In Focus This Week
Knight Foundation survey studies nonvoters
Study finds non-voters have less faith in electoral system
As primary season heats up and voters cast their ballots during this presidential election year, the largest bloc of the electorate is a group of Americans that no politician has polled and who have seldom exercised their basic civic act – those who chronically do not vote.
In an effort to better understand citizens who don’t vote and the challenges of political engagement, the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation today released a landmark study that looks at the 100 million Americans who are eligible to vote but don’t.
The first of its kind, the study, “The 100 Million Project: The Untold Story of American Non-Voters,” examines 12,000 people who chronically do not vote – those who are not registered to vote or voted only once in the last six national elections.
The study examined non-voters throughout the country and across the political spectrum, at every level of education and income, and from every walk of life in terms of age, race, gender and religious affiliation, with separate samples in key battleground states. For comparative purposes, 1,000 active voters and 1,000 18- to 24-year-old eligible citizens were also surveyed.
The study busts commonly held myths about non-voters and provides insights on why they don’t vote, their positions on platform issues and President Trump, and how they engage with news and politics. The findings reveal important insights on non-voters and factors behind their disengagement:
- Non-voters have less faith in the electoral system than voters. Non-voters say they don’t vote for many reasons, including not liking the candidates and feeling their vote doesn’t matter. Compared with voters, they have less faith in the electoral system, don’t feel they have enough information, and are less likely to think increased participation in elections is good for the country. They are more likely to think “the system is rigged.”
- Splitting the vote in 2020. If non-voters all turned out in 2020, non-voter candidate preferences show they would add nearly equal share to Democratic and Republican candidates (33 percent versus 30 percent, respectively), while 18 percent said they would vote for a third party.
- Evenly divided on Trump. They are more evenly divided on current political issues and President Trump than previously thought. Fifty-one percent have a negative opinion of Trump, versus 40 percent positive. While non-voters skew center-left on some key issues like health care, they are slightly more conservative than active voters on immigration and abortion.
- Non-voters are less engaged with news and information. They consume less news, are more likely to accidentally “bump into” news rather than seeking it out actively, and more likely to say they don’t feel informed enough to decide who to vote for.
- Eligible Gen Z voters say they are less interested in politics and 2020 election than non-voters. Americans aged 18 to 24 are less interested in politics and less informed. They are the age cohort least likely to say they will vote in 2020, and 38 percent say they don’t have enough information to decide who to vote for.
“One hundred million Americans persistently sit out a central democratic act. We shouldn’t judge them; we should understand them,” said Sam Gill, senior vice president and chief program officer at Knight Foundation. “This study brings us face to face — for the first time — with those who feel disconnected from our political process. If we care about the future of our democracy, we have an obligation to better understand our friends, neighbors and family members who choose to sit out elections.”
This national survey was conducted from July to August 2019. A representative sample of both registered and unregistered non-voters (4,000 total) was drawn and voting history verified using voter file data. A separate sample of 800 swing state non-voters — 8,000 total in each of 10 battleground states — was surveyed in Wisconsin, Virginia, Pennsylvania, Nevada, Minnesota, Michigan, Georgia, Florida and Arizona.
Surveys and focus groups were conducted by the political polling firm Bendixen Amandi in collaboration with political scientists Yanna Krupnikov from Stony Brook University and Eitan Hersh from Tufts University. It is the largest survey of non-voters that has been conducted and provides the only reliable national dataset about non-voter political views, top issues and challenges with voting.
The study defines “non-voters” as those who have participated in one or fewer of the past six national elections, meaning they have voted a maximum of only once in the past 12 years. It found that non-voters are less educated, poorer, and more likely to be minorities, single and women. Sixty-two percent do not have a college degree, and 20 to 25 percent make less than $50,000 annually. Sixty-five percent are white – versus 15 percent Hispanic and 13 percent black – and 53 percent are women.
“Non-voters are split down the middle, adding nearly equal shares to both the Democrats and Republicans. This sets up a scenario for 2020 in which the side that’s more effective at getting out the vote – and crucially turning out new voters – is likely to have the advantage in November,” Hersh said. “There are constituencies on both sides waiting to be activated.”
