In Focus This Week
Lines, glitches, humidity, goats. In other words a typical election
Pre-election fears of hacking fail to materialize
By M. Mindy Moretti
The 2018 election has already been hacked! Voter suppression! Voter fraud! Those were some of the headlines that screamed at voters and elections officials in the days leading up to the 2018 general election, but in the light of the day, the 2018 election turned out to be far less chaotic than many people anticipated.
Yes, there were lines. There were machine malfunctions. There were bomb and gun threats. Some people were denied their right to vote. There were goats. But with turnout hovering around 49 percent, from a seasoned-election observers eye, the 2018 election was fairly business as usual—at least as far as the process goes.
This week, given time constraints, we’re just doing a brief review of Election Day 2018. Next week we’ll take a look at what happened — good, bad, silly and sad — state-by-state and in the coming weeks we’ll drill down into some of the bigger issues that arose, why they arose and what the next steps are. You can also check out our Election Day Dispatches.
Election Security — For two years the security of America’s elections have been drilled into our heads. From the Department of Homeland Security, all the way down to the smallest election authority, officials worked and worried to make sure that the 2018 elections were secure. And at the end of the day, election security really turned out to be a non-issue in 2018. The Department of Homeland Security’s cyber unit fielded some false alarms, but no hacks.
Voter ID — Voters in Missouri and Iowa faced new voter ID requirements this year and some issues did arise in Missouri where a judge had altered the rules in the days leading up to the election. In Iowa, initial reports indicate that overall things went smoothly. In North Dakota, where Native American tribes had fought the state’s ID law to the last minute, turnout of Native Americans broke records. In additional ID news, voters in North Carolina and Arkansas both voted to amend their state’s constitutions to institute voter ID.
Voter Registration — Millions of voters registered to vote in the waning days of the election cycle and overall it seems that counties were able to get all those folks on the rolls. Election day registration in Connecticut created huge lines in some towns. Voters in Nevada approved automatic registration. In Maryland, voters approved election day registration and in Michigan, as part of a larger election-reform package, voters approved same day registration.
Lines/Turnout — Although the numbers aren’t final yet, turnout is hovering right around 49 percent which is the highest midterm turnout in years. The last time midterm turnout broke 49 percent was 1966. Not every state broke midterm records, but many did. Large turnout lead to lines in many places as well as ballot shortages some states including Ohio and Maryland. And a preliminary analysis by CIRCLE found that voters aged 18-29 increased their overall turnout to 31 percent which is 10 percent higher than for the 2014 midterms.
Voting Equipment — While prior to Tuesday, we expressed some concern about voters seeing new equipment for the first time might cause confusion or delays, in reality it was aging voting equipment that seemed to cause the most of the issues both in voting and counting. Issues ranged from ballot printer malfunctions, calibration problems with aging touchscreen machines, and humidity and dampness warped paper ballots.
Power Outages — Due to severe weather, polling places across the country faced power outages throughout the day on Tuesday although there were no reports of the voting being affected by the outages.
Secretary of State Races — Secretary of state offices were on the ballot in 24 states. There will be nine new secretaries (Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Kansas, Michigan, Ohio, Nebraska and South Dakota), in the coming months and we’ll meet them all in due time and incumbent secretaries (Alabama, California, Connecticut, Idaho, Indiana, Iowa, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Nevada, New Mexico, North Dakota, Rhode Island, Vermont and Wyoming) were re-elected in 13 states. There will be runoffs in Georgia and Louisiana.
Election News This Week
It’s never a good time for a fire, but a few days before a midterm election is an especially bad time, but that’s what happened to the Shenandoah County, Virginia registrar’s office when a printer malfunctioned. Fortunately no one was hurt but the damage from the fire and sprinkler system was enough that the office will have to relocate for the foreseeable future. “Based on our preliminary review of the damage resulting from the sprinkler system’s activation, it appears all voter records and any absentee ballots casts in advance of next week’s election have been protected and are secure. We are grateful the damage was not more extensive,” Lisa McDonald, Shenandoah County voter registrar told WHSV.
