In Focus This Week
Joe’s Top-10 Election Security List
By Joseph Lorenzo Hall
I’ve been working with election technology for 17 years — first as a young student and academic and most recently as part of civil society. Despite that, I suspect this puts me somewhere in the middle of the experience range for most electionline readers!
Still, as I find myself moving on to other more challenging pastures in my own career, I can’t help but look back at how far the elections community has come over these years. At the same time, it seems like our work will never truly be complete.
As an expert in privacy and security, I wanted to take the time to try and jot down a quick list of pieces of advice… although of course that list might be tailored a bit differently depending on where you sit. In the interest of bridging communities, I’ll offer five pieces of advice to election officials and another five to security experts.
For election officials:
- Build community: We are all in this together and for the most part have the exact same goals: making sure eligible voters can cast votes as intended and have those ballots counted as cast. We have never faced the threats — or opportunities, frankly — that we face today, and I spend a good deal of time explaining to people why one thing or another is not happening and which element of the elections community is frustrating that progress. The only thing that will be constant in the new election administration is change, and everyone is going to need to do things that may make them uncomfortable, including trying to appease, entertain, and tolerate even the most litigious or aggressive voices throughout the community. Try to give everyone a fresh take and don’t let grudges or spats from years past cloud the current set of complex tasks at hand. And don’t refer students tinkering with your stuff to the FBI.
- Train: We’ve never been in a place like where we are now: so much of the stability and integrity of the election process relies on staff having expertise built into them and reinforced constantly. CDT and our partners CTCL have created a self-paced cybersecurity training for election officials, and this is essentially the minimum election staff will increasingly need to be familiar with in order to ensure they are a capability and not a liability. There are an increasing number of groups that can help create training materials or other kinds of educational tools around emerging concepts such as cybersecurity, risk-limiting auditing, moving (or not!) to the cloud, etc.
- Cultivate your inner geek: I tell people that my job in life is to “create a tiny technologist within you… each of you… no matter how tiny!” By this, I’m trying to tell people that to the extent they cultivate and encourage their own technical-geek tendencies, they will be better off in work and life… and this is especially true for people working on the front lines of critical infrastructure like elections. For example, do you know how to securely send a file from one person to another without anyone in between being able to intercept it or observe it? Check out https://send.firefox.com, which you can use for everything from W-9s, I-9s, etc. and the encryption protecting those files takes place in the browser itself, so no one ever has the opportunity to eavesdrop, modify, or learn what you are sharing. And that’s just one example of a killer tool… if you keep your ear to the ground and make some geeky friends, there are oodles of little tricks and tools you can use to make your life and job easier. (And when you have enough of these tricks, people may start calling you a “hacker” and that’s a good thing.)
- Put two-factor on errythang: I cannot stress enough that you should all be using two-factor authentication on absolutely everything you can, on your work accounts but also on your personal accounts. As we explain in this one-pager, two-factor is having to enter something in addition to your password to login to a service; for example, your bank may send a text message with a six-digit code when you’re trying to login from a new device or an exotic location. This is crucial as stealing an account without two-factor protections is a key step in remote attacks that might originate from malicious attackers in other countries, a key threat we clearly face in the United States. But I would also encourage you to turn it on by default across your election office and force all of your staff to use it, most importantly senior staff and leadership. If the equivalent of an Elections Director or CEO cannot be bothered to protect voter data and elections processes, your office is as good as doomed as the most important person there is unprotected.
- Think as medium- and long- term as you can: So often we plan for the immediate short term, but as you may have seen, changes to equipment and processes — for example, single-ballot comparison risk-limiting audits! — often bleed over into the medium and long term. You may not be able to get to your ideal state of running elections tomorrow or even next year, but if you don’t plan to orient and make progress — measurable progress — towards the ideal state, you will literally never get there.
For security experts:
- Build community: Security experts don’t face the constraints that many other people in the elections community face — they aren’t answerable to the public, they don’t have precarious vendor relationships, and they don’t sit in the middle of a complex set of government hierarchies. This freedom is exactly why many of us are attracted to the work, but it can also mean at certain crucial times we are seen as loose cannons, with no real insight into the constraints that affect election officials and others. I would encourage you to make one election official friend every two months until the 2020 election… that’s at least 6 new friends, but it’s also six people that can give you feedback about your work, your tone, the degree of receptivity you enjoy, and many other things (like Tammy’s love of Bluegrass!). It’s time to build relationships, not complicate them or break them.
- Disclose privately, first: I think we’ve seen an arc in terms of disclosures from security experts about process, privacy, and security vulnerabilities; in the early 2000s it was disclose publicly, talk to the press. Recently, I’ve seen disclosures happen over longer periods of time and privately and I think that’s on balance the right thing to do, given the constraints that I mention above. Of course, there is always a role for public disclosure, but I would urge you to make that the last resort, and, when you do, make sure a reporter who understands elections is behind you! I have also seen recent private disclosures that have resulted in good mitigations at what I would consider lighting speed. That is a good sign that the community is maturing — election officials, their coordinating organizations like MS/EI-ISAC, and manufacturers — and better able to handle things privately when vulnerabilities or flaws are live. There will always be time for follow-up and always time for more newsworthy items in the future, but you never know who has an election right around the corner, and we want to help defenders moreso than attackers.