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2020 Primary Updates
Wisconsin: The Badger State held its spring primaries this week and while things went well overall, especially with the roll out of Badger Books in may jurisdictions, there were issues with the state’s polling place look-up tool. According to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, the state’s MyVote website experienced intermittent delays in the morning and afternoon and the site was unable to tell voters where their polling place was or what was on the ballot. Wisconsin Elections Commission spokesman Reid Magney told the paper that the issue occurred because of a failing server that was eventually replaced. As a temporary fix, the website directed voters to use VIP. Also during the spring primary, the Town of Fulton was the testing ground for Microsoft’s new ElectionGuard software. “We hope this pilot test will give us further insights into how the system works and whether voters like it,” Meagan Wolfe, election commission administrator told the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel. “We can use this data as we try to make elections in Wisconsin even more secure, usable and accessible.”
Election Security Updates
Attorney General Robert Barr, FBI Director Christopher Wray and other senior Administration officials wrote an op-ed appearing in USA Today this week. In the opinion piece, Barr, Wray et al urged the public to do their part to secure the 2020 election.
According to The Hill, the writers called on the public to assist in identifying foreign interference, including through “seeking trustworthy sources of information” on elections to avoid disinformation campaigns, and through engaging with state and local election officials to learn more about the secure voting process.
They also encouraged campaigns, technology companies and election officials to report any signs of hacking or other suspicious online activity around elections to the FBI and to CISA.
“We cannot prevent all disinformation, foreign propaganda or cyberattacks on our infrastructure,” the officials wrote. “However, together, we can all help to mitigate these threats by exercising care when we share information and by maintaining good cyber hygiene to reduce the risks that malicious cyberattacks will succeed.”
Minnesota: According to the Minneapolis Star Tribune, lawmakers are again set to debate federal election security funding. There is $7.4 in HAVA2 funding available to the state, but Senate Republicans want to tie that funding to a provisional balloting system that Senate Dems oppose. Under a new GOP bill, election officials must provide provisional ballots to voters who cannot verify their eligibility. That differs from existing law, under which voters are given regular ballots which can be counted unless otherwise successfully challenged.
Election News This Week
Well this is some good news. According to a new PBS NewsHour, NPR and Marist poll, 72 percent of Americans said they are confident that their state and local election officials will be fair and accurate this November. According to the poll, when asked about their confidence in election security, political affiliation did not seem to factor significantly in how respondents answered. Democrats, Republicans and independents responded to the question roughly the same.
The California Assembly has passed, and Gov. Gavin Newsom has signed into law a bill that will allow voters to change their party preference and update their addresses at the polls when they go to vote. While this is great for voters and local elections officials are hopeful it will speed up the process at the polling place, they are also concerned about the learning curve for elections workers. “We’re hoping this new process will keep already-registered voters who are just changing their address or party in a faster-moving line,” John Tuteur, registrar of voters in Napa County told Capital Public Radio. “The challenge is for us to get our vote center workers who are going to be handling these changes up to speed.”
Lost in the mail: Earlier this year, Solon High School in Cuyahoga County, Ohio held a voter registration drive but it seems that all 220 voter registration forms the school sent to the board of elections for processing have been lost in the mail. With this week marking the voter registration deadline for Ohio, the school said it would hand deliver any voter applications received directly to the BOE and it is also encouraging students to register online. According to Fox 8, the U.S. Postal Service and the BOE are investigating the missing package.
This year, in addition to being a presidential site and an Indianapolis polling place, The Benjamin Harrison Presidential Site is also hosting the “Protect the Vote” exhibit that shows how voting in the United States has changed since 1789 when George Washington was first elected. The exhibit features all types of old voting equipment including a lever voting machine and the now infamous punch card ballot system. The Benjamin Harrison Site will also host another special exhibit that concentrates solely on what it took to get women the right to vote. It’s called Votes for Women: The Road to Suffrage. That tour opens March 12 and will feature people who led the fight to get voting rights for women.
It’s Time to Vote! And a coalition of U.S. companies representing more than 2 million workers has come together again this year to get out the vote. According to a press release, by joining Time to Vote, CEOs and business owners commit to making accommodations for workers that help enable them to vote, such as paid time off on Election Day, making Election Day a day without meetings or providing resources for mail-in ballots and early voting. Time to Vote is nonpartisan and there is no cost for companies to join. To date, 383 companies employing workers in every state in the country have signed up for Time to Vote. The companies range from Walmart and Target to JPMorgan Chase to Kaiser Permanente.
