In Focus This Week
Boulder County Elections releases Election Security Community Briefing
Election official reflects on why and how the report came together
By Molly Fitzpatrick
Clerk & Recorder for Boulder County, Colorado
Last week, my office announced the release of a new report on election security. The Election Security Community Briefing aims to educate voters and other stakeholders about the work Boulder County Elections is doing to identify and mitigate the constantly evolving threats to election security and how we are partnering with federal and state agencies, as well as the private sector, to continuously strengthen our security posture.
In the briefing, I wanted to detail how we have prioritized security throughout our operations, both at the state and local level. Our goal with this report was to increase transparency and ensure that our community understands the actions we are undertaking to safeguard the integrity of our elections and to protect voter information. We also wanted to empower voters with critical steps they could take to partner with us in these efforts.
Prior to running for office in 2018, I spent a decade involved in Colorado elections. From this experience, I knew our state had always been recognized within official circles as a national leader in election security. In particular, Boulder County Elections, led by former term-limited Clerk Hillary Hall, had been an instrumental voice in the framework of the Colorado Elections Model (Colorado Voter Access and Modernization Act – Colorado HB 13-1303 passed in 2013) and the implementation of the now routine statewide post-election Risk Limiting Audit. However, in the process of running for office, I found that these facts were not well-known among our voters.
I knew that, if elected, my mission with regard to election security would be twofold: 1) to maintain and continue building on what had already been done by the great team at Boulder County Elections, and 2) to focus on sharing this excellent work with the community. I was inspired by Orange County’s 2018 Election Security Playbook and knew that I wanted to create something similar for Boulder County.
When I took office in January 2019, I was briefed on Boulder County Elections Security Program. I learned that Boulder County had been undergoing formal security assessments since 2012, that we had a cybersecurity consultant and partner in Rule4 (more on this fantastic company in the report), that our County Commissioners backed our program, and that we had an ongoing project list to tackle in response to our assessments. Everything I learned compelled me to wholeheartedly pursue my twofold mission.
After getting settled into office, I began working with staff to brainstorm how to bring this technical, robust program to the public in a way that was comprehensive, digestible, and memorable. There is no doubt that deciding on the framework by which to communicate this complex topic to voters was the hardest part of creating this report!
We eventually decided to categorize our security posture into three pillars: the Colorado Election Model, Strategic Partnerships, and the Boulder County Elections Security Program. We hoped that this organizational structure would make sense to the public and would be a handy way to remember the major categories of our security posture.
As work got under way to develop the structure, framework, and content for the report, we carried on implementing elections (Nov 2019, March 2020, June 2020) and executing the security programs detailed in the report. Our original plan was to have the briefing ready in the spring of 2020. When the pandemic hit, we obviously had to change gears to focus on creating operational plans that would allow us to run vote centers and conduct ballot processing as safely as possible.
While we did not end up releasing the Election Security Community Briefing according to our original timeline, in retrospect, the timing seems perfect. With the 2020 Presidential Election right around the corner, voters are constantly reminded of the events of 2016, when the U.S. experienced unprecedented attempts to undermine the integrity of elections infrastructure. In addition, the current pandemic and associated national dialogue have raised even more questions around election security nationwide, with mail ballot voting coming under particular scrutiny.
As election officials, it is critical that we ensure that our voters know how election security works and about our dedication to actively working against any threats that infringe on our most sacred right as Americans. This briefing is our attempt to show the great work that Boulder County Elections is doing on this front and to dispel some of the common misinformation circulating about election security.
We hope that this briefing will help stimulate accurate cybersecurity conversations and enhanced practices around the country. I specifically would encourage all election officials to replicate something similar in their own communities to showcase the work they and their teams are doing to secure the vote.
Our collective work to safeguard election security will be more effective when the voting public understands it: meaningful transparency strengthens our democracy.
To access the report, please visit www.BoCo.org/ElectionSecurityReport.
Stewards of Democracy, Part IV
More than the sum of their parts
Empowering voters and administering elections
By Paul Gronke and Paul Manson
Early Voting Information Center
In this final installment on the 2019 DF/RC LEO Survey, we explore the relationship between voters and local election officials (LEOs).
There is a lot of talk this year about the key role LEOs play in ensuring a safe, secure, and accessible election, and for good reason. The challenges faced by LEOs in recruiting poll workers, providing socially distant voting options, and countering misinformation about voting by mail are daunting.
We want to take a step back and talk about local election administration as administration. Over the past quarter century, there’s been a shift in how public administrators at all levels of government connect with citizens and voters. This shift has resulted in agencies or public offices working to empower the public, and not simply serve them.
Our survey finds that this shift has also occurred in election administration. LEOs see their work as an opportunity to engage and support voters. This voter-centric approach means LEOs work to identify what voters need, innovate to meet these needs, and communicate these challenges into the policy processes to improve elections.
It was this perspective that first led our team to refer to LEOs as the “Stewards of Democracy,” important administrators that protect and enable key elements of US democracy.
This voter-centric perspective acknowledges the complexity and skills required to successfully administer elections. As the final report of the Presidential Commission on Election Administration notes:
The last decade’s heightened demand for more professional administration of elections and modernization of the process demonstrates that there is an increasing need for technology acumen, public relations skills, and data savvy.
As we will discuss at the end of this post, LEOs rate the voter and election official experience as easier today when compared to when they first started working. The technical steps of election administration have become easier, but that’s not the whole story.
Administering elections is more than a technical skill set – it is a role that engages and connects with the voting public.
Examining voter-centric attitudes among American LEOs
The DF/RC LEO Survey is the first to try to measure voter-centric orientations among local election officials. There are several behaviors that LEOs exhibit, as well as the processes they establish, that indicate a voter-centric orientation. These include:
- Creating and distributing voter education and outreach materials;
- Fostering partnerships between LEOs and local organizations to help address specific voter needs;
- Ensuring that election processes at the local level are secure so that every ballot can be counted to the fullest extent of the law; and
- Establishing and maintaining a voter-centric organizational culture in local election offices and departments.
We didn’t ask about each of these, but instead provided a set of statements that reflect some aspects of voter-centric election administration.
LEOs overwhelmingly value voter education and outreach and consider it part of their job to work on voter education and satisfaction. 74% of LEOs agreed with the statement that they enjoy educating citizens, and 62% believe that their responsibilities include improving voter education and satisfaction.