Concern has been growing over the use of schools as polling places in Nassau County, New York and recently the North Hempstead Town Supervisor Judi Bosworth reached out to the Nassau County BOE offer town facilities as potential future voting sites. “Please know that my number one priority is maintaining the safety and security of our communities here in North Hempstead,” Bosworth told The Island Now. “In order to further protect our children, residents, teachers, and school administrators, I believe it would be prudent for the Board of Elections to consider this request.”
According to The Baltimore Sun, Harford County Elections Director Kevin Keene and Deputy Director Dale Livingston were put on paid administrative leave on October 31 and Cynthia Allred, secretary of the county board of elections, was named acting director. William G. Christoforo Jr., president of the board of elections refused to comment on the situation. Allred, who said no acting deputy director is in place “at this time,” declined to provide further information on why Keene and Livingston are on leave, or who had made the decision to put them on leave.
When her son with autism expressed an interest in voting, Massachusetts mother Susan Senator knew she would have to do something to help ease his anxieties so she created booklet for her son called “Voting is really important. Here’s how to do it.” According to CNN, the nine-page resource walks him through the process, complete with pictures of the ballot, which he could practice bubbling in, and reminders about the candidates running for different positions. “For any person, the more you know about how something works, the better you’re going to perform,” Senator said. We love this idea!
Personnel News: Will County, Illinois Clerk Nancy Schultz Voots will retire following the 2018 elections. She has been in the clerk’s office since 1976 and the clerk since 2002.
District of Columbia: The Committee on the Judiciary and Public Safety has approved a bill that would extend voting rights to 16-year-olds in the District in all elections, including federal elections. The bill is expected to come before the full council on November 13.
Montana: Secretary of State Corey Stapleton will testify before the State Administration and Veteran’s Affairs Committee on Nov. 13 regarding spending on two contracts including one for $265,000 to reprint the state voter guide after errors were found.
New Jersey: In April Gov. Phil Murphy (D) signed legislation into law requiring automatic voter registration at all state Motor Vehicle Commission offices by November 1 and on November 1, the MVC announced that the system was live. All eligible state residents who apply for a driver’s license, an examination permit, a probationary driver’s license or a non-driver identification card will be registered to vote.
California: Richard Anthony Hamilton, 22 has been charged with voting twice in the 2016 presidential election as well as the primary. He was also registered twice, once with his actual birthdate and once with a false birthdate.
Also in California, Deidra Vrooman has been charged with felony election fraud for casting two ballots in the 2016 primary election. Vrooman was mailed two ballots, one from Nevada County and one from Alameda County. She was living out of her car at the time and did not know where she was currently registered, so she sent both back. “It was just my right to vote, so I voted,” Vrooman explained to KRON. “I was mailed two ballots by the government so I was just following instructions to send them both in.”
Florida: U.S. District Judge Mark Walker rebuked Duval County Supervisor of Elections Mike Hogan for not following his September court order to provide sample ballots available at early voting sites. According to News 4, Walker rebuked Hogan and ordered that sample ballots in Spanish be at all voting precincts on Election Day. “The cause of this motion was Duval County Supervisor of Elections Mike Hogan’s strained and selective reading of this Court’s preliminary injunction order,” Walker wrote. “His reading … inexplicably ignored this Court’s unambiguous language.”
Georgia: U.S. District Judge Eleanor Ross ruled that Georgia’s “exact match” requirement voter identification “places a severe burden” on prospective voters and will not apply for the midterm. According to Courthouse News Service, Ross directed Kemp’s office to allow county election officials to permit individuals flagged and placed in pending status due to citizenship to vote a regular ballot by furnishing proof of citizenship to poll managers or deputy registrars. “To be clear, once an individual’s citizenship has been verified by a deputy registrar or a poll manager, that individual may cast a regular ballot and the vote counts,” Ross said.
