ALERT:

Primary Changes: AL runoff 7/14; CT 6/2; DE 6/2;  GA 5/19; IN 6/2; KY 6/23; LA 6/20; MD 6/2; NY 6/23; OH 4/28, PA 6/2; RI 6/2; WV 6/9 (4/02/20)

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February 27, 2020

February 27, 2020

In Focus This Week

What to watch on Super Tuesday
Voters in 14 states head to the polls or mailboxes on Tuesday

By M. Mindy Moretti
electionline.org

Super Tuesday, which began more than a month ago for some elections offices, comes to an end on Tuesday as voters in 14 states head to the polls on primary day or drop that mail ballot in a drop box.

The 14 states voting on Tuesday are:  Alabama, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Maine, Massachusetts, Minnesota, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, and Virginia.

Following Super Tuesday, there will be contests almost every Tuesday, and some weekends too, through June 2.

Since 2016, so much of the focus has been on election security and Tuesday will be the first big test of all those security measures and changes that have been put into place.

But it’s not just about security. Elections officials have spent countless hours and dollars purchasing new equipment, training staff and volunteers and educating the public, but since the last time the American public when to the polls en masse, there have been many changes.

How will the voting public cope? How will elections officials? While we think everything is worth watching on an election day, these are the things we’ll be keeping an eye on on Super Tuesday and beyond. .

Election Security
Tuesday will mark the first big election security test of the 2020 cycle. State and county elections officials have spent millions of dollars and thousands of hours preparing for any eventuality. Will they be ready? Federal officials along with various cybersecurity experts,  vendors and advocates will be monitoring the entire thing from a situation room in the Washington, D.C.-area.

Voting Machines
Counties in many of the Super Tuesday states will be using new voting equipment for the first time. Will voters and poll workers be ready? In Los Angeles County, Tuesday will mark the first big test of the county’s new in-house designed voting system. While some worry about what will happen when infrequent voters meet new machines in Arkansas there are concerns about the aging voting machines being used by 11 of the state’s counties on Tuesday.

Vote Centers
Several of the largest voting jurisdictions in the country will be using countywide vote centers for the first time in presidential primary election on Tuesday. Will these new vote centers help increase turnout? Will there be confusion about where to go? Will these vote centers help speed up the reporting process for elections officials?

Voter ID
Although the courts have put North Carolina’s voter ID on hold for the presidential primary, will that news have made it to poll workers? In Alabama there has been some confusion about whether or not a voter must have a Star ID — Alabama’s version of the Real ID — in order to vote. Secretary of State John Merrill has mounted a public education campaign explaining that the Star ID is not required to vote, but could this cause confusion at the polls on Tuesday? In Texas, the secretary of state’s office is leading an effort to make sure that voters know about the state’s ID requirements which have changed since the last presidential election. “This initiative is aimed at ensuring voters are prepared and informed about the forms of identifications that are needed to cast their ballot,” Secretary of State Ruth Hughes said according to the Houston Chronicle.

Turnout
While interest in the 2020 election cycle is high will that translate into turnout? Although early voting is no real indicator of overall turnout it’s been up in some places, on par with 2016 in others and even down in a few spots. Will there be lines on Super Tuesday and more importantly will those lines actually be moving?

Results
The American public has an appetite for instant gratification, especially when it comes to election results. How quickly will Super Tuesday results be known and will voters be able to accept that some of those results are going to take a while?  Also, will candidates accept the results? In some of the states Tuesday isn’t just the presidential preference primary, it’s also the primary for state and local races. In recent years we’ve seen a rise in the number of lawsuits challenging the results. Will there be any on Tuesday?

 

Late-breaking Litigation
Another day, another lawsuit. Currently there are dozens of pending election-related lawsuits. Will we see any filed either on Super Tuesday or as the result of Super Tuesday?

Social Media
What role will social media play on Tuesday including potential misinformation/disinformation campaigns? Even well-meaning voters sometimes contribute to misinformation campaigns by citing problems they heard about online without any sort of confirmation. Should a problem arise, will Twitter and Facebook work to take down problematic posts?

 

Unknown unknowns
As we do every election day we like to quote former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld. “We also know there are known unknowns; that is to say we know there are some things we do not know. But there are also unknown unknowns—the ones we don’t know we don’t know.” Will there be any unknown unknowns on Super Tuesday and if so, what will they end up being?

Super Tuesday Dispatches
We’ll be bringing you updates throughout Super Tuesday. After our initial morning posting, we’ll post updates roughly around 9:30am, 12:30pm; 3pm and 7pm. You can find all those dispatches here [starting Tuesday morning!].

 

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Election Security Updates

Richard Grenell, the acting director of national intelligence has asked Shelby Pierson to remain in her role as elections czar. Pierson’s continued roll came into question after a February 13 briefing to the House Intelligence Committee about Russia’s possible interference with the 2020 election angered the president.

“Ambassador Grenell has not asked me to leave,” Pierson said in an interview with The New York Times. “In fact, he has encouraged and affirmed his support for my position here in the organization. I have not asked to depart nor discussed resignation in any way.”