- Work with election officials: We often tell people interested in helping out in elections that the greatest thing they can do is be a poll worker. That is true, but for those of us with significant technical expertise, we can go further: we can be technical poll workers. Election officials need help not just in traditional poll worker duties, but as our voting machinery becomes increasingly computerized and networked officials are going to need volunteers that can help troubleshoot technology failures. And we have to create frameworks that allow for this without also “letting the fox in the henhouse”, so to speak. We at CDT have taken a shot at this with a set of toolkits for technical folks and election officials that would like to attract those people, and the last DEF CON Voting Village held an off-the-record session to see how hackers can actually step up and defend on the front lines. Let’s build this capacity, together.
- Build things to the greatest extent you can: So often technical election security work is about breaking things, be it machinery, software, schemes, or processes. However, no where is it more important to make sure that as we break things we attempt to build things too. I’m heartened by the efforts of LA County with the VSAP system, VotingWorks with its system and their Arlo risk-limiting auditing software, and Microsoft’s efforts to actually bring cryptographic end-to-end election methods out of the pages of theory and into the real world. We are going to need secure accessible verification for printed ballots with QR codes, more flexible methods of composing risk-limiting audits across jurisdictions with varying technology and law, and e-pollbooks that we don’t glance at and shudder at the potential for insecurity.
- The internet is here: None of you are going to like this, but we have to recognize that the internet is here and people are going to cast voted ballots over it. I know that makes me scream inside; if only people knew what we know about the stuff that makes up our devices, networks, and servers (it’s all effectively rubber bands and paperclips)… and how the heck are we supposed to do risk-limiting audits of elections without a software-independent record of the voter’s intent? Yes, people are going to cast ballots over the internet, but instead of saying “never!” we need to say, “Only when absolutely necessary, when there are no alternatives to return a physical ballot, and with the full understanding of the voter that they may be submitting garbage.” We need to work to minimize internet voting until we have the necessary breakthroughs that can help fix the sorry state of our digital technologies… but those breakthroughs are going to take decades and it’s hard to imagine being able to hold the “no internet voting” line for decades. We have to choose our absolutes carefully and minimize other badness.
So long and thanks for all the votes!
(Editor’s Note: A very heartfelt thank you to Joe for all of his support of electionline and for helping us understand the tech and security world better. We’re gonna miss you Joe!)
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2019 Election Updates
Alabama: Birmingham officials have retrieved the memory cards containing results from the three boxes that were missing Tuesday night. Presiding Jefferson County Circuit Judge Joseph Boohaker signed an order allowing the boxes to be opened Wednesday afternoon. According to The Advance, the ballots weren’t missing as much as they were misplaced. “During tabulation of votes from the 69 polling places it was determined certain election records (memory cards) were erroneously placed in the sealed Records of Elections Boxes and/or the Provisional Ballot Boxes at the close of the polls in three locations,” Director of Communication Rick Journey said.
New Mexico: Early voting got underway this week in the city of Las Cruces and voters are using ranked choice voting for the first time. So far the reviews have been mixed. “It’s not necessary. I’m going to vote for who I’m going to vote for, and some of the other people, I don’t even know them anyway,” Robert Treviño KFOX14. On the other hand, “I think it’s wonderful that you’ve got a second or a third choice,” Violet Cauthon told the station. Dona Ana County Clerk Amanda López Askin anticipate Las Cruces will save about $80,000 to $100,000 by not having to conduct a runoff election. “We rank things every single day. Let’s say you’re wearing a blue dress. Well you maybe had a black dress but it hadn’t been dry-cleaned yet, so the blue dress was acceptable to you,” said López Askin.
New York: With early voting set to debut in New York this fall, the roll out in New York City seems to be moving slowly. Last week it was report that it’s unclear if the city has purchased the necessary electronic poll books to conduct early voting and this week, school principals are expressing concerns that they are only now being told that their schools will be used to for 11 days of early voting, beginning Oct. 26. “As a citizen of New York City, I didn’t even know there was such a thing as early voting—which I’m excited about,” Kiri Soares told Gothamist. “As a principal, it poses a lot of logistical problems that I gotta go figure out right now.” The Department of Education said it notified schools about being early voting sites in the same manner as it does if they will be used for Election Day polling places, about three weeks in advance. Thirty-three school sites will be used for early voting. “I can’t not have kids [in the gym] for a week in October. That’s crazy,” Soares told Gothamist / WNYC.
Election News This Week
Earlier this season, the Montgomery County, Maryland Board of Elections voted not to add a 12th early voting site in White Oak. After public outcry and a state legislator threatening emergency legislation, the Maryland State Board of Elections has voted to direct the county bring in additional information about opening a 12th site. The MoCo BOE, which had cited costs as the reason for not adding the 12th site will have until October 24 to provide the information to the SBOE which will vote on the issue at its regularly scheduled October 31 meeting. Montgomery County Councilmember Tom Hucker noted that 35 percent of the residents of White Oak, many of whom are low-income, African-American and immigrants — don’t have access to a car and the closest early vote center is a 41-minute bus ride.
