Francisco Diaz, Assistant County Clerk-Recorder

Information provided by the San Benito County Elections Department

The San Benito County Elections Department announced Francisco Diaz, 35, has been designated as a Certified Elections/Registration Administrator (CERA), the highest professional achievement for election officials in the country as of August 2022.

According to the release, the CERA designation is achieved only through a multi-year course of study taught by the Auburn University master’s in public administration (MPA) faculty, and conducted by the Election Center’s Professional Education Program.

It added 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.

“This is the highest designation available to elections and voter registration officials,” said Tim Mattice, director of the Election Center. This graduating class of 85 election professionals totals 1,420 election officials and election vendors who have achieved the CERA/CERV status. This is an outstanding accomplishment.

“San Benito County is indeed fortunate to have Francisco Diaz as one of the top designated professionals in America. Obtaining and maintaining CERA status means that he has committed to a career-long process of continuing education to improve the electoral process in California and the nation,” Mattice stated.

The release said Professional Education Program is sponsored by the Election Center, a nonprofit association of voter registrars, elections administrators and providers of election services throughout America and the U.S. Territories. It added its membership is comprised of township, city, county and state elections officials and other election related organizations.

“The Center’s primary purpose is to promote and support continuous improvement in the administration of elections and voter registration through research, professional education, conferences, networking and consulting,” the release said. “Professional Education Program participants receive continuing education credit from Auburn University as well as professional training credits from the Election Center.”

Francisco received his bachelor’s degree from Saint Mary’s College of California and master’s degree in public administration from Norwich University. In his free time, he volunteers nationally and internationally as an election observer. He was the only candidate who ran for the County Clerk-Recorder office in the June Primary Election.