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March 19, 2020

March 19, 2020

In Focus This Week

Elections in the time of the coronavirus
Resources to help elections officials navigate an ever-evolving situation

By M. Mindy Moretti

The never-ending news cycle went into overdrive when the World Health Organization declared the coronavirus a pandemic. Schools closed, primaries got rescheduled, telework and social distancing became a thing.

It’s an ever-evolving situation with things changing by the minute. We realize it can all be a bit overwhelming and officials may not know where to turn for the information that need, so we’ve done our best to pull together the latest information from our partners like the U.S. Election Assistance Commission and the National Disabilities Rights Network and their guidance on how to be an election administrator during this pandemic.

We’ve also scrolled through electionline’s Resources and Trainings page to bring you some information that might need in the coming days, weeks, months.

We’ll do our best to keep the information as up-to-date as possible, but if you see that we’ve got old information or there’s something new to add, please drop us a line: mmoretti@electionline.org

Wash your hands. Don’t touch your face. Social distance. Don’t panic.

U.S. Election Assistance Commission
The EAC launched a page dedicated to information on coronavirus (COVID-19), contingency planning, and other online resources for election officials. As part of the EAC’s clearinghouse function, staff is collecting and posting resources from voting system vendors, state election offices, and federal agencies on coronavirus and contingency planning. These resources include vendor recommended cleaning guidelines for election technology, CDC guides on the virus, materials election offices have developed on coronavirus for staff and voters, and more. The EAC is planning to add and update materials as they become available.

Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency
While the headlines may have switched from election security to coronavirus that doesn’t CISA hasn’t been following it all closely, taking part in interagency and industry coordination calls, and working with critical infrastructure partners to prepare for possible disruptions to critical infrastructure that may stem from widespread illness, should the virus take hold in the U.S. CISA continues to work closely with federal partners to prepare the nation for possible impacts of a COVID-19 outbreak in the U.S.

National Association of Secretaries of State
NASS has released an Issue Briefing: Election Emergencies & COVID-19. The recent outbreak of COVID-19, or the novel coronavirus, in the United States has renewed questions about the administration of elections in emergency situations. This document is intended to provide a general overview of state policies on this topic, as well as an update on efforts by election officials to deal with potential issues posed specifically by COVID-19.  

National Disabilities Rights Network
With the changes to voting being thought about during this time, the National Disabilities Rights Network has put out a statement on the importance of safety while at the same time taking accessibility needs into consideration. The statement includes considerations for enhancing options for remote voting as well as considerations for maintaining in-person voting. 

National Conference of State Legislatures
NCSL has added two pages to its site with plenty of information for elections officials and legislators navigating these strange waters. COVID-19 and Elections provides a look at policy options to ensure fair elections in times of public health emergencies. NCSL does not recommend legislative changes or provide opinions on policy options, but the organization gathered ideas that have surfaced in response to the COVID-19 threat. The organization also has a page, which they are updating regularly on Election Emergencies. 

Vote at Home
With all the talk of social distancing, states are considering what to do about their upcoming primaries, runoffs, local elections and of course November 3. Many are considering expanded absentee options or moving entirely to vote by mail. A lot, and we do mean A LOT has been opined about the move to vote-by-mail this week (See Opinions This Week) but from a nuts and bolts sense, the National Vote at Home Institute has a reference library (updated 3/16/2020) that provides some practical information about moving to vote by mail. 

