In Focus This Week
An army of volunteers
Officials find new and unique ways to power the polls in November
By M. Mindy Moretti
Robin Davis served as an election judge when she lived in Maryland and so when she moved to Florida a few years ago, becoming a poll worker in Volusia County, Florida was a no-brainer.
“I love civic engagement,” Davis said. “I believe in the voice of the people.”
But she’s sitting out serving as a poll worker for the August primary in Florida and hasn’t made up her mind about November yet.
“I worked the presidential primary in March and was terrified of the vast number of deniers and outright belligerent people who belittled and mocked us for wearing a mask and gloves. I did not feel safe. It was stressful,” Davis said. “ Moving forward, it appears that sensible people are voting by mail, and those who decry vote-by-mail and insist on in-person voting are more likely to be science deniers who could spread coronavirus carelessly. I am old but not ready to die!”
Davis is not alone. Across the country, in every county, city and state long-time poll workers, many who are 60+ and are therefore more susceptible to the coronavirus are choosing to sit out serving as poll workers in the 2020 election.
In 2016, local election officials operated 116,990 polling places, including 8,616 early voting locations, across the country. These polling sites were operated by 917,694 poll workers. And while more and more states are moving to mail voting and consolidating polling places for the November 2020 General Election due to the coronavirus, a veritable army of poll workers will still be necessary to pull the whole thing off.
States and localities are resorting to all sorts of new ways to recruit poll workers.
In the District of Columbia, the DCBOE is working with D.C. Public Schools to possibly provide enhanced community service hours to high school students 16 and older to serve as poll workers. The Ohio secretary of state office’s partnership with the Ohio Supreme Court to provide continuing education credits (CECs) to attorneys who serve as poll workers is finally rolling out after the state’s March primary was scuttled.
Similarly, for its June primary, the West Virginia secretary of state’s office partnered with the Real Estate Commission to recruit poll workers who in turn earned CECs.
“During the primary we were looking for ways to bring people in for poll workers to our larger, more urban counties,” explained Matthew Gallagher, programs coordinator with the West Virginia secretary of state’s office. “The Real Estate Commission really pulled through for us. We expected a dozen or two, but as soon as we announced had partnered the Commission and we had about 80-100 sign up in a day. We were so grateful for them.”
And the partnership wasn’t just a win for the secretary of state’s office. Gallagher said the Real Estate Commission reported back that it got a lot of really good feedback from the realtors who served as poll workers.
“Their members really wanted to find a way to help,” Gallagher said “And this gave them a concrete way to do that. “
In addition to working with the Real Estate Commission again for November, Gallagher said the state will also be working with the United Way. Twelve of the United Way’s 14 statewide organizations have signed up with the secretary of state’s office to push poll worker recruitment to their members.
While many sports franchises are offering up their idle facilities to serve as voting centers, the Detroit Pistons are taking it one step further. More than 50 employees of the team will be serving as poll workers for the upcoming Aug. 4 primary and during the November 3 general election. Those dates will be company-wide paid days off so all staff members can vote, volunteer as election workers and rally others to do the same. Volunteers will work at the Pistons’ Performance Center in Detroit, as well as another site.
“The Detroit Piston organization has deep roots in our community, supporting programs and initiatives that fundamentally make a difference in the lives our residents,” said Detroit City Clerk Janice Winfrey said in a statement. “This is an organization that consistently, demonstrates positive corporate values, and acts as a role model for our children. I am excited about forging a long-term partnership with the Pistons organization, to raise voter awareness and participation in the democratic process.”
For the Nebraska primary, while a record number of voters cast their ballots by mail, 77,000 residents still showed up at their polling place to vote on May 12.
Nebraska took a multi-pronged approach to staff their polling places. In addition to offering CCEs to attorneys, the state also worked with CPAs and Realtors to receive CCEs in exchange for serving as poll workers. In counties that needed more help, the state sent out mailers to all registered voters between the age of 18 and 50 encouraging them to be a poll worker. The mailing included an application to become a poll worker.
According to Deputy Secretary of State for Elections Wayne Bena, the state sent out 132,000 mailers at an estimated cost of about $100,000. The costs included paper, printing and postage.
“We did not ask the counties how many poll workers it generated, but even just a couple in a county made all the difference for some,” Bena said.
Bena noted that given the new generation of poll workers to compliment the ones they already had, the hope is they won’t need to do another mailing for November, but the state is ready if the need arises.
The state also relied heavily on print ads and radio/television ads to recruit poll workers.
“We should not forget traditional methods of advertising to get the word out. While social media is great, there are other ways to recruit,” Bena said.
Thanks to the state’s poll worker recruitment efforts, Nebraska was able to open all 1,225 precincts on time and with appropriate staffing levels for the May primary.
Some counties offer a program where local businesses or nonprofits adopt a polling place and provide the necessary poll workers and then the poll worker compensation goes directly to the nonprofit or the nonprofit of the busines’ choice. Orange County, Florida Supervisor of Elections Bill Cowles, credits his adopt-a-precinct program to having the necessary number of poll workers.
“I truly believe that our Adopt-A-Precinct program has contributed to us not experiencing a significant drop in poll workers, either in advance of Election Day or on Election morning,” Cowles said. “Orange County, Florida currently has 247 polling places. We have been able to keep all polling places open for the three elections in 2020, with only a limited number of polling places being replaced for Election Day, and no reduction in voting sites.”
For the presidential preference primary and municipal elections, Orange County had 114 precincts adopted by 89 groups. Heading into the August 18th Primary Election, they will have 116 precincts adopted by 88 groups. Each precinct has an average of 7 trained poll workers per polling place – that’s 812 poll workers that the county didn’t have to recruit, since the AAP groups do the recruiting. Hands-on, in-person training for poll workers is already underway.