Kansas: U.S. District Court Judge Daniel Crabtree said forcing Ford County Clerk Debbie Cox to open an additional polling location in Dodge City so close to the election would not be in the public’s interest. Crabtree did question Cox’s actions though. And while the court must evaluate the fully-developed facts governing this claim on a later day, the court notes, for now, its concerns about Ms. Cox’s ‘LOL’ comment and questions whether it manifests a disregard for the ‘fundamental significance’ that our Constitution places on the right to vote,” Crabtree wrote.
New York: On Election Day, the League of Women Voters sued the state of New York over the state’s voter registration cutoff date calling it “arbitrary and unnecessary.” “As a direct result of the voter registration cutoff, many thousands of constitutionally eligible voters in every election cycle are denied their fundamental right to vote,” says the complaint according to Courthouse News Service, which attorneys at the American Civil Liberties Union filed in Manhattan Supreme Court.
North Dakota: A last-ditch legal effort to halt North Dakota’s voter ID law was denied by U.S. District Court Judge Daniel L. Hovland. In his two-page order, Hovland said it was too close to the election to make any changes. He noted that “federal courts are unanimous in their judgment that it is highly important to preserve the status quo when elections are fast approaching.”
Texas: District Judge Justin Sanderson ordered that dozens of voters whose mail-in ballots were slated for rejection should be notified in time to vote on Tuesday. At least 86 mail-in ballots were flagged last week for potential discrepancies in signatures between the application form and the returned ballot, elections office.
Social Media: A group of volunteer researchers and technologists led by Guardians.ai, a New York startup that’s focused on protecting pro-democracy organizations from information warfare and cyber-attack released a study that identified what they said is a coordinated network of Twitter accounts that push false and misleading narratives about election integrity with hashtags like #VoterFraud. According to Bloomberg, they found a core of 200 accounts that tweeted or were mentioned in tweets more than 140 million times over the last year.
Computer Servers: A survey by ProPublica found that computer servers that powered Kentucky’s online voter registration and Wisconsin’s election results reporting site ran software that could potentially expose information to hackers or enable access to sensitive files without a password. According to ProPublica, officials in both states said that voter-registration data has not been compromised and that their states’ infrastructure was protected against infiltration. Still, Wisconsin said it turned off its FTP service following ProPublica’s inquiries. Kentucky left its password-free service running and said ProPublica didn’t understand its approach to security.
Opinions This Week
National Opinions: Voting system, II, III, IV, V, VI, |Voter privacy | Election fears | Too poor to vote | Millennials | Election hacking | Audits | Voting rights, II | Department of Justice | Online voting, II | Voter suppression, II | Voting problems | Election integrity | “I Voted” stickers
Kansas: Secretary of state race
Louisiana: Secretary of state race
Massachusetts: Secretary of state race
New Jersey: Vote-by-mail
New Mexico: Turnout
North Dakota: Voter ID
Ohio: Secretary of state race
Rhode Island: Secretary of state
South Carolina: Voting system
Tennessee: Voter suppression
Clearie Awards Deadline Extended
EAC Extends Deadline for Third Annual Competition for Best Practices in Election Administration
The U.S. Election Assistance Commission (EAC) has extended the deadline for submissions for its third annual “Clearie” awards, a national competition for best practices in election administration, until Friday, November 30, 2018. This year, the Commission will present awards in the categories of best practices related to voting accessibility, outstanding innovations in elections, and recruiting, training and retaining election workers. All entries must be received no later than Friday, November 30, 2018.
This year, the Clearie awards are dedicated the life and legacy of Wendy Noren and R. Brian Lewis. Wendy Noren served as Boone County Clerk for over three decades and was a member of the EAC’s Board of Advisors before passing away in July 2018 following a long battle with cancer. R. Brian Lewis served as Counsel to the office of the Senate Majority Leader before his passing and was an early and steadfast proponent of the Help America Vote Act (HAVA) and election officials. Both were luminaries in the field of election administration who will long be remembered for their work and friendship.
