In Focus This Week
Election audits are here to stay
What’s next for the Election Validation Project
By Jennifer Morrell
The Democracy Fund
Eighteen months ago, the Election Validation Project began with the idea that guidelines with simplified information and checklists could assist election officials in implementing risk-limiting audits (RLAs). Well, that vision has seen a fair amount of success! During that year and a half, we have: (1) seen more states adopt RLAs as their method for conducting a post-election tabulation audit, (2) dozens of RLA pilots have taken place, and (3) a two-part guide to risk-limiting audits was published with over a thousand copies distributed and its contents presented to election officials at state and national conferences throughout the year. In addition, professional development courses, including two videos to help election officials communicate the value of post-election audits and the three methods for conducting an RLA, were developed in collaboration with the Center for Technology and Civic Life.
Auditing how votes are tabulated plays an essential role in validating the outcome of an election, but it is only one of several elements in the election system that should be examined. Turning to 2020, the Election Validation Project (EVP) wants to continue to draw on the expertise and knowledge of others who are researching and designing tools to help foster an audit-centric election culture. Some of that collaboration is beginning to take shape and will result in additional “Knowing It’s Right” guides for 2020.
One of the things I love most about election audits is that it provides a formal way for local election officials to validate the integrity of an election. While some of these concepts may take years to perfect, there are things election officials can start thinking about and doing now to put them squarely on the path towards robust election audits. Highlighted here is a brief description of future election audits that the EVP plans to support. My hope is that we can broaden the circles of collaboration to include state and local election officials willing to pilot, inform guidelines, and act as mentors to others working to improve the way they administer and validate their elections.
1. Ballot Reconciliation and Chain of Custody Audits: On its face, ballot accounting is a relatively simple concept. It is reconciling the total number of ballots issued to the total number of ballots cast. Many election offices do an exceptional job of ensuring this happens correctly after each election, while some struggle to get poll workers to complete the forms accurately and completely. Honestly, some find it all a bit overwhelming and superfluous to the many tasks that need to be completed at the end of a long election day. Similarly, the chain of custody logs provides a record of who had possession of voting equipment, ballots, ballot boxes, etcetera, from the time those items left the election office until they are returned to the custody of the election official.
Ballot accounting audits, ballot reconciliation and chain of custody, are the foundation for all post-election tabulation audits and are vital to the integrity of your election. The next installment of the “Knowing It’s Right” series is a guide focused on designing a ballot accounting process that can be audited after every election. The biggest challenge is creating forms that are easy for poll workers and staff to understand and complete accurately. An initial assessment of your ballot accounting practice can begin during your next post-election feedback session.
- Document how many reconciliation forms or chain of custody logs came back filled out incorrectly or incompletely.
- Use that information to inform future changes to forms, instructions, and training.
Once the forms are completed and collected, it’s easy to assume your work is done. One of the most overlooked areas I’ve seen when consulting with election officials on risk-limiting audits is a formal assessment or audit of the ballot accounting records. Some questions to ask when you start thinking about ballot accounting from an audit perspective:
- Has someone been assigned to review each reconciliation form to ensure ballots issued equals ballots cast?
- Has someone been assigned to review the seal numbers, signatures, and dates on all chain of custody logs?
- If significant issues or reconciliation problems are noticed, how are they documented and to whose attention do you bring them?
2. Resource Allocation Audits: Imagine a tool that you can customize to your method of voting (by-mail, early, in-person, vote centers, etc.) that uses a voter’s historic behavior of where they voted and the day and time, to help determine the number of polling locations, check-in stations, poll workers, and voting equipment you need in order to minimize wait times. Now imagine if that same tool could help you construct a 3D model of your polling location to visually examine the layout of equipment and traffic flows in order to spot potential bottlenecks that could slow down the voter’s time in the system.
And what if you could use that tool to perform an audit by taking data from your election and comparing it to the locations, supplies, people, and equipment that were actually deployed to determine how well the demand was met and where any gaps might be? This is what we are calling a resource allocation audit.
For me, this idea started with the work done by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and the California Institute of Technology as part of the VTP Toolkit. Now, a team of engineers from the University of Rhode Island led by Gretchen Macht wants to turn this idea into a universal resource planning and auditing tool. Collaborating on the project is Bridgett King from Auburn University, who is also using simulation and visualization software to understand how inputs affect in-person voting. What can you do right now?
- Ensure vote history data accurately reflects when, where, and how voters voted. This means collecting the date, time, and place for in-person voting and the date and way mail-ballots are received (dropbox or USPS).
3. Voter Database Audits: The voter databases maintained by state and local election jurisdictions are as critical to the integrity of our elections as the voting equipment that ballots are cast and counted on. Election officials often refer to it as the voter registration database or VRDB, despite the fact that it usually contains much more than the information used to register a voter.
Election officials across the country are working to secure the voter registration system from external threats, and many have developed contingency plans should they lose access to the database or if the data becomes compromised in some way. But any false changes, additions, or deletions, whether from human error or fraudulent activity, could sow confusion and frustration amongst voters and lead to distrust in the outcome of an election. Routine audits, systematic scans of the VRDB to check for anomalous changes and detect duplicate records provides many benefits.