A recent poll by The Hill/HarrisX found that most Americans view voter fraud and foreign interference as the two biggest threats to safe and fair elections. The survey released Friday found that more than a quarter of registered voters, 27 percent, view voter fraud as the top concern for U.S. elections, followed by foreign interference at 19 percent. Another 14 percent said that viral misinformation was a major concern, while the same percentage called voter suppression the biggest issue facing U.S. elections. Eight percent of voters said poor administration of elections was a concern, while 17 percent said they were not worried about election security altogether.

According to The Hill both the House and Senate will be briefed on March 10 by administration officials on election security.

During a conference on disability voting rights hosted by the U.S. Election Assistance Commission, advocates urged elections officials to make sure that they focusing on accessibility at the same time they are focusing on election security. “For people with disabilities, our votes aren’t secure now,” Kelly Buckland, the executive director of the National Council for Independent Living, said. “I believe we could make them more secure through technology that is available today.” Many advocates expressed concerns about the move to only paper ballots. Security and accessibility, it’s not a question of either/or, we have to have both, because really it’s an issue of civil rights,” Lou Ann Blake, the deputy executive director of Blindness Initiatives at the National Federation of the Blind said according to The Hill. “With the movement to paper ballots, that status of first-class citizenship is now threatened … paper ballots are not accessible, you cannot make them accessible.”

Disinformation: Reporter Darrel Rowland with The Columbus Dispatch has an article about the “tsunami” of disinformation voters can expect to face this year. The article also includes a helpful glossary of disinformation terms. And it’s not just Russians or Iranians that Americans need to worry about Joshua Tucker, director of New York University’s Jordan Center for the Advanced Study of Russia told Rowland that Now that U.S. political operatives have seen the Russian toolkit firsthand, domestic sources could become the biggest source of disinformation in what likely will shape up to be a bitter presidential campaign.

The Hill has a lengthy interview with CISA Director Christopher Krebs on his role at the agency and in election security. Krebs told The Hill that he spends 40 to 50 percent of his time on election security issues. In the interview, Krebs said he does what he does because of his children. One of the reasons I’m doing this job is because I’ve got five kids and I want them to have a United States of America,” Krebs said. “I want them to be able to vote, when they get to 18, and have confidence in the process. I want [to secure] the systems and the networks that they’re going to depend upon in the future.” The article did not discuss Krebs’ controversial stance on pineapple on pizza.

2020 Primary Updates

California: Early voting kicked off in delegate-rich California this week with many eyes focused on Los Angeles County which is not only moving to a vote center/vote-by-mail model for this election, but is also launching a new, in-house designed voting system. Some of the county’s early voting centers were unable to open on time Saturday for a variety of reasons including machines that weren’t yet delivered and missing security codes. “This is part of the beauty of having the additional days,” Deputy Communications Director Michael Sanchez told the Los Angeles Times. “Of course, in a perfect world, we’d want to make sure everything is up and running when we open, but the fact of the matter is we have additional days under this new voting model, and that’s part of the benefit. We can fix all of these opening-day issues.” According to KCRW, voters have expressed praise for the new process. About 2,300 voters in Fresno County received duplicate ballots because their names appear two different ways in the county’s voter registration database. “I know who they are and we will look at each one of them to make sure that no one votes twice,” County Clerk Brandi Orth told the Fresno Bee. “And, that only one ballot is counted.”

Massachusetts: Voters headed to the polls on Monday in the commonwealth’s first-ever early voting period for a presidential primary and so far it seems well-received. Secretary of State William Galvin reported that the secretary’s early voting web page had more than 35,000 views over the weekend in advance of early voting. “We had people waiting at the door when we got here this morning. We’ve processed probably 20 ballots in the past hour,” Pittsfield City Clerk Michele Benjamin told WAMC.

Montana: The four candidates vying for the Republican nomination for secretary of state participated in a candidate’s forum recently. According to the Independent Record, the candidates all largely agreed on the issues, including eliminating election-day registration and downsizing the secretary of state’s office.

North Carolina: Early voting centers across North Carolina were forced to close early  and open late due to a late-season snow in the Tarheel State. A candidate cussed out a poll worker at a Wake County early voting forcing the police to be called. “Bottomline, when their behavior impacts our officials just trying to do their jobs, I have to step in,” Wake County Elections Director Gary Sims told the INDY. In Gaston County, a threat to the location that houses one of the county’s most popular early voting sites did not disrupt voting this week. The site also houses the county probation and parole department. “They called it in to the address, to York Chester Plaza,” Elections Director Adam Ragan explained to the Gaston Gazette. “My guess is somebody had an appointment with their probation officer and had a little too much fun over the weekend and decided to call something in.” Ragan said the threat did not slow early voting, or compromise the site’s security.

Election News This Week

While checking ballot drop boxes for the 2020 presidential preference primary, officials in Mesa County, Colorado discovered more than 500 ballots inside a ballot drop box outside the clerk and recorder’s office that were not collected for the November 2019 election. “Our initial review leads us to believe that had the ballots that were left in the drop box been counted, it would not have produced a different result in any of the elections,” Clerk and Recorder Tina Peters said in a statement. “However, the Mesa County Clerk & Recorder’s Office understands that this was a serious mistake that should not have happened. Steps to ensure that this won’t occur during the upcoming Primary Election have been taken, and the procedures followed by the elections staff are continuing to be reviewed and modified to ensure that this mistake will never happen again.” A representative from the secretary of state’s office will visit Grand Junction to review election procedures in the clerk & recorder’s office.

