The EAC would also like to recognize the following jurisdictions for 2022 Clearie Honorable Mention awards.
Outstanding Use of HAVA Grants in Election Modernization
Cache County Clerk/Auditor's Office, Utah - New Ballot Processing Center
With the help of HAVA grant funding, the Cache County Clerk/Auditor's Office was able to create a ballot processing center. Given recent substantial population growth, the center aims to assist County voters now and into the future. Before building the new ballot processing center, ballots were being processed and tabulated in a room no bigger than a closet. Due to these constraints, it was difficult to streamline the process with the lack of space. With the new processing center all election-related processes, such as signature verification and election record storage are securely under one roof. Given this comprehensive resource, citizens of Cache County can be assured that County election processes are safe and secure.
Outstanding Election Official State Association Program or Local Office
Palm Beach County Supervisor of Elections, Florida - Using the ES&S Accessible ExpressVote Machine as the Primary Marking Device for Early Voting
The Palm Beach County Supervisor of Elections office participated in a pilot program utilizing the Election Systems & Software ExpressVote machines. The program involved the use of the ExpressVote machines as the primary marking device in every Early Voting location within Palm Beach County for the Congressional District 20 Special Election. The innovative effort improved accessibility for voters, shortened wait times, and lowered costs for Palm Beach County. The initiative received a 100% satisfaction rating on the exit survey cards provided to voters, thus proving its efficiency and overall success.
Contra Costa County Clerk Recorder Elections Department, California - Certified Election Observer Program
In a continuum of programs to combat misinformation, election skepticism, and public mistrust of elections, the Contra Costa County Elections Division added a new program to its outreach menu in 2022. The program brought the public up close and personal into the elections process. While tours and public access were always widely available at the office, leadership saw a new potential appetite for more in-depth and informational opportunities to learn about county elections. In June of 2022, staff piloted the first Certified Election Observer (CEO) Program, giving constituents an intensive, guided, multi-day,'behind the scenes' tour of the entire elections process in Contra Costa County.
Outstanding Innovation in Election Cybersecurity and Technology
St. Louis County Board of Elections, Missouri - Four Tech Tool to Enhance Election Operations and Security
St. Louis County's Board of Elections utilized multiple technology tools to enhance voting processes before, during, and after elections. Building on the foundation of its geographic information system (GIS), the agency applied a complement of tech tools to improve voter engagement, operations, and security, including: 1) web-based apps, 2) digital surveys, 3) GPS tracking, and 4) dashboards. Individually, any of these tools are beneficial, but their collective impact and versality of application made a significant impact. Collectively, these tools have been used to create voter lookup apps, a redistricting map hub, polling place surveys, and election night ballot tracking and turn-in dashboard.
Leon County Supervisor of Elections, Florida - Election Worker Tablet Program
During the 2022 midterms, the Supervisor’s office switched from a paper accounting packet to an electronic one. The system was accessed through a specially configured tablet issued to each clerk. The tablet, completely independent of the voting system, allows for simplified completion of the accounting paperwork, greatly reducing math errors. In addition, it served as a hub for valuable information that was easily accessed and searched, giving clerks the resources they need to answer questions and fulfil their statutory obligations. The real-time connection on the tablet also allowed clerks to quickly communicate with staff at the Elections Office to request supplies, which frees the phone lines for high priority calls.
Improving Accessibility For Voters With Disabilities
Santa Fe County Clerk's Office, New Mexico - Going Above and Beyond: ADA Compliance and Accessibility
The Santa Fe County Clerk's Office prioritizes accessibility and compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) to ensure equal access to all voters. Statutory requirements, such as wheelchair accessibility and voting machines for visually impaired voters, are met, but the office goes further to enhance accessibility. Drive-up absentee ballot dropboxes and a fully accessible website have been installed, while every poll worker's training includes Disability Rights New Mexico-approved ADA assistance training. The office has surveyed every polling site, adjusting for compliance and improved accessibility, such as larger text on signage, QR codes for website access, and additional ADA parking spaces and privacy booths. These efforts have quadrupled throughput at the busiest sites, meaning voters are in and out more quickly, and individuals with mobility challenges are not hampered by waiting in line.
Outstanding Innovations in Elections
King County Elections, Washington State - Ballot Alerts
For many years, King County voters were able to track their ballots online. Thanks to ballot alerts, voters can now receive text and email notifications about their ballot’s status as it moves through the process. This includes from mailed to the voter to counted at Elections HQ. Early data shows that ballot alerts are an effective tool in both reminding voters that an election is happening, and in encouraging action from voters facing a signature challenge.
Allegheny County Department of Administrative Services Elections Division, Pennsylvania - Pre-Canvassing Precision
After becoming familiar with no-excuse mail-in balloting in 2020, Allegheny County began revising pre-canvassing workflow within a (former) industrial warehouse to maximize efficiencies. Through various enhancements, the pre-canvassing process was taken from a day's long task to a matter of hours. This included the addition of a mail sorter/opener from Bluecrest, high speed ballot scanners from ES&S, pre-canvass procedure training, a secure floor plan footprint, and ballot extraction processes. Since the primary election in 2021, Allegheny County has been able to complete pre-canvassing of over 100,000 mail-in and absentee ballots in approximately 8 hours. This timeline allows for posting of results of absentee/mail-in ballots shortly after the polls close at 8pm.
