electionline Weekly

Yes, sign me up for the Daily Newsletter.
Yes, sign me up for the Weekly Newsletter.

July 2, 2020

July 2, 2020

In Focus This Week

The Vote
Women weren’t given the right to vote. They took it.

This year marks the 100th anniversary of the ratification of the 19th Amendment which gave women in this country the right to vote. While the global pandemic has put a damper on many of the planned celebrations and exhibitions, on Monday July 6 and Tuesday July 7 The American Experience on PBS presents The Vote.

Suffragists picket in front of the White House, Washington, DC, February 1917. Library of Congress.

The Vote, is a four-hour, two-part documentary series, that tells the dramatic story of the epic crusade waged by American women for the right to vote.  Focusing primarily on the movement’s final decade, the film charts American women’s determined march to the ballot box, and illuminates the myriad social, political and cultural obstacles that stood in their path.

The Vote delves into the  controversies that divided the nation in the early 20th century –– gender, race, state’s rights, and political power — and reveals the fractious dynamics of social change.

“The hard-fought campaign waged by American women for the right to vote was a truly transformative cultural and political movement, resulting in the largest expansion of voting rights in American history,” said executive producer Susan Bellows. “It’s also a story that has usually been reduced to a single page in the history books. The Vote restores this complex story to its rightful place in our history, providing a rich and clear-eyed look at a movement that resonates as much now as ever.”

Phyllis Wheatley Club, Buffalo, NY, was an affiliate of the National Association of Colored Women’s Clubs. Founded in 1899, they established a settlement house in 1905. They developed programs to feed the hungry, donated books by Black authors to school libraries, established kindergartens, and organized mother’s clubs to teach parenting skills. Credit: Library of Congress, Nannie Helen Burroughs Collection.

Although rightly regarded as a milestone for both American women and American democracy, the 19th Amendment was not quite the simple turning point it is generally perceived to be. Millions of women voted before the amendment and millions more were prohibited from voting after it, particularly African American women in the South. Nor was the ballot a favor bestowed upon women by an enlightened, progressive society. The right to vote was, in fact, fought for and won –– by three generations of American women who, over the course of more than seven decades, not only carried out one of the most sustained and successful political movements in all of American history, but were also the first to employ the techniques of nonviolent civil disobedience that later would become the hallmark of American political protest.

From the moment the clamor for woman suffrage first was raised in the United States, in the 1840s, the question was how the vote would ever be won. Resistance to women’s participation in the political sphere came from every quarter of American society –– from political machines eager to maintain their power, industrial interests fearful for their profits, even many women, who were convinced that wielding the ballot would somehow diminish their influence in society. Compounding the opposition, from the late 19th century on, was the poisonous legacy of Reconstruction and the determination of the former Confederate states to preserve white supremacy, in large part by barring African Americans from the polls.

As of 1909, despite six decades of relentless struggle, suffragists could point to little in the way of progress. Just four states had extended the franchise to women; the federal woman suffrage amendment –– introduced in the Senate in 1878 –– had virtually no support on Capitol Hill; and most in the first generation of activists had gone to their graves without casting a ballot. What had begun as a crusade of the few, however, had become a mass movement –– and their collective impatience was mounting.

The Great Demand, unveiled at the Suffrage Parade in Washington, DC, March 1913. National Archives.

As suffragists attempted to navigate the treacherous shoals of the national political scene, time and again principle was sacrificed in the name of pragmatism. Unfolding after the Civil War, when racism was both “a political fact and a political strategy,” said historian Martha Jones, the crusade for woman’s suffrage mirrored its historical moment. When expedient, white suffragists proved willing to accommodate its pervasive and deeply pernicious politics of exclusion. The Vote engages this troubled history directly ­­–– underscoring the contributions of women of color to the struggle, the challenges of coalition-building in a fundamentally unequal society, and most importantly, the significant limitations of the 19th Amendment.

“The lengths to which women had to go in their pursuit of the ballot will likely come as a surprise to most viewers,” said writer, director and producer Michelle Ferrari. “How many people are aware that suffragists were the first Americans to picket the White House? That those women were jailed, went on hunger strikes and were force-fed by authorities? And that the techniques of non-violent civil disobedience, which we usually associate with the Civil Rights Movement, were employed first by women fighting for the right to vote?”

Ida B. Wells wearing a button she created to publicize a memorial service for African-American combatants court-martialed and hanged in Houston, Texas, in the summer of 1917. The button reads “In Memoriam Martyred Negro Soldiers Dec. 11, 1917.”Credit: University of Chicago.

In addition to the two-night movie, on the American Experience’s web site you can find digital shorts on Ida B. Wells, Alice Paul, Harriot Stanton Blatch, and Carrie Chapman Catt. There are also articles about the first woman to vote in Utah and  Black women’s 200 year-fight for the vote.

The site also features an interactive called She Resisted: Strategies for Suffrage.  She Resisted explores the final decade of the women’s suffrage movement through its most powerful images, brought to life with color for the first time. Live through the epic 1913 Washington, D.C. procession, in which thousands of women took to the streets to demand their right to the franchise; thrill at Ida B. Wells’s successful voter registration drive; and admire suffragists’ commitment to nonviolent resistance, which included hunger strikes and withstanding brutal force feedings. Working with renowned photographic colorist Marina Amaral to meticulously restore color to century-old archival stills, and video enhancement experts neural.love to upscale and colorize archival footage using neural networks, American Experience brings you an intimate look at the women who forever transformed the politics of social and political change in America.