Given the concerns about older poll workers, following the March primary, Cowles conducted a survey of Florida supervisors of elections in larger counties regarding the average age of poll workers. Cowles found that Orange County has the youngest average poll workers at 56 years old.
“That is a direct result of our Adopt-A-Precinct program,” Cowles said. “Many of our AAP poll workers are younger business professionals who take a day off from work to help their organization raise funds to support their mission.”
Power the Polls
A coalition of businesses and nonprofits has launched Power the Polls, a first-of-its-kind initiative to recruit a new wave of poll workers – especially among younger, more diverse populations that have not historically filled these roles – to ensure a safe, secure, healthy and fair election for all voters.
Power the Polls plans to offer solutions to the poll worker shortage through education, recruitment, business engagement, PPE procurement, and potential rewards for those who sign up. The initiative is being launched by nonprofit organizations and businesses, namely Civic Alliance, Comedy Central, Fair Elections Center, Levi Strauss & Co, MTV, Patagonia, Pizza to the Polls, Time To Vote, Uber, and We Can Vote—with a goal of recruiting more partners.
The initiative’s platform is built using poll worker requirements collected by the nonpartisan Fair Elections Center with its unique Work Elections web portal. Information is available on poll worker compensation, hours, application links, and training and voter registration requirements for more than 4,000 jurisdictions in states across the country.
“We’re excited about this new, expanded initiative to recruit people to be poll workers for the Fall elections,” said Fair Elections Center President Robert Brandon. “We established Work Elections to provide information and make it easy for folks to sign up. This year, with the pandemic affecting the ability of many people who normally work at the polls, we’re pleased to join with these partners to get the word out that poll workers are going to be desperately needed in many communities to help ensure a safe and fair election for voters.”
Power the Polls will recruit and support workers by:
- Educating potential voters on the opportunity and experience of manning Election Day polls.
- An efficient and effective program to ensure people sign up and show up on Election Day.
- Activating businesses to give their workers Election Day off so they can work the polls.
- Providing PPE for worker safety on Election Day (through corporate partners).
- Rewarding poll workers for their service by providing virtual gifts (merchandise, gift cards, etc.) from Power the Polls business partners to celebrate their service.
“We have been trying to think about ways to convince people to think about it as their civic duty so people from communities would be helping the voters that look like them,” Brandon said. “The pitch for and the plea is to be part of democracy and it’s an appeal to help your community. Do some sort of service for your community.”
(Editor’s Note: If you’ve found a unique and successful way to recruit poll workers, let us know we’re happy to include it in a future edition of electionline Weekly.)
Important USPS News!
New Post Master General issues directive
By Tammy Patrick, senior advisor
The Democracy Fund
Although he hasn’t been on the job long, the new Postmaster General (PMG) of the United States Postal Service (USPS) issued a directive “Stand-Up Talk” this month that has the potential to delay the delivery of the mail and has the mailing industry concerned with the decision.
What You Should Know
The new directive requires tasks not completed by the end of the workday must wait until the following business day, with no overtime or second deliveries. Unlike past USPS practices this means that a mail carrier may not wait for the rest of the workload if it is not ready when it is time to leave for their route, and a truck may not wait if it is time to leave for the next plant or destination. The new “leave it behind” directive would be particularly harmful in this year’s presidential election and may contribute to the delayed receipt of ballots.
We understand the new directive contains the following elements:
It appears that these changes may be only the beginning of other concerning changes. In a recent article, Government Executive reported that under the new PMG, the USPS is conducting a pilot with urban postal carriers in 200 locations where mail carriers will not case mail in the morning, but rather will leave uncased mail in the post offices to be delivered the next day. Some mail will be sorted “while on the street”. With rural postal carriers exempt from the pilot’s requirements, this practice could have a disproportionate impact on voters across any and all states.
Impact on Election Mail
The impact on Election Mail under this guidance could be severe, and unless addressed, may cause an increased number of ballots rejected for being late at various points in the pipeline, including:
- Mail-in ballots that are delayed may not be postmarked on day received. For years, the election community has worked with USPS to postmark Election Mail with the date that it was picked up. Under the new USPS directive, however, this is no longer guaranteed if the mail delay occurs on the day the ballot is picked up; this could lead to disastrous effects in states relying on USPS data to demonstrate that the voter mailed the ballot back in time. This could happen regardless of whether a state simply looks at the date of the postmark, or other USPS data including the Intelligent Mail Barcode (IMb) or orange processing marks.
- Mail-in ballots not returned to election officials by close of the polls on Election Day. Many states require the ballot to be in-hand by the close of the polls on Election Day, but compounded delays may lead to undelivered ballots that prevent otherwise eligible voters from having their ballots count. “One more day” is one day too late in many states.
- COVID has changed the way elections are being conducted in 2020. As a result, more states are mailing out ballots to voters and paying postage upon return under Business Reply Mail (BRM)—an additional step where mail could be left until the next day.
- State Deadlines Already Misaligned with USPS Guidance. For many years now, USPS has advised that voters return their ballots back in the mail one week before they are due. Although this has been known for some time – and reports such as the Bipartisan Policy Center’s “New Realities of Voting by Mail” have called for policy changes to align dates and deadlines with USPS delivery standards – that hasn’t happened in many states. As outlined in the Vote.org table below, almost half of the states allow for a voter to still request a ballot be mailed to them after the time that USPS recommends the ballot be mailed back. This problem will be exacerbated given this new delivery delay directive if additional time is added to the process.