Center for Tech and Civic Life
CTCL has a host of information, tools and webinars available to elections officials that are always useful, but especially now.  As the number of voters submitting ballots by mail increases– and as states consider ramping up the use of mail balloting– getting the details right matters. This set of webinars from CTCL, CCD, and the National Vote at Home Institute covers the low- and no-cost tweaks officials can implement now to keep the process smooth. With precincts in nursing homes off the table in many areas, getting the right amount of people and resources to each new or revamped polling site is a challenge. The polling place resource calculator is designed to make that process more efficient and accurate. And, officials scrambling to update information across social media and other channels will appreciate this voter outreach graphics tutorial and our set of free civic icons and images. CTCL has also written a number of articles about how local elections officials are dealing with certain issues as planning for the unexpected, recruiting younger poll workers and communicating more effectively with poll workers.

electionline Resources and Training
On the electionline Training and Resources pages you can find a plethora of information about how to conduct an election in these changing times. Information about vote by mail, vote centers and remote training. But there is going to be a time when the word coronavirus isn’t in every headline and life as we know it, whatever that will look like, goes on and when that time comes you’ll want to be ready so now could be a good time to learn about how other folks conduct their elections, best practices, research, reports, etc. If you’re working from home or furloughed it’s a good time to learn new things and stay sharp on what you already know and you can find so much of that information on our resources pages. 

Remote working tools & tips
We here at electionline (and when I saw we, I mean me, me Mindy) have been working from home (or Guatemala, or Ireland, or Zanzibar) since 2011 so it’s been very interesting to watch how millions of people are suddenly dealing with it (and for many, also suddenly becoming home school parents). National Public Radio (and many other media outlets) have provided lots of tips over the last few days about how work from home.  Our biggest advice to everyone is set a routine and stick with it. It’s working from home, not doing some work while you’re home.

If your or your office have never worked remotely there are some tools that can help such as video conferencing, messaging, document sharing and file sharing.

Are you not entertained?
And because you can’t — shouldn’t—work all the time, we wanted to pull together some resources for you and your families that you can use while social distancing.

There are surprisingly more movies about elections than we had originally thought. While most of them obviously focus on campaigns and politics and not the hardworking election administration folks, they are still a great source of entertainment. Some of our favorites (and not necessarily because they are good) include: Election, All the President’s Men, Bob Roberts, Swing Vote, The Campaign, Wag the dog and of course Recount.

There are several ways to still enjoy the arts world while things are closed and you and your family are practicing social distancing. Playbill has a list of 15 Broadway musicals you can watch on stage from home. The Metropolitan Opera is offering Nightly Met Opera Streams each evening beginning at 7:30 p.m. And Parents.com has pulled together a list of 12 famous museums that you can take virtual tours of. If you’re really looking for some escapism, the Hallmark Channel has scheduled a Christmas movie marathon for March 20-22.

If the great outdoors is inaccessible to you right now, a website called Totally the Bomb has compiled a list of 33 National Parks that you can tour virtually. The Verge has compiled a list of animal-related web cams that features, among others the Monterey Bay Aquarium and its mesmerizing jellies.

And finally, because sometimes, sometimes you just have to watch a montage video of a lab named Stella jump into a pile of leaves.

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2020 Primary Updates

Rescheduled Primaries: At press time, the following states have rescheduled their primaries: Georgia 5/19; Kentucky 6/23; Louisiana 6/20; Maryland 6/2; and Ohio 6/2.

Changes on the horizon? In Alabama, the primary election runoffs have been moved from March 31 to July 14. In Connecticut where voters are scheduled to head to the polling place on April 28, Secretary of State Denise Merrill has asked Gov. Ned Lamont to temporarily remove restrictions on absentee ballots. Merrill asked Lamont to issue an executive order that would eliminate restrictive language in the statute during this emergency and allow voters to cast an absentee ballot without an excuse. In Montana, which is set to hold its primary election on June 2, several candidates for statewide office are calling on the state to conduct the election almost entirely by mail. The secretary of state has said they will take a wait-and-see approach. Currently, New Mexico Secretary of State Maggie Toulouse Oliver said there are no plans to delay the state’s June 2 primary but state and local officials are encouraging absentee voting. In New York discussions are underway to move the primary from April 28 to June 23. New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy is “reviewing his options” for the Garden State’s June 2 primary. Like other states that haven’t made moves yet Pennsylvania officials have said they are considering their options for the April 28 primary. And at press time, the Rhode Island Board of Elections had voted to seek permission to move its primary to June 2 and was awaiting word from the governor. West Virginia Secretary of State Mac Warner said he’s looking at several possibilities including eliminating an excuse to vote and possibly moving the primary to a later date. Wisconsin officials are encouraging people to vote-by-mail for the upcoming April 7 primary. The state election commission has also allowed localities to move polling places if necessary.