The Vote premieres Monday and Tuesday, July 6-7, 2020, 9:00-11:00 p.m. ET (check local listings) on American Experience on PBS, PBS.org and the PBS Video App.

electionline Daily News Email

electionline is pleased to announce that you may now sign up to receive an early-morning email with the top headlines of the day.

Each morning you’ll receive the top headlines of the day, plus a listing of states featured in that day’s news round up.

To sign up, simply visit our site and provide us with your email and you’ll begin receiving the news in your inbox each morning.

2020 Election Updates

Primaries were held this week in Colorado, Oklahoma and Utah and with all three states voting largely by mail, there’s not a whole lot to report. Colorado did have record high turnout. In Oklahoma, according to the Tulsa World, Tuesday’s primary was just like a lot of other election day’s in Tulsa County, relatively smooth sailing with some minor issues: A few voting machines malfunctioned. A precinct captain slept in, leaving voters waiting in line. Poll workers arrived at a polling station only to find it locked. “When you have 700-something or 800 people out in the field, there is always going to be something with one or more of your precinct officials or the precinct locations,” Gwen Freeman, secretary of the Tulsa County Election Board told the Tulsa World. “So there are always the early-morning issues that plague you at first no matter the size of the election.” In Utah, many voters took advantage of drive-thru voting. Probably the biggest issue in Utah was simply the fact that election day has now turned into election month between the casting and counting of ballots.

Election News This Week

The Council of State Governments (CSG) Overseas Voting Initiative Working Group, comprised of 27 state and local election officials from across the nation, convened to specifically address the global mail disruptions and the impact on overseas voters. This group of elections officials, recognizing that they are uniquely positioned to advocate for the voters at issue, compiled a list of available options for states to examine as a fail-safe for overseas voters in order to help prevent potential disenfranchisement. “This nonpartisan group felt an urgent need to provide guidance to their peers,” said Taylor Lansdale, project manager for the CSG Overseas Voting Initiative. “CSG was honored by their request to provide a forum for these imperative discussions. The recommendations the group produced are eye-opening and will prove valuable for all states.”  Voters in 20 states that only allow military and overseas voters to return their voted ballots to their local election officials by mail, will struggle to find a way to cast a ballot in the 2020 elections. “While the number of voters who may fall into this narrow category could be relatively small, each and every individual vote matters and could change the outcome of an election,” said Washington Secretary of State Kim Wyman, co-chair of The Council of State Governments Overseas Voting Initiative. “As election officials, we need to do our level best to ensure that every eligible citizen who wants to cast a ballot is able to do so and to ensure that ballot is counted.” For the 20 states that only allow ballot return via mail, there are limited options to ensure that overseas voters have access to federal election ballots. Further complicating this problem, policymakers have a very limited window of time to make changes to help these voters.

While all eyes are still on 2020, advocates in New York expressed concern recently because the New York City Board of Elections missed a City Charter-mandated June 1 deadline to issue a report on how it will implement the new voter-approved ranked-choice voting system in 2021. “The deadline is crucial in order to make sure that the Board can purchase the necessary upgrades to the existing voting machines for ranked-choice voting,” said Susan Lerner, executive director of Common Cause New York. A spokesperson for the city council confirmed to the Gotham Gazette it has not received a report. “The council will not tolerate delayed implementation of ranked choice voting and we demand the BOE meet the deadlines every step of the way in this process,” the spokesperson wrote in an email. The mayor’s office did not respond to inquiries about the report. Under the New York City Charter, if the board fails to submit the implementation report within 30 days of the deadline it will “create a rebuttable presumption that such board is declining to implement ranked choice voting as required by this section.” According to the Gazette, 2021 will be the busiest city election cycle in at least eight years, with mayor, comptroller, four borough presidents, and dozens of city council seats “open” due to term limits. The public advocate, Queens borough president, and about 16 other council seats are also up for election, though with incumbents likely running, and the city’s Campaign Finance Board estimates roughly 500 candidates total will be seeking office in 2021.

Officials in Montana received a briefing on the impacts the state’s all vote-by-mail primary had on Native American voters. Four election administrators from counties with large Indian populations – Dulcie Bear Don’t Walk of Big Horn County, Tammy Williams of Blaine County, Katie Harding of Lake County and Joan Duffield of Rosebud County. All four counties had voter turnouts at or below the Montana average in the primary, with Big Horn County having the lowest turnout in the state at 35.4%. Administrators said there were some positive signs for tribal turnout. Bear Don’t Walk said 25% to 35% turnout is typical for a primary in Big Horn County, and that about 44% of those who were mailed a ballot this year returned them. Williams said Blaine County estimated about 30% turnout in reservation areas, but that overall turnout was again on the high end of what was expected. According to Duffield, turnout in Rosebud County’s Lame Deer precinct was 20% this year, compared to 11% and 10% in the 2016 and 2018 primaries. Concerns were raised by some voters who didn’t receive their mail ballot as well as confusion over the ballot package itself. “If we’re going to go all-mail ballot again, then we have to do everything we can to make sure that people have the opportunity to vote,” said Rep. Sharon Stewart-Peregoy (D-Crow Agency). “If the system is broken or somehow the information is not getting out there, then we need to work on it, because it is a constitutional right.”

