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State Elections Division Employees Receive National Certification as Elections Administrators

August 15, 2008

MADISON, WI – Three members of the Wisconsin State Elections Division staff today will receive national certification as Certified Elections/Registration Administrators (CERA) in Dallas, Texas.

The certification will be awarded by the Elections Center, a U.S. non-profit association of voter registrars and election administrators based in Houston, Texas. The Center’s Professional Education Program has awarded less than 500 election officials CERA status. The awards ceremony will be held at the Westin Park Central Hotel of Dallas.

“This is the highest designation available to elections and voter registration officials,” said R. Doug Lewis, director of the Election Center. The center organizes the certification program through Auburn University in Auburn, Alabama.

“Election administration is serious business. Well-trained election officials reinforce public confidence in the system,” said Kevin Kennedy, director of the Government Accountability Board. “This training and certification prepares our staff to administer election procedures fairly and professionally. CERA graduates are asked to endorse a code of ethics and to uphold principles and standards of conduct for election administration.”

“Wisconsin is fortunate to have eight CERA graduates,” said Nat Robinson, state Elections Division Administrator. “Five of those eight are our employees and three come from the ranks of our 1,923 county and municipal clerks. The fact that Wisconsin has eight CERA graduates benefits and brings value to our voters and gives them added trust and confidence in the election process, and assurance that their vote will be counted accurately,” Robinson continued.

New Elections Division graduates of the CERA program are Barbara A. Hansen, Statewide Voter Registration System (SVRS) project director; Ross D. Hein, election specialist for voting equipment; and Stephen J. Pickett, election specialist for local election administration. Previous CERA certification recipients are Kevin J. Kennedy, G.A.B. director and general counsel; and Diane Lowe, lead elections specialist. 

Other Wisconsin graduates are Waukesha County Clerk Kathy Nickolaus and Deputy Clerk Kelly Yaeger, and Douglas County Clerk Susan Sandvick.