“Election officials are known for their commitment to the values expressed in the EAC Clearie awards: excellence, innovation, maintaining accuracy and integrity in the election process and ensuring all eligible citizens can cast a ballot,” said EAC Chairman Thomas Hicks. “The Clearies are a testament to their work and dedication and highlight best practices other election administrators can emulate.”
This year’s entries will be judged using the following criteria:
- Outreach efforts
All submissions should be sent to the EAC via an email to email@example.com. Nominators should use the following subject lines based on entry category: Election Worker Competition, Accessibility Competition or Outstanding Innovations Competition.
All entries must include a brief summary of the election program nominated and attach relevant documents, images and links that can be used to assess the entry. Submissions should also include contact information for the person submitting the program for consideration. Each entry must be submitted in a separate email.
For more information about this year’s competition, please contact Patrick Leahy at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Council of State Governments Annual Conference — The Council of State Government will hold its 2018 National Conference in the Northern Kentucky, Greater Cincinnati area in December. Keynote speakers are J.D. Vance, author of Hillbilly Elegy and Story Musgrave who started life in the Marines and finished is public service at NASA where he spent more than 1,200 hours in space. The conference will include a 2.5 hour session on election cybersecurity communications mapping. Where: Cincinnati, Ohio. When: December 6-8.
Election Audit Summit—The Election Audit Summit will provide a space for participants from across the scientific, policy and legal worlds to discuss new developments in the field of post-election auditing, and engage in the ongoing conversation on the current status and future directions of the election audits in the United States. Where: Cambridge, Massachusetts. When: December 7-8.
International Association of Government Officials — IGO’s 2019 mid-winter conference will be held in Irvine, California, January 6-11, 2019. Watch this space for more details about agendas and registration.
Joint Election Officials Liaison Conference (JEOLC) —The Election Center’s Joint Election Officials Liaison Conference (JEOLC) will be held in Arlington, Virginia, January 10-11, 2019. Watch this space for more details and agendas.
National Association of State Election Directors — The NASED Winter Conference will be held in Washington DC, February 1-4, 2019. Watch this space for more details about agendas and registration.
National Association of Secretaries of State — The NASS Winter Conference will be held in Washington, DC, February 1-4, 2019. Watch this space for more details about agendas and registration.
Election Center Special Workshop — The Election Center will hold a special workshop that will include: Course 7 (Facilitating Voter Participation); Course 8 (Implementation of New Programs); and Renewal Course 31 (Election Storytelling ). Where: Birmingham, Alabama. When: February 25-26.
Election Center Special Workshop —The Election Center will hold a special workshop that will include: Course 9 (Enfranchisement, Enhancement, Enforcement ); Course 10 (Constitution, Courts & Cases to 1965); and Renewal Course 14 (Crisis Management). Where: Virginia Beach. When: April 24-28.
International Association of Government Officials — IGO’s 2019 Annual Conference will be held in Houston, Texas, July 11-17. Watch this space for more details about agendas and registration.
National Association of Counties — NACo’s 2019 Annual Conference will be held in Clark County (Las Vegas), Nevada July 11-15, 2019. Watch this space for more details about agendas and registration.
National Association of State Election Directors — The NASED Summer Conference will be held in Austin, Texas, July 14-16, 2019. Watch this space for more details about agendas and registration.
Job Postings This Week
electionlineWeekly publishes election administration job postings each week as a free service to our readers. To have your job listed in the newsletter, please send a copy of the job description, including a web link to email@example.com. Job postings must be received by 5pm on Wednesday in order to appear in the Thursday newsletter. Listings will run for three weeks or till the deadline listed in the posting.