Mask wearing has become controversial as America struggles with growing numbers of COVID-19 cases and the elections world has not been immune. During the Pennsylvania primary one poll worker was spit on and another got into a tussle with a voter over wearing masks. Now in New York, the chairman of the Albany County Legislature says he’s prepared to replace Democratic Board of Elections Commissioner Matt Clyne over Clyne’s refusal to wear a face mask while absentee ballots are being counted this week. Clyne has been photographed on more than one occasion not wearing a mask during ballot counting. “I don’t believe a mask is appropriate to work in this environment. I think it’s actually unsanitary to do it,” Clyne told the Times Union. “I don’t think it’s sanitary to be sitting in a hot room all day wearing a mask.” In a tweet, Andrew Joyce, chair of the Legislature said he would replace Clyne. “I’m told the Albany County Democratic Elections Commissioner ‘laughed’ when asked why he’s not wearing a mask during the ballot recount,” Joyce tweeted. “So yeah, we’re going to be looking for a new Democratic Commissioner. Interested parties should send us their resume.”

Congratulations to Sterling Heights City Clerk Melanie Ryska was elected the 2020 Clerk of the Year by the Michigan Association of Municipal Clerks. Ryska, who has served in the post since 2017, is only the fourth clerk in Macomb County to receive the annual city or township clerk award since it started being awarded in 1986. “Clerk Ryska’s contributions to the profession are exemplary, and her efforts have not gone unnoticed,” said Stephanie McMillan, association director and chair of the Clerk of the Year Committee. “The MAMC wants to thank her for her many years of service to her community and the association.”


Personnel News: Long time Vermilion Parish, Louisiana Registrar of Voters Mike Bertrand will retire on July 4, the final day of early voting for the state’s presidential primary. Collin Claywell is the new deputy director of elections for the Shelby County, Ohio board of elections. Sally Kohlbus has retired as the assistant director of elections and voter registration in York County, Pennsylvania after 12 years on the job. Before that, she was a judge of election in Peach Bottom Township for 30 years. Ronda Walthour has been named interim election supervisor in Liberty County, Georgia.

Legislative Updates

California: The San Francisco Board of Supervisors has unanimously approved asking voters this fall if the city’s charter should be amended to let younger voters have more of a say in local politics. It will be the second time in four years that San Franciscans have voted on a proposal to expand voting rights to younger residents. A nearly identical proposal failed in 2016 with 52.6% of San Franciscans voting against it. “It’s essential that young people build a habit of voting as early as possible and continue to participate in our democracy throughout their lives,” said Board of Supervisors President Norman Yee, who sponsored the ballot measure.

Delaware: The House and Senate have both approved legislation that will allow the First State to vote by mail. Under the voting by mail legislation, the Department of Elections will be required to mail applications for mail-in ballots to all voters in Delaware. Postage for the application return envelopes, as well as ballot return envelopes, will be paid by the state. Officials estimates that half of the votes in the September primary and in the November general election will be cast by mail. Gov. John Carney has signed the bill into law.

Florida: Gov. Ron DeSantis has signed HB1213 into law. The bill directs a newly formed task force to find ways to include the 1920 Ocoee Election Day Riots in the state’s public school curriculum. The bill directs the task force to find ways to include the 1920 massacre in African-American history instruction. It also directs the Florida secretary of state to find ways to include the event in museum exhibits, and for other departments to use the names of the victims for state parks and facilities, as well as school facilities. The 1920 massacre occurred after July Perry, a Black man, tried to vote in Ocoee while encouraging other African-Americans to do the same. A white mob attacked the Black residents. It’s estimated 50 people were killed.  Most Black-owned buildings and homes in north Ocoee were burned, and other residents were eventually driven out of the city. “This bill I hope provides some consolation, and provides a way to reconcile what has happened,” said State Sen. Randolph Bracy, D-Orlando, who helped sponsor the bill.

DeSantis has also signed a bill into law that will allow elections officials across the state to use a secondary system to speed up recounts and verify the accuracy of results. The law gives the supervisors of elections in the state’s 67 counties the option of employing auditing systems that are separate from the machines and software used for the initial ballot counts.

Georgia: A bill that would have barred election officials from mailing absentee ballot applications to Georgia voters failed to pass last week. According to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, the proposal sputtered amid opposition to a limiting voting access after record numbers of Georgians cast absentee ballots in the state’s primary election. Over half of all primary voters, 1.1 million, voted absentee. The legislation, Senate Bill 463, never received another vote after it passed the House Governmental Affairs Committee.

Iowa: Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds signed a bill Tuesday that will deny county officials the ability to use a voter database to confirm missing or incorrect information on absentee ballot requests. The measure was inserted by Republicans into a massive budget bill on the final day of the legislative session. Reynolds signed the measure into law, opting not to kill the rule change with a line-item veto. The bill requires a county election officials who notices missing or incorrect information on a ballot request form to telephone or email the person requesting the ballot within 24 hours. If that fails the auditor must mail a letter. Currently an auditor can double-check information in the voter database and correct it if needed. A similar administrative rule was struck down by a judge last year and the law could draw another legal challenge.

Also in Iowa, the Legislative Council unanimously approved an emergency directive to give Iowans living overseas the option of returning ballots electronically for July 7 special elections, but not without first returning to a partisan debate lawmakers had in the final hours of their June session. The approval was needed because of a change legislators made in House File 2486 requiring the Secretary of State to get the council’s approval before changing the conduct of an election during an emergency, such as the coronavirus pandemic. The panel also voted down a proposal from Sen. Pam Jochum, D-Dubuque, to allow the secretary of state’s office to send absentee ballot request forms to every registered voter in Iowa.

