On Friday, August 19, 2011 Scott County Auditor Roxanna Moritz was designated as a Certified Elections and Registration Administrator (CERA) by The Election Center.  The Election Center is a non-profit association of voter registrars and elections administrators throughout America.  Its membership is comprised of township, city, county and state elections officials.  The Center’s primary purpose is education for local and state voter registrars and elections officials to promote and improve the democratic process.

CERA designation is achieved through a multi-year course of study conducted by The Election Center’s Professional Education Program and completion of twelve core courses taught by the Master’s in Public Administration faculty of Auburn University.  Classes include ethics, voter registration and elections law, planning, communications, and voter participation, among others.  The intent of the program is to professionalize the management of voter registration and elections administration in promoting and preserving public trust in the democratic process.  The Professional Education Program was recognized in 1996 as the top continuing education program in America by the National University Continuing Education Association.

“This is the highest designation available to elections and voter registration officials,” said R. Doug Lewis, director of the Center.  “Of more than 21,000 elections and voter registration officials throughout America only 677 election officials have achieved the CERA status.  Roxanna is one of only 16 Iowa election officials to earned this distinction.  This is an outstanding accomplishment.”

“Scott County is indeed fortunate to have Roxanna as one of the top designated professionals in America.  Obtaining and maintaining CERA status means that she has committed to a career long process of continuing education to improve the electoral process in Iowa and the nation,” he stated.

“These truly are the people who make democracy possible,” Lewis said.  “Auditor Moritz and other CERA professionals serve as the nation’s protectors of the democratic process.  Because of them, Americans have a trust and public confidence in the election process.  They have assurance that the system is fair, free, honest and accurate.  In many parts of the world, their citizens have no faith in the form of democracy offered in their home countries. The importance of what Roxanna does for Scott County is incredible but rarely noticed…unless something goes wrong.”

Scott County Auditor Roxanna Moritz displays the plaque she received from the Election Center.

“This is one of the most challenging education programs I have ever participated in,” Moritz said. “We covered the law, and ethical considerations in how to better serve the public.  We also became more aware of how important it is to nurture and care for the democratic process.  Rich or poor, weak or strong, young or old, we all count the same when we vote,” said Moritz.  “What can be more equal than that?  The CERA program elevates our thinking about the process and the people we serve.”

“It is my great honor to assure that the public’s will is accurately reflected in our elections,” Moritz said.  “I see my role to dignify all potential voters and to remove as many barriers as possible to participation in the democratic process.  Our office cannot be responsible for how many actually turn out for each election, but we can certainly be sure that they have the opportunity to vote and have their votes counted accurately.”

“Normally most Americans don’t even know the election officials exist in their community and that they work constantly to protect the democratic process for its citizens,” Lewis said. “Due to Election 2000, we now know just how important and complicated elections can be. In my opinion, the elections officials deserve the highest recognition that a community can give.  If they don’t do their job well, then citizens have no faith in the democratic process itself.  Without faith in the process, it is almost impossible to believe in government itself – and that is a very large responsibility.”