What Can be Done
During the Mailers Technical Advisory Committee (MTAC) meeting this week, the dedication of USPS to Election Mail was reiterated by postal leadership. However, the new Postmaster General must also voice this dedication, and outline how USPS will continue to prioritize Election Mail along with other critical mail, to ensure no ballots – and therefore no eligible voters –are left behind in this presidential election year. As Former Deputy Postmaster Ronald Stroman – now a Senior Fellow for the Democracy Fund Elections Team – continues to emphasize: “It is essential for the new Postmaster General to set and prioritize a target of 100 percent on-time delivery of mail-in ballots.”
In addition to pushing for clarity on the prioritization of Election Mail and working with their local postmasters, election officials can better guide their own voters by encouraging them to not wait to request or return mail in ballots, provide as many additional options for ballot return as their laws allow, and make sure that voting instructions are clear and set the correct expectations.
Voting by mail is still safe and secure, but the message is clear:
Don’t wait to request. Don’t wait to return.
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Election News This Week
Unfinished Business: All eyes might be on November 2020, but officials in Macon County, Illinois and Harpers Ferry, West Virginia are still focused on 2018 and 2019 respectively. In Macon County, following a court-ordered recount, Tony Brown holds an 18-vote lead over Jim Root in the 2018 race for sheriff. There are still 1,337 ballots being contested and sorting out who gets those votes will fall to Champaign Circuit Court Judge Anna M. Benjamin. According to the Herald & Review, the recount report from the clerk’s office indicates there were 395 under votes (no vote cast for either candidate), four over votes (votes were cast for both candidates) and 57 uncounted ballots that were found in the wrong precinct. The two-week recount of nearly 40,000 ballots involved 10 election judges, split between Republican and Democrats, to hand count each precinct, two judges to a precinct. There were also 10 poll watchers, split evenly between Brown and Root, who were chosen by them to monitored the process and raise objections to a decision on any ballot. In Harpers Ferry, four contested provisional ballots in a tight town council race are set to finally be counted this week. Following a state Supreme Court Ruling earlier this summer, 23rd Judicial Circuit Judge Debra McLaughlin ordered that the four ballots be counted. McLaughlin previously concluded that the four provisional ballots should be included in the vote tallies because the voters’ names were left out of the poll book because of a technical error involving the West Virginia Division of Motor Vehicles.
More Than A Vote: The nonprofit founded by NBA star LeBron James has committed to donate $100,000 to the Florida Rights Restoration Coalition to help pay off any outstanding court debts associated with their convictions so they can register to vote. “We believe that your right to vote shouldn’t depend upon whether or not you can pay to exercise it,” Udonis Haslem, a forward for the Miami Heat and More Than A Vote member, said in a statement. According to ABC News, the donation appears to only be the start of the partnership between More Than A Vote and the Florida Rights Restoration Coalition, with the release noting that “additional announcements on the partnership … will follow in the coming weeks.”
Congratulations! The Office of the California Secretary of State has been named the recipient of the National Association of Secretaries of State (NASS) 2020 IDEAS (Innovation, Dedication, Excellence and Achievement in Service) Award. Voted on by NASS members, this award recognizes significant state contributions to the mission of NASS. California’s VoteSure: A Public Education Campaign Encouraging Voters to be Vigilant of Election Misinformation launched in October 2018. The program was developed to counteract election misinformation, provide public education resources and strengthen voter confidence. VoteSure strategically placed social media ads aimed at directing voters to official elections tools, information, and resources. Other ads explained the various security measures in place that protect the integrity of our elections. The initiative also included proactive social media monitoring for election misinformation and provided voters a dedicated email address to report suspicious posts. The state worked in partnership with social media platforms to develop more efficient reporting procedures for potential misinformation. Misinformation identified by the secretary of state’s office or voters was promptly reviewed and, in most cases, removed by the social media platforms. “Bad actors — both foreign and domestic — continue to threaten our elections and elections officials must be more proactive and innovative in strengthening voter confidence. In response, California launched VoteSure, the first initiative of its kind in the nation to both promote official, trusted sources of election information while countering election misinformation on social media,” said Secretary of State Alex Padilla.
Polling Place Profile: We love profiling unique polling places and while we haven’t had a chance to do that recently (So. Much. News.), this week we’re able to bring you the story of the Sang Run Election House in Maryland. Thought to have been built in 1872 the Election House was the polling place for Sang Run and the surrounding areas until 1972 and is the oldest standing polling place of its type in the state of Maryland. The original structure was disassembled and all reusable original material was salvaged for reuse. The structure was rebuilt on its original footprint using the salvaged material and other period appropriate material obtained from local sources, as well as some modern material to improve safety and longevity. Information gathered during a 2018 assessment and a few existing old photos (circa 1920) of the Election House were used to develop a construction plan to return the election house to its original 1872 appearance. Sang Run State Park is a homestead, formerly known as Friends Delight and dates back to the early 1800’s. The homestead was donated to Maryland in 2008 and designated as a state park in 2017. The property is part of the Youghiogheny River Natural Resources Management Area and Deep Creek Lake State Park
Personnel News: Angela Maniglia Turner has been appointed the acting general registrar of Alexandria, Virginia. Kenneth McDowell has retired as the director of the Sussex County, Delaware department of elections after almost 30 years on the job. His replacement has a familiar name, Kenneth A. McDowell, his son. “I will miss the people for sure,” McDowell told the Coastal Point “I always like to talk to the voters, the elected officials, the candidates. I can’t tell you anything I don’t like about the job. I really like it, and I’m honored to have had it.” Brian Smith is the new Norwalk, Connecticut Republican registrar of voters. Jackie Ortiz has been nominated to serve as the Monroe County, New York Democratic elections commissioner. If approved by the county Legislature she would be the first Latina to serve in that role. Michele Barnes has resigned as the director of elections in Dare County, North Carolina. Lesli Penny has been appointed to serve as Craighead County, Arkansas clerk. Melanie Armstrong has joined the Tyrrell County, North Carolina board of elections. Michael Narducci is the new Woonsocket, Rhode Island board of canvassers manager. Joanie Weeks has retired as the Swain County, North Carolina board of elections director. Claire Cooper has retired as the Petaluma City, California clerk.