Iowa Secretary of State Paul Pate announced a new 14-member, bipartisan Auditors’ Working Group to assist in the administration of elections and sharing of best practices. The 14 members represent a broad spectrum of Iowa counties, spanning urban and rural areas across the state. “Administering elections across the state requires a team effort, and these 14 auditors are very important members of the team,” Pate said. “They have shown the ability to work together in a bipartisan way to strengthen Iowa’s elections. Together, we will share ideas, concerns and best practices, and ensure we are doing everything possible to protect the integrity and sanctity of the vote.
Election Office News: Election and Voter Services in Minneapolis, Minnesota is now all under one roof. Previously the office had been spread out over several locations, but late last week, the Mayor, city council members and Secretary of State Steve Simon were on hand for the official opening. The building on Hennepin Avenue will serve Minneapolis residents as an early-voting location and will be a year-round office for election officials. The location will also be a place to train election judges, test equipment, and count absentee ballots.
Congratulations to three employees of the Union County, North Carolina board of elections for their recent professional achievements. Kristin Jacumin, director of elections for Union County, recently earned the designation of Certified Elections/Registration Administrator (CERA) and Juanita Donjuan Reyes and Phillip Hinson recently completed requirements to receive certification as a Certified Elections Administrator.
And a very hearty congratulations to Kim Alexander and the California Voter Foundation which are celebrating 25 years since the organization relaunched in 1994!
Personnel News: Shavena Martin will be the new Amherst, Massachusetts town clerk. Donna Buckley has resigned as the Alfred, Maine clerk. Pat Nace is retiring as the Snyder County, Pennsylvania board of elections director after 14 years on the job. Cheri Whipkey is the new Carroll County, Ohio board of elections director. Marion County, Florida Supervisor of Elections Wesley Wilcox has announced that he will seek a third term. Phil Johnson has been appointed Newtown County, Georgia board of elections chairman. Yinka Faleti, an Army veteran and former St. Louis prosecutor, has filed to run for Missouri secretary of state. Carteret County, North Carolina Board of Elections Interim Deputy Director Shawne Southard and Chairman Rick Heal both turned in resignations last week. Christi Jacobsen, chief of staff for the Montana secretary of state’s office has a officially field to run for the job in 2020. Sumner County, Tennessee Election Administrator Lori Atchley has withdrawn her resignation. Emily C. DeVane has been appointed director of elections in Sampson County, North Carolina. Congratulations to Douglas County, Nevada Chief Elections Assistant Clerk Dena Dawson for receiving her CERA. Tonya Nichols has resigned as the Towns County, Georgia elections director.
Research and Report Summaries
The U.S. Senate Select Committee on Intelligence released a report on its investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 elections this week. The partially redacted report, Russian Active Measures Campaigns and Interference in the 2016 U.S. Election Volume 2: Russia’s Use of Social Media with Additional Views, documents the committee’s findings on Russian activities and intentions, and the U.S. response, as well as makes recommendations for the tech industry, Congress, and the executive branch. As part of Russia’s “broader, sophisticated, and ongoing information warfare campaign designed to sow discord in American politics and society,” the report identifies voter suppression as an apparent goal of its influence operations targeting the 2016 elections.
The Heritage Foundation released a report on mail ballot return this week. The report, Vote Harvesting: A Recipe for Intimidation, Coercion, and Election Fraud, finds that 27 states and the District of Columbia permit someone other than the voter or a family member to return mail ballots on behalf of voters, what it terms “vote harvesting” or “ballot harvesting,” and argues against this practice. The report also discusses recent examples of illegal mail ballot return activity in North Carolina and Texas.
(Research and Report Summaries are written by David Kuennen.)
California: This week, Gov. Gavin Newsom signed several pieces of elections-related legislation into law. The new laws include:
SB 72 by Sen. Thomas Umberg (D-Santa Ana) requires conditional voter registration and provisional voting to be available at all county elections satellite offices and polling places.
AB 49 by Assemblymember Sabrina Cervantes (D-Riverside) ensures people have more time with their ballots by requiring county elections officials to begin mailing vote by mail ballots no later than 29 days before Election Day and complete the mailings within five days.
SB 523 by Sen. Mike McGuire (D-Healdsburg) aligns the timeline for notices and the submission of an unsigned vote by mail ballot envelope with the deadlines established for mismatching signatures to give voters more flexibility to correct their signatures.
AB 1707 by Assemblymember Marc Berman (D-Palo Alto) allows voters to use an electronic device at a polling place. The bill will allow voters to access information on their phone, tablet or other handheld device while voting.
AB 59 by Assemblymember Ash Kalra (D-San Jose) requires county elections officials to consider placing a vote center on a university or college campus and allows public college and university buildings to be used as polling places or vote centers.