This Week, the U.S. House Committee on Oversight and Reform released a report on its investigation into why Ford County, Kansas Clerk Debbie Cox relocated Dodge City’s only polling place to a location that was a mile outside of town. The relocation drew national attention during the 2018 election cycle. According to The Associated Press, The congressional investigation determined Cox moved the polling site “without conducting appropriate due diligence, without consulting with the local community, and without taking simple steps to reduce the impact of the move on thousands of voters until after a public outcry.”

 

Because every. single. vote. counts. In Arkansas, a recent primary runoff for an open seat in the Arkansas House ended in a tie after early and regular ballots were cast. According to the Arkansas Democrat Gazette, election officials pored over issues with a number of absentee and provisional ballots that had been cast, but not counted in the original results. Most of those ballots ended up not being eligible to be counted, however, and the decisive vote came down to a single ballot mailed from Sweden that was counted at the Pulaski County Election Commission’s office. Officials at first were not going to count the ballot because it included the voter’s address in Sweden, not Arkansas, but commissioners decided to count the ballot after being able to confirm multiple points of the voter’s identity with other documents sent to the commission.

Reading is fundamental. The 2020 election cycle is already a bit overwhelming for us adults, just imagine what it’s like for kids! That’s why Reading Partners, a nonprofit that mobilizes community volunteers to work in under-resourced schools has come out with a list of recommended books to read to their children during the presidential cycle. “It is absolutely essential that we elevate awareness of the US literacy crisis across party lines during the 2020 campaign cycle,” Karine Apollon, CEO, Reading Partners said in statement. “We decided to create this booklist as a way to engage parents and ultimately children, empowering them with an important dialogue focused on democracy and inclusive messages such as ‘every voice matters’ and ‘anyone can become President’. The result is a list of inspirational books that will help to educate, entertain and diversify reading libraries at home.” We think it’s a great list and would also add One Vote, Two Votes, I Vote, You Vote from the Cath in the Hat’s Learning Library.

 

Suffrage: As we close out Black History Month, but continue to celebrate the centennial of suffrage, USA Today has a really interesting  in-depth look at the roles African-American women had in the fight for suffrage. The New York Times has a fascinating article about how from 1776 to 1807 women in New Jersey had equal voting rights. The Cedar Falls, Iowa Historical Society’s current exhibition is “The Fight for the Right: Women and the Vote”, which will be open through December. The Salem Reporter has an article about how women in Oregon won the right. In Oklahoma, then-Gov. James Robertson called a special session of the Legislature in order to approve the 19th Amendment.

Sticker News: Congratulations to Gulfview Middle School student Leslie Wu who designed the new Collier County, Florida “I Voted” sticker for 2020. According to the Naples Daily News, Wu said her vision was “voting should bring people together even if they have different opinions.” This is the first time the county has used student artwork on an “I Voted’ sticker. “The concept of this was to really start a conversation not only with children, but we were hoping this would start a conversation between children and their parents,” Trish Robertson, public relations officer for the supervisor of elections office told the paper. The stickers will be available during early voting and the primary and general elections. In Yavapai County, Arizona, County Recorder Leslie Hoffman announced the winners of the county’s “I Voted” sticker contest. Emily Hobson, an 11th grader at Prescott High School won the hand-drawn division and Logan Pratt, a senior at Camp Verde High School won the digital category. The stickers will be available throughout 2020.

Personnel News: Larry Heiser has resigned from the Marion County, Ohio board of elections. Nicholas LaLota is taking a leave of absence from the Suffolk County, New York elections board. Missouri Secretary of State Jay Ashcroft has announced his 2020 re-election bid. Kyle Bryant has been named the new Frenchtown Township, Michigan clerk. Connie Schmidt has been tapped to oversee the 2020 election cycle in Johnson County, Kansas. Schmidt previously held the job from 1995 to 2004. Amber McReynolds is profiled by The Fulcrum. Robert Heard has resigned as the deputy elections administrator in Dallas County, Texas. Karen Thomas is retiring as the Burr Ridge, Illinois clerk after 40 years. Jackie St. George is retiring as the assistant registrar of voters in Kern County, California.

Legislative Updates

Federal Legislation: Sen. Bob Casey (D-Pennsylvania) has introduced the Accessible Voting Act of 2020 that would amend the 2002 HAVA to accessibility for older voters, voters with disabilities, Native Americans and voters with limited proficiency in English. Its provision include providing broader access to absentee voting. and creating a new office to oversee accessibility within the Election Assistance Commission.

Arizona: On a party-line vote, the House has approved a bill that would give the attorney general control over reports of suspected voter fraud and allow police at polling places.

Connecticut: Secretary of State Denise Merrill has introduced an elections reform proposal that would, among other things, extend same day registration to anyone in line at 8p.m., and expand voting rights to all formerly incarcerated residents as soon as they are released from detention. The proposal would also codify automatic registration, which was established by the secretary of state’s office, but not as a law.

