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Posted on: August 3, 2021

Cochise County Election Officials Receive CERA Designation

Designation to Be Held at 2021 Election Center’s Annual Conference 


BISBEE, Ariz. (August 3, 2021) – Lisa Marra, Director of Elections, and Heather Lopez, Chief Deputy Recorder of Cochise County will be designated as Certified Elections/Registration Administrators (CERA), the highest professional achievement for election officials in the country, at the 2021 Election Center’s Annual Conference in Scottsdale on August 24, 2021. 

CERA designation is achieved only through a multi-year course of study taught by Auburn University’s Master in Public Administration (MPA) faculty, and conducted by the Election Center’s Professional Education Program. 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.

“This is the highest designation available to elections and voter registration officials, with only 1,335 certifications awarded to date nationwide,” says Tim Mattice, Executive Director of the National Association of Election Officials (Election Center). “This is an outstanding accomplishment; it is a measure of their dedication to making democracy work in Cochise County and to exemplify the very best in their service to their citizens,” Mattice added. “It takes an unusual commitment to have several people within an office pursue a demanding and challenging educational program. For them to obtain this certification last year while conducting five elections, including a Presidential race, during a pandemic is another testament to their professionalism and commitment to their voters. It also assures Cochise County that the very best in management techniques, technologies, and processes will be implemented. Obtaining and maintaining CERA/CERV status means that they have committed to a career-long process of continuing education to improve the electoral process in Arizona and across the nation.”

The Professional Education Program is sponsored by the Election Center, a non-profit association of voter registrars, elections administrators, and providers of election services throughout America and the U.S. Territories. Its membership is comprised of township, city, county, and state elections officials and other election-related organizations.

The Center’s primary purpose is to promote and support continuous improvement in the administration of elections and voter registration through research, professional education, conferences, networking, and consulting. Professional Education Program participants receive continuing education credit from Auburn University as well as professional training credits from the Election Center.

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