Arizona: With around 80 percent of Arizona’s voters choosing to cast their ballot by mail under normal circumstances things went pretty smoothly for the state’s Democratic presidential primary on Tuesday. In Graham and Greenlee counties, election day turnout at the county vote centers was low, but vote-by-mail ballots meant the counties anticipated around a 30 percent turnout of eligible voters. Although there was some voter confusion due to the move to countywide vote centers, things went relatively well in Maricopa County, the state’s largest voting jurisdiction. Some counties, like Yuma, did report issues with no-show poll workers.

Florida: Florida has a bit of a history of having abnormal elections and this year, through no fault of its own, was no different. Overall, primary day in The Sunshine state was relatively smooth although thousands of poll workers statewide failed to show up. The biggest issues on primary day were in Palm Beach County where voters dealt with closed polling sites, late openings, broken machines and long lines. On a positive note, while the voting experience may not have been smooth in PBC, election night was smooth sailing. Officials in EscambiaFlagler County, Martin County, Santa Rosa and St. Lucie County all reported low election day turnout although some of those counties did see a bump in vote-by-mail numbers. And while the fear of the coronavirus had voters and poll workers choosing not to participate in democracy on Tuesday, it didn’t stop 99-year-old poll worker Vera Craig from showing up to do her civic duty and Lee County. “If it’s going to get you, it’s going to get you wherever you are, whether you’re sitting in the polls or in the grocery store,” she told WBBH.

Illinois: If you relied on the headlines from the national news media you would assume that Illinois is made up solely of Chicago and Suburban Cook County, but we all know that’s not the case and while there were a number of issues on primary day in Chicago and Suburban Cook, the day played out rather quietly in the rest of the state. In Chicago a shortage of poll workers and sanitation supplies caused a number of issues. There were also reports of machine malfunctions. Forty precincts in Suburban Cook Co. had to remain open late. In Madison County, Clerk Debra Ming-Mendoza was pleased with the turnout. We broke 20 percent election turnout yesterday,” she told the Telegraph. “I was happy. I was thinking I put everybody at risk to put this election on and nobody’s going to show up to vote.” Clerks in Clay, DeKalb, Lake, McLean, McHenry, Will all noted that while the primary was not remotely normal, it also seemed to go relatively well for the unusual circumstances. In Champaign and Macon counties a shortage of poll workers forced some shifting of sites and workers. The decision to even have the primary set off a war of words between elections officials in Chicago and the governor’s office.  

Ohio: Around 3 p.m. on Monday, March 16, Secretary of State Frank LaRose and Gov. Mike DeWine held a press conference saying that in light of new CDC recommendations that they were seeking to postpone the March 17 primary. The press conference set off an unprecedented 24 hours. Initially, a Franklin County judge ruled that the election should proceed. The governor then turned to the state’s health director seeking to shut down the primary, which she did. In other legal proceedings, a candidate in Wood County went directly to the state’s Supreme Court to keep the election moving forward. Just before 4 a.m. on Tuesday the 17th, four justices of the state’s Supreme Court put a final halt to the March primary. The last-minute changes to the primary wreaked havoc in county elections offices across the state with many officials scrambling to notify poll workers and put up signage to inform some voters—who still showed up to vote on the 17th. The Cincinnati Enquirer has a timeline of the dizzying turn of events with the Hamilton County GOP Chairman Alex Triantafilou saying “We’re in the fog of war at the moment, and we’re getting information that’s late-breaking,” Triantafilou told the Enquirer. “Everyone in this county wants to know if we’re having an election.” Currently the election has been rescheduled for June. 2

Election Security Updates

U.S. Election Assistance Commission: Maurice Turner will be joining the EAC as a senior advisor to the executive director. According to CybersScoop, Turner has spent the last two years working on election security at the nonprofit Center for Democracy & Technology. He was previously a fellow in the Senate advising the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee on cybersecurity issues. “I want election officials to expect that EAC is a place that they can go for this type of information,” Turner told CyberScoop. “Whether it’s about security standards or new methods for election administration.”