District of Columbia: The Council of the District of Columbia is considering several pieces of elections-related legislation including the Paid Leave to Vote Amendment Act which would give two hours of leave from work or school in order to vote, the Improving Voter Registration for New Tenants and Homeowners Amendment Act that would require the board of elections to create a voter registration packet to be given to every DC tenant when they sign a new lease or  buy a home.

Georgia: Senate Bill 409 would allow voters to sign up to be part of a permanent absentee ballot list. “This is going to help voters of all different political stripes,” said state Sen. Elena Parent (D-Atlanta). “To be honest, it’s probably going to be most popular among older voters, and they tend to skew Republican.” The bill has nine Democrat co-sponsors and no Republicans.

 

Indiana: The House is considering Senate Bill 334 that would essentially prohibit Indiana from joining ERIC and would force the state to create its own multi-million dollar voter registry crosschecking system.

Iowa: Rep. Bruce Hunter (D-Des Moines) added an amendment to House Study Bill 545 that would essentially codify former Gov. Tom Vilsack’s 2005 executive order that automatically restored the voting rights of returning citizens as soon as they are released from incarceration. A House committee unanimously approved the bill.

Kansas: The Senate is considering a bill that would allow Kansans to sign up for a permanent vote-by-mail list. If approved, voters would automatically receive mail ballots for every election they are eligible for and the mailings would halt if a voter didn’t cast a ballot in two consecutive elections.

Kentucky: By an 11 to 7 vote, a House committee voted to approve Senate Bill 2 which would require a photo ID in order cast a ballot.

Also in Kentucky, House Bill 388 has been approved by the House. Under the legislation, voters would only be allowed to cast an absentee ballot with an excuse such as being required to work outside of the country during early voting, have a disability, or being stationed elsewhere for the military. The bill would also allow local elections officials to house more than one precinct in a particular polling place, no matter the size of the county.

Michigan: The House has approved House Bill 5141 that would allow local governments to team up with other nearby communities or the county to establish an absentee voting counting board that would hopefully speed up the process of counting absentee ballots.

Minnesota: The Minnesota House of Representatives by a 72-55 vote advanced a bill that would restrict how the state’s major political parties can use voter data obtained in next week’s presidential preference primary.

Missouri: The House has given initial approval to a bill that would give voters only two options to prove their identity at the polls. The legislation would require voters to show a photo ID or cast a provisional ballot. Provisional ballots would be counted if voters return to their polling places on the same day with a valid photo ID or if their signatures match the ones on file with election authorities.

The House Elections and Election Officials Committee heard testimony this week on a bill that would allow for no-excuse absentee voting in the Show Me State.

Nebraska: Legislative Resolution 286CA would remove language that dates to Nebraska’s 1875 Constitution that prohibits felons from voting, even in prison. It would still bar people from voting if they are mentally incompetent or have been convicted of treason.

New Mexico: A bill that would have made changes to the state’s election code failed to receive a vote in the Senate before the session ended for the year. The bill would have made a series of technical changes to the state election code ahead of this year’s elections. These included clarification on when the Legislature must redistrict after a census, procedures for same-day voter registration after this year’s election and a number of changes to absentee voting, including that the official mailing envelopes no longer needed to identify the voter.

Ohio: Attorney General Dave Yost has signed off on ballot initiative language that would put the question of same day voter registration and automatic voter registration before Ohio voters.

The Richland County Commission is preparing to vote on a resolution that will allow county employees to serve as poll workers in the upcoming primary. The employees will not be required to take vacation time and they will also be allowed to keep the pay they received for serving as a poll worker.

Pennsylvania: House Majority Leader Bryan Cutler (R-Lancaster) said this week that lawmakers may soon consider language that would make it easier and faster for local elections officials to deal with the rise in vote-by-mail ballots. “We want to be prepared,” Cutler said after speaking to the Pennsylvania Press Club in Harrisburg according to The Associated Press. “We are positioning bills.”

 

South Carolina: The Senate Judiciary Committee is set to consider legislation that would require residents to sign an application certifying allegiance to a party on voter reg forms. It would apply to all elections moving forward. Another bill being considered would require those voting in the 2020 Democratic primary to also vote in the 2024 primary.

Virginia: The Senate has now approved House Bill 19 by a 21-19 votes. Under the bill, which was approved by the House 57-43 the commonwealths’ voter ID requirements would revert to a previous standard that requires voters show some proof of ID — like voter registration card, bank statement or paystub — but not a photo ID.

Also in Virginia, the Senate has approved HB1 by a 25-15 vote. The bill allows anyone in the commonwealth to vote absentee without the need for an excuse. Gov. Ralph Northam is expected to sign the bill into law.

Wyoming: By a 7-2 vote a House committee has approved House Bill 209 that would ban party switching between the state’s two major political parties and only within two weeks leading up to a primary election.

Legal Updates

Election Litigation: The re-election campaign of President Donald J. Trump and the Republican National Committee are spending more than $10 million on a legal campaign to challenge voting-related lawsuits brought by Democrats. According to Politico, the multi-million-dollar effort pits the two parties against each other on the issue of voting rights, with Democrats contending that they’re trying to make it easier for more people to cast ballots — and Republicans arguing that they must guard against potential fraud.

