In Focus This Week
I. In Focus This Week
A snapshot of photo ID laws and legislation
Legislation met with varying degrees of success, usually along partisan lines
By M. Mindy Moretti
This is the first in a two-part series on voter identification legislation and laws. Next week’s story will profile the implementation costs from state sources provided by the National Conference of State Legislators.
This week, we take a look at some of the voter ID legal and legislative action around the country.
Once again this year lawmakers in the Centennial State debated requiring photo ID to cast a ballot and once again, Democratic lawmakers defeated the House Bill 1111 by a 3-2 vote in Senate committee.
Two bills introduced by Republican lawmakers (SB 4750 and SB 2496) would have required Illini to show a photo ID in order to vote, however both bills remain in the Senate Executive Subcommittee on Elections which is controlled by Democrats.
In January, Maine lawmakers introduced LD199 that would have required voters in the Pine Tree State to show a photo ID to vote. However, the Veterans and Legal Affairs Committee initially tabled the bill and then replaced the photo ID language with a resolution requiring the secretary of state’s office to conduct a study of the state’s voter participation and registration issues.
Every year since 2005, the Maryland General Assembly has considered voter photo ID legislation and every year since 2005, the Democratically-controlled General Assembly has shot down the proposed legislation. This year was no different. This year’s bill was sponsored by Del. Nic Kipke of Anne Arundel County. Kipke also co-sponsored a bill that would have required the Motor Vehicle Administration to transmit physical information, including photos, to polling stations. Neither bill advanced before the end of the legislative session.
This week, the Minnesota House and Senate approved a constitutional amendment proposal that would require voters in the North Star State to show photo ID when voting. The amendment now goes before the voters on the November 6 general election ballot. Both Secretary of State Mark Ritchie and Governor Mark Dayton oppose the measure.
In November 2011 voters in Mississippi overwhelmingly approved (62 percent to 38 percent) a ballot measure that would require voters in the Magnolia State to show a photo ID at the polls. However, because under the Voting Rights Act Mississippi must obtain pre-clearance from the U.S. Department of Justice before implementing any changes to election laws, the law is not yet in place while department officials review it.
While awaiting the Justice Dept. decision, lawmakers are at work as well and the House recently approved House Bill 921 that expands the options for types of identification that voters may use to include everything from a passport to a Medicaid card.
Earlier this year, the Missouri legislature approved a proposed constitutional amendment that would require voters in the Show Me state to show photo ID. The proposed amendment was scheduled to appear on the November 6 general election ballot, but a Cole County judge struck down the amendment saying that the summary scheduled to appear on the ballot was “insufficient and unfair.”
This week, a House committee introduced and approved new wording for the ballot measure. The new language, which still must be approved by the full House and the Senate, removed references to the “Voter Protection Act.”
The debate over proposed photo ID legislation was long and contentious in the Cornhusker State, but a filibuster ultimately ended movement on photo ID legislation for the 2012 session. Despite the failure this time around, some lawmakers vowed to bring a proposal back again next session.
You can live free and die in New Hampshire, but soon you will no longer be able to vote without showing a photo ID. Both the House and Senate approved voter photo ID legislation that was backed by the secretary of state and town clerks. In the Senate version of the bill, which still must be approved by the House, moderators and city clerks could verify a persons identity if they did not have photo ID.
Because New Hampshire falls under jurisdiction of the Voting Rights Act, the state must get final sign-off on a new photo ID law by the Department of Justice.
Like Maryland, introducing voter photo ID legislation in New Mexico seems to be a rite of passage. And just like legislators in the Old Line State, legislators in the Land of Enchantment didn’t seem so enchanted with the proposed photo ID legislation and they killed it in committee again this year. This year, three different pieces of legislation were introduced and all three failed.
Although Gov. Bev Perdue vetoed a voter photo ID law last year, counties throughout the state continue to pass resolutions in support of voter photo ID and calling on the state legislature to revisit the idea
The Pennsylvania legislature recently approved legislation that would require voters in the Keystone State to show photo ID and Gov. Tom Corbett signed the legislation into the law the night it was approved. Although the law will not take effect until the November 6 general election, county election administrators are scrambling to implement a test run of the law during the upcoming primary.
In 2011, the South Carolina legislature passed a strict voter photo ID law, which was signed into law by Gov. Nikki Haley. However, because South Carolina falls under jurisdiction of the Voting Rights Act, the law has yet to be implemented and the Justice Department denied the preclearance saying the law was discriminatory because of the state’s large minority population. The state has filed a lawsuit against the Department of Justice seeking reconsideration.
The battle over voter photo ID in the Lone Star state is, needless to say, a Texas-sized battle. Like South Carolina, the state required approval from the U.S. Department of Justice before being able to implement its voter photo ID law and like South Carolina, the Justice Department has barred the state from implementing the law. While the focus of the DOJ objection in South Carolina’s case was the disenfranchisement of the state’s black population, in Texas, it was the potential disenfranchise of the Hispanic population.
