EAC “Clearies” Honor Innovation, Leadership in Elections Administration

Oct 02, 2018

By Brian Newby, EAC Executive Director
Re-posted from ElectionLine's September 13, 2018 Edition

What’s your secret to a successful election that serves the needs of voters? The U.S. Election Assistance Commission (EAC) invites you to tell the commission about your work and enter it for consideration in the third annual national competition for best practices in election administration.

The EAC clearinghouse awards, dubbed the “Clearies” for short, offer a great stage to celebrate and share innovative programs cultivated by election offices. In meeting our Help America Vote Act (HAVA) charge to serve as an informational clearinghouse for election officials, the EAC is pleased to recognize the forward-looking and effective efforts of election officials across America. These accolades are just one way the commission can meet the promise of HAVA and further its clearinghouse efforts.

As we travel the country and meet with election officials, we see first-hand countless fresh and innovative election initiatives deployed throughout the nation. The EAC established these awards to acknowledge the hard work, determination, and “can-do” spirit that election officials bring to even the most detailed of Election Day tasks. The EAC hopes you’ll consider entering this year’s competition so that we can honor your efforts and promote your successes.

As we did last year, the EAC is seeking entries for three categories: 1) innovations in elections, 2) best practices related to the recruiting, training, and retaining of election workers, and 3) accessibility for voters with disabilities. The 2017 winners of the Clearie awards can be found here and the work of others who submitted entries last year has been featured in the EAC’s blog and other resources throughout the year.

To make this year’s competition even more meaningful, the EAC has made the decision to dedicate the 2018 Clearies in honor of the life and legacy of Wendy Noren and R. Brian Lewis. Wendy Noran served as Clerk of Boone County, Missouri for over three decades and was an active member of the EAC’s Board of Advisors before her passing. R. Brian Lewis served as Counsel to the office of the Senate Majority Leader and the Senate Rules and Administration Committee before his passing and was an early and steadfast proponent of HAVA and election officials. Both were leaders in the field of election administration who will long be remembered for their hard work, integrity, and friendship. Their work is a beacon for the kind of innovation and dedication the EAC honors through the Clearies.

The deadline for your Cleary submissions is Friday, October 5th. To foster participation from all corners of the elections community, we purposely keep the Clearies entry process simple and straightforward.  Applications from all perspectives and types of jurisdictions are encouraged to submit their work. And since we recognize that this is a busy time of year, submissions can be as simple as a half-page narrative or as complex as a series of documents and multimedia. All entries will be evaluated on their merit and previously set criteria, which include:  

  • Efficacy
  • Innovation
  • Sustainability
  • Outreach efforts
  • Cost-effectiveness
  • Replicability

Submissions should be sent by email to clearinghouse@eac.gov. While there is no set application, those applying should provide a brief summary of their program. They can also choose to attach any relevant documents, pictures, and links that support their submission. In the subject line, applicants should state which particular competition they are entering. If candidates have entries for more than one category, they should email them separately. Submissions should also include contact information for the person submitting the program for consideration.

We look forward to receiving your entries to this year’s Clearies. For more information about the competition, please contact Patrick Leahy at pleahy@eac.gov.

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