Almost sixty percent disagreed that their primary task was to just conduct the election, and not worry about voter satisfaction. As one LEO shared with us:
“Constant communication with our voters is key to ensuring a successful election.”
LEOs also recognize the benefit of an informed voting public: it can reduce complexity and potential public concerns. 57% of LEOs cited lack of citizen knowledge as a source of problems when it comes to voting. Many LEOs told us that election officials need to counter the fears or risks that are being discussed by the press and in social media.
In this way, education is not simply sharing how to vote, but rather actively engaging election administration narratives that can help to avoid problems during the election period.
In 2019, we added a question about whether LEOs should be concerned with turnout—a sensitive issue among many administrators since the main drivers of turnout (demographics and candidates) are out of their control.
We’re encouraged to report that LEOs recognize the value of higher turnout in fostering a healthy elections system. 49% agreed that it is part of their job to encourage turnout, and only 22% disagreed.
We also asked if LEOs should play a role in in reducing demographic disparities in voter turnout. On this LEOs were more divided, and the largest segment neither agreed nor disagreed (47%) but 29% agreed that it should be part of their work.
It is not surprising to see some divided opinions here. Public administrators commonly seek to be value neutral in their work, and these questions stepped close to potentially appearing as political or value-based.
Finally, as we found before, one of the main impediments to more voter education and engagement is that local offices face resource constraints.
An improving election experience over time — for voters and LEOs
LEOs generally report that election administration conditions have improved over time. On the five measures of voter access that we asked about, over 80% of LEOs responded that it had become easier for voters to participate along these lines since they began their job, which increases slightly with jurisdiction size.
On five prompts about LEO job tasks, over 60% of respondents agreed that these tasks had gotten easier since their first election. These results are similar to our 2018 survey, and indicate that election administration is generally improving or voters – and for the LEOs themselves. This may be tied into what they have control over: many of the tasks that LEOs perform directly make it easier for voters to participate in elections, but the changes that make it harder for LEOs to do their jobs often come from outside, such as state policy changes or citizen-led ballot initiatives.
Democracy takes work and LEOs are up for the challenge
These final items from our survey illustrate a key strength in US elections: the people called to serve and administer at the local level. LEOs show a commitment to not just running safe, fair, and efficient elections – they want to help voters claim their role in our elections.
They are also in a unique position where they must balance the work of elections with the task of engaging voters, often without additional resources. This work is something they both enjoy and are passionate about. It seems only fitting to close this series not with our words, but with a comment from a LEO that captures this sentiment:
“I do my part to educate my residents and voters. I wish others would see that is what is needed […] I love my work and I love our free democracy!”
Safe Election Administration Grants
CTCL issues open call for grants aimed at safe election administration during COVID-19
Project will support poll worker training and recruitment, PPE for poll workers, early voting, and vote by mail
Backed by a generous $250M contribution, the nonpartisan Center for Tech and Civic Life (CTCL), has announced a grant program to help local election officials administer elections this year in the midst of the deadly coronavirus pandemic.
The grants will help ensure the local election jurisdictions across the country have the staffing, training, and equipment necessary so this November every eligible voter can participate in a safe and timely way and have their vote counted.
“We all depend on election officials to provide safe and secure voting options to the public. Unfortunately, election departments face unprecedented challenges in 2020 due to COVID-19”, said Center for Tech and Civic Life Executive Director Tiana Epps-Johnson. “This expansion of our COVID-19 Response Grant program provides our country’s election officials and poll workers with the critical resources they need to safely serve every voter”.
The minimum any local jurisdiction can receive is $5,000. The open call, along with additional information and the application can be found at https://www.techandciviclife.org/grants/
This grant program will enable localities to prepare for and administer safe elections by investing in priorities that would otherwise be challenging to accomplish — such as securely opening an adequate number of voting sites; setting up drive-thru and drop box locations; providing PPE for poll workers; and recruiting and training a sufficient number of poll workers.
Election offices can use the funds to cover certain 2020 expenses incurred between June 15, 2020 and December 31, 2020. These include the costs associated with the safe administration of the following election responsibilities. Program areas include:
Ensure Safe, Efficient Election Day Administration
- Maintain open in-person polling places on Election Day
- Procure Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and personal disinfectant to protect election officials and voters from COVID-19
- Support and expand drive-thru voting, including purchase of additional signage, tents, traffic control, walkie-talkies, and safety measures
Expand Voter Education & Outreach Efforts
- Publish reminders for voters to verify and update their address, or other voter registration information, prior to the election
- Educate voters on safe voting policies and procedures
Launch Poll Worker Recruitment, Training & Safety Efforts
- Recruit and hire a sufficient number of poll workers and inspectors to ensure polling places are properly staffed, utilizing hazard pay where required
- Provide voting facilities with funds to compensate for increased site cleaning and sanitization costs
- Deliver updated training for current and new poll workers administering elections in the midst of pandemic
Support Early In-Person Voting and Vote by Mail
- Expand or maintain the number of in-person early voting sites
- Deploy additional staff and/or technology improvements to expedite and improve mail ballot processing
The Center for Tech and Civic Life is a nationally-recognized 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization of civic technologists, trainers, researchers, election administration and data experts working to help modernize U.S. elections. CTCL connects election officials with guidance, expertise, tools, and trainings so they can best serve their communities, and ensure that elections are more professional, safe, and secure. CTCL works with the federal government, as well as local and state governments of all sizes across the nation and regardless of partisanship to highlight best practices and create easy-to-use resources for administrators.
Election News This Week
Former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg has raised more than $16 million to pay the court fees and fines for almost 32,000 Black and Hispanic Florida voters with felony convictions. According to The Washington Post, the money will fund a program organized by the Florida Rights Restoration Coalition to pay the fines, fees and restitution costs for former prisoners who are already registered to vote in Florida but barred by law from participating in the election because of those outstanding debts. While Bloomberg has made the donation in hopes of boosting Democratic voters, the Florida Rights Restoration Coalition is a nonpartisan group that has been fundraising to return all former felons in the state to the voting rolls. Desmond Meade, the group’s president, said the group does not share Bloomberg’s goal of empowering only one political side in the upcoming election. He said that through separate efforts, his organization has raised about $7 million from about 44,000 donors to help pay the debts of citizens with felony convictions so they can return to the voting rolls. The average debt, the group said, is about $1,000. Florida Attorney General Ashley Moody on Wednesday asked state and federal law enforcement officials to investigate “potential violations of election laws” over billionaire Michael Bloomberg’s decision to help pay Florida felons’ fines, fees and restitution to be eligible to vote. In a letter dated Wednesday, Moody wrote that she instructed statewide prosecutor Nick Cox to work with law enforcement and any statewide grand jury that Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis may want to call to address the issue. DeSantis initially asked Moody to review the matter, the attorney general wrote.
