Ireland

CHARLESTON -- Secretary of State Betty Ireland recently announced the 2007 recipients of the prestigious NASS Medallion Award, for outstanding service promoting the goals of the National Association of Secretaries of State in the areas of elections, civic education and service to state government.

"Receiving the NASS Medallion Award means an individual, group or organization has demonstrated an outstanding civic commitment to our statewide community," Ireland said. "Each of the recipients announced today has established an exceptional record of promoting overall civic education and voter participation."

Recipients include: John M. Denbigh, President and CEO of Casto & Harris, Inc., Spencer; Ella Thompson Haddix, teacher, Tygarts Valley Middle/High School, Mill Creek; Dr. Hedda L. Haning, Charleston anesthesiologist; Timothy R. Morris, Marketing Director, Prestera Center for Mental Health Services, Inc., Huntington; and Dr. Kat D. Williams, associate professor of American history, and Director of Women's Studies at Marshall University.

Under Denbigh's leadership, Casto & Harris supported all 55 counties in compliance with the Help America Vote Act during 2006 election cycle; Haddix was first 18 year-old to register to vote in West Virginia, and promotes youth voter registration; Haning is a longtime citizen activist for elections, and citizen expert for HAVA; Morris led the "Here to be Heard: Voter Registration for West Virginians with Disabilities" campaign; and Williams, civic educator, annually promotes "Equality Day" at Marshall University.

"This is indeed an accomplished group, and there are many more outstanding citizens who serve West Virginia in areas related to our democratic process of elections," said Secretary Ireland. " I look forward to recognizing others in 2008."

Recipients will be honored at an awards ceremony Nov. 9 in Charleston.

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