New Orleans, Louisiana

Sheraton Hotel

34TH Annual National Conference

August 25-28, 2018


Welcome to New Orleans for the Election Center’s 34th Annual National Conference.


Preceding the conference Saturday and Sunday will be four of our Professional Education Courses including two core and two renewal courses (you can only take one course since they are offered concurrently and you must be a graduate of the program to take a renewal class for credit).


This year’s Conference attendees will be inspired and energized as we head into the final stretch of the mid-term Election year. We will share substantive elections issues including crucial critical infrastructure information, new updates from the investing in elections project, elections in review, information on new voting systems, the vendor exhibit area where you can learn about new and innovative voting system support and much more! This is the also the time to honor and celebrate the winners of the Election Center’s acclaimed Professional Practices Papers’ Program. You will not only hear the winning presentations but you will take home a CD with all of the innovative programs and ideas that were submitted by your colleagues in other jurisdictions around the country.


We will be celebrating those graduating from the Professional Education Program with the designation of CERA or CERV. The graduates will be recognized at a special ceremony and luncheon on Tuesday. At the end of the formal conference program, we offer an economically friendly optional tour on Wednesday so you can partake in the vitality of what New Orleans has to offer.

Professional Education Program

The Election Center's Professional Education Program is a course of study designed to instill the highest level of professional knowledge and expert skill in election administration and voter registration management practices. Our professional educators and specialist have been paired with skilled, seasoned elections and registration practitioners so that the course work offered during our Professional Education Program conferences are related directly to your professional needs. Our continuing education program is designed and organized to have more substance and information directly related to your profession, than other groups and associations.




Ethics in Elections and Voter Registration Administration

Instructor: Cindy Bowling, Ph.D.


Saturday August 25

9:00am - 4:30pm

Sunday August 26

8:00am - 11:00am






Instructor: Kelly Krawczyk, Ph.D.


Saturday August 25

9:00am - 4:30pm

Sunday August 26

8:00am - 11:00am





The Policy Process Governing Elections and Voter Registration

Instructor: Dr. Mitchell Brown




Saturday August 25

9:00am - 4:30pm

Sunday August 26

8:00am - 11:00am


Credit For This Course Is Given Only To Graduate Student Renewing Their CERA Status.




Election Storytelling: Effective Use of Information About Operations and Finances

Kathleen Hale, Ph.D., J.D.




Saturday August 25

9:00am - 4:30pm

Sunday August 26

8:00am - 11:00am


Credit For This Course Is Given Only To Graduate Student Renewing Their CERA Status.

Note: some of the core courses listed above can be applied toward your certification as a Certified Elections Registration Administrator, a Certified Elections Vendor Administrator or a Certified Elections Monitor and some can be applied by our graduates toward your renewal certification of the same. Anyone participating in these courses is eligible to receive CEUs (continuing education units) and certificates upon successful completion.


New Ballot Service Type

IDs  -  Effective August 20, 2018

MAY 22, 2018

The United States Postal Service® remains steadfast in its commitment to the democratic process and the election community. As states and localities increasingly use mail in the election process, the Postal Service remains ready to support the growth in vote-by-mail initiatives. The USPS and Election Community Partners identified the need to increase official ballot mail visibility within the automation environment which has led to solutions to include the use of:


 •   Matching Serial Numbers in the Intelligent Mail barcode (IMb) for outgoing and returning ballots, allowing the mailer to track and identify the recipient on both outgoing and incoming ballot mail.


  •   New Service Type Identifiers (STID)s in the IMb to distinguish ballot mail in the mail flow effective August 20, 2018.


The ballot mail solution led to the assignment of 23 STIDs to enable tracking of outgoing ballot mail and one unique STID for all returning ballots (votes). These STIDs are available on PostalPro at:

Special Workshop

Milwaukee, WI 2018


Preparing for the Unexpected in the Voter Registration and Election Office

Our Milwaukee 2018 Special Workshop addressed an assortment of issues under the general theme of Preparing for the Unexpected in the Voter Registration and Election Office. Your colleagues and stakeholders in election administration shared information on lessons learned from flood and fire catastrophes in 2017, Homeland Security emergency planning assistance, our annual litigation update, our federal partners sharing in emergency planning and resources available to election officials. The following agencies, offices and institutions delivered presentations: U.S. Department of Homeland Security, Auburn University, Bipartisan Policy Center, U.S. Election Assistance Commission, Federal Voting Assistance Program, Elections Infrastructure Sharing & Analysis Center (EI-ISAC)Presentation topics included:


Crisis Management/Media Training

Voter Registration and Elections Litigation Update

Election Center Professional Measurement Project

Homeland Security Emergency Planning Assistance

Report from the Bipartisan Policy Committee

Defending Digital Democracy Project

Emerging Planning and UOCAVA

The EAC and Emergency Assistance

Case Studies: Lessons Learned from Dealing with the Unexpected


Login to our member area and download your copies today.

