Secretary of State wins national award

Secretary of State Chris Nelson has announced that his office has been awarded the Election Center's 2009 Professional Practices Program State Award.  This annual award is given as recognition for the most outstanding election administration professional practice in the nation.  The 2009 award was given to South Dakota for the 2008 development and implementation of a new central election reporting system.

 Nelson said, "I knew this system served South Dakota very well in the 2008 general election.  Knowing that it has been recognized as the best in the nation for 2009 is humbling.  This award is a great credit to Secretary of State staff, county auditors across the state, and the software developers who worked as a team to fulfill our goals for this system."

 The system has five major components.

The most recognizable from the public's perspective is the component which collects election results in real time from each of the 66 counties and displays the results on the secretary of state website throughout election night.

 Another public component is the Voter Information Portal which allows any registered voter in South Dakota to go on-line to check their voter registration status, find the location of their polling place, and view their sample ballot.

 Other components which are major assets in managing the election process include a candidate filing database, ballot preparation function, and county and state level canvassing functions.

System development was a three way partnership between the Secretary of State, software developer BPro Inc., and the state's Bureau of Information Technology.

The Election Center is a national nonprofit organization based in Houston, TX dedicated to promoting, preserving, and improving democracy. Its members are government employees whose profession is to serve in voter registration and elections administration.

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