Tim Dupuis has been named the new registrar of voters for Alameda County. (Alameda County)
Tim Dupuis has been named the new registrar of voters for Alameda County. (Alameda County)

OAKLAND -- Alameda County has hired a new registrar of voters and an interim¿ fire chief.

Both are longtime county employees, and Tim Dupuis, the new registrar and information technology director, has been running the elections office in an interim role since the retirement of Dave Macdonald a year ago.

Dupuis will face his first big test overseeing voting in the diverse, multilingual county during next year's June 3 statewide primary election, and an even bigger one during the November general election.

The incoming fire chief, David Rocha, has been deputy chief of administration since 2006. He joined the county department in 1995 after eight years as a San Leandro firefighter.

David Rocha has been hired as the new interim Alameda County Fire Department’s chief.
David Rocha has been hired as the new interim Alameda County Fire Department's chief. (Alameda County Fire Department)

He replaces outgoing Alameda County Fire Chief Demetrious Shaffer, who is retiring at the end of the month after just a year in the top role.

The Alameda County Board of Supervisors unanimously approved both hires this week.

Like his predecessor, Dupuis has a technology background and will serve a dual role as elections chief and county IT director. He developed the county's first smart phone application and top county officials credit him with making the registrar's office more efficient and accessible.

Dupuis is also likely to have to address persistent complaints and monitoring from advocacy groups over the accessibility of polling sites to voters who speak little English. Alameda County is required by federal law to provide language assistance to Latino, Chinese, Vietnamese and Filipino voters.

Blind voters also sued the county this year claiming they were not able to vote privately because of faulty machines that poll workers did not know how to fix.

Before he became the interim director following Macdonald's retirement in Dec. 2012, Dupuis was the county's chief technology officer since 2000.

Rocha also confronts growing responsibilities as several city fire departments have merged with the countywide force, but officials said Thursday he has already been intimately involved in the consolidation.

Once primarily responsible for protecting the county's unincorporated areas, the Alameda County Fire Department now also serves Dublin, Emeryville, Newark, San Leandro, Union City and the Lawrence Berkeley and Livermore laboratories.

Matt O'Brien covers Alameda County. Contact him at 510-208-6429.