It requires tracking the voter records over a period of time to understand what routine list maintenance looks like in order to detect unusual activity such as a large number of records being deleted or added or changes to party affiliation or addresses that are confined to a particular demographic, party or geographic area. These anomalies would then be flagged for further investigation.
As you can imagine, this is a complex and challenging problem to solve. The data is constantly changing and being updated. It will require leveraging computing technologies developed around artificial intelligence, machine learning, and predictive analytics. As promising as these technologies might be, they will not solve all of the challenges. Varying list maintenance practices and differences in data quality from one state to another presents a significant hurdle. So, this endeavor will not be complete without a conversation about standards and the common data format.
Stepping up to the challenge is research being done by a team at the California Institute of Technology in partnership election officials in California and Oregon. In addition, the non-profit organization Protect Democracy is exploring how this research could be incorporated into a software application. Protect Democracy’s VoteShield software is freely available to state and local election administrators in 19 states. The tool was used by Iowa during the 2018 election, and flags anomalous changes to voter records using publicly available data.
As this research, tools, and associated best practices evolve, election officials can participate by taking part in pilot projects. What else can you do now?
- Start the discussion about what VRDB transactions should be monitored in your state.
- Which data fields would have the most impact on your voters and your election process if they were compromised?
Finally, good list maintenance practices are the foundation of VRDB audits. ERIC (Electronic Registration Information Center) plays a critical role in helping states meet the challenge of maintaining accurate voter registration records.
- Are you one of the 29 states that is a member of ERIC?
- If not, now is an excellent time to collaborate with officials in your state on a path to membership.
4. Geospatial Audits: In some ways, geospatial audits go hand-in-hand with VRDB audits, but their visual, geometric properties make them unique. Geospatial audits focus on getting the right ballot to the right voter by examining the precinct and district assignments identified for each voter.
The starting point for this type of audit begins with augmenting street range libraries and written definitions of voting districts with a geographic information system (GIS) that allows election officials to “pin” the location of a voter to a map. This type of addressing allows election officials to layer district boundary maps to ensure boundaries are correctly identified and voters are placed in their correct location. This work is especially important after significant changes are made to boundary maps, like redistricting. Some election offices are lucky enough to have a GIS system already integrated into their VRDB.
- If that is not the case for your office or your state, consider integrating a GIS system as a priority in 2020.
Research on this type of audit has been done by Michael McDonald and Brian Amos from the University of Florida and geospatial audits are included as one of the five best practices in the NSGIC Geo-Enabled Elections project, led by Jamie Chesser. Two things you can do right now:
- Start a conversation in your state about GIS in elections
- Read the recently released “Best Practices for Geo-Enabling Elections.”
Want to participate in a pilot of one of these audits or share your best practices and ideas? Jennifer can be reached at email@example.com.
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Election Security Updates
Senate Republicans have blocked a bill—the Election Security Act—that would have given states $1 billion for election security efforts and require backup paper ballots.
According to The Hill, Sen. Joe Kennedy (R-Louisiana) blocked the passage of the bill saying the level of funding was excessive given the $380 million appropriated last year.
“We had no problems in 2018,” Kennedy said, referring to last year’s midterm elections. “If I thought for a second that our voting system was in jeopardy, I would be joining with my good friend, the senator. But I’m not much for just spending taxpayer money with a $22 trillion deficit just to be spent.”
Election News This Week
Officials with the American Civil Liberties Union of Utah are expressing concerns that San Juan County may have failed to adequately notify Navajo voters about an upcoming special election on November 5. Niki Venugopal, a voting outreach coordinator for the ACLU of Utah told KUER that it appears the county may be violating a legal settlement it made last year with the ACLU. “There was a lot of general confusion,” she said. “It appears some people received their ballots in the mail really early,” she said, “And it seems like the translated materials weren’t available at the time they received them.”
After a successful launch of vote centers during the May primary, officials in Harris County are working to make sure the higher turnout general election goes as smoothly. The county announced this week that Clear Channel is donating 56 billboards in four languages to spread the word about the county’s new vote center system. Registered voters will have more than 700 polling sites to choose from on Election Day. That includes the 52 early voting sites, up from 46 in 2018. Also, the move to vote centers is forcing the county to get creative about where those sites are located. Some of the new early voting sites include a funeral home, a Starbucks and an ice skating complex.
These are the kind of elections-related stories we live for. Crosscut has a super fascinating piece about Washington’s steel ballot drop boxes and how they came to be. According to the article, the efforts to strengthen the ballot boxes date back to 2010, shortly before Washington lawmakers started requiring all counties to move to a vote-by-mail system. Pierce County Auditor Julie Anderson first reached out to a local metal fabrication company. After a few months of exchanging ideas, the county and the company came up with a ballot box composed of quarter-inch-thick steel weighing about 600 pounds. (The newer, larger versions weigh about 1,000 pounds.) The metal is welded or folded at each corner, leaving no seams that can be pried. The company now has about 540 in the field across seven states. Olson said his company never would have thought of making ballot boxes until Pierce County elections officials reached out. He said new orders for the ballot boxes — a product line the company has dubbed Vote Armor — are now rolling in from California.
