Minnetonka's city clerk will become the state's next elections director, Secretary of State Steve Simon announced Thursday.

David Maeda of St. Paul succeeds Gary Poser, who retired earlier this month after administering six general election cycles as state director. Poser also directed elections during 11 additional cycles for Washington, Anoka and Hennepin counties.

Maeda will assume the job Jan. 31 after serving as Minnetonka's city clerk since 2007. Under Maeda, Minnetonka became the first city in the state to use electronic poll books in 2009.

"The experience he brings from county and city elections administration is of the highest quality," Simon said in a statement Thursday. "Moreover, his work as a statewide leader on elections issues will be invaluable to my office and all Minnesotans as we continue aggressively to invest in our democracy."

Earlier this month, Simon unveiled a package of election proposals geared toward improving voter turnout across Minnesota. The proposals included restoring voting rights for felons released from prison, adopting automatic voter registration and possibly requiring that Minnesotans vote by mail in the 2020 presidential primary.

Maeda also chairs the state's Council on Asian Pacific Minnesotans and is a charter commissioner of the city of St. Paul, where he lives. He previously led the League of Minnesota Cities' Election Taskforce and also worked as a Hennepin County election supervisor.

In a statement Thursday, Maeda expressed an eagerness to join the Secretary of State's Office and work with county and city officials around the state to "carry out and further improve Minnesota's best-in-the-nation elections."

"This is a critically important time in elections administration," Maeda said.

Stephen Montemayor • 612-673-1755 Twitter: @smontemayor