Music to our ears: There are lots of great voter education partnerships this year and we particularly like the one between the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and the Cuyahoga Board of Elections (and not just because they referenced Wayne’s World in a tweet promoting the partnership). The partnership will see voter education and registration opportunities onsite during the Rock Hall’s Resident Rockers Showcase of the Live and Local Series of free concerts. The concert series will combine both music and voter education. “We are very excited to be a partner with the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as they share our goal of voter education and engagement,” said Anthony Perlatti, Director of the Board of Elections. “These events are a great way to have fun and to get prepared to vote at the same time.”
We love this idea! The Tennessee secretary of state’s office is holding an essay contest for students who are serving as poll workers during the November general election. Contest winners—who are tasked with writing about their experience as a poll worker— will receive a TNStars 529 College Savings Program scholarship, according to Secretary of State Tre Hargett’s office. Each of Tennessee’s Grand Divisions will have a first, second and third place winner. The three first-place winners will receive a $1,000 scholarship, with the second and third place winners receiving $500 and $250 scholarships, respectively. “Serving as a poll official is an unmatched opportunity for students to see our electoral process in action,” Hargett said. “Students participating in this contest not only have the opportunity to win scholarship money by sharing their election experience in writing, but they are helping their local election commission run a safe and secure election.” Can’t wait to read and share the winning submissions!
Holy Wow! That’s it, we’re moving to Worcester, Massachusetts! Voters in Worcester will have 12—TWELVE—different “I Voted” stickers to choose from when they cast their ballot in November (or early). This week the city announced its Election Commission and Cultural Division had selected 12—TWELVE—different designs following a three-week public campaign. The winning designs, which say “My Vote Counts,” will be available in multiple languages including English, French, Mandarin, Polish, Portuguese, Spanish and Vietnamese. Those who choose to vote by mail will receive the “My Vote Counts” stickers, along with their ballot, inside the mail-in ballot envelope, City Clerk Niko Vangjeli said. “By working with the phrase ‘My vote counts’ rather than ‘I voted,’ this initiative includes those who haven’t voted before, as well as those not yet old enough to vote in 2020,” Nikki Erskine of the Cultural Development Division said in a statement. “In this way, this call to artists is not just to create a souvenir, but to create an empowering statement of intent.” TWELVE!!!!
Well, we can now officially say we’ve seen just about everything. Feminine hygiene brand Thinx is giving away free pairs of period-absorbing and bladder leak-solution underwear to people working the polls across the country. The first 500 people to email Thinx (Thinxforpollworkers@shethinx.com, to be exact) with proof of their upcoming Election Day assignment will receive a free pair of the brand’s signature period-proof underwear — something that can hopefully help poll workers save time so they don’t have to worry about switching out pads or tampons during a long Election Day shift. Ahead of Election Day, Thinx is doing more than just giving away free underwear to poll workers. The brand is also using its social media channels to remind people to register to vote and share voting guidelines. The company will also close its virtual offices on November 3 to encourage employees to get out and vote, according to a press release.
Personnel News: Judy Snyder is the new director of elections in Greene County, Pennsylvania. Deborah Olivieri will retire as the Berks County, Pennsylvania director of election services on Oct. 2 after 26 years working for the county. Former Ohio Secretary of State Jennifer Brunner is running for the Ohio Supreme Court. Nicole Meland is resigning at the Stutsman County, North Dakota auditor effective Oct. 2. Kerry Steelman, Hamilton County, Tennessee election administrator has taken a leave of absence. Albert Gricoski is the new director of the Schuylkill County, Pennsylvania election bureau. Marge McCabe has announced her retirement, effective Oct. 1, as the Sussex County, New Jersey board of elections administrator. Santa Fe County, New Mexico Clerk Geraldine Salazar is overseeing her last election since she chose not to see re-election and will complete her term on Dec. 31. Ken Raymond and David Black have resigned from the North Carolina State Board of Elections.
Research and Report Summaries
The Stanford-MIT Healthy Elections Project released three reports on 2020 primary elections last week. Complementing earlier reports on 16 states’ primaries, the newly released reports analyze various aspects of the primaries in Kentucky, Maine, and Wisconsin, including mail-in ballot usage, mail-in ballot rejections, the effects of litigation, and comparisons to earlier primaries.
The Public Interest Legal Foundation released a report on voter registration list maintenance last week. The report, Critical Condition: American Voter Rolls Filled with Errors, Dead Voters, and Duplicate Registrations, summarizes findings from an analysis of data collected from 42 states’ voter registration rolls. The research identifies 349,772 deceased registrants, including 14,608 registrants who were credited with voting after death in 2016 and 2018; 81,649 duplicate registrants who appear to have cast second votes from the same address in 2016 and 2018; and 8,360 registrants apparently registered in 2 states and credited for voting in both states in 2018; among other findings.
The Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law released a report on hate incidents and elections last week. The report, Hate in Elections: How Racism and Bigotry Threaten Election Integrity in the United States, provides an overview of the relationship between hate incidents and elections, examining hate crimes and other hateful activity in the 2018 midterm elections and other recent elections. The report includes resources for voters and candidates who may be targeted for hateful activity, as well as information on how hate groups and individuals have used technology such as Zoombombing and social media disinformation campaigns to harass voters and candidates.
Election Security Updates
FBI: Testifying before the House Homeland Security Committee, FBI Director Christopher Wray said his number one concern about the 2002 election is the cloud of fear and uncertainty about it. “The steady drumbeat of misinformation and amplification of small instructions, I worry, contribute over time to a lack of confidence in American voters and citizens in the validity of their vote,” Wray said. “That would be a perception, not a reality … but I worry that people will take on a perception of futility because of all the noise and obfuscation that’s generated.” Wray did not mention the mis/disinformation campaigns waged by his bosses President Donald J. Trump and Attorney General William Barr. Several times during his testimony he said several time doesn’t want to step into political controversies in a way he considers inappropriate, which is likely why he phrased his answer to the House committee as broadly as he did.