Finally! This week, the D.C. Board of Elections announced that voters in the District of Columbia will be receiving custom “I Voted” stickers beginning in 2020. The new stickers will feature Frederick Douglass. Following the Civil War, Douglass moved to the District of Columbia and became an advocate for D.C. voting rights. “[W]hat have the people of the District done that they should be excluded from the privileges of the ballot box? Where, when and how did they incur the penalty of taxation without representation?” he reportedly said in 1895 according to WAMU. “Frederick Douglass was, historically, an advocate for D.C. voting rights and so we thought he was the right choice for our stickers,” Rachel Coll, a spokeswoman for the election board told WAMU. Coll says the District’s new Douglass stickers will be available alongside the existing stock of traditional stickers at polling places for the June 2020 primary and next November’s general election.
We’re a bit late to the game on this, but a special shout out to Democracy Works Kathryn Peters, the Center for Technology and Civic Life’s Tiana Epps-Johnson and the Center for Civic Design’s Dana Chisnell for being named among the World’s 100 Most Influential People in Digital Government 2019 by apolitical. Electionline is proud (and lucky) to have worked with them all!
Personnel News: Chris Williams is the new Blade County, North Carolina director of elections. Audrey Kline has joined the staff of the National Vote at Home Institute as a policy director. Julie Mathis has been appointed president of Hart InterCivic.
Federal Legislation: Dems sent the Voting Rights Advancement Act to the house floor this week. The bill would restore provisions of the Voting Rights Act of 1965, reauthorized by Congress with strong bipartisan support in 2006. The bill would require states with a history of racial discrimination to seek approval from the Justice Department before implementing changes to voter laws.
Georgia: An effort to give Bibb County employees time off to vote has failed. One proposal would have given employees a full day off each year civil engagement or wellness. A second proposal would have given all county employees a paid holiday for election day.
Minnesota: The Red Wing city council will vote on October 28 whether or not put the use of ranked choice voting before voters on the 2020 ballot.
North Carolina: The Mount Airy board of commissioners has voted to move the city’s elections to even-numbered beginning in 2022. The proposal was approved 4-0 and must now be approved by the General Assembly. “I would like to move our elections to even years so we will be with the rest of the world,” Commissioner Jon Cawley said according to The Mount Airy News.
Pennsylvania: Legislation was unveiled this week that would overhaul how residents cast a ballot. Under its provisions, voters would no longer have the single-choice option on a ballot to simply select a political party’s candidate for each office. The bill would also move the voter registration deadline to 15 (from 30) days before an election and it would allow for no-excuse absentee voting.
Texas: The Austin city council is considering plan that would make Election Day a paid holiday for city employees. If the plan is approved, it would go into effect in November 2020.
Florida: In a 55-page ruling, U.S. District Judge Robert Hinkle said people cannot be denied the right to vote if they are “genuinely unable” to pay financial obligations. But he issued a preliminary injunction that applied only to plaintiffs in the case – and not more broadly to other felons who might be affected. (The) state can condition restoration of a felon’s right to vote on payment of fines and restitution the felon is able to pay,” Hinkle wrote. “When a felon claims inability to pay, the state need not just take the felon’s word for it. The state may properly place the burden of establishing inability to pay on the felon and, to that end, may put in place an appropriate administrative process. That this places a greater burden on the felon claiming inability to pay than on felons with no unpaid obligations is unavoidable and not improper.”
Indiana: The nonprofit Indiana Vote by Mail and five voters filed a federal lawsuit seeking the decertification of voting machines they claim are vulnerable to hacking and do not leave a verifiable paper trail, in hopes of replacing the machines ahead of the 2020 election. According to Courthouse News Service, the complaint specifically targets the paperless system that uses direct-recording electronic, or DRE, machines, which do not have a “voter-verified paper audit trail” providing a viewable record that a ballot was counted accurately.
Minnesota: The American Civil Liberties Union of Minnesota has filed suit against Secretary of State Steve Simon in order to restore the voting rights for people with felonies who have served their prison time or have received probation instead of incarceration. According to the lawsuit, filed in Ramsey County District Court, the state constitution gives all Minnesotans the right to vote, including felons after their civil rights have been restored. But state law restores the right to vote for felons only by court order or the completion of a sentence. The suit accuses state law of violating the state constitution, and seeks to restore voting rights for people who are convicted of a felony but are actively serving probation, and for people who received probation instead of prison or jail time.
Nebraska: Following up on his official opinion that current appointment, rather than election, of election commissioners in Lancaster, Douglas and five other counties is “constitutionally suspect,” Attorney General Doug Peterson has taken the issue to the Nebraska Supreme Court. The court, in turn, said Thursday that the application would be accepted subject to an agreed stipulation of facts in the case by Peterson and Secretary of State Bob Evnen, the state’s chief elections officer.
