electionline Weekly

March 21, 2019

March 21, 2019

In Focus This Week

What’s your brand?
Basic brand identities and experiences are important for elections offices

By M. Mindy Moretti
electionline.org

The interlocking red and gold circles of MasterCard. Nike’s swoosh. McDonald’s golden arches.

Those are easily identifiable brands, but what about for state and local elections offices? Is your brand identifiable to voters in your jurisdiction? When a letter from your elections office arrives in the mail is it immediately identifiable to a voter as coming from the elections office?

Branding, which includes everything from a logo to fonts to certain color schemes to tone of voice can be as important for government agencies as it is for commercial businesses.

“Through consistency, you build familiarity and trust with what you offer,” explained Drew Davies, owner/designer at Oxide Design Co. which has worked with folks like the U.S. Election Assistance Commission and The Pew Charitable Trusts. “While an elections office doesn’t have ‘competitors’ in the same way that a toy store may, you certainly want the general population to be able to immediately recognize you — and even have positive associations with your office.”

Davies said it’s important to have a set of basic brand identity guidelines, a brand guide, that contains all approved versions of the logo, simple instructions on how the logo should and should not be used, one or two specified brand typeface(s), and up to three specified brand colors. If there are other brand elements in place that should be used consistently, they should also be included —  a vision/mission statement, a tagline, even layout templates for recurring print pieces and/or digital marketing.

“This brand guide builds valuable consistency by keeping everyone playing by the same set of rules,” Davies said. “It doesn’t have to be ‘professionally designed’ or particularly long. It just has to list the brand identity elements and explain the rules clearly and simply.”

Davies said elections offices don’t necessarily need to hire branding firms to come up with logos and a complete brand. He said the simplest way to proceed is to create a simple logotype of the agency’s name. Think companies Sony, Progressive and The New York Times.

For a quick way to make a logotype recognizable, think about meaningful line breaks or visual emphasis on the key words in the name. Then, instead of re-typing the name in any given circumstance, always use the official logotype file. This type of logo, along with a clear and concise brand guide, can be created by anyone in an elections office — even if they don’t have any formal design training.

Davies said he regularly counsels clients that a bad logo, used consistently, is infinitely more valuable than even the best logo used inconsistently.

“Especially as a government agency, your job isn’t to differentiate yourself from competitors. It’s to consistently use a brand identity that conveys stability, trustworthiness, clarity, and simplicity,” Davies said. “People should be able to recognize you immediately, and trust that communications from you come from an official source.”

Consistent use of fonts and colors is also important for branding. Fonts matter, not just on ballots, but in all elections materials.

“In our research, for most of the materials produced by an elections office — forms, ballots, and the like — people read sans serif typefaces more easily and accurately,” Davies said.

“Sans serif” typefaces are the ones without the extra little bumps, or feet, on them; commonly used examples are Helvetica, Arial, and Roboto.

“We suggest selecting a single sans serif typeface and using only that font whenever possible. Using a single typeface throughout all of your materials will help to underscore the consistency and trustworthiness of your office,” he added.

Having unique or memorable colors isn’t particularly important for government agencies such as elections offices, Davies said, but it is notably more valuable to establish a color or two that convey trustworthiness and ease of use, and use them with draconian consistency.

“As I see it, there’s no reason those colors couldn’t be red and blue — after all, what’s more American than elections?” Davies added.

In addition to consistent use of logo, fonts and colors, it is also important to have a consistent voice.

“When an election office develops content for a website, or messaging for social media, or develops a paper notice, the writer is making word choices that convey the personality of the office,” explained Dana Chisnell, co-director of the Center for Civic Design [a Democracy Fund grantee] “Is it official or officious? Is it friendly or causal? What does the voice and tone assume about the reader?”

Chisnell said every office should develop a style guide. A simple one would answer the question, “If this text were being said by a person, what would that person be like? What tone would they take?”

“…[I]t’s not only the logo. It’s how you present yourself to the world. Is it a unified personality? Or does everyone do what they want?” Chisnell said.

Brand Identity vs. Brand Experience
Matthew Quint, director, Center on Global Brand Leadership at the Columbia Business School said that while brand identity is important for elections officials brand experience may actually ultimately be more important.

Quint said a strong, consistent logo, font, color scheme are important to convey a county elections office’s brand, but ultimately what it’s like when a voter shows up at their polling place may have a greater impact. Brand identity vs. brand experience.

“What is it like when I show up at my polling to vote. Is it well organized. Is it clear what’s on the ballot. Are the instructions for how to vote clear. Is the room too warm/cold. Are the people friendly?” Quint said.

Quint, who grew up visiting polling places in New York with his mother who was volunteer for the League of Women Voters said that Election Day experience is so important to convey the confidence and trustworthiness that elections officials want to.

Relying on voters and volunteers for help and feedback is crucial to a brand experience Quint said noting that electoral systems are viewed by people as a community event so use that to bolster an elections office brand experience.

“Think about the experience,” Quit said. “Imagine yourself as a voter. What’s it like for you? Get voters and volunteers to provide feedback about what worked and what could be done better.”

(Editor’s Note: This week’s story marks the third piece in our series on the important role that communications play in an elections office. Previously we’ve heard from Alton Dillard of the Denver County Clerk and Recorder’s Office on Communications 101 and from Kurt Sampsel of the Center for Technology and Civic Life on  What makes an effective elections website. In the not-so-distant past we’ve also covered effective uses of social media.)

VVSG Public Comment Period

The U.S. Election Assistance Commission’s (EAC) four sitting Commissioners unanimously voted to publish the proposed Voluntary Voting System Guidelines 2.0 (VVSG) Principles and Guidelines in the Federal Register for a 90 day public comment period, after which comments and feedback on the proposed document will be compiled and presented to the Commissioners for discussion and consideration.

“Today’s unanimous vote demonstrates the Commissioners’ shared commitment to taking this next important step in consideration of the proposed VVSG 2.0 Principles and Guidelines. The EAC looks forward to holding hearings on these Principles and Guidelines soon and we encourage the public to provide their feedback on the proposed guidelines,” said EAC Chairman Thomas Hicks, who joined Vice Chair Christy McCormick, Commissioner Ben Hovland and Commissioner Donald Palmer in supporting the measure.

The proposed VVSG 2.0 Principles and Guidelines will be published in the Federal Register in accordance with sections 222(a)(1) and 222(d) of the Help America Vote Act of 2002. They will appear in the Federal Register for a period of 90 days. Separately, upon the completion of the VVSG 2.0’s accompanying Requirements developed by NIST and the EAC, those accompanying Requirements will also be subject to public review and comment, including distribution to the EAC’s Technical Guidelines Development Committee (TGDC), Standards Board and Board of Advisors. This review and comment period will take place prior to consideration and implementation by the Commission.

VVSG are a set of Principles, Guidelines and Requirements against which voting systems can be tested to determine if the systems meet required standards. Some factors examined under these tests include functionality, accessibility, accuracy, auditability and security capabilities.

The Help America Vote Act of 2002 mandates that EAC develop and maintain these requirements as well as testing and certifying voting systems. On December 13, 2005, the EAC unanimously adopted the 2005 VVSG, which significantly increased security requirements for voting systems and expanded access, including opportunities for individuals with disabilities to vote privately and independently. The 2005 guidelines updated and augmented the 2002 Voting System Standards, as required by HAVA, to address advancements in election practices and computer technologies. These guidelines were again updated by the EAC’s Commissioners on March 31, 2015. These guidelines are voluntary. States may decide to adopt them entirely or in part prior to the effective date.

The structure of the new VVSG reflects modifications proposed by the election community, EAC, NIST and the TGDC, which is comprised of election officials, voting system manufacturers, disability experts, cyber security experts, technology experts, and other key election stakeholders. The new guidelines are a high level set of principles that will be supplemented by accompanying documents that detail specific requirements for how systems can meet the new guidelines and obtain certification. The supplemental documents will also detail assertions for how the accredited test laboratories will validate that a system complies with those requirements.

Last Spring, the EAC convened its advisory boards to review and comment on the adoption of the newest version of the voluntary guidelines, VVSG 2.0. Both Boards recommended that the EAC adopt VVSG 2.0. Today’s unanimous Commissioner vote occurred less than two weeks after a quorum of Commissioners was restored at the EAC.

Election News This Week

This week, Michigan Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson (D) announced the creation of an Election Security Commission that will recommend reforms and strategies to secure Michigan’s elections. The commission includes 18 local and national experts on cybersecurity and election security with some familiar national-level names like former Colorado Secretary of State Wayne Williams, Matt Masterson from CISA, Jennifer Morrell a risk limiting audit consultant and Josh Franklin, formerly of NIST. The commission will be co-chaired by David Becker of the Center for Election Innovation and Research and J. Alex Halderman, a computer science professor at the University of Michigan. “The security of our elections is critical to the security of our democracy,” Benson said. “I am grateful that many of our nation’s top election security experts have joined forces with our local election officials to develop a plan that will ensure Michigan’s elections are secured against all known and emerging threats.” The commission’s first meeting will be held in April and will deliver a set of recommendations to the secretary of state’s office by the end of 2019. The commission is funded through a HAVA 2 grant.

Fallout continues from the botched 2018 elections in Porter County, Indiana. Last week, in a scathing letter, Secretary of State Connie Lawson chastised the county elections officials for allowing personal conflicts to impact the administration of the election. “Even though each was aware of potential problems leading up to the election, personality conflicts, vindictive behavior and personal pride prevented any action from being taken,” Lawson wrote in her letter according to the Northwest Times. “Not only did these individuals put a heavy burden on dedicated employees within county government who were attempting to execute their responsibilities properly, they failed to meet the expectations and needs of Porter County voters.” Lawson’s letter accompanied an audit of the elections office and included 18 recommendations for improving the process moving forward. “I was pleasantly surprised by some of these because we actually are on the same track,” Clerk Jessica Bailey said. This week, Election Board President JJ Stankiewicz was forced to resign after video surfaced of Stankiewicz in a shouting match with Bailey.

Hanover, Massachusetts Town Clerk Catherine Harder-Berneir is taking the unusual step of recusing herself from conducting the upcoming May election because she is on the ballot seeking re-election. Instead, she has enlisted the help of Narice Casper, Marshfield town clerk and Andrew Dowd, Northborough town clerk to serve as temporary clerks on Election Day. “As the elected town clerk of Hanover, I am running for re-election in 2019, and have already qualified for the ballot. Despite the fact that there is an exemption in the law that permits town clerks to perform election-related functions, I understand that I will be a walking campaign sign on Election Day, and that my presence inside the polls on Election Day could be construed by some to be a conflict of interest. Therefore, I will enter the polls briefly during the day only to vote, as any other resident of the town would. Otherwise, I will remain outside the 150-foot no-electioneering line all morning, afternoon, and evening.”

What if you held an election and people showed up to vote, but there was no one for them vote for on the ballot? That was the case this week in the small village of Poland in New York. No one stepped up to run for the village mayor’s position, but the village held the election anyway. Whoever gets the most write-in votes will ultimately win the $2,5000-per year job. “It sounds very rare. Very weird,” said Onondaga County Board of Elections Commissioner Michele Sardo. While it is rare, John Conklin, spokesman for the New York State Board of Elections told Syracuse.com that it has happened before in other villages.

Personnel News: David Triplett and Christina Tvedeten have been appointed interim elections manager and interim elections manager in Ramsey County, Minnesota. Fulton County, Illinois Clerk Jim Nelson is retiring May 31. Chairman James Adcock and Commissioner Betty Gibbs have resigned from the Stewart County, Tennessee election commission. Richard Carter has retired from the Guernsey County, Ohio board of elections after 38 years. Betty Gift, 97, has retired as a poll worker in Wayne County, Ohio after 50 years of volunteering. Brandon John Varin is the new Franklin County, New York Democratic election commissioner. Thomas Mahoney III has been re-appointed as chairman of the Chatham County, Georgia board of elections. Erin McTiernan has been hired as assistant election commissioner in Suffolk County, New York. Montana Senate President Scott Sales (R) has announced his run for secretary of state in 2020.

Research and Report Updates

Nonprofit VOTE and the U.S. Elections Project released a report on turnout in the 2018 midterm elections this week. The report, America Goes to the Polls: Voter Turnout and Election Policy in the 50 States, finds that voter turnout was 50.3 percent in 2018, the highest midterm turnout since 1914 and the largest increase from a previous midterm in U.S. history. The report highlights that every state except Alaska and Louisiana saw an increase in midterm turnout when compared to 2014. Despite the record turnout nationwide, the study finds that the vast differences in turnout was largely driven by election-related policies and explores the turnout variation among states with same-day registration, vote-by-mail, automatic voter registration, early voter registration deadlines, and other policies.

The Kofi Annan Commission on Elections and Democracy in the Digital Age released a report by Nathaniel Persily earlier this month on the internet and democracy. The report, The Internet’s Challenge to Democracy: Framing the Problem and Assessing Reforms, explores problems exacerbated by internet freedom, including disinformation, hate speech, incitement, and foreign interference in elections, and offers a framework for better understanding such problems and assessing potential reforms.

(Research and Report Summaries are written by David Kuennen.)

Legislative Updates

Arizona: The House has approved House Bill 2616 that would make it a misdemeanor to pay someone based on the number people they sign up to vote. Violators would be subject to six months in jail and a $2,5000 fine.

California: Assemblyman Ash Kalra has introduced Assembly Bill 59 that would amend the California Voters’ Choice Act to require college campuses with 10,000 or more students to host vote centers.

Colorado: Gov. Jared Polis (D) has signed legislation into law that will include Colorado in the National Popular Vote compact. Groups lead by local county legislators have begun circulating petitions to repeal the law. Supporter of an appeal have until August 1 to gather approximately 200,000 signatures.

Connecticut: The Government Administration and Elections Committee advanced a proposal on Tuesday that would amend the state constitution to allow early voting and no-excuse absentee voting.

Delaware:  Proposals to allow early voting and same-day registration have passed their first hurdles in Delaware’s legislature. The early voting bill would allow registered voters to cast ballots at vote centers at least 10 days before an election. The House has approved the early voting bill by 34-6 vote.

Florida: The Fort Myers city council has vote to move the city elections to even years to coincide with the national election cycle.

Also in Florida, in a strict party-line vote the House Criminal Justice Subcommittee has advanced a bill that would require ex-felons to clear up any financial obligations associated with their sentence before being allowed to have their rights restored. Under the legislation meant to clarify Amendment 4, ex-felons convicted of murder or a felony sexual offense would also be excluded from having their rights restored.

Georgia: By a 101-69 vote, the House gave final approval for the purchase of a $150 million statewide electronic voting system.

Idaho: The House Senate Affairs Committee has advanced a bill that would require county commissioners, clerks and school districts to work together to ensure that schools remain available as polling places.

Iowa: A bill that would require postal barcodes on all absentee ballots in Iowa is heading to the Senate after the House passed it unanimously.

Kentucky: The Kentucky Legislature has approved a bill that will strip Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes of her power over the State Board of Elections and make it a misdemeanor for anyone to misuse the state’s voter registration system. Gov. Matt Bevin (R) signed the bill into law.

Maine: Lawmakers heard from dozens of witnesses this week on a bill that would expand Maine’s ranked choice voting system to include presidential elections.

Massachusetts: The Boston City Council is considering an ordinance that would require landlords to provide a voter registration form to new tenants when providing them with their lease and other documents.

Mississippi: Reforming ex-felon voting rights restoration seems have come to a halt in Mississippi this legislative session. According to the Clarion Ledger, at least 18 House bills were filed this session that would have led to those convicted of nonviolent felony offenses to having their rights restored after they served their sentence have all died.

Montana: The House is considering legislation already approved by the Senate that would allow county elections officials to begin opening mail ballots beginning the Thursday before Election Day and for the counting of those ballots to start on the Monday before the election. The legislation has the support of county election administrators.

New Jersey: Committees in both the Senate and the Assembly have approved legislation that will allow the state to join 33 others in using e-poll books to check voters in at the polls. The bills have bipartisan support.

Assemblyman Andrew Zwicker (D-Somerset) has introduced a bill that would establish ranked choice voting at all state-level and federal elections.

Assemblyman Kevin J. Rooney (R-Bergen) has introduced a resolution allowing the secretary of state’s office to implement programs to encourage women to exercise their right to vote in honor of the upcoming 100th anniversary of the 19th Amendment.

New Mexico: Both the House and the Senate has now approved a bill that will allow for same-day registration. The bill also expands automated voter registration services to additional state agencies and not just the Department of Motor Vehicles.

North Carolina: Gov. Roy Cooper (D) has signed a bill into law that will delay the implementation of the state’s new voter ID law until 2020.

Oklahoma: The Oklahoma House has approved a bill that would require the state to periodically check the citizenship status of all registered voters in Oklahoma. The bill was approved 66-26.

Tennessee: A House panel has advanced a bill that will loosen the restrictions on ex-felon voting rights. Under the proposed legislation, formerly incarcerated individuals will no longer be required to be up-to-date on child support before their voting rights are restored.

Texas: Under Senate Bill 9, counties would be required to purchase election systems that use a voter-verifiable paper audit trail. The bill would also create a pilot program for post-election audits. The law also would prohibit electioneering within 1,000 feet of a polling place. If approved, Senate Bill 9 would increase criminal penalties for anyone who makes an error on a voter registration form.

Vermont: A tripartisan coalition of lawmakers has introduced a bill for Vermont to adopt ranked-choice voting.

Washington: Gov. Jay Inslee (D) has signed the Native America Voting Rights Act into law. Under the law, tribal members will be able to register to vote even if their home on the reservation does not have a standard street address. The law also allows voter registration on reservations and for ballot drop boxes to located on reservations.

Legal Updates

Federal Litigation: U.S. District Judge Amy Berman Jackson ruled in favor of the Campaign Legal Center and that the U.S. Department of Justice must release the names of the people mentioned in an email from a conservative group that tried to influence the makeup of the president’s disbanded voter-fraud commission.

Indiana: Datwaon Collier, 28 of Anderson plead guilty to 30 misdemeanor counts of voter registration fraud. He received a year of probation and must complete 50 hours of community service.

Kansas: A three-judge panel of the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals hear arguments this week in the ongoing case of Kansas’ proof-of-citizenship law. According to The Washington Post, Judge Jerome Holmes pointed out that the state’s law kept more than 30,000 people from registering. The state argued that wasn’t the law but bureaucratic problems.

Mississippi: A panel of the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals has ordered lawmakers to redraw a Senate district where a lower court judge found that black residents’ voting power had been purposefully diluted.

Virginia: Yolanda W. Stokes, the former Hopewell, Virginia voter registrar has sued the Hopewell Electoral Board in an effort to get her job back. The suit alleges that the city violated the terms of the agreement she signed when she took her job.

Tech Thursday

Voting Technology: Multiple media outlets reported last week that the Defense Department’s Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) has issued a $10 million contract to design and build a secure voting system. According to Motherboard, Oregon-based Galois, a longtime government contractor with experience in designing security and verifiable systems was awarded the contract. Motherboard writes that the system will use fully open source voting software and it will be built on secure open source hardware, made from secure designs and techniques developed over the last year as part of a special program at DARPA. The voting system will also be designed to create fully verifiable and transparent results so that voters don’t have to blindly trust that the machines and election officials delivered correct results.

Opinions This Week

National Opinions: Turnout | HR1, II | Voting Rights Act | Voting age | Voter suppression | Stolen democracy | Get Out The Vote| Election security | Barriers to voting

Arizona: Election legislation

California: Vote by mail | Voting age, II | Election Day holiday

Florida: Ex-felon voting rights, II, III | Noncitizen voting

Hawaii: Election legislation | Automatic voter registration

Indiana: Porter County

Iowa: Election legislation, II, III

Massachusetts: Ranked choice voting, II

Minnesota: Polling places

Missouri: Voter ID

Nevada: Election day registration

New Mexico: Election legislation

New York: Automatic voter registration | Voting machines

North Carolina: Voter ID, II | Voting fixes | Election fraud

Ohio: Equipment

Oklahoma: Election laws

Oregon: Ballot postage | Voter fraud

Pennsylvania: Voting machines, II

Tennessee: Turnout

Texas: Voter ID

Virginia: State board of elections | Poll workers

Washington: Presidential preference primary

Upcoming Events

Unrig Summit 2019 — This is no ordinary conference. Unrig is fast-paced, solutions-oriented, and fun. No boring speeches — 2019’s lineup has more trainings, more workshops, more tools to power you up. Featuring America’s most powerful presenters, expert trainers, activists, musicians, artists and more, we’re bringing together the brightest minds from the right and left to build a new political future for America. 3 days. 2 nights. 1 vision: Unrig the System. Where: Nashville, TN When: Fri March 29 – Sun March 31.

Election Center Special Workshop —The Election Center will hold a special workshop that will include: Course 9 (Enfranchisement, Enhancement, Enforcement ); Course 10 (Constitution, Courts & Cases to 1965); and Renewal Course 14 (Crisis Management). Where: Virginia Beach. When: April 24-28.

Election Mail Forum One-Day Conference — you are invited to participate in a special one-day Election Mail Forum exclusively at the National Postal Forum, Monday May 6, 2019 at the Indianapolis Marriott Downtown, Indianapolis Indiana. Come see community leaders showcase election mail. Don’t miss the opportunity to learn and network with Postal Service Leadership, State Election Executives, and election mail preparation vendors. Learn how to Leverage USPS Addressing Products to improve voter roll quality. Come learn about Full Service, STID, IMb— an alternative for “postmark” authentication. When: May 6. Where: Indianapolis.

National Association of Secretaries Of State — The National Association of Secretaries of State will hold their annual summer conference in late June, early July in New Mexico. Watch this space for more details about agendas and registrations. When: June 30-July 3. Where: Santa Fe, New Mexico.

International Association of Government Officials — IGO’s 2019 Annual Conference will be held in Houston, Texas, July 11-17. Watch this space for more details about agendas and registration.

National Association of Counties — NACo’s 2019 Annual Conference will be held in Clark County (Las Vegas), Nevada July 11-15, 2019. Watch this space for more details about agendas and registration.

National Association of State Election Directors — The NASED Summer Conference will be held in Austin, Texas, July 14-16, 2019. Watch this space for more details about agendas and registration.

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 mmoretti@electionline.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.

Clerk of the Board/Elections Director, Santa Cruz County, Arizona — Under the direction of the Santa Cruz County Board of Supervisors and guidance from the Santa Cruz County Manager, performs statutory duties of the Clerk of the Board pursuant to ARS 11-241 and other statutory duties, to include preparing, publishing and posting the agenda for the Board of Supervisor meetings.  Under limited supervision, performs work of considerable difficulty to plan, organize, coordinate, direct and manage all activities of the Santa Cruz County Elections Department in compliance with applicable laws, rules and regulations. This is an at-will position. Plans, organizes, coordinates, directs and manages all activities of the Santa Cruz County Elections Department in compliance with applicable laws, rules, and regulations; oversees daily operations and programing; develops and administers departmental budget and oversees expenditures, develops and administers training and education for election staff and volunteers.  Develops and implements procedural and technical improvements as they relate to elections; ensures quality control of all aspects of election from ballot production to public information; manages projects, coordinates with other county/state departments and outside vendors. Salary: $69,186. Application: For the complete job listing and to apply, click here.

Deputy Director, Washington Secretary of State’s Office— this position reports to the certification and training program manager and is responsible for overseeing, reviewing and advising county auditors on the federal and state elections laws and the administration of voter registration.  Serves as the lead program specialist in the required election administrator certification program; Certifies state and local election administrators following a series of classes and tests. Participates in the elections training program and county election review program; travels extensively throughout the state to conduct reviews of county elections departments. Participates in the initiative and referenda filing and clearinghouse advisories program. Provide support to Washington State counties on election processes, county WEI systems, and logic and accuracy test program. Salary: $4,275.00 – $5,745.00 Monthly. Application: For the complete job listing and to apply, click here.

Deputy Director, Center for Election Innovation & Research — the Deputy Director will report to the Executive Director and have a broad range of responsibilities designed to support CEIR’s mission. In this position, the Deputy Director will play an integral role in the development and execution of CEIR’s programming, strategic communications, and continued growth as an organization. This is an excellent opportunity for an experienced and highly motivated individual who wants to make a substantial, positive, nonpartisan impact on elections and American democracy. The Deputy Director’s primary workplace will be CEIR’s Washington, DC office. The Deputy Director also must be available for business travel as needed. CEIR believes that working alongside and understanding the diverse mix of people who are affected by elections and American democracy is key to achieving our mission. That’s why we’re proud to be an equal opportunity employer committed to creating a diverse, non-discriminatory work environment. We recruit, employ, train, compensate, and promote regardless of race, religion, color, national origin, sex, disability, age, veteran status, and other protected status as required by applicable law. Application: For the complete job listing and to apply, click here.

Director, Miami County, Ohio Board of Elections— The Miami County Board of Elections is seeking applicants for the position of Director. This position, in cooperation with the Deputy Director, is responsible for overseeing, directing and managing the Board of Elections Office; developing, recommending, and adhering to an annual budget; and conducting fair and impartial elections. Qualified candidates must be affiliated with the Republican Party, reside within Miami County or be able to relocate within 30 days of accepting the position. Applicants must agree to a background check. A candidate for Director of the Board of Elections must possess at least a high school diploma or its equivalency. College level education is desired, and specialized training and/or certification in the various aspects of election administration is to be favored in evaluating applicants. Application: Applicants are requested to demonstrate how they meet the necessary qualifications of the job description when submitting their resume. Interested parties may receive a copy of the job description, evaluation criteria and Ohio Secretary of State Form 307 by visiting the Miami County Board of Elections website at www.miami.ohioboe.com. The website also has the Questionnaire for Prospective Appointment as a Member, Director or Deputy Director of the County Board of Elections (Form No. 307) on it. Any qualified registered Republican may apply by submitting Form 307, along with a current resume, to Miami County Board of Elections, Old Courthouse, 215 West Main Street, Troy, Ohio 45373, or by emailing iridgeway@miamicountyohio.gov. Applications will be accepted until the position is filled.

