In Focus This Week
I. In Focus This Week
What’s In & Out in election administration for 2017
You’ve waited all year for it, so without further ado, here is electionlineWeekly’s annual list of what’s in and what’s out in election administration for 2017.
And as always, a hat-tip to The Washington Post that began its version of The List in 1978 and inspired us to start ours.
Happy New Year!
OUT: The Electoral College
IN: National Popular Vote Compact
OUT: Constitutional arguments against voter ID
IN: Implementation arguments against voter ID
OUT: Palm Beach County
OUT: Election hardware
IN: Election software
OUT: Looking to recounts to answer election questions
IN: Looking to audits to answer election questions
OUT: Bipartisanship as a shield in Wisconsin
IN: Bipartisanship as a weapon in North Carolina
OUT: DOJ as least popular federal agency with many Secretaries
IN: DHS as least popular federal agency with many Secretaries
OUT: Retiring Washington Secretary of State Communications Director David Ammons (sniff)
IN: Whoever’s unlucky enough to replace him
OUT: Finding funds to replace old precinct voting equipment
IN: Finding support for replacing precincts as primary voting method
OUT: “Back off – my ballot is secret!”
IN: “Check out my ballot selfie!”
OUT: Hurricanes as metaphors for havoc wreaked on elections
IN: Real hurricanes wreaking actual havoc on elections
OUT: 2012 “Problem child” Richland County, SC
IN: 2016 “Problem child” Durham County, NC
OUT: Fears of hackers targeting voting machines
IN: Fears of hackers targeting personal voter information
OUT: Learning programming languages to improve cybersecurity
IN: Learning Russian language to improve cybersecurity
OUT: Standard “I Voted” stickers
IN: Custom “I Voted” stickers (Louisiana, Denver, Tennessee, Ohio, etc.)
OUT: Maricopa County Registrar Helen Purcell
IN: Maricopa County Registrar-elect Adrian Fontes
OUT: Emotions over New York’s lever-voting machines
IN: Emotions over New York’s primary system
IN: HAVA II
OUT: Marginalize third parties through ballot access laws
IN: Accept third parties with ranked choice voting
OUT: Losing candidates claiming fraud
IN: Winning candidates claiming fraud
OUT: David Becker and Amy Cohen at Pew
IN: David Becker and Amy Cohen at The Center for Election Innovation & Research
OUT: Long lines
IN: Rumors of hacking
OUT: Election-day voting
IN: Early voting
OUT: Old voter addresses
IN: Automatic voter registration (and updates)
OUT: Self-taught election design
IN: Professionalizing election design and administration
OUT: 2016…and good riddance
Special thanks to: Kim Alexander, David Becker, Amanda Buchanan, Doug Chapin, Judd Choate, Daniel Diorio, Sean Greene, Whitney Queesenberry, Rob Richie, Charles Stewart and Wendy Underhill who contributed to this year’s list.
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Election News This Week
III. Election News This Week
The U.S. Department of Transportation and the state of Alabama have come to an agreement to keep driver’s license branches open. Citing budget concerns, in 2015, the state closed 31 field offices in mostly black communities prompting and investigation by the DOT. Under the terms of the deal, which is good for two years and legally enforceable, the Alabama Law Enforcement Agency agreed to add more than 2,000 hours of operation to the affected counties. The agency also agreed to appoint a coordinator who will ensure compliance with federal civil rights obligations. Driver’s licenses are the main, but not only, accepted form of ID for the state’s voter ID law.
A new report from the Brennan Center calls Florida’s voting rights restoration law “radically out of step with policies around the rest of the country” and “one of the harshest laws in the nation.” According to the report, 1.6 million Floridians are denied voting rights because of the state law. Those residents represent more than 10 percent of the state’s voting-age population. A disproportionate number, nearly one-third, are black.