National Intelligence: In an op-ed published in the New York Times, former Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats called on Congress to create an independent commission to oversee the 2020 election and denounced efforts to undermine Americans’ confidence in the legitimacy of U.S. elections. In his op-ed, Coats said “democracy’s enemies, foreign and domestic,” were working to chip away at its foundation. He warned those enemies “want us to concede in advance that our voting systems are faulty or fraudulent; that sinister conspiracies have distorted the political will of the people; that our public discourse has been perverted by the news media and social networks riddled with prejudice, lies and ill will; that judicial institutions, law enforcement and even national security have been twisted, misused and misdirected to create anxiety and conflict, not justice and social peace.” In his op-ed, Coats said that in order to reestablish confidence in elections and “unambiguously reassure all Americans that their vote will be counted,” Congress should pass emergency legislation to create a “supremely high-level bipartisan and nonpartisan commission to oversee the election.” He also called on both campaigns to commit in advance to accepting the commission’s findings.
Federal Legislation: The House unanimously approved the Defending the Integrity of Voting Systems Act, approved by the Senate last year, would make hacking federal voting infrastructure a crime under the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act, which is commonly used by the Justice Department to take action against malicious hackers. The bipartisan bill was introduced by Sens. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.), and Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) last year. It will now be sent to the president desk for signature. Blumenthal applauded the bill’s passage Monday, saying in a statement that “as foreign adversaries seek to undermine our democracy, our election systems are in dire need of strong safeguards.” “Our adversaries have shown a willingness and capability to hack the infrastructure that powers our democracy, however, our laws and enforcement lag far behind this dire threat,” Blumenthal said. “This bill must now quickly become law so every vote counts. Nearly a month out from our 2020 elections, there’s no time to waste.”
Kentucky: Lawmakers have unveiled a series of election reform bills they plan to put forward during the 2021 session of the General Assembly. Among the topics covered by the bills are: Early, in-person voting and excuse-free absentee ballots; Permanent “cure” process for correcting absentee ballots; Expanded voting hours to 7:00 p.m.; Automatic voter registration and same-day voter registration; Repeal straight-ticket voting; Require advance notice of polling-place changes; Automatic restoration of voting rights for felons and expanded felony expungement; and Redistricting reform/maps with citizen input, rather than just lawmakers whose districts are being redrawn. Other election changes would expand the list of which family members could request an absentee ballot for a voter having a medical emergency, make requesting an absentee ballot via the Secretary of State’s secure online portal permanent, provide additional secure drop boxes for absentee ballots, require provisional ballots in state races for voters whose identity cannot be verified by poll workers, and make it easier for Kentuckians to vote who do not have a permanent address.
Massachusetts: Rep. Antonio Cabral of New Bedford is is proposing to amend the state law that deals with the preservation of order by police at polling locations by banning sheriffs and their deputies from showing up to maintain order among voters and sign-holders. Under a bill (HD 5270), no county or state law enforcement officer, sheriff, deputy sheriff or special sheriff would be “permitted on the premises of a polling place or within 300 feet of a polling place to preserve order or to protect the election officers and supervisors from any interference with their duties or to aid in enforcing the laws relating to elections without the express written approval of both the secretary of public safety and security and the board or officer in charge of the police force of the city or town.”
The Northampton city council has voted to accept two elections-related recommendations from the Charter Review Committee. One recommendation would allow noncitizens to vote in local elections and the other would move the city to a ranked choice voting system. Those recommendations must be approved by the city council and mayor before moving on to the state Legislature.
Michigan: Senate bills 977 and 978 would make filling out an application to receive multiple ballots, providing false statements on the application or forging a signature a felony punishment leading to five years imprisonment, a fine of up to $1,000 or both. House bills 5880 and 5881 address the same issues. Rep. Ann Bollin, R-Brighton, co-sponsored the house bills and defended the Senate ones in a Tuesday, Sep. 22 hearing in the House Judiciary Committee. Providing false information on an absentee ballot is now a misdemeanor punishable up to 93 days in jail or a $500 fine. By increasing the consequences, attempts at fraudulently voting would decrease and help prevent local clerks from getting overwhelmed, Bollin argued.
The House Elections and Ethics Committee has approved Senate Bill 757 by a 4-1 vote with two abstaining. The bill, sponsored by Sen. Ruth Johnson, R-Holly, would allow clerks from cities with at least 25,000 residents to start pre-processing absentee ballots between 10 a.m. and 8 p.m. the day before the Nov. 3 general election. It also outlines the pre-processing procedure for clerks before Election Day, how inspectors can validate proper ballot handling and what shift times vote-counting staff can work. The bill will be reviewed at least once more by the Ways and Means Committee before consideration by the House.
The Kalamazoo City Commission passed a resolution to expand voting and registration access, beyond the minimum required by the state constitution. The newly adopted resolution would extend voting hours and establish another voter registration location to help people navigate Election Day, Nov. 3, 2020.
General Litigation News: National Public Radio and Courthouse News Service each have recent articles about the volume of election litigation during the 2020 election cycle. According to the Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse at Syracuse University, 82% more voting rights cases have been filed this year compared to the same time during the last presidential election. During the last six months, 155 voting rights lawsuits have been filed in courts across the country compared with 85 such cases during the same time in 2016. The last six months have seen the highest amount of voting rights lawsuits since TRAC began tracking federal civil litigation in October 2007. Justin Levitt, a professor at Loyola Law School, has been tracking the number of pandemic-related voting lawsuits this year. He’s logged 250 so far. Beyond mail voting, Levitt says there’s litigation about in-person voting, too, such as how long polls will be open, how many polling places there will be and what safety measures will be taken. Then there’s also litigation pushing back on pandemic voting measures — arguing election officials have gone too far in making adjustments due to the pandemic. And The New York Times has an article about the impacts the U.S. Supreme Court may have on Election Day.
Alaska: Anchorage Superior Court Judge Jennifer Henderson issued a five-page temporary restraining order on September 17 temporarily blocking Alaska elections officials from printing more ballots after a U.S. Congressional candidate’s lawsuit raised “clear and very significant questions” about whether a new ballot design is illegal. Later in the day, state elections officials filed an emergency motion asking the Alaska Supreme Court to intervene. The 95-page motion says the state faces a Friday deadline under federal law to mail ballots to military and overseas voters, although that law, the Uniformed and Overseas Citizens Absentee Voting Act, includes an exemption for lawsuit-related delays. The Alaska Supreme Court upheld a lower court ruling, which said forcing the reprinting of the ballots would cause harm to the state. The high court heard the case on an expedited basis Henderson issued her ruling early Friday afternoon.
