In Focus This Week
I. In Focus This Week
News Analysis: Pa. counties get ready to give voter ID test run
Counties and state working out kinks before law goes live in November
By M. Mindy Moretti
With less than a week to go until the April 24 primary, elections officials throughout the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania are busy getting ready. They are testing voting machines, making sure that ballots are the right size and that they have enough on hand and making sure the voter registration rolls are ready to go.
But this year, in addition to all the traditional primary preparations, Pennsylvania elections officials and poll workers are preparing to ask voters to show a photo ID before casting a ballot on Tuesday.
On March 14, both houses of the Pennsylvania General Assembly approved House Bill 934, requiring voters in the Commonwealth to show a photo ID in order to cast a ballot. Gov. Tom Corbett signed the bill into law that night.
The law, which officially goes into effect on November 6, requires voters to show a photo ID with an expiration date. Acceptable forms of ID include driver’s license, non-driver’s ID, passport, military ID, college IDs issued by a public or private school in Pennsylvania, employee IDs from county, state, local and federal governments and ID cards issued by a state care facility.
County election officials are using the April 24 primary as a test run of the new law for poll workers and voters alike.
With the passage of the law a little more than a month before the primary, elections officials are scrambling to train poll workers, prepare signage, and educate voters…in addition to all the other primary preparations.
“The training will be done on Saturday, April 21st and I will hand out the instructions from the Department of State and go over the new law,” explained Cindy Furman, director of elections for Wayne County.
Furman said that in addition to training her poll workers, the bureau of elections will be working on a variety of voter education efforts including an announcement on its website, public service announcements in local media outlets and a large sign posted at each polling place.
Melinda Freed, a poll worker training consultant for Allegheny County has had to alter her training sessions a bit to accommodate the new law and in particular the dry run on the 24th. According to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Freed goes a bit beyond just giving the poll workers a hand out.
“April 24 is a practice run,” she said. “When voters enter the polling place, say ‘Hi, we are practicing for November. Can we see some ID?’ If they do not have it, say ‘no problem’ but give them the handout explaining what kind of identification is needed and where they can get acceptable ID.”
Freed told the paper that because many poll workers have years of experience working the polls in Allegheny County that she doesn’t anticipate too many issues on the poll worker side of the table on Tuesday.
Poll workers in Schuylkill County have already had their training sessions about implementing the dry run of the new law and according to Frannie Brennan, election bureau director, poll workers will hand out fliers to those who don’t have or won’t show ID.
In Lycoming County, Sandy Adams, director of county voter services said that no one will be required to show an ID at the polling places on Tuesday, but they will be given a hand-out explaining the new law and how they can get an ID if necessary.
Adams told the Sun Gazette that following the primary election, the county will begin an initiative to educate county voters on how to get a photo ID.
The soft roll-out of the voter ID law in Delaware County is a countywide effort with members of the county council pitching in on the voter education effort.
“In talking to residents, we recognize that people have questions and we want to be sure that people have the correct information on what constitutes acceptable photo ID, how they obtain a photo ID and how that impacts people who vote by absentee ballot,” County Councilman David White—the council’s liaison to the election bureau told the Springfield Patch.
By not officially implementing the law until November, in addition to county officials having time to prepare for it, state officials have begun to work on some kinks in the law that legislators failed to tackle such as voters who object to having their photo taken for religious reasons — Pennsylvania has a large Amish and Mennonite population — as well as accommodating senior citizens who may have expired licenses and no need for a new one.
And of course with the ACLU and NAACP both threatening lawsuits, whether or not the law goes into effect in November remains to be seen.
Election News This Week
II. Election News This Week
- Officials in Alaska are continuing to sort out the ramifications of the ballot shortfall during the April 3 election. The clerk’s office has completed the election canvass and according to a press release, the total absentee and questioned “envelopes” that will be counted for this year’s election came to 13,434 — enough to change the outcome of some races. The Anchorage assembly delayed certifying the election until at least April 24. The postponement will allow officials to count the remaining ballots. Although the city assembly had previously said that it would not approve an independent investigation, according to KTUU, some members say that the matter will come before the assembly next week where it will likely seek the investigation. The assembly may also consider firing Municipal Clerk Barbara Gruenstein.
- Turns out that two ballots that showed up after the counting was done in a Tulsa, Okla. House race, were actually counted — twice. On election night Democrat Dan Arthrell won by three votes but Republican Katie Henke asked for a recount. According to the Tulsa World, when the sealed boxes of ballots were opened for the recount, officials found four fewer ballots than originally reported. The recount resulted in a one-vote margin for Henke. But county officials subsequently found two ballots for Arthrell in election equipment — enough to swing the margin back to him. It appears that human error by election volunteers resulted in single votes in two precincts accidentally being counted twice, state Election Board Secretary Paul Ziriax confirmed. On Tuesday, the Oklahoma Supreme Court stopped any further action on the election by the Tulsa County Election Board, the state Election Board or Tulsa County District Court. The high court scheduled the dispute for oral arguments before a referee next Wednesday.
- This week, the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals upheld a lower court ruling on Arizona voters showing photo ID to vote. However, the 11-judge panel overturned the lower court’s ruling on proving citizenship to register to vote—if they submit the federal voter registration form. Arizona Attorney General Tom Horne told the Arizona Republic that he was not surprised by the decision. “We always expected the U.S. Supreme Court to have to decide this one,” Horne told the paper, adding that he expects the high court to uphold the entire law. The ruling was not unanimous. Judge Harry Pregerson agreed with the majority ruling that Prop. 200 violates the National Voter Registration Act but disagreed that requiring ID at the polls does not result in discrimination.
- Personnel News: Newly appointed Indiana Secretary of State Connie Lawson has announced that she will run for a full-term on the job in 2014. Fred S. Wilcoxon, a Polk County, Tenn. poll worker has resigned after an inquiry into the alleged use of a racial slur during the recent primary. Tom Pizano has been named the interim elections director for Luzerne County, Pa. Kristi Geiser, who has worked for six election deputies and secretaries of state Dean Heller and Ross Miller is stepping down from her job in the Nevada secretary of state’s office after 15 years.
- Get Well: electionline wishes a speedy and full recovery to Deborah Marshall, Columbia County, Ga.’s elections director who underwent emergency surgery to remove a brain tumor. Marshall has worked in the elections office since 1984 and has been director since 2000. According to The Augusta Chronicle, doctors have expressed confidence in her recovery.
Research and Report Summaries
III. Research and Report Summaries
electionline provides brief summaries of recent research and reports in the field of election administration. Please e-mail links to research to email@example.com.
The Canvass – National Conference of State Legislatures, April 2012: This issue provides an overview of the voter ID debate and related state legislation over the years and provides details on Colorado legislation concerning how voted ballots are handled.
Got ID? Helping Americans Get Voter Identification – Demos, Common Cause, Lawyer’s Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, and Fair Elections Legal Network, April 2012: Best practices are described for helping voters get the appropriate identification they will need to cast ballots at the polls.
Arizona: Voter ID
Delaware: Special elections
Georgia: Voter ID
Idaho: Poll workers
Mississippi: Voter ID
Ohio: Provisional ballots
Oklahoma: Tulsa election
South Carolina: Voter ID
South Dakota: Vote centers
Texas: Voter rolls
Wisconsin: Ballot issues
**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 firstname.lastname@example.org. Job postings must be received by 5pm on Wednesday in order to appear in the Thursday newsletter. Listings will run for three weeks or till the deadline listed in the posting
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 email@example.comSenior 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 firstname.lastname@example.orgStandards 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 email@example.com