Assistant Inspector General for Audit, U.S. Election Assistance Commission —The Assistant Inspector General for Audit (AIGA) directs or conducts performance audits, evaluations, inspections and reviews of EAC programs, functions, and operations. The incumbent maintains personal contact with key senior officials within and outside of EAC, such as management and officials of CIGIE, OMB, GAO, other Federal and state agencies, contractors and educational or research groups. Participates with the IG in developing the annual audit plan; determining the scope of each audit; developing and adjusting audit guides when necessary to meet special or unusual circumstances; and participating in entrance and exit conferences with auditees (city, county, state, and/or EAC officials). The AIGA supervises the work of subordinates, if any, and monitors the work of contractors. Salary: $119,5897-$141328. Deadline: November 30. Application: For the complete job listing and to apply, click here.
Certification Manager (Denver, CO) – Dominion Voting Systems — Dominion Voting Systems is seeking a Certification Manager to join our team in Denver, CO! This position is a cross -functional leader playing a key role in managing certification efforts for Dominion Voting products. In this role, you will act as a representative of the company with State and Federal certification officials, test labs, and other key internal and external stakeholders throughout the certification process. Application: For the complete job listing and to apply, click here.
Certification Project Manager, Hart InterCivic — The Certification Project Manager manages state and federal certification projects of our Hardware and Software products, under the direction of the Certification Program Manager. The Certification Project Manager must be able to exercise sound judgment and interact with regulatory authorities in a professional manner, particularly in high-pressure situations. Application: For the complete job listing and to apply, click here.
Customer Relations Manager (Phoenix, AZ) – Dominion Voting Systems — Dominion Voting Systems is seeking a Customer Relations Manager to join our team in Phoenix, AZ! This position will be responsible for effectively and proactively managing the day-to-day relationship, administration and technical/product support of one or more assigned customer accounts. Additionally, the CRM will serve as project manager for specialized projects such as pre- and postelection day support, new product implementations, and/or product upgrades/updates. Application: For the complete job listing and to apply, click here.
Director of Government Affairs, Hart InterCivic — The Hart InterCivic Director of Government Affairs oversees all aspects of support services for Hart’s government relations activities for state and federal government entities. These include: identifying and engaging critical stakeholders at the federal, state, and county level, researching and providing consistent and proactive communication of company’s regulatory strategy, partnering with key internal cross-functional departments, participating in industry forums ensuring active engagement where most critical, and developing monitoring/measurement tools to provide visibility and transparency. Application: For the complete job listing and to apply, click here.
Elections Program Manager, CIS— the Elections Program Manager is assigned to the Elections Infrastructure ISAC (EI-ISAC) at the Center for Internet Security. Reporting to the Director of the EI-ISAC, the Elections Program Manager will partner with other cybersecurity team members to promote the CIS mission and help support our growth. The primary purpose of this position is to serve as a subject matter expert on and represent the EI-ISAC in public forums regarding election infrastructure issues. The Elections Program Manager will work with the EI-ISAC Director to build relationships in the elections community and identify tools, products, and initiatives that meet the security needs of election officials. 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 and to apply, click here.
General Counsel, Campaign Legal Center— CLC’s General Counsel provides advice and guidance regarding legal issues involving the organization’s work and operations. This includes advising on best ethics practices, legal compliance with applicable laws and advising on risk management. CLC’s General Counsel will also serve as a senior litigator in the Voting Rights & Redistricting programs which engage in litigation around the country, both to ensure the constitutional implementation of existing laws and to defend new reforms against legal challenges. CLC also participates in trial and appellate cases through friend-of-the-court briefs, engages in educational efforts (such as know-your-rights trainings) and provides legislative drafting assistance to legislatures and organizations seeking to improve election law. 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: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Program Manager, Overseas Voting Initiative, Council of State Governments — the Program Manager of CSG’s Overseas Voting Initiative, funded through a cooperative agreement with the US Dept. of Defense (DOD) Federal Voting Assistance Program (FVAP), provides day-to-day management and oversight of the Initiative, including research and policy analysis of electronic absentee voting systems for military voters, and development and dissemination of educational policy programming and deliverables to state leaders in support of the cooperative agreement. The Program Manager works within CSG’s Center of Innovation and in cooperation with CSG’s policy and executive management teams as well as regional offices, affiliates and members to support, monitor and improve state elections processes for military and overseas voters. Application: For the complete job listing and to apply, click here.
