Improving Accessibility for Voters with Disabilities
Boone County Clerk (MO) - Voter Education Videos
In 2020, the elections office produced several videos to inform underrepresented voters about their options for casting a ballot. One popular video featured a deaf interpreter using American Sign Language to share important information about in-person voting and other election resources. The elections office harnessed community relationships to promote the videos and the segment received more than 800 views across different social media platforms.
Orange County Registrar of Voters (CA) - ADA Specialist Training and the Use of Accessibility Data
In the midst of transitioning to a new voting model and implementing COVID-19 precautions, the Orange County Registrar of Voters made significant improvements in 2020 to voting accessibility. Their efforts included enhanced training for ADA Specialists, heightened focus on accessibility needs during COVID-19, improved data collection through interactive survey software, and modernization of voting room layouts using innovative 3D software. The comprehensive initiatives helped enhance elections operations across many areas and ultimately translated into a more accessible voting experience.
Best Practices in Recruiting, Retaining, and Training Poll Workers
Hillsborough County Supervisor of Elections (FL) – Strategic Poll Worker Recruitment Program
Hillsborough County Supervisor of Elections streamlined the poll worker application process, utilized text message and email communication, and converted all poll working training into online courses. Through the new system, nearly 4,000 poll workers were able to complete training online during the Primary and General Elections
Orange County Registrar of Voters (CA) – Vote Center Election Worker Recruitment
The Orange County Registrar of Voters transitioned to using an efficient Vote Center model during the 2020 Primaries and General Election. The shift to Vote Centers also saw the introduction of Customer Service Representatives (CSRs), a paid temporary County position with training to provide higher quality services to voters. A robust outreach and recruitment effort allowed the County to hire 1,500 CSRs to serve approximately 1.7 million voters in 188 Vote Centers. The CSRs varied in age, ethnicity, and occupation, and many offered voting assistance in different languages.
Outstanding Innovations in Election Cybersecurity and Technology
California Secretary of State – California Election Situation Awareness Room (CESAR)
In 2020, the Secretary of State’s office developed a tool to provide rapid communications and enhanced election security information sharing. The California Election Situation Awareness Room (CESAR) virtually brought together over 350 participants from all 58 local jurisdictions including SOS staff, election technology vendors, and representatives from other state and federal agencies involved in election security. The CESAR system improved election incident identification and response efforts, enabling county and state election officials to easily report, monitor, and share information. This initiative represents a major step forward in election security collaboration amongst California’s state and local officials.
Palm Beach County Supervisor of Elections (FL) – Network Physical Access Improvements
During 2020, the Palm Beach County Supervisor of Elections office implemented various initiatives to improve election security. The efforts focused on securing physical access to network infrastructure and elections facilities. Specific accomplishments include cyber security training, a network-based multi-camera surveillance system to safeguard voted ballots, color wristbands to identify protected access levels, and a centralized command center to provide county-wide information.
Outstanding Innovations in Elections for Small Jurisdictions
Douglas County Clerk and Recorder (CO) – Trusted Elections Information and Poll Watcher Program
Recognizing a critical need to provide voters with a trusted source of information, the Douglas County Clerk and Recorders’ Office conducted an extensive outreach campaign in the 2020 elections. The office created a trusted elections information webpage, produced several voter education videos, published a frequently asked questions and quick reference guide, and developed a poll watcher liaison program to oversee the large number of poll watchers across the county. The efforts helped staff create an ongoing dialogue with citizens and media.
Gallatin County Election Department (MT) – Satellite Voting Services
The COVID-19 pandemic made traveling from remote locations even more difficult for voters of Gallatin County. To solve the problem, the Elections Department decided to go to the voters instead of having voters come to them. By establishing mobile satellite offices, staff were able to provide registration and election day services to 2,241 voters. The Elections Department also used social media to share information with voters about services and opportunities offered at their satellite offices.
Outstanding Innovations in Elections for Medium Jurisdictions
Hudson County Executive & the Board of County Commissioners (NJ) – Innovating during a Pandemic to Promote Safe Public Participation
The Hudson County Clerk’s Office partnered with the Hudson County Office of Digital Information to leverage existing GIS resources to pioneer solutions addressing the unprecedented challenges at no additional cost to the County. The resulting platform offered a one-stop-shop experience where voters could find out where to vote and digitally preview sample ballots.
Seminole County Supervisor of Elections (FL) – In-House Stylus Creation
To keep voters safe, the Seminole County Supervisor of Elections wanted to offer disposable styluses on Election Day. The cost, however, would have exceeded $250,000. Instead, they invented their own disposable stylus using Q-tips, aluminum foil tape, and mineral water to conduct electricity from the voter’s hand to the tablet. The creative effort allowed Seminole County to provide voters with disposable styluses at a minimal cost and was recognized by several national press outfits.
St. Louis County Board of Elections (MO) – Enhancing Digital Communications
In order to improve voter communication, the St. Louis Board of Elections shifted content focus for social media, digital advertising, and video tutorials. By creating a strategy for releasing key messages according to specific timelines, the Board was able to increase their audience across multiple platforms, directly improving voter education and further encouraging conversations with the voters they serve.
Outstanding Innovations in Elections for Large Jurisdictions
Arizona Secretary of State – Voter Outreach Advisory Council
Beginning in the 2020 election cycle, the Secretary of State’s Office convened the Voter Outreach Advisory Council. The Council consists of community advocates from across the state, such as the NAACP, Kids Voting USA, the Intertribal Council of Arizona, and the Clean Elections Commission. Council participants connected regularly, first in-person and then virtually, to support pandemic safety protocols. During meetings, participants provided updates on their organizational efforts to register and activate voters.
Georgia Secretary of State – Election Assistant App and Performance Dashboard
The Secretary of State Office's applied Esri's ArcGIS technology to help overcome two central challenges: response to technical problems with voting equipment and voting wait time management. With an Election Assistant App and an Election Performance Dashboard, staff had a common operating visualization showing the nature and location of every reported equipment issue, where technical experts were dispatched, and a real-time tracking of resolution along with impacted voter wait times.
Most Creative and Original "I Voted" Sticker
Alaska Division of Elections
Created by beloved Alaskan artist, Barbara Lavallee, the stickers feature her stylized depiction of the diversity, strength, and power of Alaskan women. The four unique sticker designs were colorful and well received. They were available in all voting locations across the state. The stickers were available in English, Spanish, Koyukon, Gwich’in, Aleut, Tagalog, Alutiiq, Northern Inupiaq, Nunivak Cup’ig, and Yup'ik. For those who voted from home, digital stickers were available for download on the Division’s website so voters could display that they exercised their right to vote.
District of Columbia Board of Elections
The DCBOE redesigned their "I Voted" sticker in 2020 to recognize Frederick Douglass. The sticker features an image of the prominent abolitionist and honors his work fighting for the voting rights of Black Americans and women in the mid-1800s. Local press outfits covered the new sticker, which was distributed in both the 2020 primary and general election. The sticker was well-received by District voters.