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FARMINGTON — The San Juan County chief deputy clerk has been designated as a Certified Elections/Registration Administrator.

Tanya Shelby was honored recently with the professional achievement during a ceremony.

To receive a CERA designation, an elections official must complete several years of courses through the Professional Education Program, which is sponsored by The Election Center, a nonprofit group of elections officials.

The officials must also complete 12 courses taught by staff from Auburn University in Auburn, Ala. The classes focus on topics such as ethics, voter registration and election laws.

CERA certification is the highest designation available to election officials, said Tim Mattice, director of The Election Center, in a press release.

"San Juan County is indeed fortunate to have Tanya Shelby as one of the top designated professionals in America," Mattice said in the release. “Obtaining and maintaining CERA status means that she has committed to a career-long process of continuing education to improve the electoral process in New Mexico and the nation."

Shelby, of Aztec, has been an elections official for 21 years. She is also running to fill the seat of San Juan County Clerk. She will face fellow Republican Jim Johnson, of Bloomfield, in the June 7 primary election. Zachariah George, of Crownpoint, has filed to run as a Democrat in the race.

"I see my role to dignify all potential voters and to remove as many barriers as possible to participation in the democratic process," Shelby said in a prepared statement. "Our office cannot be responsible for how many actually turn out for each election, but we can certainly be sure that they have the opportunity to vote and have their votes counted accurately."

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