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Auburn's Institute for Election Administration Research & Practice assists The Election Center with enhanced Standards of Conduct for election officials

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After a years-long research process into trust in the elections system, The Election Center with support from the Center’s cross-partisan Committee on Ethics in Practice and The Institute for Election Administration Research & Practice at Auburn University, launched enhanced Standards of Conduct for members that publicly codify the values and actions that hundreds of election officials and their offices nationwide take to conduct free and fair elections with integrity. Along with the expanded Standards, and amongst other initiatives, the Election Center will also release new resources for election officials around the country.

“We are proud to stand behind our members and their work by shining a new light on these long standing principles,” said Tammy Patrick, CEO for Programs at The Election Center. “As a former election official myself, I can attest to the Standards being a bridge between the values election officials bring to their work and the ways in which they practice those principles every day. We want the public to better understand who election officials are and what they do, and for election officials to be able to point to these Standards as they build trust and relationships with their communities.”

The launch represents a public recommitment to upholding the law, providing equal opportunities, and ensuring elections are conducted impartially as The Election Center works to promote greater understanding of election officials’ work and help officials build stronger relationships with their communities. Speakers at the launch event held on Tuesday, Feb. 6 included Michael Adams, Kentucky Secretary of State; Adrian Fontes, Arizona Secretary of State; Benjamin Ginsberg, Volker Distinguished Visiting Fellow, Hoover Institution; Mark Coakley, General Registrar, County of Henrico, VA; Monica Holman Evans, Executive Director, D.C. Board of Elections; and Steve Moreno, Election Center Board Member and Fmr. County Clerk, Weld County, CO.

“Our research shows that most Americans don’t know their election officials or understand what they do,” said Mitchell Brown, Curtis O. Liles III Professor at Auburn University, which supported the creation of the enhanced Standards through its Institute for Election Administration Research & Practice. “Election officials need more tools to help their communities understand what it means to be impartial, ethical, and fair. The Standards help create that path to greater knowledge and understanding.”

“Election officials across the country have been following these principles for decades, but across the profession it is clear that offices need more support in discussing what it means to be ethical with their communities and navigating complex ethical challenges as they arise,” said Hilary Rudy, Chair of the Election Center’s Committee on Ethics in Practice and Deputy Director, Elections Division at the Colorado Department of State. “These new resources and initiatives will give election officials an expanded set of tools to build trust with their communities and increase public knowledge of their work.”

The Election Center, also known as the National Association of Election Officials, is the premier non-partisan, nationwide organization for training and certification of election and voter registration administrators. Auburn University has partnered with the Center for more than 30 years.

Tags: Political Science

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