U.S. Election Assistance Commission National Award Commemorates Best Practices in Election Administration
Silver Spring, Md. – The U.S. Election Assistance Commission (EAC) today announced that Pierce County in Washington state won a national competition recognizing best practices in election administration. The county was selected for its excellence in election innovations. Born of the commission’s mandate to serve as a national clearinghouse of information on election administration, the annual “Clearie” awards recognize election innovations that can serve as examples to other officials and jurisdictions.
“These awards celebrate the very best in election practices across the nation,” said EAC Chairman Matthew Masterson. “As we travel throughout the country, our commission sees first-hand the innovation and commitment to excellence that election officials and their partners bring to their work. These awards acknowledge that work and highlight best practices that other election administrations can emulate.”
Pierce County received the award for the development of “Batch Tracker Manager” (BTM). In 2016, Pierce County upgraded from an optical scan ballot tabulation system to a modern, digital scan system. This transition provided an opportunity to completely rethink the intake, verification, opening and scanning processes. This led to BTM – a SQL database with Microsoft Access interface, used in conjunction with unique barcoded target cards that cover batches of 250 ballots. Off-the-shelf handheld scanners “touch” each target card as a batch moves through various work stations.
Pierce County reports the digital scan system has reduced ballot handling time, improved reconciliation, and eliminated multiple layers of paperwork, resulting in efficiencies and cost savings.
Clearies entries were judged based on each initiative’s efficacy, innovation, sustainability, outreach efforts, cost-effectiveness and replicability.
For more information about the “Clearies” or to speak with Chairman Masterson, please contact Brenda Bowser Soder at firstname.lastname@example.org 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 www.eac.gov.