Massachusetts: Rep. John Lawn told the State House New Service that a deal has been reached between leaders in the House and Senate on early voting and vote-by-mail legislation that should pave the way for a major expansion of voting options ahead of the 2020 election to encourage participation during the COVID-19 pandemic. The House and Senate versions of the bill instruct the secretary of state’s office to mail every voter an application to request a mail-in ballot for the primaries on Sept. 1 and the general election on Nov. 3. The goal, lawmakers have said, is to allow voters to avoid the polls, but still participate during the upcoming primaries and general election if they feel unsafe due to the ongoing pandemic. The bill also for the first time in Massachusetts creates an early voting window before the statewide primary, and expands early voting before the general election. Voting in-person will remain an option.

Pennsylvania: A bill introduced in the state House would provide a mail-in ballot to all registered Pennsylvania voters. The bill would direct county boards of elections to provide an official mail-in ballot to each qualified voter before any primary or general election. The bill would also repeal an earlier law that requires voters to submit an application for a mail-in ballot to their county’s board of elections. Mail-in ballots were introduced to the state election code last October.


New Hampshire: The Legislature has sent a bill to Gov. Sununu that temporarily changes state law to expand absentee voting so voters can avoid the polls with less exposure for election workers. The bill will allow a person to request absentee ballots for both the primary and general election with one application, and allows election officials to begin processing absentee ballots before election day but not open or count them until the final tally after polls close.

New Mexico: Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham has signed legislation into law that may change how voters cast their ballots during the general election. Under the legislation, any new procedures will have to be designed to protect public health amid the coronavirus pandemic. Procedures must be consistent with federal guidelines or be “otherwise evidence-based.” The rules could vary by county, depending on the severity of the outbreak in different parts of New Mexico. The legislation, Senate Bill 4, won Senate approval 40-2 last week and passed the House 44-26.

Legal Updates

Alabama: A three-judge panel of the U.S. 11th Circuit Court of Criminal Appeals refused to stop a lower court ruling that allowed curbside voting and loosened some absentee voter requirements in three counties for the July 14th runoff.  Writing for the court, U.S. Circuit judges Robin Rosenbaum and Jill Pryor ruled that the state had failed to prove that the plaintiffs in the case who argued that current policies put them at greater risk of contracting COVID-19 would lose in court.  The judges also accused the state of minimizing the potential harms from the outbreak. “Appellants’ (the state) failure to acknowledge the significant difference between leaving one’s home to vote in non-pandemic times and forcing high-risk COVID-19 individuals to breach social-distancing and self-isolation protocols so they can vote reflects a serious lack of understanding of or disregard for the science and facts involved here,” the judges wrote. Alabama Secretary of State John Merrill filed an application to the U.S. Supreme Court Monday to overturn a lower court’s injunction that found that the requirements could violate the constitutional right to vote for some elderly and disabled voters during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Also in Alabama, attorneys with two Birmingham law firms filed a lawsuit today challenging Gov. Kay Ivey’s appointment of James P. “Jim” Naftel II as one of Jefferson County’s two probate judges. The lawsuit does not challenge Naftel’s qualifications but says the appointment is not valid because state law requires the governor to choose from three nominees submitted by the Jefferson County Judicial Commission. Ivey Press Secretary Gina Maiola said the governor disagrees. “The state constitution gives the governor the authority to fill this vacancy,” Maiola said in an email. “Judge Naftel is highly qualified to serve as probate judge, and the governor looks forward to his many years of excellent public service to the people of Jefferson County and the state as a whole.”

Arkansas: Three Arkansans, including a former Court of Appeals judge and a former state director of elections, are suing Secretary of State John Thurston for what they say are unconstitutional voting restrictions. The lawsuit challenges absentee voting restrictions that the plaintiffs say force voters to choose between exposing themselves to COVID-19 or exercising their right to vote. “When the election cycle rolls around and polling sites are closed because workers don’t appear, people will be disenfranchised,” said Susan Inman, the former state director of elections. Currently, Arkansas law limits voting by mail to only those who are “unavoidably absent” or unavailable because of an illness or disability. Voters can face a $10,000 fine or 10 years in prison for violating the mail-in guidelines. The lawsuit argues that a 1985 Arkansas Supreme Court decision that allows voters to determine on their own whether they are unavailable, without detailing a reason, should be upheld.

Connecticut: Four Republican candidates for Congress are trying to block the state from implementing an emergency pandemic order by Gov. Ned Lamont that could dramatically increase the use of absentee ballots for the state’s delayed Aug. 11 primary by distributing them to any voter who claims to be worried about contracting the coronavirus at the polls. The suit contends Secretary of State Denise Merrill has interpreted the emergency order so broadly that the absentee ballot applications prepared by her office encourage absentee voting by everyone, putting the integrity of primary elections at risk.

Florida: The U.S. Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit ruled in favor of state officials and Gov. Ron DeSantis, who asked the court to stop a ruling in May by U.S. District Judge Robert Hinkle. Hinkle ruled that DeSantis and Florida elections officials can’t keep felons from voting if they can’t afford to pay off all court fees, fines and restitution, finding that the requirement is unconstitutional. The court’s order also states that the entire panel of 11th Circuit judges will hear the case, a rare decision that was requested by DeSantis. The panel, which is known as one of the more conservative appellate courts in the nation, includes two judges that DeSantis had first appointed to Florida’s Supreme Court.

