In Focus This Week
Transparency is key to instilling confidence
By Alton P. Dillard II, communications director
Office of the Clerk and Recorder-City and County of Denver
(Editor’s Note: This week we kick off a series of stories about the relevance of effective communications in elections. In addition to Alton’s story today, in future weeks we’ll cover websites, branding and more.)
The November 2006 General Election started out like any other Election Day, but as late morning approached, it became apparent that something was wrong.
With rumors swirling that there were “voting machine failures,” lines began to grow at our vote centers and before long, news helicopters were circling, injunctions were filed to keep the polls open past 7 p.m., and a delegation of our congresswoman and state representatives marched into our then-director’s office demanding answers.
A quick eyeball of a couple of vote centers showed that the voting machines were actually working, but that people weren’t able to get them to the voting machines at all because the e-poll books weren’t working. Lines stretched for blocks and hours.
I was on camera for almost a week straight trying to explain all of this, while having no information about the root cause of the issue. This was the front end of the debacle.
The back end of the debacle was the fact that there was a programming error so our scanners couldn’t’ read the ballot styles if they were fed in a mixed batch. Imagine standing in a room with boxes of ballots stacked to the ceiling and being told they would have to be manually sorted by ballot style prior to being fed into scanners. We laid out a bunch of bins and literally spent the following days sorting “three,” “seven,” “here’s a four.”
It was brutal, but the 2006 election also strengthened our bond and our organizational resolve to never put the voters over ourselves through this experience again and in a 2007 special election voters approved a measure to eliminate the 3-person election commission and create an elected clerk and recorder like other Colorado counties.
Fast forward to 2019 and the Denver Elections Division is recognized nationally and internationally as one of the top elections offices in existence because of the outstanding work done by our team of very talented professionals behind the scenes.
I’m considered the Dean of the Delegation of Elections Communicators in Colorado because I’ve specialized in election communications for 13 years. I’m also a former U.S. Senate press secretary who cut his crisis communication teeth when the senator I worked for switched parties midway through his term.
Those skills served me well when under the three-person election commission structure in 2006 the e-poll book failure resulted in blocks-long lines and thousands of people being turned away without voting. I was the public face of that debacle even though I was an outside consultant at the time.
In Colorado, a lot of our 64 county clerks are their own spokespeople, their own public face.
If we are honest with ourselves, the world of elections administration has been a panicky place since Florida 2000. In the current environment where all it takes are the words “hack,” or “line” to stampede the herd, it is imperative to have effective communications with your voters.
Regardless of the size of your jurisdiction, transparency is key to instilling confidence in how you administer elections. With the scrutiny elections officials are under, elections administration can no longer take place “behind the curtain.”
Ask yourself, is our election office set up for transparency for voters, watchers and media? Does your physical layout accommodate the highest level of transparency allowed by law? Do watchers and official observers have the access required to do their jobs? Does your elections office conduct tours for voters, elected officials, candidates, media and external stakeholders? The perception of lack of transparency in the voting process is one of the quickest ways to draw negative coverage.
Denver is the state capital, but it’s also a Top 20 media market. We are literally a five-minute drive from five television stations and we garner a lot of print, radio and web publication coverage too.
In our current elections environment, it is imperative to have good relationships with the media. If your jurisdiction is in a larger media market, make sure to know the reporters that cover you, but also make sure you meet with the people who deploy those reporters.
Prior to every major election, I meet with the news directors, web content editors, producers, assignment desk editors, and editors at every local television state and newspaper. We also conduct a media tour before every election make sure media gets their questions answered so we can make sure that current and consistent information is being put out. Media tours allow TV stations to update their file footage. Nothing drives me crazier than seeing 400Cs in new stories when we haven’t used those in nearly five years. Even if the media in your jurisdiction is a small mom and pop newspaper, it is important to keep them informed.
With social media, I can’t stress this enough. Go there, but only if you have the bandwidth to do so. Social media is only effective if you are prepared to treat it as two – way communications tool. You must be prepared to respond to voter inquiries and shoot down misinformation nearly 24-7, especially in live election mode. Incorrect information from your followers that sits on your social media feeds overnight because they aren’t checked until the next morning becomes a tough bell to unring.
The Denver Elections Division uses social media to let voters know everything from voting locations and hours, where we are deploying Haul-N-Votes, our mobile voting center, vote center wait times, the status and candidate and issue petitions, etc. We also post videos of our ballot processing rooms, our post-election risk limited audit and canvass process and we encourage voters to snap selfies in front of our branded backdrop or a 24-hour ballot drop-off box and hashtag us to let us know they voted.
