Exposing Excellence – If its election time, Joe Vinci is there (for now)


His face is familiar to Alexandrians who go to the Voter Registrars office or who might have visited a recreation center some time in the 1980s. They might know him as a coach on the sidelines of a youth soccer game. However he is recognized, Joe Vinci has been involved in the life of Alexandria for more than 30 years in a variety of ways. In January, he will retire, once again, from a job in Alexandria, this time as an assistant voter registrar.

Joe is more than just reliable, hes always here, said Alexandria Voter Registrar Tom Parkins. Since I have been here, I dont remember Joe ever taking a vacation.

Also, his attention to detail is unbelievable. Hundreds of pieces of paper go across his desk and he knows where each of them should go and what they mean. In addition to that, he is my friend. I am going to miss him but will try and convince him to come back and help when we need it, Parkins said.

Vinci grew up in Balmer [Baltimore], he said. I still bleed orange and black.

Vinci is a die-hard Orioles fan. I liked the Colts before they left but have kind of become a Redskins fan. I have never seen a Ravens game, Vinci said.

As an officer in the U. S. Army, Vinci traveled extensively, serving in Vietnam in 1968, and in Cambodia in 1975. After returning from Cambodia, he returned home to Alexandria, where he has settled with his family. His children graduated from T.C. Williams High School.

Vinci left the Army in 1979 and went to work for the citys recreation department. He had always had an interest in recreation and was one of the founding members of the Alexandria Soccer Association. He worked at the recreation department until 1991, when he retired.

I got bored after about a month and called a friend in the Registrars Office and asked if she had anything for me to do, Vinci said. He was hired to work the 1992 presidential election and has remained.

I love working with the people, Vinci said.

He has had some rather obvious questions over the years, though. Just this morning someone called to ask me if there was an election this year. Also, people call all of the time to ask if they are registered to vote, usually on the day of an election, Vinci said.

What are his plans for this retirement? I dont really know yet but I suspect that this may not really be my last election, he said.