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City Official Receives Elections Designation
September 5, 2019 - Rochester, Minnesota – Anissa Hollingshead, City Clerk and Director of Communications for the City of Rochester, has been designated as a Certified Elections/Registration Administrator (CERA), the highest professional achievement by the Election Center. The intent of the program is to professionalize the management of elections administration in promoting and preserving public trust in the democratic process.
Rochester City Administrator Steve Rymer states, “The City of Rochester is proud of her commitment to our community and the profession. Obtaining and maintaining CERA status means that she has committed to a career-long process of continuing education to improve the electoral process in Minnesota. As we continue to work with our partners at Olmsted County to enhance the elections process for Rochester voters, this knowledge and expertise will be incredibly valuable.”
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.
“This is the highest designation available to elections and voter registration officials,” said Tim Mattice, director of the Center. This graduating class of 96 election professionals totals 1,206 election officials and election vendors who have achieved the CERA/CERV status nationwide. This is an outstanding accomplishment.”
Hollingshead is a graduate of the Mississippi University for Women and the Humphrey School of Public Affairs at the University of Minnesota. She has worked in local government since 2005 in jurisdictions in Mississippi and Minnesota, and is also a certified municipal clerk. Since joining the City of Rochester in February of 2017, she has sought to advance the professionalization of both clerk and communications functions to better serve the residents of Rochester. Hollingshead explains, “We can distill our mission across all the functions of the Clerk’s Office to this: Everything we do is centered on helping people connect to, work with, understand and impact their government. Elections are the cornerstone of this connection for our residents.”
The Office of the City Clerk handles a variety of elections functions for the City of Rochester, including recruiting, hiring and managing election judges, coordinating polling locations, educating and informing Rochester voters, and supporting candidates for municipal office in filing for office and submitting required campaign disclosures. In 2020, Rochester voters will have the opportunity to participate in three election events supported by the City Clerk’s Office in collaboration with Olmsted County, including Minnesota’s first presidential primary since 1992 on March 3, as well as the August Primary for state and local offices and the November General Election. Rochester along with all of Olmsted County is known for high voter turnout and engagement in the electoral process.