Maricopa County Elections Department, Arizona - Voter Outreach Program
To better serve 4.4 million residents, of which 2.5 million are active voters representing the 2nd largest voting jurisdiction in the U.S., the Maricopa County Elections Department launched a voter outreach program in 2022. The effort worked to improve voter education, combat mis/dis/mal information, bolster stakeholder relationships, and build trust and transparency in the elections process. This program was also conducted while providing poll worker recruitment opportunities. The program reached voters where they are with a combination of in-person and virtual activities, enhanced with social media, newsletters, and a webpage. In 2022 the Department conducted 70 in-person events and tours of Tabulation and Elections Centers. The County spent over 140 hours educating 2,300 voters. They launched 23 virtual workshops, seminars, video shorts, and presentations with 870 attendees and more than 3,000 views. 96.4% of voters who attended rated the information provided as very good to excellent. The program was designed with few resources, on a limited budget and can be easily replicated.
San Benito County Elections Department, California - Ride-Along Program
The Ride-Along Program expanded the department's Voter Outreach to include county residents in the ballot drop box pickup process conducted by election staff. While participating in the Program, county residents can observe, ask questions, and experience the daily procedures election staff take as they collect Vote-by-Mail ballots at all official drop boxes. The Program aimed to increase outreach and education in the following areas: fostering civic engagement and voter participation through community partnerships, reinforcing the elections motto “Safe, Simple, Secure”, and in offering an effective in-person public outreach presence across the community.
Nassau County Supervisor of Elections, Florida - Vote Nassau FL Mobile App
The Supervisor’s Office released a new mobile app ahead of the 2022 election cycle, the first of its kind in Florida. Nassau County voters were able to stay connected to their current election information on one convenient mobile app. This new app featured services such as polling place wait times, election day polling places, mail ballot tracking, candidates on the ballot, election night results, and more. The app is an essential tool to help build trust, create transparency in the elections process and promote communication with the voters of Nassau County. This new tool can be viewed here.
Best Practices in Recruiting, Retaining, and Training Poll Workers
Franklin County Board of Elections, Ohio - From Voting to Voting Location Manager
In 2022, the Board of Elections recognized an untapped resource in Early Vote Centers — voters who had never considered working on Election Day. This program was created to recruit these individuals. Over the course of the early vote period the Board maintained a poll worker recruitment station at the exit of the Early Vote Center. Staff informed voters about the responsibilities, requirements, and rewards of serving as a Precinct Election Official. All voters who applied proudly signed a recruitment poster that remained on display, serving as an encouragement to other voters. Early voters submitted a total of 1,448 new applications throughout the three elections held in 2022. The overall effort cost $10,030, which made this a cost-effective initiative. This successful program will be utilized by the Elections Board in 2024 and beyond.
Davidson County Election Commission, Tennessee - A Better Way to Manage Poll Workers
Using Airtable's user-friendly platform, Davidson County Election Commission was able to build a streamlined database that provides a better experience for Poll Workers and their internal office staff. The new database provides easy integration with essential tools like texting and emailing and offers flexible scaling ability. Furthermore, the database's field permissions allow access to be limited to certain users within the office, which gives confidence to staff members previously concerned about data loss and data integrity. The database also offers views that are like Microsoft Excel, but Davidson County also built several custom "Interfaces" for each Election Day and Early Voting location, as well as each Poll Worker. These individual views provide a granular and user-friendly look into each location or worker. During election cycles, Poll Workers can complete questionnaires and required training via online forms, which integrate directly into the new database. This saves 80% of the time previously used for scheduling phone calls and emails. The database is built on a "low-code" and cost-effective platform.
Hillsborough County Supervisor of Elections, Florida - Poll Worker Services and Training Application
During the 2022 election cycle, the Hillsborough County Supervisor of Elections office developed, designed, and implemented a series of dynamic, integrated digital dashboards to track data and processes pertaining to polling places. This also included poll worker recruitment, retention, and training. These dashboards enabled the office’s Poll Worker Services and Training department to dramatically increase efficiency and accuracy, while reducing the amount of time spent managing the recruitment process. By streamlining and integrating a multitude of complex and interrelated recruitment, retention, and training processes and systems that had previously existed on several platforms using different technologies, the department has been able to focus on providing the best possible service to poll workers.
Creative and Original “I Voted” Sticker Design
Palm Beach County Supervisor of Elections, Florida - Local Palm Beach County Schools Participate in the Supervisor of Elections' Sticker Contest
The office challenged Palm Beach County Middle School and High School students to design the new "I Voted” stickers. Over 400 County Middle School and High School students accepted the challenge and submitted entries to design the new sticker. The winning sticker was distributed to celebrate election day at the polls in 2022 for the Primary and General Election. The sticker allows voters to express their civic pride and encourage others to vote and participate in receiving their unique sticker representing Palm Beach County.
Office of the Travis County Clerk, Texas - Travis County's First "I Voted" Sticker Design Contest
Travis County held their first "I Voted" sticker design contest in 2022. The contest was open to students attending college in Travis County and design submissions had to include the phrase "I Voted" and contain the theme of voting and elections in the State of Texas or Travis County. The winning design was selected by a panel of three judges for its uniqueness, artistry, and theme. The winning design was created by UT student Ashwara Pillai and was printed on 100,000 stickers (in English and Spanish) for the November 2022 election.