New Hampshire: The American Civil Liberties Union has asked a federal judge to put a hold on the implementation of HB1264 ahead of the 2020 primary. HB 1264, which passed in 2018 and has been in effect since June 2019, modifies New Hampshire’s election laws to effectively make casting a ballot in an election an act of residency.
New Jersey: U.S. District Judge William J. Martini has denied a motion for a new trial in the case of developer Frank Raia who was found guilty of fraud in a vote-by-mail scheme. Raia will be sentenced in about three-and-a-half week.
Ohio: Beverly Kendall, who was fired as the Miami County board of elections director has filed suit against the BOE and members Dave Fisher and Robert Long individually. Kendall’s suit claims the board violated the public meetings law when it fired her in January and the members defamed her by blaming her for votes that weren’t counted in November 2018. According to the Dayton Daily News, Kendall seeks an order finding the board’s action violated the open meetings act and asks for job reinstatement along with compensatory and punitive damages of more than $25,000 each.
West Virginia: Attorney General Patrick Morrisey, as counsel for Secretary of State Mac Warner, filed a friend of the court brief with Jefferson County Circuit Court Judge Debra McLaughlin Thursday in support of a petition filed by two candidates in the Harpers Ferry municipal election held June 11. Deputy Attorney General Curtis Capehart, on behalf of Warner, said the Harpers Ferry Town Council, acting as a board of canvassers, refused to consider six provisional ballots cast during the election. Of those provisional ballots, four were cast by residents of Washington Street in Harpers Ferry who had registered to vote through the state Division of Motor Vehicles. Due to a mistake in the DMV addressing system, the voters were registered as residents of nearby Bolivar instead of Harpers Ferry.
Election Security: Microsoft has launched a bug-bounty program aimed at its ElectionGuard product. The bounty program invites security researchers (“whether full-time cybersecurity professionals, part-time hobbyists or students”) to probe ElectionGuard for high-impact vulnerabilities and share them with Microsoft under Coordinated Vulnerability Disclosure (CVD). Eligible submissions with a “clear, concise proof of concept” (PoC) are eligible for awards ranging from $500 to $15,000 depending on the severity of the bug found.
Michigan: Several rural townships in Missaukee and Osceola counties may have difficulty implementing the state’s new election day registration law because the townships don’t have internet access and some don’t even have strong enough cell service to set up a hotspot in order to access the state’s Qualified Voter File. “We’re having to come up with some creative ideas,” Missaukee County Clerk Jessica Nielsen told Cadillac News.
Utah: While there is a growing list of states and counties allowing military and overseas voters to cast their ballots using blockchain, Utah County will now allow voters with disabilities to use the blockchain-based technology to cast a ballot from their smartphones. “I made the decision to utilize it for our disabled community after that,” Amelia Gardner, Utah County Clerk and Auditor told Computer World. “It was used twice in West Virginia for overseas voters, twice in Denver for overseas voters; so, in addition to my use of it in the municipal primary, that gave us five solid examples of clean audits coming back showing the votes were true.”
Opinions This Week
Alabama: County registrars
California: Early primary
Colorado: Voter engagement
Kansas: Ranked choice voting
Massachusetts: Ranked choice voting
Michigan: Ease of voting
Mississippi: Voting rights
North Carolina: Blockchain
Ohio: List maintenance
Pennsylvania: Poll workers
New Clearie Award Category
Honoring an elections tradition
EAC 2019 “I Voted” stickers Clearie Award
By Patrick Leahy
This year’s EAC Clearinghouse Awards competition will accept submissions for a special new category: original and creative “I voted” stickers. The EAC announced this category in September when it launched the 2019 Clearies. Below are additional details about our fun new contest. We hope you will reach out and submit your own homegrown stickers!
In states and counties across the U.S., “I Voted” stickers promote civic duty and pride. They rise above partisan divides and honor those who have worked for equal voting rights. The stickers come in a variety of designs, shapes, and colors. Each tells a story. Here at the EAC, we wanted to recognize and highlight this meaningful American tradition by casting a spotlight on the creativity and originality of particular designs.
Started in the early 1980s, the “I Voted” sticker has helped both voters and election officials celebrate Election Day. The stickers allow voters to express civic pride and encourage fellow friends, family, and coworkers to participate. In many communities, election officials organize public competitions to select the jurisdiction’s sticker, furthering a sense of unity. Other localities invite K-12 students, our nation’s future voters, to design entries. The stickers and their various social media versions have become part of the fabric of our democracy.
During the past four years, the EAC has received dozens of entries in our Clearinghouse Awards competition. Also known as the Clearies for short, the effort honors innovative best practices in election administration. Under the Help America Vote Act (HAVA), the Clearies helps meet the EAC’s charge to serve as a clearinghouse of election administration information.
Since 2016, the Clearies have grown from one category to four. This year’s awards retain three previous categories: Outstanding Innovations in Elections, Improving Accessibility for Voters with Disabilities, and Best Practices in Recruiting, Training, and Retaining Poll Workers. We are pleased to add the newest category of Most Original and creative “I Voted” Sticker to the 2019 contest.