Iowa: The Iowa secretary of state’s office will provide up to $1 million to counties to assist them with cybersecurity resources ahead of the upcoming election season. Secretary of State Paul Pate is asking counties to do a “walk-through’ of their systems to see what needs to be done. “It’s like we are asking them to walk through their house to see if any windows or doors have been left open,” Pate said. Solutions may include replacing equipment and software, and separating critical infrastructure from non-critical systems.

Election News This Week

Coronavirus Updates: Although some political pundits and headlines would have you think that the only elections happening in 2020 are presidential primary elections, we all know better than that and the coronavirus is impacting state and local elections as well as the everyday functions of elections offices. Here is some of that information:

Election Procedure Changes: Arizona Secretary of State Katie Hobbs is asking lawmakers to allow counties to run elections entirely by mail for the remainder of the elections to be held in 2020. Currently about 80 percent of Arizona voters vote by mail. Delta County, Colorado is moving its April 7 municipal election to all vote by mail. Vernon, Connecticut will offer drive-through voting for a March 25 Town Meeting. In Iowa, Scott County Auditor and Commissioner of Elections Roxanna Mortiz is asking the board of supervisors  for spending authority to mail absentee ballot requests to voters to encourage people to vote-by-mail. The special general election for the 7th Congressional District in Maryland will be conducted entirely by mail. This will be the first large-scale vote-by-mail election in the state.  The Virginia Department of Elections has said that any voter may request an absentee ballot for May’s municipal elections even though current state law requires they provide an excuse.

Election Date Changes: Iowa Secretary of State Paul Pate, at the request of County Auditor Grant Veeder, has postponed the March 24 Cedar Falls council vacancy special election to March 31. Natchez, Mississippi officials said they are working with state and local authorities to move the April 7 municipal primary and subsequent runoff and general election as well.  Missouri Gov. Mike Parson has signed an executive order to move local elections from April 7 to June 2. The Oklahoma State Election Board has declared an election emergency which means county election boards must accept resolutions adopted by the governing bodies of school districts, municipalities, technology districts and counties to move their April 7 elections to another date. In New York City, Mayor Bill DeBlasio canceled a special election for Queens borough president. In South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster postponed local elections with not specific dates announced. Texas Governor Greg Abbott postponed a special election scheduled for May 2 to July 14. The governor also allowed elections officials to postpone local elections amid the outbreak. Washington Secretary of State Kim Wyman has also asked Gov. Jay Inslee to use his emergency authority to cancel the April 28 special elections.

Election Office Changes: This week, the U.S. Election Assistance Commission announced that states will be permitted to use election security funding to help fight the spread of the coronavirus. Like in other states, many Kentucky clerk’s offices are closing to the public. The county clerk’s office in Las Alamos County, New Mexico is suspending all in-person services until further notice. Employees of the North Carolina State Board of Elections will remain on the job but many will be working remotely from home. The Washington secretary of state’s office has canceled all in-person meetings.

There are so many stories in every fabric of American life about the impacts of the coronavirus and of course the elections world is no different, but this week we think we found one of the greatest stories. Brockton, Massachusetts’ health department was without an executive when the coronavirus became a pandemic and the interim department head had no medical experience at all. Enter John McGarry, executive director of the city’s elections commission who worked as an operating room nurse till about six years ago! Mayor Robert Sullivan has reassigned McGarry to serve as the city’s health director until the crises has passed.