AB 963 by Assemblymember Cottie Petrie-Norris (D-Laguna Beach) establishes the Student Civic and Voter Empowerment Act to be administered by the Secretary of State, which requires each campus of the California Community Colleges (CCCs) and the California State University (CSU), to provide students with civic and election dates and information, and designate one person per campus as a Civic and Voter Empowerment Coordinator.
District of Columbia: Councilmember David Grosso introduced several pieces of election-related legislation this week including the Ranked Choice Voting Amendment Act of 2019 that would implement ranked choice voting in all city elections, the Local Residents Voting Rights Amendment Act of 2019 that would allow permanent residents who are on the path to U.S. citizenship, the right to vote in local elections.
Vermont: By a 10-2 vote, the Burlington city council has approved a resolution that seeks to allow noncitizens to vote in city elections. The proposal now heads to the Charter Change Committee which could add an amendment to the city’s charter, but it would need ultimate approval from the Legislature.
Arizona: Richard John Greenfield, 80, pleaded guilty to one count of attempted illegal voting and was sentenced to two years of probation after admitting that he voted twice in 2016.
Florida: At the end of a two-day hear on the implementation of Amendment 4, U.S. District Judge Robert Hinkle called the process “an administrative nightmare,” and urged the Florida Legislature to revamp a state law aimed at carrying out a constitutional amendment that restores voting rights to felons who have completed their sentences.
Missouri: The state Supreme Court is weighing a portion of the state’s photo ID law that requires those without a photo ID to sign a sworn statement. Senior Cole Co. Circuit Court Judge Richard Callahan struck down that provision in 2018 saying that the affidavit was misleading because it implied proper photo ID is necessary to vote, despite the fact that the law had allowed voters without ID who signed the affidavit to cast ballots.
New York: William Mann, 61, of Cutchogue and Gregory Dickerson, 55, of Mattituck, both former Republican board of elections employees in Suffolk County had felony forgery charges against them dropped to disorderly conduct. According to The Suffolk Times, the charges stemmed from a scheme in which Green Party members claimed that Republicans had “hijacked” the Green Party line on the Nov. 2018 ballot for three countywide judge positions. The members claimed that they were told the petition carriers were helping Green Party judicial candidates on the ballot, even though the Green Party didn’t have any such candidates.
Also in New York, Ted Hamm, chair of the Journalism and New Media Studies Program at St. Joseph’s College, filed a request in Queens Supreme Court to obtain a court order that would unlock 353 affidavit ballots, with voter information redacted, that the BOE never counted in the 2019 Democratic primary for Queens district attorney.
Ohio: Almost a year after the November 2018 general election, Marion County Common Pleas Court Judge William Finnegan ordered the Marion County BOE to conduct a hand recount of 16 precincts in the county prosecutor’s race.
Pennsylvania: The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Pennsylvania announced a settlement with York County over polling place accessibility. Officials from the U.S. Attorney’s Office and the Department of Justice found “barriers to access” at several polling places they surveyed during the primary in 2018. Under the settlement agreement, the county will evaluate each current and prospective polling place to make sure it meets ADA standards. Any inaccessible polling places must be relocated or retrofitted with temporary measures on Election Day, such as portable ramps, signs or doorbells.
Tennessee: A judge issued a temporary restraining order against the Shelby County Election Commission that allows campaign workers to use restrooms in polling places. Campaign workers will be permitted to use the restrooms as long as they have no campaign material with them and aren’t wearing anything campaign-related.
Also in Shelby County, a group of voters is appealing a judge’s dismissal of a lawsuit challenging the security of voting machines in Tennessee’s largest county and calling for a switch to a handwritten ballot and a voter-verifiable paper trail.
Tennessee: Officials announced this week that since its launch in 2017, more than one million people have used Tennessee’s online voter registration portal to register or update their voter information. During National Voter Registration Month alone nearly 44,000 Tennesseans used the system.
West Virginia: Sources have told CNN that the attempted hacking of West Virginia’s mobile voting app pilot in 2018 may have been a student’s attempt to research security vulnerabilities. The sources told CNN that the FBI is investigating a person or people who tried to hack the app as a part of a University of Michigan election security course. Michigan is one of the main academic hubs of election security research in the country, housing the trailblazing Michigan Election Security Commission.
Opinions This Week
Arizona: Campus polling places
Colorado: Eagle County
Connecticut: Absentee ballots
District of Columbia: Felon voting rights
Florida: Two-party system
Iowa: Voter ID
Louisiana: Convenience voting
New York: Early voting
North Carolina: Paper ballots
Tennessee: Election administration
Texas: Harris County
Washington: Young voters
EAC Opens Submission Period in Fourth Annual Clearie Awards
Celebrating Best Practices in Election Administration
The U.S. Election Assistance Commission (EAC) is seeking submissions for its fourth annual national Clearinghouse Awards. Dubbed the “Clearies” for short, the awards provide election offices an opportunity to share their innovative efforts and celebrate successes. The Clearies play an important role in furthering the EAC’s responsibilities under the Help America Vote Act of 2002 (HAVA). Under that Act, the EAC serves as a clearinghouse for election administration information.
