State honors Cumberland town clerk for getting out the vote

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CUMBERLAND — Town Clerk Nadeen Daniels Tuesday received the 2009 Lorraine M. Fleury Award from the office of the secretary of state.

The announcement by Secretary of State Matthew Dunlap came during the opening luncheon in Bangor of Maine’s two-day Elections Conference for municipal clerks and registrars of voters.

The annual award, named for a long-time state elections director, honors a person who has made a major contribution to the election process and who embodies the attributes of experience, knowledge, service and fairness.

“I think (Daniels) is the best town clerk in the state of Maine, and the most dedicated public servant I’ve ever had the privilege of working with,” Cumberland Town Manager Bill Shane said on Tuesday. “She puts the people first always, and she epitomizes good government.”

Shane said Daniels has served as Cumberland’s town clerk for nearly eight years. Daniels’ public service began with the city of South Portland in 1977.

During last year’s presidential election she approached the Bangor city clerk with a good-natured challenge to see which community could rally the highest percentage of absentee voters. Daniels took voting to the road by establishing Cumberland’s first mobile voting unit in a full-sized motor home. The structure was stationed at the post office every Saturday morning for five weeks, helping to boost voter turnout to 83 percent.

The competition earned Cumberland “bragging rights” in the competition, along with increasing voter access and making absentee voter administration fun for Daniels’ staff, according to Dunlap’s office.

Daniels is president of the Maine Town and City Clerks Association and former president of the Cumberland County Municipal Clerks Association.

“Maine’s a national leader in the administration of elections,” Dunlap said. “Committed municipal election officials like Nadeen Daniels are the reason why.”

Alex Lear can be reached at 373-9060 ext. 113 or alear@theforecaster.net.

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A Maine native and Colby College graduate, Alex has been covering coastal communities since 2001, and currently handles Bath, Topsham, Cumberland, and North Yarmouth. He and his wife, Lauren, live in the Portland area, and Alex recently released his third album of original music.