Because the general public doesn’t always differentiate between politics and election administration, we make it clear that our only concern is that people vote, not who or what they vote for. That keeps us from being tagged into political discussions for the most part.
It is also important to bring your external stakeholders to the table to help serve as your eyes and ears in the community you serve. We have an Elections Advisory Committee that consists of members from a cross section of the community. Local political party chairs, voting activists and advocates, League of Women Voters, Common Cause, Disability Law Colorado, Mayoral Commissions representing communities of color and the community of persons with disabilities and local elected officials are some of the interests that make up the membership of our EAC.
Denver is a Section 203 County under the United States Voting Rights Act due to our percentage of monolingual Spanish speakers. We have ACCESO, a Spanish language advisory board that is codified in the same manner as a mayoral commission. We discuss everything from community outreach to the accuracy of the translations for our election materials with that group.
If it makes sense for your jurisdiction, consider hiring a professional communicator to lighten your load if you haven’t already. The first time I presented on media relations at the Colorado County Clerks Association Conference a few years ago everyone in my session was looking at me like I had two heads and asked me “does the media really cover you that much?” These days, I serve on the CCCA’s Public Information Committee along with Public Information Officers from other counties.
By the way, it’s okay to humblebrag as you tell your story. If you come up with an innovation that makes it easier for your customers to participate in the voting process while saving taxpayer money, tell your story. Have a 90-year-old election judge who has been voting since 1952? Tell her story. Putting some human faces on the voting process humanizes the process which will serve you well when things are going smoothly and even those occasions when they aren’t. Tell your story.
(Alton P. Dillard II is the communications director for the Clerk and Recorder-City and County of Denver. Before that he served as deputy press secretary and press director for U.S. Sen. Ben Nighthorse Campbell. He has owned his own media and community relations firm, and worked as a sports director and community affairs talk show host at local television stations. He is a graduate of the University of North Colorado with a B.A. in journalism-mass communications.)
VVSG Public Comment
The U.S. Election Assistance Commission’s (EAC) four sitting commissioners unanimously voted to publish the proposed Voluntary Voting System Guidelines 2.0 (VVSG) Principles and Guidelines in the Federal Register for a 90 day public comment period, after which comments and feedback on the proposed document will be compiled and presented to the commissioners for discussion and consideration. [As of press time, the VVSG had not yet been posted in the Register, but it will be any day now.]
“Today’s unanimous vote demonstrates the Commissioners’ shared commitment to taking this next important step in consideration of the proposed VVSG 2.0 Principles and Guidelines. The EAC looks forward to holding hearings on these Principles and Guidelines soon and we encourage the public to provide their feedback on the proposed guidelines,” said EAC Chairman Thomas Hicks, who joined Vice Chair Christy McCormick, Commissioner Ben Hovland and Commissioner Donald Palmer in supporting the measure.
The proposed VVSG 2.0 Principles and Guidelines will be published in the Federal Register in accordance with sections 222(a)(1) and 222(d) of the Help America Vote Act of 2002. They will appear in the Federal Register for a period of 90 days. Separately, upon the completion of the VVSG 2.0’s accompanying Requirements developed by NIST and the EAC, those accompanying Requirements will also be subject to public review and comment, including distribution to the EAC’s Technical Guidelines Development Committee (TGDC), Standards Board and Board of Advisors. This review and comment period will take place prior to consideration and implementation by the commission.
VVSG are a set of Principles, Guidelines and Requirements against which voting systems can be tested to determine if the systems meet required standards. Some factors examined under these tests include functionality, accessibility, accuracy, auditability and security capabilities.
The Help America Vote Act of 2002 mandates that EAC develop and maintain these requirements as well as testing and certifying voting systems. On December 13, 2005, the EAC unanimously adopted the 2005 VVSG, which significantly increased security requirements for voting systems and expanded access, including opportunities for individuals with disabilities to vote privately and independently. The 2005 guidelines updated and augmented the 2002 Voting System Standards, as required by HAVA, to address advancements in election practices and computer technologies. These guidelines were again updated by the EAC’s commissioners on March 31, 2015. These guidelines are voluntary. States may decide to adopt them entirely or in part prior to the effective date.
The structure of the new VVSG reflects modifications proposed by the election community, EAC, NIST and the TGDC, which is comprised of election officials, voting system manufacturers, disability experts, cyber security experts, technology experts, and other key election stakeholders. The new guidelines are a high level set of principles that will be supplemented by accompanying documents that detail specific requirements for how systems can meet the new guidelines and obtain certification. The supplemental documents will also detail assertions for how the accredited test laboratories will validate that a system complies with those requirements.