In Memoriam: Robert “Bob” Ishmell Sweat, a decades-long servant of the people of Manatee County, died on Wednesday at the age of 82. Sweat served as a Bradenton City Council member for four years before a 28-year career as Manatee County’s supervisor of elections. According to the Bradenton Herald, Sweat oversaw the office through Florida’s notorious role in the presidential election of 2000. In Manatee, the process went smoothly compared to elsewhere in the state. A year prior in 1999, Sweat had sought transparency regarding the state’s recount policy on behalf of Manatee County voters. His query prompted a four-page opinion from the Secretary of State’s office— a ruling that demanded physical reprocessing of ballots in the event of a recount— that could have potentially changed the outcome of the following year’s election, had it been enforced in all Florida counties. Sweat retired in 2012. He was succeeded by current elections supervisor Mike Bennett. “It was scary,” Bennett said of the new responsibility. “Because Manatee County under Bob Sweat was always considered, truly, as a model for everybody else.” But Bennett said that Sweat made the transition easy for him and was always there to offer advice. “The professionalism that he brought to the office, the wonderful, wonderful job he did gave me a tough hill to climb when I got here,” Bennett said. “He left me with a fantastic staff and a great history of running wonderful elections.”
Research and Report Summaries
The West Virginia Secretary of State’s office released its after action report on the state’s June primary elections last week. The report covers the legal framework for postponing the election, the relaxing of absentee voting requirements due to COVID, mailing absentee ballot application forms to voters, statistics for voting methods by county and party, use of CARES Act funding, consolidation of in-person voting sites, and election night reporting. The report states that absentee ballots account for only roughly 2 percent of all ballots cast in typical elections in the state. In the June 2020 primary, 49.9 percent of voters cast an absentee ballot.
The OSET Institute’s Trust the Vote Project released an explanatory brief on election terminology for journalists earlier this month. The brief provides answers to frequently asked questions regarding commonly misused or misunderstood election terms.
The Voting Rights Lab released a report on polling place consolidation earlier this month. The report explores pre-COVID-19 trends in polling place closure and consolidation, consolidation during the 2020 primaries, the effect of consolidation on turnout, mitigation measures, poll worker recruitment during the pandemic, and recommendations for policymakers.
Election Security Updates
Phishing: A new report from Area 1 Security, a cybersecurity group, found that more than 50 percent of election administrators have “only rudimentary or non-standard technologies” to protect against malicious emails from cyber criminals, with less than 30 percent using basic security controls to halt phishing emails. The study also found that around 5 percent of election administrators use personal emails, which are seen as less secure than government emails, and some election administrators use a custom email infrastructure known to have been targeted by Russian military hackers during prior elections. The security researchers at Area 1 Security noted that while the diversity of election systems and infrastructure across U.S. election jurisdictions would make it “impossible” for a nationwide hacking incident to occur, the low email security standards could easily lead to localized cyber incidents. “The disparate approaches to cybersecurity by state, local and county officials is such that should a cybersecurity incident occur in one small town, whether in a ‘battleground state’ or not, even if statistically insignificant, could cause troubling ripple effects that erode confidence in results across the entire country,” the researchers wrote in the report.
Colorado: Colorado announced this week that is partnering with Synack to conduct penetration tests of its voting system. In an interview with StateScoop, Trevor Timmons, the chief information officer for the secretary of state’s office, said Synack’s team of white-hat hackers will poke and prod the agency’s election infrastructure, including the statewide voter registration database and Griswold’s office’s main website. “We need to know [vulnerabilities],” Timmons told the publication. “We’ve got enough time that if they found anything we’d be able to respond to them.”
Federal Legislation: The House of Representatives on Monday passed a measure renaming H.R. 4, a key voting rights bill, after the late Rep. John Lewis (D-Georgia), coinciding with a ceremony to honor him at the U.S. Capitol Rotunda. The bill passed with the votes of 227 Democrats and one Republican in December, with Lewis presiding over the vote and banging the gavel to announce the approval of the bill. On Monday, the House voted by unanimous consent to approve a measure, proposed by House Majority Whip James Clyburn (D-South Carolina) to rename the bill the “John R. Lewis Voting Rights Act.”
Reps. Mary Gay Scanlon (D-Pennsylvania) and Jamie Raskin (D-Maryland) have introduced the Accessible Voting Act which would establish an Office of Accessibility in the Election Assistance Commission and provide grants to help states improve voting access, including absentee ballots. The House bill is the companion to a bill introduced in the Senate earlier this year by Sens. Bob Casey of Pennsylvania and Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota. So far, the Senate bill has stalled in committee
Connecticut: By a vote of 144-2, the House approved a bill that will allow anyone concerned about going to the polls on Election Day in November to cast an absentee ballot. Although the vote was overwhelmingly in favor of the bill, it wasn’t without debate. Republicans, although only two voted against the bill, argued that the secretary of state’s ballot drop boxes weren’t secure and that the absentee voting process could be confusing to voters. Republicans sought to amend the bill Thursday to allow for some regulation of the boxes, but were unsuccessful. The Senate approved the bill this week.
Maryland: The Montgomery County council approved a resolution calling on Gov. Larry Hogan to change his position on how voting should be carried out in the upcoming general election Nov. 3. The nine members of the county council are calling on the Republican governor to send ballots with prepaid postage directly to eligible voters. The council also said touch-free drop boxes should be provided so that voters can cast their ballots “to make voting as easy and safe as possible.” “Substantially changing the procedures for the general election now will confuse voters, undermine confidence, add costs and create unnecessary health risks for voters, staff and volunteers,” Council member Tom Hucker said. “We urge the state to reconsider.”