California: Santa Clara County has sued the Services Employee International Union, Local 521, to stop the county’s elections employees from going on strike. According to Courthouse News, county officials say they were notified that SEIU Local 521 could start their strike by this Friday and “if allowed to occur and continue, will result in the inability of approximately 1.2 million registered county voters to vote in the March 3, 2020, presidential primary election.” County Counsel James Williams seeks a temporary restraining order, preliminary injunction and permanent injunction “enjoining and restraining” union members and representatives from going on strike because they perform essential public services related to the election.

Florida: Gov. Ron DeSantis has asked the full 11th Circuit to review a case against a law requiring former incarcerated residents to repay all their fines and restitution before their voting rights can be restored. The request for the en banc hearing comes after a three-judge panel of the 11th Circuit ruled that the new law was unconstitutional.

Georgia: Advocates have once again filed suit against Georgia’s new voting system this time citing privacy concerns as the root of their suit. The lawsuit says that highlighted selections of candidates displayed on touchscreens are visible from 30 feet away. Polling places will have blue cardboard or plastic barriers around the touchscreens, but the lawsuit contends they’re inadequate. “This is a silly and desperate attempt by an out-of-state organization to interfere with Georgia elections,” Deputy Secretary of State Jordan Fuchs told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. “This organization’s policy stance failed at the ballot box, failed in the General Assembly and has failed in the courts.” On Wednesday, Sumter County Superior Court Chief Judge R. Rucker Smith denied an emergency motion to require paper ballots filled out by hand instead of by computer.

A lawsuit filed this week alleges that the DeKalb County Board of Registration and Elections illegally purged more than 50 registered voters between December 2018 and November 2019. According to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, the lawsuit states that county officials have “encouraged, solicited, and acted on extraordinary voter challenges that extend beyond the routine list maintenance activities that are required by state and federal law.” It also claims DeKalb removes voters “in a non-uniform and discriminatory manner.”

Mississippi: Circuit Court Judge Larry Roberts heard arguments this week in the disputed Monroe County supervisor election from November 2019. Brian Atkins, who lost by just 14 votes, challenged the election contested more than three dozen ballots. Atkins argues that election officials accepted 20 or more ballots that should have been excluded. Another 18 votes that should have been counted were not, according to the complaint.

New Jersey: A losing candidate in Holmdel has filed suit in Monmouth County Superior Court over the results of the 2019 municipal election. The lawsuit names the winning candidate along with Monmouth County Superintendent of Elections Mary Desarno, County Clerk Christine Hanlon, Holmdel Township Clerk Wendy Patrovich and the Monmouth County Board of Elections as defendants. The suit claims that as many eight ballots were improperly excluded from the count, and that at least 10 votes were illegally cast by non-residents.

 

North Carolina: House Speaker Tim Moore and Senate Pro Tem Phil Berger have filed a motion with the state court of appeals for a hearing on the state’s voter ID law. The motion calls for an en banc hearing, which is a procedural move requesting a rehearing of the case by a 15-judge panel — which would mean convening the entire state Court of Appeals.

Pennsylvania: The Public Interest Legal Foundation has sued Allegheny accusing the county of violating the National Voter Registration Act by not undertaking a “reasonable effort” to remove the names of ineligible voters from the rolls. Named as defendants are David Voye, manager of elections, county Executive Rich Fitzgerald, county Councilwoman Bethany Hallam and county Councilman Sam DeMarco — who make up the board of elections and are responsible for supervising list maintenance.

Tech Thursday

Michigan: Some Android users in Michigan experienced a technical glitch that prevented them from entering their birthdate when using their mobile phone to register online. The Michigan Department of Technology, Management and Budget made a programming change to address the issue.

Pennsylvania: The Pennsylvania Department of State has launched county-specific webpages to educate voters about each county’s new voting equipment.  “We want to make sure all voters go to the polls feeling confident and equipped with the information they need to cast their ballots on their new voter-verifiable paper ballot voting systems,” Secretary Kathy Boockvar said according to The Sentinel. “These customized websites will help ensure that all voters understand how to use the new auditable voting systems in use in their counties and give all Pennsylvania voters a clear understanding of the voting tools and options available to them.” Each webpage includes a description of the county’s voting system, along with photos and videos that guide voters through the step-by-step process of using the new machine.

Opinions This Week

National Opinions: MTV get out the vote | Results | Election litigation | Election security, II, III | Primaries, II

Alabama: Voter suppression

Alaska: Voting laws

California: Mandatory voting | Vote centers | Voting system

Connecticut: Suffrage

Florida: Amendment 4, II, III, IV, V | Election security

Georgia: Paper ballots | Voting system | Same day registration

Hawaii: Automatic voter registration

Indiana: List maintenance

Kansas: Election security | 2020

Maine: Ranked choice voting

Maryland: Suffrage

Massachusetts: Early voting | Election day registration, II

Michigan: Absentee ballots, II | Election holiday

Missouri: Ex-felon voting rights

New Hampshire: Ranked choice voting

North Carolina: Voting machines | Voter ID | Student voters

Ohio: Poll workers; Automatic voter registration

South Carolina: Voting system

Texas: Poll workers

Utah: Ranked choice voting

Virginia: Ranked choice voting

West Virginia: Misinformation

Upcoming Events

Election Center Special Workshop: The following courses will be offered during this workshop: Course 3 (Planning and Budgeting); Course 4 (Information Technology & Security); and Renewal Course 21 (Public Trust and the Integrity of Elections). Where: Seattle When: April 29-May 3

NASED Summer 2020 Conference: — 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 Summer 2020 Conference. Where: Reno, Nevada When: July 19-22.