This week, conservative-leaning Civitas Institute, formally requested information from six North Carolina county elections boards and the state that the Associated Press reports could serve as evidence for changing voting laws at the General Assembly, or be the basis for legal action. “We need to change the way we verify voters in this state,” Civitas President Francis De Luca said in a phone interview with the AP. Also according to the AP, in the weeks after the election, Republicans lodged protests in half the state’s 100 counties that ballots by felons, dead people or those who voted in another state should be thrown out. But despite nearly three weeks of looking for evidence, Republican-led state and county elections boards dismissed virtually every complaint.
According to a new report, changes made to increase early voting opportunities in Ohio have not lead to increased voter participation. “In 2004, when we only had one day of voting and you had to have an excuse to vote absentee, we had more votes than we did in 2012 and 2016 where we had expansive early voting. In fact, the only time it (turnout) has increased was in 2008, and it was less than 1 percent,” election statistics analyst Mike Dawson told WKSU.
Maine Gov. Paul LePage (R) has said that he will ask Secretary of State Matt Dunlap to investigate this year’s election to make sure that all Maine laws were followed because LePage believes there was widespread illegal voting in Maine and throughout the country. Dunlap told WCSH the allegation made him “furious,” and said that Maine’s elections have been shown to be clean, that people who vote have met all the requirements — including photo ID for new registrants — and that there is no need to check on those who voted.
Personnel News:Marian Zumbuhl is retiring after 27 years as the Lewis County, Washington elections supervisor. Lisa P. Lyons will be the new Kent County, Michigan clerk after serving six years in the Michigan Legislature. Janet L. Rowe has been appointed the new Lynn, Massachusetts clerk. After 36 years, Becky Glazier is retiring from her job as executive assistant to the executive director of the Illinois State Board of Elections. Jacqueline Wilson has resigned as the Cutler Bay, Florida town clerk. She will temporarily be replaced by Debra E. Eastman. The Orange County [California] Register has named Orange County Registrar Neal Kelley as one of the most influential people of 2016. Juneau County, Wisconsin Clerk Kathleen Kobylski is set to retire at the end of the year after 18 years in the clerk’s office. Colleen Kidd is retiring after 38 years of service in Piatte County, Illinois clerk’s office including two terms as clerk. Roanoke, Virginia Registrar Judy Stokes is retiring after 12 years on the job. Kristine Poland is stepping down as the Bristol, Maine town administrator. Lenora Fulton is retiring after 12-years as the Apache County, Arizona recorder.
In Memoriam: Longtime Upshur County, West Virginia Clerk Debbie Thacker Wilfong died suddenly on December 22, she was 61. She was recently re-elected to her fourth six-year term as clerk. She actually began her work in the clerk’s office as deputy clerk at the age of 18 in 1973 and became the county clerk in 1993. “I started working with her in August of 1998. As a boss, she will be greatly missed. She is admired by all the guys and girls here. I will miss her experience and knowledge,” Deputy Clerk Carol Smith told The Exponent Telegram. “Under her tenure, we now have documents that are scanned, with the ability to search documents on the computers. She’s worked with getting a new voter registration system up and going. We switched to electronic voting during her reign. Vital registration records also can be viewed and issued from a computer.”
IV. Legislative Updates
Colorado: Gov. John Hickenlooper (D) has signed Proposition 107 and 108 into law. The propositions were overwhelmingly approved by voters in November. Combined, they move the state to a presidential primary system and allow independent voters to cast their ballots in party primaries.
Georgia: Democrats plan to introduce a couple of pieces of legislation that would expand voter access and another bill would create automatic voter registration, another would create election day vote centers.
Also in Georgia, lawmakers have proposed a change to how a Bibb County elections board member is chosen. The proposal would change how the independent member of the elections board is appointed.
Missouri: Rep.-elect Bruce Franks, Jr. has pre-filed legislation for automatic voter registration The Show Me State.
South Carolina: Members of the Aiken County legislative delegation have pre-filed a bill that will allow early voting in The Palmetto State. If approved, the early voting period would start 30-days before an election and end three days prior.
