After more than 220 hours of coursework and conferences, Bria Bailey has officially earned her designation as a Certified Elections Registration Administrator (CERA). The process involved 12 classes and two workshops covering topics such as history, election administration, planning, new programs, security, and more. “I found the planning and new program courses especially useful. We plan weeks, months, and sometimes years in advance of an election. Learning new skills and tools specific to planning for an election has benefited me greatly,” says Bria. “The CERA certification provides a comprehensive set of skills and knowledge that can be applied in all future elections.” The CERA courses are taught by Auburn University’s Master in Public Administration (MPA) faculty and conducted by the Election Center’s Education Program.
Election Services Deputy Director Neggy Rodriguez-Fox says she’s extremely impressed with Bria’s commitment to the multi-year process of earning the CERA designation. “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,” explains Neggy. “This is the highest designation available to elections and voter registration officials. Obtaining and maintaining CERA status means that we are committed to a career-long process of continuing education to improve the electoral process in Buncombe County and the nation. We strive to provide transparent, inclusive, and efficient elections, and this program goes a long way to ensuring our success and is an important investment in our team.”
As Neggy mentioned, it’s an arduous process, but one Bria says is vital to her continued growth as a professional and the County’s continued commitment to elections. “I love working in elections, and any opportunity for professional development improves my ability to serve the voters of Buncombe County,” says Bria. “Something I really enjoyed about this program was having the opportunity to make connections with other election professionals across the country. We can all learn from each other.”
Buncombe County is excited to have Elections Services staff dedicated to the continued process of staying on top of current trends and best practices. “We are so proud of Bria,” exclaims Neggy. “She was able to complete the courses while still managing her regular work duties and while elections were happening. She has shown dedication and we are very fortunate to have her on our elections team.”
Congratulations to Bria on this amazing accomplishment. We thank you for your hard work and dedication to our community.