Aransas County Elections Administrator Michele Bennett Carew, front row, at left, will be designated as a Certified Elections/Registration Administrator (CERA) in August in Orlando. Aransas County Judge C.H. “Burt” Mills recognized Carew for her accomplishments at the Monday, July 22 Aransas County commissioners’ regular meeting. Looking on are, from left, commissioners Jack Chaney, Bubba Casterline, Charles Smith, and Wendy Laubach.

Aransas County Elections Administrator Michele Bennett Carew will be designated as a Certified Elections/Registration Administrator (CERA) at an Election Center ceremony Tuesday, Aug. 20 at the Hyatt Regency Grand Cypress in Orlando.

“This is the highest designation available to elections and voter registration officials,” said Election Center Director Tim Mattice. “This graduating class of 96 election professionals totals 1,206 election officials and election vendors who have achieved the CERA status. This is an outstanding accomplishment.

“Aransas County is indeed fortunate to have Michele as one of the top designated professionals in America. Obtaining and maintaining CERA status means she has committed to a career-long process of continuing education to improve the electoral process in Texas and the nation,” said Mattice.

CERA designation is achieved only through a multi-year course of study taught by the Auburn University MPA faculty, 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.

The Professional Education Program is sponsored by the Election Center, a non-profit association of voter registrars and elections administrators 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.

“Not many people know what we do, but we really serve as their representatives to make sure the process is fair to all,” said Carew. “The CERA program teaches us that we act as the referees to make sure the rules are followed by all.”

Her election career began in 2007 in Parker County, TX. She moved to Aransas County six years ago.

“I’m proud to serve the residents of Aransas County as their first Elections Administrator,” said Carew.

She also serves as vice president of the Texas Association of Elections Administrators.

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