A local news station in Mesa County, Colorado filed a FOIA request and were able to obtain the surveillance footage of a ballot box where 574 ballots from the November elections were discovered when the box was opened for voting February. In the footage, the elections worker, who is no longer with the county, can be seen checking the time and then at 7pm locking up the ballot drop box without ever looking inside. “This was a big surprise to find out that the person who actually closed the box at 7 p.m. did not actually collect the ballots out of it,” County Clerk and Recorder Tina Peters told 9News. “We can train our election judges, which we do. We can train staff and our elections managers, but when it comes right down to it, the only variable that we can’t control is human error. That’s exactly what happened in this case.” Peters sent a letter to the affected voters apologizing.

Sometimes the best intentions aren’t necessarily good ideas. Recently county elections boards began receiving voter registration forms generated by a website called Register2Vote.org. Because the only accepts the National Mail Voter Registration Application and the Oklahoma Voter Registration Application, the forms generated by the third-party website had to be rejected. Oklahomans who submitted an application generated by Register2Vote.org to their county election boards will be mailed a letter from the secretary of the county election board explaining why the application was rejected, along with an official Oklahoma Voter Registration Application. “I have spoken with the director of Register2Vote.org. I now believe the organization had good intentions and did not deliberately seek to provide Oklahomans with forms that are not valid under our law. Oklahoma election officials will work with Register2Vote.org to ensure that in the future any voter registration applications provided to Oklahomans are valid and approved for use in our state,” State Election Board Secretary Paul Ziriax told the Enid News & Eagle.

The Orange County [California] Register has a pretty cool deep dive into how voters in The OC voted on Super Tuesday. Although the registrar is still putting the finishing touches on the election the paper was able to ascertain some of the patterns for how voters cast their ballots (and for whom). This was the first election that the county conducted under the Voter’s Choice Act and although there were was an 11-day window of voting before primary day, most voters cast their ballots on Super Tuesday. Preliminary data shows more than 75% of the votes cast for the primary — more than 611,000 — were mail-in ballots, either sent through the Postal Service, dropped off at a vote center, or slipped into a drop box. In the 2018 primary, mail-in ballots accounted for 64% of all the votes cast in Orange County.

We really like this idea! During early voting at the Pottawattomie Park field house, the park advisory council scheduled a “craft for the kids” event so parents could drop their kids off to do some arts and crafts while they went to cast an early ballot in the Illinois primary. Volunteers for the park advisory council were set to coordinate arts and crafts activities for kids, including a sock puppet workshop. The event was free and open to all families. Unfortunately it became a victim of the coronavirus, but it’s still a great idea where and when possible.

Personnel News: Sandra Rich is retiring as the Caldwell County, North Carolina board of elections director. Alexandria Bingham is the new West Bloomfield, Michigan clerk. Deborah Land has resigned as the Midland County, Texas election administrator. Niko Vanjeli is the new Worcester, Massachusetts clerk.

Legislative Updates

Federal Legislation: A group of Democratic senators have introduced the Natural Disaster and Emergency Ballot Amendment Act (NDEBA) that would ensure voters have 20 days of early voting all states, require that all mail-in ballots submitted during 21 days leading up to an election be counted, and ensure that all voters have the option to request an absentee ballot. The legislation would also provide $3 million to the Election Assistance Commission (EAC) to begin implementing some of the bill’s requirements, along with reimbursing states for doing the same. 

California: A bill from Sen. Ben Allen is preparing to introduce a bill that would compel Los Angeles County to either expand the number of vote centers, or to offer a vote-by-mail ballot to all registered voters.

Georgia: The Senate has approved Senate Bill 463 that would require election officials to add precincts, poll workers or voting equipment in future elections to address long lines. It requires county election superintendents to take action if voters wait in line for more than an hour before checking in to vote.

Illinois: According to the Commercial-News, a bill state Rep. Mike Marron (R-Fithian), filed last month to bring the question to voters on whether to merge the Danville Election Commission into the Vermilion County Clerk’s office is stalled. “It’s not pulled, but it’s not going to move either,” Marron told the paper.