Massachusetts: Officials in the Town of Grafton are seeking a court order to open 202 early-voting ballots discovered in a sealed box in the town clerk’s vault a week after the town election. Town Administrator Timothy McInerney told the select board the sealed box containing 202 uncounted ballots was discovered by accident in the vault on Tuesday by the assistant town clerk. Upon discovering the mistake, the assistant town clerk immediately contacted the town administrator and the state elections division.

Michigan: The Public Interest Legal Foundation is dropping its lawsuit against the city of Detroit after the city made inroads, according to The Detroit News, into fixing issues with its voter rolls. The PLF had sued the city back in December over allegations that the city’s rolls were bloated with voters who were deceased and duplicate registration.

North Dakota:  Questions surrounding the legality of Stark County’s mail-in only voting have resulted in a civil complaint filed against the county’s commissioners, canvassing board, state’s attorney and election official.  “We’re saying that their actions were illegal, and they disenfranchised numerous Stark County voters and did that without legal authority,” said Riley Kuntz, one of the plaintiffs. North Dakota Century Code Section 16.1-11.1-01 authorizes county commissions to conduct ballot elections and sets out procedures and requirements for such elections, one of which requires that each county identify a polling location to be open on election day.

Pennsylvania: President Donald Trump’s re-election campaign and the Republican National Committee sued Pennsylvania this week over absentee ballot drop-off sites. The president’s campaign and the RNC were joined by four Pennsylvania Republican congressmen  in filing the 57-page federal lawsuit in the Western District of Pennsylvania against the elections boards of all 67 counties in the state. The complaint asks a federal judge to block counties from counting absentee ballots unless they are mailed by voters to their county election office or dropped off in person rather than at the drop-off sites.


Texas: The U.S. Supreme Court has rejected an initial bid by Texas Democrats to expand voting by mail to all Texas voters during the coronavirus pandemic. Justice Samuel Alito — whose oversight of federal courts includes cases coming through Texas —issued the court’s denial of the Texas Democratic Party’s request to let a federal district judge’s order to expand mail-in voting take effect while the case is on appeal. U.S. District Judge Fred Biery ruled in May that Texas must allow all voters fearful of becoming infected at polling places to vote by mail even if they wouldn’t ordinarily qualify for mail-in ballots under state election law. The 5th Circuit Court of Appeals stayed Biery’s order while Texas appeals his ruling.

Wisconsin: A Seventh Circuit panel issued decision this week related to a raft of sweeping lawsuits challenging Wisconsin voting rules, including those affecting voter IDs, early voting procedures and several other election policies. The ruling by a panel of three judges arrived more than three years after arguments took place for a number of consolidated lawsuits, some touching on fights over state election laws that have been simmering for almost a decade. The decision was largely a win for Wisconsin conservatives who have long fought to tighten election rules, but contained a few concessions for liberals who have spent years trying to loosen the same rules. The panel found  that there is no evidence to support the notion that Republican legislators intentionally targeted black voters for disenfranchisement but that the rules were instead politically motivated in a partisan sense, which is the legislators’ prerogative. “This record does not support a conclusion that the legislators who voted for the contested statutes cared about race; they cared about voters’ political preferences,” U.S. Circuit Judge Frank Easterbrook wrote. The judge did not find that the challenged limits on the time of day and number of days allotted for early voting violated either the First Amendment or the Voting Rights Act since, ultimately, “they leave all voters with equal opportunities to participate.”

Also in Wisconsin, U.S. District Judge William Conley said this week he was likely to rule in a suite of election lawsuits by the end of August but warned those bringing the cases that he has limited powers to change voting rules ahead of the Nov. 3 presidential election. According to the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel, Conley noted state election officials don’t have direct authority over municipal clerks, who are in charge of running their own elections. The lawsuits, which seek to change voting policies because of the coronavirus pandemic, have been brought against the Wisconsin Elections Commission but not local authorities. “I’m not sure the Wisconsin Elections Commission has the power to direct the city of Milwaukee to change the number of polling locations (and) to ensure accessibility at those locations,” Conley said during a videoconference.

The Wisconsin Supreme Court won’t hear a case that could remove up to 129,000 people from voter rolls in Wisconsin until this fall, narrowing the likelihood a purge of voter names could happen before the November election.  On Tuesday evening, the court denied a request by the conservative advocacy group that brought the case to either bypass oral arguments or expedite those arguments. The court said oral arguments will not take place in the case before Sept. 29 — just 34 days before Election Day. After oral arguments, the court could rule any time.

Tech Thursday

Google: Google says it has removed ads for companies that charged exorbitant fees or that mined the personal data of people who used the search engine to learn how to vote. According to NBC News, a study by the Tech Transparency Project, a nonprofit watchdog for the tech industry, searched on Google for information such as “register to vote” and “where is my polling place.” Nearly a third of the more than 600 ads from those searches charged users to register to vote, mined their data for third-party voter registration services, signed them up for marketing emails or misleadingly took them to sites unrelated to voting. A Google spokesperson said the company investigated and removed the offending ads Monday after having been informed of the study, saying they violated company policies. “We are committed to protecting users from abuse on our platforms, especially when it comes to information about elections. We have strict policies in place to protect users from false information about voting procedures, and when we find ads that violate our policies and present harm to users, we remove them and block advertisers from running similar ads in the future,” the spokesperson said.

Facebook: Every Facebook user of voting age in the US will see information on how to register to vote “prominently” on top of their News Feed this Friday, Facebook executive Nick Clegg said in a blog post addressing numerous concerns about hate speech and voter suppression on the platform. Facebook said the information displayed on its news feed is a step in its goal to register 4 million voters using Facebook, Instagram and Messenger for the 2020 elections.