Arkansas: A lawsuit has been filed in Jefferson County Circuit Court against the Jefferson County Election Commission, along with Commissioners Mike Adam, Ted Davis and Stu Soffer, alleging that the closure of a Ward 4 polling site at New Town Missionary Baptist Church was done illegally. The lawsuit was filed Sept. 11 by Ward 4 resident Walter Johnson and by Ward 4 Aldermen Steven Mays and Bruce Lockett. Adam and Soffer have also been named in an ethics complaint filed by the Democratic Party of Arkansas with the state Board of Election Commissioners regarding a number of poll site consolidations that it contends were done illegally and regarding a number of public comments made by Soffer that it said are abusive or offensive. One of the allegations in the lawsuit is that Soffer and Adam improperly closed three polling locations in African-American neighborhoods, including New Town. The decision on two of those locations, Old Morning Star Baptist Church in Packingtown and the Pine Bluff Administration Building, were reversed at a meeting Aug. 18 as a compromise with Commissioner Theodis “Ted” Davis. Davis had refused to allow the relocation of the Swan Lake Community Center polling site to the Swan Lake Fire Department, which Adam and Soffer said better met requirements under the Americans with Disabilities Act, until the decision to close polling sites was reconsidered.
The League of Women Voters of Arkansas and two registered voters have filed suit against which names Arkansas Secretary of State John Thurston and several members of the state Board of Election Commissioners alleging in their lawsuit that the state’s requirements for accepting absentee ballots are unconstitutional and that history has shown that a significant number of ballots are wrongly rejected every election cycle. That won’t change, attorneys said, unless the law is changed. The suit is seeking more time for residents to cure their ballots should a problem arise which means elections officials need to begin processing ballots earlier.
Colorado: The U.S. Postal Service agreed in a settlement with Colorado Secretary of State Jena Griswold to destroy a USPS mailing to Colorado voters that includes what the lawsuit called “false statements that will confuse Colorado voters.” According to the settlement, USPS agreed to have Colorado’s attorney general and secretary of state preview national media materials related to the election, and the right to block the release of any materials that they believe would confuse Colorado voters. “I am pleased with the settlement we reached today with the U.S. Postal Service. Voters deserve accurate election information,” Griswold said in a statement. “The terms of the settlement mandate that all reasonable effort be taken to remove all undelivered misleading mailers from the mail stream, and it requires collaboration between the Colorado Department of State and the USPS to make sure all future Postal Service communication includes correct information.”
Georgia: The Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law has filed a federal lawsuit in seeking to require Gwinnett County send Spanish-language absentee ballot applications to those that need them and require the secretary of state’s office to make its absentee ballot portal available in Spanish as well. The suit asks the court to require the Secretary of State’s office to translate its absentee ballot application portal and ballot confirmation receipt into Spanish. The request also includes accurate translations of voter precinct cards on the state’s My Voter Page and broader access to Spanish-language materials.
Illinois: U.S. District Judge Robert Dow rejected a bid by the Cook County Republican Party to block the state’s enhanced vote-by-mail program, rejecting as conjecture allegations that the program was a scheme aimed at disenfranchising GOP voters. ruled the Cook County GOP also was tardy in filing its lawsuit in August seeking a preliminary injunction over the law approved in May as an effort to deal with the COVID-19 pandemic by offering an alternative to traditional in-person voting. Dow’s ruling also noted existing state statute is aimed at preventing so-called ballot harvesting by political operatives, requiring a voter authorization signed on the exterior of vote-by-mail ballots that are dropped off to election authorities or at drop boxes as an alternative.
Indiana: Southern District of Indiana Judge Richard Young granted an injunction sought by Common Cause Indiana blocking a 2019 Indiana law restricting who may seek to extend polling-place hours due to conditions that prevent voters from casting a ballot. “The public interest plainly favors the injunction,” Young wrote, enjoining Indiana Code §§ 3-11.7-7-2, 3-11.7-7-3, and 3-11.7-7-4. The so-called standing amendments restricted who may ask for an extension of polling hours. “Prior to 2019, voters could go directly to state court to seek an extension of polling place hours when they encountered barriers to casting their ballot,” Young’s order says. Under the standing amendment, “[o]nly a county election board has standing in an Indiana court or with any other state governmental entity to file an action or petition to request the extension of the hour for closing the polls by the court or entity,” Young wrote. “The Standing Amendment prevents any entity other than a unanimous county election board from ‘fil[ing] an action or petition’ in state court ‘to request the extension of the hour for closing the polls’ when there are unforeseen barriers to casting a ballot. This burdens the right to vote because when voters face disenfranchising conditions at their polling place, the Standing Amendment can deny them an opportunity to vindicate their right to vote by seeking relief in an Indiana court,” the judge found.
Iowa: The Iowa Supreme Court denied an appeal by the Woodbury County Auditor’s Office, affirming a district court ruling that previously received mail ballot requests for the November election were invalidated, so people who wanted such ballots will have to begin the process over. Auditor Pat Gill in a release said he would comply with the court decision, which in essence affirmed the ruling in late August by District Court Judge Patrick H. Tott granting a temporary injunction against the auditor’s office and invalidating thousands of absentee ballot requests.
Maine: The Maine Supreme Judicial Court concluded the Maine Republican Party failed to reach the threshold of signatures needed for a “People’s Veto” referendum aimed at rejecting a state law that expands ranked choice voting to the presidential election. The ruling means ranked choice voting will be used for the first time in a presidential election. The court’s decision, just six weeks before the election, was issued after the state already began printing ballots using a grid-style for ranked elections. “As we have already printed the ballots, due to the federal deadlines we must meet to provide ballots for overseas and military voters, this decision comes as a great relief and avoids the complications, confusion and expense that would have arisen from reprinting and reissuing ballots,” said Secretary of State Matthew Dunlap.
Michigan: Michigan Court of Claims Judge Cynthia Stephens has ruled that ballots postmarked by November 2 must be counted even if they arrive after Election Day. Under Stephens’ ruling, late-arriving mail-in ballots could still be counted until results must be certified, 14 days after the election. Currently, only ballots that arrive before the polls close on Election Day are counted. Stephens made the ruling in a lawsuit brought by the Michigan Alliance for Retired Americans. She said her order applies only to the Nov. 3 election, citing the coronavirus pandemic and recent delays in U.S. postal service. The ruling, which Stephens issued in a 21-page order, is likely to face appeal efforts from Republicans who are interested parties in the case, but have not been recognized as intervening defendants, as they have requested. The Michigan Court of Claims will reconsider whether the Legislature can appeal the ruling
In other litigation news, the Michigan League of Women Voters is seeking to intervene in a federal lawsuit in support of the secretary of state, over alleged issues with Michigan’s Qualified Voter File. The lawsuit, filed by a Republican-affiliated group, seeks to force the state to purge Michigan’s Qualified Voter File, claiming there are too many registered voters in some counties, based on the last Census. And it claims that if ineligible voters cast ballots, that will “dilute” the legitimate vote by qualified voters in the November election. The judge in the case has set a scheduling hearing for October.