Kentucky: Senate Bill 62 has been approved by the House Elections, Constitutional Amendments and Intergovernmental Affairs Committee. Under the proposed constitutional amendment, returning citizens’ voting rights would be automatically restored at the end of their terms of incarceration or probation. Those convicted of election fraud, bribery in election or treason excepted.


Missouri: The House Elections and Elected Officials Committee recently heard testimony about a bill that would create a system to automatically register eligible people to vote, allowing them to opt out rather than opt in. Under the proposal, the Department of Revenue would send a list of eligible voters compiled through license information to the Secretary of State’s Office and on to local election authorities. The Board of Probation and Parole would send that information for people who are being released from incarceration, probation or parole and are eligible to vote again.

New Jersey: The Assembly has approved A-3095 by a vote of 65-0. Under the bill county clerks would be given an extra week to proof, prepare and send mail-in ballots.

Ohio: State Rep. Michele Lepore-Hagan (D-Youngstown) has announced her intention to introduce a universal vote-by-mail system for Ohio. The proposed legislation would allow voters to cast their ballot in a number of ways, including by mail, drop off at a county board of election, Voter Service and Polling Center or secure mail drop boxes that would be located throughout each of Ohio’s 88 counties. Voters also could cast ballots in person at the office of their county’s BOE or VSPC from the start of the early voting period through Election Day. Each paper ballot would carry a unique bar code and would require signature authentication. Election fraud would be a felony punishable by up to five years in prison and a $10,000 fine.  

Utah: By a 25-1 vote, the Senate has approved HB70 that will repeal the option on Utah ballots to support all the candidates with a single vote.

Wyoming: Gov. Mark Gordon (R) has signed a bill into law that will allow Indigenous people in Wyoming  to use their tribal ID to register to vote. The new law makes it clear that tribal IDs can be used as the sole form of identification when registering to vote, as long as a valid driver’s license number or last four digits of a Social Security number are printed on the ID. Previously, a tribal ID could be used if a valid driver’s license accompanied it, or if the license number or last four digits of a Social Security number were presented when registering to vote.

Legal Updates

Alaska: State Rep. Gabrielle LeDoux (R-Anchorage) has been charged with one count of voter misconduct 1, two counts of voter misconduct 2, and seven counts of second degree unlawful interference with voting.

Arizona: In the days leading up to Arizona’s presidential preference primary, Maricopa County Recorder Adrian Fontes announced that the office would mail every eligible voter a ballot for Tuesday’s primary in light of the ongoing coronavirus outbreak. The move was not supported by Secretary of State Katie Hobbs and the Maricopa County Attorney Mark Brnovich filed a temporary restraining order against mailing the ballots. The order was granted by a Maricopa County judge.

Missouri: James A. Rowell, 62 of St. Louis, has been charged with a felony count of making a terrorist threat and two counts of committee election offenses after he backed his truck into a St. Louis-area polling place on March 10 and poured bleach and water on voting equipment.

Also in Missouri the Missouri Court of Appeals, Eastern District, said the coronavirus emergency is adequate justification for shifting the April 7 election but that state law doesn’t allow a mail-in election requested for April 28 by the board. For now the judges also blocked the election from being moved to August 4 to be held in conjunction with the August 4 primary, but they did not rule out allowing the election to be moved to an earlier date.

Montana: The American Civil Liberties Union of Montana and Native American Rights Fund filed a lawsuit filed in the Montana 13th District Court in Yellowstone County challenging the Montana Ballot Interference Prevention Act (BIPA) which limits who can collect and convey a ballot belonging to another person. “We are urging the court to immediately block this law that would disenfranchise thousands of eligible voters who live on rural reservations,” Alora Thomas-Lundborg, senior staff attorney with the ACLU’s Voting Rights Project, said in a news release. “This case is about making sure every eligible voter who wants to vote can actually do so.”

Pennsylvania: Bucks County Common Pleas Court Judge Jeffrey G. Trauger denied the petition of the county board of elections, and the intervening petition of Bensalem resident Elly McNelis, to postpone the special election for the 18th PA House District scheduled for Tuesday, March 17 in Bensalem.

