INDIANAPOLIS – Indiana Secretary of State Holli Sullivan announced today that Indiana has received two national awards honoring best practices in election administration and training from the U.S. Election Assistance Commission.
“We are honored to accept these awards in recognition of the hard work and dedication of Hoosier elections administrators and poll workers across the state,” Secretary Sullivan said. “Indiana’s successful track record of election integrity is because of the people that work in all aspects of our electoral process and are continually willing to adopt training, share best practices and innovate.”
Outstanding Innovations in Elections
Indiana’s Certificate in Election Administration, Technology and Security (CEATS), a partnership between the Indiana Secretary of State’s Office and Ball State University, was recognized for Outstanding Innovations in Elections.
The CEATS program provides an innovative collegiate level certificate program designed to provide substantive, researched-based, training and education for election administrators.
“The CEATS program fills an immediate need in the state of Indiana by having one educational experience to professionalize election administrators,” said Dr. Bryan Byers, co-director of VSTOP (Voting System Technical Oversight Program) at Ball State University. “This award recognizes the pioneering work of our program and the positive impact we are having in our partnership with the Indiana Secretary of State, the Indiana Election Commission, and the hard-working election officials in all 92 Indiana counties.”
Throughout one-year and 170 program hours, the Certificate in Election Administration, Technology and Security provides instruction and experiential training on:
- Election law
- Election Day reporting
- Election personnel training and management
- Information technology and security basics
- Operations and troubleshooting of voting systems and electronic poll books
Participants also complete capstone projects and engage in mentorship with program faculty and state election officials. Capstone projects are designed to be useful in the participant’s county.
Outstanding Election Official Association Program
The Indiana Election Division and Indiana County Clerks Association’s Annual Election Administrator’s Conference was honored for Outstanding Election Official Association Program.
The Indiana Election Division and the Indiana County Clerk’s Association have historically offered a professional class for state election officials, administrators, and staff through the annual Election Administrator’s Conference. The 2021 conference, expanded from two days to three, was exceptional due to the number of topics covered, publications delivered, thoroughness, and professional presentation.
The conference also saw a record-setting attendance of over 450 election officials and staff from throughout the state. As a result, front-line elections workers receive extensive training and are kept up to date on current issues, allowing them the confidence and knowledge to provide efficient, secure, and reliable elections to the citizens of Indiana.
Ball State’s Voting System Technical Oversight Program (VSTOP) program was also named an honorable mention in the category of Outstanding Use of HAVA (the Help America Vote Act) Grants in Election Modernization.
The VSTOP team advises the Indiana Secretary of State and the Indiana Election Commission on the certification of voting machines and electronic poll books in Indiana. VSTOP helped pioneer first-in-the-nation legislation authorizing the certification and testing of electronic poll books before they are permitted to be used in elections in Indiana.
The Clearinghouse Awards, also known as the “Clearie” Awards, are presented annually across the U.S. for best practices in election administration by the U.S. Election Assistance Commission (EAC). Established by the Help America Vote Act of 2002 (HAVA), the EAC is charged with serving as a clearinghouse for election administration information. To further this mission, the EAC launched the Clearies in 2016 to promote best practices in elections and celebrate the accomplishments of election officials.
Winners were selected by independent panels of election officials and members from the EAC’s advisory boards, with the EAC Commissioners serving as judges for the sticker category.