Suffrage News: This is pretty cool. The New York Philharmonic has commissioned compositions by 19 women to mark the 100th anniversary of the passage of the 19th Amendment. “Less than 3% of the music presented on the concert stage is written by women,” Deborah Borda, the orchestra’s president and CEO, and one of the architects of Project 19 told NPR. That’s worldwide, not just in the United States, which means next year, she says, “We’re immediately changing the percentages.” Project 19 started earlier in February with a piece call “Tread softy” by Nina C. Young and based on a poem by W.B. Yeats. “Voting in the United States is very complicated,” Young told NPR, “And so I thought, well, there’s a parallel to this poem: people are hoping and dreaming, always for progress and betterment. We have to dream big, but we have to be prepared to know that we’re being stepped upon — but to also continue to have these dreams.” The League of Women Voters will have voter registration tables set up at every Project 19 performance.
Sticker News: The Philadelphia city commission has launched an “I Voted” sticker competition to choose a new sticker to be handed at out at the polls beginning with the April 28 primary. “I know the ‘I Voted’ stickers may not be the most important thing that we do, but it is certainly something that the public is highly passionate about,” Lisa Deeley, chair of the city commissioners, who oversee elections told the Philadelphia Inquirer.
Personnel News: Tim Bledsoe is the new Robeson County, North Carolina elections director. Jetta Mencer has resigned from the Coshocton County, Ohio board of elections. Alabama Secretary of State John Merrill has been elected to serve as the chair of the Republican Secretaries of State Committee (RSSC) for the 2020 cycle. Longtime Pinellas County, Florida Supervisor of Elections Deborah Clark has announced her retirement effective March 31 [Ed. Note: We’ll have an exit interview with Clark in the weeks to come]. Beauty Baldwin is retiring after 23 years on the Gwinnett County, Georgia elections board. Colleen Anderson (D) and Douglas French (R) have both stepped down as election commissioners in Monroe County, New York.
Alaska: The Anchorage Assembly has passed a change to Title 28 that will allow voters in the largest city in the largest state in the union to take and post ballot selfies. While it is legal to post your ballot, the code does still prohibit showing that picture to anyone while within 200 feet of a polling location.
Also in Alaska, the House has approved House Bill 115 that will allow all eligible voters to sign up for a permanent absentee voter list. The bill was approved 24-15. “Exercising the right to vote is key to a strong democracy,” Rep. Chris Tuck (D-Anchorage) wrote in a release. “House Bill 115 removes barriers to this right by making it more convenient to vote by mail in Alaska. Absentee voting is voting by mail. By simply adding a box to check on the absentee ballot application, Alaskans can routinely vote by mail, resulting in more participation and a stronger democracy.”
Arizona: Debate over House Bill 2304 devolved into a shouting match this week in the House Elections Committee. Under House Bill 2304, voters would not be allowed to bring translators with them into the voting booth. The bill would also require regular checks of voter registration records against lists of jurors who had been disqualified for citizenship reasons.
California: Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) has signed Senate Bill 207 into law. Under the new law, which takes effect immediately, voters are able to make last-minute changes to their address or party affiliation. The new law allows those already registered to bypass filling out the full voter reg form and can instead fill out a shorter update form at the polls during early voting and on election day.
Illinois: Under House Bill 5309, filed this week, voters would decide whether or not to merge the Danville election commission with the Vermillion County clerk’s office.
Iowa: A Senate committee has approved a bill that would require returning citizens to prove they’ve repaid restitution to victims before their voting rights are restored. The bill, if approved by the full Legislature, would only take effect if voters in Iowa approve an amendment to a state constitution that will automatically restore voting rights to returning citizens.
Kentucky: The Senate has approved Senate Bill 62 that would restore the right to vote for formerly incarcerated residents after a designated amount of time. The right to vote would only be granted if the felonies committed were neither a sex offense, violent offense or an offense against a child.
Michigan: A set of bills passed out of the state Senate Elections Committee Thursday will allow clerks to remove ballots from the mailing envelope, but not the secrecy sleeve the day before the election. “Well just think, how many seconds do you think it will take to open that envelope? And then, pull it out of it, and then be able to take the perf off with the number on it so that it can be accounted for? I think it will have substantial savings that will really make a difference,” said Sen. Ruth Johnson. The bills would also allow absentee ballot counters and election inspectors to work in shifts. However, on Wednesday, Senate Majority Leader Mike Shirkey put an end to discussion on bills that might change the absentee voting process saying that security takes precedent over timeliness. “If I had to choose between early voting, early counting, versus late reporting, I’ll take late reporting all day long,” he said according to The Detroit News.
Also in Michigan, a bill sponsored by Re. Darrin Camilleri (D-Brownstown) would make regularly scheduled election days in May, August and November state holidays. “I think that we want to make it as broad as possible, as easy as possible for people to participate in our elections,” Camilleri told Michigan Live.
