COLUMBUS, Ohio — As the 2022 presidential and congressional elections draw closer, the role of election officials is under scrutiny. To help officials stay informed about the constantly evolving election law and technology landscape, The Ohio State University’s John Glenn College of Public Affairs, in partnership with the Ohio Association of Election Officials (OAEO), offers the Ohio Registered Election Official Certification program.
According to Aaron Ockerman, executive director of OAEO, many election officials have been leaving the profession in recent years due to increased scrutiny and the complex nature of their jobs. The certification program aims to address this issue by providing officials with the necessary tools and support, thereby increasing retention rates.
Ockerman emphasized the importance of personal and professional growth in retaining election officials. He stated, “People stay in their jobs longer and feel more appreciated if they have the opportunity to grow personally and professionally in that role.”
The Ohio Registered Election Official Certification program entails the completion of eight courses, granting officials the certification and allowing them to enhance their skills and knowledge. Ockerman highlighted the program’s focus on providing continuing professional development opportunities, enabling officials to improve their job performance and gain recognition in the form of professional certifications.
Faith Lyons, co-chair of OAEO and director of the Portage County Board of Elections, emphasized that the program helps bridge the gap between election law and day-to-day operations. She stressed the importance of understanding the laws and regulations, as well as implementing them effectively.
Brian Sleeth, co-chair of OAEO and director of the Warren County Board of Elections, acknowledged the scarcity of specialized training opportunities available to election officials. The certification program offers a teaching setting, be it in person or via online platforms like Zoom, which suits officials who prefer interactive learning over solely relying on books or case law.
In addition to the courses, election officials can also earn credits towards certification by attending OAEO’s winter and summer conferences held every six months. These conferences not only provide valuable networking opportunities but also allow officials to learn from best practices in other jurisdictions.
The upcoming winter conference, scheduled for January 11-12, 2024, at the Columbus Downtown Hilton, is expected to attract a diverse range of officials seeking to expand their knowledge and form relationships with peers.
For more information about the Ohio Registered Election Official Certification program, visit the program’s website. Furthermore, details about OAEO conferences can be found on the association’s website.
In an effort to enhance election officials’ skills and knowledge, the Ohio State University’s John Glenn College of Public Affairs and the Ohio Association of Election Officials (OAEO) have collaborated to offer the Ohio Registered Election Official Certification program. Aimed at addressing the challenges faced by election officials, the program equips them with the necessary tools and support to navigate the ever-changing election law and technology landscape. By providing continuous professional development opportunities, the program aims to increase retention rates among election officials, who often face increased scrutiny and complexity in their roles. The program consists of eight courses that, upon completion, grant officials certification and recognition for their enhanced skills and knowledge. Through this program, election officials are able to bridge the gap between election law and day-to-day operations, ensuring effective and informed decision-making. Additionally, OAEO conferences provide valuable networking opportunities and allow officials to learn from best practices in other jurisdictions. The upcoming winter conference, to be held in Columbus in January 2024, promises to further facilitate knowledge sharing and relationship-building among election officials. For more information about the certification program and conferences, interested individuals can visit the respective websites.