Trenton, NJ, May 24, 2023, – Today, Secretary Way announced that the New Jersey Division of Elections has been recognized for excellence in election administration with a national Clearinghouse Award for Outstanding Use of Help America Vote Act (HAVA) Grants in Elections Modernization.
Also known as the “Clearies,” the U.S. Election Assistance Commission (EAC) presents the awards program annually to celebrate the hard work of election offices across the country. Now in its seventh year, this year’s Clearie Awards honored programs that took place during the 2022 midterms.
The Division of Elections was one of 24 programs recognized with a Clearie Award this year for its use of HAVA funds to maintain a dedicated election security team to work with the New Jersey Cybersecurity Communications and Integration Cell (NJCCIC).
This team was established with a focus on cybersecurity, but has since expanded to include Election Day monitoring, leading a Security Operations Center for main election incident and response, physical assessment of county election infrastructure, trainings in a multitude of areas, and awareness campaigns for county election officials and staff.
“We are proud to receive a Clearie Award from the Election Assistance Commission,” said New Jersey Secretary of State Tahesha Way. “Elections are a team sport and we work with partners from local election officials to federal security agencies to ensure that voters can participate in free and fair elections. This award recognizes our use of federal HAVA funds to strengthen election security partnerships across state government and position the Division of Elections to support our county election partners.”
“Our election security team works tirelessly throughout the year to protect our elections and support New Jersey’s election officials,” said Assistant Secretary of State Dr. Lauren Zyriek Enriquez, who serves as Acting Director of the Division of Elections. “Our work together reflects our proactive approach to modernizing the work of democracy while continuing to ensure safe and secure elections.”
“Free, fair, and secure elections are fundamental to a democratic society, and we all have a role to play in ensuring their integrity,” said Michael Geraghty, New Jersey’s Chief Information Security Officer and Director of NJCCIC. “We are proud to partner with the Division of Elections and all the local elections offices throughout New Jersey towards that end.”
The Clearies play an essential role in fulfilling the EAC’s mission to serve as a clearinghouse for election administration information under the Help America Vote Act. The EAC is an independent, bipartisan federal agency solely focused on election administration. Submissions were judged on innovation, sustainability, outreach, cost-effectiveness, replicability, and the generation of positive results.
This year’s awards categories include:
“The spotlight on U.S. elections has never been brighter, and the EAC is pleased to honor the work of these offices to make elections more secure, technologically advanced, and accessible to voters,” said EAC Chairwoman Christy McCormick, Vice Chair Ben Hovland, Commissioner Donald Palmer, and Commissioner Thomas Hicks in a joint statement. “Especially as election administrators prepare for the 2024 presidential election, we encourage them to review the great work of these Clearie Award-winning jurisdictions for ideas they may want to replicate in their communities.”
More information on the Clearies and each awardee is available on eac.gov.