Missouri: Under HB 1639 voters would be required to declare a party weeks before a primary election. Rick Watson, president of the Missouri Association of County Clerks and Election Authorities, testified against the bill. He said election officials are busy enough keeping track of current voter registration. “This will just add one more layer of expensive and unnecessary expenses,” Watson told lawmakers according to Fox 2.
Minnesota: A bill that would classify party preference information as private data on voter registration forms has cleared the House Government Operations Committee. The will would also penalize political parties if they sell the information.
South Carolina: Lawmakers are considering legislation that could increase the salaries for poll workers. The proposed legislation would create a committee to review the state’s poll worker salary and compare it to the salaries for poll workers in other jurisdictions before making a recommendation.
Tennessee: Lawmakers have introduced a bill that would require the state to offer voluntary training on voter registration laws and require voter registration applications be submitted within 15 days of a voter registration drive. The measure would then prohibit the retention of voter information for non-political purposes, as well as require “cybersecurity to be considered” when certifying a voter registration system.
Utah: Legislators are considering a bill that would require state elections officials to explore statewide use of mobile-voting like the software that is in use for certain voters in Utah County. The bill would order Lt. Gov. Spencer Cox to carry out a study “related to internet voting” and whether allowing it statewide would increase overall voter turnout. It also directs the study look into distributed-ledger encryption and multi-factor authentication, and evaluate existing vendors like Voatz.
Washington: Senate Bill 6688 has been introduced in the Senate State Government, Tribal Relations & Elections Committee. The bill would require certain counties, cities and towns to get preclearance from the state to utilize new voting qualifications or other voting practices. The jurisdictions in question would have to prove in court that any new voting prerequisite, standard or practice does not deny anybody the right to vote or create a barrier to voting. The attorney general would also have to approve the new practice before it is instituted. Additionally, the attorney general would also be required to raise an objection in superior court if the new voting prerequisite is found to hinder someone’s right to vote.
A bill that would have restored to voting rights to returning citizens as soon as they are released from incarceration even if the terms of their sentence were not complete was deferred this week meaning that it can’t be brought up again this session.
Wyoming: Rep. Chuck Gray has filed House Bill 167 that would require voters to show a photo ID in order to cast a ballot.
In the Senate, Sen. Bo Biteman attempted to add an amendment to SF 20—an elections code revision bill—that would require a photo ID in order to cast a ballot. The amendment failed on a 15 to 15 vote.
Also in Wyoming, the House passed a bill on third reading which would secure the status of tribal identification cards as valid forms of ID for voting in Wyoming. If signed into law, the bill would make it clear that members of the Eastern Shoshone or Northern Arapaho tribes can use their tribal identification cards as the sole means of registering to vote if they contain their driver’s license number, if they have one, or the last four digits of their Social Security number. The bill now heads to the Senate.
Alaska: Oral arguments were held this week before the Alaska Supreme Court in the case of whether or not the Alaskans For Better Elections’ ballot initiative violates state rules for a ballot initiative. The state division of elections alleges the proposed initiative, which would, among other things, legalize ranked choice voting, has three parts which violates the state’s single subject rule for initiatives.
California: Norman Hill, 62 of Los Angeles County, has plead guilty to one count of circulating a petition with false names. Hill is one of nine people that’s been charged in a voter fraud scheme that had homeless people in Los Angeles’ Skid Row receiving cash and cigarettes in exchange for fraudulent signatures on ballot initiative petitions and voter registration forms. Hall was sentenced to three years of probation of 100 hours of community service.
Florida: A three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals of the 11th Circuit ruled this week that it is unconstitutional for force Florida felons to first pay off their financial obligations before registering to vote. Although the ruling applied only to 17 felons who sued the state, supporters of Amendment 4 view the ruling as a victory for all returning citizens in the Sunshine State. “This ruling recognizes the gravity of elected officials trying to circumvent Amendment 4 to create roadblocks to voting based on wealth,” said Julie Ebenstein, one of the lawyers for the American Civil Liberties Union representing several plaintiffs, in a statement according to The Miami Herald. In their opinion, judges Lanier Anderson, Stanley Marcus and Barbara Rothstein added that it was “undeniable” that the requirement punished poor felons, while wealthier felons wouldn’t be similarly denied the opportunity to vote because they can afford to pay their obligations.
Also in the U.S. 11th Circuit, the court has ruled that changes made by the Florida Legislature has rendered moot the lawsuit filed by Bill Nelson’s Senate campaign and the state’s Democratic Executive Committee over signature-matching voting laws. However, according to Bloomberg, But the court denied the National Republican Senatorial Committee’s request to vacate its orders, which upheld a district court injunction blocking Florida from subjecting mail-in and provisional ballots to signature-match review.