The Commission will present awards in the categories of outstanding innovations in elections, improving voting accessibility for voters with disabilities, and recruiting, training and retaining election workers. It will also award a special award in 2019 recognizing the most original and creative “I Voted” sticker submitted for consideration. Entries from all sizes of jurisdictions, both large and small, are encouraged to submit their work. All entries must be received by Monday, November 25, 2019. The 2018 winners of the Clearie awards can be found here.
“The EAC Clearie Awards celebrate the innovative and creative approaches that election officials use each day in their work to serve voters,” said EAC Chairwoman Christy McCormick. “These awards are a testament to their work and dedication and highlight best practices that other election administrators can emulate.”
This year’s entries will be judged using the following criteria:
- Outreach efforts
- Creating positive Results
Election officials utilize innovative and resourceful initiatives on Election Day. We want to hear about these outstanding best practices in EAC’s 2019 competition. By incorporating Election Day into the submission deadline, we are able to capture activities implemented throughout the 2018 and 2019 elections.
All submissions should be sent to the EAC via an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Nominators should use the following subject lines based on entry category: Election Worker Competition, Accessibility Competition, Outstanding Innovations Competition, or Sticker Competition.
All entries must include a summary of the election program nominated. Entrants may attach relevant documents, images and links that can be used to assess the entry. Submissions should also include contact information for the person submitting the program for consideration. Each entry must be submitted in a separate email.
For more information about this year’s competition, please contact Patrick Leahy at email@example.com.
Request for Information
IT-ISAC Elections Industry Special Interest Group Request for Formation
On August 15, 2019, the IT-ISAC Elections Industry Special Interest Group released a paper that detailed the commitment of voting systems manufacturers to the development and implementation of corporate Coordinated Vulnerability Disclosure (CVD) Programs.
The white paper also noted the value of Crowd-Sourced CVD programs and discussed potential challenges in applying such programs to the elections industry and noted that the SIG would create a Request for Information to solicit feedback on how crowd-sourced CVD programs could be implemented in the elections industry.
The IT-ISAC Elections Industry Special Interest Group seeks public input, comments and suggestions on the following challenges:
- How to manage a crowd-sourced CVD program on systems that are designed to be closed, isolated, and disconnected from the Internet including stand-alone embedded systems?
- How to ensure that those engaging in a crowd-sourced CVD program are not nefarious actors seeking sensitive information that can then be used in attacks against the elections’ infrastructure?
- How best to ensure the confidentiality of the researcher findings so that vulnerability announcements are disclosed simultaneously with a fix or mitigation for the vulnerability
Comments and input should please be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org by October 21, 2019
NCSL Redistricting Seminar — It’s almost time to redraw districts—and it’s definitely time to plan for it. When it comes to redistricting, the learning curve is steep. Let the National Conference of State Legislatures help you and your team prepare for this complex, once-a-decade task. Where: Columbus, Ohio. When: October 24-27.
IGO 2020 Mid-Winter Conference — The International Association of Government Officials will hold its 2020 Mid-Winter Conference in Isle of Palms, South Carolina in January of 2020. Check back here for more details as they become available. Where: Isle of Palms, South Carolina. When: Jan. 20-24.
NASED Winter 2020 — 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 Winter 2020 Conference. Where: Washington, DC. When: January 30-February 2.
NASS Winter 2020 — The National Association of Secretaries of State will hold their Winter 2020 conference at the Fairmont Hotel in Washington, D.C.’s West End. Check back here for more information about the Winter 2020 conference when it becomes available. Where: Washington, D.C. When: January 30-February 2.
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 email@example.com. 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.
Assurance Engineer, Free & Fair — Free & Fair (F&F) seeks an experienced assurance engineer—a developer who is thrilled to work on high-assurance open source elections technologies that demonstrate what is possible with modern applied formal methods-based development processes, methodologies, tools, and techniques. Our focus on national critical infrastructure, transparent engineering, and formal assurance makes this opportunity unique. Application: For the complete job listing and to apply, click here.
Data & Analytics Director, Voto Latino — Voto Latino seeks a Data & Analytics Director to build a program to track, support, and optimize our rapidly growing online and offline outreach to young and diverse voters. We know that Latinx voters are poised to be the largest minority voting bloc in 2020, with more than 800,000 Latinx citizens become eligible to vote each year. Voto Latino, building on a track record of organizational successes since 2004, is ready to take on this challenge, with the guidance and support of a great Data & Analytics Director. This position will work across teams — field, political, digital, communications — and act as the central data resource and key strategist for all of Voto Latino’s campaigns and programs. This position will be responsible for building and implementing sophisticated targeting programs nationally for both our growing online and on-the-ground efforts. There will be a strong focus on key states for civic and electoral engagement, working with data vendors, visualizing data and analytics, learning from historic and contemporary data, and managing Voto Latino’s voter outreach data. Application: For the complete job listing and to apply, click here.
