Iowa Secretary of State Paul Pate with Wes Hicok

DES MOINES, IOWA (August 31, 2021) — Iowa Secretary of State Paul Pate congratulates Election Training Specialist Wes Hicok for becoming designated as a Certified Elections/Registration Administrator (CERA), the highest professional achievement in the nation for an election official.

CERA designation is achieved only through a multi-year course of study taught by the Auburn University’s Master in Public Administration faculty and is 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.

“I’m extremely proud of Wes and grateful for his contributions to my office and election administration in the State of Iowa,” Sec Pate said. “He is a very valuable member of our team and the CERA distinction he earned will make him even better at helping my office and county auditors across the state in navigating elections.”

Sec Pate earned the CERA designation in 2018, becoming the first Secretary of State in the US to complete the certification process while serving as Secretary of State.

“Every voter deserves to know that the individuals they trust to administer elections are passionate about fair and impartial conduct of the voting process,” said Hicok. “I am grateful for the information and knowledge this program provides and know that it will serve me well as I continue to serve the citizens of Iowa.”

Wes Hicok joined the Iowa Secretary of State’s Office in March of 2016 following ten years of working in the Bremer County Auditor’s Office, where he served in various roles, including deputy auditor.

“Iowa is indeed fortunate to have Wes Hicok as one of the top designated professionals in America.  Obtaining and maintaining CERA status means that he has committed to a career long process of continuing education to improve the electoral process in Iowa and the nation,” said Tim Mattice, director of the Election Center.

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 US 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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