New Jersey: The Monmouth County Board of Chosen Freeholders unanimously passed the resolution opposing the exclusive use of mail-in ballots for this November’s General Election, and all future elections “The Board of Chosen Freeholders believes that voter choice should refer to ‘how to vote,’ in addition to ‘who to vote for,’ in any given election cycle,” said Freeholder Director Arnone. “On behalf of the Board, I urge the Secretary of State and 21 County Clerks to utilize in-person voting in conjunction with mail-in balloting come Tuesday, November 3. After regularly corresponding with the Governor’s Office about this matter, we hope that a decision is made before our next Freeholder Meeting.”
New York: The Legislature has approved a bill that will implement automatic registration by 2023. The legislation had to scrapped in 2019 after a typo in the bill would have allowed noncitizens to register to vote. Under the new bill, voters will be automatically registered to vote when obtaining and a driver’s license and conducting business with certain state agencies. They will be permitted to opt out of the registration. Legislators also approved a bill allowing voters the chance to apply for and receive absentee ballots well ahead of November’s fast-approaching election. The measure suspends a law barring local boards of election from processing mail-in ballot applications until 30 days preceding an election. Now, applications can be approved as soon as they are received.
Oregon: In a 5-4 vote, the Eugene city council voted down a proposal to place a charter amendment on the November ballot that would have paved the way for the city to implement the STAR voting system for mayor and city council. STAR stands for Score, Then Automatic Runoff was created in 2014 during a conference at the University of Oregon. The Equal Vote Coalition has been advocating for the system ever since, saying it boost equality in the voting process and combats hyper partisanship.
U.S. Supreme Court News: National Public Radio’s longtime and esteemed courts reporter Nina Totenberg has an in-depth look at four recent rulings from the U.S. Supreme Court on voting-related issues and how the court may continue to rule moving forward.
Florida: The Florida Council of the Blind and Secretary of State Laurel Lee have reached an agreement over a suit filed seeking better accessibility for the state’s vote-at-home ballots. The deal will require five counties — Miami-Dade, Nassau, Orange, Pinellas and Volusia — to implement a program allowing blind and print-impaired voters to fill out ballots online. The agreement also requires statewide implementation of the process by March 2022. The five counties agreed to have the system in time for the Nov. 3 elections, according to Florida Council of the Blind lawyer Matthew Dietz. More than 500,000 Floridians are blind, and hundreds of thousands of others are print-impaired, he said. Under the settlement, Lee will “educate” and “encourage” county supervisors of elections about a variety of vote-by-mail procedures that were at the heart of the case. For example, the state’s top elections official will be required to educate supervisors about pre-paid postage for mail-in ballots. The settlement also will encourage local elections officials “to maximize the use of drop boxes for vote-by-mail ballots” and to inform voters about the availability of the ballot drop-off sites.
Georgia: Superior Court Judge Thomas Hodges dismissed a petition that challenged the election of Jesse Houle to the District 6 seat on the Athens-Clarke County Commission. Hodges, retired from the Northern Circuit and appointed to hear the case in Athens, cited a state case called Jones vs. Norris, which in part reads “votes cast for candidates who have died, withdrawn or been disqualified shall be void and shall not be counted.” District 9 incumbent Commissioner Jerry NeSmith died days before the June 9 election. As a result, Athens-Clarke Attorney Judd Drake concluded that Houle could take the seat in January despite losing the vote count to NeSmith. NeSmith tallied 1,864 votes to 1,404 for Houle.
Iowa: The president’s re-election campaign and other Republicans are seeking to intervene in a lawsuit brought LULAC that is seeking to overturn the Iowa law that prevents election officials from filling out omitted or incorrect information on absentee ballots. The GOP groups also called on Secretary of State Paul Pate to order two “rogue” counties to stop sending absentee ballot applications with the voters’ information, such as date of birth and voter identification number, prepopulated.
Kansas: Shawnee County District Judge Teresa Watson has ruled that Secretary of State Scott Schwab must release the names of people who cast provisional ballots in the 2018 general election, including whether their votes were counted. About 29,000 provisional ballots were cast in the 2018 general election in Kansas, the ruling noted. Plaintiffs sought the release of the 2018 provisional voter information so that it can help voters correct the problems that caused them to be given provisional ballots, such as correcting mismatched signatures in voter registration records or telling them what ID they’ll need to present and what polling site they’re supposed to use.
In another matter, Shawnee County District Judge Thomas Luedke has dismissed a lawsuit brought by Democrats to force Secretary of State Scott Schwab to implement for the 2020 elections a law allowing voters to cast ballots from any polling station within their home county. In the suit, the Kansas Democratic Party and three national Democratic Party organizations contended Schwab was intentionally dragging his feet on the changes for partisan benefit. In dismissing the case, however, Luedke said implementation of the Vote Anywhere act was in the “complete discretion of the county election officials” whether or not Schwab devised rules or regulations to guide them.
Maine: The state is facing a federal lawsuit over ranked-choice voting – again. Four Mainers have filed a complaint in U.S. District Court of Bangor to block the use of ranked-choice voting in the 2020 general election. They argue the system disenfranchises voters whose ballots are eliminated before the final round of tabulation, and they have asked the court to declare Maine’s law unconstitutional and prevent ranked-choice voting from being used in the November election. “This case seeks to vindicate the constitutional rights of Mainers who will soon be denied full participation in the 2020 general election,” the complaint states. The Maine Republican Party filed a last-minute court appeal this week, asking a judge to overturn the decision of Secretary of State Matt Dunlap to allow ranked-choice voting in the November presidential election. The party filed the appeal just before Cumberland County Superior Court closed for business and on the last day of a 10-day window for contesting Dunlap’s action.
