Anoka County received two Association of Minnesota Counties Awards during AMC’s annual conference on Dec. 7, which this year was held virtually due to COVID-19.

The County Achievement Award was presented to Anoka County for its “Absentee Ballot: Behind the Scenes” video. This video, made available on the county website before the primary election, gave an in-depth look at the absentee ballot process. It showed the ballot identification verification procedure, provided information on secure ballot storage, displayed how the process is inclusive of political parties and gave an explanation of how the central count machine works. It reassured voters that voting by mail or early in-person is as safe and reliable as voting in person at their polling place. The video also served as a useful tool for both voters and election officials when it came to answering questions about the absentee voting process.

The AMC-County Conservation Award was presented to Anoka County for the Rum River Restoration Initiative. This project, which utilized various state and local grant dollars, focused on riverbank stabilization, water quality enhancements, and fish and wildlife habitat improvements along 26 miles of the Rum River in Anoka County.

Each year, AMC asks members to nominate exceptional county employees, programs, and collaborations for the association’s annual awards. These awards are an opportunity to celebrate the accomplishments of county staff and programs that have found new ways to deliver essential services and help citizens despite all of the obstacles of the current public health crisis.

“We’re proud to be recognized by AMC for both of these initiatives,” Scott Schulte chair of the Anoka County Board of Commissioners said. “Informing voters about the absentee ballot process, especially during this past election cycle when absentee ballots were issued and accepted at record levels, was immensely important. Our county’s dedication to preserving and enhancing the Rum River is integral, and we’re honored to be acknowledged for our work on this front, as well.”

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