NASS Summer 2020 Conference: The National Association of Secretaries of State will hold their Summer 2020 conference at the Silver Legacy Reno, Nevada. Check back here for more information about the Winter 2020 conference when it becomes available. Where: Reno, Nevada. When: July 19-22.

Job Postings This Week

electionlineWeekly publishes election administration job postings each week as a free service to our readers. To have your job listed in the newsletter, please send a copy of the job description, including a web link to mmoretti@electionline.org.  Job postings must be received by 5pm on Wednesday in order to appear in the Thursday newsletter. Listings will run for three weeks or till the deadline listed in the posting.

Administrative Specialist, North Carolina State Board of Elections— Perform a variety of administrative tasks in support of the agency’s administrative operations, especially public contact and providing public assistance. Description of Duties: Provide general administrative assistance to election administration staff. Answer phones and email, provide election-related information to customers, direct complex matters to appropriate personnel. Prepare communications such as emails, memos, reports, instructional documents and other correspondence. Create and maintain electronic and physical filing systems. Assist with mail distribution during peak volume mail periods. Salary: $32,703 – $39,000. Deadline: February 28. Application: For the complete job listing and to apply, click here.

Assistant Director, Kentucky State Board of Elections— The Kentucky State Board of Elections is an independent agency of state government, established by the Legislature to administer the election laws of the Commonwealth. The SBE also provides training and resources to the County Clerks and County Boards of Election, and supervises registration and purgation of voters within the state. The position of Assistant Director is a highly skilled and valued member of the SBE staff who performs duties ranging from staff management, advising and training of local and state officials, budgeting and policy development. While not required, a license to practice law is preferred. Compliance with Kentucky Revised Statute 117.025 requires that this position be filled by a candidate that is a registered member of the Republican Party of Kentucky. Out of state candidates will be considered if they can show proof of registration with the Republican Party of their current state of residence. Application: For the complete job listing and to apply, click here.

Campaign Finance Compliance Analyst, North Carolina State Board of Elections— Primary Purpose of the Position: Developing the forms and reports used to disclose contributions and expenditures, as well as the North Carolina Campaign Finance Manual. Enforcing North Carolina campaign finance Statutes, Rules and Regulations. Educating the public regarding campaign finance matters. Training campaign committee officers, special filers, party committee officers, internal staff and county board of elections staff regarding campaign finance matters. Note: This includes compliance training, software training using the Agency’s custom software (CF Remote) and program training regarding campaign finance procedures and policies adopted by the State Board to internal staff, county board of elections staff and board members. Salary: 46,203 – $78,218.  Deadline: March 9. Application: For the complete job listing and to apply, click here.

Chief Operating Officer, U.S. Election Assistance Commission— The U.S. Election Assistance Commission (EAC) is looking for a seasoned manager to serve as Chief Operating Officer (COO). This is an exceptional opportunity for an individual to oversee the functions and programs of the Commission coming up to the 2020 Elections! The COO is the primary management official responsible for supervising the day-to-day operations of EAC staff. EAC has several program operation divisions which will report to the COO: Voting Systems Testing and Certification, Grants, Research, Communications, HR/Administration, and Finance. Plans and implements communications plans, events, media campaigns, press conferences, briefings, messaging and interviews. Participates in developing communications and media initiatives, planning and implementing of media events, and maintaining a proactive media strategy for the EAC. Under the leadership of the Executive Director, EAC is elevating attention on management issues and transformational change. To manage this change, and to enable the Executive Director to focus attention on Congressional affairs, external relations, budget formulation and execution, and clearinghouse activities, the COO position was created to manage the programmatic, financial management, and administrative functions of the Commission, all of which will continue to be directed by talented professionals with strong expertise in their areas of responsibility. The COO will have special responsibility for supervising senior staff, ensuring that key program areas work in a carefully coordinated way, as well as ensuring that new systems and procedures are effectively adopted whenever such change is required to support the Commission’s transformation and improvement. Salary: $134,789 to $156K.  Deadline: April 8. Application: For the complete job listing and to apply, click here.

Deputy Chief Information Security Officer, U.S. Election Assistance Commission— As the Deputy Chief Information Security Officer (Deputy CISO), the incumbent provides policy, leadership and direction, and serves as a key contributor to the EAC’s strategy regarding achieving mission goals; ensuring that all IT functions are integrated, prioritized and executed within agency priorities and allocated resources; and working closely with EAC’s service providers. Salary: $96,970 to $148,967. Deadline: April 27. Application: For the complete job listing and to apply, click here.

