Wednesday, January 26, 2011
County Clerk Maggie Toulouse Oliver and Deputy County Clerk Robert M. Adams have been selected to receive the 2010 Distinguished Service Award from Verified Voting NM and United Voters of NM and will accept the award this Friday, January 28, 2011 at 9:30 am at the Roundhouse in Santa Fe. These organizations are local but are part of national affiliates.
Their selection was based on the many initiatives and programs that have been implemented during Clerk Toulouse Oliver’s administration.
A pilot program was put in place to conduct a more thorough testing of procedures for hand counting ballots and auditing results mandated by state law. The findings were distributed to all New Mexico Clerks with step-by-step guidelines.
Engaging the public in an open forum in early 2009 to discuss the handling of the 2008 general election and gathering input on experiences, concerns and suggestions to modify how elections are handled.
The restructuring of the Clerk’s website prior to the 2010 Primary Election to include clear instructions to citizens on voter registration, absentee ballot requests and tracking, sample ballots, how to arrange for challengers and watchers, how to apply for a poll worker position and how to best contact the Clerk’s office. This information was also e-mailed to thousands of registered voters.
Doubling the size and increasing the number of early voting sites to reduce long lines, and adding computers and regional supervisors at each, so that problems could be addressed on site and placing two extra poll workers for every site to help with everything from questions to crowd control. The office phone capacity was dramatically expanded to handle 182 calls at a time, 15,000 in an hour.
Examining historical and projected turnout numbers and ordering enough ballots to accommodate a 30% turn out at early voting sites within a 3-mile radius of a voter’s precinct and a 10% turnout for those further away to reduce the cost of ballots ordered but unused.
Implementing a pilot program that included split work shifts for poll workers to gauge the best use of their time.
Securing a $20,000 grant from the Federal Election Commission to involve high school students in a mock election, simulating the upcoming general election aimed at raising student consciousness of the importance of voting.
Some of Clerk Toulouse Oliver’s goals have been to handle election procedures from the county clerk’s office, rather than contracting out to private entities, supporting and strengthening the audit law, open-source software, E Day voter registration, and easing restrictions on hours and days for early voting.
“I am deeply honored to receive recognition for our work over the past three years,” says Clerk Toulouse Oliver. “I would like to thank all the members of my staff for their hard work and commitment to the voters of Bernalillo County.”
.United Voters of New Mexicoprovides a forum for information sharing, citizen action, and educational opportunities to improve the accuracy, accountability and transparency of our election process. They are comprised of a broad coalition of citizens and not- for-profit organizations who are concerned about voting integrity issues in New Mexico and across the country.
Verified Voting is made up of two organizations, Verified Voting.org and the Verified Voting Foundation which is a nonpartisan nonprofit organization championing reliable and publicly verifiable elections. The Verified Voting Foundation is the recognized leader of the nationwide grassroots movement for VVPBs (verified voter paper ballots) and verifiable elections.
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