Director of Elections/General Registrar, Arlington County, Virginia— This is a four-year term position appointed by the Electoral Board with a starting date of July 1, 2019 and an end date of June 30, 2023. The Arlington County Electoral Board is seeking a Director of Elections/General Registrar to provide professional and technical leadership to the Office of Elections and manage the planning, overseeing, and administering of elections in Arlington County. The Director is responsible for ensuring the necessary resources are acquired and in place to maintain the list of registered voters and assure elections are well-prepared and conducted in an accurate, efficient, and transparent manner. Specific duties and responsibilities include: Planning, developing, coordinating, and directing the activities of the Office of Elections, including voter registration; candidate processing and filing; pre-election and Election Day voting; ballot design; equipment programming and testing; poll worker recruitment and training; and voter outreach efforts. Preparing and continuously evaluating the department’s strategic goals and equipment security plan. Supervising permanent and temporary staff of up to 50 individuals, including recruitment, training, scheduling and work assignment, implementation of policies and procedures, performance evaluation, and conflict resolution. Coordinating the administrative processes with the deputy registrar, including but not limited to, budget development and monitoring, County administrative and personnel policies, and technology resources. Consulting and coordinating with County Attorney and Commonwealth’s Attorney as needed on legal issues. Analyzing departmental performance and usage data to make informed projections about future needs, including staffing, space requirements, equipment, and supplies. Providing guidance and technical support to candidates seeking election to local offices, and certifying eligible candidates for elections, including reviewing qualifications and processing of petitions. Managing communication tools including web page, social media, and outreach materials, and ensuring information is accurate and timely. Monitoring legislation introduced at the state and federal levels related to elections and election administration, and providing advice and expertise to legislators as needed. Serving the community and professional organizations as a subject matter expert on elections and election administration; and representing the County at regional, state, and national workshops and conferences. This Director must be self-directed and will have no direct immediate supervisor but will report to and seek guidance from the Arlington County Electoral Board. Additionally, the incumbent will receive guidance and advice from the Virginia Department of Elections as well as from various County departments and is responsible for keeping the Board informed of all relevant matters pertaining to the smooth operation of the department. Application: For the complete job listing and to apply, click here.

Election Technician, Monroe County, Washington— The individual assigned to this classification provides administrative and technical duties related to the election process and voter outreach. This classification is primarily responsible for assisting in all duties required to conduct elections and maintain voter registration. This individual receives significant public contact requiring effective written and oral communication skills and service to the customers. The Auditor’s office is a small office and all staff are crossed trained in Vehicle Licensing and Recording to assist the other departments. Communicates with customers, in person, by phone, and through written correspondence, effectively in English and preferably in Spanish as well. Maintains and updates the Auditor’s Office web presence. Coordinates speaking engagements. Assists public with voter registration process. Maintains a working knowledge of the local voter registration system and ballot processing software. Assists with the election process by issuing replacement ballots, receiving incoming ballots, verifying voters’ signatures, etc. Salary: $3,042 – $3,896/monthly. Deadline: April 5. Application: For the complete job listing and to apply, click here.

GIS Analyst, Yolo County, California— Yolo County ACE (Assessor/Clerk-Recorder/Elections Department) in coordination with the Yolo County General Services department are recruiting for a G.I.S. Analyst. This recruitment is on-going until filled. Submitted applications will be screened continuously, and those applicants meeting the minimum qualifications will move forward to the Screening for Best Qualified process. This position will work inter-departmentally to develop and implement GIS capabilities in Yolo County ACE. GIS is viewed by County Leadership as an innovative enterprise technology that is positioned to help advance County strategic goals. Recent projects include implementing a new enterprise environment, developing an Elections Night Reporting application, developing mobile applications for polling place reporting, and a migration the ESRI Parcel Fabric. The ideal candidate for this position will be a positive, collaborative, solution-focused individual with excellent interpersonal and customer service skills and the ability to handle and manage multiple priorities. If you feel like you meet these qualifications and you would like to join a dynamic organization committed to supporting an environment where employees feel a true sense of passion, purpose and commitment to their job… Yolo County ACE is where you want to be! Our department strives to honor the public’s trust and redefine excellence through innovation and the commitment of a highly-engaged and empowered team. Check out all the exciting things ACE has going on by visiting our social media pages (Facebook: /YoloACE, Instagram: /YoloCoACE, and Twitter: @YoloCoACE). You can be the next Yolo ACE – come and join our team! 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.

Systems Software Specialist, Yolo County, California — The Elections Branch of Yolo County ACE (Assessor/Clerk-Recorder/Elections Department) in coordination with the Yolo County Information Technology department are recruiting for a Systems Software Specialist. This recruitment is on-going until filled. The Systems Software Specialist class series is responsible for the design, coding, implementation, maintenance and evaluation of computer software. This includes, but is not limited to, operating systems, control systems, proprietary software packages, telecommunications software and database management software. The class also aides in solving problems and achieving the best use of available hardware and software; work with staff to design and implement network segmentation, domain addressing and routing strategies; work with technical staff to ensure effective operations of complex multiple hardware and software configurations; and act as a lead persons over other personnel and program projects and performs related duties as required. If you would like to join a dynamic organization committed to supporting an environment where employees feel a true sense of passion, purpose and commitment to their job… Yolo County ACE is where you want to be! Our department strives to honor the public’s trust and redefine excellence through innovation and the commitment of a highly-engaged and empowered team. Check out all the exciting things ACE has going on by visiting our social media pages (Facebook: /YoloACE, Instagram: /YoloCoACE, and Twitter: @YoloCoACE). You can be the next Yolo ACE – come and join our team! Application: For the complete job listing and to apply, click here.

Technical Bid Specialist, Scytl — The Technical Bid Specialist is an essential member of the sales team, supporting business development initiatives as well as providing support to the Marketing department. Based in our Tampa Florida, offices, the Technical Bid Specialist is in charge of managing the coordination, completion and handover of tender proposals for our clients and prospects. This is a key position with a great deal of involvement in the sales process and a decisive influence in the achievement of each deal. To be able to perform this task, the Technical Bid Specialist needs to possess a solid technical background, outstanding writing capabilities and proven experience in pre-sales or consulting endeavors, always facing the client and having to put together complex IT proposals or projects. Application: For the complete job listing and to apply, click here.

Training Officer, Collier County, Florida— The purpose of this classification is to provide assistance in the Training & Outreach Department within the Supervisor of Elections office. This position coaches, trains, and educates election workers in accordance with the State of Florida’s election laws and rules. Work involves designing, developing, and delivering multimodal adult learning programs, developing training materials, scheduling training sessions, and recruiting, assigning and evaluating election workers for upcoming election cycles. Application: For the complete job listing and to apply, click here.

Marketplace

electionline provides no guarantees as to the quality of the items being sold and the accuracy of the information provided about the sale items in the Marketplace. Ads are provided directly by sellers and are not verified by electionline. If you have an ad for Marketplace, please email it to: mmoretti@electionline.org

Excess Equipment
Pinal County, Arizona has some excess elections equipment including 19 OS machines and approximately 300 voter booths.

If interested, contact Stephanie Cooper, Pinal County elections supervisor at 520-866-7552 or drop her an email at stephanie.cooper@pinalcountyaz.gov.

 

 

Ballot Scanners
Ballot reader. $500. Buyer will be responsible for pick and shipping to buyer’s location. Contact Wilfred Cochico, purchasing officer City of Lakewood: 562-866-9771 ext. 2640 or via email: WCochico@lakewoodcity.org.

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In Focus This Week

March 14, 2019

March 14, 2019

In Focus This Week

VotingWorks to scale Colorado’s risk limiting audit software to all 50 states
Tool set to help states confirm and secure elections

By M. Mindy Moretti
electionline.org

The common thinking used to be that all you needed to audit an election was a pencil, some paper and basic grasp of 5th grade math. But like many things, common thinking changes over time.

In 2017 Colorado became the first state legally mandated to conduct a post-election risk limiting audit (RLA) and it became clear that a good No. 2 pencil and some scratch paper wasn’t going to cut it.

The Colorado Secretary of State’s Office invested in the development of an open-source RLA tool designed around the cast vote record (CVR) from Dominion Voting Systems and the ballot-comparison method for conducting the audit. The state spent $300,000 of their own money and received a $350,000 grant from the U.S. Election Assistance Commission. The original code was written by Free & Fair with the help and input of subject matter experts that were part of an advisory group. The staff in the secretary of state’s office, according Colorado Elections Director Judd Choate, spent thousands of hours working on the project.

Realizing that they needed more help, Colorado turned to Democracy Works to create a more user-friendly interface for the tool and other enhancements.

“In 2017, Colorado approached us with an urgent need to complete this project before the 2018 midterm elections,” explained Kathryn Peters, co-founder of Democracy Works. “We worried that if we did not take it on, the entire momentum behind RLAs might stall out nationwide.”

Now, after several successful RLAs and with more states considering RLAs, Colorado and Democracy Works are turning the keys over to VotingWorks to make the tool customizable by state, voting system and types of audits.

“The RLA tool we’re currently contributing to is an open-source tool, and we are proud to have made significant contributions on top of the work that Free & Fair did before us,” Peters said. “We’re excited to welcome VotingWorks into the field, share what we’ve learned with them and remain supporting partners in the ecosystem as VotingWorks takes on a leadership role with RLAs.”

Choate said that it was always Colorado’s hope that the RLA software would work for other jurisdictions. He noted that voter confidence in election outcomes is central to a functioning democracy and the Colorado secretary of states’ office believes a risk-limiting audit is the best way to ensure that confidence.

“Monica Childers and Democracy Works did a great job creating a polished version of the RLA code,” Choate said. “Colorado is excited to partner with VotingWorks as they adapt the base code to function for both central and precinct count states and localities.”

Jennifer Morrell, a consultant for the Democracy Fund, has been working with states to implement RLAs while exploring possible solutions for a universal RLA tool. She is excited that VotingWorks has agreed to take on this role and feel like it will be a catalyst for other election audit tools.

“This is a big win for the election community beyond the usefulness to RLAs,” Morrell said. “All of this work around the creation of an RLA tool, from the first version used in Colorado to the forthcoming development done by VotingWorks, represents exactly what we need to solve other challenging problems in election administration. It is a model that embraces technology while focusing on collaboration to create a tool that can be used by everyone to improve the efficiency and accuracy of the work being performed. I think that is something everyone can get behind!”

VotingWorks is a non-partisan nonprofit which started in November 2018 to build secure and affordable voting equipment. Although it’s a young organization VotingWorks founders Ben Adida and Matt Pasternack have years of experience. Adida has been in the election world for 20 years and received his PhD in election security from MIT. Pasternack is an experienced public sector executive, who previously worked with school districts across the country in secure software deployment.

According to Adida, states performing a risk-limiting audit need to coordinate the actions of many stakeholders in a precisely choreographed process—and software is the key to that coordination.

“As more states sought access to [Colorado’s RLA] tool, we offered to help scale the tool by applying our expertise building scalable, reliable, and secure enterprise software,” Adida said. “Because scaling the tool to these new use cases requires a significant software development effort, Democracy Works realized that if VotingWorks took on the RLA tool, Democracy Works could then focus on the more voter-centric aspects of election administration they specialize in.”

Adida said VotingWorks is ready to hit the ground running by consulting broadly with election officials looking to pilot RLAs in the near future. He noted that ultimately, the next generation of RLA tools is going to succeed only if they’re developed in close concert with all stakeholders.

“We know one important thing that won’t change: the source code for the tool and any follow-up tool we build will remain free and open-source,” Adida said. “We’ll be consulting with states to determine a long-term sustainability plan, but that won’t start until we hear from states that the tool has become useful to them and is worth sustaining.”

So what is an RLA and how does the RLA tool work?
Risk limiting audits provide statistical evidence that an election outcome is correct. While there are varying definitions, generally an RLA means officials hand count and review a statistically meaningful sample of the votes cast.

The audit software, Morrell explained, is essential for conducting an RLA at any level. The tool calculates the appropriate number of ballots to audit, assists with the random selection of those ballots, and determines when the audit can stop or if it should be expanded.

According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, three states—Colorado, Rhode Island and Virginia— have a statutory requirement to conduct RLA. Ohio and Washington counties have the option to run RLAs (or other types of post-election audits) and beginning in 2020 California counties will also have the option to conduct RLAs.

NCSL’s election legislation database indicates there are nine bills pending in six states (Indiana, Massachusetts, New York, Oregon, Rhode Island and Virginia) specifically about risk limiting audits and 48 bills in 19 states that have post-election audits as a topic, which is an increase from 2017 but on par with 2018.

If your state is considering undertaking an RLA—or the state Legislature is requiring election officials to do so—Adida recommends you reach out to Jennifer Morrell at jmorrell@democracyfund.org.

VotingWorks would also like to hear from election officials about how they want to use the tool and what they want from it in the future. They can be contacted at rla@voting.works.

“We’re very interested in hearing how you want to use the tool and what you’ll need from it in the future,” Adida said.

(Editor’s Note: We’re taking a brief break from our series on effective communications in elections to cover some “breaking” news over the next couple of weeks. We’ll be back March 21 with more on communications pieces. In the meantime, catch up with our stories in the series: Communications 101 and What makes an effective elections website.)

VVSG Public Comment

VVSG available for public comment

The U.S. Election Assistance Commission’s (EAC) four sitting Commissioners unanimously voted to publish the proposed Voluntary Voting System Guidelines 2.0 (VVSG) Principles and Guidelines in the Federal Register for a 90 day public comment period, after which comments and feedback on the proposed document will be compiled and presented to the Commissioners for discussion and consideration.

“Today’s unanimous vote demonstrates the Commissioners’ shared commitment to taking this next important step in consideration of the proposed VVSG 2.0 Principles and Guidelines. The EAC looks forward to holding hearings on these Principles and Guidelines soon and we encourage the public to provide their feedback on the proposed guidelines,” said EAC Chairman Thomas Hicks, who joined Vice Chair Christy McCormick, Commissioner Ben Hovland and Commissioner Donald Palmer in supporting the measure.

The proposed VVSG 2.0 Principles and Guidelines will be published in the Federal Register in accordance with sections 222(a)(1) and 222(d) of the Help America Vote Act of 2002. They will appear in the Federal Register for a period of 90 days. Separately, upon the completion of the VVSG 2.0’s accompanying Requirements developed by NIST and the EAC, those accompanying Requirements will also be subject to public review and comment, including distribution to the EAC’s Technical Guidelines Development Committee (TGDC), Standards Board and Board of Advisors. This review and comment period will take place prior to consideration and implementation by the Commission.

VVSG are a set of Principles, Guidelines and Requirements against which voting systems can be tested to determine if the systems meet required standards. Some factors examined under these tests include functionality, accessibility, accuracy, auditability and security capabilities.

The Help America Vote Act of 2002 mandates that EAC develop and maintain these requirements as well as testing and certifying voting systems. On December 13, 2005, the EAC unanimously adopted the 2005 VVSG, which significantly increased security requirements for voting systems and expanded access, including opportunities for individuals with disabilities to vote privately and independently. The 2005 guidelines updated and augmented the 2002 Voting System Standards, as required by HAVA, to address advancements in election practices and computer technologies. These guidelines were again updated by the EAC’s Commissioners on March 31, 2015. These guidelines are voluntary. States may decide to adopt them entirely or in part prior to the effective date.

The structure of the new VVSG reflects modifications proposed by the election community, EAC, NIST and the TGDC, which is comprised of election officials, voting system manufacturers, disability experts, cyber security experts, technology experts, and other key election stakeholders. The new guidelines are a high level set of principles that will be supplemented by accompanying documents that detail specific requirements for how systems can meet the new guidelines and obtain certification. The supplemental documents will also detail assertions for how the accredited test laboratories will validate that a system complies with those requirements.

Last Spring, the EAC convened its advisory boards to review and comment on the adoption of the newest version of the voluntary guidelines, VVSG 2.0. Both Boards recommended that the EAC adopt VVSG 2.0. Today’s unanimous Commissioner vote occurred less than two weeks after a quorum of Commissioners was restored at the EAC.

 

Election Security Updates

According to The Hill, Christopher Krebs, director of the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA), testified before the House Appropriations Committee’s subcommittee on homeland security that the agency’s new “Protect 2020” initiative will focus on making sure that state and local officials are prepared for the upcoming presidential election.

In his testimony, Krebbs said the focus of the project will be on “broadening the reach and depth of assistance to state and local officials” in addition to mphasizing the need to audit elections, patch vulnerabilities in election systems and develop cybersecurity priorities for state and local election officials.

Election News This Week

Starting this spring, voters in the largest election jurisdiction in the largest state in the union will be able to vote at any polling place they want to. Texas Secretary of State David Whitley has approved an application from Harris County to participate in the state’s countywide polling program. “The voters of Harris County have made it clear that a countywide polling place program would have a positive impact on elections and I am confident that the transition to a countywide polling place program will be successful,” County Clerk Diane Trautman said in a statement. According to the Houston Chronicle 50 of Texas’ 254 counties are currently participating in the countywide polling program.

NC9: While most (all) of the attention has been focused on the North Carolina 9th District Congressional race, other races in Bladen County were also impacted by the election fraud case and will have to be conducted again. In addition to the 9th Congressional District, Bladen County Commissioner District 3 and Bladen County Soil and Water Conservation District Supervisor. All other races have been certified. New elections for the two Bladen County races will be held on May 14 in conjunction with the new District 9 race. One local official, Richmond County Manager Bryan Land is protesting the cost of conducting a new election noting that it would cost the county at least $125,000. “I realize we are required by federal law to hold a special election if it is deemed necessary and we are also required by law to pay for all of the associated cost that accompany this election. However, it seems extremely unfair to me that Richmond County is being penalized for the collusion and illegal activities that took place in Bladen and Robeson counties,” Land wrote To Sen Tom McInnis and Rep. Ken Goodman. “The election in Richmond County was certified and no collusion took place within our county. Furthermore, I find it extremely odd that the District 9 race is the only race that is being challenged. If collusion took place in these Counties, would it not be fair to say that ALL races were affected?” The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of North Carolina has issued subpoenas for the North Carolina State Board of Elections and former candidate Mark Harris. This week, the State Board of Elections recommended changes to the states absentee ballot laws, including consideration of paid postage for return ballots.

While legislation is making its way through the state house that could automatically restore the voting rights to ex-felons, Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds is making things easier in the meantime. The governor’s office recently unveiled a new one-page rights restoration request (replacing a three-page document) and now former incarcerated felons will no longer have to provide their own documentation for the status of their fines because state officials will be able to look that up online. “Restoring voting rights is more than a trip to the ballot box,” Reynolds said according to Iowa Public Radio. “It really resurrects dignity and begins re-entry into life as a contributing member of our communities.”

Virginia Governor Ralph Northam (D) has replaced all three members of the State Board of Elections. The new members are Bob Brink, an aide in former Gov. Terry McAuliffe’s administration and former Democratic member of the House of Delegates from Arlington County; lawyer Jamilah D. LeCruise of Norfolk and former Del. John O’Bannon, R-Henrico.

Personnel News: Paulette Hankins has been appointed director of the Richland County, Ohio board of elections. Jane Ann Hodges has been selected as the new chairperson of the Watauga County, North Carolina Board of Elections. Beth Klein is stepping down as the Wayland, Massachusetts clerk to become the Sudbury clerk. Mina Lusk has retired from the Gordon County, Georgia board of elections.

In Memoriam: Kenneth “Kenny” Brown, Boone County, Kentucky clerk has died. He was 53. Brown, a Republican, was first elected in 2010. On Election Night 2018 Brown suffered a heart attack while overseeing the counting of ballots. “He was very principled,” Sen. John Schickel told The Cincinnati Enquirer. “He was used to swimming upstream, but he enjoyed a good political fight.” Phyllis Sparks told the paper Brown’s legacy is his devotion to his community by bringing live election results and a customer-first friendly atmosphere to the clerk’s office. Chief Deputy Clerk Sandy Helmer said Brown was a thoughtful person and boss. “He had a big heart,” Helmer said. “Kenny wanted everybody to be happy and enjoy life like he did.”

Shirley Johnson, former Orange County, New York Elections Commissioner has died. She was 82. According to MidHudsonNews.com, Johnson served as Republican elections commissioner until her retirement in 1999.

Legislative Updates

Federal Legislation: U.S. Senator Tom Udall (D-New Mexico) and Representative Ben Ray Ljuan (D-New Mexico) have reintroduced the Native American Voting Rights Act. The legislation would enact key measures, such as increasing Native access to voter registration sites and polling locations, and authorizing tribal ID cards for voting purposes. The bill would also bolster Native voter registration, education, and election participation efforts in tribal communities by authorizing a first of its kind Native American Voting Rights Task Force. Finally, the bill addresses the effects of Shelby County v. Holder by prohibiting states from undertaking discriminatory actions without Department of Justice agreement and government-to-government consultation.

California: Assemblywoman Jacqui Irwin (D-Thousand Oaks) has introduced AB 1044 that would authorize the secretary of state’s office to require entities applying for voter registration data to complete a free educational course on data security.

Connecticut: Rep. Vincent Candelora (R-North Brandford) had proposed a bill that would allow schools, when used as polling places, to mandate photo ID for entry into the building if such a requirement is already part of their policy.

Delaware: Legislators are considering a bill that would include Delaware in the National Popular Vote Interstate Compact.

Florida: Sen. Linda Stewart and Rep. Geraldine Thompson have each filed a bill (Senate Bill 1802 and House Bill 1365) would, among other things, make Election Day a state holiday for all state agencies and forbid other employers from denying employees time off with pay to vote on Election Day.

Georgia: The Senate has approved House Bill 316, an omnibus voting bill that would not only tweak state code, but also authorizes the state to purchase new ballot-marking voting equipment. The measure was approved 35-21 along party lines.

Illinois: State Rep. Allen Skillicorn (R-East Dundee) has introduced two bills, HB 2633 would add Illinois to Crosscheck and HB 2632 would enhance criminal penalties for filing more than one vote and make it a felony to vote in different states.

Kentucky: A House committee advanced a bill that would set up an automatic recount if a legislative election’s margin is within 0.5 percent. After the recount, a candidate still contesting the election could take his or her grievances to court. The automatic recount also would apply to statewide constitutional races and Kentucky’s contests for the U.S. Senate and U.S. House.

Maryland: House Bill 423 and Senate Bill 934 would allow students and teachers at public and private high schools who meet the requirements of voter registration to do so at their schools.

Missouri: There are two competing absentee voting bills in the Legislature. Under House Bill 29, a copy of a photo ID would be required when applying by mail for an absentee ballot. Under House Bill 992, voters would no longer need to provide an excuse in order to cast an absentee ballots.

Nebraska: Sen. Megan Hunt has introduced LB163 that would do away with the population lid to conduct vote-by-mail elections and would give election commissioners in all of the state’s 93 counties more flexibility.

New Hampshire: The House has voted to reverse two new voter registration laws although neither have fully taken effect and both are facing court challenges. One of the overturned laws requires voters to provide additional documentation when registering within 30 days of an election and the other related to the difference between domicile and residency. Both now move to the Senate along with a bill allowing for no-excuse absentee voting.

North Carolina: Senate Republicans have introduced a bill that would delay the implementation of the state’s new voter ID until 2020. The House has also approved the bill and it now heads to the desk of Gov. Roy Cooper.

South Carolina: A senate subcommittee did not vote on a  proposal allowing early voting for statewide primaries and general elections. The bill would require at least on early voting site in each county.

Texas: Under House Bill 935, elections in even-numbered years would be a holiday for state employees though most state offices would remain open.

Utah: The Senate Government Operations Committee voted unanimously to send SB242 to the full Senate. Under the proposed legislation, the state’s presidential caucuses would be replaced by a presidential preference primary to be held on Super Tuesday.

House Bill 259, which would eliminate straight-party voting, has passed the House and a Senate committee.

Washington: The Legislature has given final approval to the Native American Voting Rights Act that would allow tribal members to request voter registration services be provided at state and tribal facilities on reservations. Voters could register using those buildings’ addresses or register using nontraditional addresses. They will also be able to register online to vote using their tribal IDs and tribes will be able to request additional ballot drop boxes.

Legal Updates

Florida: Aida Xilomen Rodriguez de Shehab, 71 of Alachua County faces five counts of being an unqualified elector willfully voting and four counts of submitting false voter registration information.

Georgia: A lawsuit filed in the U.S. District Court in Atlanta claims that Gwinnett, Cobb, Fulton and DeKalb counties did not provide enough polling places, voting machines and staff during the 2018 midterm elections. According to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, the suit asks the court to order the counties to enact changes before the 2020 election season that would prevent voters from waiting in “unreasonably long lines” on Election Day and allow staff to more quickly process registration forms and absentee ballot applications.

Michigan: Voting system manufacturer Smartmatic has filed suit against a man living in Wyoming County claiming that the man is working with a special interest group to tarnish the company’s reputation. According to Fox17, the lawsuit alleges the group was paying the Michigan man to edit the Smartmatic Wikipedia page, providing him “false and/or one-sided” information about the company to do so.

New Hampshire: Douglas Carl Smith of Warner has been charged with voting in two different town elections on the same day in 2018.

Also in New Hampshire, the city of Concord and the U.S. Department of Justice have reached an agreement to provide accessible voting facilities for blind and visually impaired voters.

North Carolina: Wake County Superior Court Judge Vince Rozier ruled that the case against the state’s voter ID law must be transferred to a three-judge panel because the litigation filed by several voters challenges the law’s constitutionality for all voters lacking an ID.

Texas: Harris County and the U.S. Department of Justice have reached an agreement over inadequate access to polling places for voters with disabilities. According to the Houston Chronicle, under the agreement Harris County will have to make minor accessibility improvements to as many as 300 of its 750 regular voting sites, hire two outside election experts to supervise balloting and designate an in-house Americans with Disabilities Act compliance officer. The county does not have to concede it has violated the ADA in past elections.

