COLUMBUS – Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted today honored elections officials from around Ohio for their efforts in 2017. Secretary Husted announced the 2018 Elections Officials of the Year and recognized the boards of elections receiving Bright I.D.E.A. (Innovative Developments in Election Administration) awards.
“Ohio is fortunate to have some of the most dedicated and hardworking elections officials in the country,” Secretary Husted said. “The individuals recognized today are among some of the best and lead by example.”
The presentations were made at the 2018 Ohio Secretary of State Summer Conference in Columbus, Ohio.
Elections Official of the Year Award Winners
The Elections Official of the Year awards are given to one Democrat and one Republican in recognition of their notable, positive contributions to the profession of elections administration in their county and the State of Ohio.
Pictured from left to right, Democrat Ohio Election Official of the Year Sharon Locke, Secretary Husted, and Republican Ohio Election Official of the Year Jim Ehrman
The Democrat Ohio Election Official of the Year Award was presented to Sharon Locke who currently serves as the Director of the Huron County Board of Elections. Ms. Locke leads by example in the office and is committed to running all elections with efficiency and accuracy. This has been proven by her leadership during the process of receiving funding for new voting machines and her drive in implementing electronic pollbooks.
The Republican Ohio Election Official of the Year Award was presented to Jim Ehrman who currently serves as the Director of the Seneca County Board of Elections. Since becoming director, Mr. Ehrman has overseen the creation of a balanced budget and improved overall financial stewardship. Additionally, he took the lead in securing a larger and updated office space for the Seneca County Board of Elections.
Bright I.D.E.A. Awards
The Bright I.D.E.A. awards recognize county boards of elections for the development of an innovation that was successfully put into practice, resulted in a measured improvement in the administration of elections, and serves as a good example of methods for management, policy and procedure improvement.
Bright I.D.E.A. Award Recipient: Montgomery County Board of Elections
For their Voting Location Manager Lanyard
Pictured from left to right, Montgomery County Board of Elections Director Jan Kelly, Secretary Husted, and Montgomery County Board of Elections Precinct Election Official Coordinator Robyn Fecke.
The Montgomery County Board of Elections created lanyards for Voting Location Managers to wear around their neck with step-by-step instructions on how to open and close a polling location. They also included the identification requirements and a barrel key to make the task of opening and closing their polling location more expeditious.
Bright I.D.E.A. Award Recipient: Franklin County Board of Elections
For their Partnering for Democracy program
Pictured from left to right, Dublin City Schools PREP Program Coordinator Becky Haselberger, Franklin County Board of Elections Director Ed Leonard, Secretary Husted, Franklin County Board of Elections Training Coordinator Steve Bulen, and Franklin County Board of Elections Deputy Director David Payne.
The Franklin County Board of Elections’ Partnering for Democracy initiative benefits students with disabilities by establishing an ongoing collaboration between the board and a local school district. The board of elections provides students the opportunity to be on the frontlines of democracy by educating them about the voting process before preparing them to serve as poll workers on Election Day.