Evaluated in four areas, all submissions will be scored in the following:
- Creativity – Imaginative concept and presentation
- Originality – Demonstration of innovative design
- Artistic Aesthetics – Overall graphics and artistry
- Local flair – Recognition of particular audience, place, or concept
The EAC’s four Commissioners, Chairwoman Christy McCormick, Vice Chair Benjamin Hovland, Commissioner Thomas Hicks, and Commissioner Donald Palmer, will judge the submissions.
It is our hope to present multiple awards. Winners receive the EAC Clearie plaque and recognition from the EAC. The competition submission period is currently open and you should email your sticker along with a brief description to Clearinghouse@eac.gov. Please include a point of contact and note “Sticker Competition” in the subject line. The deadline for this year’s competition is Monday, November 25.
Each voter who dons the “I Voted” sticker communicates a sense of pride in having fulfilled their civic duty, and the stickers can have a more personal significance as well. I’d like to share my recent personal voting experience and “I Voted” story.
As an individual who is blind and who advised on HAVA while working for the Congress, I understand just how important voting rights are. During the 2018 midterms, I experienced firsthand the benefits of HAVA. The elections technology worked perfectly to ensure my vote was private and independent. Thanks to HAVA and great poll workers, it constituted my most seamless voting experience yet. As I left the polling place, I was presented with my “I Voted” sticker. I took great pride in it. In fact, I still display the sticker on my home bookshelf. To this day, it serves as a reminder of the vote and those who contributed so much to make it possible.
We hope you will share your stickers with us and with the elections community. Please reach out with any questions. We look forward to receiving your entries for the 2019 Clearinghouse Awards!
IGO 2020 Mid-Winter Conference — The International Association of Government Officials will hold its 2020 Mid-Winter Conference in Isle of Palms, SC on January 24-30, 2020. This conference will offer approximately 30 hours of continuing education with 9 hours hosted by iGO’s new Certified Public Leader (CPL) Partner, Pepperdine University! Join iGO at Wild Dunes Resort this January to further your education on best practices, industry trends, and emerging technology, all while creating and strengthening professional relationships. iGO’s conferences provide the perfect combination of education and networking events to appeal to current members, prospective members, and non-members alike. Where: Isle of Palms, South Carolina. When: Jan. 24-30.
NASED Winter 2020 — Twice a year, the National Association of State Election Directors members gather to discuss the latest developments in election administration. Members of the public are welcome to attend at the non-member registration rate. Check back here for more information about the Winter 2020 Conference. Where: Washington, DC. When: January 30-February 2.
NASS Winter 2020 — The National Association of Secretaries of State will hold their Winter 2020 conference at the Fairmont Hotel in Washington, D.C.’s West End. Check back here for more information about the Winter 2020 conference when it becomes available. Where: Washington, D.C. When: January 30-February 2.
Jobs 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 firstname.lastname@example.org. Job postings must be received by 5pm on Wednesday in order to appear in the Thursday newsletter. Listings will run for three weeks or till the deadline listed in the posting.
Advanced Data Analyst, North Carolina SBOE— This position is responsible for technical and analytical work with an emphasis on data analytics. Employee uses their knowledge and expertise to participate in the collection, preprocessing and analysis of structured, unstructured, and geospatial data, analyze data from disparate sources to discover trends, propose solutions and strategies to business challenges, and present information using various data visualization tools and techniques. The employee should be able to work collaboratively in cross-functional teams as well as independently with minimal supervision. Salary: $82,485 – $95,000. Application: For the complete job listing and to apply, click here.
Assurance Engineer, Free & Fair — Free & Fair (F&F) seeks an experienced assurance engineer—a developer who is thrilled to work on high-assurance open source elections technologies that demonstrate what is possible with modern applied formal methods-based development processes, methodologies, tools, and techniques. Our focus on national critical infrastructure, transparent engineering, and formal assurance makes this opportunity unique. Application: For the complete job listing and to apply, click here.
Data & Analytics Director, Voto Latino — Voto Latino seeks a Data & Analytics Director to build a program to track, support, and optimize our rapidly growing online and offline outreach to young and diverse voters. We know that Latinx voters are poised to be the largest minority voting bloc in 2020, with more than 800,000 Latinx citizens become eligible to vote each year. Voto Latino, building on a track record of organizational successes since 2004, is ready to take on this challenge, with the guidance and support of a great Data & Analytics Director. This position will work across teams — field, political, digital, communications — and act as the central data resource and key strategist for all of Voto Latino’s campaigns and programs. This position will be responsible for building and implementing sophisticated targeting programs nationally for both our growing online and on-the-ground efforts. There will be a strong focus on key states for civic and electoral engagement, working with data vendors, visualizing data and analytics, learning from historic and contemporary data, and managing Voto Latino’s voter outreach data. Application: For the complete job listing and to apply, click here.