Opinions This Week

National Opinions: Voting rights, II | HR 1, II, III, IV | Suffrage | Election reform | Voting age | War on democracy

Arizona: Obstacles to voting

California: Voting age

Colorado: National popular vote

Florida: Election reform, II, III | Voter registration

Georgia: Election legislation | Secretary of state | Voting machines

Hawaii: Election reform

Illinois: Ranked choice voting

Indiana: Paper ballots

Iowa: Vote-by-mail| Ex-felon voting rights | Election legislation

Maine: National popular vote | Ranked choice voting

Massachusetts: Ranked choice voting

Minnesota: Ex-felon voting rights

New Jersey: Ex-felon voting rights

North Carolina: Election fraud, II, III

Ohio: Young voters | Election security

Oregon: Dennis Richardson | Secretary of state

Pennsylvania: Election security | Voting system

Texas: Voting machines | Voter fraud

Virginia: Election reform

Wisconsin: Automatic voter registration

Upcoming Events

Unrig Summit 2019 — This is no ordinary conference. Unrig is fast-paced, solutions-oriented, and fun. No boring speeches — 2019’s lineup has more trainings, more workshops, more tools to power you up. Featuring America’s most powerful presenters, expert trainers, activists, musicians, artists and more, we’re bringing together the brightest minds from the right and left to build a new political future for America. 3 days. 2 nights. 1 vision: Unrig the System. Where: Nashville, TN When: Fri March 29 – Sun March 31.

Election Center Special Workshop —The Election Center will hold a special workshop that will include: Course 9 (Enfranchisement, Enhancement, Enforcement ); Course 10 (Constitution, Courts & Cases to 1965); and Renewal Course 14 (Crisis Management). Where: Virginia Beach. When: April 24-28.

Election Mail Forum One-Day Conference — you are invited to participate in a special one-day Election Mail Forum exclusively at the National Postal Forum, Monday May 6, 2019 at the Indianapolis Marriott Downtown, Indianapolis Indiana. Come see community leaders showcase election mail. Don’t miss the opportunity to learn and network with Postal Service Leadership, State Election Executives, and election mail preparation vendors. Learn how to Leverage USPS Addressing Products to improve voter roll quality. Come learn about Full Service, STID, IMb— an alternative for “postmark” authentication. When: May 6. Where: Indianapolis.

National Association of Secretaries Of State — The National Association of Secretaries of State will hold their annual summer conference in late June, early July in New Mexico. Watch this space for more details about agendas and registrations. When: June 30-July 3. Where: Santa Fe, New Mexico.

International Association of Government Officials — IGO’s 2019 Annual Conference will be held in Houston, Texas, July 11-17. Watch this space for more details about agendas and registration.

National Association of Counties — NACo’s 2019 Annual Conference will be held in Clark County (Las Vegas), Nevada July 11-15, 2019. Watch this space for more details about agendas and registration.

National Association of State Election Directors — The NASED Summer Conference will be held in Austin, Texas, July 14-16, 2019. Watch this space for more details about agendas and registration.

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 mmoretti@electionline.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 County Clerk-Registrar of Voters, Butte County, California — the Assistant County Clerk-Registrar of Voters directs, plans, manages, and coordinates the staff and operations of the County Clerk-Registrar of Voters Division. This single incumbent position is responsible for the management, technical and operational functions of the County Clerk-Registrar of Voter’s Division and reports to the County Clerk-Recorder-Registrar of Voters. Salary: $96,720.00—$129,625.60 annually. Deadline: March 15. Application: For the complete job listing and to apply, click here.

Clerk of the Board/Elections Director, Santa Cruz County, Arizona — Under the direction of the Santa Cruz County Board of Supervisors and guidance from the Santa Cruz County Manager, performs statutory duties of the Clerk of the Board pursuant to ARS 11-241 and other statutory duties, to include preparing, publishing and posting the agenda for the Board of Supervisor meetings.  Under limited supervision, performs work of considerable difficulty to plan, organize, coordinate, direct and manage all activities of the Santa Cruz County Elections Department in compliance with applicable laws, rules and regulations. This is an at-will position. Plans, organizes, coordinates, directs and manages all activities of the Santa Cruz County Elections Department in compliance with applicable laws, rules, and regulations; oversees daily operations and programing; develops and administers departmental budget and oversees expenditures, develops and administers training and education for election staff and volunteers.  Develops and implements procedural and technical improvements as they relate to elections; ensures quality control of all aspects of election from ballot production to public information; manages projects, coordinates with other county/state departments and outside vendors. Salary: $69,186. Application: For the complete job listing and to apply, click here.

Deputy Director, Washington Secretary of State’s Office— this position reports to the certification and training program manager and is responsible for overseeing, reviewing and advising county auditors on the federal and state elections laws and the administration of voter registration.  Serves as the lead program specialist in the required election administrator certification program; Certifies state and local election administrators following a series of classes and tests. Participates in the elections training program and county election review program; travels extensively throughout the state to conduct reviews of county elections departments. Participates in the initiative and referenda filing and clearinghouse advisories program. Provide support to Washington State counties on election processes, county WEI systems, and logic and accuracy test program. Salary: $4,275.00 – $5,745.00 Monthly. Application: For the complete job listing and to apply, click here.

Deputy Director, Center for Election Innovation & Research — the Deputy Director will report to the Executive Director and have a broad range of responsibilities designed to support CEIR’s mission. In this position, the Deputy Director will play an integral role in the development and execution of CEIR’s programming, strategic communications, and continued growth as an organization. This is an excellent opportunity for an experienced and highly motivated individual who wants to make a substantial, positive, nonpartisan impact on elections and American democracy. The Deputy Director’s primary workplace will be CEIR’s Washington, DC office. The Deputy Director also must be available for business travel as needed. CEIR believes that working alongside and understanding the diverse mix of people who are affected by elections and American democracy is key to achieving our mission. That’s why we’re proud to be an equal opportunity employer committed to creating a diverse, non-discriminatory work environment. We recruit, employ, train, compensate, and promote regardless of race, religion, color, national origin, sex, disability, age, veteran status, and other protected status as required by applicable law. Application: For the complete job listing and to apply, click here.

Director, Miami County, Ohio Board of Elections— The Miami County Board of Elections is seeking applicants for the position of Director. This position, in cooperation with the Deputy Director, is responsible for overseeing, directing and managing the Board of Elections Office; developing, recommending, and adhering to an annual budget; and conducting fair and impartial elections. Qualified candidates must be affiliated with the Republican Party, reside within Miami County or be able to relocate within 30 days of accepting the position. Applicants must agree to a background check. A candidate for Director of the Board of Elections must possess at least a high school diploma or its equivalency. College level education is desired, and specialized training and/or certification in the various aspects of election administration is to be favored in evaluating applicants. Salary: The base salary for the director position will be $49,899 or DOQ, plus benefits.Application: Applicants are requested to demonstrate how they meet the necessary qualifications of the job description when submitting their resume. Interested parties may receive a copy of the job description, evaluation criteria and Ohio Secretary of State Form 307 by visiting the Miami County Board of Elections website at miami.ohioboe.com. The website also has the Questionnaire for Prospective Appointment as a Member, Director or Deputy Director of the County Board of Elections (Form No. 307) on it. Any qualified registered Republican may apply by submitting Form 307, along with a current resume, to Miami County Board of Elections, Old Courthouse, 215 West Main Street, Troy, Ohio 45373, or by emailing iridgeway@miamicountyohio.gov. Applications will be accepted until the position is filled.

Director, Voting System Testing and Certification, U.S. Election Assistance Commission— the purpose of EAC’s national voting system certification program is to independently verify that voting systems applying to the EAC program comply with the functional capabilities, accessibility, and security requirements necessary to ensure the integrity and reliability of the voting system, as established in the Voluntary Voting System Guidelines. The incumbent of this position is a first line supervisor for the Voting System Testing and Certification (VST&C) Division. Salary: $96,970 to $125,967 per year. Deadline: March 20. Application: For the complete job listing and to apply, click here.

Elections Deputy Director, Oregon Secretary of State’s Office— exciting career opportunity! The Oregon Secretary of State Elections Division in recruiting for elections deputy director. The primary purpose of this position is to assist the Division Director in the execution of the statutory responsibilities and general operations of the Elections Division. Collaborate with the Elections Director to develop the Division’s budget, organizational goals and objectives as well as advance the direction of the Division. As the subject matter expert, oversee and coordinate the conduct of elections at the state and local level. Perform supervisory functions including but not limited to: hiring, training/coaching, planning, assigning, prioritizing and reviewing work, evaluating performance, implementing disciplinary action and responding to complaints. Salary: $6,480-$10,024 monthly. Deadline: March 18. Application: For the complete job listing and to apply, click here.

Elections Specialist, Pinal County, Arizona— Perform a variety of paraprofessional and technical functions in the administration and support of the elections functions for Pinal County under general supervision. Typical classification essential duties include: Prepare contacts, assign poll worker notices, create notices advising poll workers to which Voting Precincts they have been assigned, and review and verify that confirmation from poll worker is received by deadline. Coordinate payroll for poll workers, in-house election boards, and troubleshooters and prepare payments for poll workers. Conduct poll worker classes and update poll worker instruction manual based on changes in legislation, equipment, etc. for each election cycle. Submit agenda items to approve poll worker assignments, polling locations, canvassing, and other assignments and conduct election troubleshooter training on proper Election Day procedures. Contract with various entities for the use of buildings for polling locations, research area to be voted in, and locate facilities with adequate space for use on Election Day. Coordinate and send notices to all cities, towns, school districts, and special taxing districts advising of the dates for the upcoming year and provide a time schedule to submit requests to the department for election assistance. Draft and publish required legal notices in local newspapers. Process and submit accounts payable, federal grant reports and billing, and other various reporting to the State election division for processing. Provide basic technical support to the automated electronic voting machines and ensure voting equipment is maintained and operates properly for election. Assist with ballot creation duties including proofreading all ballot styles, sending ballot proofs to candidates and jurisdictions, working with translators for accurate translations, and creating and reviewing ballot orders. Assist with ballot tabulation duties, including election night reporting, post-election audits, hand counts, and preparation of the official election canvass documents. Assemble election supply cages for every polling place that includes voting materials and needed supplies for Election Day, and assist with delivery to and from the polling places. Assist with customer service duties via email, phone, face-to-face interactions and public records requests. Assist with candidate filings, nomination papers, financial disclosure statements along with campaign finance reports. Salary: $39,411-$44,337. Deadline: March 20. Application: For the complete job listing and to apply, click here.

Election Technician, Monroe County, Washington— The individual assigned to this classification provides administrative and technical duties related to the election process and voter outreach. This classification is primarily responsible for assisting in all duties required to conduct elections and maintain voter registration. This individual receives significant public contact requiring effective written and oral communication skills and service to the customers. The Auditor’s office is a small office and all staff are crossed trained in Vehicle Licensing and Recording to assist the other departments. Communicates with customers, in person, by phone, and through written correspondence, effectively in English and preferably in Spanish as well. Maintains and updates the Auditor’s Office web presence. Coordinates speaking engagements. Assists public with voter registration process. Maintains a working knowledge of the local voter registration system and ballot processing software. Assists with the election process by issuing replacement ballots, receiving incoming ballots, verifying voters’ signatures, etc. Salary: $3,042 – $3,896/monthly. Deadline: April 5. Application: For the complete job listing and to apply, click here.

GIS Analyst, Yolo County, California— Yolo County ACE (Assessor/Clerk-Recorder/Elections Department) in coordination with the Yolo County General Services department are recruiting for a G.I.S. Analyst. This recruitment is on-going until filled. Submitted applications will be screened continuously, and those applicants meeting the minimum qualifications will move forward to the Screening for Best Qualified process. This position will work inter-departmentally to develop and implement GIS capabilities in Yolo County ACE. GIS is viewed by County Leadership as an innovative enterprise technology that is positioned to help advance County strategic goals. Recent projects include implementing a new enterprise environment, developing an Elections Night Reporting application, developing mobile applications for polling place reporting, and a migration the ESRI Parcel Fabric. The ideal candidate for this position will be a positive, collaborative, solution-focused individual with excellent interpersonal and customer service skills and the ability to handle and manage multiple priorities. If you feel like you meet these qualifications and you would like to join a dynamic organization committed to supporting an environment where employees feel a true sense of passion, purpose and commitment to their job… Yolo County ACE is where you want to be! Our department strives to honor the public’s trust and redefine excellence through innovation and the commitment of a highly-engaged and empowered team. Check out all the exciting things ACE has going on by visiting our social media pages (Facebook: /YoloACE, Instagram: /YoloCoACE, and Twitter: @YoloCoACE). You can be the next Yolo ACE – come and join our team! 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.

Systems Software Specialist, Yolo County, California — The Elections Branch of Yolo County ACE (Assessor/Clerk-Recorder/Elections Department) in coordination with the Yolo County Information Technology department are recruiting for a Systems Software Specialist. This recruitment is on-going until filled. The Systems Software Specialist class series is responsible for the design, coding, implementation, maintenance and evaluation of computer software. This includes, but is not limited to, operating systems, control systems, proprietary software packages, telecommunications software and database management software. The class also aides in solving problems and achieving the best use of available hardware and software; work with staff to design and implement network segmentation, domain addressing and routing strategies; work with technical staff to ensure effective operations of complex multiple hardware and software configurations; and act as a lead persons over other personnel and program projects and performs related duties as required. If you would like to join a dynamic organization committed to supporting an environment where employees feel a true sense of passion, purpose and commitment to their job… Yolo County ACE is where you want to be! Our department strives to honor the public’s trust and redefine excellence through innovation and the commitment of a highly-engaged and empowered team. Check out all the exciting things ACE has going on by visiting our social media pages (Facebook: /YoloACE, Instagram: /YoloCoACE, and Twitter: @YoloCoACE). You can be the next Yolo ACE – come and join our team! Application: For the complete job listing and to apply, click here.

Technical Bid Specialist, Scytl — The Technical Bid Specialist is an essential member of the sales team, supporting business development initiatives as well as providing support to the Marketing department. Based in our Tampa Florida, offices, the Technical Bid Specialist is in charge of managing the coordination, completion and handover of tender proposals for our clients and prospects. This is a key position with a great deal of involvement in the sales process and a decisive influence in the achievement of each deal. To be able to perform this task, the Technical Bid Specialist needs to possess a solid technical background, outstanding writing capabilities and proven experience in pre-sales or consulting endeavors, always facing the client and having to put together complex IT proposals or projects. Application: For the complete job listing and to apply, click here.

Marketplace

electionline provides no guarantees as to the quality of the items being sold and the accuracy of the information provided about the sale items in the Marketplace. Ads are provided directly by sellers and are not verified by electionline. If you have an ad for Marketplace, please email it to: mmoretti@electionline.org

Excess Equipment
Pinal County, Arizona has some excess elections equipment including 19 OS machines and approximately 300 voter booths. If interested, contact Stephanie Cooper, Pinal County elections supervisor at 520-866-7552 or drop her an email at stephanie.cooper@pinalcountyaz.gov.

Ballot Scanners
Ballot reader. $500. Buyer will be responsible for pick and shipping to buyer’s location. Contact Wilfred Cochico, purchasing officer City of Lakewood: 562-866-9771 ext. 2640 or via email: WCochico@lakewoodcity.org.

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In Focus This Week

March 7, 2019

March 7, 2019

In Focus This Week

Exit Interview: Joe Mansky
Masnky prepares to end “accidental career”

Joe Masky

“They call the elections an accidental career. No one plans to be the elections director,” Patty O’Connor former Blue Earth County, Minnesota elections director recently told the Pioneer Press.

And that’s certainly the case for Ramsey County, Minnesota Elections Director Joe Mansky who is set to end his 35-year career in the office.

When Mansky got into the field, he had a degree in hydrology and had taken only one political science class in college. But during his tenure in office he became according to former Secretary of State Mark Ritchie, “a legend.”

It’s not often that you get to talk to a legend, but we grabbed a bit of Masky’s time before his official last day for one of our Exit Interviews.

Why have you decided to retire at this time?
Honestly, I prefer at this point in my life to spend more time outside than sitting in an office.

What would you say you’re most proud of during your tenure in elections?
Creating the legal and administrative environment in which voting systems are used in Minnesota. Decertifying our punch card systems – I believe we were the first state to do so. Legally prohibiting the use DREs and other systems lacking a paper ballot – I think we were the first to do that too (in 1985.) Developing and implementing the recount process we used 20 years later in the Coleman-Franken recount. Authoring Minnesota’s post-election audit law. If that’s my legacy, I’m ok with that.

Is there anything that you wanted to accomplish in the field of elections that you weren’t able to?
Just a few small things. When I wrote the uniform local government election bill in 1994, I was hoping to have the state-federal elections in the even-numbered years and all county-municipal-school district elections in November of the odd-numbered years. We and the voters would have been the better for it, but we couldn’t get the county elections switched to the odd years. I also was hoping to conduct the 1992 presidential primary as an all-mail election, but the legislature didn’t see things my way.

You lived through some pretty big recounts. What did you learn from that that you could impart on others who may find themselves in the same situation?
To my friends and colleagues in other states, my advice would be to ensure that in every recount you do, make sure the candidates and attorneys have the chance to visually inspect every ballot. In my experience using optical scan ballots, there are generally two ballots for every 10,000 ballots cast on which there are marks that cannot be read by the ballot counter but on which you can determine the voters’ intent and count the votes. That’s what made the difference in the Coleman-Franken recount, which at the time was the largest recount in American history. Frankly, if you’re not going to visually examine every ballot, why bother doing a recount at all?

You took a bit of a nontraditional route to elections, but I understand you’ve been able to use your hydrology degree in developing election technology, can you tell us a bit about that?
Yes, one of the first projects I worked on when I started with the secretary of state in 1984 was the process to collect and report statewide election results electronically, which had never been done before. I ended up using the methodology that the US Geological Survey developed to identify geographic locations on streams and report streamflow data from those locations. It occurred to me that reporting election results could be done in a similar fashion, since that activity also identified data points geographically and reported digital information from them. Any water resources engineer would recognize the concatenation I developed to report our election results. And that method is still being used today, 35 years later.

What advice would you give to someone just getting into the field today?
This is a much more visible and controversial activity than was the case in 1984 when I got my start. Don’t be afraid of that, however. Become an expert in what you are doing. Work proactively with the voters in your community. Don’t sit back and let things happen to you – take the initiative and make things happen.

If you could design the perfect voting system, what would it look like?
I would like to see a system where you could get your ballot from an official website, mark it electronically, print the ballot somewhere and mail it back or deposit it in a ballot counter at a vote center anywhere in the state where you reside. We would use your smartphone or some other device as an authenticator, so we could verify who you are and where you reside. I think all the tools exist to make this work right now.

What’s next for you, besides sleeping in on Election Day?
I’m going to ride my touring bicycle from the west steps of the US Capitol Building in Washington DC to the Presidio in San Francisco. [Editor’s Note: We asked Joe if he was planning on keeping a travel blog or tweeting about his journey and he said he’s thinking about it. We’ll be sure to let you know where to find it if he does!]

(Editor’s Note: We’re taking a brief break from our series on effective communications in elections to cover some “breaking” news over the next couple of weeks. We’ll be back March 21 with more on communications pieces. In the meantime, catch up with our stories in the series: Communications 101 and What makes an effective elections website.)

VVSG Public Comment Period

VVSG public comment period now open

The U.S. Election Assistance Commission’s (EAC) four sitting Commissioners unanimously voted to publish the proposed Voluntary Voting System Guidelines 2.0 (VVSG) Principles and Guidelines in the Federal Register for a 90 day public comment period, after which comments and feedback on the proposed document will be compiled and presented to the Commissioners for discussion and consideration.

“Today’s unanimous vote demonstrates the Commissioners’ shared commitment to taking this next important step in consideration of the proposed VVSG 2.0 Principles and Guidelines. The EAC looks forward to holding hearings on these Principles and Guidelines soon and we encourage the public to provide their feedback on the proposed guidelines,” said EAC Chairman Thomas Hicks, who joined Vice Chair Christy McCormick, Commissioner Ben Hovland and Commissioner Donald Palmer in supporting the measure.

The proposed VVSG 2.0 Principles and Guidelines will be published in the Federal Register in accordance with sections 222(a)(1) and 222(d) of the Help America Vote Act of 2002. They will appear in the Federal Register for a period of 90 days. Separately, upon the completion of the VVSG 2.0’s accompanying Requirements developed by NIST and the EAC, those accompanying Requirements will also be subject to public review and comment, including distribution to the EAC’s Technical Guidelines Development Committee (TGDC), Standards Board and Board of Advisors. This review and comment period will take place prior to consideration and implementation by the Commission.

VVSG are a set of Principles, Guidelines and Requirements against which voting systems can be tested to determine if the systems meet required standards. Some factors examined under these tests include functionality, accessibility, accuracy, auditability and security capabilities.

The Help America Vote Act of 2002 mandates that EAC develop and maintain these requirements as well as testing and certifying voting systems. On December 13, 2005, the EAC unanimously adopted the 2005 VVSG, which significantly increased security requirements for voting systems and expanded access, including opportunities for individuals with disabilities to vote privately and independently. The 2005 guidelines updated and augmented the 2002 Voting System Standards, as required by HAVA, to address advancements in election practices and computer technologies. These guidelines were again updated by the EAC’s Commissioners on March 31, 2015. These guidelines are voluntary. States may decide to adopt them entirely or in part prior to the effective date.

The structure of the new VVSG reflects modifications proposed by the election community, EAC, NIST and the TGDC, which is comprised of election officials, voting system manufacturers, disability experts, cyber security experts, technology experts, and other key election stakeholders. The new guidelines are a high level set of principles that will be supplemented by accompanying documents that detail specific requirements for how systems can meet the new guidelines and obtain certification. The supplemental documents will also detail assertions for how the accredited test laboratories will validate that a system complies with those requirements.

Last Spring, the EAC convened its advisory boards to review and comment on the adoption of the newest version of the voluntary guidelines, VVSG 2.0. Both Boards recommended that the EAC adopt VVSG 2.0. Today’s unanimous Commissioner vote occurred less than two weeks after a quorum of Commissioners was restored at the EAC.

Election News This Week

The Miami Herald has a six-part series about what happened in the 2018 election and how the problems seen statewide may actually help lawmakers craft legislation to improve the process. The articles cover ballot design, biometrics and vote-by-phone, Broward County, recounts and vote-by-mail.

Democratic leaders of the U.S. House Oversight and Reform Committee have sent letters to Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp and Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger seeking documents related to the state’s “exact match” law, the consolidation of polling sites and long lines that were reported at the polls on Election Day in 2018. “The Committee is particularly concerned by reports that Georgians faced unprecedented challenges with registering to vote and significant barriers to casting their votes during the 2018 election,” the letters stated according to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. The Committee members—Chairman Elijah Cummings (D-Maryland) and Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-Maryland) gave the Georgia officials until March 20 to provide the documentation. Raffensperger confirmed he received the letter and said his office “looks forward to an open dialogue and a thorough process.”

Oops. Budget writers in Idaho are scrambling to find $2 million to hold the state’s 2020 presidential primary after Secretary of State Lawerence Denney forgot to include the money in his budget. In 2015 the Legislature approved a bill requiring the state to hold a presidential primary and pick up the costs. The first covered primary was in 2016. According to the Idaho Free Presse Denney said it simply “slipped through the cracks.” “This is in the actual budget, so I think from here on out, here every four years it will show up, so I don’t think it will fall through the cracks,” Denney said according to the paper. “We will notice from here on out.”

If you made a Venn diagram of election geeks and baseball lovers, the intersection would probably be pretty great, which is why we bring you this story about a plan Major League Baseball is considering to create an Election Day for All-Star voting. According to ESPN, under the proposed plan, the standard online voting would take place starting this year. Upon its completion, the top three vote-getters at each position in each league would be on the ballot on Election Day, and whichever players received the most votes on that single day would determine the All-Star starters. We’re down with this, as long as voting fans are provided an I Voted sticker after casting their ballots on Election Day. Psst…opening day is three weeks from today!

Personnel News: Doria Daniels has been appointed to the Portage County, Ohio board of elections. Longtime Lake County, California Registrar of Voters Diane Fridley retired at the end of 2018 and recently deputy registrar Maria Valadez left for another position. Paul Schlecty has been appointed the Darke County, North Carolina elections director. Mark Fox is the new Williams County, Ohio board of elections chairman.

In Memoriam: Norma Paulus, the first woman elected secretary of state in Oregon has died. She was 85. According to The Oregonian, Paulus was a member of the Legislature, Oregon’s secretary of state from 1977 to 1985, her party’s nominee for governor in 1986 and the state’s elected superintendent of schools for two terms in the 1990s. Under Paulus’ leadership, Oregon, implemented statewide vote-by-mail. She also fought for a fair election in Wasco County when an organization tried to bus in homeless people to vote. “She blazed trails for women here,” Senate President Peter Courtney said. “She was a founding member of the Oregon Women’s Political Caucus and helped push the Equal Rights Amendment in Oregon.” Her autobiography is entitled “The Only Woman in the Room,” which was often the case during her years in politics. She is survived by daughter Liz Paulus; son Fritz Paulus and his wife Jennifer Viviano and their son Will; and her sister Gerri Pyrch and brother Paul Petersen. A public memorial service will be held in Salem at Willamette University’s Smith Auditorium on April 27.

Richard “Dick” Goodro, former Middelbury, Vermont town clerk and treasurer died on February 22 from the effects of pulmonary fibrosis. He was 75. Goodro was first elected in 1976 and ended his term as clerk in 1999. “When overseeing elections, it took a long time before my election officials came around to accepting me and my way of doing things compared to Dick,” current Clerk Ann Webster told the Addison Independent. “I was reminded frequently that I did not do things quite like Dick and that he even would sing songs or do a little dance to entertain them during slow periods at the elections. He even told jokes, at which I was a big disappointment.”

Legislative Update

Federal Legislation: The bipartisan Congressional Budget Office is out with its cost estimate to implement H.R. 1, the For the People Act of 2019.

In honor of Women’s History Month and the impending 100th anniversary of women’s suffrage, Rep. Andy Kim has introduced the Alice Paul Voter Protection Act. The bill, specifies that it is unlawful for anyone to hinder or prevent another person from registering or aiding another person in registering. Doing so would be punishable with a fine and up to five years in prison, according to a draft copy of the bill. The measure also encourages states to establish best practices to protect voters’ rights and encourage registration and participation in elections, including posting relevant information at polling places and voter registration agencies, training poll workers and election officials, and publishing educational materials related to voting rights and laws.

