information professional, as the director of public relations for a 185-location bank, and conducting post-disaster public relations for the State of Florida's tourism marketing agency, Visit Florida.
Mike is a highly sought expert on elections issues, speaking to state, national and international election official organizations. In 2012 he testified before a United States Senate subcommittee about Florida's elections laws and has testified before the State of Texas Legislature and the National Conference of State Legislatures on voter identification laws. He has spoken about election law to conventions of the American Bar Association and the American Association of Political Consultants. In 2011 Ertel was a speaker at the Heritage Foundation concerning military voting rights, and was the only U.S. elections administrator at the International Electoral Affairs Symposium in London, where he facilitated the discussion on rebuilding voter trust. In 2013, Ertel was the only American elections official to be honored at the International Electoral awards by winning an award for building voter trust.
Ertel was one of ten inaugural recipients of Campaigns and Elections magazine's Innovator Awards for his voter outreach activities. Ertel has been featured internationally on Fox News, MSNBC, the New York Times, Time magazine and Politico.
Seminole County Roots
The 44-year-old Ertel is a homegrown elected official, attending Red Bug, Sterling Park and English Estates elementary, Tuskawilla middle, Lake Howell high and the University of Maryland University College.
He has completed the Harvard crisis communications module How to Deal with an Angry Public and the American University Election Management Institute.
In an effort to detect absentee fraud, he became Florida's first elections official to complete a course from West Virginia University on forensic document examination.
Ertel has been awarded the Martin Luther King, Jr. award by the City of Longwood and was honored by the Seminole County Bar Association with their inaugural Thomas Jefferson Award.
In 2012 and 2013 he was voted Best Elected Official by the readers of The Sanford Herald. In 2013, Orlando Life magazine named him the region’s best elected official.
Mike, his wife Michelle, Zane, 20 Gillian, 18, their dogs Winston and Betty, and a cat named Delilah live in unincorporated Seminole County.
In his spare time, Mike is an active member of the VFW, enjoys racquetball, American electoral history, the music of the Rat Pack and tinkering with his collection of antique radios.