Michigan: Genesee Circuit Court Judge Celeste D. Bell has ordered Flint Clerk Inez Brown to carry out election law related to absentee voting, including clearing a backlog of more than 1,000 requests for absentee ballots within 72 hours of the Thursday ruling. The suit was brought by by voters and the American Civil Liberties Union of Michigan, which sought the judicial writ and injunctive relief as a “last resort to restore and protect” voter rights as the Aug. 4 primary election nears. Registered voters in Flint were unable to do business with the Clerk’s Office in person until Monday, July 23, because it and the rest of City Hall has been closed because of the coronavirus pandemic. The lawsuit claimed that some voters who requested absentee ballots weeks ago still had not received them. In court Thursday, Bell called the right to vote “a vital constitutional right” and said “the absentee ballot, particularly in the time of COVID, is going to be very important to all citizens, certainly citizens in the city.” The judge ordered Brown to process absent voter ballot applications within 24 hours once the current backlog is cleared and said the Clerk’s Office must remain open from 7 a.m. until 5 p.m., Monday through Saturday, for distribution and acceptance of absent voter ballots and applications, distribution of ballots and acceptance of completed absent voter ballots until Election Day on Aug. 4. The city is also required to file a daily summary with the court, detailing the number of absent voter applications received, the number of absent voter ballots issued, the number of completed ballots received and the number of absent voter applications rejected or delayed due to some deficiency.
Minnesota: The Minnesota Voters Alliance and the Republican Party of Minnesota are asking the court to order Ramsey County to ensure election judges who review absentee ballots this fall equally represent both major political parties. The organizations filed a legal petition in Ramsey County District Court last week, writing in a press release that they are asking the county to follow state law that requires ballot boards be made up of election judges from lists submitted by each party. Instead, they say Ramsey County relies on county staff who do not declare party affiliation to perform the job, said Andrew Cilek, executive director of the Minnesota Voters Alliance.
New Mexico: A New Mexico Libertarian candidate for the state court of appeals is suing New Mexico’s secretary of state in federal court, claiming his and Libertarian voters’ civil rights were violated in the process of tabulating votes from the state’s primary election. The lawsuit claims that the candidate, who was a write-in candidate, received “well above the 230-vote threshold” to move on to the state’s general election. Even though the candidate did not face a primary opponent, state law requires write-in candidates to receive a certain number of votes to be placed on the general election ballot. The suit asks a federal judge to stop enforcement of a state provision requiring payment for a recount and to force a recount.
New York: Civil liberties groups are asking a state court to block New York election officials from enforcing a requirement that voters register 25 days before an election. Representatives of the New York Civil Liberties Union and the American Civil Liberties Union said Wednesday that they have filed a request for a preliminary injunction in their ongoing lawsuit first filed in November 2018 against the New York state Board of Elections. The civil liberties groups’ leaders argues that the 25-day cut-off left about 93,000 New Yorkers unable to vote in the 2016 presidential election because they registered after the deadline. The preliminary injunction would ensure New Yorkers can register at least ten days before the election, which the group’s leaders say is the latest deadline currently allowed under the state’s constitution.
Also in New York, the state board of elections is urging a federal judge not to force a recount of absentee ballots in the state’s June primary election and instead unburden election officials to focus on getting ready for the fall presidential election. Two weeks ago, two Democratic candidates in New York’s primary election along more than a dozen voters filed a class action lawsuit in federal court in Manhattan accusing New York Governor Andrew Cuomo and the state’s Board of Elections of allowing an “election snafu” during the state’s June primary election that could potentially disenfranchise thousands of voters.
Pennsylvania: Attorneys for Potter County have asked the U.S. District Court in Pittsburgh to dismiss a suit brought by the Donald J. Trump campaign against the state and 67 counties. The Potter County response, filed July 18 by its solicitor, Thomas R. Shaffer, asks to be dismissed from the lawsuit for a lack of any factual allegations involving the county’s board of elections. “Do the plaintiffs seek a declaration that Potter County should keep on doing what it is doing, or change what it is doing?” Shaffer asked in a brief in support of his motion to dismiss. “How could the court know what to declare as there are no facts whatsoever alleged as to what Potter County has done?” Meanwhile, Indiana County and several other southwestern Pennsylvania have joined forces against the suit.
Also in Pennsylvania, United States Attorney William M. McSwain said U.S. Congressman Michael “Ozzie” Myers, 77, of Philadelphia, has been charged by indictment with multiple counts, including conspiring to violate voting rights by fraudulently stuffing the ballot boxes for specific Democratic candidates in the 2014, 2015, and 2016 Pennsylvania primary elections, bribery of an election official, falsification of records, voting more than once in federal elections, and obstruction of justice.
Rhode Island: Voter advocacy groups have filed a lawsuit in U.S. District Court seeking a reprieve from witness requirements for people seeking to vote by mail ballot, including shut-ins and others trying hard to avoid potential exposure to COVID by limiting in-person contacts. The lawsuit asks the court to block, for this election cycle only, the requirement that Rhode Islanders seeking to vote by mail have two witnesses or a notary sign their ballot envelope. Removing the witness and notary requirement in the midst of a deadly pandemic is a common-sense solution that protects people’s health and their right to vote,” said Steven Brown, executive director of the ACLU of Rhode Island. But the RI GOP announced plans to intervene in the case “to protect our Democracy,″ asserting “the ACLU’s lawsuit is not about protecting public health. It is about undermining the integrity of our election.” The Republican National Committee has filed a request requesting that both the national and state GOP be given status as defendants. On Tuesday, U.S. District Court Judge Mary McElroy signaled her intent to waive witness requirements for mail-ballot voting in Rhode Island during this COVID-themed election year. She told the lawyers on both sides that she views the waiver agreement that the advocacy groups that brought the lawsuit forged with the secretary of state and the R.I. Board of Elections as “justified and lawful and fair.” “I am making that finding,″ said McElroy, promising that a written order would follow. She also denied the Republicans’ bid to formally intervene in the case. She also denied their lawyer Thomas McCarthy’s request that she stay her decision pending an appeal to a higher court.