Rep. Lucy McBath (D-Georgia) has introduced the Election Official Integrity Act of 2019 that would prevent chief state election officials from participating in federal campaigns and prohibit the use of official authorities to affect elections. It would make it unlawful for these officials to serve on a campaign committee, be involved with campaign fundraising, or use their official authority to affect the result of a federal election.  It would also require these election officials to recuse themselves if they or their immediate family members run for office in an election they would otherwise oversee.

Florida: Three senators have filed SB 1386 that would require standardized ballot design, create guidelines on notification procedures for rejected ballots and set up rules on the cure process for ballots with missing or mismatched signatures. The bill was approved by the Senate Ethics and Elections Committee and will head next to Senate President Bill Galvano who has the discretion to send it before the full chamber or other committees.

Georgia: The Senate Ethics Committee, by a 7-5 vote, approved a bill that will replace Georgia’s aging voting system with a $150 million electronic voting system that features ballot-marking devices.

Hawaii: Several election-related bills that would have lowered the state’s voting age to 16, would have moved the state to a top-two primary and would have restored voting rights to felons were deferred and are therefore dead for this session.

Other election reform bills that were approved by the House and now move to the Senate include automatic recounts, all-mail elections and automatic voter registration.

Iowa: A bipartisan effort that would ensure absentee ballots that get mailed in time are counted in a consistent way is moving forward in the House. The bill requires counties to pay for and use the same barcode system for absentee ballot envelopes. The bill would take effect in 2020.

The House Judiciary Committee has approved a bill that would automatically restore voting rights for ex-felons who have completed the terms of their sentence. If approved by the Legislature, it would go before the voters in 2022.

Senate Study Bill 1241 would: create a uniform polls closing time, 8 p.m., prohibit state-owned buildings other than county courthouses from serving as early voting sites, change the deadline for absentee ballots to be in the office on Election Day, not just in the mail, require election officials to verify signatures on absentee ballots and college students would be given a form that would ask whether they plan to live in or outside Iowa upon graduation, and those who indicate they plan to live outside Iowa would be removed from the voter registration list.

Kentucky: Senate Bill 34, which would have made the secretary of state a symbolic, non-voting member of the state board of elections and stripped the secretary of any day-to-day authority over its staff has failed in a House committee after two Republicans joined Democrats in voting against it. However, Senate Majority Floor Leader Damon Thayer (R-Georgetown) attached an amendment to another House bill that would ultimately make Grimes, and all future secretaries of state, nonvoting member of the state board of elections.

House Bill 325, which has cleared the House, would prohibit voters who switch parties on or after December 31st immediately preceding a primary election from voting in the upcoming primary. New voters who register to vote after December 31st must stay registered with the same party until the following primary in order to vote in that election.

Maine: By an 8-5 vote, the Veterans and Legal Affairs Committee has rejected a bill that would have required voters to show a photo ID in order to vote.

Another bill, LD 186, would prevent noncitizens from voting in any election on any level in the state.

Nebraska: Sen Justin Wayne has introduced LB83 that would eliminate the two-year waiting period before ex-felons can regain their right to vote.

Nevada: The secretary of state’s office has sponsored legislation that would require cities to move their municipal elections from the spring of odd-numbered years to the fall of even-numbered years.

Senate Bill 123 would allow Nevadans to register and vote on Election Day and would add two days to the current two-week early voting period.

New Mexico: House Bill 57, which would automatically restore the voting rights to formerly incarcerated residents when they are released from prison even if they remain on parole or probation, was approved by the House.

New York: The Senate has approved a bill that would allow the use of electronic poll books. The bill now heads to the Assembly for consideration.

Lawmakers have approved a bill that should make it easier to read ballots. The legislation includes minimum font-size requirements, simplified voting instructions, new visual aids for less literate voters and the elimination of superfluous graphics.

North Dakota: House Bill 1059 would allow for part-time poll workers as long as “at least one election inspector and two election judges” are the polling location.

South Carolina: By a 55-40 a vote a bill that would have required voter registrations, applications and absentee voting requests to be submitted within 25 days of an election. Current law is 30 to 31 days before an election. Although the bill successfully cleared the House, concerns driven by the state’s GOP about registration fraud, killed the bill in the Senate.

Washington: By a 54-42 vote, the House approved a bill that will move the state’s presidential preference primary from May to the second Tuesday in March. The Senate approved the bill in January. It now heads to Gove Jay Inslee’s desk.

The Senate has approved a bill that would make prepaid postage on ballot return envelopes permanent in Washington.

Wisconsin: In his budget released last week, Gov. Tony Evers (D) is proposing implementing automatic voter registration. According to the Minneapolis Star-Tribune, the budget requires state elections officials to work with the Department of Transportation to implement it as soon as possible. The proposal would have to be approved by the Legislature. Evers also ordered state transportation officials to come up with a plan to expand hours the motor vehicle offices so residents would have time to get the necessary IDs in order to vote.

Legal Update

Kansas: A citizen-initiated grand jury that was impaneled to investigate alleged election-related crimes by former Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach’s office has adjourned without bringing an indictment, according to a court document in the case. After reviewing the citizen petition, exhibits and testimony of witnesses, the grand jury found “no cognizable crime under the laws of the State of Kansas,” said the document, obtained Wednesday by the Journal-World.

Kentucky: Franklin Circuit Court Judge Thomas Wingate dismissed a request from Secretary of State Allison Lundergan Grimes for a declaratory judgement that would make it clear is legally allowed to search the state’s voter registration database. “The Court finds that Secretary Grimes has failed to plead an actual case or controversy to invoke this court’s jurisdiction,” Wingate wrote

Also in Kentucky, court action has been filed against Pike County Clerk Rhonda Taylor by former candidate Roger Ford for her failure to provide public documents about the finances and operations of the county clerk’s office.

New Hampshire: Spencer McKinnon, 21 has pleaded guilty in Strafford County Superior Court on a misdemeanor charge of providing a false statement on a voter registration form. McKinnon voted twice in 2016, once in Massachusetts and once in New Hampshire. His sentence of six months in a house of corrections was suspended on the condition that he complete 200 hours of community service and pay a $2,000 fine. McKinnon also lost the right to vote in New Hampshire.

New York: A settlement has been reached in a lawsuit filed over the accessibility of the websites run by the New York State Board of Elections and the Department of Motor Vehicles. Under the settlement, both websites will be required to be accessible to blind voters by the end of the year. The lawsuit was originally filed in 2016.

North Carolina: Wake County Superior Court Judge Bryan Collins denied the request of Republican legislative leaders to block his order to void a constitutional amendment that would have required voters to show a photo ID while they appeal the ruling.

North Dakota: The Standing Rock Sioux has signed on to a lawsuit that the Spirit Lake Sioux filed just days before last November’s general election, challenging the state requirement that a voter ID include a provable street address. Tribes allege that disenfranchises members who live on high-poverty reservations where street addresses are uncommon or unknown and where post office boxes are the primary addresses.

Texas: According to the Houston Chronicle, a Houston woman who was forced to turn a firefighters T-shirt inside out at the polls and a Dallas-area man who tried to vote in his Trump MAGA cap are suing a long list of public officials in federal court here for violating their free speech rights. The case was filed on behalf of the voters by the Pacific Legal Foundation which successfully argued against an issue-oriented clothing ban before the U.S. Supreme Court.

Tech Thursday

Colorado: Denver Elections announced this week that it’s looking for volunteers from the city’s pool of military and overseas voters to pilot the city’s use of Votaz’s blockchain encryption to receive and cast a ballot via smartphone. “Denver has always been on the leading edge of elections and technical innovation and participating in this pilot affirms our commitment to exploring ways to make the voting experience as convenient as possible for our military and overseas voters,” said Deputy Director of Elections Jocelyn Bucaro. In addition to working with Voatz, Denver Elections is partnering with Tusk Philanthropies and the National Cyber Security Center on this pilot program.

Cybersecurity: During 2018, the Elections Infrastructure Information Sharing & Analysis Center™ (EI-ISAC®) evolved from an idea to a formalized collective of dedicated election officials. Elections staff members, associations, technology vendors, federal partners, and cybersecurity experts worked tirelessly to help secure the U.S. elections infrastructure. From sharing information about the threat landscape to creating educational opportunities and implementing technical cybersecurity controls, the EI-ISAC’s members, staff, and partners made substantial strides toward ensuring the security and integrity of our elections. For an overview of 2018, review the EI-ISAC at a Glance.

Websites: It’s never too early to start thinking about 2020. Electoral Vote Map is an interactive map to help you follow the 2020 presidential election. The site also features a series of explainers about how presidents are actually elected in the United States.

Opinions This Week

National Opinions: Suffrage; Voting rights; HR 1, II, III | Ranked choice voting | Repairing democracy | Election security | 2020

Colorado: National Popular Vote

Florida: Election problems | Election changes

Georgia: Voting equipment, II | Election administration

Illinois: Ranked choice voting

Iowa: Ex-felon voting rights, II

Minnesota: Civics classes

Mississippi: Secretary of state

New York: Early voting

North Carolina: Election fraud, II, III, IV | Voter trust | Election oversight | Election Day holiday

Ohio: Election Day holiday

Oregon: Dennis Richardson, II, III, IV, V | Election oversight | Voting age | Secretary of state

Pennsylvania: Election security | Paper ballots, II | Vendors

South Carolina: Vote-by-mail | Election roadmap

Texas: Secretary of state, II, III | Voter fraud

Washington: Presidential primary

Available Awards/RFPs/RFIs

StateScoop 50 Awards
The annual StateScoop 50 Awards honor the best and the brightest who make state government more efficient and effective. These awards celebrate the outstanding achievements of our peers and acknowledge their tireless efforts to make a positive impact in the government IT community and in public service. Nominations are now open (and close March 7) in the following categories: State executive of the year, state leadership of the year, state IT innovation of the year, state up & comer, state cybersecurity leader and industry leadership.

Upcoming Events

Unrig Summit 2019 — This is no ordinary conference. Unrig is fast-paced, solutions-oriented, and fun. No boring speeches — 2019’s lineup has more trainings, more workshops, more tools to power you up. Featuring America’s most powerful presenters, expert trainers, activists, musicians, artists and more, we’re bringing together the brightest minds from the right and left to build a new political future for America. 3 days. 2 nights. 1 vision: Unrig the System. Where: Nashville, TN When: Fri March 29 – Sun March 31.

Election Center Special Workshop —The Election Center will hold a special workshop that will include: Course 9 (Enfranchisement, Enhancement, Enforcement ); Course 10 (Constitution, Courts & Cases to 1965); and Renewal Course 14 (Crisis Management). Where: Virginia Beach. When: April 24-28.

National Association of Secretaries Of State — The National Association of Secretaries of State will hold their annual summer conference in late June, early July in New Mexico. Watch this space for more details about agendas and registrations. When: June 30-July 3. Where: Santa Fe, New Mexico.

International Association of Government Officials — IGO’s 2019 Annual Conference will be held in Houston, Texas, July 11-17. Watch this space for more details about agendas and registration.

National Association of Counties — NACo’s 2019 Annual Conference will be held in Clark County (Las Vegas), Nevada July 11-15, 2019. Watch this space for more details about agendas and registration.

National Association of State Election Directors — The NASED Summer Conference will be held in Austin, Texas, July 14-16, 2019. Watch this space for more details about agendas and registration.

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 mmoretti@electionline.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.

Clerk of the Board/Elections Director, Santa Cruz County, Arizona — Under the direction of the Santa Cruz County Board of Supervisors and guidance from the Santa Cruz County Manager, performs statutory duties of the Clerk of the Board pursuant to ARS 11-241 and other statutory duties, to include preparing, publishing and posting the agenda for the Board of Supervisor meetings.  Under limited supervision, performs work of considerable difficulty to plan, organize, coordinate, direct and manage all activities of the Santa Cruz County Elections Department in compliance with applicable laws, rules and regulations. This is an at-will position. Plans, organizes, coordinates, directs and manages all activities of the Santa Cruz County Elections Department in compliance with applicable laws, rules, and regulations; oversees daily operations and programing; develops and administers departmental budget and oversees expenditures, develops and administers training and education for election staff and volunteers.  Develops and implements procedural and technical improvements as they relate to elections; ensures quality control of all aspects of election from ballot production to public information; manages projects, coordinates with other county/state departments and outside vendors. Salary: $69,186. Application: For the complete job listing and to apply, click here.

Deputy Director, Center for Election Innovation & Research — the Deputy Director will report to the Executive Director and have a broad range of responsibilities designed to support CEIR’s mission. In this position, the Deputy Director will play an integral role in the development and execution of CEIR’s programming, strategic communications, and continued growth as an organization. This is an excellent opportunity for an experienced and highly motivated individual who wants to make a substantial, positive, nonpartisan impact on elections and American democracy. The Deputy Director’s primary workplace will be CEIR’s Washington, DC office. The Deputy Director also must be available for business travel as needed. CEIR believes that working alongside and understanding the diverse mix of people who are affected by elections and American democracy is key to achieving our mission. That’s why we’re proud to be an equal opportunity employer committed to creating a diverse, non-discriminatory work environment. We recruit, employ, train, compensate, and promote regardless of race, religion, color, national origin, sex, disability, age, veteran status, and other protected status as required by applicable law. Application: For the complete job listing and to apply, click here.

Director of Voter Services, Hillsborough County, Florida — Responsible for planning, organization and management of voter services units, including eligibility and registration; establishment and operation of election cycle call center(s) – including election day voter eligibility phone bank — and live chat; issuance of standard and customized Voter Focus reports; list maintenance; and Vote By Mail. Responsible for agency-wide records management and compliance. Deadline: March 10. Application: For the complete job listing and to apply, click here.

Elections Deputy Director, Oregon Secretary of State’s Office— exciting career opportunity! The Oregon Secretary of State Elections Division in recruiting for elections deputy director. The primary purpose of this position is to assist the Division Director in the execution of the statutory responsibilities and general operations of the Elections Division. Collaborate with the Elections Director to develop the Division’s budget, organizational goals and objectives as well as advance the direction of the Division. As the subject matter expert, oversee and coordinate the conduct of elections at the state and local level. Perform supervisory functions including but not limited to: hiring, training/coaching, planning, assigning, prioritizing and reviewing work, evaluating performance, implementing disciplinary action and responding to complaints. Salary: $6,480-$10,024 monthly. Deadline: March 18. Application: For the complete job listing and to apply, click here.

GIS Analyst, Yolo County, California— Yolo County ACE (Assessor/Clerk-Recorder/Elections Department) in coordination with the Yolo County General Services department are recruiting for a G.I.S. Analyst. This recruitment is on-going until filled. Submitted applications will be screened continuously, and those applicants meeting the minimum qualifications will move forward to the Screening for Best Qualified process. This position will work inter-departmentally to develop and implement GIS capabilities in Yolo County ACE. GIS is viewed by County Leadership as an innovative enterprise technology that is positioned to help advance County strategic goals. Recent projects include implementing a new enterprise environment, developing an Elections Night Reporting application, developing mobile applications for polling place reporting, and a migration the ESRI Parcel Fabric. The ideal candidate for this position will be a positive, collaborative, solution-focused individual with excellent interpersonal and customer service skills and the ability to handle and manage multiple priorities. If you feel like you meet these qualifications and you would like to join a dynamic organization committed to supporting an environment where employees feel a true sense of passion, purpose and commitment to their job… Yolo County ACE is where you want to be! Our department strives to honor the public’s trust and redefine excellence through innovation and the commitment of a highly-engaged and empowered team. Check out all the exciting things ACE has going on by visiting our social media pages (Facebook: /YoloACE, Instagram: /YoloCoACE, and Twitter: @YoloCoACE). You can be the next Yolo ACE – come and join our team! 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.

Systems Software Specialist, Yolo County, California — The Elections Branch of Yolo County ACE (Assessor/Clerk-Recorder/Elections Department) in coordination with the Yolo County Information Technology department are recruiting for a Systems Software Specialist. This recruitment is on-going until filled. The Systems Software Specialist class series is responsible for the design, coding, implementation, maintenance and evaluation of computer software. This includes, but is not limited to, operating systems, control systems, proprietary software packages, telecommunications software and database management software. The class also aides in solving problems and achieving the best use of available hardware and software; work with staff to design and implement network segmentation, domain addressing and routing strategies; work with technical staff to ensure effective operations of complex multiple hardware and software configurations; and act as a lead persons over other personnel and program projects and performs related duties as required. If you would like to join a dynamic organization committed to supporting an environment where employees feel a true sense of passion, purpose and commitment to their job… Yolo County ACE is where you want to be! Our department strives to honor the public’s trust and redefine excellence through innovation and the commitment of a highly-engaged and empowered team. Check out all the exciting things ACE has going on by visiting our social media pages (Facebook: /YoloACE, Instagram: /YoloCoACE, and Twitter: @YoloCoACE). You can be the next Yolo ACE – come and join our team! Application: For the complete job listing and to apply, click here.

Technical Bid Specialist, Scytl — The Technical Bid Specialist is an essential member of the sales team, supporting business development initiatives as well as providing support to the Marketing department. Based in our Tampa Florida, offices, the Technical Bid Specialist is in charge of managing the coordination, completion and handover of tender proposals for our clients and prospects. This is a key position with a great deal of involvement in the sales process and a decisive influence in the achievement of each deal. To be able to perform this task, the Technical Bid Specialist needs to possess a solid technical background, outstanding writing capabilities and proven experience in pre-sales or consulting endeavors, always facing the client and having to put together complex IT proposals or projects. Application: For the complete job listing and to apply, click here.

Marketplace

electionline provides no guarantees as to the quality of the items being sold and the accuracy of the information provided about the sale items in the Marketplace. Ads are provided directly by sellers and are not verified by electionline. If you have an ad for Marketplace, please email it to: mmoretti@electionline.org

Excess Equipment
Pinal County, Arizona has some excess elections equipment including 19 OS machines and approximately 300 voter booths. If interested, contact Stephanie Cooper, Pinal County elections supervisor at 520-866-7552 or drop her an email at stephanie.cooper@pinalcountyaz.gov.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ballot Scanners
Ballot reader. $500. Buyer will be responsible for pick and shipping to buyer’s location. Contact Wilfred Cochico, purchasing officer City of Lakewood: 562-866-9771 ext. 2640 or via email: WCochico@lakewoodcity.org.

Voting Booths
Each aluminum briefcase contains the following: aluminum legs, privacy shield, writing base, light assembly. All units are in great shape dimensions are 22”x 18”x 3“. MFG: ESL. Election supplies Limited, Napa California. Quantity: 400 Price per unit is $50. Contact Greg Larson 408.569.1004

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In Focus This Week

February 28, 2019

February 28, 2019

In Focus This Week

What makes an effective elections website?

By Kurt Sampsel
Center for Technology and Civic Life

(Editor’s Note: This week we continue our series of stories about the relevance of effective communications in elections. In addition to Alton Dillard’s story last week on Communications 101, in future weeks we’ll cover branding and more.)

At the Center for Technology and Civic Life, we look at a lot of election websites.

Our Civic Data team combs through thousands of them to gather ballot and candidate data, while our Government Services staff audits election websites as part of our work supporting civic communication.

Some election websites are smart and stylish. Others have cartoon characters and “waving flag” gifs. Some of the sites overwhelm us with information, while others are bare. Most sites reflect today’s best practices in design and security, but it’s not uncommon to find one that evokes the days of Windows 95 and dial-up internet.

Having spent so much time with election websites, we’ve developed a sense of what works and what doesn’t. In this article, I’ll share some of what we’ve learned and point you to resources to help you improve your site or create one.

I’m emphasizing that making an effective election website boils down to two key responsibilities.

First, identify which pieces of information voters are most likely to be looking for. Second, use your website design to deliver that information as quickly and straightforwardly as possible.

Understanding voters’ informational needs

Websites are hard! Kurt works with Danaë Rivera-Marasco (L) and Nanci Cornwell (R) at a training in Orange County, Florida. Photo by Whitney May.

In general, I don’t think election officials need to be convinced that having a website is important. It’s 2019, and we understand that when people need information, they look online.

But what information should an election website include? The answer is not as intuitive as you might think.

It could be tempting to rely on anecdotal data — like which questions you hear the most in phone calls — but instead, refer to the Center for Civic Design’s (CCD) excellent research on the topic.

Why? CCD has shown that voters think differently about elections than administrators do. In particular, voters approach elections by thinking about Election Day, and they move backward from there.

CCD’s Designing Election Department Websites identifies the following as voters’ 5 most commonly asked questions, in order:

 

  1. What is on the ballot?
  2. How do I get an absentee ballot and when is it due?
  3. Where do I vote?
  4. Who is in office now?
  5. How do I register to vote?

Of course, these aren’t voters’ only questions, and you also need to accommodate the informational needs of candidates, poll workers, journalists, and others.

Also consider about how elections are run in your area. Officials in vote-by-mail states, for instance, may see fit to tweak the list a little.

Still, these top questions provide a useful baseline — a list of “must haves.” Once you ensure your site addresses them, you can raise the bar and get more ambitious.

That might look like doing more to speak to new and infrequent voters.

2015 research led by CCD has shown that new voters, who are still developing civic habits, need general information about participating. So, have content on your site that walks readers through why we have elections, who can participate, why they might want to, and what voting options are available. These basics are easy to overlook but vital.

Once you know what information to provide, it’s time to think about how to provide it.

Using design to deliver information effectively
When we think of design, we usually think about how something looks. That’s part of it, but design also affects how we use and experience things — and it can impact whether it’s relatively easy or difficult to use something.

To make your election website easy to use, we suggest using principles of plain design. Plain language deservedly gets a lot of love in the election field, but there’s less talk about plain design. Its benefit is the same: greater usability.

Simple and straightforward: the Inyo County, California election website

I totally understand that plain design sounds boring. But keep in mind that an election website exists to do a job: to deliver civic information to the people who need it. It’s not a fashion show.

Once people have come to your website, they have a need, and they’ve come to exactly the right place. Your job is to deliver. Here are a few design tips to help. Remember: less is more!

Let your menu do the work. Website menus channel traffic, sending people in the right direction. But to function, menus need to be clear and unambiguous. They also need to be limited in number. Two menus is plenty; three or four is probably excessive.

Cut redundant content. I’ve noticed election home pages often include multiple links to the same information.This likely comes from a “cover your bases” mentality, but I think redundant information hurts rather than helps. Elections are already complicated, and with redundant content, you’re posting more material that readers must wade through to find what they need.

Use clear terminology. When people search for information on a website, they’re scanning for a particular word or phrase. Help them by using that term yourself instead of jargon. The key is empathy. For example, I often see election websites with one link for “voter information” and another for “election information.” That distinction might make sense to administrators but will baffle most voters.

In addition to these higher-order concerns, there are little things that make a big difference.

Make sure your web pages include white space to make content more manageable. Use a sans serif font that’s easy to read, and avoid using multiple fonts in the same space. Remember that people read top to bottom and left to right, so place important content at the top, left, or center of the page rather than the right or bottom.

Resources to help you
It’s true: making a strong website is easier said than done. But you’re not alone! Here are some resources to help.

For general best practices on election websites, you can’t beat the Center for Civic Design. Their field guide on Designing Election Department Websites gives guidance on infrastructure, information to include, and design. And the How Voters Get Information report contains insights on voters and nonvoters that you can use for a website or voter guide.

Meanwhile, the Center for Technology and Civic Life offers two relevant training courses. If you already have a site, Improving Your Election Website gives you tips as well as opportunities to practice navigation and writing in plain language. If you need to create a site, Building a New Election Website will help you set up shop with a template that CTCL created.

We’re pretty proud of that template, by the way. More than 10 counties are using it, including Inyo County, California and Hardeman County, Tennessee. Check it out to see how plain design really can support usability.

If you’re ambitious and want to create a site on your own, you can access the template for free in the Election Toolkit, which includes several other resources to help your website. For instance, with the Usability Testing Kit, you can show your website to people in your community, collect organized feedback, and make data-driven revisions.

As you work on your site, remember: effective election websites come in all shapes and sizes, and there’s plenty of room for variety and fresh approaches. The best sites simply have a few things in common: they’re simple, clear, and informative. Yours can be, too.

(Kurt Sampsel is a project manager for the Center for Technology and Civic Life, where his work focuses on developing training curricula and tools for election administrators. Before that, he spent ten years as an instructor of college communications courses and enjoyed a position as a researcher and editor in public-affairs community media. He is a graduate of Carnegie Mellon University with a Ph.D. in the field of Cultural Studies.)

VVSG Public Comment

The U.S. Election Assistance Commission’s (EAC) four sitting Commissioners unanimously voted to publish the proposed Voluntary Voting System Guidelines 2.0 (VVSG) Principles and Guidelines in the Federal Register for a 90 day public comment period, after which comments and feedback on the proposed document will be compiled and presented to the Commissioners for discussion and consideration.

“Today’s unanimous vote demonstrates the Commissioners’ shared commitment to taking this next important step in consideration of the proposed VVSG 2.0 Principles and Guidelines. The EAC looks forward to holding hearings on these Principles and Guidelines soon and we encourage the public to provide their feedback on the proposed guidelines,” said EAC Chairman Thomas Hicks, who joined Vice Chair Christy McCormick, Commissioner Ben Hovland and Commissioner Donald Palmer in supporting the measure.

The proposed VVSG 2.0 Principles and Guidelines will be published in the Federal Register in accordance with sections 222(a)(1) and 222(d) of the Help America Vote Act of 2002. They will appear in the Federal Register for a period of 90 days. Separately, upon the completion of the VVSG 2.0’s accompanying Requirements developed by NIST and the EAC, those accompanying Requirements will also be subject to public review and comment, including distribution to the EAC’s Technical Guidelines Development Committee (TGDC), Standards Board and Board of Advisors. This review and comment period will take place prior to consideration and implementation by the Commission.

VVSG are a set of Principles, Guidelines and Requirements against which voting systems can be tested to determine if the systems meet required standards. Some factors examined under these tests include functionality, accessibility, accuracy, auditability and security capabilities.

