Three Winners Announced for the EAC’s National Award for Best Practices in Recruiting, Retaining, and Training Election Workers


Friday, January 24, 2020

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 the three winners of the 2019 Clearinghouse “Clearie” Award for Best Practices in Recruiting, Retaining, and Training Election Workers. The awardees offered new approaches to the recruitment of high school and college student poll workers, enhanced existing election worker pools through creative mailings, and improved training through interactive video modules.

Established by the Help America Vote Act of 2002 (HAVA), the EAC is charged with serving as a clearinghouse for election administration information. To uphold this, the EAC launched the Clearies in 2016 to promote best election practices.

“Presidential election years present unique challenges for election officials and voting has already begun in the Nation’s first primary," said EAC Chairwoman Christy McCormick. "We are excited to announce the Clearie awards to recognize election officials across the country who did exceptional work to improve election administration in 2019, while they buckle down for a busy election year. The recipients of these awards displayed ingenuity and creativity in their service to voters and election workers, and they are outstanding examples for other election administrators. On behalf of myself and my three fellow Commissioners, I congratulate their achievements and look forward to seeing their contributions from 2019 continue in the 2020 elections and beyond."

Now in its fourth year, the “Clearie” awards recognize the innovative efforts of election officials across America. Entries were judged based on each initiative’s creation of positive results, innovation, sustainability, outreach efforts, cost-effectiveness and replicability.

The winners of the 2019 Clearie Award for Best Practices in Recruiting, Retaining, and Training Election Workers are:


El Paso County Clerk and Recorder’s Office, CO: Election Judge Video Training Program

The Clerk and Recorder’s Office collaborated with the county’s Public Information Office to create a video classroom training module consisting of twelve “chapters” illustrating each of the duties required of an election judge. The videos are being used to prepare potential applicants for the requirements of their position, thereby reducing turnover and helping the county maintain capable election workers.


Martin County Elections Office, FL: Work the Polls Program for Recruiting High School and College Students

Recognizing that most poll workers were 65 years of age or older, Martin County developed a Work the Polls campaign to recruit high school and college students for poll worker positions. Interns created a video to be posted on the website while staff reached out through meetings and presentations on campuses throughout Martin County. This outreach led to a more representative demographic for poll workers while increasing community involvement in the elections process.


Wake County Board of Elections, NC: Vote to Volunteer Program

The elections office designed “buck slips” to recruit poll workers and increase interest in the election worker process. The slips were included in county-wide elections and tax revenue mailings already set in place. These advertisements led to a substantial increase in applications for election worker positions, allowing staff to streamline the recruitment process and focus on other needs. The increase has not only prepared for attrition in existing poll worker pools but has allowed the county to create a STAR Team of poll workers on stand-by for any needed last-minute substitutions.

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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