Joseph Debney was chosen Friday to be the new executive director of the Charleston County Board of Elections and Registration.

Debney, who has served in the same capacity with Dorchester County Board of Elections and Voter Registration, accepted the offer for the position at an annual salary of $72,500. He will begin his new job on Jan. 3.

"I am excited about my new challenge in Charleston County," Debney said. "I am looking forward to focusing on increasing voter turnout, educating the public about elections and voter registration, and improving the voting process in Charleston County."

Debney was one of the three finalists for the position, along with Ruth Jordan, former chairwoman of the Charleston County School Board, and Pamela McArthur, precinct coordinator with Charleston County Board of Elections and Voter Registration.

The position had been held by Marilyn W. Bowers, who announced in September that she would retire after the Nov. 2 general election.

While working in Dorchester County, Debney helped streamline the election and registration process by shortening the time to check in to vote at the polls, working with the legislative delegation on key election laws, and by adding a satellite absentee voting precinct in the Summerville area.

Prior to his work in Dorchester County, Debney worked with the Charleston County Board of Elections and Registration and also the State Election Commission.

During his tenure at these two locations he wrote the voting system documentation for the State Election Commission, taught training and certification classes, worked with the state Senate and House on key election laws, and educated the public about the new statewide voting system.