FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Tuesday, February 12, 2019
U.S. Election Assistance Commission’s Annual “Clearie” Awards Recognize Outstanding Innovations in Elections, and Best Practices in Accessibility and Recruiting, Training and Retaining Election Workers
Silver Spring, Md. – The U.S. Election Assistance Commission (EAC) today announced that the Bernalillo County Clerk’s Office was the recipient of a 2018 “Clearie” Award for Recruiting, Training and Retaining Election Workers. The Clerk’s Office received the award for a new election worker training program called “Learn the Vote.” Born of the EAC’s mandate to serve as a national clearinghouse of information on election administration, the annual “Clearie” awards recognize best practices in election administration and highlight exemplary models which can serve as examples to other officials and jurisdictions.
“Election officials are some of the greatest civic leaders our nation has to offer,” said EAC Chairman Thomas Hicks. “They are the stewards of the bedrock of our democracy, who often implement innovative solutions with limited budgets and zero margin for error. The annual Clearie awards gives the EAC an opportunity to recognize their vital contributions on a national stage and highlight best practices within the field of election administration. Each recipient of this award represents the very best of what it means to be an election administrator. We at the EAC applaud them for their dedication, and hope their work can serve as an example to others.”
Bernalillo County is the most populous in New Mexico with 420,262 registered voters, and the Clerk’s Office trains hundreds of citizens during election years to work as poll officials. Ahead of the 2018 Midterm Election, the county overhauled its poll official training program to maximize learning and reduce election worker errors. The centerpiece of the new training program was an online video series called “Learn the Vote” – the first online election worker training program in New Mexico. Online training reduced class time by one-and-a-half to two hours, allowed poll officials to review materials as often as needed and reduced poll official errors in the 2018 General Election. This allowed the Clerk’s Office to redirect staff time previously spent fixing errors made by poll officials into successfully completing the election canvass within the statutory 13 days and completing the General Election audit in less than two days.
Now in its third year, the “Clearie” awards recognize the innovative efforts of election officials across America. Entries were judged based on each initiative’s efficacy, innovation, sustainability, outreach efforts, cost-effectiveness and replicability.
This year’s Clearie awards are dedicated to the life and legacy of Wendy Noren and R. Brian Lewis. Wendy Noren served as Boone County Clerk for over three decades and was a member of the EAC’s Board of Advisors before passing away in March 2018 following a long battle with cancer. 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 the Help America Vote Act (HAVA) and election officials. Both were luminaries in the field of election administration who will long be remembered for their hard work, integrity and friendship.
For more information about the “Clearies” or to speak with Chairman Hicks, 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.