Secretary of State’s Division of Elections Recognized for Excellence in Election Administration with National Clearinghouse Award

(NASHVILLE, Tenn.) —Today, the Tennessee Secretary of State’s Division of Elections was named a recipient of the U.S. Election Assistance Commission’s (EAC) National Clearinghouse Awards for excellence in election administration.

Also known as the “Clearies,” the EAC presents this awards program annually to celebrate the hard work of election offices nationwide. Tennessee’s Division of Elections earned this distinguished national honor by improving accessibility for voters who are deaf or hard of hearing through its American Sign Language Video Project, which gave more accessible information regarding proposed constitutional amendments during the previous election cycle.  

“Tennessee continues to lead the nation through innovation and by increasing opportunities for all registered voters in our state to successfully cast a ballot,” said Secretary of State Tre Hargett. “Congratulations to our staff within the Elections Division for earning this national honor.” 

The Secretary of State’s American Sign Language Project consisted of low-cost videos that provided trusted information to Tennesseans who are deaf or hard of hearing. The project drastically decreased the likelihood that voters experiencing hearing loss would lack information about components of constitutional amendments featured on the ballot during the previous election cycle. This video series was viewed more than 24,400 times.

“Tennessee’s American Sign Language Video Project established a national model for all other states to follow, and it enabled us to relay trusted information to Tennesseans who are deaf or hard of hearing,” said Coordinator of Elections Mark Goins. “We appreciate the EAC for this national award, and we are grateful to committed partners like Disability Rights of Tennessee and Bridges for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing for working with us on an innovative solution that assisted more registered voters in our state to participate in the electoral process."

The Clearies are essential in fulfilling the EAC’s mission to serve as a clearinghouse for election administration information under the Help America Vote Act. Submissions were judged on innovation, sustainability, outreach, cost-effectiveness, replicability, and the generation of positive results.

“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 want to recognize all the winners and those who applied across the country,” said EAC Chairman Ben Hovland, Vice Chair Donald Palmer, Commissioner Thomas Hicks, and Commissioner Christy McCormick in a joint statement.

The EAC is an independent, bipartisan federal agency focused on election administration. For additional information, visit eac.gov.

Tennessee has been ranked number one in election integrity for three consecutive years. The Secretary of State’s office is also the trusted source for all election information. For more information on Tennessee elections, visit GoVoteTN - Information for Voters | Tennessee Secretary of State.

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