Opinions This Week

National Opinions: In-person voting | Election reform | Election issues | Vote by mail | Voting Rights Act, II, III, IV | Disinformation | Voter suppression, II | General election | Voter fraud | Voting rights, II | Disenfranchisement | Vote by mail, II | 28th Amendment | Election day success

Alabama: Jefferson County

Alaska: Ranked choice voting

Arkansas: Voting laws | Absentee voting lawsuit

Florida: Polling places | Election preparation, II | Election night

Georgia: Primary, II

Illinois: Vote by mail

Iowa: Ex-felon voting rights

Kentucky: Primary, II, III

Maryland: Young voters

Michigan: Absentee voting

Minnesota: Absentee voting

Mississippi: General election

Missouri: Election Day holiday

Montana: Fair elections

New Jersey: Vote by mail

New Mexico: Open primaries

New York: General elections

Oklahoma: Get out the vote

Pennsylvania: Online voting

Tennessee: Vote by mail

Texas: Vote by mail, II | Get out the vote

Utah: Ranked choice voting | Vote by mail

Washington: Election security

West Virginia: National Guard

Wisconsin: Voter suppression

Upcoming Events

NASED Summer 2020 Virtual Conference: Join us on Thursday, July 9 and Friday, July 10 for a live stream on YouTube at no cost! We’ll be updating it with speakers as we get closer to the event. NASED members from around the country will be participating and asking questions of panelists via videoconference – it won’t be the same as when we’re all together, but unprecedented times call for creative solutions! We hope you’ll join us virtually later this summer! When: July 9 & 10. Where: Online.

Online CERA and CERV Session: In these extraordinary times, we are pleased to continue to offer additional CERA/CERV courses remotely using online tools via Auburn University. There are two sets of online courses being offered in July and August 2020 so please read the course information with corresponding dates. We are offering courses 7,8, 9, 10 and renewal course 17 beginning on July 13 and ending on July 31, 2020 (see calendar on page 2). An optional technical assistance session for Canvas and Zoom will be offered on July 10 from 1:00-2:00 pm or 3:00-4:00 pm Central Time and repeated on July 13 from 1:00-2:00 or 3:00-4:00 pm Central Time. We are offering courses, 3,4,5,6 and renewal course 33 beginning on July 20 and ending on August 7, 2020. An optional technical assistance session for Canvas and Zoom will be offered on July 15 from 1:00-2:00 pm Central Time and repeated on July 16 from 1:00-2:00 Central Time.

Voting in the Time of COVID-19: Wisconsin’s Experience: The April 7 election in the State of Wisconsin took place at an extraordinarily difficult time – the nation was just beginning to wrestle with the effects of the coronavirus, with significant impacts on the availability of people and resources usually needed to conduct a statewide vote. In addition, fierce partisan disagreements and resulting litigation created a fluid, contentious environment where the “rules of the road” were uncertain for election officials and voters alike. Through it all, Wisconsin’s election community – led by its State Election Commission – had to navigate both pandemic and politics to hold its primary. Join Wisconsin Elections Commission Administrator Meagan Wolfe for a discussion of the Badger State’s experience and lessons learned. Doug Chapin, Director of Election Research, Fors Marsh Group and CEA faculty will moderate. When: July 14. Where: Online.

NASS 2020 Virtual Conference: After careful consideration and discussion with the NASS Executive Board, the decision was made to cancel the 2020 NASS Summer Conference that was scheduled to take place from July 19-22, 2020 at the Silver Legacy in Reno, Nevada. In lieu of an in-person conference, NASS will host a Virtual Summer Conference, July 17th and July 20-22. Mark your calendar to join us online in July! The registration fee is $50 per person for all registration types except corporate non-member. Registration will close on July 14th at 8 PM EDT. Login information for conference sessions will begin to be distributed on Wednesday, July 15th to the email address provided at registration. When: July 17-22. Where: Online

D3P National Training Tour: The Defending Digital Democracy Project (D3P) is launching a national training tour effort for local election officials as they prepare for the 2020 election. Given the many changes of the past months, this tour will be conducted digitally and is designed to give officials the best of D3P live training sessions in a new format. In addition to supporting local election officials through customized training, the tour may also host some special sessions for state election officials. Local jurisdictions can sign up for a block of virtual training sessions from June to August 2020, with the timing, content, and outputs customizable based on election officials’ schedules and priority needs. D3P’s work is committed to supporting officials in protecting the elections process. Just as you continue your work to serve the American people, we continue our work to serve you. This is a free, virtual resource that will involve discussion groups, live table top simulations, and state-specific content. Key training topics include operations management, crisis communications, disinformation, and Covid-19 support. When: Now through August 28. Where: Online.

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.

Business Enablement Project Manager, Hart InterCivic— The Business Enablement Project Manager manages projects that further the advancement of business for the organization. These projects include the development of RFP responses, management of strategic regulatory activities, execution of market research activities, and internal projects to support the improvement of business processes to support the Proposals and Certification Teams.  The Business Enablement Project Manager must be able to function effectively on all levels of corporate structure in order to identify opportunities, analyze business needs, and identify and solve problems that present barriers to market entry. The Business Enablement Project Manager must be able to exercise sound judgment, interact with internal and external stakeholders, and complete projects professionally in high-pressure situations. Application: For the complete job listing and to apply, click here.