Minnesota: State Rep. Eric Lucero, R-Dayton is suing the Secretary of State Steve Simon, seeking to block an extension to allow mail-in ballots to be counted up to a week after Election Day, Nov. 3. The extension has been granted and approved by the courts to accommodate the large volume of mail-in ballots because of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. In August, a state judge approved an agreement between Secretary of State Steve Simon and several advocacy groups, which permits ballots to be counted up to a week after Election Day as long as they are postmarked Nov. 3. In previous elections, the ballot had to be received by Election Day. Ramsey County Judge Sara Grewing also waived the requirement for a witness signature. Lucero, who was not a named party on the previous lawsuits, could find a judge in federal court more sympathetic to criticisms that the changes to voting rules threaten the integrity of the state’s elections. “Plaintiffs, registered voters in Minnesota and certified electors, will be irreparably harmed in all of these ways and respectfully request that the Court declare the Secretary’s agreement unlawful and enjoin it,” Lucero argues in the lawsuit.
Mississippi: The state Supreme Court said Hinds County Chancery Judge Denise Owens erred in a ruling earlier this month when she wrote current state law “permits any voter with pre-existing conditions that cause COVID-19 to present a greater risk of severe illness or death to vote by absentee ballot during the COVID-19 pandemic.” Justice Dawn Beam, writing for the majority, said current law, as amended earlier this year by the state Legislature, requires a person to be directed to be quarantined by a physician in order to vote early. “Having a pre-existing condition that puts a voter at a higher risk does not automatically create a temporary disability for absentee-voting purposes,” she wrote.
Missouri: A Washington-based advocacy group “American Women” is suing the state of Missouri over most of the constraints imposed on mail-in voting in the Show-Me State. Specifically, the suit wants to eliminate both the notarization requirement and the requirement that says those ballots must be returned by mail. It would allow third parties to collect and submit mail-in ballots, change the protocols for matching voter registration and mail-in ballot envelope signatures. And, perhaps most important under pandemic circumstances, allow for the countability of any ballot postmarked by Election Day instead of requiring that it be received by Election Day. Cole County Judge Dan Green has scheduled an early October trial.
Nevada: U.S. District Judge James Mahan has dismissed President Donald Trump’s lawsuit against Nevada’s expanded mail-in voting and other election changes approved by the Legislature this summer, ruling that the campaign has no standing to challenge them and did not show how it would suffer actual harm. Mahan said the Trump campaign’s issues with the changes amount to just policy disagreements. “Although they purport to allege constitutional harms that go beyond these policy disagreements, at this juncture, plaintiffs’ allegations remain just that,” he wrote in a ruling dated Friday. Mahan ruled that the campaign does not have standing to represent Nevada voters, only Trump and his “electoral and political goals” of re-election.
New York: U.S. Postal Service: U.S. District Judge Victor Marrero in the Southern District of New York has ruled that the United States Postal Service cannot cut funding to employee overtime before the Nov. 3 elections, and moreover must ship ballots as First-Class after Oct. 15. An injunction issued by Marrero ordered USPS under Postmaster General Louis DeJoy to pre-approve all overtime for postal staff from Oct. 26 to Nov. 6 to ensure votes are counted after a concerted effort to hobble its own capacity ahead of the presidential election after a suit spearheaded by new York Democratic congressional nominee Mondaire Jones, state Senator Alessandra Biaggi and elections attorney Ali Najmi. “The right to vote is too vital a value in our democracy to be left in a state of suspense in the minds of voters weeks before a presidential election, raising doubts as to whether their votes will ultimately be counted,” Marrero said.
Ohio: Secretary of State Frank LaRose is appealing a lower court ruling allowing for the expansion of drop boxes. In a written statement to the court that he could not comply with the judge’s ruling because Ohio law mandates that only one drop box may be placed in each county. LaRose said that he supports adding drop boxes if is legal to do so, but that existing law prohibits drop boxes from being at locations other than a county’s board of elections office. “[Tuesday’s] ruling has enormous implications for holding a secure and fair election in Ohio and assuring voters of the integrity of its result,” his spokeswoman, Maggie Sheehan, told The New York Times. “For those reasons, Ohioans deserve a full and immediate review of the ruling by the appellate courts.”
Oklahoma: Chief U.S. District Judge John Dowdell declined to block Oklahoma’s photo identification and notarized signature requirements for absentee ballots during the Covid-19 pandemic, ignoring Democrats’ arguments that the law suppresses voters. Dowell in Tulsa refused to enter a preliminary injunction, concluding the requirements enacted by the Republican-controlled Oklahoma Legislature are “reasonable, nondiscriminatory and legitimate.” He said legislators have put in place measures to ensure voting will be safe. “The concerns about voting during the pandemic, especially to the elderly and other voters who are at a higher risk for serious outcomes, are justified,” the 52-page opinion states. “However, the state has put in place alternatives that do not necessarily require that voters have direct contact with others in order to cast an absentee ballot, and the evidence and law substantiate that the state’s interests in preventing voter fraud and promoting certainty and confidence are sufficiently weighty to overcome any minor burden imposed upon Oklahoma voters during the pandemic.”
Pennsylvania: The Pennsylvania Supreme Court handed down several voting-related decisions last week including an extended the deadline for accepting mail ballots, allowing voters to submit their ballots through drop boxes, and removed the Green Party’s candidate for president from the ballot. Mail ballots will now be accepted if they are received by 5 p.m. on the Friday after the election and were either postmarked by Nov. 3 or there is no evidence to suggest they were sent after Election Day. Previously, mail ballots had to be received by 8 p.m. on Election Day. In other rulings, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court also upheld a state law that poll watchers must be registered to vote in the county where they’re observing the polls. The court also blocked people from delivering other voters’ absentee ballots — a practice Democrats call “community collection” and Republicans deem “ballot harvesting.” GOP legislators have filed a petition asking the court to stay a portion of ruling pending an appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court. Republicans say they’re working to file the SCOTUS petition as quickly as possible.