Last Spring, the EAC convened its advisory boards to review and comment on the adoption of the newest version of the voluntary guidelines, VVSG 2.0. Both Boards recommended that the EAC adopt VVSG 2.0. Today’s unanimous commissioner vote occurred less than two weeks after a quorum of commissioners was restored at the EAC.
Last week The Daily Beast reported that the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) was scaling back on the work it is doing in election security. The day after the report, which quoted numerous anonymous Department of Homeland Security officials, CISA Director Chris Krebs held a conference call with reporters to clarify the report. According to FCW, Krebs didn’t deny that personnel levels for the task forces were reduced. He characterized the task forces as temporary vehicles to address an emerging threat while CISA worked to hire staff and build more permanent institutional capacity to tackle the issue.
Election News This Week
NC9: The North Carolina Board of Elections held a hearing this week to get to the bottom of what happened in North Carolina’s 9th Congressional District and determine whether or not a new election needs to be held. “The evidence will show that a coordinated, unlawful, and substantially-resourced absentee ballot scheme operated during the 2018 general election,” North Carolina State Board of Elections Executive Director Kim Strach, said in her opening statement Numerous voters testified that they turned over their ballots, completed and blank, to a political operative. During the hearing two poll workers admitted to tallying early voting results on the Saturday in advance of the election. While the hearing was initially only set to last for two days, it continued into Wednesday where John Harris, the son of Republican candidate Mark Harris testified that he repeatedly told his father about his concerns about the political operative hired to run the absentee ballot campaign in Bladen County.
If you see something, say something. Last November one Hamden, Connecticut voter noticed that a candidate he was eager to vote for was not on the ballot he was handed. His inquiry set in motion an investigation that discovered from 2012 to 2018 voters in about 25 houses along a one-mile section of one street were most likely issued the wrong ballot in every election. Following the discovery, Secretary of State Denise Merrill has announced plans to introduce legislation to audit the election records of all Connecticut towns to make sure this was not happening elsewhere. “It was certainly a wake-up call,” Merrill told the Connecticut Post. “It may be a bigger problem than we realized.”
South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster has removed all four members of the Richland County Elections Board. The move comes after it was discovered that 1,040 votes were not counted in November and the county director of elections resigned. “South Carolinians’ confidence in the lawful and professional oversight of elections must never be jeopardized,” McMaster said after issuing an executive order for the removal. “The repeated actions and behavior of these officials are wholly unacceptable and cannot be tolerated,” McMaster’s message said according to the Post and Courier. “To regain and maintain Richland County voters’ confidence at the ballot box, the entire board must be replaced with new leadership.” The Richland County legislative delegation will send new appointments to the governor for final approval.
Tennessee Elections Coordinator Mark Goins has issued a memorandum opinion that says Shelby County elections commission may not use instant runoff voting in October’s Memphis elections. According to the Daily Memphian, the opinion concludes that the election commission cannot implement IRV under existing law. “Even if instant-runoff voting were authorized by state law, questions remain whether the proposed procedures would comply with Article 2, Section 7 of Memphis City Charter, although the coordinator cannot authoritatively interpret the charter,” Goins ruled. Goins’ formal order is the same as what he advised the election commission in September 201. The state elections coordinator’s directives are considered the final word for election commissions unless or until they are challenged in court and the Shelby County Election Commission has announced that it will not challenge the ruling.
Personnel News: Republican Commissioner Evelyn Gomez and Democratic Commissioner Joshua Price have joined the Pulaski County, Arkansas election commission. Former Hattiesburg, Mississippi mayor Johnny DuPree has announced his candidacy for secretary of state. Mandy Frank is stepping down as the deputy director of the Williams County, Ohio board of elections. Tiffany Peguise-Powers has been named the Robeson County, North Carolina board of elections chairperson.
Research and Report Summaries
The Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe’s (OSCE) Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR) released the final report of its limited election observation mission (LEOM) for the 2018 U.S. mid-term elections last week. The LEOM assessed compliance of the election process with OSCE commitments and other international obligations and standards for democratic elections, as well as with national legislation. The report puts forwards 37 recommendations, including 9 priority recommendations:
- In order to ensure the right and opportunity to vote of all citizens, Congress should, without further delay, establish the formula for determining jurisdictions to be subject to Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act, in line with the ruling in Shelby County v. Holder.
- Citizens resident in the District of Columbia and U.S. overseas territories should be provided with full representation rights in Congress.
- Restrictions on voting rights for persons with criminal convictions should be reviewed to ensure that all limitations are proportionate and that rights be restored upon completion of sentences. Guidance should be clearly and systematically communicated to those affected by any limitations. Pre-trial detainees should be afforded with the means to vote.