Texas: Harris County officials settled a lawsuit Tuesday with a conservative voting rights group, agreeing to disclose records of foreign nationals who voted in Texas elections and records documenting their attempts to register.

Wisconsin: The Democratic Party of Wisconsin and Democratic National Committee filed a federal lawsuit Wednesday against the state Elections Commission calling for changes to Wisconsin election laws amid the COVID-19 pandemic, including extensions to online voter registration and mail-in ballot return deadlines. They are seeking to change the online and mail voter registration deadline to April 3, move the deadline to receive voted mail ballots to 10 days after the election as long as they are postmarked by 8pm on election night and to suspend the voter ID law for mail-in ballots.

Tech Thursday

Arizona: Due to what officials called a “functional error” the names and information of 78 protected voters were released to county officials when reports were sent to the officials for primary day. “A county official informed us today that their report included protected voters,” Secretary of State Katie Hobbs told KPHO. “We contacted all the counties to let them know that their reports may also contain this protected information.” he voter registration database’s process for producing these reports has been updated to prevent this from happening again, Hobbs says.

Opinions This Week

National Opinions: Election reporting | Election security | Election access | Election meltdown | Election legislation | Coronavirus, II, III, IV | Vote by mail, II, III, IV, V, VI, VII,VIII, IX, X, XI, XII, XIII, XVI, XV2020 election | Voting in the age of COVID-19 | Ranked choice voting, II | Online voting | Election security funding | Federal funding | Election integrity | Primaries | Voter suppression

Alabama: Coronavirus

Arizona: Maricopa County, II | Ex-felon voting rights

California: Nevada County | Early voting | Ballot counting

Colorado: Clerk term limits | Teton County

Florida: Election security | Get out the vote | Poll workers

Georgia: Primary

Illinois: Get out the Vote | Ex-felon voting rights | Primary, II, III, IV, V

Indiana: Vote by mail | No-excuse absentee

Iowa: Ex-felon voting rights

Maryland: Vote-by-mail

Massachusetts: Election powers

Missouri: Ranked choice voting | Buchanan County | Election laws | Early voting | Easier voting

North Carolina: Runoffs

Ohio: Primary, II, III

Pennsylvania: Vote by mail

Texas: Vote centers | Election improvements | Election postponement

Washington: Ranked choice voting

Wyoming: Ranked choice voting

Upcoming Events

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.

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.

Assistant Registrar, Falls Church City, Virginia— The City of Falls Church is seeking an individual to fill a full-time (40 hours per week, Monday through Friday) Assistant Registrar position. Individual selected will provide professional and technical support services to the Director of Elections & General Registrar of Voters. Responsibilities: During elections, assists the Registrar with making arrangements for setting up polling places, supervising the preparation of voting lists by precincts, publishing notices in accordance with regulations, supervising the printing and maintenance of election ballots according to election laws, making arrangements for adequate facilities and equipment at poll stations; Helping candidates with campaign finance filings; Drafting voter correspondence; Generating and interpreting reports and auditing work for accuracy; Making calendar and website updates, posting meeting notices and understanding FOIA; Mail new voter information notices to all new registered voters and those with address changes; Mailing ballots to qualified voters; Election officer training including updating manuals; Ballot security including identifying threats to vote security and act decisively to defend the integrity of the election and voting process; Voter outreach including voter registration drives at high schools and nursing homes; Preparing extensive documentation for testing and conducting and evaluating elections; Assisting voters with registration and absentee voting; and,  Perform related tasks as required. Salary: $46,339+. Deadline: April 2. 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.

