July 28, 2010
King County wins four awards for excellence in Information Technology
Technological innovations that improved voting turnout and transparency, increased transit efficiencies, and helped residents better prepare for floods have resulted in four awards for IT excellence for King County.
“Technology is dramatically improving King County’s ability to serve its residents and enabling us to create more innovative, efficient and effective services,” said Executive Dow Constantine. “We’re pleased to be recognized for our efforts to use technology to help reform how government works, improve service to our residents and lower costs.”
The Vote by Mail (VBM) Transition Program won a CIO 100 award from CIO magazine for its effectiveness in streamlining and modernizing elections in King County. Vote-by-Mail also received an Achievement Award from the National Association of Counties (NACo), which recognizes innovative county government programs. VBM, considered a national model, involved significant investments in new hardware, software, and business process re-engineering and involved upgrading the tabulation systems, ballot tracking, and overall accountability process. This program also enhanced citizen participation opportunities by allowing voters the ability to track their own ballots on-line and observing the resolution of ballots.
“Thanks to technology, we’ve been able to transform the way we administer elections,” noted Sherril Huff, Elections Director. “We’ve become more efficient, more accountable, and more flexible, which all adds up to more value to our citizens. I’m so pleased that all of our efforts are being recognized by these prestigious awards.”
In addition to VBM, two other King County programs were honored with Achievement Awards from NACo.
The ADA Mobile Data Terminal/AVL project installed mobile data terminals with global positioning-based automatic vehicle location capabilities in the 290-plus vehicle Access Transportation fleet. Access is King County Metro Transit's ADA Paratransit program for people whose disabilities prevent them from riding the regular bus. The system provides real-time data collection, reduces voice radio traffic by transmitting data between drivers and the paratransit scheduling/dispatch system, and eliminates much of the manual recording and correction of trip data that were originally required for the operation of Access service.
King County’s Flood Response program received the third award. This program warns residents and agencies of impending floodwaters and helps increase safety and preparedness for residents. The program consists of several technology-based programs used countywide, including River Gage Data Application, Flood Alerts, Green River Inundation area lookup, Flood Photo Viewer, Sandbag Distribution Location Application, and Flood Patrol Reporting.
A list of award winners is available on the CIO Magazine website at http://www.cio.com/cio100/2010/1, and the National Association of Counties website at http://admin.naco.org/programs/recognition/Pages/2010AchievementAwards.aspx.