Crestview staff awarded highest honor for elections officials


Louise McGirr, Paul Lux and Shirley Young — all Certified Elections/Registration Administrators — are among 800 who have earned the designation nationwide.

Published: Tuesday, September 3, 2013 at 03:17 PM.

CRESTVIEW — Okaloosa County Supervisor of Elections staffers Louise McGirr and Shirley Young have been designated Certified Elections/Registration Administrators.

This award is the highest designation available to elections and voter registration officials. Nationwide, 800 election officials have achieved the CERA status. McGirr and Young were recognized during ceremonies conducted Aug. 16 at the Election Center in Savannah, Ga.

The Okaloosa County Elections Office now holds three CERAs, with the third being Supervisor of Elections Paul Lux, who earned the designation in 2007.

The title is achieved through a multi-year course conducted by The Election Center’s Professional Education Program and completion of 12 core courses taught by the Auburn University Masters in Public Administration faculty.

Course topics include ethics, voter registration and elections law, planning, communications and voter participation, among others. The goal is to professionalize voter registration management and elections administration, promoting and preserving public trust in the democratic process.

“McGirr and Young both celebrate their 10th anniversary with the elections office this year,” Lux said. “In addition to their combined 20 years of elections experience, they now have their CERA status. I’m especially proud of their accomplishments. Not many people know what we do, but we really serve as the voters' representatives to make sure the process is fair to all.  The CERA program teaches us that we act as the referees to make sure the rules are followed by all.”

The Professional Education Program is sponsored by The Election Center, a non-profit association of voter registrars and elections administrators throughout America. Its membership is comprises township, city, county and state elections officials.

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