South Carolina: U.S. District Court Judge Michelle Childs has ruled that voters should not have to find a witness to sign their absentee ballots for the upcoming general election due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. In a 71-page order that dealt with several voting-related issues, Childs wrote that voter fraud concerns are not a sufficient reason to potentially jeopardize voters’ fundamental right to cast their ballots during a pandemic, and she questioned how effectively the requirement even guards against voter fraud. The evidence in the record points to the conclusion that adherence to the Witness Requirement in November would only increase the risk of contracting COVID-19 for members of the public with underlying medical conditions, the disabled, and racial and ethnic minorities,” Childs wrote. As Childs noted, the witness requirement would have applied to voters even if they had contracted COVID-19 — meaning infected voters could be forced to expose their witnesses to the virus. She previously struck down the requirement for the June primaries. South Carolina Republicans and election officials have appealed to keep the requirement on absentee ballots for the November election.
Texas: So as of press time Harris County can send absentee ballot applications to all registered voters after a three judge-panel of the 14th U.S. Court of Appeals agreed a state district judge who rejected the Texas attorney general’s request for a temporary injunction blocking the mailing plan. The all-Republican Texas Supreme Court directed the county to hold off on sending any unsolicited applications earlier this week while the case is on appeal, and the high court is the next stop for the politically fraught lawsuit. In an 11-page ruling, three Democratic justices — Charles Spain, Meagan Hassan and Margaret Poissant — rejected the state’s argument that the injunction was necessary to keep the county from “walking” voters into committing felonies by sending applications to voters who may ultimately not be eligible for mail-in ballots. That claim, the panel ruled, was “based on mere conjecture,” with the state offering no proof to support it. “The State failed to meet its burden of showing that mailing the applications will result in irreparable injury,” the panel wrote. “The injury alleged by the State is at best speculative.” The case is on track to the Texas Supreme Court, but the clock is running out for the applications to be mailed with sufficient time to get ballots into voters’ mailboxes.
A group of Texas Republicans, including state party Chair Allen West, Agriculture Commissioner Sid Miller and members of the Texas Legislature have filed suit against Republican Gov. Greg Abbott over his extension of early voting for the November election. In July, Abbot used emergency powers to add six days to early moving, moving the start time from Oct. 19 to Oct. 13. The plaintiffs say the move defied election law that requires early voting to start on the 17th day before the election. The plaintiffs argue Abbott needs to consult the Legislature before making such decisions and that “if ever a special session was justified, now is the time.”
Wisconsin: Judge William Conley has extended the deadline for mail-in ballots to be counted in Wisconsin for up to six days after the Nov. 3 election. Conley issued the order on Monday in response to a lawsuit from the Democratic National Committee, Democratic Party of Wisconsin and several nonprofit groups. The lawsuit sought to change a number of state voting laws because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Under the ruling, clerks across the state can accept ballots until Nov. 9 as long as they are mailed and postmarked on or before Election Day. The ruling knocks down a state law that requires ballots to be in the possession of local election officials by 8 p.m. on Election Day in order to be counted. In his ruling, Conley said “election workers’ and voters’ experiences during Wisconsin’s primary election in April, which took place at the outset of the COVID19 crisis, have convinced the court that some, limited relief from statutory deadlines for mail-in registration and absentee voting is again necessary to avoid an untenable impingement on Wisconsin citizens’ right to vote, including the near certainty of disenfranchising tens of thousands of voters relying on the state’s absentee ballot process.” Other changes approved in Conley’s order include: Extending the deadline for online and mail-in voter registration to Oct. 21. The previous deadline was Oct. 14; Lifting a ban on replacement ballots only being sent by mail. Under the order, voters will be able to access a replacement ballot online or by email if theirs never arrived after they requested it. The window for making online or email requests will be Oct. 22-29; and Lifting a requirement that people must live in the county where they want to serve as a poll worker. Republican lawmakers have filed an appeal with the federal 7th Circuit Court of Appeals.
A poll worker is suing La Crosse’s city clerk and governor Tony Evers over mask requirements. Poll worker Nicholas Newman says in the suit that he has difficulty breathing, and has a medical condition that makes it dangerous for him to wear a mask for an extended period of time. In August, Newman went to work his shift as a poll worker, and he was told he could not work if he didn’t wear a mask. The lawsuit claims La Crosse city clerk Teri Lehrke, “wrongly indicated to Newman that Emergency Order 1 required a face covering.” It also says he, “could not work in any future elections because of this failure.”
U.S. District Judge James Peterson said this week that he won’t rule before the election on a lawsuit that challenged a state law requiring college student IDs to have an expiration date in order for them to be used as a voter’s ID. Peterson canceled a hearing he had scheduled for Thursday morning in the case, less than six weeks before the election in the hotly contested battleground state. Peterson said he didn’t want to cause “chaos and confusion” by ruling in the case so close to the election, noting that absentee voting was already underway. “If the court were to issue an order changing the status quo now, it would leave the (Elections) Commission and municipal clerks with little time to issue new guidance and retrain staff,” Peterson said. “The nearly inevitable appeal would mean weeks of uncertainty as the case was reviewed by the court of appeals and possibly the Supreme Court.”
California: Los Angeles County has launched a new website to help voters decide which voting option is the best for them. Make a Plan to Vote is an easy-to-use website available in 12 languages that guides voters through an online user-friendly experience. While voters are making their plans, they are provided with critical election information and voting resources to ensure they are prepared and know their safe voting options in the Presidential General Election, according to officials.
Idaho: Election officials in the Gem State recently adopted the use of a virtual assistant based on IBM’s Watson artificial intelligence platform. According to StateScoop, the tool, which uses natural-language processing to respond to users’ queries both online and over the phone, was first implemented ahead of the May 19 primary. The bot was up and running within about two weeks of IBM’s offer of a free 90-access to its virtual assistance platform. According to officials it handled about 3,300 inquiries from Idaho voters seeking information about filing or updating their voter registrations or how to fill out and return their absentee ballots. In a press release, Idaho Chief Deputy Secretary of State Chad Houck said the Watson tool freed up Denney’s staff to help relieve local county boards of elections with the flood of queries they were being inundated with at the time. “That was a huge weight off the shoulders of our staff,” Houck said. The state will be using assistant again for the general election.
