Morse, Ely win national election award for training students, veterans as election judges

The Town of Morse and the City of Ely were announced as a 2018 Clearinghouse award winner by the U.S. Election Assistance Commission.
The award was in the category of Recruiting, Training and Retaining Election Workers. The awards, also known as the Clearies, provide election offices across America an opportunity to share their innovative efforts and celebrate successes.
The Clearies play an important role in furthering the EAC’s responsibilities under the Help America Vote Act of 2002 (HAVA). Under that act, the EAC serves as a clearinghouse for election administration information.
The award was for the Town of Morse and the City of Ely partnering with the nonprofit Walking Civics on a program that connected high school students and veterans to serve at the polls together on Election Day.
The Morse-Ely training model recognized veterans have already “walked the talk” in answering the call to serve their country and is intended to inspire civic virtue, train competent election workers and link generations in service to elections.
The session provided stellar training and a deep meaning for both veterans and high school students, preparing a new generation of election workers who will be on the front line of elections now and into the future.
Following a training session held in the media center at Ely Memorial High School that included a taped message from Minnesota Secretary of State Steve Simon, the students and veterans served as judges in the 2018 election at both Ely and Morse polling places.
“The training itself answers many of the fundamental questions that many younger non-voters cite as the reason they don’t participate. In addition, and more importantly, students take on the role of public responsibility that often requires an oath of office. When the students train alongside members of local veterans groups, it adds to an often powerful experience,” said Cole Kleitsch, Director of Walking Civics.
Through HAVA, the EAC works to help implement election reforms, assist states in certifying voting systems, advance voting accessibility, and serve as a clearinghouse of election information.
An independent panel of election officials from the EAC’s Board of Advisors and Standards Board served as judges and gave awards to 10 recipients.
“The entries offered great insight and exemplified the can-do spirit of election officials. Our Clearie recipients exhibited a wide range of populous, from a city of 3,500 to a state with more than three million registered voters. We share their results so that other jurisdictions might replicate or build upon their efforts,” said EAC Chairman Thomas Hicks.
“The election worker competition highlighted great results of using high school students as poll workers, efforts to modernize training initiatives, and connecting veterans and students to serve at the polls,” said Hicks. “From advancing cybersecurity training at the local level or helping veterans with disabilities in the elections process, the 2018 EAC Clearinghouse Awards are a testament to election officials’ leadership efforts across the U.S.”