Clerk/Recorder Elections Technician, Placer County, California— The mission of the Placer County Clerk-Recorder-Elections Office is to provide courteous, timely and professional recording and elections services to the citizens, businesses and public agencies of the county with the utmost integrity, transparency, consistency, fairness, legal compliance and cost effectiveness, using both the trained and committed staff of the department and technology to advance operations. The Office of the County Clerk-Recorder-Elections is comprised of three units: Clerk, Recorder, and Elections. Typical duties when assigned to the Clerk’s Office are to issue birth, death and marriage vital record copies; perform civil marriages, including same sex marriages; and file fictitious business name statements. Typical duties when assigned to the Recorder’s Office are to examine documents for recording requirements, cashier transactions, scan and index documents, and process passport applications. Typical duties when assigned to the Elections Office are to process voter registration cards; process vote-by-mail requests and official ballots; survey and secure polling locations; recruit and train poll workers; file official candidate paperwork; conduct voter outreach programs; and conduct federal, state, and local elections. Election season typically results in the necessity to work some weekends, evenings, and County-observed holidays. Positions in Elections typically require a valid driver’s license. Salary: 50,502.40 – $63,044.80/ Deadline: July 9. Application: For the complete job listing and to apply, click here.

Communications Associate, Center for Tech and Civic Life — When you think about elections, you might think about popular candidates, “I voted” stickers, and all sorts of paperwork and deadlines. But behind the scenes are thousands of election administrators in state and local governments who are working hard to make sure ballots are counted and voices are heard. To serve every community and make democracy work, election administrators need 21st-century tools and training. You can help them get it! As the CTCL Government Services Communications Associate, you will grow and engage our network of election administrators (what we call ELECTricity) and connect them with resources like CTCL training courses and ElectionTools.org. You’ll work with the Government Services team and report to the Impact and Learning Manager. Application: For the complete job listing and to apply, click here.

Elections Supervisor, Dallas County, Texas— Assists management by planning, organizing, delegating and overseeing the daily operations of one or more areas of responsibility associated with the election process. Oversees the election program area to ensure staffing coverage is adequate, and productivity standards are met and are effective develops and implements goals and objectives, performance measures and techniques to evaluate programmatic activities reviews correspondence and reports from local, state and or federal agencies analyzes statistical data and prepares and maintains related reports. Researches and maintains comprehensive knowledge and understanding of applicable laws, policies and procedures to effectively communicate with staff, and acts as liaison and departmental representative to elected officials, political representatives, candidates, judges, contracting customers, vendors, general public, and or other county, state and federal representatives to resolve problems, answer questions, provide assistance and modify policies procedures. Hires and trains supervisory and support staff, evaluates performance and initiates disciplinary actions coordinates and monitors scheduling, productivity and workloads. Assists in budget preparation and maintains related data and reports. Performs other duties as assigned. Salary Range: $49,765.92 – $62,100.24. Application: For the complete job listing and to apply, click here.

HAVA Administrator, Nevada Secretary of State— The Nevada secretary of state’s office is seeking a HAVA Administrator. The incumbent in this position will manage the Help America Vote Act (HAVA) grant and in this capacity will work with members of the State Elections Division, county registrar of voters, and other elections related positions in the federal, state, and county governments to manage the application of the HAVA grant and support the conduct of state and federal elections. This position will be a key member of the State elections team and will be primarily responsible for the analysis and interpretation of federal and state elections law. This position will supervise up to six other elections-related employees. State employee Benefits – Medical, dental, vision care, life and disability insurance programs are available; eleven paid holidays per year; three weeks of annual leave; three weeks of sick leave; state defined benefit retirement plan; tax-sheltered deferred compensation plan available. State employees do not contribute to Social Security; however, a small Medicare deduction is required. Salary: $66,628.08 – $100,161.36. Application: For the complete job listing and to apply, click here.

IT Security Engineer, Dominion Voting Systems— We are looking for an IT Security Engineer to join our IT team in Denver, Colorado! We are looking for a security-minded individual who can perform both day-to-day technical management and maintenance of IT security programs and who can also strategically assess and enhance the overall IT security enterprise-wide. This role covers a broad scope of responsibilities as some days you may be evaluating new security solutions and attending security briefings, while other days you will be managing our existing IT security toolsets and reviewing threat and log data to identify risk and mitigate vulnerabilities. You must be a self-starter, who collaborates well with others and can explain IT security best practices to anyone from the end-users to executive team members. You will also work for hand and hand with colleagues within the IT department and work with our vendors and external threat organizations to understand and mitigate risks. Application: For the complete job listing and to apply, click here.

Policy Associate, National Vote at Home Institute— Under the general direction of the National Policy Director, the ​Policy Associate is​ responsible for supporting the policy goals of the National Vote at Home Institute (NVAHI), including the design and implementation of mail ballot policies and procedures nationwide. The Policy Associate is responsible for internal data capture and interpretation in a shifting policy landscape and will also contribute heavily to data analysis and strategy decisions that the data informs. As an entrepreneurial and growing nonprofit, NVAHI seeks an energetic, flexible, and creative team member to help us grow our impact. The compensation range for this position is$45,000-$60,000/year depending on experience. This position is remote and requires a personal computer, phone, and access to the internet. Applications: For those interested in applying, please send a resume, cover letter, and references to National Policy Director Audrey Kline at ​audrey@voteathome.org​ with subject line “Policy Associate”

Project Associate, Center for Tech and Civic Life — When you think about elections, you might think about popular candidates, “I voted” stickers, and all sorts of paperwork and deadlines. But behind the scenes are thousands of election administrators in state and local governments who are working hard to make sure ballots are counted and voices are heard. To serve every community and make democracy work, election administrators need practical, research-based approaches that can improve their operations. These include things like voter registration, resource allocation, and language access. As the CTCL Projects Associate, you will learn about the complex challenges that voters face and help election administrators address those challenges. You’ll work with the Government Services team and report to the Senior Project Manager. 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.