- States should consider establishing independent bodies to draw district boundaries. Districting should respect the equality of the vote, not discriminate against any group, and be free from political influence. Districts should be determined well in advance of an election, following broad public consultations and allowing adequate time for potential judicial review.
- Federal legislation should be amended to require disclosure of the sources of funding of all non-profit organizations that engage in campaign activities.
- States should review their laws and practices to ensure that deprivation of the right to vote for persons with intellectual disabilities or those under guardianship is based on individualized assessment and not subject to blanket disenfranchisement. Data on guardianship and deprivation of voting rights should be collated on an ongoing basis to ensure oversight.
- Effective measures should be taken to ensure the safety of journalists and media, including protection against threats, intimidation, and violence.
- The federal and state governments should provide sufficient and sustainable funding mechanisms to replace aging voting equipment and to improve cyber security.
- Legislation should be amended to guarantee access to international observers invited by the U.S. authorities for all stages of the electoral process, to ensure full compliance with OSCE commitments.
Voatz released a white paper on West Virginia’s UOCAVA mobile voting pilot project earlier this month. The paper describes Secretary of State Mac Warner’s goals for the project, lessons learned, and how the system worked. In the 24 counties included in the 2018 general election pilot, among the 183 individuals submitted Federal Post Card Application (FPCA) forms requesting “email or online” ballot delivery, 160 (87 percent) completed the mobile application download, 147 completed the authentication process, and 144 submitted a ballot, all of which were accepted and counted.
The Center for Information and Research on Civic Learning and Engagement (CIRCLE) released a report on voter participation among low income youth in October 2018: Expanding the Electorate: How Simple Changes in Election Administration Can Improve Voter Participation Among Low-Income Youth. CIRCLE partnered with Opportunity Youth United to conduct a survey of socioeconomically disadvantaged young persons across six states (Arizona, Kentucky, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Mississippi, and Washington). The survey finds that: time, transportation, and other logistical challenges deter youth from voting; confusion over voter identification and voter disenfranchisement is widespread; polling places can intimidate young people; and lack of election information is a persistent problem. To support voting among low-income youth, the report recommends: expanding access to essential information, such as precinct locations, voting schedules, and identification requirements; understanding that young people move a lot; recruiting young, paid poll workers; and supporting a culture of voting.
(Research and Report Summaries are written by David Kuennen.)
Connecticut: The Government Administration and Elections Committee heard testimony on several bills including bills that would restore voting rights to convicted felons on parole, no longer require those formerly incarcerated to pay all fines to regain their voting rights and grant voting rights to some currently serving prison time.
The committee is also considering a bill that would make the Tuesday after the first Monday in November a holiday.
Georgia: Under House Bill 316, the state’s aging voting system would be replaced with touchscreen machines that print ballots before they are counted. The bill follows the recommendations of the voting commission appointed by then-Secretary of State Brian Kemp. The bill would also change the way the state maintains its voter lists and notifies voters about potential purges from the rolls. It would also enroll Georgia in ERIC.
Indiana: By a 29-63 vote, House Bill 1311 has failed in the Legislature. The bill would have changed the amount of time voters had to apply for absentee ballots from eight to 12 days before an election.
Kansas: The Senate Ethics, Elections and Local Government Committee is considering legislation that would give vote-by-mail voters the opportunity to cure their signature if it does not match what’s on file at the elections office.
Kentucky: By a 27-8 vote the Senate has voted to approve a bill that would eliminate the secretary of state’s access to the state’s voter registration rolls as well as remove the secretary of state as chairperson of the state board of elections.
Maryland: Del. Brooke Lierman has withdrawn a bill that would have allowed the Baltimore City Council to consider using a ranked choice voting system.
Massachusetts: Sen. Becca Rausch has filed a bill that would move the state’s primary to June.
Missouri: Under House Bill 26, sponsored by Rep. Dan Stacy (R-Blue Springs) would replace Missouri’s open primary system with closed primaries requiring voters to register with one part or another in order to cast a ballot in the primary.
New Hampshire: By 236-139 vote, the House has killed House Bill 374 that would have prohibited candidates for secretary of state from forming political committees or political advocacy organizations.
Sen. Melanie Levesque has introduced Senate Bill 7 that would establish a “secure data transfer program” between the DMV and the secretary of state’s office, essentially automatic voter registration.
New Mexico: This week the House approved two voter registration bills. Under one bill, residents would be automatically registered to vote when conducting business at the DMV. Under the other piece of legislation, voters would be able to register and vote on the same day.
North Dakota: By a vote of 86-7 the house passed HB 1270. The bill would prevent changes to legislative districts or polling places without consulting legislators and getting a majority of chairmen of district parties to agree. The bill now moves to the senate.
