Recently we connected with School of Public Policy’s (SPP) Director of Engagement Ryan Baldassario about the relaunch of the “Registrar of Voters Education and Certification Exam Program.” Ryan provided us with the programmatic insight below!
In 2015 the Connecticut General Assembly instituted a requirement that all municipal Registrars of Voters were to be trained and certified. This certification program was given the title of “Registrar of Voters Education and Certification Exam Program,” but in the eight years since it has become regularly known as the “ROV Program.” The Office of the Secretary of the State was tasked with overseeing the program and finding a host – and when the program began in 2015 the UConn School of Business “Connecticut Information Technology Institute” (CITI) was selected as the program’s initial academic home.
From 2015 – 2023 hundreds of municipal staff took part in CITI’s ROV programming. The certification program was originally administered in person, but amidst the COVID-19 pandemic the program was quickly pivoted to an online format. From 2020 onwards the program continued to run online. Given an array of relevant statutory updates, changing directives within CITI, and a continued need from Connecticut municipalities, the ROV Program needed an overhaul and a new academic home – that’s where the UConn School of Public Policy (SPP) came in.
Since February 2023 UConn SPP staff have been working with UConn CITI, the Office of the Secretary of the State, UConn Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning (CETL), and ROV Program course instructors Richard Roberts and Shannon Bergquist to update program content, improve end-user experiences, and reinvigorate the program to account for advances in university technology and online pedagogy. The ROV Program was put on a brief hiatus from September – November 2023, and as of December 2023 is once again accessible for municipal Registrars looking to reinforce their mastery of state laws, evolving voting policies, and the ins-and-outs of election administration. Once Registrars are certified, they participate in continuing education programming with a local professional organization – the Registrar of Voters Association of Connecticut (ROVAC).
As the program enters this next phase, UConn SPP staff look forward to collaborating with the teams from the Office of the Secretary of the State, ROVAC, and municipal leaders across the state as they continue their necessary work in maintaining our democratic institutions and local political and civic engagement. Those interested in learning more about the ROV program can visit our website!