Kansas: The national and state Democratic Party have sued Kansas Secretary of State Scott Schwabb (R) over the state’s failure to implement the state’s new vote center law. According to the Associated Press, plaintiffs are seeking a court order to either force Schwab to issue the necessary regulations or to allow counties to move ahead with “vote anywhere” plans for this year’s elections.
Maine: The Public Interest Legal Foundation, Inc. has sued the office of Secretary of State Matt Dunlap alleging that the office illegally denied the group access to the state’s list of registered voters. According to the Bangor Daily News, the group claims that Maine’s voter record inspection laws, which limit who can obtain lists of registered voters, violate the National Voter Registration Act. The foundation is asking U.S. District Judge George Singal to find that Dunlap violated federal law and to order his office to provide the organization with a copy of Maine’s voter registration list.
New Hampshire: Patrick Bradley, 34, of Windham, has been charged with three counts of simple assault and one count of disorderly conduct for allegedly assaulting a 15-year-old supporter of President Donald J. Trump and two other people outside of a polling place during New Hampshire’s primary.
North Carolina: The North Carolina Court of Appeals temporarily blocked the state’s voter ID law saying that it was created with “racially discriminatory intent.” The law had already been blocked by a federal court and the state’s attorney general announced that he will wait until after the primary to formally appeal the ruling. In the wake of the ruling, the Civitas Institute is filing an ethics complaint against two of the judges.
North Dakota: The state and several American Indian tribes have reached a settlement in two lawsuits over the state’s voter ID laws. A pending court-ordered “consent decree” will “ensure all Native Americans who are qualified electors can vote, relieve certain burdens on the Tribes related to determining residential street addresses for their tribal members and issuing tribal IDs, and ensure ongoing cooperation through mutual collaboration between the State and the Tribes to address concerns or issues that may arise in the future,” a joint statement by the Spirit Lake Nation, Standing Rock Sioux Tribe and Secretary of State Al Jaeger said according to The Bismarck Tribune.
Ohio: The State of Ohio argued Thursday before a Sixth Circuit panel that incarcerated voters are not entitled to the same absentee voting deadline as those confined to hospitals. The state seeks to overturn a ruling by U.S. District Judge Michael Watson, who determined in November 2019 that individuals jailed immediately prior to and incarcerated through Election Day are entitled to submit absentee ballots up to 3 p.m. on that day. According to Courthouse News Service, Deputy Solicitor General Zachery Keller told the panel that Election Day deadlines inevitably prevent a certain number of people from exercising their right to vote. “There have to be lines [drawn] somewhere,” Keller said, adding that “election laws invariably exclude some people from voting.”
Pennsylvania: A federal judge in Philadelphia heard arguments this week over the certification of voting machines used by Philadelphia and Northampton County. According to The Washington Post, For part of her three-plus hours on the stand, Secretary of State Kathy Boockvar sought to show that no element of a federal court agreement in 2018 specifically outlawed certification of the machine in question, the ExpressVote XL touchscreen system. She also testified that certification of the ExpressVote XL touchscreen system had been well underway during talks to settle the lawsuit.
Online Voting: In a conference call with reporters, Voatz Vice President Hilary Braseth said that the company has run more than 50 elections since 2016, including nine targeted pilots in five states. “These governmental pilots have all been declared successes by the jurisdictions,” she said according to TechRepublic. During the call, company officials complained that the MIT researchers did not contact the company directly during the review. Several of the jurisdictions that have used the app in the past have gone on the record to say that they will continue to use it for certain voters including Utah County, Utah.
Social Media: Last week we reported on the Oklahoma state board of elections clash with Facebook over potentially misleading information about the state’s voter registration deadline. Well this week USA Today has story about conflicts between the social media giant and other state elections offices. According to interviews and emails obtained by USA Today, at least five states have butted heads with Facebook while trying to remove false election information or post accurate notifications on their own pages. “We value our relationships with secretaries of state and state election officials,” he said in a statement. “We routinely work with these officials to fight voter suppression on our platforms and we’ve set up a dedicated channel for state elections officials to report to us any issues so that we can quickly investigate them.”
Pennsylvania: Allegheny County residents have a new resource for elections information. AlleghenyVotes.com details the new voting system, provides facts on voter outreach efforts and contains instructional videos. There also are links to information on voter registration, becoming a poll worker and links to the county’s elections website.