V. Legal Updates
New York: Rockland Republican Election Commissioner Louis C. “Butch” Babcock has filed a lawsuit in Rockland County Supreme Court in an effort to keep his job as commissioner. According to the Rockland Times, Babcock alleges that the Rockland Republican Executive Committee refused to follow their own rules and bylaws by not allowing the county Republican Committee to vote on nominations for election commissioner.
Tennessee: Tennessee’s Attorney General Herbert Slatery, III has issued an opinion that the state’s ballot selfie ban is indeed constitutional. The AG’s opinions said the law does not violate the right to freedom of speech guaranteed by the First Amendment because it provides reasonable regulations designed to ensure the privacy of a ballot, promote speed and efficiency of the voting process and prevent disruption and distraction for voters, including voter intimidation.
Opinions This Week
VI. Opinions This Week
California: San Diego County
Florida: Voting rights
Iowa: Ex-felon voting rights
Minnesota: Ranked choice voting
Nevada: Voter integrity
New Jersey: Voting system
North Carolina: Bob Hall
North Dakota: Voter ID
Ohio: Voter fraud
Oregon: Automatic voter registration
Tennessee: Ballot selfies
West Virginia: Voting system
Wisconsin: Voter access
VII. Upcoming Events
Joint Election Official Liaison Committee Meeting — This annual meeting, which is open to current members of The Election Center, NASS, NASED, IaGO, IIMC, NCSL and NACo, will feature a report from the U.S. Election Assistance Commission as well as discussions on proposed and pending legislation, cyber security, U.S. Postal Service issues, state voter registration issues, DOJ issues and concerns, the Federal Voting Assistance Program and new Election Center security resources. When: January 5-6, 2017. Where: Ritz Carlton Hotel, Arlington, Virginia.
IaoGO 2017 Mid-Winter Conference —join the International Association of Government Officials at their mid-winter conference with the theme of Success Through Education. A tentative agenda can be found here. When: January 8-11, 2017. Where: Tucson, Arizona. For more information and to register, click here.
NASS 2017 Winter Conference — Mark your calendars now and stay tuned for more information and registration details on the National Association of Secretaries of State 2017 Winter Conference. When: February 15-18, 2017. Where: Washington, D.C.
Election Center Special Workshop — the Election Center will host a special winter workshop featuring courses in facilitating voter participation (Course 7), implementation of new programs (Course 8) and resources management (Renewal Course 26). When: February 15-19. Where: Savanah, Georgia.
NASED 2017 Winter Meeting — Mark your calendars now and stay tuned for more information and registration details on the National Association of State Election Directors 2017 Winter Meeting. When: February 15-18, 2017. Where: Washington, D.C.
IaoGO 2017 Annual Conference — Mark your calendars now and stay tuned for more information and registration details on the International Association of Government Officials 2017 Annual Conference. When: July 6-13, 2017. Where: Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin.
NASS 2017 Summer Conference — Mark your calendars now and stay tuned for more information and registration details on the National Association of Secretaries of State 2017 Summer Conference. When: July 7-10, 2017. Where: Indianapolis, Indiana.
NASED 2017 Summer Meeting — Mark your calendars now and stay tuned for more information and registration details on the National Association of State Election Directors 2017 Summer Meeting. When: August 22-25, 2017. Where: Anaheim, California.
Job Postings This Week
VIII. 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 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.
Ballot Production Services Consultant, Hart InterCivic — BPS Consultants at Hart work with our customers to design ballots and to provide printed ballots and voting media for customers. This is a customer-service position, and applicants must have exceptional customer service skills. This is a part-time hourly positon with opportunities for overtime pay during peak periods. This is not a replacement position, but a net new position at Hart. This is an ideal position for someone who wants to work varying hours, depending on the calendar. Preference is for this position to be Austin-based, but that is open to negotiation. Deadline: Open until filled. Application: For the complete job listing and to apply, please click here.