Director of Communications, U.S. Election Assistance Commission— Plans and implements communications plans, events, media campaigns, press conferences, briefings, messaging and interviews. Participates in developing communications and media initiatives, planning and implementing of media events, and maintaining a proactive media strategy for the EAC. Develops and maintains productive relationships with members of the media. Enlist the cooperation of media representatives in providing accurate information to the public that furthers the goals and objectives of the EAC. Provides background information to the media as required and drafts talking points for spokespersons ahead of interviews and presentations. Researches, develops, writes and edits reports, presentations, press releases, fact sheets, feature articles, letters, speeches, testimony, annual reports, opinion pieces, videos, and other public-facing communications materials that effectively communicate the Commission’s goals to EAC stakeholders and a variety of public and internal audiences. Procures and manages contracts and assists with the procurement of other Communications-related needs, i.e. photography, video, subscriptions, and other non-EAC services and goods. Attends staff briefings and policy discussions to gain knowledge of Commission activities in order to remain current on the latest developments of interest to the public, assist in preparing for and responding to media inquiries, and formulate recommendations regarding agency policies and programs. Performs other related duties as assigned. Salary: $96,970 to $148,967. Application: For the complete job listing and to apply, click here.

Elections & Passport Manager, Benton County, Oregon— Benton County is currently seeking an Elections & Passports Manager to join the team. This position is responsible for the management of the Elections and Passports division operations and staff.  Organize election and passport activities in Benton County, under the direction of the County Clerk and in accordance with applicable laws. Assist the Department Director/County Clerk in oversee operations in the Records & Elections department. Manage Records & Licenses division staff and assume the duties of the County Clerk, as needed. Salary: $59,404 – $89,119. Deadline: March 6. Application: For the complete job listing and to apply, click here.

Elections Services Specialist, Contra Costa County, California— Are you an innovator and high achiever?  Service driven? Dedicated to quality? Want to be a part of a nationally recognized Election Team? We are seeking an experienced election administration professional to serve as a lead coordinator of voter registration, customer service, and vote-by-mail operations in one of the state and nation’s largest counties! Contra Costa County currently has more than 650,000 registered voters and a population of 1.1 million.  Located in the San Francisco Bay Area, Contra Costa County offers great salary and benefits in addition to a collaborative and fast paced work environment. If your election experience includes tremendous overtime during an election, be prepared for a new experience. Salary: $53,843-$65,446. Deadline: March 3. Application: For the complete job listing and to apply, click here.

Executive Director, Chicago Board of Election Commissioners— The Executive Director serves as the chief administrator, providing leadership and implementing policies and programs to carry out the work of the Board. The Executive Director directs an annual operating budget of approximately $34M and leads a staff of 130 full-time employees broken into 7 Divisions comprised of: Registration; Information Technology; Human Resources; Finance; Community Services/Poll Workers; Pre-Election Voting & Logistics; and, Warehouse Operations. All full-time employees, including the Assistant Executive Director, are compensated through the City of Chicago and subject to the benefits offered to City employees, although they are employees of the Board and not the City. Although an employee of the Board, the Executive Director is compensated through Cook County and receives employee compensation and benefits in line with County policies. By statute, the Executive Director must take an oath of office before the Cook County Circuit Court. Application: For the complete job listing and to apply, click here.

Grants Specialist, U.S. Election Assistance Commission— The Grants Specialist will assist the Grants Director to manage and administer the grants program for the EAC pursuant to 5 USC §3109 (See 42 USC §15324(b)) and §204 (6)(c) of HAVA. The incumbent provides expert advice to EAC leadership regarding grants management; provides advice and guidance to States and U.S. territories regarding the use of funds provided by EAC to ensure State/U.S. territory compliance with HAVA, Appropriations Law and Office of Management and Budget (OMB) circulars; conducts pre- and post-audits to review how funds have been spent; and makes recommendations to the Executive Director for audit resolutions. Salary: $69,581 to $128,920 per year.  Deadline: June 17, 2020. Application: For the complete job listing and to apply, click here.

Lead Campaign Finance Disclosure Specialist, North Carolina State Board of Elections— This role is responsible for providing overall oversight and team lead of two disclosure specialists under the direction of campaign finance director. The employee in this position will perform independently specialized compliance work in the enforcement and application of State Campaign Finance Laws. The employee must have the ability to obtain all the necessary information for accurate and complete compliance of political committee filings to perform cursory audit examinations including but not limited to prohibited contributions, principal occupation information and permissible expense purpose codes of political committees or filers disclosure reports, financial records and examination of source documentation related to such filings. Work requires considerable contact with our campaign finance director, disclosure team, auditor team, campaign finance attorney, noncompliance coordinator, chief operations manager, county boards of elections’ staff and political committee treasurers. The employee must develop proficiency using the agency’s e-filing reporting software, understanding of QuickBooks invoicing statements and provide guidance to disclosure specialists, compliance team members and technical support to users. This includes developing proficiency in using the agency’s customer software for importing and storing report data. The employee will manage the electronic reporting County Board of Elections use to certify late or non-compliant political committee disclosure reports to North Carolina State Board of Elections. The employee will train state and county staff users in the new electronic STEPPS system. The employee guidance to users and filers for waiver requests and petition process for contested cases of penalty assessments with OAH. The employee serves as the agency’s lead in managing such data including but not limited to tracking all documentation that is required, performs technical `work, makes recommendations on such filings using specific criteria developed to handle waiver requests and prepares Board reports of the final recommendations. Salary: $46,203 – $78,218. Deadline: March 9. 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.

