Recent awards highlight collaboration between state agencies

CooperationWe’re all in this together. All Iowa state agencies have a goal of serving our citizens in the most effective and efficient manner possible. This goal is reached even more quickly when we work together.

Recently the Iowa Department of Transportation was honored to receive awards for two collaborative programs. Being recognized was great, but an even larger sense of accomplishment comes from knowing we’re doing all we can to make Iowa a great place to live.

Iowa DOT commended for improving voter registration

Mark and Sec. Pate
Secretary of State Paul Pate (left) and Iowa DOT Director Mark Lowe (right)

Making sure every eligible Iowan has the ability to vote is the responsibility of the Secretary of State’s office. In 2016, the Iowa DOT came alongside the Secretary of State to offer online voter registration. Since its launch, approximately 150,000 Iowans have used the system to register to vote or update their voter information. Registering to vote in Iowa is easier and more convenient than ever before with a secure online portal that is easily accessible any time of day.

For our efforts, Secretary of State Paul Pate submitted our work, along with the work of the Iowa Chief Information Officer and the Iowa National Guard for a National Association of Secretaries of State (NASS) Medallion Award. The award was created in part to honor individuals, groups, or organization with an established record of promoting elections with a special emphasis on voter education and participation.

“The Iowa DOT was extremely easy to work with and through their cooperation, we were able to build a system at no extra cost to Iowa taxpayers,” Pate said. “They are very deserving of this award for furthering the NASS mission of clean, fair, and accessible elections.”

Pate continued, “Iowa is consistently one of the top states in the country for voter registration and participation. More than 90 percent of eligible Iowans are registered to vote.  The Iowa DOT has played a big part in boosting those numbers.”

“Easy access to voter registration services helps increase voter participation and assure citizens are able to exercise their right to vote,” said Iowa DOT Director Mark Lowe. “I’m very pleased we were able to leverage our role in identity profile management to collaborate with Secretary Pate and his team to provide Iowans with convenient and efficient online voter registration services.”

The Iowa Public Health Association recognizes Iowa DOT’s commitment to improving the health and wellbeing of Iowans

Milly and Sarah
Milly Ortiz, Iowa DOT planner (left) and Sarah Taylor Watts from the Iowa Department of Public Health (right)

The Iowa DOT’s mission of getting you there safely, efficiently and conveniently goes far beyond highways. Our transportation planners work to improve mobility for bicyclists and pedestrians, as well as drivers.

Our rock stars from the Office of Systems Planning, Joe Drahos, Sam Hiscocks, Justin Meade, Milly Ortiz, Garrett Pedersen, Cindy Shearer, Sam Sturtz, and Andrea White, were recently honored by members of the Iowa Public Health Association with the 2019 Public Health Official of the Year Award.  The work of the Iowa DOT planners was nominated by Sarah Taylor Watts from the Iowa Department of Public Health.

We received the honor for excellence in the advancement of public health by making it easier for Iowans to live healthier lives by developing and supporting the Iowa Transportation Commission’s adoption of the Iowa Bicycle and Pedestrian Long-Range Plan and Complete Streets policy.  This shows the commitment by the Iowa DOT and the Commission to expand opportunities and further improve the conditions for bicycling and walking across the state.

Ortiz said, “The Iowa DOT and Commission have been working on this plan for several years. We talked with countless citizens, stakeholders, and organizations to gain their input on what needed to be done to provide healthy alternatives for people to get where they need to go, while also reducing bicycle and pedestrian-related injuries and fatalities.”

The plan sets a vision for the state to adopt walking and bicycling as a valid form of transportation.  Ortiz said, “As a department of transportation, we understand that with careful planning, Iowa’s roads can be a safer place for more people to walk and bicycle.  The implementation of this plan will lead to improvements in health, accessibility, and our environment.”


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