Chief, Departmental Operations, San Diego County Registrar of Voters — the County of San Diego, Registrar of Voters (ROV) invites résumés from qualified candidates for Chief, Departmental Operations to fill a vacancy in the Precinct Services Division. The Chief, Departmental Operations is an unclassified management position reporting directly to executive management and oversees a major functional area or several small programs including creating program policy and supervision of staff. This position provides leadership and oversight over the functions and activities of the Department’s Precinct Services Division. The primary responsibilities are to direct precinct planning; securing poll facilities; survey and retrofit polls to meet accessibility requirements; print requests; GIS/cartographic functions; oversee candidate filing and candidate services, manage campaign finance disclosure reporting and oversee the overall direction of the language services program. The Chief, Departmental Operations provides leadership, supervision, and management of staff responsible for precinct service activities. These responsibilities are accomplished through a balanced, yet continually shifting combination of in-house resources. Salary: $95,000 to $110,000. Deadline: January 9, 2017. Application: For the complete job listing and to apply, click here.
Customer Relations Manager, Dominion Voting Systems, Chicago, Illinois— Dominion Voting Systems is seeking a highly motivated and enthusiastic, Customer Relations Manager, based in the Chicago, Illinois area! This position will be responsible for providing world-class customer service in order to achieve our core purpose of delivering solutions for the advancement of fair, accessible, and secure elections! You will problem solve, collaborate, create and improve processes, and make our customers successful in the execution of seemingly impossible tasks. Excitement lives here!. Salary: Negotiable base + bonus target & benefits. Deadline: Open until filled. Application: For the complete job listing and to apply click here.
Elections & Special Districts Director, Cochise County, Arizona — under general direction of the County Administrator, provides professional level project planning in all functions related to the conduct of voting and election activities for the County. Under limited supervision, perform work of considerable difficulty to plan, organize, coordinate, direct and control all activities of the Elections & Special Districts Department in compliance with statutory and regulatory federal and state requirements. Prepare and manage the annual fiscal budget for the department, develop long-range plans and anticipates/identifies long-term organizational needs. Sound judgment and considerable communication and interpersonal skills are required in this position. Salary: $60,000-$90,000. Deadline: Open until filled. Application: For the complete job listing and to apply, click here.
Elections Services Manager, Contra Costa County, California — Contra Costa County’s Clerk-Recorder’s office is offering an excellent career opportunity for individuals interested in an Election Services Manager Position for their downtown Martinez location. This management position reports to the Assistant Registrar in the Elections Division of the Clerk-Recorder’s Office and acts in the place of the Assistant Registrar during his/her absence. This position is responsible for assisting the Assistant Registrar in planning, organizing and directing the day to day activities of the Elections Division; the development, establishment, implementation and evaluation of County elections policies and procedures according to Election and Government Codes, applicable laws, rules, procedures, court cases, regulations and ordinances that affect the preparation and conduct of elections and registration of voters. The ideal candidate will possess knowledge and understanding of the election process, cycle and Election law as well as knowledge and understanding of the interrelationships of each unit of the Election Department. This classification will supervise Elections Division administrative, technical and supervisory staff. Strong management and administrative skills are required as the incumbent will have primary responsibility for day-to-day direction and coordination of the Election Division activities. Excellent Interpersonal skills are required, as the incumbent will interface with staff on all levels as well as county officials, news media, and the public. Salary: $6718-$8166 (monthly). Deadline: December 30. Application: For the complete job listing and to apply, click here.
Executive Director, ERIC, Washington, D.C.— Reporting to the Board of Directors, the Executive Director has overall strategic and operational responsibility for ERIC’s staff, programs, expansion, and execution of its mission. The Executive Director will be thoroughly committed to ERIC’s mission. S/he will develop a deep knowledge of ERIC’s core program, operations, budget and business plans. This is a full-time position that requires a motivated self-starter who is capable of working independently and productively in a home office environment and supervising staff and contractors from a distance. Frequent and effective communication with ERIC staff, board members and contractors is essential. Deadline: December 31. 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. Deadline: Open until filled. Application: For the complete job listing and to apply, click here.