Database and Systems Specialist, New Hanover County, North Carolina— The New Hanover County Board of Elections is seeking a Database and Systems Specialist to provide technical support of election specific systems related to voting equipment, elections software, audits, and precinct compliance. This position will work closely with our Information Technology Department to provide systems support to the Elections Department.. The preferred candidate will be skilled in analyzing end user system and program needs; installing and configuring PCs and printers; creating backups of data sources; creating and updating complex Access Databases; generating automated reports; running computer system queries; loading data into computer systems; preparing and conducting training sessions; and updating and maintaining internet sites. Strong customer service skills are important to be successful in this role. Salary: $42,532-$57,418. Deadline: October 16. Application: For the complete job listing and to apply, click here.
Director of Elections, Henderson County, North Carolina— An employee in this class is responsible for planning elections, negotiating and setting up polling places, and training staff and poll workers. Work also includes establishing procedures and methods used in registration; supervising the receiving and processing of voter registrations; filing of candidates for elected office in the County; and providing staff support to the County Board of Elections in coordinating and scheduling meetings, recording minutes, drafting the budget and notifying them of potential voter problems and trends. Independent judgment and initiative, tact and courtesy are required in operating the Elections Office. Work is performed in accordance with the State election laws and policies and procedures established by the State and County Board of Elections. Work is performed under the general supervision of the County Board of Elections and is evaluated through reports, periodic conferences and efficiency of office and elections operations. Salary: $51,558.00 – 96,856.50. Application: For the complete job listing and to apply, click here.
Director of Elections, Northampton County, North Carolina— The Northampton County Board of Elections is accepting applications for a Director in the Elections office to perform administrative and coordinative work in organizing and maintaining voter registrations, County candidates’ filing records, and managing the election process for the County and the Elections Board. Education/Requirements: Graduation from a two-year college with a degree in business or related field and several years of responsible clerical experience dealing with the public, preferable at least a year of experience with the electoral process; or an equivalent combination of education and experience. Must possess a valid North Carolina driver’s license upon hire. Must be willing to work towards certification as a Notary Public and take the N.C. State Board of Elections Treasurer Training within the probationary period (9 months); if classes and/or trainings are available within the allotted time frame. Salary: $35,018 – $61,796. Application: For the complete job listing and to apply, click here.
Director of Elections, Robeson County, North Carolina— Under limited supervision, performs supervisory and administrative work to ensure that the functions of the Board of Elections are carried out properly. Work involves receiving and processing applications for registration; filing for candidates for County and City offices; processing absentee ballots; maintaining voter lists in accordance with State, Federal and County laws, regulations, and policies. Supervises a full and part time staff assigned to the Board of Elections. Employee must exercise independent judgment and initiative in carrying out assignments. Employee must also exercise considerable tact and courtesy in extensive public contact. Reports to County Board of Elections. Deadline: October 29. Salary: $48,103.02 starting salary. Application: For the complete job listing and to apply, click here.
Director of Elections, Surry County, North Carolina — Surry County is accepting applications for a Director of Elections. This individual is responsible for overseeing, directing and administering the Board of Elections Office. This position requires someone who can thrive in a high-stress, high scrutiny environment. The Director of Elections performs complex technical, supervisory and administrative work directing the registration, voting and election activities for Surry County. The Director of Elections is appointed by the Surry County Board of Elections and approved by the State Board. This position exercises supervision over office staff and precinct election officials, interprets laws, regulations, policies, and procedures and makes appropriate decisions accordingly. Must have the ability to exercise tact and courtesy and to work under pressure and adapt to rapidly changing circumstances. Other duties as required and all duties must be performed in a nonpartisan manner. Salary: $50,544 -$86,004. Application: For the complete job listing and to apply, click here.
Director of Policy & Research, New York City Campaign Finance Board — The New York City Campaign Finance Board (CFB), a nonpartisan, independent city agency that enhances the role of New York City residents, seeks a Director of Policy & Research to oversee its intergovernmental outreach and policy and data research work. This position will report to the Deputy Director of Public Affairs. Responsibilities: Directly supervise a team of intergovernmental, policy, and data research staff. Create legislative strategies to advance agency priorities at the city and state level. Oversee outreach to elected officials and their offices to support the agency’s legislative work and government outreach. Oversee policy analysis related to campaign finance and voting in New York City and State. Participate in high-level agency discussions around policy development and spearhead agency legislative recommendations in its regularly published reports. Oversee research projects with internal staff and external researchers, as well as overseeing research content for CFB publications, reports, white papers, and policy briefs. Oversee public opinion research performed on behalf of the agency that informs voter communication and education initiatives. Salary: $90,000-$100,000. Application: For the complete job listing & to apply, click here.