Tennessee: A suit has been filed in Davidson County chancery court seeking a temporary injunction that would bind the state to allow people who have had their rights restored in other states to regain their rights in Tennessee as well. According to the Tennessean, Ernest Falls, of Grainger County, is one of two plaintiffs named in the suit over felons’ voting rights. Tennessee elections officials won’t let him register because of an out-of-state felony conviction from the 1980s, even though Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam granted him clemency in February, court documents show. But Tennessee statute has allowed pathways for people with felony convictions to restore their voting rights for decades, meaning the officials are breaking state law by denying him, the lawsuit contends. Some who try to register to vote in Tennessee run into roadblocks around the felony conviction question. Some who filed by paper had their applications rejected, court documents show. Others who tried to register online were unable to complete the form after checking the box to show they had a felony conviction. But the reasons for their rejection go against state law, the suit says.
Texas: Three voters, the National Federation of the Blind of Texas, and the Coalition of Texans with Disabilities have filed a federal lawsuit against the state arguing that Texas’ mail-in ballot system discriminates against voters with disabilities and violates provisions of the Americans with Disabilities Act and Rehabilitation Act of 1973 — both which prohibit discrimination based on disability. In Texas, voters must fill out a paper mail-in ballot, which plaintiffs argue is inaccessible to voters with disabilities and requires assistance that may not be feasible to coordinate safely amid the pandemic. The lawsuit seeks for Texas Secretary of State Ruth Hughs to overhaul the state’s mail-in ballot request system by establishing a remote and accessible one across counties for future elections. A spokesman for the Secretary of State’s office declined to comment Monday.
Virginia: Five state residents and members of the National Federation of the Blind of Virginia and the American Council of the Blind of Virginia is suing Virginia over its absentee voting rules in advance of the November election. In their lawsuit, the plaintiffs say that they are unable to independently mark a paper ballot due to their disabilities, including blindness, and that violates the Americans with Disabilities Act. “The (state’s absentee voting system) provides no alternatives to accommodate individuals with print disabilities to enable them to vote privately and independently,” the lawsuit claims. “As a result, individuals with print disabilities must choose between their health and their right to vote because they are forced to go to their local electoral board or polling place to privately and independently mark their ballots.”
Texas: The League of Women Voters of Texas conducted its sixth survey of Texas county websites in July 2020. This review was narrow in scope, focusing the information counties are providing voters regarding the impact of COVID-19 on voting and elections. Thirty counties ranked “Outstanding” in this review. Reviews for each county are available here.
“We are thrilled that many counties provide voters with safe voting options and voter safety education on county websites,” stated Grace Chimene, the president of the League of Women Voters of Texas. Chimene continued, “We applaud the Texas Secretary of State’s voter information website (votetexas.gov) for adding a button to easily access Vote By Mail information and the Vote By Mail application. We will continue to advocate for the addition of information on election recruitment and safe voting in person along with the recommendations from the 2020 Primary Election Website Review.”
Key Results of the Survey on Safer Voting Information
While there was good news – 65% (166 out of 254 counties) provide a Vote By Mail link or voter education – only 27% of counties in Texas provide adequate safe voting information to their voters. In addition, only 69 counties provided information on election worker training. Recruiting and training new election workers will be a critical component of safer elections in November.
A Brief Summary of Recommendations
The 2020 General Election will be here before you know it! Texas voters are concerned with staying safe and healthy during this pandemic. Voters need to find accurate and comprehensive election information on their county and state websites regarding safe voting options.
To ensure safer voting conditions, the League recommends that counties take the following steps:
- Provide voter education on voting by mail with a link to a Vote By Mail application.
- Prepare for a loss of election workers by providing information to recruit and train more election workers.
- Provide information about actions the county is taking to provide a safe voting experience for voters who vote in person.
Read the full 2020 Texas County Election Website Safety Review here.
Review their county election website with the League’s Checklist for County Election Websites and the comprehensive 2020 Suggested Best Practices for County Election Websites.
Voters look to their county’s website to find accurate, accessible, and useful information on how to vote safely and effectively in their communities. The League works in partnership with counties and the Texas Secretary of State to encourage the use of election website best practices to prepare for the upcoming 2020 General Election.
Opinions This Week
National Opinions: General Election, II, III, IV, V, VI, VII, VIII | Vote by mail, II, III | Voting safety | Voting Rights Act | Election security | John Lewis | Voter registration | U.S. Postal Service | Voting rights | Corporate help | Poll workers
Alabama: Voter ID
Arkansas: Voting safety
Colorado: Vote by mail
Georgia: Chatham County
Idaho: Vote by mail
Kentucky: Vote by mail
Maryland: Election judges
Michigan: Blind voters
Mississippi: Voting rights
New Hampshire: General election
New Jersey: Vote by mail
North Carolina: Election rules
Rhode Island: Voting options
Utah: U.S. Postal Service
West Virginia: Absentee voting
Election Security: Security for Whom?: Good elections are secure elections—but what does that mean? Does it mean that election processes help eligible people vote, while thwarting anyone else? Does it mean accurate vote tabulation—and being able to prove that the counting was done right? Does it mean keeping voters safe at the polls? Does it mean giving the voting public a sense of security in a time of disinformation and misinformation? Yes, yes, yes and yes. Learn from national elections experts about cybersecurity, election validation and audits, healthy polling places and communicating about security. Where: Online: When: August 13, 12pm Central
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 firstname.lastname@example.org. Job postings must be received by 5pm on Wednesday in order to appear in the Thursday newsletter. Listings will run for three weeks or till the deadline listed in the posting.