The Help America Vote Act of 2002 mandates that EAC develop and maintain these requirements as well as testing and certifying voting systems. On December 13, 2005, the EAC unanimously adopted the 2005 VVSG, which significantly increased security requirements for voting systems and expanded access, including opportunities for individuals with disabilities to vote privately and independently. The 2005 guidelines updated and augmented the 2002 Voting System Standards, as required by HAVA, to address advancements in election practices and computer technologies. These guidelines were again updated by the EAC’s Commissioners on March 31, 2015. These guidelines are voluntary. States may decide to adopt them entirely or in part prior to the effective date.

The structure of the new VVSG reflects modifications proposed by the election community, EAC, NIST and the TGDC, which is comprised of election officials, voting system manufacturers, disability experts, cyber security experts, technology experts, and other key election stakeholders. The new guidelines are a high level set of principles that will be supplemented by accompanying documents that detail specific requirements for how systems can meet the new guidelines and obtain certification. The supplemental documents will also detail assertions for how the accredited test laboratories will validate that a system complies with those requirements.

Last Spring, the EAC convened its advisory boards to review and comment on the adoption of the newest version of the voluntary guidelines, VVSG 2.0. Both Boards recommended that the EAC adopt VVSG 2.0. Today’s unanimous Commissioner vote occurred less than two weeks after a quorum of Commissioners was restored at the EAC.

Election News This Week

Oregon Secretary of State Dennis Richardson

Oregon Secretary of State Dennis Richardson died this week after a very public battle with brain cancer. He was 69. “I am so sorry to hear of the passing of Secretary Richardson. For the time I knew him, he was a wonderful man and dedicated to doing right for his state,” said NASS President Jim Condos, Vermont Secretary of State. “We have all lost not just a colleague, but also a friend!” Richardson was first elected to the secretary of state’s office in 2016. Prior to that he served in the Oregon House of Representatives for six terms beginning in 2002. He was an attorney and served as a combat helicopter pilot in Vietnam. He was an active member of the National Association of Secretaries of State serving on the Elections, Business Services, State Heritage and Cybersecurity Committees. He was also an advocate for the Kid Governor Program, which encouraged NASS membership to officially partner with the program at its 2019 Winter Conference. “Dennis was a kind and good man who leaves behind a legacy of committed public service to the people of Oregon. I had the pleasure of working with him through our membership in the National Association of Secretaries of State where I observed his expertise and civility firsthand,” said New Mexico Secretary of State Maggie Toulouse Oliver. “I’m saddened to learn of his passing and my thoughts are with his family at this difficult time.” Richardson is survived by his wife of 45 years, Cathy and nine children and 31 grandchildren.

 

 

Oops, it’s happened again! In this week’s installment of ballots that weren’t counted in the November 2018 election, the Howard County, Indiana clerk’s office announced that 1,100 uncounted ballots were discovered in the county’s secure Election Room. Newly elected Clerk Debbie Stewart found the 1,148 unopened ballots on January 21 and alerted the state elections division. The ballots have now been counted and no election results were altered by the additional votes. The ballots were discovered in a ballot storage cabinet that requires keys from both parties and the clerk to unlock. “The final closeout procedures for the election room were not implemented and as a result human error was allowed to occur and the absentee ballot cabinet was not cleared,” said Stewart who did not oversee the election.

North Carolina 9th: Shortly after Republican candidate Mark Harris called for a new election in North Carolina’s contested 9th District, the North Carolina State Board of Elections unanimously voted to hold a new election. According to the News & Observer, the state board will set dates for a new election in the district with election officials outlining a possible May primary and October general election. A new state law requires a primary election, though legal challenges are expected. On Wednesday, L. McCrae Dowless Jr., the man at the center of the ballot harvesting controversy, was indicted along with four others in Wake County.

Personnel News: Beverly Williams has been appointed to serve on the Lincoln County, Mississippi election commission. Jim Kimel has been named chairman of the Guilford County, North Carolina board of elections. Former Seminole County Supervisor of Elections Mike Ertel has rejoined the county elections office as a consultant. Christy McCormick has been installed to a second term as chair of the U.S. Election Assistance Commission. Ron Johnson is resigning as the chairman of the Johnson County, Georgia board of elections.

In Memoriam: Former La Salle County, Illinois Clerk JoAnn Carretto has died. She was 62. Carretto did not run for a fourth four-year term in November citing health issues. Carretto began working in the clerk’s office in 1979 before running for and winning the job as clerk in 2006. “The one thing I really feel with all my heart and that I will take with me is what an honor it’s been to have been elected as the La Salle County Clerk and to have served the residents and voters for the past 12 years,” Carretto told The Times for a story after she chose not to seek re-election.

George Olin Jernigan Jr., former Arkansas secretary of state has died. He was 79. Jernigan served as secretary of state for two year after being appointed to the position following the death of then-Secretary of State Kelly Bryant. “He was a good man and a good citizen, and a friend of mine for over forty years since…” President Bill Clinton said in an emailed statement to the Arkansas Democrat Gazette. Clinton defeated Jernigan in a race for attorney general. Jernigan attended college and law school at the University of Arkansas, served as a captain in the U.S. Army and was lawyer.

Research and Report Summaries

Hart InterCivic released a white paper on election warehouse security last week. The paper focuses on four elements of fortifying long-term storage of voting equipment and sensitive election materials: monitoring events and patterns; controlling access; managing inventory and assets; and planning for continuity of operations.

The California Civic Engagement Project (CCEP) at the University of Southern California released two fact sheets this month about voter participation in California’s 2018 general elections. With 50.5 percent eligible turnout, California experienced the highest turnout rate in a midterm general election since 1982. The two fact sheets provide additional data and analysis regarding participation of youth, Latinos, and Asian Americans in the state.

  1. California’s Youth Vote – The fact sheet finds that young voters in the state experienced a significant increase in eligible voter turnout over the previous midterm general election, rising from 8.2 percent in 2014 to 27.5 percent in 2018. The fact sheet further highlights that the youth registration rate reached 61.6 percent in 2018, rising from 52 percent in 2014.
  2. California’s Latino and Asian-American Vote – The fact sheet finds that Latino eligible turnout rose from 17.3 percent in 2014 to 35.9 percent in 2018, while Asian-American eligible turnout rose from 18.4 percent to 33.0 percent over the same period. The fact sheet further highlights that the registration rate for Latinos rose from 62.9 percent in 2014 to 68.7 percent in 2018, while the registration rate for Asian Americans rose from 50.7 percent to 57.3 percent over the same period.

(Research and Report Summaries are written by David Kuennen.)

Legislative Updates

Federal Legislation: Rep. Terri Sewell (D-Alabama) has introduced legislation that would restore parts of the Voting Rights Act including returning 11 states—Alabama, California, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, New York, North Carolina, South Carolina, Texas and Virginia—to preclearance. Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vermont) has introduced campaign legislation in the Senate.

Arizona: The Senate has approved a bill would prevent local elections officials from opening emergency early voting centers between 5pm on the Friday before an election and Election Day.

California: The Orange County board of supervisors voted unanimously this week to overhaul the county’s voting system and move to a vote-by-mail/vote center system beginning in 2020. The move is supported by Registrar of Voters Neal Kelley.

Colorado: The Legislature has approved a bill that if signed by the governor, would include Colorado in the National Popular Vote compact. According to Colorado Public Radio Gov. Jared Polis (D) has indicated he will sign it.

Florida: House Bill 967 would change the rules of signature matches for by-mail ballots.

Georgia: The House has approved a bill that would authorize the state to spend $150 million to replace the aging DRE voting system with a new ballot-marking system.

Illinois: Sen. Ann Gillespie (D-Arlington Heights) has introduced legislation banning firearms at polling places. Currently 20 percent of the state’s polling places are in buildings that are not designated as “gun-free zones”.

Iowa: A resolution proposing a constitutional amendment to automatically restore voting rights to felons who have completed their sentences unanimously passed a three-member state senate panel.

Kansas: The House Elections Committee voted 7-5 against a bill that would have allowed Kansas residents to register and vote on the same day. Republicans on the committee who voted against it argued that it would increase costs for county election offices.

Lawmakers are considering Senate Bill 130 that would require election officials to try to notify voters who send in ballot envelopes with missing signatures before ballots are officially counted. The change would also apply to any voter whose signature on a ballot envelope doesn’t match the signature on file. The Senate approved the bill 40-0. It now moves to the House.

Maine: Legislators are once again considering a bill that would require voters to show a photo ID in order to cast a ballot.

Maryland: House Bill 79 would require jurisdictions to have three early voting centers if they have between 100,000 and 200,000 registered voters. The current requirement is for those counties to have just one early voting site.

Under House Bill 706 online requests to absentee ballots online would be largely limited to military and overseas voters, voters with disabilities. Others would receive their ballots in the mail.

Montana: Secretary of State Corey Stapleton is championing a bill making its way through the Legislature that would allow his office to replace antiquated voting machines and replace them with voting machines that are more user-friendly for voters with disabilities.

Under House Bill 536 voters applying for or updating their driver’s license information would be automatically registered to vote unless they chose to opt out.

Montana county elections officials are supporting House Bill 557 that would finally allow the state to adopt online voter registration. State Elections Director Dana Corson testified that although the state is update the voter registration system it would be difficult to incorporate online voter registration with that.

Oklahoma: The Senate has approved Senate Bill 58 that will allow employees who live two or more house from their polling place to take leave to vote on the Thursday or Friday before an election when in-person absentee voting is permitted.

South Carolina: Budget writers for the House of Delegates have transferred the State Election Commission’s funds to purchase new voting machines from the Election Commission to the state’s Department of Administration. According to The State, the SEC will still be able to choose the new voting equipment, but lawmakers will have the authority to approve or veto the SEC’s decision.

South Dakota: By a 36-33 vote the House has approved House Bill 1178 that will reduce the state’s early voting window from 46 days to 32. The original version of the bill had shortened the early voting window to just 14 days. On Wednesday, after hearing from county elections officials, the Senate voted down the measure.

Tennessee: A bill that would have required residents to choose a party affiliation when registering to vote has failed in the House Local Committee.

Texas: Under House Bill 375, commissioner courts would be required to designate a polling place at “a location on the main campus” of colleges with at least 10,000 students enrolled.

Utah: Under H.B. 259 straight-ticket voting would be banned in Utah. This is the third attempt to pass such legislation after previous bills failed in 2013 and 2016.

West Virginia: Sen. Dave Sypolt, R-Preston, and Delegate Terri Funk Sypolt, R-Preston have each introduced legislation in their respective chambers that would open schools on Election Day. Currently state law mandates that Election Day is a holiday although fewer and fewer schools are used as polling places.

Wyoming: By a 14-11 vote, the Senate voted down House Bill 106 that would have closed the state’s primary elections to voters who switched their party affiliations.

Legal Updates

Michigan: U.S. District Judge Janet Neff has granted a request by Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson to pause a case involving the legality of ballot selfies so Benson and her team, who came into office in January, can review the case further.

New York: Kings County Supreme Court Judge Edgar Walker ruled in favor of New York City in its suit against the city’s board of elections over interpreters at the polls. The board of elections sued the city in an effort to keep the city from placing interpretation services in certain poll sites in Spanish, Mandarin, Cantonese, Korean and Bangla, as required by the Voting Rights Act. The board of elections argued the translators should be outside the polling place. “Speculative claims regarding possible harm or that allowing the interpreters at the polling place might lead down a ‘slippery slope’ are insufficient to establish immediate irreparable harm,” Walker wrote in his decision.

North Carolina: Wake County Superior Court Judge Bryan Collins has sided with the state NAACP and voided a state mandate requiring a photo ID in order to cast a ballot. Collins ruled that the GOP-controlled Legislature lacked authority to put the constitutional amendment on the ballot because lawmakers has been elected from racially-biased districts two years earlier. The Republican lawmakers have appealed the judge’s ruling.

Texas: U.S. District Judge Fred Biery has ordered Texas officials to halt the removal of any registered voter from the state’s voter rolls who appeared on the initial list of potential noncitizens. “The evidence has shown in a hearing before this Court that there is no widespread voter fraud,” Biery wrote also noting that the state “created a mess” when it released the list without further vetting.

Tech Thursday

Cybersecurity: The Washington Post and New York Times are reporting this week that the U.S. military took down a Russian troll farm on Election Day in a cyberattack that continued for several days after the November 6 vote. The operation was intended to prevent the Internet Research Agency, based in St. Petersburg, Russia, from spreading propaganda or disinformation aimed at undermining confidence in the midterm vote or the results of the election, American officials told The New York Times. The operation was aimed at taking the Internet Research Agency off line for several days, from Election Day until the results were certified by local officials.

Opinions This Week

National Opinion: Voter ID | Who gets to vote | Voting Rights Act | Election fraud | Ex-felon voting rights

Arizona: Polling places | Ballot harvesting

California: San Louis Obispo County | Voting system | Election security

Colorado: National Popular Vote

Delaware: Voting system

Georgia: Voting system, II

Kansas: Ballot signatures, II | Ex-felon voting rights

Michigan: Detroit clerk

Minnesota: Election security funding

Mississippi: Jackson County

Missouri: Election fraud

New York: Automatic voter registration | Language assistance | Ranked choice voting | Special elections

North Carolina: Voter ID, II, III | Election fraud, II, III, IV, V, VI

Ohio: Poll workers

Pennsylvania: Vendors, II, III, IV, V | Election security, II | Equipment |

South Carolina: Vote-by-mail

Vermont: Voting rights

Available RFPs/RFIs/Awards

Rhode Island Department of State RFP
The Rhode Island Department of Administration/Division of Purchases, on behalf of the Rhode Island Department of State, is soliciting proposals from qualified firms to provide a centralized voter registration system in accordance with the terms of this  Request for Proposals (“RFP”) and the State’s General Conditions of Purchase, which may be obtained at the Division of Purchases’ website at www.purchasing.ri.gov.

The contract period will begin approximately in May 2019.

This is a Request for Proposals, not a Request for Quotes. Responses will be  evaluated on the basis of the relative merits of the proposal, in addition to cost; there will be no public opening and reading of responses  received by the Division of Purchases pursuant to this solicitation, other than to name those offerors who have submitted proposals.

StateScoop 50 Awards
The annual StateScoop 50 Awards honor the best and the brightest who make state government more efficient and effective. These awards celebrate the outstanding achievements of our peers and acknowledge their tireless efforts to make a positive impact in the government IT community and in public service. Nominations are now open (and close March 7) in the following categories: State executive of the year, state leadership of the year, state IT innovation of the year, state up & comer, state cybersecurity leader and industry leadership.

Upcoming Events

Unrig Summit 2019 — This is no ordinary conference. Unrig is fast-paced, solutions-oriented, and fun. No boring speeches — 2019’s lineup has more trainings, more workshops, more tools to power you up. Featuring America’s most powerful presenters, expert trainers, activists, musicians, artists and more, we’re bringing together the brightest minds from the right and left to build a new political future for America. 3 days. 2 nights. 1 vision: Unrig the System. Where: Nashville, TN When: Fri March 29 – Sun March 31.

Election Center Special Workshop —The Election Center will hold a special workshop that will include: Course 9 (Enfranchisement, Enhancement, Enforcement ); Course 10 (Constitution, Courts & Cases to 1965); and Renewal Course 14 (Crisis Management). Where: Virginia Beach. When: April 24-28.

International Association of Government Officials — IGO’s 2019 Annual Conference will be held in Houston, Texas, July 11-17. Watch this space for more details about agendas and registration.

National Association of Counties — NACo’s 2019 Annual Conference will be held in Clark County (Las Vegas), Nevada July 11-15, 2019. Watch this space for more details about agendas and registration.

National Association of State Election Directors — The NASED Summer Conference will be held in Austin, Texas, July 14-16, 2019. Watch this space for more details about agendas and registration.

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 mmoretti@electionline.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.

Campus Outreach Lead, Democracy Works— As campus outreach lead, you will sustain and grow the TurboVote higher education partnerships program. You will be responsible for renewing contracts with existing higher education partners and bringing on new partners by generating leads, carrying those leads through necessary follow up tasks, and formalizing partnerships with signed contracts. In this role, you will build relationships with key stakeholders at colleges and universities, as well as with fellow nonprofit organizations that support civic engagement at colleges and universities. You’ll become an expert in the world of higher education and cultivate a passion for promoting civic engagement. Also, you will persistently navigate the bureaucracy of external organizations. Salary: $50,000 to $65,000. Application: For the complete job listing and to apply, click here.

Certification Manager (Denver, CO) – Dominion Voting Systems — Dominion Voting Systems is seeking a Certification Manager to join our team in Denver, CO! This position is a cross -functional leader playing a key role in managing certification efforts for Dominion Voting products. In this role, you will act as a representative of the company with State and Federal certification officials, test labs, and other key internal and external stakeholders throughout the certification process. Application: For the complete job listing and to apply, click here.

Clerk of the Board/Elections Director, Santa Cruz County, Arizona — Under the direction of the Santa Cruz County Board of Supervisors and guidance from the Santa Cruz County Manager, performs statutory duties of the Clerk of the Board pursuant to ARS 11-241 and other statutory duties, to include preparing, publishing and posting the agenda for the Board of Supervisor meetings.  Under limited supervision, performs work of considerable difficulty to plan, organize, coordinate, direct and manage all activities of the Santa Cruz County Elections Department in compliance with applicable laws, rules and regulations. This is an at-will position. Plans, organizes, coordinates, directs and manages all activities of the Santa Cruz County Elections Department in compliance with applicable laws, rules, and regulations; oversees daily operations and programing; develops and administers departmental budget and oversees expenditures, develops and administers training and education for election staff and volunteers.  Develops and implements procedural and technical improvements as they relate to elections; ensures quality control of all aspects of election from ballot production to public information; manages projects, coordinates with other county/state departments and outside vendors. Salary: $69,186. Application: For the complete job listing and to apply, click here.

Deputy Director, Center for Election Innovation & Research — the Deputy Director will report to the Executive Director and have a broad range of responsibilities designed to support CEIR’s mission. In this position, the Deputy Director will play an integral role in the development and execution of CEIR’s programming, strategic communications, and continued growth as an organization. This is an excellent opportunity for an experienced and highly motivated individual who wants to make a substantial, positive, nonpartisan impact on elections and American democracy. The Deputy Director’s primary workplace will be CEIR’s Washington, DC office. The Deputy Director also must be available for business travel as needed. CEIR believes that working alongside and understanding the diverse mix of people who are affected by elections and American democracy is key to achieving our mission. That’s why we’re proud to be an equal opportunity employer committed to creating a diverse, non-discriminatory work environment. We recruit, employ, train, compensate, and promote regardless of race, religion, color, national origin, sex, disability, age, veteran status, and other protected status as required by applicable law. Application: For the complete job listing and to apply, click here.

Director of Voter Services, Hillsborough County, Florida — Responsible for planning, organization and management of voter services units, including eligibility and registration; establishment and operation of election cycle call center(s) – including election day voter eligibility phone bank — and live chat; issuance of standard and customized Voter Focus reports; list maintenance; and Vote By Mail. Responsible for agency-wide records management and compliance. Deadline: March 10. Application: For the complete job listing and to apply, click here.

Elections Administrator, Adams County, Colorado — In collaboration with and oversight from the Clerk and Recorder or Chief Deputy, plan and oversee the conduct of elections, ensure the integrity of the process and the accuracy of operational tasks based on applicable federal and state laws, Secretary of State (SOS) rules and organizational policies. Reports directly to the Clerk & Recorder Chief Deputy. Participate in the preparation and execution of the department’s strategic and tactical plans, annual budgets, and asset management; provide direct supervision of the department staff, including managing work schedules and Clerk and Recorder policies and procedures. Salary: $75,850.65 – $106,190.91. Deadline: March 6. Application: For the complete job listing and to apply, click here.

Elections Technician Supervisor, San Joaquin County, California — The San Joaquin County Registrar of Voter’s Office is looking to fill two vital Elections Technician Supervisor positions within the department and to create an eligible list which may be used to fill future vacancies. This is a fast-paced elections office with a vibrant staff and diverse electorate. In 2019 we anticipate installing a new voting system and upgrading many of our operations. There are three areas the Elections Technician Supervisor may be assigned: Precinct Operations, Voter Registration and Candidate Filing & Campaign Services. Application: For the complete job listing and to apply, click here.

Election Technology Specialist, Boulder County, Colorado — The Boulder County Clerk and Recorder’s Office, Elections Division, has an opening for an Elections Technology Specialist. This position will learn and perform a variety of complex, technical, and specialized tasks associated with elections management, and voting systems. To be successful in this position you must be eager to learn, possess an aptitude for technical information and data analysis, and become comfortable in a high-stakes, team-focused work environment. We seek a person who is process-oriented and motivated to do meaningful work that facilitates the democratic process. The ideal candidate is self-motivated, enjoys both leading and supporting in a collaborative environment, and possesses excellent written and verbal communication skills. They have the demonstrated ability to use complicated software, perform moderately sophisticated tasks in MS Excel and Access, learn and apply new skills effectively with minimal support, and communicate technical information to nontechnical personnel. Additionally, they demonstrate creativity and innovation through problem-solving. Ability to work effectively under pressure while remaining positive and flexible is also key to success. Salary: $56,124 to $65,000. Application: For the complete job listing and to apply, click here.

Full Stack Architect / Senior Software Engineer, Clear Ballot— Clear Ballot is looking for an accomplished, Boston MA based Architect/Senior Software Engineer who wants to bring their technical and leadership skills to bear on a hugely consequential problem: Bringing transparency to democratic elections. The successful candidate will implement new products and features under tight deadlines. You will be using primarily Python and MySQL that interface with front-end web applications implemented in JavaScript and HTML5. The ideal candidate should have strong technical and leadership skills and a good working knowledge of the latest concepts in security, performance, and resilience. You will be working with a small team of highly skilled individuals to build and enhance a platform that is changing the elections industry. Application: For the complete job listing and to apply, click here.

Full Stack Software Developer, Clear Ballot — The successful candidate will build and enhance enterprise-level, highly available applications using primarily Python and MySQL that interface with frontend web applications implemented in JavaScript and HTML5. The ideal candidate should have strong technical skills and a good working knowledge of the latest concepts in performance, security and resilience. One of the hallmarks of our system is its emphasis on new visualization techniques made possible by sophisticated data structures that enable high-performance in a multi-user environment. You will be working with a small team of highly skilled individuals to build and enhance a platform that is changing the elections industry. Application: For the complete job listing and to apply, click here.

IT Security Administrator (Denver) – Dominion Voting is looking for an IT Security Administrator to join our IT team in Denver, Colorado! We are looking for a security minded individual who can perform both day-to-day technical management and maintenance of IT security programs, and who can also strategically assess and enhance the overall IT security enterprise-wide. Application: For the complete job listing and to apply, click here.

Management and Budget Specialist, Montgomery County, Maryland— the Board of Elections for Montgomery County, Maryland, is looking for a Management and Budget Specialist. Duties include administering and preparing the annual budget; managing day-to-day financial transactions and recordkeeping; collecting and analyzing data; and writing reports, memoranda and presentations to inform and explain the department’s decisions. Salary: $55,176 to $91,314 annually. Application: For the complete job list and to apply, click here and view Job #IRC34280 under the category “General Professional”.

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.

Regional Sales Manager, Clear Ballot— The Regional Sales Manager (RSM) position will represent Clear Ballot in a designated territory to engage prospective customers, educate them on the value of partnering with Clear Ballot, and close New Business. This position is a Hunter. The RSM will be responsible for managing and growing their assigned territory and meeting quarterly and annual sales goals. Previous sales experience in high growth organizations is a plus. RSM’s will be responsible for understanding the Clear Ballot portfolio and effectively communicating the value we bring to the market. Measures of success include: high levels of sales activity, regular and consistent reporting and communication of progress, progress toward quarterly and annual quota attainment, and overcoming obstacles to get the job done. We currently have open positions in Florida and Boston. Application: For the complete job listing and to apply, click here.

Sales Engineer, Clear Ballot — Our Sales and Marketing team is looking for a seasoned, hardworking and energetic Sales Engineer with proven experience and a passion for selling technology solutions. This role is responsible for being the primary technical resource for our sales force while also actively driving and managing the technology evaluation stage of the sales process. You will be required to have an in-depth technical knowledge of Clear Ballot’s Clear Vote suite and demonstrating the product capabilities to prospective customers. The ideal candidate must also be able to identify and provide reliable solutions for all technical issues to assure complete customer satisfaction. Measures of success include new customer acquisition rates, renewal rates, upselling, cross-selling, customer satisfaction and contribution to overall sales team and new customer success Application: For the complete job listing and to apply, click here.

Senior Research Support Associate, MEDSL— MIT Election Data and Science Lab (MEDSL), to support the data processing and research assistance needs of the lab. Responsibilities will include assisting with data management and research by collecting and cleaning data, performing data analysis, creating graphs and figures, visualizing data, drafting results and preparing tables for papers that are in the process of publication; assisting with the fielding of surveys; and performing general administrative duties including file organization, participating in meetings, and other miscellaneous tasks. This is an ideal position for someone interested in gaining research experience in political science and data science more broadly. Application: For the complete job listing and to apply, click here.

Senior Software Developer (Toronto) – Dominion Voting is searching for an experienced and passionate Senior Software Developer to join our team in Toronto! These positions will be responsible for providing high-level technical expertise in design development, coding, testing and debugging new software or significant enhancements to existing software for our customers. You will work on a variety of our product lines and you may act as team leader on less complex projects and assists in training/mentoring less experienced software development staff. Application: For the complete job listing and to apply, click here.

Software Developer III (Toronto) – Dominion Voting is searching for an experienced and passionate Software Developer III to join our team in Toronto! These positions will be responsible for providing high-level technical expertise in design development, coding, testing and debugging new software or significant enhancements to existing software for our customers. You will work on a variety of our product lines and you may act as team leader on less complex projects and assists in training/mentoring less experienced software development staff. Application: For the complete job listing and to apply, click here.

