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Secretary of State Husted Announces Bright "I.D.E.A" and Election Official of the Year Award at Ohio Association of Election Officials Conference

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

“Ohio is recognized more and more as a leader in elections administration and innovation, which is due in large part to the efforts of our local elections officials,” Secretary Husted said. “The effort and ideas put into action this past November ensured that Ohio had a smooth and fair election.”

Bright “I.D.E.A.” Award Winners

Process Management Award went to Allen County for their submission entitled “Pre-Stuffed Absentee Mail Packets” which allowed the board to save time and money by working with their printer to produce a pre-made absentee ballot packet to send to voters upon receiving a request – reducing the time required to assemble a packet and get it in the mail from 111.2 seconds to just 26 seconds.
Process Management Award went to Butler County for their “Precinct Election Official Recruitment” submission, which the county used to more effectively retain and recruit poll workers through an aggressive outreach effort that included phone calls, public forums, emails, mail pieces and a media campaign.
Voter Services Award went to Montgomery County for their initiative “Any Line, Any Time” which streamlines and simplifies the voter check-in process, reduces the waiting time to cast a ballot and improves the overall voting experience for the voter.

Election Official of the Year Award Winners

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 Joyce Kale-Pesta, director of the Mahoning County Board of Elections. Director Kale-Pesta, who has worked at the board of elections for more than 25 years, is dedicated to utilizing technology to improve transparency and voter access. She also serves as a member of the Ohio Board of Voting Machine Examiners and Ohio Association of Election Officials Legislative Committee, and has served on several taskforces for the Secretary of State’s office.
  • The Republican Ohio Election Official of the Year Award was presented to Kim Antrican, director of the Warren County Board of Elections. Director Antrican has served as both deputy director and director for the board. Despite battling breast cancer, Director Antrican continued to serve the board throughout the 2012 Presidential Election, putting in long hours in the weeks leading up to, during and after Election Day – all while undergoing intensive chemotherapy treatments.

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.

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