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2017 Best Practices in Election Administration Awards Announced

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U.S. Election Assistance Commission’s National Awards Commemorate Best Practices in Accessibility, Innovations and Managing Poll Workers

Silver Spring, Md. – The U.S. Election Assistance Commission (EAC) has announced the winners of its national competition for best practices in election administration. Born of the commission’s mandate to serve as a national clearinghouse of information on election administration, the annual “Clearie” awards recognize outstanding innovations in election administration that can serve as examples for other officials and jurisdictions to emulate. This year’s award categories celebrate excellence in election innovations, voting accessibility and recruiting, training and retaining election workers.

“Administering elections in the 21st century takes intense dedication, innovative thinking, adaptability and resourcefulness,” said EAC Chairman Matthew Masterson. “Election officials around the country embrace these principles and go above and beyond their charge to administer accurate, accessible and secure elections and ensure the voting process works for every citizen. The Clearie honorees selected this year brought fresh, inspiring approaches to their work and we are excited to celebrate their accomplishments.” 

Entries were independently judged based on each initiative’s efficacy, innovation, sustainability, outreach efforts, cost-effectiveness and replicability. This year’s honorees include:

Outstanding Innovations in Election Administration

  • Denver County, Colorado – For the launch of eSign, the first-in-the-nation mobile petition signing application, which interfaces with a voter database and keeps a running tally of signatures.  
  • Indian River County, Florida – For the “Post the Vote” voter outreach program to promote county-wide voter awareness and participation.
  • Pierce County, Washington – For the development of the “Batch Tracker Manager,” a SQL database with a Microsoft Access interface, which reportedly led to reduced ballot handling time, improved reconciliation, increased efficiencies and cost savings.

Improving Accessibility for Voters with Disabilities 

  • Washington Secretary of State – For its work with Statewide Disability Advisory Committee and others to redesign its voter information portal, MyVote, to be accessible and easy to use for voters with disabilities. 
  • El Paso County, Colorado – For its partnership with the Independence Center to host an open house for voters with disabilities to practice on accessible voting machines, provide etiquette training to over 200 election judges, and use a highly accessible center as a voter service and polling center. 
  • Disability Rights Texas and Collin County Democrats with Disabilities – For the organizations’ partnership with Collin County, Texas to address potential accessibility problems for voters with disabilities. 

Best Practices in Recruiting, Training and Retaining Election Workers

  • Minneapolis, Minnesota – For its Student Election Judge Program, which has engaged high school students ages 16 and older to receive the same training and work alongside adult election judges, performing all the same duties at the same rate of pay. 
  • Port Huron Township, Michigan – For training and operation processes that have substantially increased accuracy and efficiency while producing no real costs.

For more information about the “Clearies” or to speak with Chairman Masterson, please contact Brenda Bowser Soder at [email protected] or 202-897-9285. 

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The U.S. Election Assistance Commission (EAC) was established by the Help America Vote Act of 2002 (HAVA). It is an independent, bipartisan commission charged with ensuring secure, accurate and accessible elections by developing guidance to meet HAVA requirements, adopting voluntary voting system guidelines, and serving as a national clearinghouse of information on election administration. EAC also accredits testing laboratories and certifies voting systems, as well as administers the use of HAVA funds. For more information, visit  

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