Opinions This Week
Alaska: Voting rights
Illinois: League of Women Voters
Louisiana: Voting machines
Maryland: Early voting
Minnesota: Voter data
Nebraska: Election security
New Jersey: Voting rights
New York: Early voting
North Dakota: Voter ID
Oregon: Ballot counting
West Virginia: Online voting
What is Ranked Choice Voting?: A new trend in election reform is sweeping municipalities and states across the country. Ranked choice voting is a different way to hold elections and allow people to have their choices represented in office. But it can sound a little complicated- at first! Get a thorough understanding of RCV – how it works, where it’s happening, and why it can be a more effective model for electing candidates to office. Drew Penrose, Law and Policy Director at FairVote, will be our featured speaker and answering your questions about ranked choice voting. Register to receive the slides and recording after the webinar. When: February 25, 2pm Eastern. Where: Online.
Election Center Special Workshop: The following courses will be offered during this workshop: Course 3 (Planning and Budgeting); Course 4 (Information Technology & Security); and Renewal Course 21 (Public Trust and the Integrity of Elections). Where: Seattle When: April 29-May 3
NASED Summer 2020 Conference: — Twice a year, the National Association of State Election Directors members gather to discuss the latest developments in election administration. Members of the public are welcome to attend at the non-member registration rate. Check back here for more information about the Summer 2020 Conference. Where: Reno, Nevada When: July 19-22.
NASS Summer 2020 Conference: The National Association of Secretaries of State will hold their Summer 2020 conference at the Silver Legacy Reno, Nevada. Check back here for more information about the Winter 2020 conference when it becomes available. Where: Reno, Nevada. When: July 19-22.
Job Postings This Week
electionlineWeekly publishes election administration job postings each week as a free service to our readers. To have your job listed in the newsletter, please send a copy of the job description, including a web link to firstname.lastname@example.org. Job postings must be received by 5pm on Wednesday in order to appear in the Thursday newsletter. Listings will run for three weeks or till the deadline listed in the posting.
Assistant Director, Kentucky State Board of Elections— The Kentucky State Board of Elections is an independent agency of state government, established by the Legislature to administer the election laws of the Commonwealth. The SBE also provides training and resources to the County Clerks and County Boards of Election, and supervises registration and purgation of voters within the state. The position of Assistant Director is a highly skilled and valued member of the SBE staff who performs duties ranging from staff management, advising and training of local and state officials, budgeting and policy development. While not required, a license to practice law is preferred. Compliance with Kentucky Revised Statute 117.025 requires that this position be filled by a candidate that is a registered member of the Republican Party of Kentucky. Out of state candidates will be considered if they can show proof of registration with the Republican Party of their current state of residence. Application: For the complete job listing and to apply, click here.
Chief Operating Officer, U.S. Election Assistance Commission— The U.S. Election Assistance Commission (EAC) is looking for a seasoned manager to serve as Chief Operating Officer (COO). This is an exceptional opportunity for an individual to oversee the functions and programs of the Commission coming up to the 2020 Elections! The COO is the primary management official responsible for supervising the day-to-day operations of EAC staff. EAC has several program operation divisions which will report to the COO: Voting Systems Testing and Certification, Grants, Research, Communications, HR/Administration, and Finance. Plans and implements communications plans, events, media campaigns, press conferences, briefings, messaging and interviews. Participates in developing communications and media initiatives, planning and implementing of media events, and maintaining a proactive media strategy for the EAC. Under the leadership of the Executive Director, EAC is elevating attention on management issues and transformational change. To manage this change, and to enable the Executive Director to focus attention on Congressional affairs, external relations, budget formulation and execution, and clearinghouse activities, the COO position was created to manage the programmatic, financial management, and administrative functions of the Commission, all of which will continue to be directed by talented professionals with strong expertise in their areas of responsibility. The COO will have special responsibility for supervising senior staff, ensuring that key program areas work in a carefully coordinated way, as well as ensuring that new systems and procedures are effectively adopted whenever such change is required to support the Commission’s transformation and improvement. Salary: $134,789 to $156K. Deadline: April 8. Application: For the complete job listing and to apply, click here.
Deputy Chief Information Security Officer, U.S. Election Assistance Commission— As the Deputy Chief Information Security Officer (Deputy CISO), the incumbent provides policy, leadership and direction, and serves as a key contributor to the EAC’s strategy regarding achieving mission goals; ensuring that all IT functions are integrated, prioritized and executed within agency priorities and allocated resources; and working closely with EAC’s service providers. Salary: $96,970 to $148,967. Deadline: April 27. Application: For the complete job listing and to apply, click here.