Project Manager (Austin, TX) – Hart InterCivic — Hart InterCivic is looking for a project manager to work with our Professional Services Team. The project manager oversees the deployment of voting systems and training to both existing and new Hart customers. The ideal candidate has experience in the elections industry, is PMP certified, and is motivated to achieve success for our customers with initiative. Travel up to 80 percent. Reports to the Manager of Professional Services. Application: For the complete job listing and to apply, click here.
Regional Sales Manager, Clear Ballot— The Regional Sales Manager (RSM) position will represent Clear Ballot in a designated territory to engage prospective customers, educate them on the value of partnering with Clear Ballot, and close New Business. This position is a Hunter. The RSM will be responsible for managing and growing their assigned territory and meeting quarterly and annual sales goals. Previous sales experience in high growth organizations is a plus. RSM’s will be responsible for understanding the Clear Ballot portfolio and effectively communicating the value we bring to the market. Measures of success include: high levels of sales activity, regular and consistent reporting and communication of progress, progress toward quarterly and annual quota attainment, and overcoming obstacles to get the job done. We currently have open positions in Florida and Boston. Application: For the complete job listing and to apply, click here.
Sales Engineer, Clear Ballot — Our Sales and Marketing team is looking for a seasoned, hardworking and energetic Sales Engineer with proven experience and a passion for selling technology solutions. This role is responsible for being the primary technical resource for our sales force while also actively driving and managing the technology evaluation stage of the sales process. You will be required to have an in-depth technical knowledge of Clear Ballot’s Clear Vote suite and demonstrating the product capabilities to prospective customers. The ideal candidate must also be able to identify and provide reliable solutions for all technical issues to assure complete customer satisfaction. Measures of success include new customer acquisition rates, renewal rates, upselling, cross-selling, customer satisfaction and contribution to overall sales team and new customer success Application: For the complete job listing and to apply, click here.
Senior Researcher, Public Policy Evaluation Research, Fors Marsh Group — FMG is hiring for a researcher on the Public Policy Evaluation team which serves to address public concerns and promote the quality of the community. This is done through a) articulating the public’s needs, b) conducting rigorous evaluation to assess how these needs are being met, and c) working with our clients to improve these programs and policies. This job is best suited for an individual who enjoys research, has experience leading research team, possesses excellent attention to detail, continuously strives to learn and develop, and prefers working in a cooperative environment. Application: For the complete job listing and to apply, click here.
Software Product Specialist II (Phoenix, AZ) – Dominion Voting Systems — Dominion Voting Systems is seeking a Software Product Specialist II to join our team in Phoenix, AZ! This position will be responsible for delivering a wide variety of technical and non-technical customer support services related to the implementation, operation, repair, maintenance and upgrades of Dominion Voting Systems technology products. Application: For the complete job listing and to apply, click here.
Staff Editor, Brennan Center for Justice— the Brennan Center seeks an experienced and confident Staff Editor to play a key role in our growing editorial team. The Staff Editor will work closely with the Director of Editorial Strategy in shaping the Brennan Center’s revamped online content strategy, ensuring that we respond quickly to news developments and helping to position us as a leading voice on the issues of democracy and the Constitution that are currently at the center of the national conversation. 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.
Training Associate, Center for Technology in Civic Life — When you think about elections, you might think about popular candidates, “I voted” stickers, and all sorts of paperwork and deadlines. But behind the scenes are thousands of election officials in state and local governments who are working hard to make sure ballots are counted and voices are heard. To serve every community and make democracy work, these officials need 21st-century tools and training. You can help them get it! As the CTCL Government Services Training Associate, you will develop and deliver training courses that advance the tech and communication skills of election officials. If you care about democracy, if you believe in the importance of public service, and if you love to exceed expectations, this is the job for you. Salary: $45K-$50K. Application: For the complete job listing and to apply, click here.
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