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CHARLESTON, WV -

Two members of the elections division of the Secretary of State's Office — Layna Valentine-Brown and Lisa Blake — have completed extensive training and now carry the title of Certified Elections/Registration Administrator.

Valentine-Brown is the Elections Division director. Blake is a voter registration specialist with more than nine years of service.

West Virginia never before has had two Elections Division members with this title at the same time, according to Secretary of State Natalie E. Tennant.

CERA designation is achieved only through a multi-year course of study conducted by the Professional Education Program at The Election Center, a nonprofit association of voter registrars and elections administrators throughout America. 

The Election Center's membership is composed of township, city, county and state elections officials. The center's primary purpose is education for local and state voter registrars and elections officials to promote and improve the democratic process.

CERA designation requires the completion of 12 core courses taught by the master's in public administration faculty of Auburn University. The courses include ethics, voter registration, elections law, planning, communications, voter participation and more. 

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.