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Friday, January 17, 2014

Secretary of State Husted Announces Bright “I.D.E.A.” and Election Official of the Year Awards at Ohio Association of Election Officials Conference
Counties recognized include Delaware, Cuyahoga, and Clermont.

COLUMBUS – Secretary of State Jon Husted today announced the Bright I.D.E.A. (Innovative Developments in Election Administration) Award recipients and Ohio Election Officials of the Year winners at the Ohio Association of Election Officials Conference.

“The ideas and individuals recognized today embody the principle that good enough is never good enough when it comes to elections administration,” Secretary Husted said. “We must always strive for perfection and ensure that in Ohio it is easy to vote and hard to cheat.”

Bright “I.D.E.A.” Award Winners

Secretary Husted presents the Delaware County Board of Elections with their Bright “I.D.E.A.” award. Pictured from left to right, Elections Services Managers Bronwen Evener and Ross McDonald, Secretary Husted, Director Karla Herron and Deputy Director Josh Pedaline.

Secretary Husted presents the Cuyahoga County Board of Elections with their Bright “I.D.E.A.” award. Pictured from left to right, Deputy Director Anthony Perlatti, Secretary Husted, Media and Voter Education Specialist Mike West and Director Pat McDonald.

Local boards of elections were asked to submit their Bright I.D.E.A.’s to the Secretary of State prior to be considered according to the following criteria:

  • The development of an innovation that was successfully put into practice.
  • The I.D.E.A. caused a measured improvement in the administration of elections at the county level.
  • If utilized, multiple organizations may also benefit from the implementation of such methods for management, policy and procedure improvement.


Cuyahoga County “Post-Election Profiles”: A Post-Election Profile is completed after every election cycle and puts all statistical information in an accessible and concise document. It is a document staff and managers use as a reference after each election and addressed their reoccurring problem of not having consistent and accurate statistical information that was easy to access.  Some information that is included is how many absentee ballot applications were requested; the number of votes cast, and the profile provides a breakdown of provisional and absentee ballot that got rejected. The post-election profile has made the board more efficient as well as provides a peace of mind to administrators, managers, and staff because they know they are using accurate statistical information.

Delaware County “Delaware for Democracy”: Focused on the recruitment of precinct election officials. The Delaware County Board of Elections worked with the Delaware County Commissioners to implement an employee leave program for all Delaware County employees. The goal of Delaware for Democracy was to create a collaborative election worker recruitment program, focusing on encouraging local residents to serve as precinct election officials on Election Day. The program led to reduced costs by placing poll workers closer to their homes, increased familiarity between workers and their assigned locations, and helped establish a stronger connection with seven of their municipalities.

Election Official of the Year Award Winners

Secretary Husted with Election Official of the Year recipients Karla Herron, left, and Judy Miller, right.

Also announced at the Ohio Association of Election Officials Conference were the two Ohio Election Officials of the Year winners. Ohio election officials were asked to nominate colleagues who have made a notable positive contribution to the profession of elections administration in their county, and in the State of Ohio, to be considered for this honor.

  • The Democratic Ohio Election Official of the Year Award was presented to Judy Miller, director of the Clermont County Board of Elections. Director Miller has worked at the board of elections for more than 32 years. She is dedicated to improving training for her staff, has improved precinct election official training by creating precinct election official manuals and produced training manuals; she implemented an efficient process for in person absentee voting, and consolidated precincts and polling locations that saved money for the county. She is an active member of OAEO, the International Association of Clerks, Records, Election Officials, and Treasurers and is a Democratic Central and Executive Committee Member.
  • The Republican Ohio Election Official of the Year Award was presented to Karla Herron, director of the Delaware County Board of Elections. Director Herron has served for nearly 14 years at the helm of the board of elections of two different counties. Under her leadership, the Delaware County Board of Elections purchased and utilized several different hardware and software solutions that led to transparent, efficient, and accurate elections. It freed staff members from mundane tasks which allowed them to focus on and complete more important aspects of the election. She focused on what the board could do to minimize the use of provisional ballots to assure that all registered voters have their votes counted. Under her watchful eye, in 2012 the board saved and returned over $140,000 to the county, ended 20% under budget in 2013, and will return approximately $450,000 back to the county this year.

The Republican and Democratic Ohio Election Officials of the Year were each awarded the National Secretaries of State Medallion Award in recognition of their service.

More photos from the event are available here.


For more information, please contact Alexis Zoldan at (614) 995-2239.


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