Director of Communications, U.S. Election Assistance Commission— Plans and implements communications plans, events, media campaigns, press conferences, briefings, messaging and interviews. Participates in developing communications and media initiatives, planning and implementing of media events, and maintaining a proactive media strategy for the EAC. Develops and maintains productive relationships with members of the media. Enlist the cooperation of media representatives in providing accurate information to the public that furthers the goals and objectives of the EAC. Provides background information to the media as required and drafts talking points for spokespersons ahead of interviews and presentations. Researches, develops, writes and edits reports, presentations, press releases, fact sheets, feature articles, letters, speeches, testimony, annual reports, opinion pieces, videos, and other public-facing communications materials that effectively communicate the Commission’s goals to EAC stakeholders and a variety of public and internal audiences. Procures and manages contracts and assists with the procurement of other Communications-related needs, i.e. photography, video, subscriptions, and other non-EAC services and goods. Attends staff briefings and policy discussions to gain knowledge of Commission activities in order to remain current on the latest developments of interest to the public, assist in preparing for and responding to media inquiries, and formulate recommendations regarding agency policies and programs. Performs other related duties as assigned. Salary: $96,970 to $148,967. Application: For the complete job listing and to apply, click here.
Election Judge Recruiter, Montgomery County, Maryland— The Montgomery County Board of Elections is seeking an Election Judge Recruiter (Administrative Specialist I). This is a full-time, permanent position responsible for recruiting, scheduling, and evaluating the job performance of thousands of voters who work at polling places during early voting and on Election Day. Duties will include: Recruiting workers, including making cold calls and conducting in-person outreach at evening and weekend events; Training and mentoring temporary employees; Developing and implementing outreach strategies; Analyzing a high volume of data at a fast pace to identify staffing gaps, recommend adjustments to training schedules and target outreach efforts; Preparing and presenting effective reports and charts; and Ensuring partisan diversity and recruiting multilingual workers. Salary: $47,848-$78,902. Deadline: February 21. Application: For the complete job listing and to apply, click here (search under general preferences).
Elections & Passport Manager, Benton County, Oregon— Benton County is currently seeking an Elections & Passports Manager to join the team. This position is responsible for the management of the Elections and Passports division operations and staff. Organize election and passport activities in Benton County, under the direction of the County Clerk and in accordance with applicable laws. Assist the Department Director/County Clerk in oversee operations in the Records & Elections department. Manage Records & Licenses division staff and assume the duties of the County Clerk, as needed. Salary: $59,404 – $89,119. Deadline: March 6. Application: For the complete job listing and to apply, click here.
Election Specialist, King County, Washington— The Department of Elections – is searching for energetic and resourceful professionals who like to “get stuff done”. The Administrative Specialist II positions in the Election Services Division combine an exciting, fast-paced environment with the opportunity to cultivate talents and apply a variety of skills. The ideal candidate will have a desire to help ensure the democratic process through public service. They will thrive in an innovative environment and will not hesitate to roll up both sleeves, work hard, have fun, and get the job done. This Term Limited Temporary (TLT) position is approved until the end of 2020. If the successful candidate is a King County Career Service or Career Service exempt employee, you will be offered a Special Duty assignment. You must have permission from your current supervisor to accept a Special Duty assignment. Salary: $22,24-$28.33/hour. Deadline: February 25. Application: For the complete job listing and to apply, click here.
Executive Director, Chicago Board of Election Commissioners— The Executive Director serves as the chief administrator, providing leadership and implementing policies and programs to carry out the work of the Board. The Executive Director directs an annual operating budget of approximately $34M and leads a staff of 130 full-time employees broken into 7 Divisions comprised of: Registration; Information Technology; Human Resources; Finance; Community Services/Poll Workers; Pre-Election Voting & Logistics; and, Warehouse Operations. All full-time employees, including the Assistant Executive Director, are compensated through the City of Chicago and subject to the benefits offered to City employees, although they are employees of the Board and not the City. Although an employee of the Board, the Executive Director is compensated through Cook County and receives employee compensation and benefits in line with County policies. By statute, the Executive Director must take an oath of office before the Cook County Circuit Court. Application: For the complete job listing and to apply, click here.
