|Paul D. Pate
Secretary of State
Des Moines, IA 50319
|OFFICE OF THE IOWA SECRETARY OF STATE|
|FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
June 1, 2017
Secretary Pate honors 99-year-old Berniece Butler, Iowa's most senior precinct elections official
CENTERVILLE – Iowa Secretary of State Paul Pate presented Berniece Butler of Centerville with a National Association of Secretaries of State (NASS) Medallion Award in recognition of her service and dedication to helping Iowans vote. Butler, who turns 100 in August, is the state's senior precinct elections official.
“Berniece is a wonderful lady and I wanted to do something special to honor her," Secretary Pate said. “She has dedicated many hours over the years to manning the polls in Appanoose County and helping our elections process go smoothly. Berniece is a very sharp lady with a quick wit. I had a great time getting to know her and I truly appreciate her service."
“Being a precinct elections official is one of those thankless jobs, with its 14-hour day, little pay, and few breaks. Those that volunteer understand the importance of our election system and have a strong desire to serve their fellow residents. Berniece Butler is one of those special people. Her friendly demeanor and quick-witted humor can put a smile on anyone's face," said Appanoose County Auditor Kelly Howard.
Serving at the polls on Election Day is one of many ways Berniece Butler remains active in the community. She is a member of the Business and Professional Women of Iowa, and the Daughters of the American Revolution. Berniece still drives her car, tends her garden, and cans the produce she grows.
This is the second NASS Medallion Award Secretary Pate has bestowed on an Iowan. The other was to the state's longest serving precinct elections official, Mildred Davis of Sioux City. Davis started staffing the polls in 1960.
The NASS Medallion Award was created to honor individuals, groups or organizations with an established record of promoting the goals of NASS in elections, civic education, service to state government, or a commitment to philanthropy.
A photo of Secretary Pate presenting Berniece Butler with the NASS Award is available at this link.