Monday, July 20, 2009

Election programs receive recognition

 

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                  

July 20, 2009                                                                   CONTACT:        Marcia Ventura (562) 462-2726 or                                                                                                                                                Eileen Shea      (562) 462-2648

L. A. COUNTY ELECTION PROGRAMS RECEIVE NATIONAL RECOGNITION FOR INNOVATION AND MODERNIZATION

Los Angeles County Registrar-Recorder/County Clerk (RR/CC) Dean Logan is pleased to announce that five of the Department’s Election Programs received national recognition when they were awarded the “2009 Achievement Award” by the National Association of Counties (NACo), the national organization representing county governments, and more than 2,000 member counties.  The programs:  Online Poll Worker Training, Voters With Specific Needs Sensitivity Training Video, Enhanced Student Poll Worker Program, Ballot Remake System, and the Safety First-Injury Prevention Program for Temporary Election Workers, are all part of the Department’s overall strategic goals of improving access to elections and introducing cost-effective measures to reduce the cost of conducting elections in Los Angeles County. 

The Achievement Awards Program has recognized innovative government programs for more than 40 years.  Achievement Awards are awarded to

programs that modernize and streamline county government, and help increase government services to citizens.  The five RR/CC award winning programs

will be included in a Best Practices Model County Database, which can be accessed directly via NACo’s website http://www.naco.org.  Additionally, award

winning programs will be featured in a County News, Focus on Achievement column.

 

“Our Department is committed to principles of service excellence, organizational effectiveness, and fiscal responsibility,” said Logan.  “These nationally

recognized programs have helped modernize our elections by introducing new technologies that help the County of Los Angeles

avoid undue costs by working safer and more efficiently.  The programs have also helped improve services to the diverse communities we serve -- ensuring all citizens have access to the democratic process.” added Logan.

     Highlights

·       Voters with Specific Needs Sensitivity Training Video
·       Developed and implemented as a training tool to provide poll workers and election support staff the knowledge of how to listen to, interact with, and better serve voters with specific needs during the election process.  The video training is an enhancement to the Department’s compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), the Help America Vote Act, and state mandates;

·       Online Poll Worker Training
·       Used to supplement in-person poll worker training, interactive, online curriculum emphasizes key procedures and allows poll workers to complete self assessments on Election Day procedures;

·       Created to provide multiple learning techniques, using audio and interactive exercises, and providing a tangible means for assessing the effectiveness of the Department’s training program and resources.

·       Enhanced Student Poll Worker Program
·       Developed to maximize outreach efforts with school administrators, teachers and high school students.  During the November 2008 General Election the program helped to recruit 3,725 student poll workers resulting in an overall 10% increase in student participation from the last General Election in 2004 by utilizing a(n):

1)      mapping project to determine poll worker needs in a community, set allocations for schools interested in participating and providing a visual to administrators/educators who are hesitant to participate;

2)      Student Poll Worker Program DVD which is mailed to schools for use by teachers as a tool to promote the program and to provide information on the benefits, requirements and duties featuring students who highlight the components of the program;

3)      e-mail blast sent to assigned student poll workers one week prior to Election Day as a tool to help decrease the no-show rate amongst students and to serve as a reminder to students to find their assigned polling place location, if they have misplaced or not received their appointment notice; and

4)      classroom poster to decrease the no-show rate which highlights election dates to serve as a reminder for teachers to not schedule exams/projects and for students to remember their commitment to serve in the election.

·       Ballot Remake System
·       New tools helped to automate the remake of provisional ballots during the election canvass period.  The system resulted in a reduction of manual remake errors and increased productivity, resulting in a 60% reduction in temporary staffing required for the previously-used manual process;

·       The system was developed in-house by Department Technical Services’ staff using available commercial off-the-shelf hardware.  In-house development limited the one-time cost of implementing the system to $30,000, while the labor cost savings per countywide election exceeds $100,000.

·       Safety First-Injury Prevention Program for Temporary Election Workers
·       Developed with the primary focus of preventing injury and mitigating liability for the Department regarding the hiring of hundreds of temporary election workers who perform arduous jobs such as heavy lifting and transporting election equipment, supplies and materials in a short period of time of anywhere from 1 day to 30 days;

·       Focused on training, education and prevention to minimize risk exposure to the Department in order to maintain high levels of productivity during major election periods.

An Annual Awards Reception will be held during NACo’s 75th Annual Conference on Sunday, July 26, 2009 in Nashville, Tennessee where the Achievement Award Winners will be collectively recognized.  “It is an honor to have our programs highlighted by the National Association of Counties,” said Logan.  “It is a demonstration of our commitment to service and accountability.” 

Further information about the nationally recognized programs or other RR/CC services can be obtained by calling the RR/CC, Media Information and Support Services Section, at (562) 462-2648 or (562) 462-2726 or by going online to the RR/CC website www.lavote.net.

Persons requiring multilingual assistance in Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Spanish, Tagalog/Filipino, or Vietnamese can call (800) 481-8683.

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