Ohio: Two Cincinnati council members have filed a motion that would declare the general Election Day as a paid holiday. According to WCPO, The motion specifically proposes that city administration provide an ordinance to include general election day as an official city holiday, “for the purpose of allowing city employees the opportunity to fully participate in the democratic process — including, but not limited to, casting a ballot.”
Oregon: Sen. Shemia Fagan has introduced a bill that would lower the state’s voting age to 16. The bill would be a change to the state’s constitution which would ultimately require the measure to be put before the voters. “It’s time to lower the voting age in Oregon and to give our young people a chance to participate in the ballot, about their decisions that affect their homes, their clean air, their future, their schools and as we’ve seen, their very lives,” Fagan said according to East Oregonian.
Tennessee: Under HB1273 and SB 1500 voters would be required to register for a specific political party then only be permitted to vote in said party’s primary.
Texas: Rep. Erin Zwiener (D-Driftwood) has filed a bill that would add student IDs to the list of acceptable IDs in order to cast a ballot.
Utah: On February 14th, 149 years after Seraph Young because the first woman to vote in Utah, the House unanimously approved HCR16 that would designate February 14th as Women’s Voter Registration Day. The Senate passed unanimously approved the measure as well.
Virginia: The General Assembly has approved a bill that would allow no-excuse absentee voting but only starting on the second Saturday before an election and ending at 5 p.m. on the Saturday immediately preceding the election. No-excuse absentee voting would have to be done in person, and the bill would allow localities to open additional voting centers to accommodate the extra traffic.
West Virginia: The House Government Organization Committee heard testimony from DMV Commissioner Pat Reed over why the department is lagging on submitting required reports on its implementation of automatic voter registration. Reed was appearing under subpoena. Reed testified that the DMV will be unable to implement AVR by the July 1 deadline.
Wyoming: House Bill 106, intended to prevent crossover voting, has been amended to require voters present a photo ID in order to switch their party.
Alabama: The Libertarian Party of Alabama has sued Secretary of State John Merrill because Merrill’s office is charging the party about $34,000 for a voter list provided to the Democratic and Republican parties for free. According to Alabama.com, Merrill said he is following state law in applying the charge, which he said is based on one cent per voter name.
Also in Alabama, former Gordon Mayor Elbert Melton has been convicted of voter fraud and sentenced to one year in jail with two years of probation.
Connecticut: The U.S. Department of Justice and Connecticut have reached a memorandum of understanding that calls for state election officials to coordinate with the state Public Health Department to remove dead people from the statewide voter database.
Florida: The 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals has sided with a lower court and ruled that a Florida law requiring voters’ signatures on mail-in ballots to match the signatures on file with elections officials imposes “a serious burden on the right to vote.” In the 2-1 ruling Justice Robin Rosenbaum wrote, “Florida allows each county to apply its own standards and procedures for executing the signature-match requirement, virtually guaranteeing a crazy quilt of enforcement of the requirement from county to county.”
Kentucky: Franklin Circuit Judge Thomas Wingate has ruled that secretary of state candidate Carl Nett may not use a nickname on the ballot. Nett wanted to use Trump as a nickname. According to WKYT, The state allows candidates to have a nickname printed on the ballot but only if they submit an affidavit under oath attesting it is his or her real nickname, and they are not using it to gain an advantage. The court ruled Nett doesn’t have a legal right to use the nickname, and his constitutional rights aren’t being violated.
Minnesota: The Minnesota Voters Alliance sued the cities of St. Paul and Minneapolis in federal court claiming that city codes requiring the cities to provide voter registration information to tenants violates the landlord’s First Amendment right to free speech and forces them to carry the government’s “ideological message” to tenants.
Mississippi: Chief U.S. District Judge Daniel P. Jordan III has granted class certification in a lawsuit filed on behalf of five men who say the state stripped them of their voting rights by using laws they say violate the Constitution. According to Mississippi Today, the judge’s rulings on the suit could now affect not just the five named plaintiffs, but any person who is convicted of a disqualifying crime and who has completed the term of incarceration, supervised release, parole and/or probation for the conviction.
Texas: This week, District Judge Fred Biery heard part of a legal challenge to the state’s noncitizen list. During arguments on behalf of the government, Assistant Attorney General Chris Hilton seemed to blame local elections officials for sending out notices to voters insisting that the list from the secretary of state’s office was just an advisory.
Wisconsin: David Kitowski, 70 of Wausau had been charged with voter fraud for mailing in ballots on behalf of his dead mother in the April and August 2018 elections. At a competency hearing it was established that Kitowski would not be found competent to stand trial and the charges were dismissed.