Database Administrator, North Carolina SBOE— Responsible for the administration of all county and state campaign finance and elections databases and database server instances. Collaborate and consult with the Infrastructure Group personnel on issues relating to data storage, access, backup/restore, and data archiving. Implement measures to provide for database integrity, backup and recovery, disaster recovery, and business continuity. Establish data security and access policies/practices. Based on knowledge of agency systems and supported applications; develop complex SQL code to automate routine administration tasks, continuously monitor infrastructure resources and processes and generate timely operational and maintenance alerts (including the disposition of county/state transactions, replication, scheduled database jobs, and the status of servers and services). Establish and administer database management, design, and coding standards. Create and maintain technical and procedural documentation. Model database entities and attributes and maintain data dictionary. Communicate database related issues and problems with relevant agency team members, developers, testers, and managers. Recommend and employ third party database tools to enhance efficiency and support capabilities. Salary: $82,485 – $95,000. Application: For the complete job listing and to apply, click here.
Director of Elections, Henderson County, North Carolina— An employee in this class is responsible for planning elections, negotiating and setting up polling places, and training staff and poll workers. Work also includes establishing procedures and methods used in registration; supervising the receiving and processing of voter registrations; filing of candidates for elected office in the County; and providing staff support to the County Board of Elections in coordinating and scheduling meetings, recording minutes, drafting the budget and notifying them of potential voter problems and trends. Independent judgment and initiative, tact and courtesy are required in operating the Elections Office. Work is performed in accordance with the State election laws and policies and procedures established by the State and County Board of Elections. Work is performed under the general supervision of the County Board of Elections and is evaluated through reports, periodic conferences and efficiency of office and elections operations. Salary: $51,558.00 – 96,856.50. Application: For the complete job listing and to apply, click here.
Director of Elections, Northampton County, North Carolina— The Northampton County Board of Elections is accepting applications for a Director in the Elections office to perform administrative and coordinative work in organizing and maintaining voter registrations, County candidates’ filing records, and managing the election process for the County and the Elections Board. Education/Requirements: Graduation from a two-year college with a degree in business or related field and several years of responsible clerical experience dealing with the public, preferable at least a year of experience with the electoral process; or an equivalent combination of education and experience. Must possess a valid North Carolina driver’s license upon hire. Must be willing to work towards certification as a Notary Public and take the N.C. State Board of Elections Treasurer Training within the probationary period (9 months); if classes and/or trainings are available within the allotted time frame. Salary: $35,018 – $61,796. Application: For the complete job listing and to apply, click here.
Director of Elections, Robeson County, North Carolina— Under limited supervision, performs supervisory and administrative work to ensure that the functions of the Board of Elections are carried out properly. Work involves receiving and processing applications for registration; filing for candidates for County and City offices; processing absentee ballots; maintaining voter lists in accordance with State, Federal and County laws, regulations, and policies. Supervises a full and part time staff assigned to the Board of Elections. Employee must exercise independent judgment and initiative in carrying out assignments. Employee must also exercise considerable tact and courtesy in extensive public contact. Reports to County Board of Elections. Deadline: October 29. Salary: $48,103.02 starting salary. Application: For the complete job listing and to apply, click here.
Director of Elections, Surry County, North Carolina — Surry County is accepting applications for a Director of Elections. This individual is responsible for overseeing, directing and administering the Board of Elections Office. This position requires someone who can thrive in a high-stress, high scrutiny environment. The Director of Elections performs complex technical, supervisory and administrative work directing the registration, voting and election activities for Surry County. The Director of Elections is appointed by the Surry County Board of Elections and approved by the State Board. This position exercises supervision over office staff and precinct election officials, interprets laws, regulations, policies, and procedures and makes appropriate decisions accordingly. Must have the ability to exercise tact and courtesy and to work under pressure and adapt to rapidly changing circumstances. Other duties as required and all duties must be performed in a nonpartisan manner. Salary: $50,544 -$86,004. Application: For the complete job listing and to apply, click here.
Director of Elections, Tyrell County, North Carolina— Tyrrell County is seeking qualified applicants for the full time position of Election Director. The Director performs responsible administrative, legal, technical and mechanical work in planning, organizing and directing all aspects of the election process. Plans for various elections on an annual basis covering primaries, second primaries, municipal elections, general elections, special elections, recommends annual budget to the Board; plans for and purchases supplies as needed; identifies number of polling places required and potential location and negotiates usage as needed; insures ADA compliance. Processes voter registrations, assures each voter is placed in the correct precinct and in the correct local, state, and federal districts; oversees the preparation and revisions of geocodes for redistricting, filing of candidates for office including managing their campaign finance, as well as auditing their reports. Handles all ballot preparation for the vendors, proofs, orders and burns the coding from the vendor to the flash and M100 cards used during the election. The Director is responsible for testing the coding against a generated test script used to test the equipment during the Logic and Accuracy testing of the AutoMark (visual and hearing impaired equipment) and the M100 that read the ballots. The training of all workers for One Stop and Election Day as well as preparing the equipment and necessary materials needed at each precinct. The Board Members and the Director meet weekly during an election and are responsible for Election Night with the processing of the unofficial results with accurate reports to the State Board of Elections and to the public in a timely manner. After Election Day the Director moves to the research and processing of Provisional and timely received Absentee Ballots before the Board holds Canvass (making the unofficial local results become official). During the next days the opportunity is there for Challenges, Protests, Recounts or any other related matters before the votes are made official at Canvass on the State level. Application: For the complete job listing and to apply, click here.