Special Workshop

San Antonio, TX 2018


Security, New Systems And Models Of Election Service Delivery

Our San Antonio 2018 Special Workshop addressed an assortment of themes with new systems and models of  election service delivery and election security with presentation from the following agencies, offices and institutions: U.S. Department of Homeland Security, Auburn University, Bipartisan Policy Center, Marion County Supervisor of Election, Boulder County Clerk/Recorder, Boulder, CO, Federal Voting Assistance Program, U.S. Election Assistance Commission, Maricopa County Recorder, Ranked Choice Voting, Texas State Election Director, Henrico County General Registrar, USPS and Democracy Fund. Presentation topics included:


IT Security and Me Why every election administrator has a role in IT security

Investing in Elections: Costs, Resources and Types of Voters/Professional Measurement Project

Data Integrity Protocols for protecting data while being transparent

and data driven

Security of Military and Overseas Voting

Election Administration Professionalism Index What it means

and why it matters

Security Report from the EAC

New Voting Models Service delivery, voter choices and voting options

Implementation, Promotion and Education Making sure everyone is prepared and aware of what’s ahead

USPS Initiatives New services for election administrators


Login to our member area and download your copies today.

Research Reports


A Report of the Professional Measurement Project

Auburn University and the Election Center

December 2017

Mitchell Brown, PhD,  Kathleen Hale, JD, PhD,  Robert Montjoy, PhD,  Mary Afton Day, MPA


(PMP)  The Mail Ballot Pilot Study was conceived by faculty from Auburn University and members of the Election Center as an initiative of the Professional Measurement Project. The Professional Measurement Project is a collaborative research effort between Auburn faculty and the Election Center that utilizes systematic measurement of organizational practice and policy to develop information and tools that improve the practice of election administration.

The use of mail ballots in election administration has grown significantly over the past 20 years, a practice fueled particularly by several recent changes in the election administration landscape. A few states have establish ed methods of election operations that rely primarily on mail balloting.

Despite the rising popularity of the use of mail ballots, conclusions about mail ballot practices are difficult to draw. This is due principally to the remarkable complexity of the US election system and the historic influence of local custom. In fact, there is no single “system” but rather a collection of national, state, and local systems which operate with considerable local nuance. This report focuses on those complexities to highlight important similarities and differences, and also provides general guidance that can be applied by jurisdictions within the constraints of differing state election law. Read the entire report...

White Paper


Voter Education is Changing

Hart InterCivic Inc.




Disclaimer: The views, opinions and positions expressed by the authors and those providing comments on this paper do not necessarily reflect the views of the Election Center.

February 1, 2018


Election officials are increasingly creative in serving their jurisdictions and a busy electorate. Beyond the obvious charge to hold fair and transparent elections, they support turnout through voter education on everything from election dates and voting locations to sample ballots and how to operate new voting equipment.


It is well understood that voter engagement is good for democracy and that informed voters are more likely to cast ballots. This white paper takes a closer look at some of the approaches that election managers across the U.S. are using to connect with their voters.


How election managers are demonstrating and clarifying the electoral process and connecting with their voters across the U.S.


Read the full White Paper


Members Download PDF Copy



Help America Vote Act (2002) 15 Years Later

October 30, 2017

(NASS)   The National Association of Secretaries of State (NASS) marked the 15th Anniversary of the Help America Vote Act of 2002 (HAVA) by reflecting on HAVA's successes and urging Congress to fulfill their promise and appropriate the remaining $396 million for state and local governments to improve and secure the nation's election systems. Read The Entire Article...



White Paper

2020 Vision: Election Security in the Age of Committed Foreign Threats

Sponsored by: Cook County Clerk David Orr

Authored by: Noah Praetz, Director of Elections








January 22, 2018


The entire national security establishment admonishes that threats to our election infrastructure are

real. Foreign governments, foreign non-state actors, and domestic troublemakers have the capacity and desire to corrode the essential public belief that our election outcomes are true and reliable. To very different degrees this threat applies to both preliminary returns announced on election night and to official, final results.


Defend, Detect and Recover. Noah Praetz, Director of Elections offers a challenging, comprehensive, yet achievable list of actions to protect the integrity and variety of subsystems within our diverse election infrastructure.


Read the full White Paper


Members Download PDF Copy


Disclaimer: The views, opinions and positions expressed by the authors and those providing comments on this paper do not necessarily reflect the views of the Election Center.