Proposals Manager, Hart InterCivic— The Proposals Program Manager will be responsible for leading and coordinating cross-functional teams for the successful development of proposals and management of the proposal lifecycle. This includes requests for proposals, requests for information, support for post-proposal contract questions, and other related activities. The Proposals Program Manager will work closely with key stakeholders and input providers across each peer group including Sales, Product Management, Finance, Operations and Engineering. This position reports to the Director of Certification and Proposals. Application: For the complete job listing and to apply, click here.

Quality Assurance Engineer, Democracy Works—You will be our first QA-specific hire, meaning that we are looking for someone who can help us build our approach to QA from the ground up with an eye toward providing guidance to our engineers in their work and potentially building out additional QA capacity over time. As a part of the team you will: Stand up end-to-end testing on our large/complex microservices setup; Structure our approach to QA from the ground up and potentially build a team of QA engineers over time; Write automated testing for our user-facings tools; Integrate into our dev process to confirm the quality of the code our developers are producing; Do some amount of manual testing as needed; Regularly collaborate with other members of the voter engagement team. Salary: $105K-$125K. Deadline: Target start date April 27. Application: For the complete job listing and to apply, click here.

Senior Cyber Program Manager, U.S. Election Assistance Commission— As the Senior Cyber Program Manager, the incumbent provides policy, leadership and direction, and serves as a key contributor to the EAC’s strategy regarding the Election Technology Program. The incumbent furthers the EAC’s efforts in various arenas; works to improve federal, state and local relations with regard to elections; and provides strategic guidance to senior staff on various issues pertaining to elections and specifically, election security. Salary: $96,970 to $148,967. Deadline: April 27. Application: For the complete job listing and to apply, click here.

Site Reliability Engineer, Democracy Works— As our first Site Reliability Engineer, you will guide the direction of the infrastructure engineering discipline at Democracy Works; exemplifying reliable, measurable, secure and repeatable practices that will act as a “force multiplier” across our products. You will: Maintain our infrastructure using Terraform and Kubernetes. Design, build, maintain, and plan for growth of infrastructure at Democracy Works. Create and maintain monitoring and alerting for services. Create and maintain documentation for the systems and tools that you work with. Automate “toil” – discover repetitive manual actions, document those actions, and automate them if possible. Improve existing automation to mitigate risk introduced through the natural process of software change. Join an on-call rotation for services you are responsible for. Review existing code and architecture for security and reliability. Work closely with developers and product teams regarding security and reliability implications of software and infrastructure changes. Aid developers in debugging production issues across services in a distributed system. Assist with interview processes for other available roles at Democracy Works. Work with product teams to balance and prioritize your work according to external deadlines and organizational goals. Salary: $105,000 – $125,000. Application: For the complete job listing and to apply, click here.

Systems Program Analyst, North Carolina State Board of Elections— Primary Purpose of the Position: Implement and maintain the agency’s large and complex network Maintains solid technical competence for communication systems while grasping the integration and interaction of all supported systems. Architect Cloud Infrastructure in Microsoft Azure, Amazon Web Services (AWS), or other cloud provider. Evaluate, recommend, design, implement, maintain and secure Infrastructure elements in support of the agency mission. The analyst should execute the following tasks and responsibilities: Supports Information Technology Infrastructure Supports Information Technology Infrastructure to include Database, Server, Networking, Equipment, Architecture and Design. Ensures all data is properly collected, stored, and secured, using tools that analyze performance metrics, service levels, server status, and system outages. Implement and maintains network architecture, switch programming, agency firewalls, and Disaster Recovery (DR) testing and documentation that includes scheduling, performing and verifying system backup processes for all systems. Manages Microsoft Server installation and administration including adding and removing roles such as Active Directory, Domain Name Service (DNS), Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol (DHCP), Group policies, Folder redirection, and version control to protect data, add and remove users and setup of permissions and distribution groups. Works with outside vendors as needed to purchase necessary equipment, modify systems and/or complete programming updates. Monitors network performance (availability, utilization, throughput and latency) and test for weaknesses. Follows operational standards and policies for the department, and recommends updates when appropriate. Serve as an escalation point for lower tier technical staff. Liaison for inter-agency and county-agency IT needs. Work with designated development staff to facilitate regular release cycles. Salary: $68,170 – $110,876. Deadline: March 3. Application: For the complete job listing and to apply, click here.

Voter Services Manager, Montgomery County, Md.— This is a senior management position at the Board of Elections, responsible for overseeing the largest section within the department. This position coordinates the work of subordinate managers who are responsible for providing a variety of different services to voters, including voter registration and absentee voting. This position is responsible for ensuring compliance with county, state and federal laws and regulations, conducting monthly audits required by the State of Maryland, and ensuring overall customer service quality and efficiency. Salary: $60,285-$99,852.  Deadline: March 3. Application: For the complete job listing and to apply, click here and search under “General Preferences”.

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