UMSL alumni honored as top election officials at 2023 ALL IN Awards Celebration
The University of Missouri–St. Louis strives not only to prepare its students to succeed in their chosen career fields but to also become engaged citizens.
The university has routinely earned high marks for its commitment to student voting, being named among the country’s “Best Colleges for Student Voting” for five consecutive years and earning a spot on ALL IN Campus Democracy’s list of “Most Engaged Campuses for College Student Voting” last year.
The accolades continued Tuesday afternoon when the ALL IN Campus Democracy Challenge recognized two UMSL alumni for their vital work in upholding democracy and encouraging civic engagement in the St. Louis region. Eric Fey and Rick Stream received Standout Local Election Official Awards during the 2023 ALL In Awards Celebration after being nominated by Professor David Kimball.
The virtual ceremony, hosted on Zoom, honored campuses and communities across the country for excellence in nonpartisan student democratic engagement in 2022.
“Each and every one of us has a role to play in promoting nonpartisan student democratic engagement,” said Jen Domagal-Goldman, executive director of the ALL IN Campus Democracy Challenge. “The individuals we are celebrating today are leading the way on their campuses and in their communities to ensure that every student has the tools and information they need to participate in our democracy and cast their ballot.”
Fey, an MPPA graduate, and Stream, a BSBA graduate, jointly oversee the St. Louis County Board of Elections as the Democratic director of elections and the Republican director of elections, respectively. Stephanie King, the senior director of strategic initiatives for the ALL IN Campus Democracy Challenge, noted that the board’s bipartisan governing structure is somewhat rare among local jurisdictions.
However, for the past six years during a time of deep political division, the pair has worked together steadfastly to manage the board’s critical election functions in Missouri’s largest county and promote voter engagement.
“Rick and Eric have fostered many connections with local campuses,” King said, presenting the awards. “They frequently host tours of the board of elections operations for university students and faculty. They also make regular visits to local campuses to speak about election rolls, and they work with local universities to help increase participation in the student poll worker program. In the November 2022 election, the board of elections had 193 student poll workers – the highest number in the history of the program.”
During their time in office, Fey and Stream have worked closely with UMSL’s Civic Engagement Coalition, which plans and supports various programs and opportunities throughout the year to encourage active civic participation. In 2022, one of the group’s key goals was to establish a polling place on UMSL’s campus for Election Day and early voting.
With the help of UMSL leadership, the group partnered with the St. Louis County Board of Elections to successfully make the Millennium Student Center available as a polling place for those on campus and in the surrounding community.
Kimball commended Fey and Stream for their dedicated work.
“Eric Fey and Rick Stream are recognized as national leaders in election administration, and they have made the St. Louis County Board of Elections a model of civic and professional excellence,” Kimball wrote in his nomination. “There are deep partisan divisions in America over election laws and voting procedures, and we are fortunate to have local election officials who inspire pride in our community. It is important to recognize local leadership and election administration that is bipartisan, professional and fosters engagement with local college students. Congratulations to Eric and Rick, and thank you for your commitment to democracy.”
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