Tech Companies: In an email statement to cleveland.com Pete Martin, CEO of Votem said despite layoffs, the company is still operating and continues to serve customers while restructuring. “On Friday we kicked off a restructuring and recapitalization of the company which included layoffs. The company is still intact and operating and working through multiple options to hopefully ensure its long-term viability. We do have employees and are actively supporting many current customers,” Martin wrote.
Opinions This Week
National Opinions: Voter ID, II | Election Day holiday | Election fraud
Arizona: Voting laws, II, III
California: Election reform
Connecticut: Ranked choice voting
Florida: Ex-felon voting rights | Martin County
Georgia: Voting system, II | Election legislation, II
Hawaii: Election reform
Iowa: Ex-felon voting rights
Kansas: Election Day holiday
Kentucky: Ex-felon voting rights
Maine: Voting access
Maryland: Ranked choice voting
Missouri: Ex-felon voting rights
Montana: Election results
New Hampshire: Voting machines
New York: Voter fraud | Election Day | Ranked choice voting | Ballot signatures | Early voting
North Carolina: State board of elections, II | Election fraud
Ohio: List maintenance, II | Ballot issues | Election Day holiday, II
Pennsylvania: Election reform
South Dakota: Vote-by-mail
Texas: Voter ID | Online voter registration | List maintenance
Utah: Election process
Virginia: Election funding | Ranked choice voting
Rhode Island Department of State RFP
The Rhode Island Department of Administration/Division of Purchases, on behalf of the Rhode Island Department of State, is soliciting proposals from qualified firms to provide a centralized voter registration system in accordance with the terms of this Request for Proposals (“RFP”) and the State’s General Conditions of Purchase, which may be obtained at the Division of Purchases’ website at www.purchasing.ri.gov.
The contract period will begin approximately in May 2019.
This is a Request for Proposals, not a Request for Quotes. Responses will be evaluated on the basis of the relative merits of the proposal, in addition to cost; there will be no public opening and reading of responses received by the Division of Purchases pursuant to this solicitation, other than to name those offerors who have submitted proposals.
StateScoop 50 Awards
The annual StateScoop 50 Awards honor the best and the brightest who make state government more efficient and effective. These awards celebrate the outstanding achievements of our peers and acknowledge their tireless efforts to make a positive impact in the government IT community and in public service. Nominations are now open (and close March 7) in the following categories: State executive of the year, state leadership of the year, state IT innovation of the year, state up & comer, state cybersecurity leader and industry leadership.
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.
Ranked Choice Voting Webinar, The Maine Experience: Maine’s Secretary of State Matt Dunlap reflects on the state’s use of RCV in 2018 becoming the first in the nation to use RCV for federal contests. When February 26. Where: Online.
Unrig Summit 2019 — This is no ordinary conference. Unrig is fast-paced, solutions-oriented, and fun. No boring speeches — 2019’s lineup has more trainings, more workshops, more tools to power you up. Featuring America’s most powerful presenters, expert trainers, activists, musicians, artists and more, we’re bringing together the brightest minds from the right and left to build a new political future for America. 3 days. 2 nights. 1 vision: Unrig the System. Where: Nashville, TN When: Fri March 29 – Sun March 31.
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.
Business Development Associate, Scytl — We are looking for Business Development Associate to work hand in hand with our Director of US Sales. You will have control over your day and how you get it done but the goal each week of developing qualified leads and booking sales appointments, completing Net Promoter surveys and being the central hub of a busy sales team. Some of your daily/weekly tasks include: Generate and qualify leads through cold calling, online prospecting, and marketing campaign collaboration; Lead management and data management in Salesforce; Conduct initial sales presentations and product demos via the phone and internet; Produce activity reports by documenting all activity into Salesforce and properly communicating data to management; Net Promoter surveys; New market and project research; Event organization and coordination with marketing; and be part of something amazing. Application: For the complete job listing and to apply, click here.
Campus Outreach Lead, Democracy Works— As campus outreach lead, you will sustain and grow the TurboVote higher education partnerships program. You will be responsible for renewing contracts with existing higher education partners and bringing on new partners by generating leads, carrying those leads through necessary follow up tasks, and formalizing partnerships with signed contracts. In this role, you will build relationships with key stakeholders at colleges and universities, as well as with fellow nonprofit organizations that support civic engagement at colleges and universities. You’ll become an expert in the world of higher education and cultivate a passion for promoting civic engagement. Also, you will persistently navigate the bureaucracy of external organizations. Salary: $50,000 to $65,000. 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.