Director of Policy & Research, New York City Campaign Finance Board — The New York City Campaign Finance Board (CFB), a nonpartisan, independent city agency that enhances the role of New York City residents, seeks a Director of Policy & Research to oversee its intergovernmental outreach and policy and data research work. This position will report to the Deputy Director of Public Affairs. Responsibilities: Directly supervise a team of intergovernmental, policy, and data research staff. Create legislative strategies to advance agency priorities at the city and state level. Oversee outreach to elected officials and their offices to support the agency’s legislative work and government outreach. Oversee policy analysis related to campaign finance and voting in New York City and State. Participate in high-level agency discussions around policy development and spearhead agency legislative recommendations in its regularly published reports. Oversee research projects with internal staff and external researchers, as well as overseeing research content for CFB publications, reports, white papers, and policy briefs. Oversee public opinion research performed on behalf of the agency that informs voter communication and education initiatives. Salary: $90,000-$100,000. Application: For the complete job listing & to apply, click here.
Election Judge Recruiter, Frederick County, Maryland— Supervises Election Clerks and other support staff engaged in processing and maintaining voter records and applying election laws, rules, and procedures to work problems. Trains employees and volunteers in election procedures such as registering voters. Trains Election Clerks and other support staff in the full range of specialized clerical work in a local office. Registers voters at local office and outside facilities, completes registration forms and assigns voter district and precinct. Processes absentee ballot applications, issues ballots to qualified voters, receives completed ballots and secures ballots. Compiles and maintains statistics. Answers inquiries regarding election procedures in person, by telephone, by U.S. mail and by electronic mail. Assists the Election Director or the Election Deputy Director or other designated supervisor in reprecincting by obtaining census information, researching appropriate boundary lines and markers, and checking and recommending potential polling locations. Uses knowledge of the Election Law Article of the Annotated Code of Maryland, the Code of Maryland Regulations and the Federal Voting Assistance Program to implement, manage and revise all phases of absentee voting policies and procedures. Recruits election officials needed to staff polling places, organizes required training sessions, and implements and revises policies and procedures related to judge recruitment. Accepts and processes candidate and committee filings. Coordinates census activities in conjunction with the Maryland Office of Planning in order to define boundaries for redistricting and reprecincting and to assure an accurate street database. Oversees the implementation and maintenance of polling place accessibility in accordance with the Americans with Disabilities Act and State policies and guidelines. Maintains current knowledge of the National Voter Registration Act and all related regulations for the purpose of managing all phases of the Act, including the category of inactive voters. May supervise electronic technicians engaged in maintaining and repairing electronic voting machines. May prepare election calendar. May coordinate the ordering, proofreading, counting and dissemination of appropriate forms. May purchase and inventory supplies. May supervise a specialized unit in a large office or supervise employees engaged in the full range of Election Clerk duties in a smaller office.m Performs other duties as required. Salary: $32,176.00 – $50,377.00/year. Deadline: October 31. Application: For the complete job listing and to apply, click here.
Elections Specialist, Douglas County, Colorado — This position is focused on routine customer service and general office/clerical support including data entry, communications, and processing mail. This is a support role capable of performing a variety of tasks, with problem solving abilities, managing multiple competing responsibilities and prioritizing to maintain a continuous flow of election office operations. This is a visible and crucial position requiring exceptional computer, customer service, and communication skills. This position may require technical work in a lead role capable of performing a variety of complex tasks, with solving problem abilities, managing multiple competing tasks and prioritizing to maintain a continuous flow of operations and temporary support. This position may be classified as an Elections Specialist I or II dependent upon the skills of the candidate and the department’s business needs. Salary: $2,842.00 – $4,017.00 Monthly. Application: For the complete job listing and to apply, click here.
Embedded Systems Engineer, Free & Fair— Free & Fair (F&F) seeks an experienced embedded systems engineer—a developer and engineer who is thrilled to work on a high-assurance open source elections technologies that demonstrate what is possible with modern development processes, methodologies, tools, and techniques. Our focus on national critical infrastructure, transparent engineering, and formal assurance makes this opportunity unique. One component of the BESSPIN Voting System is a custom-built, open source, open hardware platform for demonstrating secure hardware. It includes low- and mid-range FPGAs running softcore RISC-V CPUs, simple I/O devices, and an RTOS. This platform is called CASCADES (Configurable, Affordable System-on-Chip for Analysis and Demonstration of Election Security) and is a CrowdSupply project. A prototype for CASCADES is the Smart Ballot Box that we brought to DEF CON 2019. We call this role an embedded systems engineer, since much of the development that we do spans hardware, firmware, and software design and development. Moreover, we use a mixture of low-level and high-level languages, COTS and novel (FPGA-based) development platforms, and traditional and novel operating systems. We hope that potential applicants do not put themselves in an unnecessarily small box. Application: For the complete job listing and to apply, click here.