Product Specialist, Denver, Colorado — Dominion Voting Systems is seeking a tech-savvy, passionate Product Specialist to join our team in downtown Denver! This position will be responsible for providing technical support on all Dominion Voting Systems products both on-site, via the telephone or via email; write detailed, technical documentation for distribution internally and externally; and interface directly with customers, co-workers, and election officials. Salary: Negotiable base + bonus target & benefits. Deadline: Open until filled. Application: For the complete job listing and to apply, click here.
Product Specialist, Toronto, Ontario — Dominion Voting Systems is seeking a tech-savvy and passionate, Product Specialist, to be based in our downtown Toronto, Ontario office. This role is responsible for responsible for the installation, operation, repair, and maintenance of all Dominion Voting Systems elections products; providing elections support services and customer training; and interfacing directly with customers, co-workers and election officials. Salary: Negotiable base + bonus target & benefits. Deadline: Open until filled. Application: For the complete job listing and to apply, click here.
Senior Project Manager, Denver, Colorado — Dominion Voting Systems is seeking an experienced, well-organized and passionate Senior Project Manager to join our team in downtown Denver! This position will be responsible for overseeing the successful execution of assigned projects in the State of Colorado as well as managing a team of local and remote employees. This position is critical to the success of our customers throughout the State of Colorado. Salary: Negotiable base + bonus target & benefits. Deadline: Open until filled. Application: For the complete job listing and to apply, click here.
Senior Product Manager, Denver, Colorado — Dominion Voting Systems is seeking an experienced Senior Product Manager to join our team in downtown Denver! This position will be responsible for end to-end product planning for the DVS portfolio including hardware, software and packaging components. Salary: Negotiable base + bonus target & benefits. Deadline: Open until filled. Application: For the complete job listing and to apply, click here.
Senior Technical Trainer, Clear Ballot, Boston, Massachusetts — our small and growing documentation and training team has an immediate need for a new member with intermediate-to-senior experience in: Instructional design, development of learning curricula, production of training materials, and hands-on, customer facing training. Generally, the training department, technical staff, and operations staff provide training at the customer’s site. We need an instructional designer and trainer who can analyze the learners and materials, and establish an appropriately targeted learning program. The opportunity exists to develop computer based training as an enhancement to our learning curriculum. Deadline: Open until filled. Application: For the complete job listing and to apply, click here.
Systems Engineer, Clear Ballot, Boston, Massachusetts — 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. Deadline: Open until filled. Application: For the complete job listing and to apply, click here.
Voter Registration Specialist II, Yavapai County, Arizona — under minimal supervision, supervises temporary employees and performs all forms of customer service and office procedures. Also performs technical work of increasing difficulty in the operation of Voter Registration and specialized mailing and printing equipment. Major Duties and Responsibilities: Maintains complex voter registration database; manage all phases of printing and mailing of voter materials. Helps manage all phases of mailing and receiving ballots; purchases and maintains inventory of stock; accounts for beginning and ending inventory of ballots. Assists the Registrar of Voters in planning, organizing and preparing for upcoming Elections. Oversees day-to-day office duties; supervises and provides clerical operational support to assigned staff; maintains daily and monthly reports; monitors and performs the maintenance of voter registration records and lists. Prepares periodic and special reports including statistical reports to the Parties, statutory reports to Secretary of State’s office and audit reports to election for canvass. Provides information to the public by answering questions and resolving complaints regarding election/VR laws and procedures. Orders supplies for the Voter Registration department. Performs other job related duties as assigned. Salary: $17.18-$19.75/hour. Deadline: Open until filled. Application: For the complete job listing and to apply, click here.
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