COLUMBUS – Secretary of State Jon Husted today announced Bright “I.D.E.A.” (Innovative Developments in Election Administration) Award Recipients at the third and final day of the 2011 Statewide Elections Officials Conference at the Columbus Renaissance Hotel. Local boards of elections were asked to submit their Bright “I.D.E.A.”s to the Secretary of State prior to the conference 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.
“Recognizing and sharing innovations that improve elections administration at the county level is good for the entire State of Ohio,” Husted said. “I commend these boards for the work they are doing and encourage boards across the state to go back to their counties and implement some of the ‘ideas’ shared at our conference this week.”
Out of 24 submissions, one winner was selected for “I.D.E.A.”s in each of three categories:
- The Voter Services Award went to Summit County for their submission entitled “Assisted Registration Process” which reduces staffing costs, ensures more accurate and legible voter registration information is gathered, and allows for automatic indexing of voter registration.
- The Process Management Award went to Ashtabula County for their submission entitled “Mock Election of Ashtabula County” which prepared the entire office for a May primary by providing a training that simulated Election Day.
- The Technology Integration Award went to Lorain County for their submission entitled “Call Center Automation Program” which reduces call center staffing needs, the volume of calls on elections day and stress on technicians.
The Secretary of State’s office also created a fourth award category for one particularly unique submission that fell outside the three announced categories:
- The “Golden Soap Dish” Award went to Fairfield County for their submission entitled “Encoder Protector,” an inexpensive plan developed to protect and identify $68,145 worth of encoders for Election Day with $52.50 worth of soap dishes.
Also announced at the final day of the 2011 Statewide Elections Officials Conference were the two winners of the first annual “Ohio Elections Official of the Year” awards. Ohio elections officials were asked to nominate colleagues who have made a notable positive contribution to the profession of elections administration in their county of residence and in the State of Ohio to be considered for this honor.
- The Democrat Ohio Elections Official of the Year Award was presented to Penny Brooks, Deputy Director of the Athens County Board of Elections.
- The Republican Ohio Elections Official of the Year Award was presented to Jan Clair, Director of the Lake County Board of Elections.
The Republican and Democrat Ohio Elections Officials of the Year were each awarded the National Secretaries of State Medallion Award in recognition of their service.