COLUMBUS – Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted recently honored election officials from around Ohio for their efforts in 2016 that went beyond the call of duty in serving the state’s voters during a major election year in a key swing-state. During the presentation, the Secretary announced the recipients of the Election Officials of the Year awards as well as the boards of elections receiving the Bright I.D.E.A. (Innovative Developments in Election Administration) awards.
The presentations were made at the Ohio Association of Election Officials Winter Conference in Columbus, Ohio.
Election Official of the Year Award Winners
The Election Officials 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.
The Democrat Ohio Election Official of the Year Award was presented to LaVera Scott who currently serves as the Deputy Director of the Lucas County Board of Elections. Ms. Scott has played a significant role in building and restoring confidence and stability at the Lucas County Board of Elections.
The Republican Ohio Election Official of the Year Award was presented to Gary Wallace who currently serves as the Deputy Director of the Union County Board of Elections. Mr. Wallace has held several positions in the office and with each job he has demonstrated the desire to improve and enhance the business of administering elections. He willingly stepped up to serve after the board’s previous deputy director passed away.
Both Election Officials of the Year were nominated for the hard work and dedication they have put into making sure each election is held with integrity, all while being considered a leader and mentor to those around them.
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, caused 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: Madison County Board of Elections
For their Ballot Stub Barcode
The Madison County Board of Elections worked with their e-pollbook vendor to include a barcode on each of their ballot stubs allowing poll workers to scan this barcode before handing the ballot to the voter. This assigns the stub number to the voter and helps ensure each person receives the correct ballot.
Bright I.D.E.A. Award Recipient: Warren County Board of Elections
For their Selfie Wall
The Warren County Board of Elections created a way for voters to commemorate their participation in the election by making a backdrop of “I Voted” stickers for voters to snap selfies to post on social media. This not only created publicity for early voting, but also made voters excited about their involvement.
Bright I.D.E.A. Award Recipient: Butler County Board of Elections
For their Fast Pass Voting
Secretary Husted with members of the Butler County Board of Elections. Pictured from left to right, Eric Corbin, Jocelyn Bucaro, Jon Husted, Diane Noonan and Mickey Smith
The Butler County Board of Elections used detailed time studies and forecasts in order to plan every element of their early vote center. By doing this, they were successfully able to get voters in and out significantly quicker than ever before.
Golden Soap Dish Award
The Golden Soap Dish Award is presented to a county board of elections for their outstanding efforts to provide better services at a lower cost. The award was named for the 2011 idea implemented by the Fairfield County Board of Elections that resulted in $68,000 worth of key card programmers being stored in soap travel cases at a cost of only $50. The award was last presented to the Allen County Board of Elections in 2015 for only spending $50 to buy dishracks in order to store their e-pollbooks.
Golden Soap Dish Award Recipient: Wood County Board of Elections
After concerns from poll workers, the Wood County Board of Elections was in need of a new stand to put their e-pollbooks on. With the idea and help of their county maintenance department, they were able to create a new stand out of basic materials that now makes signing in much easier and efficient for voters.