November 5, 2024
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El Paso County Elections Department | Lisa Wise, Elections Administrator

The El Paso County Elections Department Receives National Recognition for Improving Accessibility for Voters with Disabilities Published on: Thursday, May 30, 2024

This week the United States Election Assistance Commission announced their awards for best practices in election administration. Known as the “Clearies,” these awards celebrate the hard work of election offices across the country for programs that took place in 2023. The El Paso County Elections Department received the 2023 Clearie Award Honorable Mention for Improving Accessibility for Voters with Disabilities. A total of 20 jurisdictions received honorable mentions and a total of 32 winners across the country were recognized.

Over the past eight years, the department has made improving the voting experience for the disability community a top priority. In collaboration with the El Paso Council of the Blind and Fab Lab El Paso, a “one of a kind” braille screen was created. This screen is placed on top of the electronic poll pad so all voters may sign when checking into vote independent of assistance. This product was created to serve all voting sites during each election. Since its inception, voters and poll workers have expressed appreciation for the efforts made by the department to make voting sites and voting machines accessible for voters with disabilities. Currently, El Paso is the only county in Texas that has created and implemented this feature.

“Working with local organizations and businesses to improve the voting experience for all voters is something that we are incredibly proud of. This project would not have come to fruition without our amazing community partners,” said Lisa Wise, El Paso County Elections Administrator.

The Clearies play a crucial role in the United States Election Assistance Commission’s mission to provide election administration information and recognize outstanding achievements. Judged on various criteria, including innovation, sustainability, outreach, and replicability, the awardees exemplify the efforts to enhance the security, accessibility, and technological advancement of elections.

“We’re in the middle of a busy election year, but 2023 was an opportunity for election officials to implement new programs and test their effectiveness before the increased turnout of the presidential election. We hope these winning programs inspire election officials to replicate them in their jurisdiction, and we want to recognize all the winners and those who applied across the county,” said EAC Chairman Ben Hovland, Vice Chair Donald Palmer, Commissioner Thomas Hicks, and Commissioner Christy McCormick in a joint statement.

For more information on the Clearie Honorable Mentions Awardees and the winning programs, visit https://www.eac.gov/election-officials/2023-clearie-honorable-mentions-awardees.

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