Software Product Specialist II (Phoenix, AZ) – Dominion Voting Systems — Dominion Voting Systems is seeking a Software Product Specialist II to join our team in Phoenix, AZ! This position will be responsible for delivering a wide variety of technical and non-technical customer support services related to the implementation, operation, repair, maintenance and upgrades of Dominion Voting Systems technology products. Application: For the complete job listing and to apply, click here.

Systems Engineer, Clear Ballot — We are looking for a talented Systems Engineer who has both a technical and services/support background which enables them to quickly assess customer needs and offer value to Clear Ballot’s customers. The Systems Engineer will gain a deep understanding of how Clear Ballot’s products operate and their optimal configuration to build a streamlined installation process of the Clear Vote election system. The ideal candidate for this position can prioritize mission critical tasks and coordinate the implementation and expansion of our systems. They will be able to work directly with customers, display innovation, think conceptually and act tactically to build consensus around system installation and enhancement and meet deadlines. Application: For the complete job listing and to apply, click here.

Technical Bid Specialist, Scytl — The Technical Bid Specialist is an essential member of the sales team, supporting business development initiatives as well as providing support to the Marketing department. Based in our Tampa Florida, offices, the Technical Bid Specialist is in charge of managing the coordination, completion and handover of tender proposals for our clients and prospects. This is a key position with a great deal of involvement in the sales process and a decisive influence in the achievement of each deal. To be able to perform this task, the Technical Bid Specialist needs to possess a solid technical background, outstanding writing capabilities and proven experience in pre-sales or consulting endeavors, always facing the client and having to put together complex IT proposals or projects. Application: For the complete job listing and to apply, click here.

Marketplace

electionline provides no guarantees as to the quality of the items being sold and the accuracy of the information provided about the sale items in the Marketplace. Ads are provided directly by sellers and are not verified by electionline. If you have an ad for Marketplace, please email it to: mmoretti@electionline.org

Ballot Scanners
Ballot reader. $500. Buyer will be responsible for pick and shipping to buyer’s location. Contact Wilfred Cochico, purchasing officer City of Lakewood: 562-866-9771 ext. 2640 or via email: WCochico@lakewoodcity.org.

Voting Booths
Each aluminum briefcase contains the following: aluminum legs, privacy shield, writing base, light assembly. All units are in great shape dimensions are 22”x 18”x 3“. MFG: ESL. Election supplies Limited, Napa California. Quantity: 400 Price per unit is $50. Contact Greg Larson 408.569.1004

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In Focus This Week

February 21, 2019

February 21, 2019

In Focus This Week

Comms 101
Transparency is key to instilling confidence

By Alton P. Dillard II, communications director
Office of the Clerk and Recorder-City and County of Denver

(Editor’s Note: This week we kick off a series of stories about the relevance of effective communications in elections. In addition to Alton’s story today, in future weeks we’ll cover websites, branding and more.)

The November 2006 General Election started out like any other Election Day, but as late morning approached, it became apparent that something was wrong.

With rumors swirling that there were “voting machine failures,” lines began to grow at our vote centers and before long, news helicopters were circling, injunctions were filed to keep the polls open past 7 p.m., and a delegation of our congresswoman and state representatives marched into our then-director’s office demanding answers.

A quick eyeball of a couple of vote centers showed that the voting machines were actually working, but that people weren’t able to get them to the voting machines at all because the e-poll books weren’t working. Lines stretched for blocks and hours.

I was on camera for almost a week straight trying to explain all of this, while having no information about the root cause of the issue. This was the front end of the debacle.

The back end of the debacle was the fact that there was a programming error so our scanners couldn’t’ read the ballot styles if they were fed in a mixed batch. Imagine standing in a room with boxes of ballots stacked to the ceiling and being told they would have to be manually sorted by ballot style prior to being fed into scanners. We laid out a bunch of bins and literally spent the following days sorting “three,” “seven,” “here’s a four.”

It was brutal, but the 2006 election also strengthened our bond and our organizational resolve to never put the voters over ourselves through this experience again and in a 2007 special election voters approved a measure to eliminate the 3-person election commission and create an elected clerk and recorder like other Colorado counties.

Fast forward to 2019 and the Denver Elections Division is recognized nationally and internationally as one of the top elections offices in existence because of the outstanding work done by our team of very talented professionals behind the scenes.

I’m considered the Dean of the Delegation of Elections Communicators in Colorado because I’ve specialized in election communications for 13 years. I’m also a former U.S. Senate press secretary who cut his crisis communication teeth when the senator I worked for switched parties midway through his term.

Those skills served me well when under the three-person election commission structure in 2006 the e-poll book failure resulted in blocks-long lines and thousands of people being turned away without voting. I was the public face of that debacle even though I was an outside consultant at the time.

In Colorado, a lot of our 64 county clerks are their own spokespeople, their own public face.

If we are honest with ourselves, the world of elections administration has been a panicky place since Florida 2000. In the current environment where all it takes are the words “hack,” or “line” to stampede the herd, it is imperative to have effective communications with your voters.

Regardless of the size of your jurisdiction, transparency is key to instilling confidence in how you administer elections. With the scrutiny elections officials are under, elections administration can no longer take place “behind the curtain.”

Ask yourself, is our election office set up for transparency for voters, watchers and media? Does your physical layout accommodate the highest level of transparency allowed by law? Do watchers and official observers have the access required to do their jobs? Does your elections office conduct tours for voters, elected officials, candidates, media and external stakeholders? The perception of lack of transparency in the voting process is one of the quickest ways to draw negative coverage.

Local Media
Denver is the state capital, but it’s also a Top 20 media market. We are literally a five-minute drive from five television stations and we garner a lot of print, radio and web publication coverage too.

In our current elections environment, it is imperative to have good relationships with the media. If your jurisdiction is in a larger media market, make sure to know the reporters that cover you, but also make sure you meet with the people who deploy those reporters.

Prior to every major election, I meet with the news directors, web content editors, producers, assignment desk editors, and editors at every local television state and newspaper. We also conduct a media tour before every election make sure media gets their questions answered so we can make sure that current and consistent information is being put out. Media tours allow TV stations to update their file footage. Nothing drives me crazier than seeing 400Cs in new stories when we haven’t used those in nearly five years. Even if the media in your jurisdiction is a small mom and pop newspaper, it is important to keep them informed.

Social Media
With social media, I can’t stress this enough. Go there, but only if you have the bandwidth to do so. Social media is only effective if you are prepared to treat it as two – way communications tool. You must be prepared to respond to voter inquiries and shoot down misinformation nearly 24-7, especially in live election mode. Incorrect information from your followers that sits on your social media feeds overnight because they aren’t checked until the next morning becomes a tough bell to unring.

The Denver Elections Division uses social media to let voters know everything from voting locations and hours, where we are deploying Haul-N-Votes, our mobile voting center, vote center wait times, the status and candidate and issue petitions, etc.  We also post videos of our ballot processing rooms, our post-election risk limited audit and canvass process and we encourage voters to snap selfies in front of our branded backdrop or a 24-hour ballot drop-off box and hashtag us to let us know they voted.

Because the general public doesn’t always differentiate between politics and election administration, we make it clear that our only concern is that people vote, not who or what they vote for. That keeps us from being tagged into political discussions for the most part.

External Stakeholders
It is also important to bring your external stakeholders to the table to help serve as your eyes and ears in the community you serve. We have an Elections Advisory Committee that consists of members from a cross section of the community. Local political party chairs, voting activists and advocates, League of Women Voters, Common Cause, Disability Law Colorado, Mayoral Commissions representing communities of color and the community of persons with disabilities and local elected officials are some of the interests that make up the membership of our EAC.

Denver is a Section 203 County under the United States Voting Rights Act due to our percentage of monolingual Spanish speakers.  We have ACCESO, a Spanish language advisory board that is codified in the same manner as a mayoral commission. We discuss everything from community outreach to the accuracy of the translations for our election materials with that group.

If it makes sense for your jurisdiction, consider hiring a professional communicator to lighten your load if you haven’t already. The first time I presented on media relations at the Colorado County Clerks Association Conference a few years ago everyone in my session was looking at me like I had two heads and asked me “does the media really cover you that much?” These days, I serve on the CCCA’s Public Information Committee along with Public Information Officers from other counties.

By the way, it’s okay to humblebrag as you tell your story. If you come up with an innovation that makes it easier for your customers to participate in the voting process while saving taxpayer money, tell your story. Have a 90-year-old election judge who has been voting since 1952? Tell her story. Putting some human faces on the voting process humanizes the process which will serve you well when things are going smoothly and even those occasions when they aren’t. Tell your story.

(Alton P. Dillard II is the communications director for the Clerk and Recorder-City and County of Denver. Before that he served as deputy press secretary and press director for U.S. Sen. Ben Nighthorse Campbell. He has owned his own media and community relations firm, and worked as a sports director and community affairs talk show host at local television stations. He is a graduate of the University of North Colorado with a B.A. in journalism-mass communications.)

VVSG Public Comment

The U.S. Election Assistance Commission’s (EAC) four sitting commissioners unanimously voted to publish the proposed Voluntary Voting System Guidelines 2.0 (VVSG) Principles and Guidelines in the Federal Register for a 90 day public comment period, after which comments and feedback on the proposed document will be compiled and presented to the commissioners for discussion and consideration. [As of press time, the VVSG had not yet been posted in the Register, but it will be any day now.]

“Today’s unanimous vote demonstrates the Commissioners’ shared commitment to taking this next important step in consideration of the proposed VVSG 2.0 Principles and Guidelines. The EAC looks forward to holding hearings on these Principles and Guidelines soon and we encourage the public to provide their feedback on the proposed guidelines,” said EAC Chairman Thomas Hicks, who joined Vice Chair Christy McCormick, Commissioner Ben Hovland and Commissioner Donald Palmer in supporting the measure.

The proposed VVSG 2.0 Principles and Guidelines will be published in the Federal Register in accordance with sections 222(a)(1) and 222(d) of the Help America Vote Act of 2002. They will appear in the Federal Register for a period of 90 days. Separately, upon the completion of the VVSG 2.0’s accompanying Requirements developed by NIST and the EAC, those accompanying Requirements will also be subject to public review and comment, including distribution to the EAC’s Technical Guidelines Development Committee (TGDC), Standards Board and Board of Advisors. This review and comment period will take place prior to consideration and implementation by the commission.

VVSG are a set of Principles, Guidelines and Requirements against which voting systems can be tested to determine if the systems meet required standards. Some factors examined under these tests include functionality, accessibility, accuracy, auditability and security capabilities.

The Help America Vote Act of 2002 mandates that EAC develop and maintain these requirements as well as testing and certifying voting systems. On December 13, 2005, the EAC unanimously adopted the 2005 VVSG, which significantly increased security requirements for voting systems and expanded access, including opportunities for individuals with disabilities to vote privately and independently. The 2005 guidelines updated and augmented the 2002 Voting System Standards, as required by HAVA, to address advancements in election practices and computer technologies. These guidelines were again updated by the EAC’s commissioners on March 31, 2015. These guidelines are voluntary. States may decide to adopt them entirely or in part prior to the effective date.

The structure of the new VVSG reflects modifications proposed by the election community, EAC, NIST and the TGDC, which is comprised of election officials, voting system manufacturers, disability experts, cyber security experts, technology experts, and other key election stakeholders. The new guidelines are a high level set of principles that will be supplemented by accompanying documents that detail specific requirements for how systems can meet the new guidelines and obtain certification. The supplemental documents will also detail assertions for how the accredited test laboratories will validate that a system complies with those requirements.

Last Spring, the EAC convened its advisory boards to review and comment on the adoption of the newest version of the voluntary guidelines, VVSG 2.0. Both Boards recommended that the EAC adopt VVSG 2.0. Today’s unanimous commissioner vote occurred less than two weeks after a quorum of commissioners was restored at the EAC.

Federal-State Updates

Last week The Daily Beast reported that the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) was scaling back on the work it is doing in election security. The day after the report, which quoted numerous anonymous Department of Homeland Security officials, CISA Director Chris Krebs held a conference call with reporters to clarify the report. According to FCW, Krebs didn’t deny that personnel levels for the task forces were reduced. He characterized the task forces as temporary vehicles to address an emerging threat while CISA worked to hire staff and build more permanent institutional capacity to tackle the issue.

Election News This Week

NC9: The North Carolina Board of Elections held a hearing this week to get to the bottom of what happened in North Carolina’s 9th Congressional District and determine whether or not a new election needs to be held. “The evidence will show that a coordinated, unlawful, and substantially-resourced absentee ballot scheme operated during the 2018 general election,” North Carolina State Board of Elections Executive Director Kim Strach, said in her opening statement  Numerous voters testified that they turned over their ballots, completed and blank, to a political operative. During the hearing two poll workers admitted to tallying early voting results on the Saturday in advance of the election. While the hearing was initially only set to last for two days, it continued into Wednesday where John Harris, the son of Republican candidate Mark Harris testified that he repeatedly told his father about his concerns about the political operative hired to run the absentee ballot campaign in Bladen County.

If you see something, say something. Last November one Hamden, Connecticut voter noticed that a candidate he was eager to vote for was not on the ballot he was handed. His inquiry set in motion an investigation that discovered from 2012 to 2018 voters in about 25 houses along a one-mile section of one street were most likely issued the wrong ballot in every election. Following the discovery, Secretary of State Denise Merrill has announced plans to introduce legislation to audit the election records of all Connecticut towns to make sure this was not happening elsewhere. “It was certainly a wake-up call,” Merrill told the Connecticut Post. “It may be a bigger problem than we realized.”

South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster has removed all four members of the Richland County Elections Board. The move comes after it was discovered that 1,040 votes were not counted in November and the county director of elections resigned. “South Carolinians’ confidence in the lawful and professional oversight of elections must never be jeopardized,” McMaster said after issuing an executive order for the removal. “The repeated actions and behavior of these officials are wholly unacceptable and cannot be tolerated,” McMaster’s message said according to the Post and Courier. “To regain and maintain Richland County voters’ confidence at the ballot box, the entire board must be replaced with new leadership.” The Richland County legislative delegation will send new appointments to the governor for final approval.

Tennessee Elections Coordinator Mark Goins has issued a memorandum opinion that says Shelby County elections commission may not use instant runoff voting in October’s Memphis elections. According to the Daily Memphian, the opinion concludes that the election commission cannot implement IRV under existing law. “Even if instant-runoff voting were authorized by state law, questions remain whether the proposed procedures would comply with Article 2, Section 7 of Memphis City Charter, although the coordinator cannot authoritatively interpret the charter,” Goins ruled. Goins’ formal order is the same as what he advised the election commission in September 201. The state elections coordinator’s directives are considered the final word for election commissions unless or until they are challenged in court and the Shelby County Election Commission has announced that it will not challenge the ruling.

Personnel News: Republican Commissioner Evelyn Gomez and Democratic Commissioner Joshua Price have joined the Pulaski County, Arkansas election commission. Former Hattiesburg, Mississippi mayor Johnny DuPree has announced his candidacy for secretary of state. Mandy Frank is stepping down as the deputy director of the Williams County, Ohio board of elections. Tiffany Peguise-Powers has been named the Robeson County, North Carolina board of elections chairperson.

Research and Report Summaries

The Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe’s (OSCE) Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR) released the final report of its limited election observation mission (LEOM) for the 2018 U.S. mid-term elections last week. The LEOM assessed compliance of the election process with OSCE commitments and other international obligations and standards for democratic elections, as well as with national legislation. The report puts forwards 37 recommendations, including 9 priority recommendations:

  1. In order to ensure the right and opportunity to vote of all citizens, Congress should, without further delay, establish the formula for determining jurisdictions to be subject to Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act, in line with the ruling in Shelby County v. Holder.
  2. Citizens resident in the District of Columbia and U.S. overseas territories should be provided with full representation rights in Congress.
  3. Restrictions on voting rights for persons with criminal convictions should be reviewed to ensure that all limitations are proportionate and that rights be restored upon completion of sentences. Guidance should be clearly and systematically communicated to those affected by any limitations. Pre-trial detainees should be afforded with the means to vote.
  4. States should consider establishing independent bodies to draw district boundaries. Districting should respect the equality of the vote, not discriminate against any group, and be free from political influence. Districts should be determined well in advance of an election, following broad public consultations and allowing adequate time for potential judicial review.
  5. Federal legislation should be amended to require disclosure of the sources of funding of all non-profit organizations that engage in campaign activities.
  6. States should review their laws and practices to ensure that deprivation of the right to vote for persons with intellectual disabilities or those under guardianship is based on individualized assessment and not subject to blanket disenfranchisement. Data on guardianship and deprivation of voting rights should be collated on an ongoing basis to ensure oversight.
  7. Effective measures should be taken to ensure the safety of journalists and media, including protection against threats, intimidation, and violence.
  8. The federal and state governments should provide sufficient and sustainable funding mechanisms to replace aging voting equipment and to improve cyber security.
  9. Legislation should be amended to guarantee access to international observers invited by the U.S. authorities for all stages of the electoral process, to ensure full compliance with OSCE commitments.

Voatz released a white paper on West Virginia’s UOCAVA mobile voting pilot project earlier this month. The paper describes Secretary of State Mac Warner’s goals for the project, lessons learned, and how the system worked. In the 24 counties included in the 2018 general election pilot, among the 183 individuals submitted Federal Post Card Application (FPCA) forms requesting “email or online” ballot delivery, 160 (87 percent) completed the mobile application download, 147 completed the authentication process, and 144 submitted a ballot, all of which were accepted and counted.

The Center for Information and Research on Civic Learning and Engagement (CIRCLE) released a report on voter participation among low income youth in October 2018: Expanding the Electorate: How Simple Changes in Election Administration Can Improve Voter Participation Among Low-Income Youth. CIRCLE partnered with Opportunity Youth United to conduct a survey of socioeconomically disadvantaged young persons across six states (Arizona, Kentucky, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Mississippi, and Washington). The survey finds that: time, transportation, and other logistical challenges deter youth from voting; confusion over voter identification and voter disenfranchisement is widespread; polling places can intimidate young people; and lack of election information is a persistent problem. To support voting among low-income youth, the report recommends: expanding access to essential information, such as precinct locations, voting schedules, and identification requirements; understanding that young people move a lot; recruiting young, paid poll workers; and supporting a culture of voting.

(Research and Report Summaries are written by David Kuennen.)

Legislative Updates

Connecticut: The Government Administration and Elections Committee heard testimony on several bills including bills that would restore voting rights to convicted felons on parole, no longer require those formerly incarcerated to pay all fines to regain their voting rights and grant voting rights to some currently serving prison time.

The committee is also considering a bill that would make the Tuesday after the first Monday in November a holiday.

Georgia: Under House Bill 316, the state’s aging voting system would be replaced with touchscreen machines that print ballots before they are counted. The bill follows the recommendations of the voting commission appointed by then-Secretary of State Brian Kemp. The bill would also change the way the state maintains its voter lists and notifies voters about potential purges from the rolls. It would also enroll Georgia in ERIC.

Indiana: By a 29-63 vote, House Bill 1311 has failed in the Legislature. The bill would have changed the amount of time voters had to apply for absentee ballots from eight to 12 days before an election.

Kansas: The Senate Ethics, Elections and Local Government Committee is considering legislation that would give vote-by-mail voters the opportunity to cure their signature if it does not match what’s on file at the elections office.

Kentucky: By a 27-8 vote the Senate has voted to approve a bill that would eliminate the secretary of state’s access to the state’s voter registration rolls as well as remove the secretary of state as chairperson of the state board of elections.

Maryland: Del. Brooke Lierman has withdrawn a bill that would have allowed the Baltimore City Council to consider using a ranked choice voting system.

Massachusetts: Sen. Becca Rausch has filed a bill that would move the state’s primary to June.

Missouri: Under House Bill 26, sponsored by Rep. Dan Stacy (R-Blue Springs) would replace Missouri’s open primary system with closed primaries requiring voters to register with one part or another in order to cast a ballot in the primary.

New Hampshire: By 236-139 vote, the House has killed House Bill 374 that would have prohibited candidates for secretary of state from forming political committees or political advocacy organizations.

Sen. Melanie Levesque has introduced Senate Bill 7 that would establish a “secure data transfer program” between the DMV and the secretary of state’s office, essentially automatic voter registration.

New Mexico: This week the House approved two voter registration bills. Under one bill, residents would be automatically registered to vote when conducting business at the DMV. Under the other piece of legislation, voters would be able to register and vote on the same day.

North Dakota: By a vote of 86-7 the house passed HB 1270. The bill would prevent changes to legislative districts or polling places without consulting legislators and getting a majority of chairmen of district parties to agree. The bill now moves to the senate.

Ohio: Two Cincinnati council members have filed a motion that would declare the general Election Day as a paid holiday. According to WCPO, The motion specifically proposes that city administration provide an ordinance to include general election day as an official city holiday, “for the purpose of allowing city employees the opportunity to fully participate in the democratic process — including, but not limited to, casting a ballot.”

Oregon: Sen. Shemia Fagan has introduced a bill that would lower the state’s voting age to 16. The bill would be a change to the state’s constitution which would ultimately require the measure to be put before the voters. “It’s time to lower the voting age in Oregon and to give our young people a chance to participate in the ballot, about their decisions that affect their homes, their clean air, their future, their schools and as we’ve seen, their very lives,” Fagan said according to East Oregonian.

Tennessee: Under HB1273 and SB 1500 voters would be required to register for a specific political party then only be permitted to vote in said party’s primary.

Texas: Rep. Erin Zwiener (D-Driftwood) has filed a bill that would add student IDs to the list of acceptable IDs in order to cast a ballot.

Utah: On February 14th, 149 years after Seraph Young because the first woman to vote in Utah, the House unanimously approved HCR16 that would designate February 14th as Women’s Voter Registration Day. The Senate passed unanimously approved the measure as well.

Virginia: The General Assembly has approved a bill that would allow no-excuse absentee voting but only starting on the second Saturday before an election and ending at 5 p.m. on the Saturday immediately preceding the election. No-excuse absentee voting would have to be done in person, and the bill would allow localities to open additional voting centers to accommodate the extra traffic.

West Virginia: The House Government Organization Committee heard testimony from DMV Commissioner Pat Reed over why the department is lagging on submitting required reports on its implementation of automatic voter registration. Reed was appearing under subpoena. Reed testified that the DMV will be unable to implement AVR by the July 1 deadline.

Wyoming: House Bill 106, intended to prevent crossover voting, has been amended to require voters present a photo ID in order to switch their party.

Legal Updates

Alabama: The Libertarian Party of Alabama has sued Secretary of State John Merrill because Merrill’s office is charging the party about $34,000 for a voter list provided to the Democratic and Republican parties for free. According to Alabama.com, Merrill said he is following state law in applying the charge, which he said is based on one cent per voter name.

Also in Alabama, former Gordon Mayor Elbert Melton has been convicted of voter fraud and sentenced to one year in jail with two years of probation.

Connecticut: The U.S. Department of Justice and Connecticut have reached a memorandum of understanding that calls for state election officials to coordinate with the state Public Health Department to remove dead people from the statewide voter database.

Florida: The 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals has sided with a lower court and ruled that a Florida law requiring voters’ signatures on mail-in ballots to match the signatures on file with elections officials imposes “a serious burden on the right to vote.” In the 2-1 ruling Justice Robin Rosenbaum wrote, “Florida allows each county to apply its own standards and procedures for executing the signature-match requirement, virtually guaranteeing a crazy quilt of enforcement of the requirement from county to county.”

Kentucky: Franklin Circuit Judge Thomas Wingate has ruled that secretary of state candidate Carl Nett may not use a nickname on the ballot. Nett wanted to use Trump as a nickname. According to WKYT, The state allows candidates to have a nickname printed on the ballot but only if they submit an affidavit under oath attesting it is his or her real nickname, and they are not using it to gain an advantage. The court ruled Nett doesn’t have a legal right to use the nickname, and his constitutional rights aren’t being violated.

Minnesota: The Minnesota Voters Alliance sued the cities of St. Paul and Minneapolis in federal court claiming that city codes requiring the cities to provide voter registration information to tenants violates the landlord’s First Amendment right to free speech and forces them to carry the government’s “ideological message” to tenants.

Mississippi: Chief U.S. District Judge Daniel P. Jordan III has granted class certification in a lawsuit filed on behalf of five men who say the state stripped them of their voting rights by using laws they say violate the Constitution. According to Mississippi Today, the judge’s rulings on the suit could now affect not just the five named plaintiffs, but any person who is convicted of a disqualifying crime and who has completed the term of incarceration, supervised release, parole and/or probation for the conviction.

Texas: This week, District Judge Fred Biery heard part of a legal challenge to the state’s noncitizen list. During arguments on behalf of the government, Assistant Attorney General Chris Hilton seemed to blame local elections officials for sending out notices to voters insisting that the list from the secretary of state’s office was just an advisory.

Wisconsin: David Kitowski, 70 of Wausau had been charged with voter fraud for mailing in ballots on behalf of his dead mother in the April and August 2018 elections. At a competency hearing it was established that Kitowski would not be found competent to stand trial and the charges were dismissed.

Tech Thursday

Tech Companies: In an email statement to cleveland.com Pete Martin, CEO of Votem said despite layoffs, the company is still operating and continues to serve customers while restructuring. “On Friday we kicked off a restructuring and recapitalization of the company which included layoffs. The company is still intact and operating and working through multiple options to hopefully ensure its long-term viability. We do have employees and are actively supporting many current customers,” Martin wrote.

Opinions This Week

National Opinions: Voter ID, II | Election Day holiday | Election fraud

Arizona: Voting laws, II, III

California: Election reform

Connecticut: Ranked choice voting

Florida: Ex-felon voting rights | Martin County

Georgia: Voting system, II | Election legislation, II

Hawaii: Election reform

Iowa: Ex-felon voting rights

Kansas: Election Day holiday

Kentucky: Ex-felon voting rights

Maine: Voting access

Maryland: Ranked choice voting

Missouri: Ex-felon voting rights

Montana: Election results

New Hampshire: Voting machines

New York: Voter fraud | Election Day | Ranked choice voting | Ballot signatures | Early voting

North Carolina: State board of elections, II | Election fraud

Ohio: List maintenance, II | Ballot issues | Election Day holiday, II

Pennsylvania: Election reform

South Dakota: Vote-by-mail

Texas: Voter ID | Online voter registration | List maintenance

Utah: Election process

Virginia: Election funding | Ranked choice voting

Available RFPs/RFIs/Awards

Rhode Island Department of State RFP
The Rhode Island Department of Administration/Division of Purchases, on behalf of the Rhode Island Department of State, is soliciting proposals from qualified firms to provide a centralized voter registration system in accordance with the terms of this  Request for Proposals (“RFP”) and the State’s General Conditions of Purchase, which may be obtained at the Division of Purchases’ website at www.purchasing.ri.gov.

