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Three national awards announced for Benson Administration today
April 21, 2022
Profile in Courage Award followed by two awards from the
federal Election Assistance Commission
Just hours after Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson was announced a recipient of the John F. Kennedy Library Foundation's 2022 Profile in Courage Award, the U.S. Election Assistance Commission (EAC) today announced her administration won two of its National Clearinghouse Awards.
The Michigan Department of State took prizes in the categories of Improving Accessibility for Voters with Disabilities and Outstanding Innovation in Election Cybersecurity and Technology. In both cases, the awards recognized work the department did in support of the Michigan Independent Citizens Redistricting Commission, ensuring its meetings were accessible and creating a public comment portal.
Additionally, two other projects of the department earned honorable mentions from the EAC - the Bureau of Elections' reapportionment tool that assists clerks as they update district lines, and the department's Democracy MVP program, which recruits volunteers to serve as election workers statewide.
"My administration works tirelessly in service of the people of Michigan and our democracy and I am grateful to the Election Assistance Commission for recognizing our work," said Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson. "Michigan's elections system is second to none and we will continue working to make it even stronger and more accessible and secure for all our state's voters, no matter where they live or who they vote for."
Established by the Help America Vote Act of 2002, the EAC is charged with serving as a clearinghouse for election administration information. To further this mission, it launched the Clearinghouse Awards, also known as the "Clearies," in 2016 to promote best practices in elections and celebrate the accomplishments of election officials.
Benson's administration received an award for Improving Accessibility for Voters with Disabilities by prioritizing accessibility for Michigan's historic, citizen-led redistricting process, throughout the seating of the Commission in 2019 and more than 130 public meetings and hearings across the state in 2021. Providing ASL interpretation and closed captioning and facilitating non-English interpretation helped provide access and aimed to fulfill the spirit and promise of a citizen-led redistricting process, enabling every community to have a voice in the shaping of their voting district.
An Outstanding Innovation in Election Cybersecurity and Technology award went to the department's creation of a web-based, user-friendly public comment submission portal for the redistricting commission. In 2021, the portal collected over 7,028 comments and mapping submissions, furthering the transparency the of the process and enabling additional public input.
Award winners were selected by independent panels of election officials and members of the EAC's advisory boards.
More information about each awardee is available on the EAC's website.
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