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Wisconsin Elections Commission Wins National Award for Efforts to Secure State-Wide Election Database

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Feb 14, 2019

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Thursday, February 14, 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 Wisconsin Elections Commission (WEC) was the recipient of a 2018 “Clearie” Award for Outstanding Innovations in Elections. The WEC received the award for a cybersecurity training series intended to better secure the state-wide election database. 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 give 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.”   

Wisconsin manages each municipality’s election data on a state-wide database known as “WisVote.” The challenge of securing WisVote is compounded as the number of database users increases. After researching several commercial possibilities, the WEC concluded the most effective option was to create “Securing WisVote,” a series of online learning modules focused on cybersecurity best practices, and tailored for election officials across the state. By creating a baseline training program open to all local governments, the WEC helped bridge cybersecurity awareness gaps within the WisVote user population and enhanced overall cybersecurity in local governments statewide.

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 bsoder@eac.gov 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.

Contact: Brenda Bowser Soder
Phone: (202) 897-9285
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