Ball State University’s Voting System Technical Oversight Program (VSTOP) will be holding a graduation ceremony for the fourth cohort of its nationally-recognized Certificate in Election Administration, Technology, and Security (CEATS) program.

The event will be held at 10 a.m. April 21, 2023, at the Oakwood Building, 2501 N. Oakwood Ave., Muncie, IN 47304. Among those scheduled to speak are Indiana Secretary of State Diego Morales and Ball State President Geoffrey S. Mearns.

VSTOP was established in 2007 under the Bowen Center of Public Affairs at Ball State University, and advises the Indiana Secretary of State and the Indiana Election Commission on the certification of voting machines and electronic poll books in Indiana. The VSTOP team manages the physical security and cybersecurity of election systems, conducts post-election audits, and develops and provides maintenance for a state-wide election systems inventory database.

The CEATS program, established in 2018, is one of the deliverables under the VSTOP umbrella. Offered to state election officials, the program expands professional competencies in the following areas: understanding implications of election law; proficiency in operations of election technology; managing, training, and assessing election personnel; and ensuring election integrity.

The CEATS and VSTOP programs, co-directed by Dr. Jay Bagga and Dr. Chad Kinsella, are dedicated to ensuring elections are safe, secure, and performed with integrity. Because of these efforts, the CEATS and VSTOP programs have received national awards honoring best practices in election administration and training from the U.S. Election Assistance Commission (EAC). 

Since the first cohort of the cutting-edge CEATS program in 2018, there have been 35 graduates who have completed the CEATS Program, with seven more set to graduate at the upcoming ceremony. Congratulations to:

  • Haley Bartlett—Vigo County Administrative Assistant
  • Debra Berry—Wayne County Elected Official
  • Bianca Blessing—Allen County Election Deputy
  • Jackson Kensell—Vigo County Deputy Clerk
  • Rebecca Rauch—Porter County Assistant Director
  • Carol Smith—Elkhart County Chief Deputy of Administration & Elections
  • Gracie York—Vermillion County Judicial Clerk I
This year’s CEATS graduation ceremony will also be livestreamed from 10 a.m. to noon at: