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June 28, 2018

June 28, 2018

In Focus This Week

I. In Focus This Week

Picking a candidate is as easy as 1…2…3
Ranked choice rolls out in Maine, picks up steam elsewhere

By M. Mindy Moretti

Earlier this month, with the nation, and no doubt some folks around the world watching, Maine conducted the United States’ first statewide election using the ranked-choice voting system.

Voters in Maine first approved the use of ranked-choice voting in 2016 for a roll out in 2018 and while there were lawsuits right up to just about the last minute seeking to halt the implementation of the system, voters headed to the polls on June 12 and although the reviews were mixed from voters, overall the rollout was deemed successful.

“It went as smoothly as we could have hoped,” Secretary of State Matthew Dunlap said. “We had tremendous support from the town clerks, as well as our partners in Elections Systems and Software and General Courier. They brought a lot of reliable expertise to the process.”

For Maine’s implementation of ranked-choice voting, instead of counting the ballots at that city/county level, all the memory sticks were transported via courier to the capital where they were counted.

That transport was part of what lead to higher costs for the primary, which cost the state about $360,000 instead of $250,000 on average for a plurality-primary.

“However,” Dunlap said, “we did it on the cheap. There was no overtime involved, and we minimized the technology we could acquire and deploy. Going forward, we’ll need more of a budget. We had originally estimated $1.5 million for the initial rollout.”

This was not the first foray into ranked-choice voting in Maine. The city of Portland has used ranked-choice voting in the past and Dunlap said that was helpful to the statewide process, particularly to helping explain to voters so they could easily understand their part in the process. Dunlap said it also gave the state a predictive model to look at, which was helpful.

Although the roll-out proved successful, Dunlap said that it was definitely a learning lesson and will inform their work moving forward. And with voters stopping a referendum to repeal the use of ranked-choice, it will be used again.

“Everything we did, we did for the first time. We developed a much better idea of what we should test ahead of time, and also that being transparent in the process served us very well,” Dunlap said. “We were also mindful that the weather was very cooperative—something that isn’t so guaranteed in November. That understanding will help inform our timelines going forward.”

It remains unclear if Maine’s successful rollout will encourage other states to implement ranked-choice voting, but Dunlap has some thoughts for those in the weeds of implementation.

“It’s very difficult to move forward without consensus. Our process was dogged by disagreement within the legislature and a lack of foresight in implementation by the proponents—for example, the initiated legislation made no accounting for ballot retrieval, rulemaking, or budgetary needs,” Dunlap said. “Now that we’ve been through all that, those jurisdictions that are interested could look at our experience for what to do and not do.”

New Mexico
Early this year, Santa Fe New Mexico rolled out ranked choice voting for the first time. Voters that we talked to were pleased with the roll out and by-and-large felt that the education campaign around the roll out was satisfactory.

It took four rounds to determine a winner, but the results were known by the next day.

“I had never really heard of it [ranked-choice voting] before this, but it was well explained and pretty well administered,” said Ambassador Bill Richardson who also served as New Mexico’s governor from 2003 to 2011. “My candidate did not win, but I decided that I like the system because my third choice won so that meant my vote counted.”

Richardson voted early in the March municipal election and said that the poll workers working at city hall early voting site were informative and helpful about the new voting system. Richardson noted that the only confusion he heard about was from a friend who wanted to know if there was going to be a runoff election, which he explained there was not, thanks to ranked-choice voting.

FairVote’s Rob Richie pointed out that in Santa Fe, which has a large Hispanic population and had little time to implement the new system due to lawsuits, turnout increased by more than 10 percentage points and that 99.9 percent of mayoral voters cast a valid ballot, and 96 percent of those ballots were still counting for a finalist after more than a third of ballots went from one of the three defeated candidates to next choices.

“What we’ve come to believe is that sensible ballot design and instructions is the key for voters handling their ballot,” Richie said. “What then becomes important is explaining why to rank candidates and how it might affect outcomes. It’s obviously important for voters to trust the outcome, and that’s why we spend more time now working with candidates, civic groups and journalists after a jurisdiction begins to use RCV.”

Santa Fe resident Matthew Ruybal voted absentee in the March primary and said that while he was aware of ranked choice voting system, he didn’t know too much about it.

“The [absentee] ballot did come with an instruction sheet and how to fill it out,” Ruybal said. “It was helpful, but there was a lot of social media, test ballots and community ‘trainings’ held [before the election]. It took about a minute to fill out.”

While the system was easy to use, Ruybal isn’t so sure he’s sold on the concept.

“After using the new system, it wasn’t complex, but having to vote for every candidate seems unnecessary, especially for ones I don’t agree with,” Ruybal said.

Another city in New Mexico — Las Cruces — will be rolling out ranked choice in 2019. The city council unanimously adopted ranked-choice voting earlier this month. At the time of the vote, Councilmember Jack Eakman said, “I have received so many comments in favor of ranked-choice voting that I myself am going to be behind this resolution.”

Elections in Las Cruces are conducted by the county, but according to City Clerk Linda Lewis, the city’s public information officer will be working the county on education/outreach to voters. Lewis said that officials have spoken with their counterparts in Santa Fe about implementation.

“We’re excited about offering voters this option and are planning our campaign to inform voters. We plan on working with a coalition of community partners to inform voters about the change,” explained Scott Krahling, Dona Ana County clerk. “Our office has a nonpartisan Election Advisory Council that is a coalition of community partners who can help us make sure accurate information is widely distributed.”

Krahling said the county is are already working with partners who have worked on successfully implementing RCV and are incorporating lessons learned.

“We want to offer people the opportunity to demonstrate the new style, and engage with us on why this changes is so important to the future of democracy,” Krahling said. “Given that communities have successfully implemented RCV with much shorter windows of time, I’m very optimistic and excited about doing the hard work to make this a success.” 

What’s next?
So what’s next for ranked-choice voting? Will we see more states adopting the voting system or will cities and counties, like Benton, Oregon, continue to take the lead.

“The last year of ranked choice voting elections provides a great opportunity to focus on how lessons from RCV in practice can be applied to address problems with elections like expensive runoffs and crowded primaries,” Richie said. “With the general trend toward jurisdictions and election vendors increasing readiness to run RCV, with best practices easily available from the Ranked Choice Voting Resource Center, and with more candidates getting the playbook on how to run effective RCV campaigns, we’ve seen a string of well-run RCV election. In each case, RCV surpassed expectations — in increased voter turnout, in clearly effective voter use of the system, and in the generally more civil tone and increased substance of the campaigns.”

Richie said that the successful roll out in Maine shows that ranked-choice is not too difficult for voters to understand, an argument that opponents of the voting system often argument. Using the system, 99.7 percent of gubernatorial voters cast a valid ballot.

“It’s natural to want to make sure that voters can handle changes to their ballot, but ranked choice voting holds up quite well to scrutiny,” Richie said. “Maine, for example, is in the bottom half of states in income and about average in its percentage of high school graduates.”

By early 2019, FairVote expects to have four regional coordinators supporting local reformers, with the goal of a stand-alone organization or at least a group of people to connect with in every state.

“It’s exciting for us to see the wide range of policymakers and reformers showing interest in RCV for different reasons – like saving money and increasing turnout by folding runoffs into one election and addressing the issue of low percentage winners in crowded fields,” Richie said. “That interest has come from the likes of the editorial boards of the New York Times and Washington Post, but also charter commissions in small towns and state legislators in states in every part of the country.”

(Editor’s Note: FairVote, an organization supportive of ranked-choice voting, receives general support from Democracy Fund, but not for the expressed purpose of RCV. 

The Center for Civic Design, an organization that works to ensure election materials are clear for voters, receives general support from Democracy Fund and has provided information and best practices on the implementation of ranked-choice voting.)

Federal-State Updates

II. Federal-State Updates

This week, the Senate Intelligence Committee unanimously advanced a bill that would provide new tools for election security.

“In the wake of foreign efforts to interfere with the 2016 U.S. elections, which this Committee continues to investigate, I am pleased to see this bill contains comprehensive measures to enhance our election security,” Chairman Richard M. Burr of North Carolina said in a statement according to Roll Call. “It is vital that we ensure our voting process remains fair and free from undue influence.”

Also this week, U.S. District Court Judge Colleen Kollar-Kelly declined to stay her earlier ruling that the president’s now defunct election integrity commission provide materials prepared and submitted by commissioners. “Plaintiff [Maine Secretary of State Matthew Dunlap] ultimately should receive relevant documents that any of the former commissioners generated or received. This includes material that commissioners solicited and subsequently received from third parties,” Kollar-Kelly wrote in her 57-page ruling.

Primary Updates

III. Primary Updates

Voters in five states headed to the polls, mailboxes and ballot drop boxes this week for primaries. And in Mississippi and South Carolina, voters went back to the polls for primary runoffs.

Colorado: Voters — Democrats, Republicans and independents — cast ballots this week in the state’s first “open” primary and that presented one of the largest problems for the primary. As we previously reported, independent voters received both a Democratic and Republican ballot with the instructions to only cast one. Unfortunately more than 1,000 voters statewide cast both ballots which invalidated their vote. In Montrose County, due to a printing error, officials were forced to hand-count ballots. A vendor printed the incorrect barcode on the ballot. Overall turnout was about 54 percent which is the highest primary turnout in state history.

Maryland: Things got off to a rough start for Maryland’s primary when over the weekend the state announced that around 18,000 change of address/party were not recorded through the state’s Motor Vehicle Administration. On Monday, the state admitted that the number of affected voters was much higher, closer to 80,000. Affected voters were required to cast provisional ballots and the state will not have a handle on how many of those were cast till after press time. The state’s MVA provided county elections offices with a spreadsheet of those impacted by the problem in hopes of helping counties speed up the provisional process. Officials called the failure a “programming error.” Other than provisional ballots there were a handful of other issues on Tuesday in the Old Line State. A polling place in Hamden got off to late state because poll workers could not access the building. A power outage forced one Essex polling place to relocate. Voting was extended an hour in three precincts after they opened late in Baltimore. Also in Baltimore, a polling place had to be relocated after it was discovered it was infested with fleas and mice. Baltimore’s mayor has called for a review of the problems found at the city’s polling places.

Mississippi: There were few reported problems throughout Mississippi for the primary run-off and turnout was reported to be light. Results were delayed by a few hours in DeSoto County due to a computer glitch.

New York: New Yorkers went to the polls on Tuesday faced with relatively empty ballots since the state and local primaries will be held in September. Even with relatively light turnout, there were some problems like late-opening polling sites in New York City. And in Staten Island, a voter was accused of casting ballots in both the Republican and Conservative party primaries.

Oklahoma: Voting was delayed in multiple locations in Tulsa County where voters in one polling place were forced to vote out of the back of an SUV. There were various complaints about ballots for State Question 788, which would legalize medical marijuana. In Payne County, voters complained that poll workers were not handing out both the party primary ballot and the state question ballot. Bryan Dean, spokesman for the state board of elections said that while problems did happen, they were not widespread. “As the counties got a few of those (calls), they called the precincts where they had some issues, they dealt with that, they followed up and they got all the poll workers on the right page,” Dean told the Tulsa World. In Cleveland County, the vote count was slowed by a high number of absentee ballots.

South Carolina: Voters went back to the polls in the Palmetto State on Tuesday and they faced a few issues, but no major voting problems. Polling locations or elections offices in Colleton, Abbeville, Saluda and Spartanburg counties lost power over night after thunderstorms, but all precincts were up and running in time for Tuesday morning. One polling place in Abbeville County was forced to use paper ballots because of a power outage.

Utah: All but two counties cast their ballots by mail this primary season and overall things seemed to go well, however in Sanpete County, Clerk Sandy Neill had to set up special polling places and extend hours after hearing many reports about ballots not arriving.

Election News This Week

IV. Election News This Week

A move to vote-by-mail in Utah has increased turnout overall, especially among Millennials and other low-propensity voters, a new study has found. The study, conducted by Pantheon Analytics and commissioned by Washington Monthly magazine showed a 5 to 7 percentage point turnout increase in the state’s 21 counties that vote by mail in 2016 compared to the eight counties that voted primarily on Election Day. And the by mail counties also saw the greatest increase in engagement among low-propensity voters.

Earlier this year, the city of Anchorage rolled out, by all accounts, a successful first attempt at vote-by-mail for the city’s municipal elections. The city was hoping to build on that success by using vote-by-mail for the November general election, but the state Division of Elections said no. According to a local blog, the explanation given is that to change the existing precinct-based system for state elections would require legislation to significantly modify Alaska State Statutes.  such as AS 15.20.800. Voting by mail. (a) “The director may conduct an election by mail if it is held at a time other than when the general, party primary, or municipal election is held.” If Anchorage votes want to vote-by-mail in the upcoming statewide elections, they will have to do so the old fashioned way, by applying for their ballots in advance.

This week, the All Pueblo Council of Governors approved a resolution to support New Mexico’s Native American Voting Task Force. “With the 2018 General Election approaching quickly, the Council’s support will give the task force more tools and avenues to reach voters in tribal communities and help them expedite their work,” said New Mexico Secretary of State Maggie Toulouse Oliver. “I’m proud of what the task force members have done so far to identify areas of need for Native voters and to build relationships with the Council and other tribal leaders to begin addressing those needs. I applaud the Council for recognizing how crucial this task force is to strengthening democracy in New Mexico.” The Native American Voting Task Force in 2017 to improve election participation in New Mexico’s pueblos and tribal communities. The task force, which consists of ten members from various tribes and pueblos across the state, is charged with advising the Secretary of State on engaging Native Americans in the electoral process. The task force is working to boost voter registration in tribal communities, develop educational voting materials in Native languages and increase voter turnout among Native Americans.

Personnel News: Ian Weber has joined the Defiance County, Ohio board of elections. Congratulations Kerry Black, Aixa Capizzi and Heather Doane of the Collier County, Florida supervisor of elections office for all being designated Master Florida Certified Elections Professionals. Former state Sen. AG Crowe (R-Pearl River) has announced his plans to run for Louisiana secretary of state.

Legislative Updates

V. Legislative Updates

California: The Senate has approved a bill that would require return ballot envelopes to have prepaid postage. Some counties currently pay for return postage and others do not. Counties would cover the costs initially (estimated at $5.5 million in 2016 statewide) and then be reimbursed by the state. The measure had previously been approved by the House, but amendments to the Senate bill will need to be reconciled with what the House approved before going to Gov. Jerry Brown’s desk.

Also in California, the Assembly Elections Committee, by a 5-2 vote, approved SB 759 which establishes a process for election officials to notify voters when their vote-by-mail signature mismatches.

Connecticut: This week, the Legislature failed to override seven vetoes from Gov. Dannel Malloy, including one of a bill that would have allowed town clerks to choose an election-day registration location.

Delaware: The House has approved two elections-related bills. One would allow early voting and the other would allow same-day voter registration. Both bills were approved along party lines and now move to the Senate.

District of Columbia: This week, Councilmember Charles Allen (D-Ward 6) held an hours long hearing on his proposal that would lower the voting age in the District from 18 to 16. The bill would also require schools to provide every 16-year-old with a voter registration form.

Massachusetts: The House has approved a bill that would move Massachusetts to an automatic voter registration state. Under the bill, anyone who applies for or updates their license at the department of motor vehicles or applies for MassHealth and is eligible to register will automatically be registered unless they choose to opt out.

New Jersey: The Senate has approved a bill that would allow residents of the Garden State to register or update their voter registration online. The legislation requires the state to find a secure Internet platform to assure the accuracy and integrity of the registration process, and uses digitalized signatures from the New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission database.

North Carolina: Gov. Roy Cooper (D) vetoed a Republican-led piece of legislation that would have altered early voting and eliminated a popular day of it. The Legislature is expected to work on an override. The General Assembly was able to muster enough votes to override Cooper’s veto.

A proposed constitutional amendment that would require voters to show a photo ID in order to vote has been approved by the House. With 72 votes needed to put the amendment on the ballot, it received 74. The amendment moves to the Senate next.

The Senate has given final approval to a proposed constitutional amendment that would change the way the state board of elections is appointed. Under this proposal, four of the eight members would be chosen by the minority leadership in the House and Senate and four by the majority. The governor would have no say over appointments to the board of elections.

Ohio: The Toledo city council is considering legislation that would allow potential voters to register whenever they have an interaction with a city agency, from paying their water bill to doing business at municipal court. “This is a way for us to increase voter registration and make sure that everyone has the opportunity to have their voice heard in the most important piece of our democracy,” Councilman Nick Komives, who introduced the legislation, told The Toledo Blade.

Also in Ohio, the Senate has given final approval to Senate Bill 135 which will distribute $114.5 million among the state’s 88 counties to purchase new voting machines in advance of the 2020 election. The legislation includes $10 million for counties that have purchased new equipment since 2014.

Legal Updates

VI. Legal Updates

California: The Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals has reaffirmed the denial of a preliminary injunction in a challenge to California’s Voters’ Choice Act. The ruling means that the five counties that have opted into the new voting system—San Mateo, Madera, Napa, Nevada and Sacramento — will not have to set up neighborhood polling places in November and may continue to use the vote-by-mail/vote center hybrid system.

Florida: The League of Women Voters, acting on behalf of six University of Florida and Florida State University has filed suit in U.S. District Court seeking to order Gov. Rick Scott’s administration to allow early voting sites on state college and university campuses. According to the Tampa Bay Times, the League is challenging Secretary of State Ken Detzner’s interpretation of state election laws to exclude campus buildings for early voting. Detzner’s office denied the city of Gainesville’s request to use the UF student union building for early voting in the 2014 city election.

Also in Florida, in advance of next month’s hearing felon voting rights restoration, attorneys for nine former felons have filed a 72-page brief asking the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals to uphold a ruling by U.S. District Judge Mark Walker that struck down the state’s system for restoring voting rights.

Kansas: Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach is asking a state appellate court for a new hearing to determine whether the Douglas County District Court should be required to summon a citizen-initiated grand jury to investigate allegations that his office has mishandled voter registration applications.

Texas: Mario Obdulio Orellana, 57 has been indicted on five counts including voter fraud and false representation of U.S. citizenship. Prosecutors allege that Orellana illegally obtained a U.S. birth certificate, passport and social security number. He used those to register and vote in 2016 election.

Also in Texas, three women were arrested in Hidalgo County and charged with various types of voter fraud. Sylvia Arjona was charged with four counts of unlawful assistance of a voter, Sara Ornelas was charged with three counts of unlawful assistance and Marcela Gutierrez was charged with 10 counts of unlawful assistance and one second-degree felony count of illegal voting.

Visiting Judge Joel Johnson has tossed the results of a May runoff election for justice of the peace in Kleberg County and has ordered that a new election be held. While the evidence ultimately showed that seven of the votes cast in the May 22 runoff election were invalid, Johnson did not declare one of the candidates the winner because there was ultimately no way to prove for whom those individuals voted.

Wisconsin: The State of Wisconsin and the U.S. Department of Justice have reached a settlement over how the state transmit ballots to overseas voters. Under the agreement, regardless of why a voter is overseas—military deployment, foreign service work, because they feel like it—they will now be able to receive their ballot electronically.

Tech Thursday

VII. Tech Thursday

National Tech: According to an article in The New York Times, eight of the tech industry’s most influential companies — Facebook, Twitter, Amazon, Apple, Google, Oath, Snap and Microsoft — met with U.S. intelligence officials to discuss preparations for the 2018 midterms. The company officials met with Christopher Krebs, an under secretary for the Department of Homeland Security, as well as a representative of the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s newly formed “foreign influence” task force. According to the Times, eople who attended described a tense atmosphere in which the tech companies repeatedly pressed federal officials for information, only to be told — repeatedly — that no specific intelligence would be shared.

Illinois: While some elections officials rely heavily on social media, one Illinois county election official will be staying off Facebook on election day for security reasons. “Locally, [the voter file] is not live. We cannot be hacked,” McLean County Clerk Kathy Michael told Illinois News Network. “So the only thing that could disturb a voter is if something gets on social media.” The idea, Michael said, is to make sure hackers can’t use social media to spread false information about closed polls or problems with voting machines. 

Louisiana: This week, the secretary of state’s office announced that it will take longer than expected to replace the state’s voting machines. Originally a bidder was expected to be selected this month, but that has been pushed off indefinitely according to the Associated Press.

Opinions This Week

VIII. Opinions This Week

National Opinions: Voting rights, II | Election security

Arkansas; Voter suppression

California: Vote count | Kern County | Timely results | San Luis Obispo County | San Francisco elections | Sacramento County

Florida: Voting rights

Illinois: McLean County

Kansas: Proof-of-citizenship | Sedgwick County

Louisiana: Voting machines

Maine: Ranked-choice voting, II, III

Maryland: Voter registration problems, II

Massachusetts: Ranked-choice voting

Minnesota: Secretary of state | Early voting

Missouri: Voter fraud

New York: Election reform | Turnout

North Carolina: Voter suppression | Early voting

Ohio: SCOTUS ruling

Oklahoma: Early voting

South Carolina: Election security

South Dakota: Voting problems

Texas: Voter fatigue

Utah: Turnout

West Virginia: Ohio SCOTUS ruling | Voting equipment

Wisconsin: School polling places

Upcoming Events

IX. Upcoming Events

Cybersecurity Online Training Series — The Center for Technology and Civic Life (CTCL) is partnering with the Center for Democracy and Technology (CDT) to deliver a new cybersecurity training series designed for election officials this July. The series will include 3 courses that will empower your election office to manage cyber threats and communicate with the public about cybersecurity.  After completing the series, you’ll have more confidence to safeguard against and respond to cyber threats in your election office. When: July 10, July 24 and July 31. Where: Online.

Election Data Summit — The U.S. Election Assistance Commission and Pennsylvania Department of State will host an Election Data Summit at the Community College of Philadelphia. The gathering will take place prior to the National Association of Secretaries of State (NASS) and National Association of State Election Directors (NASED) summer conferences in Philadelphia. This unique summit will bring together some of the nation’s most respected election data experts to examine ways election officials can use all types of data to improve processes and inform decision making. Each of the summit’s four panels will focus on a distinct aspect of the election cycle and explore different sources for election data, including voter registration databases, electronic poll books, voting equipment, and post-election audits. This event is open to the public and the media. RSVPs are required and space is limited. Additional information regarding speakers is forthcoming. When: July 12. Where: Philadelphia

NASS 2018 Summer Conference — Mark your calendars now for the National Association of Secretaries of State 2018 summer conference in the City of Brotherly Love. Check back soon for more information about the agenda. When: July 13-16. Where: Philadelphia.

2018 NASED Summer Meeting — Mark your calendars now for the National Association of State Election Directors’ 2018 summer meeting in the City of Brotherly Love. Check back soon for more information about the agenda. When: July 13-16. Where: Philadelphia.

NACo Annual Conference and Exposition — Mark your calendars now for the National Association of Counties Annual Conference and Exposition in Music City. Check back soon for more information about the agenda. When: July 13-16. Where: Nashville, Tennessee.

2018 iGo Annual Conference — Mark your calendars now for the International Association of Government Officials 2018 Annual Conference in The Biggest Little City in the World! Check back soon for more information about the agenda. When: July 16-21. Where: Reno, Nevada.

Language Access for Voters Summit — The U.S. Election Assistance Commission, Arizona State University Pastor Center for Politics and Public Service, and Democracy Fund Voice are hosting the third annual Language Access for Voters Summit at the Newseum’s Knight Conference Center on Tuesday, July 24, 2018, in Washington, DC. As in years past, the event convenes state and local election officials, advocates and stakeholders from language communities to discuss critical issues of language accessibility. Speakers will share experiences and observations on efforts to serve voters with language needs. Panelists representing Asian American, Latino, American Indian, Alaskan Native, and additional language communities from across the country will discuss demographic changes, the Section 203 designation process, federal requirements under the Voter Rights Act, voluntary and proactive language assistance, as well as strategies for cost-effective services. Participants will also highlight how emerging trends in election administration, such as the spread of vote centers and new election technologies, are impacting language access. The summit aims to share information, as well as generate new understanding and appreciation between various stakeholder communities. When: July 24. Where: Washington, DC.

Election Sciences Reform and Administration (ESRA) — The conference brings together political scientists and other experts in election administration to develop rigorous empirical approaches to the study of how law and administrative procedures affect the quality of elections in the United States. Participants will identify major questions in the field, share new insights, foster collaboration between election administrators and election scientists, and connect senior and junior scholars. When: July 26 and 27. Where: University of Wisconsin-Madison.

National Election Security Summit — National, state and local election authorities will join officials from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, U.S. Election Assistance Commission, Elections Infrastructure — Information Sharing and Analysis Center, security professionals, election experts, and other industry leaders to learn and share tangible best practices. These security discussions will provide attendees useable steps to mitigate threats and vulnerabilities as election authorities gear up for the 2018 mid-term elections. This is an event designed for election officials and is not open to the public and space is limited. When: September 10-11. Where: St. Louis, Missouri.

Job Postings This Week

X. 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.

Civic Data Research Fellow, Center for Technology and Civic Life — “What’s on my ballot?” is the number one question that voters look for online – but the answer to that question is harder to find than you might think. With nearly 8,000 offices responsible for running elections in America, the basic information that voters need to participate in elections is often poorly formatted and hard to find – if it’s online at all. At the Center for Technology and Civic Life, we think all voters should be able to find this information online, and we need your help! In 2016, our ballot data reached between one-third and one-half of all voters in the country, and we expect 2018 to be even bigger. We’re looking for a set of 2018 Civic Data Fellows to help us standardize the nation’s ballot information, so that all Americans can find information about what will be on their ballot in November. Civic Data Fellows will work closely with our Research Associates and Director of Civic Data to collect and standardize information about candidates and referenda from across the country. If you love democracy, researching obscure facts, and turning chaos into order, this is the job for you! Salary: $48,000. Application: For the complete job listing and to apply, click here.

Data Analysis & Outreach Fellow, Center for Technology and Civic Life— CTCL has conducted extensive research on the demographics of power in the United States through its partnership with the Reflective Democracy Campaign. Our groundbreaking analyses of the race and gender of elected officials and candidates across the country has been featured in national news and has shaped the way we talk about representation in the US. We’re looking to add a full-time Fellow to help make our data even more useful, so that the information and insights it contains can better be used to make our government more modern and reflective. Working with the Director of Civic Data and our external partners, the Data Analysis & Outreach Fellow will focus on improving, analyzing, and growing the use of our Reflective Democracy dataset. Examples of responsibilities include: Data research & analysis, data visualization and reporting, and organizing and outreach. Salary: $50,000-$60,000. Application: For the complete job listing and to apply, click here.

Data Quality Assurance Fellow, Center for Technology and Civic Life — CTCL’s Civic Data team creates and maintains nationwide datasets of candidate and elected officials, working with partners to ensure that everyone in America can answer basic questions about our democracy. Creating the datasets that power some of the most powerful civic information tools available is hard work. Consistently ensuring that these datasets are the best they can be is even harder. We’re looking for someone with a love of democracy (and a borderline-scary eye for detail) to help maintain and improve the civic information we and our partners provide to the public. Working with the Director of Civic Data, the Data Quality Assurance Fellow will work with our own data and with our partners to ensure the completeness and accuracy of the civic information available online. Examples of responsibilities include: Verifying civic information; sourcing political geographies; and implementing internal quality control systems. Salary: $50,000. Application: For the complete job listing and to apply, click here.

Deputy Registrar, Chesterfield County, Virginia — Chesterfield County’s Registrar’s Office is seeking a Deputy Registrar to perform work of considerable difficulty in directing the daily operations of the Registrar’s Office to include monitoring processes and procedures for compliance with state and federal voter registration laws and administrative operations of the department. Assumes the duties and responsibilities of the General Registrar in the Registrar’s absence. Monitors all voter registration activities for compliance with federal and state election laws, directives, and policies. Supervises the accurate and timely entry of voter registration or absentee applications into the Department of Elections database system. Answers questions and provides information to the public, candidates and political party representatives regarding election laws, rules and regulations, registration requirements and campaign filing requirements. Assist the General Registrar in directing the daily operations of the department to include developing policies and procedures and assisting in the development of long – range planning, budget preparation and monitoring expenditures. Supervises, trains, and evaluates the work of Assistant Registrars, as needed. Supervise Elections Manager; assist with election equipment programming; assist with officer of election training as necessary. Perform other work as required. Salary: $55,583-$94,914. Deadline: July 12. Application: For the complete job listing and to apply, click here.

Elections Manager, Chesterfield County, Virginia — Chesterfield County’s Registrar’s Office is seeking an Elections Manager to perform work of considerable difficulty in coordinating a variety of office and field activities in support of elections functions in Chesterfield County. Monitor changes in federal and state election laws, directives, and policies to determine impact upon election processes, procedures, and operations in Chesterfield County and make recommendations for implementation. Oversee and coordinate supply and equipment needs for polling places and supervise assembly and distribution. Locate and inspect polling sites ensuring federal, state, and local requirements and monitor compliance with official election procedures. Review complaints or questions about polling places; evaluate the locations’ accessibility problems, parking problems, or other possible deficiencies, and make recommendations on polling sites. Oversee ongoing testing of election equipment including equipment maintenance and inventory. Develop, update, maintain, and provide training for officers of election. Recruit, train, and direct the work of a large group of volunteers/officers of election. Supervise, train, and evaluate the work of staff. Perform other work as required. Salary: Deadline: July 12. Application: For the complete job listing and to apply, click here.

Elections Systems Coordinator, Richland County, South Carolina— The purpose of the class is to prepare specific computer programs and operations for each election held in Richland County which includes preparing the Election Definition, Hardware Preparation, Election Security, Equipment Testing, Tabulation, Election Reporting and certifying elections results. Review and file ballot preparation and distribute iVotronic Voting Machine to each precinct, order and provide election supplies, train elections workers, and provide Voter education programs to citizens and to coordinate all other aspects of elections. Application: For the complete job listing and to apply, click here.

Embedded System Software Engineer, Clear Ballot — Clear Ballot is looking for a talented Software Engineer who wants to bring their technical skills to bear on a hugely consequential problem. The successful candidate will build and enhance full software stack of highly available applications using primarily Python that interface with front-end web applications implemented in JavaScript and HTML5.  The application software deploys on OEM based hardware, with optical scanner, battery backup, and full touchscreen UI, running a custom configured version of Linux OS. The ideal candidate should have strong technical skills, solid understanding of developing for embedded systems, a good working knowledge of the Linux architecture, and software integration with OEM hardware devices. 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.

Field Sales Director, Hart InterCivic — the Field Sales Director works primarily on the road and from a home office when he/she is not on business travel. The Field Sales Director is responsible for creating news sales with prospects and existing clients in a defined region. Today, this role is a single contributor and does not directly manage people.   This position will report to the VP of Sales. Application: For the complete job listing an to apply, click here.

Full Stack Principal Software Engineer, Clear Ballot— Clear Ballot is looking for an accomplished Principal 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 have the ability to look at the bigger picture and deal with complex and competing requirements to design effective solutions. Extensive knowledge of and experience with large data structures and algorithms will be key. The backend implemented in Python and uses a SQL data base. The front end is implemented in JavaScript, Node.js 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— Clear Ballot is looking for a talented Software Engineer who wants to bring their technical skills to bear on a hugely consequential problem. 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, Node.js 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.

Full-Stack Software Engineer, Clear Ballot — Clear Ballot is looking for a talented Software Engineer who wants to bring their technical skills to bear on a hugely consequential problem – to modernize America’s voting systems and to bring transparency to democratic elections.  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, Node.js 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.

Hardware Engineer (Toronto, ON) – Dominion Voting Systems — Dominion Voting Systems is seeking a an experienced Hardware Engineer to join our team in Toronto, Ontario! This position will work in a fast paced engineering, design, development and technical support environment with many variables and challenges. This position will be accountable for provisioning of electronics and providing software and mechanical engineering support to new product development, manufacturing and field support teams. Salary: Negotiable base + bonus & benefits. Deadline: Open until filled. Application: For the complete job listing and to apply, click here.

Inside Sales Representative, Runbeck — to support our desired growth and market expansion, we continue to hire outstanding talent in multiple departments. We are looking for highly motivated, dedicated and talented individuals who will be able to contribute significantly to the success of the company while receiving great opportunities for professional growth and financial benefits. Responsibilities include: Contact potential or existing customers to inform them about a product or service; ability to present solution and its value to a prospect over the phone; answer questions about products or the company; ask questions to understand customer requirements and close sales; enter and update customer information in the database; keep records of calls and sale and note useful information in the CRM; process orders in an accurate manner; and go the “extra mile” to meet sales quota and facilitate future sales. Application: In order to apply, please send a resume to Tammy White: twhite@runbeck.net.

Manager, Voter Registration Division, Richland County, South Carolina— the purpose of the class is to plan, manage and supervise the Voter Registration Division of the Board of the Board of Elections and Voter Registration office; to oversee daily division operations, ensuring accurate implementation of all voter registration procedures as established by laws and regulations; to perform all duties to facilitate the voter registration process; to ensure the lawful conduct of all elections; and to ensure integrity and accuracy of all election activities and tabulations. Supervises subordinate staff; supervisory duties include instructing, planning and assigning work, reviewing work, maintaining standards, coordinating activities, selecting new personnel, acting on employee problems, recommending and approving employee discipline and discharge, and recommending employee transfers, promotions and salary increases. Reviews the work of subordinates for completeness and accuracy; evaluates work performance and makes recommendations for improvement; offers training, advice and assistance as needed. Assists the Executive Director directly and indirectly in the supervision of the daily operations and functions of the office and/or any satellite offices to include but not limited to directing, instructing, assigning, reviewing, and planning work of full time and temporary staff; maintaining standards, coordinating activities, providing and allocating resources, responding to problems/complaints/inquiries, and monitoring execution of proper laws, regulations, procedures, and customer service. This class works within broad policy and organizational guidelines and does independent planning and implementation, reporting progress of major activities through periodic conferences and meetings. Performs duties and responsibilities of the Voter Registration Division in the absence of the Executive Director. Application: For the complete job listing and to apply, click here.

Python Developer, Clear Ballot — Clear Ballot seeks a talented python developer in the Boston area to assume responsibility for an existing suite of python scripts to create files for use with ClearVote(TM) digital voting system. Job responsibilities: Maintain and enhance existing python scripts that read PDF formatted ballot styles and produce the files needed by ClearVote (TM) digital voting system to tabulate said ballot; Run existing python scripts to generate marked test ballots for use in testing ClearVote(TM); Develop and execute test plans to guarantee ClearVote tabulates marked ballots correctly; Expand PDF parsing capabilities as new customer’s ballot styles are introduced; Leverage analytics you gather to improve performance through script and/or hardware changes; Must perform these duties within aggressive timelines that often require working outside of normal business hours. Application: For the complete listing and to apply, click here.

Registrar of Voters, Sacramento County, California— The County of Sacramento is seeking a dynamic individual with an extensive background in election services as well as a proven ability to establish and maintain collaborative, professional relationships with external and internal agency officials and elections staff. Ideal candidates are hands-on, strategic managers who have proven leadership ability to effectively manage an established team to achieve set goals. The County is looking for a self-driven and enthusiastic leader with solid experience as Director of Elections. The Director must be personable and approachable and work well with individuals at all levels of the organization. Ideal candidates are experienced leaders who can hold staff accountable while promoting teamwork and cultivating an environment of mutual respect. Successful candidates will exemplify personal integrity and dedication to public service as well as to the integrity of the elections process. Additionally, successful candidates will have exceptional interpersonal and communication skills. The Registrar of Voters will be a non partisan, self-directed and result-oriented leader with extensive experience managing elections processes. Highly qualified candidates will have extensive, in-depth management experience working with local agencies on consolidated elections and coordinating external elections officials to broadcast and roll out new major law requirements. Salary: $138928-$153,171. Deadline: July 20. Application. For the complete job listing and to apply, click here.

Senior Elections Online Training Specialist, Michigan Secretary of State’s Office — this position serves as the Bureau of Elections (BOE) recognized resource overseeing and leading activities related to the planning, development, implementation, maintenance, communication and tracking of online training programs and other online references and resources. This position is responsible for overseeing and planning all aspects of the online Elections eLearning Center, which serves close to 3,000 election officials statewide. Duties include development of the overall online training curriculum and required components of Michigan’s mandated Continuing Education program for election officials; developing and maintaining the overall online training web portal; developing online course material covering complex topics related to election administration, utilizing specialized software; managing the system components related to enrolling, assigning, and tracking election officials’ completion of online coursework to ensure required training elements are completed timely; developing complex online data collection instruments; managing contracts with outside service providers; and coordinating, managing and implementing continual updates and improvements to all BOE web resources. The position also provides technical assistance to Michigan election officials and BOE staff, develops training manuals and other reference material; leads and participates on special projects; and acts as a state- and national-level liaison for BOE related to our online training programs. Salary: $48,651-$71,156. Deadline: July 2. Application. For the complete job listing and to apply, click here.

Senior Software Developer, Runbeck— Runbeck Election Services is looking for full stack enthusiasts who are comfortable tackling end-to-end and enjoy building products that solve big problems and delight customers. We’re a collaborative team who knows how to get things done (Lone Rangers need not apply). We believe that small teams focused on shipping software move the fastest and make the most impact. The ideal candidate for this position has extensive back end skills (C#, MVC, ASP.Net, SQL Server) paired with solid web and desktop skills (IIS, JavaScript, HTML 5, CSS, jQuery, WPF, Win Forms). Must have a solid grasp of our basic toolset (Jira, Visual Studio). Willing to learn new plug-ins and IDE enhancements in order to boost your productivity and are excited to introduce us to new tooling experiences that have worked for you in the past. You bring discipline and care about implementation practices. You are familiar with Agile/Scrum processes, practice common design patterns, embrace clean coding principles, and employ many other techniques in an effort to bring a high level of software craftsmanship to your finished product. Application: In order to apply, please send a resume to Tammy White: twhite@runbeck.net.

Software Product Specialist (Chicago, IL) – Dominion Voting Systems — Dominion Voting Systems is seeking a data-savvy and passionate Software Product Specialist to join our team in Chicago, IL! This position is responsible for the precise data entry and formatting of election information for our customers in order to style, proof, and finalize ballots which are utilized in elections. This position requires a high degree of accuracy and attention to detail as well as experience with Microsoft Excel including formulas and macros. Salary: Negotiable base + bonus & benefits. Deadline: Open until filled. 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.

Systems Manager(Chicago, IL) – Dominion Voting Systems — Dominion Voting Systems is seeking a tech-savvy, customer focused Systems Manager to join our team in Chicago, IL! This position will be responsible for the readiness of Dominion’s voting systems to perform properly in the assigned jurisdictions which includes defining the functionality of the D-Suite system, monitoring the development of the system in accordance with the required functionality, and managing its testing and preparation for delivery to the market. Salary: Negotiable base + bonus & benefits. Deadline: Open until filled. Application: For the complete job listing and to apply, click here.

Systems Specialist – Advanced Field Support (Toronto, ON) – Dominion Voting Systems — Dominion Voting Systems is seeking an experienced & passionate Systems Specialist – Advanced Field Support to join our team in Toronto, Ontario! This position provides highly skilled and technical support in the testing, implementing and triaging of election systems both pre and post deployment. This includes providing functionality requirements of the system, monitoring the development of the system in accordance with the required functionality, and participating in its testing and preparation for delivery to the market. Salary: Negotiable base + bonus & benefits. Deadline: Open until filled. Application: For the complete job listing and to apply, click here.


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