The contract period will begin approximately in May 2019.

This is a Request for Proposals, not a Request for Quotes. Responses will be  evaluated on the basis of the relative merits of the proposal, in addition to cost; there will be no public opening and reading of responses  received by the Division of Purchases pursuant to this solicitation, other than to name those offerors who have submitted proposals.

StateScoop 50 Awards
The annual StateScoop 50 Awards honor the best and the brightest who make state government more efficient and effective. These awards celebrate the outstanding achievements of our peers and acknowledge their tireless efforts to make a positive impact in the government IT community and in public service. Nominations are now open (and close March 7) in the following categories: State executive of the year, state leadership of the year, state IT innovation of the year, state up & comer, state cybersecurity leader and industry leadership.

Upcoming Events

Election Center Special Workshop — The Election Center will hold a special workshop that will include: Course 7 (Facilitating Voter Participation); Course 8 (Implementation of New Programs); and Renewal Course 31 (Election Storytelling ). Where: Birmingham, Alabama. When: February 25-26.

Ranked Choice Voting Webinar, The Maine Experience: Maine’s Secretary of State Matt Dunlap reflects on the state’s use of RCV in 2018 becoming the first in the nation to use RCV for federal contests. When February 26. Where: Online.

Unrig Summit 2019 — This is no ordinary conference. Unrig is fast-paced, solutions-oriented, and fun. No boring speeches — 2019’s lineup has more trainings, more workshops, more tools to power you up. Featuring America’s most powerful presenters, expert trainers, activists, musicians, artists and more, we’re bringing together the brightest minds from the right and left to build a new political future for America. 3 days. 2 nights. 1 vision: Unrig the System. Where: Nashville, TN When: Fri March 29 – Sun March 31.

Election Center Special Workshop —The Election Center will hold a special workshop that will include: Course 9 (Enfranchisement, Enhancement, Enforcement ); Course 10 (Constitution, Courts & Cases to 1965); and Renewal Course 14 (Crisis Management). Where: Virginia Beach. When: April 24-28.

International Association of Government Officials — IGO’s 2019 Annual Conference will be held in Houston, Texas, July 11-17. Watch this space for more details about agendas and registration.

National Association of Counties — NACo’s 2019 Annual Conference will be held in Clark County (Las Vegas), Nevada July 11-15, 2019. Watch this space for more details about agendas and registration.

National Association of State Election Directors — The NASED Summer Conference will be held in Austin, Texas, July 14-16, 2019. Watch this space for more details about agendas and registration.

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 mmoretti@electionline.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.

Business Development Associate, Scytl — We are looking for Business Development Associate to work hand in hand with our Director of US Sales. You will have control over your day and how you get it done but the goal each week of developing qualified leads and booking sales appointments, completing Net Promoter surveys and being the central hub of a busy sales team. Some of your daily/weekly tasks include: Generate and qualify leads through cold calling, online prospecting, and marketing campaign collaboration; Lead management and data management in Salesforce; Conduct initial sales presentations and product demos via the phone and internet; Produce activity reports by documenting all activity into Salesforce and properly communicating data to management; Net Promoter surveys; New market and project research; Event organization and coordination with marketing; and be part of something amazing. Application: For the complete job listing and to apply, click here.

Campus Outreach Lead, Democracy Works— As campus outreach lead, you will sustain and grow the TurboVote higher education partnerships program. You will be responsible for renewing contracts with existing higher education partners and bringing on new partners by generating leads, carrying those leads through necessary follow up tasks, and formalizing partnerships with signed contracts. In this role, you will build relationships with key stakeholders at colleges and universities, as well as with fellow nonprofit organizations that support civic engagement at colleges and universities. You’ll become an expert in the world of higher education and cultivate a passion for promoting civic engagement. Also, you will persistently navigate the bureaucracy of external organizations. Salary: $50,000 to $65,000. Application: For the complete job listing and to apply, click here.

Certification Manager (Denver, CO) – Dominion Voting Systems — Dominion Voting Systems is seeking a Certification Manager to join our team in Denver, CO! This position is a cross -functional leader playing a key role in managing certification efforts for Dominion Voting products. In this role, you will act as a representative of the company with State and Federal certification officials, test labs, and other key internal and external stakeholders throughout the certification process. Application: For the complete job listing and to apply, click here.

Clerk of the Board/Elections Director, Santa Cruz County, Arizona — Under the direction of the Santa Cruz County Board of Supervisors and guidance from the Santa Cruz County Manager, performs statutory duties of the Clerk of the Board pursuant to ARS 11-241 and other statutory duties, to include preparing, publishing and posting the agenda for the Board of Supervisor meetings.  Under limited supervision, performs work of considerable difficulty to plan, organize, coordinate, direct and manage all activities of the Santa Cruz County Elections Department in compliance with applicable laws, rules and regulations. This is an at-will position. Plans, organizes, coordinates, directs and manages all activities of the Santa Cruz County Elections Department in compliance with applicable laws, rules, and regulations; oversees daily operations and programing; develops and administers departmental budget and oversees expenditures, develops and administers training and education for election staff and volunteers.  Develops and implements procedural and technical improvements as they relate to elections; ensures quality control of all aspects of election from ballot production to public information; manages projects, coordinates with other county/state departments and outside vendors. Salary: $69,186. Application: For the complete job listing and to apply, click here.

Deputy Director, Center for Election Innovation & Research — the Deputy Director will report to the Executive Director and have a broad range of responsibilities designed to support CEIR’s mission. In this position, the Deputy Director will play an integral role in the development and execution of CEIR’s programming, strategic communications, and continued growth as an organization. This is an excellent opportunity for an experienced and highly motivated individual who wants to make a substantial, positive, nonpartisan impact on elections and American democracy. The Deputy Director’s primary workplace will be CEIR’s Washington, DC office. The Deputy Director also must be available for business travel as needed. CEIR believes that working alongside and understanding the diverse mix of people who are affected by elections and American democracy is key to achieving our mission. That’s why we’re proud to be an equal opportunity employer committed to creating a diverse, non-discriminatory work environment. We recruit, employ, train, compensate, and promote regardless of race, religion, color, national origin, sex, disability, age, veteran status, and other protected status as required by applicable law. Application: For the complete job listing and to apply, click here.

Elections Division Director, Ada County, Idaho— The Ada County Clerk’s Office is currently seeking candidates for the Elections Division Director position. The Elections Division Director collaborates with the Clerk of the District and Chief Deputy to plan, oversee, and administer elections for over 200,000 registered voters across 150 precincts. The Elections Director is responsible for ensuring all of the necessary resources are acquired and in place, poll workers are well prepared, and that Ada County’s elections are conducted in an accurate, efficient, and transparent manner that leaves Ada County voters with the upmost confidence in the elections process. A qualified candidate would have a Bachelor’s Degree in a related field and prior management or event planning experience. It is preferred that candidates have experience with the election process, but is not required. Application: For more information and to apply click here.

Elections Supervisor, Lane County, Oregon— Lane County is hiring a Program Supervisor to work in Elections, a Division of the County Clerk. The Division of the County Clerk administers all federal, state, and local laws as they apply to conducting elections, voter registration, and related processes. The ideal candidate will be a confident team leader who possesses a proven track record of integrity and a commitment to excellence. If you have exceptional communication skills and strong attention to detail, we encourage you to apply! This is a fully performing professional level in the assigned field or discipline requiring specialized technical skills and a solid knowledge of principles and practices in the program area. Incumbents have professional responsibility for coordinating program activities; serving as a liaison and/or advocate to internal/external customers; and assisting in program policy and procedure development, ensuring compliance with regulatory guidelines, and/or contract management. Incumbents may have formal supervisory responsibilities over professional, technical and/or support staff. Salary: 58,552.00 – $86,132.80. Deadline: February 25. Application: For the complete job listing and to apply, click here.

Elections Technician Supervisor, San Joaquin County, California — The San Joaquin County Registrar of Voter’s Office is looking to fill two vital Elections Technician Supervisor positions within the department and to create an eligible list which may be used to fill future vacancies. This is a fast-paced elections office with a vibrant staff and diverse electorate. In 2019 we anticipate installing a new voting system and upgrading many of our operations. There are three areas the Elections Technician Supervisor may be assigned: Precinct Operations, Voter Registration and Candidate Filing & Campaign Services. Application: For the complete job listing and to apply, click here.

Election Technology Specialist, Boulder County, Colorado — The Boulder County Clerk and Recorder’s Office, Elections Division, has an opening for an Elections Technology Specialist. This position will learn and perform a variety of complex, technical, and specialized tasks associated with elections management, and voting systems. To be successful in this position you must be eager to learn, possess an aptitude for technical information and data analysis, and become comfortable in a high-stakes, team-focused work environment. We seek a person who is process-oriented and motivated to do meaningful work that facilitates the democratic process. The ideal candidate is self-motivated, enjoys both leading and supporting in a collaborative environment, and possesses excellent written and verbal communication skills. They have the demonstrated ability to use complicated software, perform moderately sophisticated tasks in MS Excel and Access, learn and apply new skills effectively with minimal support, and communicate technical information to nontechnical personnel. Additionally, they demonstrate creativity and innovation through problem-solving. Ability to work effectively under pressure while remaining positive and flexible is also key to success. Salary: $56,124 to $65,000. Application: For the complete job listing and to apply, click here.

Full Stack Architect / Senior Software Engineer, Clear Ballot— Clear Ballot is looking for an accomplished, Boston MA based Architect/Senior Software Engineer who wants to bring their technical and leadership skills to bear on a hugely consequential problem: Bringing transparency to democratic elections. The successful candidate will implement new products and features under tight deadlines. You will be using primarily Python and MySQL that interface with front-end web applications implemented in JavaScript and HTML5. The ideal candidate should have strong technical and leadership skills and a good working knowledge of the latest concepts in security, performance, and resilience. You will be working with a small team of highly skilled individuals to build and enhance a platform that is changing the elections industry. Application: For the complete job listing and to apply, click here.

Full Stack Software Developer, Clear Ballot — The successful candidate will build and enhance enterprise-level, highly available applications using primarily Python and MySQL that interface with frontend web applications implemented in JavaScript and HTML5. The ideal candidate should have strong technical skills and a good working knowledge of the latest concepts in performance, security and resilience. One of the hallmarks of our system is its emphasis on new visualization techniques made possible by sophisticated data structures that enable high-performance in a multi-user environment. You will be working with a small team of highly skilled individuals to build and enhance a platform that is changing the elections industry. Application: For the complete job listing and to apply, click here.

IT Security Administrator (Denver) – Dominion Voting is looking for an IT Security Administrator to join our IT team in Denver, Colorado! We are looking for a security minded individual who can perform both day-to-day technical management and maintenance of IT security programs, and who can also strategically assess and enhance the overall IT security enterprise-wide. Application: For the complete job listing and to apply, click here.

Management and Budget Specialist, Montgomery County, Maryland— the Board of Elections for Montgomery County, Maryland, is looking for a Management and Budget Specialist. Duties include administering and preparing the annual budget; managing day-to-day financial transactions and recordkeeping; collecting and analyzing data; and writing reports, memoranda and presentations to inform and explain the department’s decisions. Salary: $55,176 to $91,314 annually. Application: For the complete job list and to apply, click here and view Job #IRC34280 under the category “General Professional”.

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.

Regional Sales Manager, Clear Ballot— The Regional Sales Manager (RSM) position will represent Clear Ballot in a designated territory to engage prospective customers, educate them on the value of partnering with Clear Ballot, and close New Business. This position is a Hunter. The RSM will be responsible for managing and growing their assigned territory and meeting quarterly and annual sales goals. Previous sales experience in high growth organizations is a plus. RSM’s will be responsible for understanding the Clear Ballot portfolio and effectively communicating the value we bring to the market. Measures of success include: high levels of sales activity, regular and consistent reporting and communication of progress, progress toward quarterly and annual quota attainment, and overcoming obstacles to get the job done. We currently have open positions in Florida and Boston. Application: For the complete job listing and to apply, click here.

Sales Engineer, Clear Ballot — Our Sales and Marketing team is looking for a seasoned, hardworking and energetic Sales Engineer with proven experience and a passion for selling technology solutions. This role is responsible for being the primary technical resource for our sales force while also actively driving and managing the technology evaluation stage of the sales process. You will be required to have an in-depth technical knowledge of Clear Ballot’s Clear Vote suite and demonstrating the product capabilities to prospective customers. The ideal candidate must also be able to identify and provide reliable solutions for all technical issues to assure complete customer satisfaction. Measures of success include new customer acquisition rates, renewal rates, upselling, cross-selling, customer satisfaction and contribution to overall sales team and new customer success Application: For the complete job listing and to apply, click here.

Senior Research Support Associate, MEDSL— MIT Election Data and Science Lab (MEDSL), to support the data processing and research assistance needs of the lab. Responsibilities will include assisting with data management and research by collecting and cleaning data, performing data analysis, creating graphs and figures, visualizing data, drafting results and preparing tables for papers that are in the process of publication; assisting with the fielding of surveys; and performing general administrative duties including file organization, participating in meetings, and other miscellaneous tasks. This is an ideal position for someone interested in gaining research experience in political science and data science more broadly. Application: For the complete job listing and to apply, click here.

Senior Software Developer (Toronto) – Dominion Voting is searching for an experienced and passionate Senior Software Developer to join our team in Toronto! These positions will be responsible for providing high-level technical expertise in design development, coding, testing and debugging new software or significant enhancements to existing software for our customers. You will work on a variety of our product lines and you may act as team leader on less complex projects and assists in training/mentoring less experienced software development staff. Application: For the complete job listing and to apply, click here.

Software Developer III (Toronto) – Dominion Voting is searching for an experienced and passionate Software Developer III to join our team in Toronto! These positions will be responsible for providing high-level technical expertise in design development, coding, testing and debugging new software or significant enhancements to existing software for our customers. You will work on a variety of our product lines and you may act as team leader on less complex projects and assists in training/mentoring less experienced software development staff. Application: For the complete job listing and to apply, click here.

Software Product Specialist II (Phoenix, AZ) – Dominion Voting Systems — Dominion Voting Systems is seeking a Software Product Specialist II to join our team in Phoenix, AZ! This position will be responsible for delivering a wide variety of technical and non-technical customer support services related to the implementation, operation, repair, maintenance and upgrades of Dominion Voting Systems technology products. Application: For the complete job listing and to apply, click here.

Systems Engineer, Clear Ballot — We are looking for a talented Systems Engineer who has both a technical and services/support background which enables them to quickly assess customer needs and offer value to Clear Ballot’s customers. The Systems Engineer will gain a deep understanding of how Clear Ballot’s products operate and their optimal configuration to build a streamlined installation process of the Clear Vote election system. The ideal candidate for this position can prioritize mission critical tasks and coordinate the implementation and expansion of our systems. They will be able to work directly with customers, display innovation, think conceptually and act tactically to build consensus around system installation and enhancement and meet deadlines. Application: For the complete job listing and to apply, click here.

Technical Bid Specialist, Scytl — The Technical Bid Specialist is an essential member of the sales team, supporting business development initiatives as well as providing support to the Marketing department. Based in our Tampa Florida, offices, the Technical Bid Specialist is in charge of managing the coordination, completion and handover of tender proposals for our clients and prospects. This is a key position with a great deal of involvement in the sales process and a decisive influence in the achievement of each deal. To be able to perform this task, the Technical Bid Specialist needs to possess a solid technical background, outstanding writing capabilities and proven experience in pre-sales or consulting endeavors, always facing the client and having to put together complex IT proposals or projects. Application: For the complete job listing and to apply, click here.

Marketplace

electionline provides no guarantees as to the quality of the items being sold and the accuracy of the information provided about the sale items in the Marketplace. Ads are provided directly by sellers and are not verified by electionline. If you have an ad for Marketplace, please email it to: mmoretti@electionline.org

Ballot Scanners
Ballot reader. $500. Buyer will be responsible for pick and shipping to buyer’s location. Contact Wilfred Cochico, purchasing officer City of Lakewood: 562-866-9771 ext. 2640 or via email: WCochico@lakewoodcity.org.

Voting Booths
Each aluminum briefcase contains the following: aluminum legs, privacy shield, writing base, light assembly. All units are in great shape dimensions are 22”x 18”x 3“. MFG: ESL. Election supplies Limited, Napa California. Quantity: 400 Price per unit is $50. Contact Greg Larson 408.569.1004

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In Focus This Week

February 14, 2019

February 14, 2019

In Focus This Week

And the “Clearie” goes to….
EAC announces recipients of the 2018 Clearinghouse Awards for Best Practices in Election Administration

The U.S. Election Assistance Commission (EAC) today announced the recipients of the 2018 Clearinghouse Awards for best practices in election administration, also known as the “Clearie” Awards. Born of the EAC’s mandate to serve as a national clearinghouse of information on election administration, the annual “Clearie” awards recognize best practices in election administration and highlight exemplary models which can serve as examples to other officials and jurisdictions. This year’s award categories celebrate excellence in election innovations, voting accessibility and the recruitment, training and retention of election workers.

“Election officials are some of the greatest civic leaders our nation has to offer,” said EAC Chairman Thomas Hicks. “They are tasked with being the stewards of the bedrock of our democracy, who often implement innovative solutions with limited budgets and zero margin for error. The annual Clearie awards give the EAC an opportunity to recognize their vital contributions on a national stage and highlight best practices within the field of election administration. Each recipient of this award represents the very best of what it means to be an election administrator. We at the EAC applaud them for their dedication, and hope their work can serve as an example to others.”

Now in its third year, the “Clearie” awards recognize the innovative efforts of election officials across America. Entries were judged based on each initiative’s efficacy, innovation, sustainability, outreach efforts, cost-effectiveness and replicability. This year’s honorees are:

Outstanding Innovations in Election Administration

  • City of Rochester Hills, Michigan – For its Election Day Precinct Support Portal which allowed precinct workers to submit requests or questions via a smart phone or tablet using a simple Google Form.
  • New Mexico Secretary of State – For its electronic ballot software system, launched in the spring of 2018, which allowed blind or visually impaired voters to independently cast an absentee ballot.
  • Weber County, Utah – For its “Winning in Weber” program to engage students, veterans, teens, seniors, individuals with disabilities, and children in the electoral process.
  • Wisconsin Elections Commission – For “Securing WisVote,” a series of online learning modules which enhanced the cybersecurity of the state-wide election database and in local governments statewide.

Improving Accessibility for Voters with Disabilities

  • Contra Costa County, California – For its “A Simple (Accessible) Path for All” initiative which included Accessible Polling Place Location and Equipment (APPLE) classes and follow up kits that provided instruction on establishing and maintaining accessible polling places.
  • Martin County, Florida – For “Count Me in Too,” a series of educational videos which helped increase voter registration and turnout among voters who indicated they had special needs by 8 percent during the 2016 Presidential Elections.
  • Iowa Secretary of State – For the Helping Veterans and Iowans with Disabilities Vote Project educated thousands of veterans and Iowans with disabilities about resources available to help them vote privately and independently.

Best Practices in Recruiting, Training and Retaining Election Workers

  • Montgomery County, Maryland – For the Future Vote Initiative, which since 2004, has recruited 43,619 students from grades 6 to 12 to participate in elections, including over 10,000 who have served as election judges after their sixteenth birthday.
  • The City of Ely, Minnesota – For their partnership with nonprofit “Walking Civics,” on a program that connected high school students and veterans to serve at the polls together on Election Day.
  • Bernalillo County, New Mexico – For “Learn the Vote,” a new online training program for election workers which reduced instruction time, decreased election worker errors and allowed the Clerk’s Office to redirect staff time towards completing post-election procedures more efficiently.

This year’s Clearie awards are dedicated to the life and legacy of Wendy Noren and R. Brian Lewis. Wendy Noren served as Boone County Clerk for over three decades and was a member of the EAC’s Board of Advisors before passing away in March 2018 following a long battle with cancer. R. Brian Lewis served as Counsel to the Office of the Senate Majority Leader and the Senate Rules and Administration Committee before his passing, and was an early and steadfast proponent of the Help America Vote Act (HAVA) and election officials. Both were luminaries in the field of election administration who will long be remembered for their hard work, integrity and friendship.

Our Say

EAC’s 2018 Clearinghouse Awards: Sharing Best Practices in Election Administration

By Thomas Hicks, chairman
U.S. Election Assistance Commission

This week, the EAC announced the winners of our 2018 Clearinghouse Awards for Best Practices in Election Administration. The awards, also known as the Clearies, provide election offices across America 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.

Through HAVA, the EAC works to help implement sweeping election reforms, assist states in certifying voting systems, advance voting accessibility, and serve as a clearinghouse of election information. When lawmakers drafted HAVA, bipartisan legislation to modernize elections across America, I like to think they envisioned EAC programs such as the Clearies.

As in previous years, the 2018 Clearies featured three categories: outstanding innovations in elections; best practices related to the recruiting, training, and retaining of election workers; and accessibility for voters with disabilities.

This year’s competition was conducted in honor of the life of Wendy Noren, the former Clerk of Boone County, Missouri, and R. Brian Lewis, the former Council of the U.S. Senate Rules and Administration Committee. Both Wendy and Brian were great friends of the elections community, and their positive impact on elections continues today. On a personal note, I came to know both Wendy and Brian well through EAC activities and my stint on Capitol Hill. We truly miss them and hope this competition serves in memory of their tremendous contributions.

Given the November 2018 midterm elections, the awards offered an excellent platform to highlight new programs. We received dozens of submissions from jurisdictions, both small and large, as well as individuals across the elections community. An independent panel of election officials from the EAC’s Board of Advisors and Standards Board served as judges.

Following a very competitive vote, we were pleased to announce 10 recipients. Please take a minute to follow this link and read about the honorees. The entries offered great insight and exemplified the can-do spirit of election officials. Our Clearie recipients exhibited a wide range of populous, from a city of 3,500 to a state with more than three million registered voters. We share their results so that other jurisdictions might replicate or build upon their efforts.

The winners in the outstanding innovations category addressed important election administration issues, such as cybersecurity training for local officials, overall efforts to effectively operate an election office, programs to extend accessible absentee ballots to underrepresented populations and ways to harness off-the-shelf technology in supporting Election Day operations.

In the accessibility for voters with disabilities category, our honorees showcased their efforts in training poll workers to better serve the needs of voters with disabilities, a coordinated effort for helping veterans and individuals with disabilities vote, and video outreach to assist people who are deaf.

Finally, the election worker competition highlighted great results of using high school students as poll workers, efforts to modernize training initiatives, and connecting veterans and students to serve at the polls.

From advancing cybersecurity training at the local level or helping veterans with disabilities in the elections process, the 2018 EAC Clearinghouse Awards are a testament to election officials’ leadership efforts across the U.S.

Moving forward, we will continue highlighting the Clearie winners through blogs and additional outreach. On behalf of my three fellow Commissioners, I am pleased to follow through on the promise of HAVA by awarding EAC Clearies to these well-deserving state and local election officials.

Thomas Hicks has served as Chairman of the U.S. Election Assistance Commission for two terms. During his time with the Commission, Mr. Hicks has focused his efforts on increasing voting accessibility, including developing a guide to voting rights for voters with disabilities and creating a help desk to address ballot delivery issues for overseas voters.

Federal-State Updates

Christopher Krebs, chief of the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency said this week at a hearing of the House Homeland Security Committee that the ability to audit voting machines after elections is critical for ballot security.

“The area that I think we need to invest the most in the nation is ensuring auditability across infrastructure,” Krebs said according to FCW. “If you don’t know what’s happening and you can’t check back at what’s happening in the system — you don’t have security.”

Politico has an interesting article this week about Sen. Ron Johnson’s (R-Wisconsin) leadership of the Senate Homeland Security and Government Affairs Committee. According to Politico, although there is no official account of cybersecurity bills in Congress, Third Way, a centrist think tank that works on tech policy, counted 15 bills that passed the House and did not advance out of the committee.

“The record speaks for itself,” former House Homeland Security Chairman Michael McCaul (R-Texas) told Politico, expressing frustration over the fact that Johnson hasn’t advanced cybersecurity bills that his panel approved.

Johnson and his staff disagreed with Politico’s assessment.

“Protecting our nation against ever-evolving cyber threats is a significant challenge and one I take very seriously,” Johnson said in a statement to Politico. “We will continue our bipartisan, aggressive oversight and legislative efforts in the 116th Congress.”

Election News This Week

We’d be remiss if we didn’t acknowledge that today is Valentine’s Day and so we’re going to share a love poem for elections from Ohio’s Director of Elections Amanda Grandjean.

Freedom doesn’t come free,
The American flag shines valiantly in red, white, and blue,
Voting is a privilege,
Thank you, election officials, for all that you do!

This week, Kansas Elections Director Bryan Caskey told the Kansas House Elections Committee that the state hasn’t used the Interstate Crosscheck program since 2017 following a Department of Homeland Security audit that discovered vulnerabilities in the system. According to the Hutchinson News, Caskey said Secretary of State Scott Schwab has ordered a review of Crosscheck to determine whether to abandon the program all together and that moving forward the state would be using HAVA 2 funds to join ERIC.

