San Mateo County Elections Program Receives National Innovation Award
Mailed and Digital Sticker Program Recognized by U.S. Election Assistance Commission
Contact: Mark Church, Chief Elections Officer & Assessor-County Clerk-Recorder
Alternate: Jim Irizarry, Assistant Chief Elections Officer & Assessor-County Clerk-Recorder
(Redwood City, CA) Mark Church, Chief Elections Officer & Assessor-County Clerk-Recorder for the County of San Mateo, announced today that the Registration & Elections Division was named a national winner in the prestigious U.S. Election Assistance Commission (EAC) 2020 Clearinghouse Awards.
Selected from a record-breaking number of entrants nationwide, San Mateo County was recognized for designing the nation’s most creative and original “I Voted” sticker.
The award-winning program provided that every registered voter received an “I Voted” sticker with their official mailed ballot, and also had the option of using a digital sticker with a distinctive banner recognizing the years a person has been registered to vote in San Mateo County. Voters were able to display with pride their “I Voted” sticker on emails, social media, and other digital formats.
“A 2019 study by the California Civic Engagement Project confirmed that many in-person voters visited Vote Centers primarily to receive their sticker,” said Chief Elections Officer Church. “We wanted to ensure all voters could have the same community experience regardless of how they chose to vote.”
Administered by the U.S. Election Assistance Commission (EAC) since 2016, the “Clearies” is a national program that recognizes best practices in election administration and the innovative efforts of election officials across America. Entries were judged on innovation, sustainability, outreach efforts, cost-effectiveness, and replicability. Of the six award categories, only the best sticker category was judged by the EAC Board of Commissioners.
This program proved particularly timely with the advent of COVID-19 during the 2020 Presidential election cycle. In November 2020, voter turnout was the county’s highest since 1968, with over 90% of voters casting their ballots by mail.
San Mateo County’s program was selected from among 137 Clearie submissions, more than tripling 2019’s submissions. “The Clearie winners, those who submitted entries, and all election officials should be incredibly proud of the work they did to ensure a successful 2020 election,” said EAC Chairman Donald Palmer. “These best practices are valuable resources as officials continue to administer elections during the pandemic and for years to come.”
More information about each Clearie awardee, and San Mateo County’s complete award submission, are available on the EAC’s website at www.eac.gov/eac-clearinghouse-award-winners-2020. To access your own digital “I Voted” sticker, enter your information at www.smcacre.org/my-election-info.