Secretary Husted Honors Outstanding Election Officials, Presents Awards

Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted honored election officials from around Ohio for their efforts in 2015 that went beyond the call of duty in serving the state’s voters. During the presentation, the Secretary announced the recipients of the Election Officials of the Year awards as well as the boards of elections who received 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 Deb Sneddon, who currently serves as the Director of the Mercer County Board of Elections. Ms. Sneddon has been with the board since 2009 and is an active member of the Ohio Association of Election Officials.

The Republican Ohio Election Official of the Year Award was presented to Laura Bruns, who has been with the Mercer County Board of Elections for eight years and currently serves as its Deputy Director. Ms. Bruns is also an active member of the Ohio Association of Election Officials.

 Both Election Officials of the Year were nominated for their dedication to registering young people to vote, encouraging high schoolers to be involved in the “Youth at the Booth” program, and for being early, successful adopters of innovative new election technology, such as electronic pollbooks.

 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: Delaware County Board of Elections

For their Candidate Petition Module

The Delaware County Board of Elections implemented a module on their website that allows candidates to select the office they plan to seek so the site will generate the proper forms for them to fill out electronically, if they wish, before submission.

Bright I.D.E.A. Award Recipient: Mahoning County Board of Elections

For the launch of Mahoning County Votes

The Mahoning County Board of Elections launched “Mahoning County Votes,” an iPhone and Android application that allows voters to check their voter registration, get information on absentee voting, find their polling location, see election results and volunteer to become a pollworker from the convenience of their smartphone. The application was launched at no cost to the Mahoning County Board of Elections.

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 has not been presented since its inception that year.

Golden Soap Dish Award Recipient: Allen County Board of Elections

For their innovative plan for storing electronic pollbooks

After implementing electronic pollbooks, the Allen County Board of Elections was faced with the need to store 100 iPads in a manner that was safe, accessible and offered the ability to keep them fully charged. Many options would have cost the county thousands of dollars without making them easily accessible, so the county purchased plastic dish-drainers, allowing the iPads to be stored and easily charged side-by-side.

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