Elections Security Checklist©
Election Security: Risk Assessment, Defense And Disaster Recovery Aspects


Election infrastructure is vital to the essential functioning and administration of elections. From voter registration databases to voting machines many systems of election administration critically utilize and depend upon information technology throughout the process. The Elections Security Checklist© will help guide

The Election Center: Elections Security Checklist©

the election professional through the process of identifying the elements in your inventory of critical election systems. Next the Elections Security Checklist© steps the user through multiple risk assessments for each system followed by the physical, network, and application defensive measure assessments. The final stage of the evaluation addresses the various aspects of physical, network and application disaster recovery. What was formerly available to our members only, is now available to the entire election community with sincere compliments from The Election Center.

Preview the Elections Security Checklist© on line and download your copy for printing today.


Why Don't Americans Vote? Causes and Consequences by Bridgett A. King and Kathleen Hale, Editors

How do socialization, mobilization, and legal structures help—or hinder—participation in the political process?

Once again, The Election Center is pleased to announce the ABC-CLIO publication of Why Don't Americans Vote?: Causes and Consequences  by two of our esteemed CERA faculty at Auburn University:

Bridgett A. King, and Kathleen Hale.

"Elections not only determine who will fill an office; they have a lot to say about how the democratic process works—or doesn't work—in 21st-century America. This fascinating book sheds light on that question by focusing on factors that currently shape elections and political participation in the United States. It covers issues that are consistently in the media, such as gerrymandering; voter ID; and rules pertaining to when, where, and how Americans register and vote.

But it also goes beyond the obvious to consider issues that are often overlooked—civic education and engagement, citizen apathy, and political alienation, for example." - Publishers Website


Hard cover autographed copies signed by both authors will be for sale at The Election Center's 33rd Annual National Conference in Orange County, California, August 19-23, 2017. This is indispensable reading for election professionals. Be sure to pick up your copy.

Author Information:

Bridgett A. King, PhD, is assistant professor of political science at Auburn University, Auburn, AL, and an instructor in the Election Center's Certified Elections/Registration Administrator (CERA) program.


Kathleen Hale, JD, PhD, is associate professor of political science and director of the MPA program at Auburn University, Auburn, AL. She is a board member of the Election Center and an instructor in the Certified Elections/Registration Administrator (CERA) program.


Administering Elections

How American Elections Work

Auburn University And CERA Faculty Publication


The Election Center is pleased to announce the Palgrave Macmillan publication of Administering Elections: How American Elections Work written by three of our esteemed CERA faculty at Auburn University; Kathleen Hale, Robert Montjoy, & Mitchell Brown.

Since the 2000 presidential election, attention to and scholarship about American elections have exploded alongside myriad proposals for election reform. This book provides a framework for a broader understanding of this critical dimension of American democracy by providing a digest and analysis of contemporary American election administration practices. Using a systems perspective, the authors provide policymakers, election officials, candidates,  Read More...

Conference has


2018 Professional Practice Papers

34th Annual National Conference

New Orleans, LA


Our Annual National Conference showcased the contributions of election officials from many jurisdictions throughout the country. The professional ingenuity, innovation and excellence exhibited by our colleagues in election administration was demonstrated and shared to the election community with the publication of our most recent professional practice papers. The use of media campaigns to inspire and educate voters, and the leveraging of existing USPS Informed Delivery to provide an interactive touch point for voters in an entirely vote by mail election. These are only a few of the projects presented. Be sure to review all of the award winners as well as the papers of merit.

Download Your Copies Today...

34th Annual National Conference Presentations

New Orleans, LA


This year's National Annual Conference presentations exhibit a vast array of topics comprising: Securing Elections in 2018 and Beyond, Election Officials as IT Managers, Improving the accuracy of voter registration rolls, The implementation of New Voting Systems, Updates on Security Threats from Homeland Security and much much more.


Individual presentations from the following agencies, offices and institutions included: The United States Election Assistance Commission, The Director of Elections Oakland County , Michigan, Homeland Security, National Voter Registration Day, Electronic Registration Information Center and many more.

Download Your Copies Today...

This toolkit is designed to support election offices in their efforts to reach UOCAVA voters — Service members, their eligible family members, and U.S. citizens residing overseas — and help them vote absentee in the 2018 elections from anywhere in the world.

You’re welcome to customize and publish the content in this toolkit on your channels to best serve your UOCAVA voters.


Go here to download your copy of the toolkit assets and instructions today

2018 Digital Media Content Toolkits

for Election Officials from FVAP.GOV

Jennifer Anderson

Elections Administrator

San Marcos

Hays County, Texas

Paul D. Pate

 Secretary of State


Des Moines                    Polk County, Iowa

One of the best indications of a programs success is the way it touches the lives of the people involved. Take a look as  our students share their own story and experiences with our certification program. Watch Our Student's Stories here.

Our Student's Stories


21946 Royal Montreal, Suite 100

Katy, TX 77450

281-396-4309 Phone

281-396-4315 Fax




The Election Center is a nonprofit organization dedicated to promoting, preserving, and improving democracy. Its members are government employees whose profession is to serve in voter registration and elections administration.