State Attorney General Greg filed a lawsuit seeking to overturn the Justice Department’s decision. A trial before three federal judges in Washington, D.C. is set to begin on July 9.
The Virginia legislature, which now includes a GOP-controlled Senate, approve legislation that would require voters to show some form of identification at the polls, although the legislation would not require voters to show a photo ID. Although Virginia needs DOJ pre-clearance as well, the proposed Virginia law, because it does not require a photo ID, is expected to meet less opposition. Gov. Bob McDonnell has yet to sign the legislation into law.
Wisconsin’s on-again, off-again voter photo ID legislation is currently in the off position after two separate judges ruled the law unconstitutional. The law was in place for local elections earlier this year, but was not in effect for the April 3 presidential primary. Currently there are four lawsuits pending against the state’s voter ID law. Whether or not the law will be in place for the upcoming statewide recall elections remains to be seen, but county and local election officials are preparing for anything and everything.
Election News This Week
II. Election News This Week
- This week, Dominion Voting Systems told Florida election officials that Palm Beach County could have averted a software glitch that awarded council seats to losing candidates if county officials had followed the instructions in the manual. According to the Orlando Sun Sentinel, Dominion also suggested that the mistakes could have been realized before the election if tests had been performed. Supervisor of Elections Susan Bucher vehemently denied the claim. “I read the reference guide three times yesterday,” she told the paper. “Nowhere does it tell you to check for this, ever.” Indian River County, the only other in Florida to use the same equipment, also received the notice but does not use the particular tool that apparently erred, Indian River elections information technology manager Gary Gordon said. If it did, “we probably would’ve got burned,” he said.
- Montana Sen. Jon Tester joined several other officials in asking the postmaster general to delay closing mail-processing facilities until 2013 to avoid conflicts with the 2012 elections. Although the Postal Service had previously agreed not to close sorting facilities until at least May 15, Tester was concerned because Montana’s primary isn’t until June and nearly half of all Montana voters vote-by-mail. “With closures potentially beginning as soon as May 15, it is clear that primary voters will be negatively affected by possible closures of mailing facilities,” he said in a letter to Postmaster General Patrick Donahoe. “I am concerned that any new system would not be efficient enough to address such a large volume of time-sensitive mail.”
- Personnel News: Tracey Stevens is leaving her position as Fairfield, Maine clerk to take the same position in Freeport. Michelle Dudley, information technology manager for the Lucas County, Ohio board of elections was dismissed this week following an investigation that blamed her when 156 test votes were included in the unofficial tally from the March 6 election. Richard Lynch, Hunterdon, N.J. elections supervisor since 1991 recently retired.
- In Memoriam: Susan Fitz-Hugh, former Va. board of elections chief died this week. She was 68. Gov. Chuck Robb appointed her secretary of the Virginia Board of Elections in 1982. She was reappointed by Gov. Gerald L. Baliles and also served one year under Gov. L. Douglas Wilder, until 1990. She presided over the changes mandated by federal law to make state polling places accessible to the disabled and elderly in 1986, as well as the recount of the closest gubernatorial election in Virginia history in 1989, when Wilder defeated J. Marshall Coleman. Part of her elections legacy was the small, round “I voted” stickers that Virginians receive after casting their votes. “We thought it would be a good way to increase voter turnout,” she said in a 1989 Richmond Times-Dispatch interview.
National: Voter suppression; Ballot privacy; Youth vote
Connecticut: Election reform law; Voter fraud; Felon voting rights
Florida: Voter registration; New election law
Illinois: Ballot counting
Iowa: Vote fraud
Kentucky: Voter suppression
Maryland: Election dates
Minnesota: Election-day registration, II; Voting rights; Voter ID
Mississippi: Voter ID
Missouri: Voter ID
New York: Voter fraud
Ohio: Election reform law repeal, II, III
Pennsylvania: Voter ID
Virginia: Vote fraud
Wisconsin: Waukesha County
**Some sites may require registration.
V. Job Openings
electionlineWeekly publishes election administration job postings each week as a free service to our readers. To have your job listed in the newsletter, please send a copy of the job description, including a web link to email@example.com. Job postings must be received by 5pm on Wednesday in order to appear in the Thursday newsletter. Listings will run for three weeks or till the deadline listed in the posting.