Texas: Following a six-year legal battle, the state updated its online systems to allow people to add their names to the voter rolls when they update their licenses. While it’s a limited step — the online option is still only available to people updating their licenses — the change marks the first time Texans have been able to register to vote online, which advocates say could significantly increase turnout both this year and for future elections. Mimi Marziani, the president of the Texas Civil Rights Project, which brought forward the lawsuits, said the change specifically helps marginalized Texans, who most often move. “This is absolutely a victory for voting rights for all Texans,” Marziani said. “It’s a particular victory for younger Texans, poorer Texans and Texans of color.”
Google: The National Voter Registration Day Google Doodle pointed users to the work of Democracy Works. Clicking through the Google doodle, or on the link below the search box, lead users to state-specific instructions on how to register as well as key dates in the election cycle. “This year it is more important than ever for voters to have easy access to official information. Through How To Vote Democracy Works is able to amplify official election information throughout the internet so that everybody can find the resource they need.” – Seth Flaxman, CEO, Democracy Works. Tuesday’s promotion highlighted work Google announced in August. Throughout this election cycle, when a user searches for information about “how to register to vote” and “how to vote” the top of the search results will feature our nonpartisan election information. The dataset behind the tool provides information and instruction on: voter eligibility; registration methods; voting methods; checking voter registration; important dates and deadlines; state election official contact information; and information for military and overseas voters. Democracy Works aggregates official data directly from state and county election administrators and the How To Vote results link to state government websites for more information.
Opinions This Week
National Opinions: Vote by mail, II | Election doubts | U.S. Attorney General | Election night | Election security | Voting rights, II | Falsehoods | Voters with disabilities | Election litigation | Disinformation
Georgia: Chatham County
Illinois: Election security
Iowa: Voter fraud
Minnesota: Voting plan
Mississippi: Early voting
Missouri: Poll workers
Montana: Vote by mail
New Jersey: Vote by mail
New Mexico: Drop boxes
Ohio: Ballot access
Tennessee: Voting rights
Texas: Election officials
Worst Case Scenarios 2020: Any number of scenarios in November could lead to electoral uncertainty. What would happen if the parties disagree about who won the election and send competing slates of electors to Congress? Or what if the electors act “faithlessly” and vote for a candidate who didn’t win their state? Consider, too, a scenario where neither Donald Trump nor Joe Biden gets an absolute majority in the electoral college. Or what happens if one of the candidates dies or gets sick after the election but before the electoral college votes are counted? To answer these and many other questions, join John Fortier, director of BPC’s Democracy Project and author of After the People Vote and Ned Foley, professor of law at Moritz College and author of Ballot Battles. When: Sept. 30; 3pm Eastern. Where: Online.
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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.
Clerk, Douglas County, Colorado— This position (4 openings) serves as office support for the Elections Division of the Clerk and Recorder’s Office. The Election Clerk provides customer service, assists with clerical functions, and performs data entry for voter registration. Other duties in support of the conduct of elections or mail ballot processing may be assigned. Must be detail oriented, well organized, productive, and able to adapt in a high change environment. This role requires both independent judgment and the ability to work well as a part of a team. Professional representation of the Clerk and Recorder’s Office to the public is required to include standards outlined in the Vision, Mission, and Core Values of the Office. Provides daily customer service; answers phones; greets and serves in person customers; Performs general scanning, typing, filing, and collating functions; Performs complex data entry for new, changed, and canceled voter registrations; Performs verification and tracking of data entry; Assists with election judge coordination; Assists with processing incoming and outgoing mail; Administers state election laws and rules, and federal election laws to provide successful voting experience to staff and public; Maintains confidentiality of information consistent with applicable federal, state and county rules, and regulations; Provides support to election coordination, including deployment of materials to coordinating entities and Voter Service and Polling Center. This task may require operation of a motor vehicle; Assists with various special projects; Lives out the Vision, Mission, and Core Values of the Clerk and Recorder’s Office, maintains a supportive environment conducive to teamwork. Salary: 13.50 – 16.90 per hour. Application: For the complete job listing and to apply, click here.
Customer Success Manager, Dominion Voting Systems, Denver— The Customer Success Manager role started on a simple promise of transforming customer engagement from ‘reactive’ to ‘proactive’. Our CSM’s know that when our elections customers purchase Dominion Voting products that this is only the start of a meaningful exchange between Dominion Voting and our customers. Our CSM’s build value over time by balancing customer benefits and company profits. As the CSM, you will be the first voice of the customer and you will be responsible for the customer’s overall success, as defined by the customer. You will be successful in this role if you have superb people leadership skills, customer empathy, elections knowledge and experience, Dominion Voting product knowledge, and excellent project management skills. Application: For the complete job listing and to apply, click here.
Elections Administrator, Harris County, Texas— Harris County seeks an Elections Administrator to plan, coordinate, lead, and manage the newly established Office of the Elections Administrator under Chapter 31 of the Texas Election Code. The Elections Administrator will act as the county voter registrar, administer all local, state, and federal elections in Harris County, and oversee Harris County’s elections operations, including voter registration, public education and outreach, and recruitment and supervision of election judges and poll workers. The Elections Administrator will also work to modernize Harris County elections, expand access to registration and voting, and ensure voting is fair, easy, efficient, secure, and accessible for all eligible Harris County voters consistent with the Texas Election Code and Federal regulations. Deadline: Oct. 5. Application: For the complete job listing and to apply, click here.
HAVA Administrator, Nevada Secretary of State— The Nevada secretary of state’s office is seeking a HAVA Administrator. The incumbent in this position will manage the Help America Vote Act (HAVA) grant and in this capacity will work with members of the State Elections Division, county registrar of voters, and other elections related positions in the federal, state, and county governments to manage the application of the HAVA grant and support the conduct of state and federal elections. This position will be a key member of the State elections team and will be primarily responsible for the analysis and interpretation of federal and state elections law. This position will supervise up to six other elections-related employees. State employee Benefits – Medical, dental, vision care, life and disability insurance programs are available; eleven paid holidays per year; three weeks of annual leave; three weeks of sick leave; state defined benefit retirement plan; tax-sheltered deferred compensation plan available. State employees do not contribute to Social Security; however, a small Medicare deduction is required. Salary: $66,628.08 – $100,161.36. The Secretary of State’s Office is located in downtown Carson City, near beautiful Lake Tahoe in Northern Nevada, which offers a destination location to live, work and play. Application: For the complete job listing and to apply, click here.
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