Small towns making big news! This week, two small towns made big elections news. In Ohio, the town of Sandusky (pop. est. 24,845) has decided to swap the Columbus Day holiday for a holiday on Election Day. “A lot’s happened in the last three years that had us thinking a lot about voter access and democracy, and so we thought it was a really natural switch,” Sandusky City Manager Eric Wobser told NPR. In 2014 negotiations with the unions that represent police, firefighters, and municipal workers, the city suggested dropping Columbus Day, but giving up a paid holiday was a non-starter, Wobser says. So when negotiations for 2019-2021 started up last year, the city had a new proposal: replacing Columbus Day with Election Day. The unions agreed. About 800 miles east, the town of Dixville Notch, New Hampshire, best known for being the first town to cast ballots, just after midnight, in New Hampshire’s presidential primary, is facing questions about how it administers one of America’s most famous primaries. “What started out as an investigation into a complaint involving one voter, who may not have been a resident of Dixville … has appeared to uncover a potentially more pervasive issue with respect to the process in Dixville as a whole,” an investigator for the state attorney general’s office told New Hampshire Public Radio.

Don’t do the crime if you can’t pay the fine. This week the Oregon Secretary of State’s office announced that it will fine Defend Oregon $94,750 for failing to turn in nearly 100 ballots it had collected from voters until after the November 6 election. According to the Oregonian, Oregon law requires people who collect ballots on behalf of other voters to turn them in on time. Failure to do so is punishable by a fine of up to $1,000 per violation. “In the secretary’s view, the harm of not having a ballot counted is more severe than any other violation of election law,” state elections director Stephen Trout wrote. Defend Oregon has 20 days to decide whether or not they want to request a hearing.

For electionline readers following the site’s redesign, you have heard from Democracy Fund’s Stacey Scholl over the years. She’s shared insight into the new features, improvements and the vision for site. Long before rolling up her sleeves for the redesign, she was an electionline reader, subscriber and believer. After nearly four and half years with Democracy Fund, Stacey’s last day is tomorrow (Feb. 15). She shared that it has been her pleasure to support the site and the ideas, discussions and community it supports. She hopes to continue to contribute to the site in new ways.

 

Personnel News: Pat McDonald is stepping down as the Cuyahoga County, Ohio board of elections director. Robert Conte has been hired as an elections clerk at the Suffolk County, New York board of elections. Vicki Vogel has resigned as the Victoria County, Texas election administrator. Andy Farrar is officially the new administrator of elections in Coffee County, Tennessee. Rokey Suleman has resigned as the Richland County, South Carolina director of elections. Dora Garcia is retiring as the Calhoun County, Texas elections administrator. Frankie DiCarlantonio has been appointed to the Jeffrson County, Ohio board of elections.

Legislative Updates

Arizona: The Senate Judiciary Committee approved Senate Bill 1188 that would remove voters from the state’s permanent early voting list if they don’t vote in either the primary or general elections for two consecutive election cycles.

Arkansas: The House has approved Senate Bill 159 which would eliminate the portion of state law that requires poll workers to remove the stubs from provisional ballots and keep those stubs in a separate box. The legislation was billed as a cleanup of state law since the ballots and voting machines it addresses are no longer in use.

California: Assemblyman Evan Low has reintroduced a constitutional amendment that would lower California’s voting age to 17. An amendment requires the approval of two-thirds of the state Assembly and Senate, and the approval of voters.

Colorado: A bill that would include Colorado in the National Popular Vote Compact passed out of a House committee this week on a party-line vote. The bill was approved by the Senate in January and now heads to the full House.

Connecticut: House Bill 5507, cosponsored by Rep. Josh Elliott, D-Hamden, and Rep. Terrie Wood, R-Darien would prohibit the disclosure of voter registration data for commercial purposes, but would make certain information available to election and political committees. The bill is currently before the Joint Committee on Government Administration and Elections.

Kansas: Rep. Brett Parker (D-Overland Park) has introduced a bill that would eliminate the proof-of-citizenship require for voter registration. The bill would also allow for election day registration.

Kentucky: House Bill 309 would allow 16-year-olds to serve as precinct election officers. Current law allows 17-year-olds to work at the polls as long as they turn 18 on or before Election Day.

The Senate State and Local Government Committee has voted 8-2 to advance a bill that would remove the secretary of state as chairperson of the state board of elections and revoke the secretary’s access to the state’s voter registration database.

Maryland: The Ways and Means Committee of the General Assembly has advanced a bill that would give the Montgomery County Council the authority to change the county’s voting system to a ranked choice system.

Missouri: Under House Bill 269, the secretary of state would be given subpoena power to investigate voter fraud.

Nevada: The Senate Committee on Legislative Operations and Elections had a hearing this week on several pieces of elections-related legislation including one bill that would make the registrar of voters in Washoe and Clark counties an elected position rather than appointed.

New Hampshire: Rep. Ellen Read (D-Newmarket) has introduced House Bill 506 which would create a legal holiday for the state primary and Election Day.

The House Election Law Committee has unanimously voted to shelve HB 782 until 2020. HB 782 would move the state to move a ranked choice voting system.

New Mexico: House Bill 84 and House Bill 86 were approved by the House Judiciary Committee this week and now head the full House. HB84 would allow for automatic voter registration and HB86 would allow for election day registration.

North Carolina: Rep. Lee Zachary (R-Yadkin County) has introduced House Bill 24 that would prohibit local boards of elections to use schools as polling places without the approval of the local board of education.

South Dakota: A House committee has approved a bill that will limit the number of days available for early voting. Although the original bill recommended limiting early voting to 14 days, but the approved bill will allow early voting to begin the first Friday in October which will mean about 21 days of early voting.

Texas: Rep. Roland Gutierrez (D-San Antonio) has filed a bill that would repeal a 2013 law enabling the Department of Public Safety to share driver’s license application information with the secretary of state “for the purpose of voter registration or the administration of elections.”

The Harris County Commissioners Court unanimously agreed to move forward with the county clerk’s plan to move toward countywide vote centers.

Washington: The House is considering a bill that would allow counties, cities, towns and other municipalities the option to use ranked choice voting.

Legal Updates

Colorado: Gail Arlene Gray, 66 of Mesa County, is accused of illegally casting a mail-in ballot for adult son. According to The Daily Sentinel, Gray told an investigator she “did a terrible thing” but she was “really (angry) at my kids for not voting, none of them were voting and then that (ballot) came in the mail and I didn’t even think, I thought I am going to vote for him…” according to an arrest affidavit.

Georgia: The 11th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals said in a ruling that it did not have jurisdiction to hear the state’s assertion the two groups of plaintiffs  in a lawsuit over the state’s aging voting system had standing to file suite, and that the state was not immune from being sued in this particular case.

Minnesota: Zameahia J. Ismail, 21 of St. Louis Park has been charged with purposely voting twice in the 2017 election. Once where she lived and a second time in Minneapolis. According to the Star-Tribune, Ismail said she voted the second time because she liked a candidate who was seeking re-election.

New Hampshire: The American Civil Liberties Union has sued the state on behalf of two college students argued that HB1264, which requires that anyone who votes in New Hampshire must obtain an in-state driver’s license and vehicle registration within 60 days of casting a ballot is akin to a modern-day poll tax.

North Carolina: Denslo Allen Paige, 66 has pleaded guilty to aiding and abetting voting  by a noncitizen and will serve two months in prison and must pay a $250 fine. Paige is a former elections precinct worker in Wake County.

South Carolina: U.S. District Court Judge Michelle Childs has dismissed a lawsuit claiming that the state’s antiquated voting machines infringed upon residents’ right to vote. “A plaintiff … must do more than merely assert that there is some conceivable risk that she will be harmed on account of defendant’s actions,” wrote Childs.

Tennessee: Chancellor Doug Jenkins has ruled that Rogersville will not be required to pay the Hawkins County Election Commission $23,094 in legal fees for defending a lawsuit filed last year by the city and then filing a countersuit.

Texas: According to the Houston Chronicle, Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton said his office does not have the capacity to investigate a list of potentially 58,000 non-citizen voters and that he will instead wait to see what county voter registrars discover.

Tech Thursday

Virginia: Cue Alanis Morrissette. The Virginia Department of Elections announced this week that applicants for the position of chief information officer likely had their personal information exposed after a job posting for the position included a username and password that could be used to view applicants’ resume and personal details.  “It was a mistake, and is not systems-related,” Anne Waring with the Department of Human Resource Management told WTOP.

Opinions This Week

National Opinions: Election Day holiday, II, III | HR1, II, III | Voter ID, II

California: Vote centers

Florida: Voting rights

Hawaii: Voter registration

Iowa: Uncounted ballots | Ex-felon voting rights

Kentucky: Voting age

Maine: League of Women Voters

Massachusetts: Local elections

Minnesota: Ranked choice voting | Ex-felon voting rights

New Mexico: Same day registration, II

New York: Election reform

North Carolina: Election fraud

Ohio: Hamilton County

Pennsylvania: Voting machine costs | Election security | Automatic voter registration | Ranked choice voting

Rhode Island: Voter ID

South Dakota: Early voting

Texas: List maintenance, II, III | Early voting | Secretary of state, II

Vermont: Voting rights

West Virginia: Election system

Wyoming: Ranked choice voting

Available Awards/RFPs/RFIs

Rhode Island Department of State RFP
The Rhode Island Department of Administration/Division of Purchases, on behalf of the Rhode Island Department of State, is soliciting proposals from qualified firms to provide a centralized voter registration system in accordance with the terms of this  Request for Proposals (“RFP”) and the State’s General Conditions of Purchase, which may be obtained at the Division of Purchases’ website at www.purchasing.ri.gov.

The contract period will begin approximately in May 2019.

This is a Request for Proposals, not a Request for Quotes. Responses will be  evaluated on the basis of the relative merits of the proposal, in addition to cost; there will be no public opening and reading of responses  received by the Division of Purchases pursuant to this solicitation, other than to name those offerors who have submitted proposals.

StateScoop 50 Awards
The annual StateScoop 50 Awards honor the best and the brightest who make state government more efficient and effective. These awards celebrate the outstanding achievements of our peers and acknowledge their tireless efforts to make a positive impact in the government IT community and in public service. Nominations are now open (and close March 7) in the following categories: State executive of the year, state leadership of the year, state IT innovation of the year, state up & comer, state cybersecurity leader and industry leadership.

Upcoming Events

Election Center Special Workshop — The Election Center will hold a special workshop that will include: Course 7 (Facilitating Voter Participation); Course 8 (Implementation of New Programs); and Renewal Course 31 (Election Storytelling ). Where: Birmingham, Alabama. When: February 25-26.

Ranked Choice Voting Webinar, The Maine Experience: Maine’s Secretary of State Matt Dunlap reflects on the state’s use of RCV in 2018 becoming the first in the nation to use RCV for federal contests. When: February 26. Where: Online.

Unrig Summit 2019 — This is no ordinary conference. Unrig is fast-paced, solutions-oriented, and fun. No boring speeches — 2019’s lineup has more trainings, more workshops, more tools to power you up. Featuring America’s most powerful presenters, expert trainers, activists, musicians, artists and more, we’re bringing together the brightest minds from the right and left to build a new political future for America. 3 days. 2 nights. 1 vision: Unrig the System. Where: Nashville, TN When: Fri March 29 – Sun March 31.

Election Center Special Workshop —The Election Center will hold a special workshop that will include: Course 9 (Enfranchisement, Enhancement, Enforcement ); Course 10 (Constitution, Courts & Cases to 1965); and Renewal Course 14 (Crisis Management). Where: Virginia Beach. When: April 24-28.

International Association of Government Officials — IGO’s 2019 Annual Conference will be held in Houston, Texas, July 11-17. Watch this space for more details about agendas and registration.

National Association of Counties — NACo’s 2019 Annual Conference will be held in Clark County (Las Vegas), Nevada July 11-15, 2019. Watch this space for more details about agendas and registration.

National Association of State Election Directors — The NASED Summer Conference will be held in Austin, Texas, July 14-16, 2019. Watch this space for more details about agendas and registration.

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 mmoretti@electionline.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.

Business Development Associate, Scytl — We are looking for Business Development Associate to work hand in hand with our Director of US Sales. You will have control over your day and how you get it done but the goal each week of developing qualified leads and booking sales appointments, completing Net Promoter surveys and being the central hub of a busy sales team. Some of your daily/weekly tasks include: Generate and qualify leads through cold calling, online prospecting, and marketing campaign collaboration; Lead management and data management in Salesforce; Conduct initial sales presentations and product demos via the phone and internet; Produce activity reports by documenting all activity into Salesforce and properly communicating data to management; Net Promoter surveys; New market and project research; Event organization and coordination with marketing; and be part of something amazing. Application: For the complete job listing and to apply, click here.

Campus Outreach Lead, Democracy Works— As campus outreach lead, you will sustain and grow the TurboVote higher education partnerships program. You will be responsible for renewing contracts with existing higher education partners and bringing on new partners by generating leads, carrying those leads through necessary follow up tasks, and formalizing partnerships with signed contracts. In this role, you will build relationships with key stakeholders at colleges and universities, as well as with fellow nonprofit organizations that support civic engagement at colleges and universities. You’ll become an expert in the world of higher education and cultivate a passion for promoting civic engagement. Also, you will persistently navigate the bureaucracy of external organizations. Salary: $50,000 to $65,000. Application: For the complete job listing and to apply, click here.

Certification Manager (Denver, CO) – Dominion Voting Systems — Dominion Voting Systems is seeking a Certification Manager to join our team in Denver, CO! This position is a cross -functional leader playing a key role in managing certification efforts for Dominion Voting products. In this role, you will act as a representative of the company with State and Federal certification officials, test labs, and other key internal and external stakeholders throughout the certification process. Application: For the complete job listing and to apply, click here.

Clerk of the Board/Elections Director, Santa Cruz County, Arizona — Under the direction of the Santa Cruz County Board of Supervisors and guidance from the Santa Cruz County Manager, performs statutory duties of the Clerk of the Board pursuant to ARS 11-241 and other statutory duties, to include preparing, publishing and posting the agenda for the Board of Supervisor meetings.  Under limited supervision, performs work of considerable difficulty to plan, organize, coordinate, direct and manage all activities of the Santa Cruz County Elections Department in compliance with applicable laws, rules and regulations. This is an at-will position. Plans, organizes, coordinates, directs and manages all activities of the Santa Cruz County Elections Department in compliance with applicable laws, rules, and regulations; oversees daily operations and programing; develops and administers departmental budget and oversees expenditures, develops and administers training and education for election staff and volunteers.  Develops and implements procedural and technical improvements as they relate to elections; ensures quality control of all aspects of election from ballot production to public information; manages projects, coordinates with other county/state departments and outside vendors. Salary: $69,186. Application: For the complete job listing and to apply, click here.

Deputy Director, Center for Election Innovation & Research — the Deputy Director will report to the Executive Director and have a broad range of responsibilities designed to support CEIR’s mission. In this position, the Deputy Director will play an integral role in the development and execution of CEIR’s programming, strategic communications, and continued growth as an organization. This is an excellent opportunity for an experienced and highly motivated individual who wants to make a substantial, positive, nonpartisan impact on elections and American democracy. The Deputy Director’s primary workplace will be CEIR’s Washington, DC office. The Deputy Director also must be available for business travel as needed. CEIR believes that working alongside and understanding the diverse mix of people who are affected by elections and American democracy is key to achieving our mission. That’s why we’re proud to be an equal opportunity employer committed to creating a diverse, non-discriminatory work environment. We recruit, employ, train, compensate, and promote regardless of race, religion, color, national origin, sex, disability, age, veteran status, and other protected status as required by applicable law. Application: For the complete job listing and to apply, click here.

Election Director, Harford County, Maryland — An Election Director II is the supervisory or managerial level of work directing elections in local jurisdictions within the State. The work of this classification may require travel throughout the State to exchange information regarding the election process and promote voter registration. Employees supervise office support staff which may include subordinate supervisors. Employees in this classification receive managerial supervision from the State Administrator or Deputy State Administrator of Election Laws. Employees may be required to work evenings and weekends. Position allocation to the Election Director series is determined by the size of the local jurisdiction as reflected by the number of registered voters. Copies of this supplemental job evaluation standard can be found in the Offices of the State and local Boards of Elections and in the Department of Budget and Management Office of Personnel Services and Benefits. The Election Director I-III is differentiated from the Election Deputy Director I-III in that the Election Director I-III is responsible for the entire operations of local election board offices and the conduct of elections for those offices while the Election Deputy Director I-III assist the Election Director I-III in the office operations and the conduct of elections for local election board offices and has the authority to act in the absence of the Election Director. Salary: $61,754.00 – $105,818.00/year. Deadline: Feb. 15. Application: For the complete job listing and to apply, click here.

Elections Division Director, Ada County, Idaho— The Ada County Clerk’s Office is currently seeking candidates for the Elections Division Director position. The Elections Division Director collaborates with the Clerk of the District and Chief Deputy to plan, oversee, and administer elections for over 200,000 registered voters across 150 precincts. The Elections Director is responsible for ensuring all of the necessary resources are acquired and in place, poll workers are well prepared, and that Ada County’s elections are conducted in an accurate, efficient, and transparent manner that leaves Ada County voters with the upmost confidence in the elections process. A qualified candidate would have a Bachelor’s Degree in a related field and prior management or event planning experience. It is preferred that candidates have experience with the election process, but is not required. Application: For more information and to apply click here.

Elections Supervisor, Lane County, Oregon— Lane County is hiring a Program Supervisor to work in Elections, a Division of the County Clerk. The Division of the County Clerk administers all federal, state, and local laws as they apply to conducting elections, voter registration, and related processes. The ideal candidate will be a confident team leader who possesses a proven track record of integrity and a commitment to excellence. If you have exceptional communication skills and strong attention to detail, we encourage you to apply! This is a fully performing professional level in the assigned field or discipline requiring specialized technical skills and a solid knowledge of principles and practices in the program area. Incumbents have professional responsibility for coordinating program activities; serving as a liaison and/or advocate to internal/external customers; and assisting in program policy and procedure development, ensuring compliance with regulatory guidelines, and/or contract management. Incumbents may have formal supervisory responsibilities over professional, technical and/or support staff. Salary: 58,552.00 – $86,132.80. Deadline: February 25. Application: For the complete job listing and to apply, click here.

Elections Technician Supervisor, San Joaquin County, California — The San Joaquin County Registrar of Voter’s Office is looking to fill two vital Elections Technician Supervisor positions within the department and to create an eligible list which may be used to fill future vacancies. This is a fast-paced elections office with a vibrant staff and diverse electorate. In 2019 we anticipate installing a new voting system and upgrading many of our operations. There are three areas the Elections Technician Supervisor may be assigned: Precinct Operations, Voter Registration and Candidate Filing & Campaign Services. Application: For the complete job listing and to apply, click here.

Election Technology Specialist, Boulder County, Colorado — The Boulder County Clerk and Recorder’s Office, Elections Division, has an opening for an Elections Technology Specialist. This position will learn and perform a variety of complex, technical, and specialized tasks associated with elections management, and voting systems. To be successful in this position you must be eager to learn, possess an aptitude for technical information and data analysis, and become comfortable in a high-stakes, team-focused work environment. We seek a person who is process-oriented and motivated to do meaningful work that facilitates the democratic process. The ideal candidate is self-motivated, enjoys both leading and supporting in a collaborative environment, and possesses excellent written and verbal communication skills. They have the demonstrated ability to use complicated software, perform moderately sophisticated tasks in MS Excel and Access, learn and apply new skills effectively with minimal support, and communicate technical information to nontechnical personnel. Additionally, they demonstrate creativity and innovation through problem-solving. Ability to work effectively under pressure while remaining positive and flexible is also key to success. Salary: $56,124 to $65,000. Application: For the complete job listing and to apply, click here.

Full Stack Architect / Senior Software Engineer, Clear Ballot— Clear Ballot is looking for an accomplished, Boston MA based Architect/Senior Software Engineer who wants to bring their technical and leadership skills to bear on a hugely consequential problem: Bringing transparency to democratic elections. The successful candidate will implement new products and features under tight deadlines. You will be using primarily Python and MySQL that interface with front-end web applications implemented in JavaScript and HTML5. The ideal candidate should have strong technical and leadership skills and a good working knowledge of the latest concepts in security, performance, and resilience. You will be working with a small team of highly skilled individuals to build and enhance a platform that is changing the elections industry. Application: For the complete job listing and to apply, click here.

Full Stack Software Developer, Clear Ballot — The successful candidate will build and enhance enterprise-level, highly available applications using primarily Python and MySQL that interface with frontend web applications implemented in JavaScript and HTML5. The ideal candidate should have strong technical skills and a good working knowledge of the latest concepts in performance, security and resilience. One of the hallmarks of our system is its emphasis on new visualization techniques made possible by sophisticated data structures that enable high-performance in a multi-user environment. You will be working with a small team of highly skilled individuals to build and enhance a platform that is changing the elections industry. Application: For the complete job listing and to apply, click here.

IT Security Administrator (Denver) – Dominion Voting is looking for an IT Security Administrator to join our IT team in Denver, Colorado! We are looking for a security minded individual who can perform both day-to-day technical management and maintenance of IT security programs, and who can also strategically assess and enhance the overall IT security enterprise-wide. Application: For the complete job listing and to apply, click here.

Management and Budget Specialist, Montgomery County, Maryland— the Board of Elections for Montgomery County, Maryland, is looking for a Management and Budget Specialist. Duties include administering and preparing the annual budget; managing day-to-day financial transactions and recordkeeping; collecting and analyzing data; and writing reports, memoranda and presentations to inform and explain the department’s decisions. Salary: $55,176 to $91,314 annually. Application: For the complete job list and to apply, click here and view Job #IRC34280 under the category “General Professional”.

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.

Regional Sales Manager, Clear Ballot— The Regional Sales Manager (RSM) position will represent Clear Ballot in a designated territory to engage prospective customers, educate them on the value of partnering with Clear Ballot, and close New Business. This position is a Hunter. The RSM will be responsible for managing and growing their assigned territory and meeting quarterly and annual sales goals. Previous sales experience in high growth organizations is a plus. RSM’s will be responsible for understanding the Clear Ballot portfolio and effectively communicating the value we bring to the market. Measures of success include: high levels of sales activity, regular and consistent reporting and communication of progress, progress toward quarterly and annual quota attainment, and overcoming obstacles to get the job done. We currently have open positions in Florida and Boston. Application: For the complete job listing and to apply, click here.

Sales Engineer, Clear Ballot — Our Sales and Marketing team is looking for a seasoned, hardworking and energetic Sales Engineer with proven experience and a passion for selling technology solutions. This role is responsible for being the primary technical resource for our sales force while also actively driving and managing the technology evaluation stage of the sales process. You will be required to have an in-depth technical knowledge of Clear Ballot’s Clear Vote suite and demonstrating the product capabilities to prospective customers. The ideal candidate must also be able to identify and provide reliable solutions for all technical issues to assure complete customer satisfaction. Measures of success include new customer acquisition rates, renewal rates, upselling, cross-selling, customer satisfaction and contribution to overall sales team and new customer success Application: For the complete job listing and to apply, click here.

Senior Research Support Associate, MEDSL— MIT Election Data and Science Lab (MEDSL), to support the data processing and research assistance needs of the lab. Responsibilities will include assisting with data management and research by collecting and cleaning data, performing data analysis, creating graphs and figures, visualizing data, drafting results and preparing tables for papers that are in the process of publication; assisting with the fielding of surveys; and performing general administrative duties including file organization, participating in meetings, and other miscellaneous tasks. This is an ideal position for someone interested in gaining research experience in political science and data science more broadly. Application: For the complete job listing and to apply, click here.

Senior Software Developer (Toronto) – Dominion Voting is searching for an experienced and passionate Senior Software Developer to join our team in Toronto! These positions will be responsible for providing high-level technical expertise in design development, coding, testing and debugging new software or significant enhancements to existing software for our customers. You will work on a variety of our product lines and you may act as team leader on less complex projects and assists in training/mentoring less experienced software development staff. Application: For the complete job listing and to apply, click here.

Software Developer III (Toronto) – Dominion Voting is searching for an experienced and passionate Software Developer III to join our team in Toronto! These positions will be responsible for providing high-level technical expertise in design development, coding, testing and debugging new software or significant enhancements to existing software for our customers. You will work on a variety of our product lines and you may act as team leader on less complex projects and assists in training/mentoring less experienced software development staff. Application: For the complete job listing and to apply, click here.

Software Product Specialist II (Phoenix, AZ) – Dominion Voting Systems — Dominion Voting Systems is seeking a Software Product Specialist II to join our team in Phoenix, AZ! This position will be responsible for delivering a wide variety of technical and non-technical customer support services related to the implementation, operation, repair, maintenance and upgrades of Dominion Voting Systems technology products. Application: For the complete job listing and to apply, click here.

Systems Engineer, Clear Ballot — We are looking for a talented Systems Engineer who has both a technical and services/support background which enables them to quickly assess customer needs and offer value to Clear Ballot’s customers. The Systems Engineer will gain a deep understanding of how Clear Ballot’s products operate and their optimal configuration to build a streamlined installation process of the Clear Vote election system. The ideal candidate for this position can prioritize mission critical tasks and coordinate the implementation and expansion of our systems. They will be able to work directly with customers, display innovation, think conceptually and act tactically to build consensus around system installation and enhancement and meet deadlines. Application: For the complete job listing and to apply, click here.

Technical Bid Specialist, Scytl — The Technical Bid Specialist is an essential member of the sales team, supporting business development initiatives as well as providing support to the Marketing department. Based in our Tampa Florida, offices, the Technical Bid Specialist is in charge of managing the coordination, completion and handover of tender proposals for our clients and prospects. This is a key position with a great deal of involvement in the sales process and a decisive influence in the achievement of each deal. To be able to perform this task, the Technical Bid Specialist needs to possess a solid technical background, outstanding writing capabilities and proven experience in pre-sales or consulting endeavors, always facing the client and having to put together complex IT proposals or projects. Application: For the complete job listing and to apply, click here.

Marketplace

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Ballot Scanners
Ballot reader. $500. Buyer will be responsible for pick and shipping to buyer’s location. Contact Wilfred Cochico, purchasing officer City of Lakewood: 562-866-9771 ext. 2640 or via email: WCochico@lakewoodcity.org.

Voting Booths
Each aluminum briefcase contains the following: aluminum legs, privacy shield, writing base, light assembly. All units are in great shape dimensions are 22”x 18”x 3“. MFG: ESL. Election supplies Limited, Napa California. Quantity: 400 Price per unit is $50. Contact Greg Larson 408.569.1004

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