Program Director, National Voter Registration Day — We are seeking a Program Director to organize and rally key national partners around one of the most prominent and important civic holidays in the nation – National Voter Registration Day – held on the fourth Tuesday of every September. In 2020, we aim to break past years’ records and register over one million voters with the help of over 50 major national partners and 4,500 field partners. To do this we require a creative and entrepreneurial Program Director with sincere people skills and a passion for civic engagement and democracy. Salary: $68,000 and $76,000. Application: For the complete job listing and to apply, click here.
Project Manager, Hart InterCivic— Project Managers at Hart InterCivic are highly motivated “self-starters” who are enthusiastic about providing exceptional customer service. Working with other members of the Professional Services and Operations teams, the Project Manager directs activity, solves problems, and develops lasting and strong relationships with our customers. Hart InterCivic’s unique and industry known culture of innovation, transparency, and customer-centric focus creates an environment where team members will continually grow and be challenged to develop their careers. Application: For the complete job listing and to apply, click here.
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.
Rigorous Systems/Software Engineer, Free & Fair — Free & Fair (F&F) seeks several experienced systems/software engineers—developers who are thrilled to work on high-assurance open source elections technologies that demonstrate what is possible with modern development processes, methodologies, tools, and techniques. Our focus on national critical infrastructure, transparent engineering, and formal assurance makes this opportunity unique. We call this role either/both system engineers or software engineers, since much of the development that we do spans hardware, firmware, and software design and development. Moreover, we use a mixture of low-level and high-level languages, COTS and novel (FPGA-based) development platforms, and traditional and novel operating systems. We hope that potential applicants do not put themselves in an unnecessarily small box. Application: For the complete job listing and to apply, click here.
Software Sales Specialist, VOTEC— VOTEC’s Sales Specialist is responsible for creating news sales with prospects and existing clients in targeted areas in the US. We are looking for an election professional comfortable using insight and consultative selling techniques to create interest that offers unique solutions on their operations, which link back to VOTEC’s solutions. Application: For the complete job listing and to apply, click here.
State Election Director, North Dakota Secretary of State — A primary purpose of this position is to ensure the elections administered across the state are executed in compliance with laws and rules, and in a manner that is responsive to the public’s needs. In addition to directing the staff and operations of the Elections Unit, this position is responsible for supervision and oversight of the staff and activities of the Information Management and Public Information units. Direct and supervise staff of assigned units. Oversee the staff hiring, performance and evaluation processes within the assigned units. Evaluate and increase the performance and efficiency of the assigned units. Provide support and oversight to the state’s local election officials cooperatively and individually in their administration of elections to ensure that the standards of the Secretary of State and law are met. Oversee the development of conferences, trainings, and educational materials for election officials as required by both statute and the direction of the Secretary of State. Provide oversight of projects and initiatives within the assigned units. Develop, implement, evaluate, and revise policies, procedures, processes, workflows, and electronic systems to administer statutory requirements and maintain public accessibility related to the assigned units. Ensure that responsibilities of the units are executed in compliance with state laws, rules, policies, and procedures in a manner responsive to the public and the needs of the office. Perform activities related to the legislative process including drafting bills, testimony, and fiscal notes; tracking bills; attending legislative hearings; and testifying at legislative hearings. Participate as a member of the office’s leadership team. Salary: $5,500 – $6,400/month + benefits including fully paid family health insurance. Deadline: November 4. Application: For the complete job listing and to apply, click here.
Training Associate, Center for Technology and 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. And 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. Responsibilities: Curriculum development – Create course participant guides, slide presentations, and evaluations that address the professional development needs of election officials; Training – Deliver training — both synchronously and asynchronously — in a way that is engaging, informative, and advances the adoption of best practices; Research and evaluation – Identify training needs of election officials through industry research like reports and case studies, and assess effectiveness of courses through participant surveys before and after training. Salary: $45,000 – $50,000 per year. Deadline: Oct. 31. Application: For the complete job listing and to apply, click here.
UI/UX Engineer, Free & Fair — Free & Fair (F&F) seeks an experienced UI/UX engineer—someone who practices user-centric design, finds usable security a fascinating area of R&D, someone who appreciates usable and accessible technologies, and a developer and engineer who is thrilled to work on high-assurance open source elections technologies that demonstrate what is possible with modern development processes, methodologies, tools, and techniques. Our focus on national critical infrastructure, transparent engineering, and formal assurance makes this opportunity unique. Application: For the complete job listing and to apply, click here
VP of Engineering, Free & Fair— Free & Fair (F&F) seeks an experienced systems engineering development leader—an executive who can step in and build a dynamic, distributed engineering team, deliver solutions to the market, and execute challenging development activities focused on national critical infrastructure. The VP of Engineering at F&F will be responsible for executing on the Company’s overall technology vision and driving its development execution. This person will recruit world-class talent, manage and evolve development processes and methodologies, and foster an organizational structure to help our high-performing development team deliver applications to the market. This person will keep abreast of and influence research and technology trends, standards, and stakeholders. This person will have the ability to bridge technology with business acumen, will bring experience in developing state-of-the-art customer-facing applications, and will develop and sustain a culture of passion, hard work, and innovation. Application: For the complete job listing and to apply, click here.
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