Computer Engineer, U.S. Election Assistance Commission, Washington, D.C. — incumbent will assist with and consult on technical reviews, and is directly responsible for assisting with and consulting on technical reviews of documentation submitted by manufacturers and test labs during the testing of voting systems applying for EAC certification. This includes review of (1) Technical Data Packages, (2) Test Plans, and (3) Test Reports. In addition, the EAC will work with the laboratories as they develop test methods and specific test cases for manufacturer specific electronic voting systems. Reviews shall ensure that a plan was in place to properly test each voting system to the applicable voting system standards, that these test were properly performed and documented, and that the test results demonstrate conformance with applicable voting system standards. As the employee develops expertise in this area, he/she may also be tasked with serving as the EAC program manager for specific voting system test engagements. Experience in: computer architecture, testing methodologies and network principles; technical standards and standards sett; voting system testing and/or election administration practices. Salary: $59,383-$91,801. Application: For the complete job listing and how to apply, click here. Deadline: April 30, 2012.
Deputy Director of Auditing and Accounting, New York City Campaign Finance Board—the NYC Campaign Finance Board (CFB), a nonpartisan, independent city agency that enhances the role of New York City residents in elections, seeks an experienced audit manager to serve as Deputy Director of its Auditing and Accounting Unit. The Unit’s core function is to perform detailed, timely audits of campaigns’ financial disclosure statements and supporting documentation. This position reports to the Director of Auditing and Accounting. We offer a dynamic work environment, training, and excellent benefits. Responsibilities: Manage the unit’s workflow. This includes assigning caseloads to audit staff, ensuring deadlines are met, and re-assigning work as needed to ensure balance and timeliness; train, supervise, direct, and evaluate senior auditors on audit assignments and ensure quality of work. Ensure that all audit staff receives appropriate training and supervision from senior auditors; review work performed by staff; approve work papers, audit findings, and audit reports; edit draft and final audit reports and other correspondence; communicate with management and other CFB units on various audit and compliance issues and assist other units in investigations and enforcement actions; make oral and written presentations to CFB staff members and the Board; assist the Director in the overall management of the unit and perform Director’s duties in Director’s absence. Qualifications: A master’s degree or pursuing a graduate degree from an accredited university and at least six years of experience in one or a combination of the following: financial administration, accounting, compliance or investigative auditing, fraud reviews, forensic accounting, budget administration, economics, finance, fiscal or economic research, fiscal management, personnel or public administration, program evaluation; or a related area; OR a satisfactory combination of education and experience in the areas described above. At least three years of experience must have been in a supervisory capacity. Previous experience in performing audits in accordance with Generally Accepted Auditing Standards; direct experience with government auditing standards (GAGAS) a plus. Background or interest in politics and government. New York City residency must be obtained within 90 days of starting the position. Application: If you would like to be considered for one of these opportunities, please mail, fax, or e-mail your resume and cover letter, including current salary and salary requirements, to: Ms. Elizabeth Bauer NYC Campaign Finance Board 40 Rector Street, 7th Floor New York, New York 10006 Fax #212 306/7143 firstname.lastname@example.org
Senior Election Planning Specialist, IFES, Iraq — since September 2003, IFES has assisted, advised, and supported Iraq’s electoral and legislative authorities in the preparation, organization, and administration of elections and referenda. With the Elections Support Project, IFES will continue to provide assistance to the Independent High Electoral Commission (IHEC) through strengthening its strategic planning monitoring and evaluation capacity, as well as its internal management processes and systems, and through improving IHEC’s capacity to manage external affairs with key electoral stakeholders. Responsibilities: Provide technical assistance to the IHEC, through advice and assistance to the relevant IHEC divisions in the operational planning and implementation of electoral activities; work with the IHEC Operations Division and other actors to develop the operational plans of electoral activities including voter registration, elections and/or referenda; provide advice, assistance and coordination with regards to general operational planning within the IHEC; provide support in the development of capacity-building activities with the IHEC and GEOs on relevant activities; work with the COP to plan and implement comprehensive strategic planning activities for the IHEC; assist the COP and DCOP in the coordination of the activities of all other technical staff and consultants working with the IHEC; assist in the preparation of work plans, progress reports, M&E data and reports, and other documentation or reports as required; other duties as assigned.Qualifications: Bachelor’s degree required; Master’s Degree in Political Science, Public Administration or related field; minimum of 7 years experience with election administration; demonstrated operational planning and implementation experience; proven track record with democracy and governance programming in developing countries; demonstrated experience in monitoring and evaluation; familiarity with political, economic, and social issues in Iraq and the region and ability to work in a post conflict environment; experience organizing and leading trainings; fluency in English (oral and written) required; familiarity with the Middle East region highly preferred; Arabic language skills highly desirable; excellent interpersonal and mentoring skills; strong diplomatic and negotiating skills; ability to detect problems and produce acceptable solutions. Application: Applications will be accepted online only, through the IFES website. To apply visit our careers website at http://www.ifes.org/About/Careers.aspx. Then follow the instructions on how to upload your resume and answer prescreening questions. A cover letter is welcome and can be placed in the applicant notes section.
