MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) - The Montgomery County Election Center could not have won the Democracy Award without the artistic talents of local artists. Olivia Hails' mom, Betsy Barrett-Hails, painted a portrait of three poll volunteers at a voting precinct.
"Makes me proud of my mom," said Hails.
And proud of the 13 other artists who in their own way put their idea of democracy on canvas.
The award was given by the Professional Practices Program, a non-profit group based in Houston, Texas. The program is more of a clearinghouse for election education conferences where they exchange ideas.
"It's a great honor. We found out on Friday," said Election Director Trey Granger.
An honor for Trey Granger and his staff because this is what they submitted to the contest. The Art of Democracy, an 8-page little booklet highlighting the very artwork that helped the county's election center beat out 100 other cities across the country for the award. That along with a little election know-how. Granger's been at the helm for 4 years.
Olivia Hails, meantime, doubts her mom even knew about the award. She does not, of course. Olivia works part-time at the election center.
With a broad brush the Democracy Award shows just how far Montgomery has come since the turbulent voting rights struggles more than 50 years ago.
Chicago, Illinois, was last year's Democracy Award winner.