Elections Specialist, Douglas County, Colorado — This position is focused on routine customer service and general office/clerical support including data entry, communications, and processing mail. This is a support role capable of performing a variety of tasks, with problem solving abilities, managing multiple competing responsibilities and prioritizing to maintain a continuous flow of election office operations. This is a visible and crucial position requiring exceptional computer, customer service, and communication skills. This position may require technical work in a lead role capable of performing a variety of complex tasks, with solving problem abilities, managing multiple competing tasks and prioritizing to maintain a continuous flow of operations and temporary support. This position may be classified as an Elections Specialist I or II dependent upon the skills of the candidate and the department’s business needs. Salary: $2,842.00 – $4,017.00 Monthly. Application: For the complete job listing and to apply, click here.
Embedded Systems Engineer, Free & Fair— Free & Fair (F&F) seeks an experienced embedded systems engineer—a developer and engineer who is thrilled to work on a high-assurance open source elections technologies that demonstrate what is possible with modern development processes, methodologies, tools, and techniques. Our focus on national critical infrastructure, transparent engineering, and formal assurance makes this opportunity unique. One component of the BESSPIN Voting System is a custom-built, open source, open hardware platform for demonstrating secure hardware. It includes low- and mid-range FPGAs running softcore RISC-V CPUs, simple I/O devices, and an RTOS. This platform is called CASCADES (Configurable, Affordable System-on-Chip for Analysis and Demonstration of Election Security) and is a CrowdSupply project. A prototype for CASCADES is the Smart Ballot Box that we brought to DEF CON 2019. We call this role an embedded systems engineer, since much of the development that we do spans hardware, firmware, and software design and development. Moreover, we use a mixture of low-level and high-level languages, COTS and novel (FPGA-based) development platforms, and traditional and novel operating systems. We hope that potential applicants do not put themselves in an unnecessarily small box. Application: For the complete job listing and to apply, click here.
Global Election Technology and Cybersecurity Advisor, IFES — IFES seeks a Global Election Technology and Cybersecurity Advisor to counter evolving threats to democratic processes stemming from changes in election technology and cyber vulnerabilities. This individual will work closely with frontline defenders and elections experts around the world to help democratic institutions flourish in the face of rising anti-democratic trends. IFES’ Election Technology and Cybersecurity Advisor understands the unique and varying dimensions of cybersecurity in the elections context, and has demonstrated expertise and innovation in analyzing threats and proposing and implementing solutions to mitigate or manage those threats. He or she is an expert in election technologies and cybersecurity. As such, he or she understands the institutions and processes involved in elections, has demonstrated an ability to partner closely with relevant actors globally, and is oriented toward countering current challenges as well as anticipating future threats. At the same time, he or she understands the critical importance of transparency and verifiability in the elections context and how to advance these principles without compromising security. He or she understands the cross-cutting nature of election technology and model’s collaboration with electoral advisors in other technical fields such as legal/regulatory reform, inclusive political processes, and strategic communications. He or she maintains strategic relationships with a range of actors, such as governments, donors, EMBs, judiciaries, INGOs, foundations, technology vendors and other technology actors. He or she is actively tracking next generation challenges such as machine learning, artificial intelligence, and quantum computing – and the challenges they might pose for the electoral process. The Global Election Technology and Cybersecurity Advisor will report to the Senior Director (Applied Research, Learning and Strategy) in the Center for Applied Research and Learning. Application: For the complete job listing and to apply, click here.
Global New Media and Disinformation Advisor, IFES — IFES’ New Media and Disinformation Advisor is an expert in new media and the challenges stemming from disinformation in political and electoral contexts. As such, he or she has a deep understanding of how new media is being used in the context of elections around the world, with a commitment to confronting existing challenges as well as anticipating tomorrow’s threats. This individual is well-versed in the dynamics of major social media platforms, understands challenges and developments in the regulation of these platforms, and closely follows the emergence of the next generation of challenges in this space. He or she is also versed in the technological shifts underpinning this issue set, including data-mining and privacy, artificial intelligence, deep fakes and quantum computing that will enable a forward-looking perspective on emerging threats to electoral processes stemming from technological changes. He or she understands the cross-cutting nature of new media challenges and models collaboration with regional experts and electoral advisors in other technical fields such a legal/regulatory reform, cybersecurity, inclusion, and public outreach. He or she maintains strategic relationships with a range of actors working or thinking in this space, such as governments, technology and new media companies, donors, election administrators, judiciaries, INGOs, academics and foundations. The Global New Media and Disinformation Advisor will report to the Senior Director (Applied Research, Learning and Strategy) in the Center for Applied Research and Learning. Application: For the complete job listing and to apply, click here.
Program Director, National Voter Registration Day — We are seeking a Program Director to organize and rally key national partners around one of the most prominent and important civic holidays in the nation – National Voter Registration Day – held on the fourth Tuesday of every September. In 2020, we aim to break past years’ records and register over one million voters with the help of over 50 major national partners and 4,500 field partners. To do this we require a creative and entrepreneurial Program Director with sincere people skills and a passion for civic engagement and democracy. Salary: $68,000 and $76,000. 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.