Clerk of the Board/Elections Director, Santa Cruz County, Arizona — Under the direction of the Santa Cruz County Board of Supervisors and guidance from the Santa Cruz County Manager, performs statutory duties of the Clerk of the Board pursuant to ARS 11-241 and other statutory duties, to include preparing, publishing and posting the agenda for the Board of Supervisor meetings. Under limited supervision, performs work of considerable difficulty to plan, organize, coordinate, direct and manage all activities of the Santa Cruz County Elections Department in compliance with applicable laws, rules and regulations. This is an at-will position. Plans, organizes, coordinates, directs and manages all activities of the Santa Cruz County Elections Department in compliance with applicable laws, rules, and regulations; oversees daily operations and programing; develops and administers departmental budget and oversees expenditures, develops and administers training and education for election staff and volunteers. Develops and implements procedural and technical improvements as they relate to elections; ensures quality control of all aspects of election from ballot production to public information; manages projects, coordinates with other county/state departments and outside vendors. Salary: $69,186. Application: For the complete job listing and to apply, click here.
Deputy Director, Center for Election Innovation & Research — the Deputy Director will report to the Executive Director and have a broad range of responsibilities designed to support CEIR’s mission. In this position, the Deputy Director will play an integral role in the development and execution of CEIR’s programming, strategic communications, and continued growth as an organization. This is an excellent opportunity for an experienced and highly motivated individual who wants to make a substantial, positive, nonpartisan impact on elections and American democracy. The Deputy Director’s primary workplace will be CEIR’s Washington, DC office. The Deputy Director also must be available for business travel as needed. CEIR believes that working alongside and understanding the diverse mix of people who are affected by elections and American democracy is key to achieving our mission. That’s why we’re proud to be an equal opportunity employer committed to creating a diverse, non-discriminatory work environment. We recruit, employ, train, compensate, and promote regardless of race, religion, color, national origin, sex, disability, age, veteran status, and other protected status as required by applicable law. Application: For the complete job listing and to apply, click here.
Elections Division Director, Ada County, Idaho— The Ada County Clerk’s Office is currently seeking candidates for the Elections Division Director position. The Elections Division Director collaborates with the Clerk of the District and Chief Deputy to plan, oversee, and administer elections for over 200,000 registered voters across 150 precincts. The Elections Director is responsible for ensuring all of the necessary resources are acquired and in place, poll workers are well prepared, and that Ada County’s elections are conducted in an accurate, efficient, and transparent manner that leaves Ada County voters with the upmost confidence in the elections process. A qualified candidate would have a Bachelor’s Degree in a related field and prior management or event planning experience. It is preferred that candidates have experience with the election process, but is not required. Application: For more information and to apply click here.
Elections Supervisor, Lane County, Oregon— Lane County is hiring a Program Supervisor to work in Elections, a Division of the County Clerk. The Division of the County Clerk administers all federal, state, and local laws as they apply to conducting elections, voter registration, and related processes. The ideal candidate will be a confident team leader who possesses a proven track record of integrity and a commitment to excellence. If you have exceptional communication skills and strong attention to detail, we encourage you to apply! This is a fully performing professional level in the assigned field or discipline requiring specialized technical skills and a solid knowledge of principles and practices in the program area. Incumbents have professional responsibility for coordinating program activities; serving as a liaison and/or advocate to internal/external customers; and assisting in program policy and procedure development, ensuring compliance with regulatory guidelines, and/or contract management. Incumbents may have formal supervisory responsibilities over professional, technical and/or support staff. Salary: 58,552.00 – $86,132.80. Deadline: February 25. Application: For the complete job listing and to apply, click here.
Elections Technician Supervisor, San Joaquin County, California — The San Joaquin County Registrar of Voter’s Office is looking to fill two vital Elections Technician Supervisor positions within the department and to create an eligible list which may be used to fill future vacancies. This is a fast-paced elections office with a vibrant staff and diverse electorate. In 2019 we anticipate installing a new voting system and upgrading many of our operations. There are three areas the Elections Technician Supervisor may be assigned: Precinct Operations, Voter Registration and Candidate Filing & Campaign Services. Application: For the complete job listing and to apply, click here.
