State Registered Election Official
The Election Center has developed a State Registered Election Official (REO) program that operates as a joint effort between individual states and The Election Center. This is an intense and challenging certification program, specifically tailored to teach a broad scope of election and voter registration administration topics including segments of individual state election requirements and procedures. All courses are taught by election administrators from across the country with years of election administration experience.
Offered at the State level, the State Registered Election Official (REO) training program is an affordable option for local election administrators and their staff. The uniqueness of the program also provides state election organizations an opportunity to generate revenue from the course offerings within their own state. Courses can be completed in a number of variations - two course in one day; four courses in two days; or all eight courses in four days your choice.
States currently participating in the REO program include the states of California, Texas and Virginia.
Historically, the Election Center has offered the most extensive and substantive training available to American election officials, through regional seminars and workshops, national conferences and an extensive Professional Education Program. It may be necessary for states to require state certification of election officials and to additionally require continuous education to assure that local election administrators stay current with state laws, policies and procedures. The State Registered Election Official (REO) program was created for all employees of a voter registration or election office.
Advantages of State Certification
The great strength of state certification programs is that they can focus directly on both legal specifics and task specific duties. They are aimed at assuring compliance with the laws and uniform application with the State of procedures to assure equal voter protections. State certification has a goal of assuring competency in administering the process within the state's rules, regulations and laws.
Clearly, the intent of HAVA is to assure that more and better training occurs for those serving in the elections process including voters, and staff at local and state levels. Many states have indicated that they feel it is incumbent on them to offer training and certification programs for the election officials and key staff to assure voters, campaigns, candidates, the legislature, Congress, the news media and citizens that election officials have mastered the skills necessary to conduct fair, free and honest elections, and to assure them that election administrators have received the necessary training to perform well in conducting the democratic process.
Students who successfully graduate from the state certification program obtain the following benefits:
- Graduates receive the designation of (State) Registered Election Official
- May substitute State Certification for one CERA national certification core course
- May attend annual renewal courses as available upon request
Core Course Listings
The 8 courses listed below form the academic basis of the State Certification Program. The completion of these core courses are required to obtain your State Registered Election Official - REO certification. Scroll down below to read detailed descriptions of the state REO core courses.
- Voting Equipment Acquisition, Operation and Maintenance
- Ballot Access, Design and Preparation
- Precincts and Polling Places: Management Issues/Serving Voters with Special Needs
- Managing the Voter Registration/ Election Office
- Poll Workers: Recruiting, Training and Managing
- Federal and Constitutional Laws on Voter Registration and Elections
- Voter Registration Processes and Alternative Voting Methods
- Integrity of Elections: Recounts and Contests; Provisional Ballots, Canvassing and Certification
Contact us with our Questions
Please contact us today with any questions about how the State REO Certification Program can work for the local election officials in your stateKarla Hooter
Election Center National Office
21946 Royal Montreal Dr.
Katy, TX 77450
State Registered Election Official Core Course Descriptions
COURSE 1: VOTING EQUIPMENT ACQUISITION, OPERATION AND MAINTENANCE
The course covers all essential items of voting equipment and its legal requirements at both the federal and state levels as well as disability requirements or requirements for other voters with special needs. The course looks at needs of training issues related to equipment and poll workers, headquarters staff, voters and others. It calls attention to the special needs of securing voting equipment and ballots, issues related to programming the equipment and the kinds of problems that can occur to equipment during an election. The course will review why Logic and Accuracy tests are done and how jurisdictions can enhance their transparency in conducting such tests. Also included are reviews of cost factors, and what should be added to RFPs. The course gives a good overview of the key issues surrounding voting equipment and its use in elections.
COURSE 2: BALLOT ACCESS, DESIGN AND PREPARATION
The course reviews the subjects of how candidates and parties get on the ballot. Going through initiative and referendum, petitions, forms and forms processing it covers what are the requirements for ballot access.
Ballot Design and Preparation covers both state and federal requirements for all voters and then emphasis on voters with special needs. The course also covers issues of evolving information about the differences between good design and better design which leads to fewer voter errors. The course includes subjects such as steps to be taken to assure the highest degree of accuracy in final ballot preparation and ballot distribution.
COURSE 3: POLL WORKERS: RECRUITING, MAINTAINING, TRAINING AND MANAGING
The full range of what must happen to assure that enough poll workers are found and what can be done to improve their abilities, to assure they return for future elections, managing the polling place, and training and motivating poll workers. The course covers subjects such as how adults learn, special training needs for older adults, and enhancing voter experience with improved poll workers.
COURSE 4: FEDERAL AND CONSTITUTIONAL LAWS ON VR AND ELECTIONS
The course covers the Constitutional provisions governing voter registration and elections including expanding the franchise to specific voter groups as well as review of the federal laws affecting U.S. elections including the Voting Rights Act; the Americans with Disabilities Act; the Elderly and Handicapped Accessibility Act; the Uniformed and Overseas Citizens Voting Act; the National Voter Registration Act, and the Help America Vote Act.
COURSE 5: VOTER REGISTRATION PROCESSES AND ALTERNATIVE VOTING
Legal requirements, processes for handling, barriers to overcome, training for nonelection agencies, handling voter groups, deputy registrars, voter drives, and timely data input on voter registrations are included.
Alternative Voting: Absentee Balloting, Early Voting, Mail Balloting, and others
Looking at and reviewing the various forms of voting that provide an alternative to Election Day polling site voting. Understanding the pluses and minuses of each kind of alternative and the special considerations needed to assure smooth elections with additional alternatives to voters.
COURSE 6: INTEGRITY OF ELECTIONS
Recounts and Contests
Recounts and contested elections create the most stressful examination of the process and the course provides an understanding of how and when and what to do to assure a fair process for all that is accurate for the candidates and the public. What developments need to be made to assure integrity of questioned election results and how to manage the observation of that process is the kind of material covered in this course.
Post Election: Qualifying Provisional Ballots, Canvassing and Certification
Using provisional ballots to assure that voters have a method of casting ballots should there have been official's errors in determining voter eligibility is the kind of subject covered. Additionally, covering the state law and regulations related to provisional ballots, conducting an accurate and effect canvass of the votes and then preparing and reconciling the votes for certification of the results.
COURSE 7: REQUIREMENTS FOR PRECINCTS AND POLLING PLACES:
MANAGEMENT ISSUES/SERVING VOTERS WITH SPECIAL NEEDS
The polling place has become the subject of much review of the entire election administration process and this course covers areas such as redistricting, changing precincts, and integrating with other county departments and agencies for information. It covers the legal requirements for polling sites and poll workers and how best to manage the available resources at the polling site including voter complaints.
Other topics likely to be included are signage rules and regulations, electioneering laws, selection of polling places and assuring their accessibility as well as organization of the site to assure voters that they have the most success possible within the polling site.
Additionally, subjects such as handling conflicts, resolving voter or candidate problems, and training issues related to voters with special needs as well as awareness of multicultural issues are likely to be reviewed.
COURSE 8: MANAGING THE VOTER REGISTRATION/ELECTION OFFICE
The content of this course includes an overview of administration and management of elections; planning, budgeting, purchasing and logistics are also covered. Examples of material covered includes: developing goals and objectives; determining staff competencies; personnel management techniques; strategic and operational planning; developing a critical task calendar; budgeting for elections; and overall office and facility management, including disaster recovery planning.