Communications Associate, Democracy Works— The communications team ensures the vision of Democracy Works is clearly and creatively articulated to our stakeholders in a variety of contexts. We develop strategic communication plans and programs for our internal and external audiences, promoting the mission and brand of Democracy Works across several channels. We love democracy and are excited to communicate our work to strengthen it. As a part of the team, you will: Support and maintain a strategic, goal-oriented vision for all Democracy Works internal and external communication projects; Develop fresh story ideas: Proactively research and write materials to tell our story and engage a variety of audiences (i.e. website, blog and social media content); Produce communication materials: Prepare executive talking points and bios, briefing materials, newsletters, and presentations that align with our organization’s strategic goals and branding; Assist other teams by copy-editing and proofreading written content; Brainstorm strategic outreach ideas, and produce creative content for new and ongoing projects; Media outreach: Identify strategic narratives and compelling storylines to pitch relevant reporters and secure timely media coverage; Media monitoring: Track and report media coverage of Democracy Works, our products, campaigns, and industry trends; and Press lists: Build and maintain comprehensive press lists to develop relationships with reporters Deadline: Target start date April 28. Salary: $58K-$68K. 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.

Development Director, Election Administration Resource Center— The Election Administration Resource Center is seeking a proactive, relationship-driven Development Director to help shape the organization’s fundraising strategy and establish a group of individual and foundation donors. You will collaborate with the Board, Executive Director, and staff to lead the organization to strong financial sustainability. Current funding is on a three-year cycle, and plans for the 2021-2024 period will start immediately. You are a highly-organized, self-monitoring exceptional communicator who loves prospecting, authentic relationship building, and making big asks. General job responsibilities: Work with the Finance Officer to plan and operate the annual budget; Establish and maintain relationships with various organizations throughout the nation and utilize these to enhance the mission of the Election Administration Resource Center; Identify potential donors and otherwise increase the overall visibility of the Election Administration Resource Center. Diversifying revenue streams and securing multi-year funding opportunities should be a primary focus; Lead the development and execution of a million dollar three-year fundraising strategy growing existing budget from $1M to $2M annually; Define appropriate goals, track metrics, and prepare progress reports for the board and grant funders; Develop and execute fundraising campaigns to increase the reach of the Election Administration Resource Center and generate revenue. Application: Please send a resume, three references, salary history, and requirements, along with a cover letter of no more than two pages to rosemary.blizzard@rankedchoicevoting.org.

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.

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.

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.

Staff Attorney, Voting Rights Practice Group, Disability Rights California— DRC’s Voting Rights Practice Group advocates to ensure voting is fully accessible for people with disabilities by educating government agencies about best practices and educating voters about their rights, including options that allow them to vote privately and independently. The Voting Rights Practice Group provides voting rights and civic participation trainings, advocates with government agencies to improve the voter registration process for people with disabilities, collaborates with election officials to improve accessibility of the voting process, runs a hotline on election days and assists voters with election related complaints, tests accessible voting equipment, creates helpful publications for voters with disabilities and election officials, trains poll workers on making voting accessible, and participates on disability-focused committees in numerous counties. The Voting Rights Practice Group litigates a limited number of voting rights cases. The Voting Rights Staff Attorney shares responsibility with other legal and advocacy staff for providing information, technical assistance, outreach and training and representation in administrative and judicial proceedings to clients with disabilities. The Staff Attorney works under the direct supervision of the Supervising Attorney for Voting Rights and in collaboration with other Disability Rights California attorneys and advocates in their legal, advocacy, and outreach efforts. Salary: $63,063 -$84,513. Deadline: March 20. Application: For the complete job listing and to apply, click here.

Voter Service Manager, Arapahoe County, Colorado— This position provides the opportunity for you to take your voting or government-related experience to a new level in an exciting year where we will administer a statewide primary election in June and the November Presidential General Election. Join our team of dedicated public servants in supporting voters across Arapahoe County while upholding public trust and integrity in our elections process. This position will assist with complex administrative and supervisory work in directing daily activities. The Voter Service Manager supports the Elections Deputy Director, Chief Deputy Director and the Clerk and Recorder with issues concerning all operations of Elections. Salary: $65,960 – $105,365. Application: For the complete job listing and to apply, click here.


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