Product Manager, Hart InterCivic — as Product Manager, you will join a team that is charged with product planning, design, and execution throughout the lifecycle of Hart’s products, in support of the company’s overall strategy and goals. This includes: gathering, validating, and prioritizing internal and external customer needs; documenting and communicating product and technical requirements; gathering market and competitive intelligence; supporting the certification, sales, and marketing teams. The Product Manager must possess a unique blend of business and technical savvy – with experience in elections technology or other government-oriented products preferred. To succeed in this role, the ideal candidate must spend time in the market to understand its unique attributes; demonstrate competence with specialized hardware and software; and find innovative solutions for the broader market. The Product Manager plays a key role in helping others to understand the product positioning, key benefits, and target customer, as well as providing advanced subject matter expertise in using the company’s products. Application: For the complete job listing and to apply, click here.
Rigorous Systems/Software Engineer, Free & Fair — Free & Fair (F&F) seeks several experienced systems/software engineers—developers who are thrilled to work on high-assurance open source elections technologies that demonstrate what is possible with modern development processes, methodologies, tools, and techniques. Our focus on national critical infrastructure, transparent engineering, and formal assurance makes this opportunity unique. We call this role either/both system engineers or software engineers, since much of the development that we do spans hardware, firmware, and software design and development. Moreover, we use a mixture of low-level and high-level languages, COTS and novel (FPGA-based) development platforms, and traditional and novel operating systems. We hope that potential applicants do not put themselves in an unnecessarily small box. 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.
State Election Director, North Dakota Secretary of State — A primary purpose of this position is to ensure the elections administered across the state are executed in compliance with laws and rules, and in a manner that is responsive to the public’s needs. In addition to directing the staff and operations of the Elections Unit, this position is responsible for supervision and oversight of the staff and activities of the Information Management and Public Information units. Direct and supervise staff of assigned units. Oversee the staff hiring, performance and evaluation processes within the assigned units. Evaluate and increase the performance and efficiency of the assigned units. Provide support and oversight to the state’s local election officials cooperatively and individually in their administration of elections to ensure that the standards of the Secretary of State and law are met. Oversee the development of conferences, trainings, and educational materials for election officials as required by both statute and the direction of the Secretary of State. Provide oversight of projects and initiatives within the assigned units. Develop, implement, evaluate, and revise policies, procedures, processes, workflows, and electronic systems to administer statutory requirements and maintain public accessibility related to the assigned units. Ensure that responsibilities of the units are executed in compliance with state laws, rules, policies, and procedures in a manner responsive to the public and the needs of the office. Perform activities related to the legislative process including drafting bills, testimony, and fiscal notes; tracking bills; attending legislative hearings; and testifying at legislative hearings. Participate as a member of the office’s leadership team. Salary: $5,500 – $6,400/month + benefits including fully paid family health insurance. Deadline: November 4. Application: For the complete job listing and to apply, click here.
Training Associate, Center for Technology and Civic Life — When you think about elections, you might think about popular candidates, “I voted” stickers, and all sorts of paperwork and deadlines. But behind the scenes are thousands of election officials in state and local governments who are working hard to make sure ballots are counted and voices are heard. To serve every community and make democracy work, these officials need 21st-century tools and training. And you can help them get it! As the CTCL Government Services Training Associate, you will develop and deliver training courses that advance the tech and communication skills of election officials. If you care about democracy, if you believe in the importance of public service, and if you love to exceed expectations, this is the job for you. Responsibilities: Curriculum development – Create course participant guides, slide presentations, and evaluations that address the professional development needs of election officials; Training – Deliver training — both synchronously and asynchronously — in a way that is engaging, informative, and advances the adoption of best practices; Research and evaluation – Identify training needs of election officials through industry research like reports and case studies, and assess effectiveness of courses through participant surveys before and after training. Salary: $45,000 – $50,000 per year. Deadline: Oct. 31. Application: For the complete job listing and to apply, click here.
UI/UX Engineer, Free & Fair — Free & Fair (F&F) seeks an experienced UI/UX engineer—someone who practices user-centric design, finds usable security a fascinating area of R&D, someone who appreciates usable and accessible technologies, and a developer and engineer who is thrilled to work on high-assurance open source elections technologies that demonstrate what is possible with modern development processes, methodologies, tools, and techniques. Our focus on national critical infrastructure, transparent engineering, and formal assurance makes this opportunity unique. Application: For the complete job listing and to apply, click here.
VP of Engineering, Free & Fair— Free & Fair (F&F) seeks an experienced systems engineering development leader—an executive who can step in and build a dynamic, distributed engineering team, deliver solutions to the market, and execute challenging development activities focused on national critical infrastructure. The VP of Engineering at F&F will be responsible for executing on the Company’s overall technology vision and driving its development execution. This person will recruit world-class talent, manage and evolve development processes and methodologies, and foster an organizational structure to help our high-performing development team deliver applications to the market. This person will keep abreast of and influence research and technology trends, standards, and stakeholders. This person will have the ability to bridge technology with business acumen, will bring experience in developing state-of-the-art customer-facing applications, and will develop and sustain a culture of passion, hard work, and innovation. Application: For the complete job listing and to apply, click here.
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