Research Fellow, Democracy Works— The Research team collects and standardizes information on how voting works—how to register, how to vote, and when and where elections are happening. Streamlining democracy in this way requires quite a bit of knowledge: what form you use to register to vote in Wyoming, to whom you mail your absentee ballot application in Maine, and whether there’s an election taking place in Oklahoma RIGHT NOW (there probably is!). This information is used by various consumers, both internal and external. The Voting Information Project (VIP) coordinates with state election offices to publish nationally standardized information about where and how to vote—data that powers everything from Google’s polling place search to our text and email reminders to TurboVote users. As a part of the team, you will work with the Data Project Manager and Director of Election Research to conduct research outreach for the Voting Information Project, contacting thousands of state and local election officials. You will: Conduct phone and email outreach to local election administrators to get accurate, up-to-date information on elections; Compile the election information into a detailed spreadsheet; Perform quality assurance checks on the information to assure accuracy and completeness of the data; Research user-reported errors; and assist the election research team with other tasks, as they arise. Salary: $13,000 for 13 week fellowship (paid in semi-monthly installments). Application: For the complete job listing and to apply, click here.

Senior Data Fellow, Voting Information Project— The Voting Information Project (VIP) coordinates with state election offices to publish nationally standardized information about where and how to vote—data that powers everything from Google’s polling place search, to our text and email reminders to TurboVote users. VIP’s dataset has served millions (and hundreds of millions) of voters since 2008. You will: Work with Democracy Works technical staff to write, run, and debug Python scripts to parse data; Assist with standardizing & sanitizing datasets; Perform quality assurance checks on the information to ensure accuracy and completeness of the data; Research and respond to user-reported errors; and Write and update technical documentation so that other members of the team can recreate processes. Application: For the complete listing and to apply, click here.

Senior Deputy Board Clerk/Elections Assistant, Mono County, California— Under general supervision, to coordinate and perform a variety of complex, specialized support work for the County Board of Supervisors and the maintenance of official Board records; to serve as back-up, recording meetings and developing minutes for the County Board of Supervisors and the Assessment Appeals Board; to perform a variety of administrative and staff support work for County elections; to provide assistance and information to the public regarding the functions of County Boards and Commissions and County Elections; to assist other County staff with the understanding of assigned program and department/work unit procedures and requirements; to perform a variety of advanced technical and office support work such as web maintenance; process assessment; oversee management of process; research old records and laws; and to do related work as required. Salary: $60,626 annually. Application: For the complete job listing and to apply, click here.

State Audit Expansion Specialist, Verified Voting— A critical component of election security is the ability to determine whether the computers that counted the votes counted them correctly. To do that, jurisdictions must have a system that incorporates paper ballots that are retained for recounts and audits. After the election, the paper ballots must be checked against the computer-reported results via a rigorous statistically sound audit, called a risk-limiting audit. Verified Voting is working with election officials to implement risk-limiting audits in as many jurisdictions as possible for the 2020 elections. The State Audit Expansion Specialist will report directly to the Director of Science and Technology Policy and will be primarily responsible for the education and outreach required to build trust with election officials in order to implement statewide RLAs of swing states. The State Audit Expansion Specialist will also support the design, development, implementation and reporting of audit pilots in a variety of jurisdictions, and will be able to contribute to the formulation of state and local audit policy. Salary Range $65,000-$75,000. Application: Please submit a resume and a short cover letter regarding your interest in the position and salary requirements to: jobs@verifiedvoting.org. commensurate with experience.

Technology Associate, Center for Tech and Civic Life— When you think about elections, you might think about popular candidates, “I voted” stickers, and all sorts of paperwork and deadlines. But behind the scenes are thousands of election administrators in state and local governments who are working hard to make sure ballots are counted and voices are heard. To serve every community and make democracy work, election administrators need 21st-century tools and training. You can help them get it! As the CTCL Government Services Technology Associate, you will implement streamlined, digital learning experiences that advance the tech and communication skills of America’s election administrators. You’ll work with the Government Services team and report to the Program Manager. Application: For the complete job listing and to apply, click here.

Vice President of Election Operations, Center for Internet Security— Reporting to the Executive Vice President for Operations and Security Services (OSS), the Vice President of Election Operations will oversee all elections-related efforts within CIS, most importantly the Elections Infrastructure Information Sharing and Analysis Center (EI-ISAC) and related elections community support sponsored by the U.S. Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA). This position will also manage election-related projects and activities that are funded by third parties or self-funded by CIS. The Vice President of Election Operations will lead an organization comprised of the CIS staff working on election-related efforts and will be responsible for outreach to U.S. state, local, tribal, and territorial election offices as well as private sector companies, researchers, and nonprofit organizations involved in supporting elections. Application: For the complete job listing and to apply, click here.


electionline provides no guarantees as to the quality of the items being sold and the accuracy of the information provided about the sale items in the Marketplace. Ads are provided directly by sellers and are not verified by electionline. If you have an ad for Marketplace, please email it to: mmoretti@electionline.org

< >
In Focus This Week

Previous Weeklies

Jun 25


Jun 18


Jun 11


Jun 4


May 28


May 21


May 14


May 7


Apr 30

Browse All Weeklies