Special Compliance Analyst: Complaints and Investigations, New York City Campaign Finance Board — seeks an analyst for its Special Compliance Unit. The analyst will work primarily on complex compliance issues, including complaints alleging violations of campaign finance law and investigations beyond the scope of the CFB’s routine audits. The analyst must be capable of mastering and communicating legal concepts, but need not be an attorney. The analyst may also be assigned tasks pertaining to the Special Compliance Unit’s other responsibilities. We offer a team-oriented work environment, training, the opportunity to work on cutting edge campaign finance issues, and excellent benefits.
Responsibilities: Handle all administrative matters regarding complaints and investigations, including triage, records management, and correspondence; conduct internal and external research concerning complaints; analyze campaign finance data and related documentation and records; make and manage investigative recommendations; work with contract investigators and other outside parties as required; work with other CFB units to provide guidance to campaigns on complex compliance issues. Qualifications: Baccalaureate degree from an accredited college and two years work experience; or a satisfactory combination of education and experience. Masters degree a plus; background or interest in politics and government; previous experience working on political campaigns; reporting or analyzing campaign finance activity; and/or conducting complex research of investigations preferred; and New York City residency must be obtained within 90 days of starting the position. Application: If you would like to be considered for one of these opportunities, please mail, fax, or e-mail your resume and cover letter, including current salary and salary requirements, to: Ms. Elizabeth Bauer NYC Campaign Finance Board 40 Rector Street, 7th Floor New York, New York 10006 Fax #212 306/7143 email@example.com
Standards Coordinator (Audit), New York City Campaign Finance Board — seeks a Standards Coordinator for its Auditing and Accounting Unit. The Unit’s core function is to perform detailed, timely audits of campaigns’ financial disclosure statements and supporting documentation. This position reports to the Director of Auditing and Accounting. We offer a dynamic work environment, training, and excellent benefits. Responsibilities: Develop and update internal audit and payment standards, including standards for audit work papers in accordance with Generally Accepted Government Auditing Standards (GAGAS); develop and update detailed audit programs in accordance with GAGAS; write boilerplate language and develop standardized report templates for unit reviews and correspondence, including draft and final audit reports; write unit operational procedures to ensure consistency and quality; develop training materials and assist in training staff on all of the above; conduct research to resolve audit policy issues. Communicate findings and recommendations to Director and other staff members; manage the GAGAS peer review process: perform internal audits to ensure compliance in preparation for peer review, serve as liaison to external peer reviewers and assist in the implementation of recommendations; work with management and other CFB units on various audit and compliance issues. Qualifications: baccalaureate degree from an accredited college or university and at least four years work experience in one or a combination of the following: financial administration, accounting, compliance or investigative auditing, fraud reviews, forensic accounting, budget administration, economics, finance, fiscal or economic research, fiscal management, personnel or public administration, program evaluation; or a related area; OR a satisfactory combination of education and experience in the areas described above. Masters degree a plus; background or interest in politics and government; knowledge of GAGAS and experience with the peer review process strongly preferred; New York City residency must be obtained within 90 days of starting the position. Application: If you would like to be considered for one of these opportunities, please mail, fax, or e-mail your resume and cover letter, including current salary and salary requirements, to: Ms. Elizabeth Bauer NYC Campaign Finance Board 40 Rector Street, 7th Floor New York, New York 10006 Fax #212 306/7143 firstname.lastname@example.org
Trial Attorney, Department of Justice, Washington, D.C. — core duties of Trial Attorneys in the Voting Section are: conducting investigations to assess alleged violations of the Voting Rights Act (VRA) and other voting statutes enforced by the Section, including reviewing investigative files, materials and records, and applying relevant case law, interviewing witnesses, requesting additional information and documents, analyzing data and evidence, and drafting written recommendations for further investigation and/or enforcement litigation; developing cases for trial, including conducting written discovery and depositions, developing litigation and trial strategy, drafting complaints, motions and other court filings, representing the United States in federal court at arguments, evidentiary hearings and trial; negotiating settlement agreements and/or consent decrees resolving enforcement matters; assisting in coordinating the federal observer program during elections; and assisting in the administrative review of voting changes submitted pursuant to the preclearance requirements of the VRA. The complexity of the matters assigned, and the level of supervision required, varies depending on the Trial Attorney’s years of specialized experience. Qualifications: Applicants must possess a J.D. degree, be an active member of the bar in good standing (any jurisdiction), and have a minimum of one (1) year post-J.D. experience. Applicants must have excellent interpersonal skills, be mature and self sufficient, communicate effectively orally and in writing, and possess excellent professional judgment. Application: To apply, please submit a resume, cover letter and a writing sample (a brief or comparable analytic legal exposition that is your work product) by one of the two following means: Diane Turner; Fax: 202-514-6603; Email: email@example.com. For more in click here. Deadline: April 6.