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.
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.
Communications Specialist, King County, Washington— This position reports to the Chief of Staff for the Department of Elections and will be responsible for writing communications to inform voters, stakeholders and others about elections in King County, including press releases, talking points and other materials. A large part of this role will be serving as the lead and providing technical expertise for King County Election’s active social media presence, designing advertising strategy and content, as well as responding to media and other inquiries. This position will support on-site tours, media visits, and other communication-related events. Salary: $78,992.16 – $100,127.46. Deadline: July 31. Application: For the complete job listing and to apply, click here.
Elections Manager, Shawnee County, Kansas— Under general supervision, this Classified position is a part of the Elections Office management team. Performs critical administrative work for elections related to voter services (voter registration, advance mail ballots, early voting, federal service/UOCAVA voting, mobile polling, etc.). Oversees voter records management systems and other related work. Performs other duties as assigned. This position is supervised by the Election Manager – Voter Services. 30% Assisting the Election Manager, 20% Election Systems Software, 20% Voter Registration & List Maintenance, 5% Voter Ballot Services, 10% Process Improvement & Documentation, and 5% Security & Customer Service. Salary: $18.49 to $20.41 hourly. Deadline: July 31. Application: For the complete job listing and to apply, click here.
Elections Specialist I-III, Douglas County, Colorado — This position is focused on routine customer service and general office/clerical support including data entry, communications, and processing mail. This is a support role capable of performing a variety of tasks, with problem solving abilities, managing multiple competing responsibilities and prioritizing to maintain a continuous flow of election office operations. This is a visible and crucial position requiring exceptional computer, customer service, and communication skills. This position may require technical work in a lead role capable of performing a variety of complex tasks, with solving problem abilities, managing multiple competing tasks and prioritizing to maintain a continuous flow of operations and temporary support. This position may be classified as an Elections Specialist I, II, or III dependent upon the skills of the candidate and the department’s business needs. Salary: $34,614 – 54,050. Application: For the complete job listing and to apply, click here.
Election Supervisor, City of Richmond — The City of Richmond, Virginia, Office of the General Registrar is seeking to fill the position of Election Supervisor. The purpose of the position is to provide management of and administrative assistance for all aspects of absentee voting to the Office of the General Registrar. This includes military and overseas voting, in-person voting before Election Day, through the mail absentee voting and post-election absentee ballot processing. The incumbent must be able to multi-task and demonstrate sound, independent judgement. The incumbent must have the ability to prioritize organize and evaluate work; determine appropriate action and adjust workloads according to deadlines and other program requirements. Experience in dealing effectively with a broad range of people in a business environment, with members of the community and with the public is essential. The incumbent in this position will be required to work within adhere to, interpret, apply and explain federal and state regulations, policies and procedures and respond in writing and verbally. This is a full time permanent position with benefits. Salary range $42,80 to $64,320 annually. Deadline: July 31. 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. The Secretary of State’s Office is located in downtown Carson City, near beautiful Lake Tahoe in Northern Nevada, which offers a destination location to live, work and play. Application: For the complete job listing and to apply, click here.
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 email@example.com 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 Coordinator, Center for Election Innovation and Research— CEIR seeks a qualified, full-time Project Coordinator to join our team. The Project Coordinator will report to the Program Director and will be responsible for monitoring project progress, promoting communication, and ensuring key milestones are met. The Project Coordinator will partner with CEIR’s Research manager and other project staff to create project action plans and coordinate resources. This is an excellent opportunity for an experienced and highly motivated individual who wants to join a quickly growing nonprofit that seeks to make a substantial, positive, nonpartisan impact on elections and American democracy. CEIR’s office is in Washington, DC, but due to the COVID-19 pandemic, all CEIR staff are working remotely for the foreseeable future. Therefore, while we prefer applicants who live in the Washington, DC Metro Area, we will also consider qualified applicants who live elsewhere. 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.
QA Analyst I, Dominion Voting Systems, Denver, Colorado— Responsible for quality assurance of DVS products. Ensure that products and services comply with all regulations and required functionality; verifies that all products and services either meet or exceed the requirements specified by the customers and guaranteed by the company. Job Responsibilities: Set up, install and configure test equipment and testbeds; Assist with System Test plan and coverage based on release content; Design, write, maintain, and execute automated and manual test cases, test scenarios, and test scripts including regression tests, functional tests, and data tests; Design and perform load and performance testing through a combination of automated and manual tests; Create test processes for new and existing software products; Define and evaluate test automation strategies; Encourage adoption of automation best practices throughout the Scrum agile-based, software development life-cycle; Work with the development team to resolve software bugs/defects; and Generate and report on test metrics. 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: firstname.lastname@example.org. commensurate with experience.
Systems Specialist, Denver, Colorado— The Operations, Integrated Solutions team assist our Tier 1 Operations teams in technical support while taking on operational projects that are extremely technical in nature, or scoped beyond the geographical boundaries of any one Tier 1 Operations team. The Operations, Integrated Solutions consists of 6 teams with specific focuses including Documentation & Training, Printer & Dealer Support, Advanced Field Support, Data Integration, Software Integration and Hardware Integration. This role will be responsible for implementing and ongoing support of multiple web applications reporting within Operations ISG. Dominion Voting has a family of web applications including imagecast remote (ICR), internet voting, ballot auditing & review, and election night reporting sites and in this position, you will manage the implementation and ongoing support of these applications, interfacing with both internal resources and customers. This position will require extensive customer facing training and support and process recommendations in addition to the web technology elements. Application: For the complete job listing and to apply, click here.
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.
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