Minneapolis, Port Huron Win 2017 EAC Clearinghouse Awards

[Image via EAC]

Minneapolis, MN and Port Huron Township, MI are the winners of the 2017 Clearinghouse Awards from the U.S. Election Assistance Commission (EAC) for their programs focused on pollworker recruitment and training. From the EAC releases:

Minneapolis was selected for its work to recruit, train and retain election workers. Born of the commission’s mandate to serve as a national clearinghouse of information on election administration, the EAC’s annual “Clearie” awards recognize outstanding innovations in election administration that can serve as examples to other officials and jurisdictions. 

Since 1991, the Minneapolis Student Election Judge Program has engaged high school students ages 16 and older as poll workers on Election Day. These students receive the same training as and work alongside adult election judges, performing all the same duties at the same rate of pay. In doing so, the program: 

  • Increases the number of election judges who are bilingual in targeted languages.
  • Addresses the need for tech-adept poll workers. 
  • Increases the ethnic and age diversity of Minneapolis election judges to better reflect the face of the community. 
  • Provides high school students with increased connections to their community and helps them attain civic skills and dispositions. 

The Student Election Judge Program has been growing, expanding from 162 student election judges in 2014, to 352 during the 2016 general election. For the 2017 municipal election, 291 student election judges were assigned across Minneapolis’ 132 precincts and accounted for more than 10 percent of the city’s election workforce…

Port Huron Township was recognized for its training and operation processes that have substantially increased accuracy and efficiency on Election Day at no additional cost. The township provides election workers with a color coded, categorized, easy-to-understand manual and an interactive hands-on training. On Election Day, workers receive several bins with equipment and supplies. Each bin is color coded and each item within the container is labeled and coded with the same color. 

“These awards celebrate the very best in election practices across the nation,” said EAC Chairman Matthew Masterson. “As we travel throughout the country, our commission sees first-hand the innovation and commitment to excellence that election officials and their partners bring to their work. These awards acknowledge that work and highlight best practices that other election administrations can emulate.”

Both of these programs – one focused on broadening the poll of available workers and the other assisting workers with training and materials aimed at improving their experience on Election Day – hold lots of good ideas that other jurisdictions and and should borrow. Kudos to both winners – and thanks to the EAC for recognizing these groundbreaking programs which make the voting experience work so much better “on both sides of the table.” A tip of the electiongeek cap to all … stay tuned!

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