Election Technology Specialist, Boulder County, Colorado — The Boulder County Clerk and Recorder’s Office, Elections Division, has an opening for an Elections Technology Specialist. This position will learn and perform a variety of complex, technical, and specialized tasks associated with elections management, and voting systems. To be successful in this position you must be eager to learn, possess an aptitude for technical information and data analysis, and become comfortable in a high-stakes, team-focused work environment. We seek a person who is process-oriented and motivated to do meaningful work that facilitates the democratic process. The ideal candidate is self-motivated, enjoys both leading and supporting in a collaborative environment, and possesses excellent written and verbal communication skills. They have the demonstrated ability to use complicated software, perform moderately sophisticated tasks in MS Excel and Access, learn and apply new skills effectively with minimal support, and communicate technical information to nontechnical personnel. Additionally, they demonstrate creativity and innovation through problem-solving. Ability to work effectively under pressure while remaining positive and flexible is also key to success. Salary: $56,124 to $65,000. Application: For the complete job listing and to apply, click here.
IT Security Administrator (Denver) – Dominion Voting is looking for an IT Security Administrator to join our IT team in Denver, Colorado! We are looking for a security minded individual who can perform both day-to-day technical management and maintenance of IT security programs, and who can also strategically assess and enhance the overall IT security enterprise-wide. Application: For the complete job listing and to apply, click here.
Management and Budget Specialist, Montgomery County, Maryland— the Board of Elections for Montgomery County, Maryland, is looking for a Management and Budget Specialist. Duties include administering and preparing the annual budget; managing day-to-day financial transactions and recordkeeping; collecting and analyzing data; and writing reports, memoranda and presentations to inform and explain the department’s decisions. Salary: $55,176 to $91,314 annually. Application: For the complete job list and to apply, click here and view Job #IRC34280 under the category “General Professional”.
Product Manager, Hart InterCivic — as Product Manager, you will join a team that is charged with product planning, design, and execution throughout the lifecycle of Hart’s products, in support of the company’s overall strategy and goals. This includes: gathering, validating, and prioritizing internal and external customer needs; documenting and communicating product and technical requirements; gathering market and competitive intelligence; supporting the certification, sales, and marketing teams. The Product Manager must possess a unique blend of business and technical savvy – with experience in elections technology or other government-oriented products preferred. To succeed in this role, the ideal candidate must spend time in the market to understand its unique attributes; demonstrate competence with specialized hardware and software; and find innovative solutions for the broader market. The Product Manager plays a key role in helping others to understand the product positioning, key benefits, and target customer, as well as providing advanced subject matter expertise in using the company’s products. 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 Research Support Associate, MEDSL— MIT Election Data and Science Lab (MEDSL), to support the data processing and research assistance needs of the lab. Responsibilities will include assisting with data management and research by collecting and cleaning data, performing data analysis, creating graphs and figures, visualizing data, drafting results and preparing tables for papers that are in the process of publication; assisting with the fielding of surveys; and performing general administrative duties including file organization, participating in meetings, and other miscellaneous tasks. This is an ideal position for someone interested in gaining research experience in political science and data science more broadly. Application: For the complete job listing and to apply, click here.
Senior Software Developer (Toronto) – Dominion Voting is searching for an experienced and passionate Senior Software Developer to join our team in Toronto! These positions will be responsible for providing high-level technical expertise in design development, coding, testing and debugging new software or significant enhancements to existing software for our customers. You will work on a variety of our product lines and you may act as team leader on less complex projects and assists in training/mentoring less experienced software development staff. Application: For the complete job listing and to apply, click here.
Software Developer III (Toronto) – Dominion Voting is searching for an experienced and passionate Software Developer III to join our team in Toronto! These positions will be responsible for providing high-level technical expertise in design development, coding, testing and debugging new software or significant enhancements to existing software for our customers. You will work on a variety of our product lines and you may act as team leader on less complex projects and assists in training/mentoring less experienced software development staff. 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.
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.
Technical Bid Specialist, Scytl — The Technical Bid Specialist is an essential member of the sales team, supporting business development initiatives as well as providing support to the Marketing department. Based in our Tampa Florida, offices, the Technical Bid Specialist is in charge of managing the coordination, completion and handover of tender proposals for our clients and prospects. This is a key position with a great deal of involvement in the sales process and a decisive influence in the achievement of each deal. To be able to perform this task, the Technical Bid Specialist needs to possess a solid technical background, outstanding writing capabilities and proven experience in pre-sales or consulting endeavors, always facing the client and having to put together complex IT proposals or projects. Application: For the complete job listing and to apply, click here.
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Ballot reader. $500. Buyer will be responsible for pick and shipping to buyer’s location. Contact Wilfred Cochico, purchasing officer City of Lakewood: 562-866-9771 ext. 2640 or via email: WCochico@lakewoodcity.org.
Each aluminum briefcase contains the following: aluminum legs, privacy shield, writing base, light assembly. All units are in great shape dimensions are 22”x 18”x 3“. MFG: ESL. Election supplies Limited, Napa California. Quantity: 400 Price per unit is $50. Contact Greg Larson 408.569.1004