Grants Specialist, U.S. Election Assistance Commission— The Grants Specialist will assist the Grants Director to manage and administer the grants program for the EAC pursuant to 5 USC §3109 (See 42 USC §15324(b)) and §204 (6)(c) of HAVA. The incumbent provides expert advice to EAC leadership regarding grants management; provides advice and guidance to States and U.S. territories regarding the use of funds provided by EAC to ensure State/U.S. territory compliance with HAVA, Appropriations Law and Office of Management and Budget (OMB) circulars; conducts pre- and post-audits to review how funds have been spent; and makes recommendations to the Executive Director for audit resolutions. Salary: $69,581 to $128,920 per year. Deadline: June 17, 2020. Application: For the complete job listing and to apply, click here.
Project Manager, Hart InterCivic— Project Managers at Hart InterCivic are highly motivated “self-starters” who are enthusiastic about providing exceptional customer service. Working with other members of the Professional Services and Operations teams, the Project Manager directs activity, solves problems, and develops lasting and strong relationships with our customers. Hart InterCivic’s unique and industry known culture of innovation, transparency, and customer-centric focus creates an environment where team members will continually grow and be challenged to develop their careers. Application: For the complete job listing and to apply, click here.
Proposals Manager, Hart InterCivic— The Proposals Program Manager will be responsible for leading and coordinating cross-functional teams for the successful development of proposals and management of the proposal lifecycle. This includes requests for proposals, requests for information, support for post-proposal contract questions, and other related activities. The Proposals Program Manager will work closely with key stakeholders and input providers across each peer group including Sales, Product Management, Finance, Operations and Engineering. This position reports to the Director of Certification and Proposals. Application:For the complete job listing and to apply, click here.
Quality Assurance Engineer, Democracy Works—You will be our first QA-specific hire, meaning that we are looking for someone who can help us build our approach to QA from the ground up with an eye toward providing guidance to our engineers in their work and potentially building out additional QA capacity over time. As a part of the team you will: Stand up end-to-end testing on our large/complex microservices setup; Structure our approach to QA from the ground up and potentially build a team of QA engineers over time; Write automated testing for our user-facings tools; Integrate into our dev process to confirm the quality of the code our developers are producing; Do some amount of manual testing as needed; Regularly collaborate with other members of the voter engagement team. Salary: $105K-$125K. Deadline: Target start date April 27. Application: For the complete job listing and to apply, click here.
Senior Cyber Program Manager, U.S. Election Assistance Commission— As the Senior Cyber Program Manager, the incumbent provides policy, leadership and direction, and serves as a key contributor to the EAC’s strategy regarding the Election Technology Program. The incumbent furthers the EAC’s efforts in various arenas; works to improve federal, state and local relations with regard to elections; and provides strategic guidance to senior staff on various issues pertaining to elections and specifically, election security. Salary: $96,970 to $148,967. Deadline: April 27. Application: For the complete job listing and to apply, click here.
Site Reliability Engineer, Democracy Works— As our first Site Reliability Engineer, you will guide the direction of the infrastructure engineering discipline at Democracy Works; exemplifying reliable, measurable, secure and repeatable practices that will act as a “force multiplier” across our products. You will: Maintain our infrastructure using Terraform and Kubernetes. Design, build, maintain, and plan for growth of infrastructure at Democracy Works. Create and maintain monitoring and alerting for services. Create and maintain documentation for the systems and tools that you work with. Automate “toil” – discover repetitive manual actions, document those actions, and automate them if possible. Improve existing automation to mitigate risk introduced through the natural process of software change. Join an on-call rotation for services you are responsible for. Review existing code and architecture for security and reliability. Work closely with developers and product teams regarding security and reliability implications of software and infrastructure changes. Aid developers in debugging production issues across services in a distributed system. Assist with interview processes for other available roles at Democracy Works. Work with product teams to balance and prioritize your work according to external deadlines and organizational goals. Salary: $105,000 – $125,000. Application: For the complete job listing and to apply, click here.
Software Sales Specialist, VOTEC— VOTEC’s Sales Specialist is responsible for creating news sales with prospects and existing clients in targeted areas in the US. We are looking for an election professional comfortable using insight and consultative selling techniques to create interest that offers unique solutions on their operations, which link back to VOTEC’s solutions. Application: For the complete job listing and to apply, click here.
Voter Services Manager, Montgomery County, Md.— This is a senior management position at the Board of Elections, responsible for overseeing the largest section within the department. This position coordinates the work of subordinate managers who are responsible for providing a variety of different services to voters, including voter registration and absentee voting. This position is responsible for ensuring compliance with county, state and federal laws and regulations, conducting monthly audits required by the State of Maryland, and ensuring overall customer service quality and efficiency. Salary: $60,285-$99,852. Deadline: March 3. Application: For the complete job listing and to apply, click here and search under “General Preferences”.
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