FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Friday, January 16, 2015
SECRETARY OF STATE HUSTED RECOGNIZES ELECTION OFFICIALS OF THE YEAR & PRESENTS BRIGHT “I.D.E.A.” AWARDS
Counties recognized include Fayette, Franklin, Madison and Montgomery.
COLUMBUS – Looking to honor the hard work and dedication of local elections officials going above and beyond the call of duty, Secretary of State Jon Husted today announced the Election Officials of the Year winners and Bright I.D.E.A. (Innovative Developments in Election Administration) Award recipients at the Ohio Association of Election Officials Conference.
Election Official of the Year Award Winners
Announced at the Ohio Association of Election Officials Conference were the Republican and Democratic Ohio Election Officials of the Year. These awards recognize the notable, positive contributions local elections officials have made to the profession of elections administration in their county, and in the State of Ohio.
This year, both recipients are from the Fayette County Board of Elections and demonstrate how individuals of opposite political parties can collaborate in a collegial and professional manner to administer elections.
“The Fayette County Board of Elections director and deputy director demonstrate a level of bipartisanship that all public officials should strive to achieve,” Secretary Husted said. “Their ability to work together, putting the public interest ahead of political interests, has helped deliver well-run elections in their county time after time.”
Secretary Husted with Election Official of the Year recipients. Pictured from left to right: Fayette County Board of Elections Deputy Director Beth Ann Snyder, Secretary of State Jon Husted, and Director Jamie Brooks.
Republican Ohio Election Official of the Year Award was presented to Jamie Brooks, Director of the Fayette County Board of Elections. Director Brooks has held the positions of director and deputy director for the past eight years. She is an active member of the OAEO and a graduate of the Ohio Registered Election Official Program. An active member of her community, Director Brooks works tirelessly to share information about voting and the board of elections with Fayette County residents.
Democratic Ohio Election Official of the Year Award was presented to Beth Ann Snyder, Deputy Director of the Fayette County Board of Elections. For the past 23 years, Deputy Director Snyder has served the board in either her current position or as director. She has been a contributing member of the OAEO for 20 years and has been a trustee or a member of the Legislative Committee since 1999. She has served on various committees including the Education, Nominating, Audit and Conference Planning Committees. In January 2009, Deputy Director Snyder was appointed OEAO Secretary.
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.
Bright I.D.E.A. Award Winners
The Bright I.D.E.A. awards recognize county boards of elections for the development of an innovation that was successfully put into practice, caused a measured improvement in the administration of elections, and, if utilized, that other organizations may benefit from the implementation of such methods for management, policy and procedure improvement.
“Ohio’s elections officials at all levels are innovators, always in search of new ways to improve the voting experience while being mindful that they are on a tight budget” Secretary Husted said. “Today’s honorees are a testament to that ingenuity and another reason why Ohio is a national leader in elections administration.”
Secretary Husted presents the Franklin County Board of Elections with their Bright “I.D.E.A.” award. Pictured from left to right: Dennis J. Landuyt, Elections Technology Assistant, and Carolyn Gorup, Manager Elections Technology.
Secretary Husted presents the Madison County Board of Elections with their Bright “I.D.E.A.” award. Pictured from left to right: (back row) Director Tim Ward, Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted; Board Member Howard Foust and Board Member Steve Saltsman (front row), Mathew Tlachac, Director of the Clark County Board of Elections and former Deputy Director in Madison County, and Board Member Charles Kitchen.
Secretary Husted presents the Montgomery County Board of Elections with their Bright “I.D.E.A.” award. Pictured from left to right: (back row) Deputy Director Steve Harsman,
Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted, Supervisor of Registration Mark Mazer, (front row) Board Member Rhine McLin and Board Member Kay Wick.
Franklin County “Election Day Problem Tracking System”: Communication among election officials on Election Day is essential. In Franklin County, the board of elections operated three separate locations where employees handled calls on a wide range of topics and issues. While the county was previously able to address inquiries received, it lacked a central location to collect all of the problems reported that might need further attention. To remedy this issue, the Franklin County Board of Elections developed software that enables election staff throughout the county to enter problems into a database. This system gives elections officials a centralized place to see what problems are happening in real time at polling locations throughout the county and to quickly address any issues that are impeding the election process.
Madison County “Detailed Timeline Tool”: To ensure greater efficiency and organization, Madison County has implemented a detailed timeline tool that all staff has access to and can use to plan their work on a daily, weekly and monthly basis. The system allows tasks to be assigned to a specific person, reminds them of deadlines, as well as priority election and daily tasks. The tool also provides for a way to report on progress and check off completed jobs. Officials in Madison County have stated that the tool has been useful in keeping everyone on the same page on what needs to be accomplished both on a daily basis and for future planning.
Montgomery County “Voter Verifiable Paper Audit Trail Remover”: The county currently uses voting equipment that produces a Verifiable Paper Audit Trail, or VPAT, that must be removed from each machine following an election. The process of removing the VPAT from the approximately 2,500 machines used in each election required the tedious process of unrolling each spool of paper, identifying it and storing it according to a retention schedule. In an effort to save the board both time and money, the staff simply modified a power drill to more quickly remove multiple VPATs at one time. A process that used to take eight staff members four days to complete, now takes four staff members two days. You can view the Voter Verifiable Paper Audit Trail Remover in action here.