In Focus This Week
Career pathways and origination stories
How America’s local election officials got there
By Paul Gronke, Paul Manson, and Jay Lee
Early Voting Information Center at Reed College
In a new series of blog posts, we will share highlights from our 2019 Survey of Local Election Officials, a joint collaboration between Democracy Fund and the Early Voting Information Center at Reed College. The DF/RC team are appreciative of the LEOs who took time out of their busy schedules to answer the survey. In 2019, 3000 LEOs were randomly selected to take the survey and 876 responded. For more information about how the survey was conducted, visit the study website.
We like to describe local election officials in the US as the “stewards of democracy.” LEOs comprise more than 8,000 local government employees and elected officials in municipalities and counties across the country, with a diverse range of pay, training, and experience.
They also differ greatly in the scope of their duties. Only 17% told us that they spend “all or almost all” of their time on elections-related work, while 61% said that elections work constitutes “less than half” of their workload.
Staff support is non-existent in many small jurisdictions. Forty-seven percent of LEOs told us that their staff size is one. They are the only person working on elections in their jurisdiction!
The portfolio of LEOs may include supporting local councils and commissions, judicial administration, collecting taxes, recording property transactions, issuing marriage licenses, managing public records requests, even issuing dog licenses and recording burials.
One important finding from the survey is that, for all the diversity across states and localities, most LEOs have substantial on-the-job experience. Half of the officials in our survey told us that they have been working in election administration since 2006, with several officials telling us they have served more than 50 years.
We asked our respondents where they came from just before their first job in election administration (because we offered respondents a wide set of choices, the percentages in the table may add up to more than 100%). Nearly half came from a non-elections private sector job (49%), with a slightly lower percentage (42%) coming from the public sector. Most of those coming from the public sector moved from other positions in local government. The other paths to election work are highly varied: volunteerism, political parties and campaigns, and straight out of school.
Comparing the responses across jurisdiction size, LEOs in smaller jurisdictions were much more likely to report that they were working in the non-elections private sector before starting their work in election administration, while those in the large jurisdictions (100,001 – 250,000) were notably more likely to tell us they came from state or federal government positions or from political parties and campaigns.
One reason that these origination stories may vary across jurisdiction size is because the office of local election official is three times as likely to be an elective position in small municipalities and counties than in the largest jurisdictions, 67% vs. 21%.
Of those elected, 45% were elected in partisan races for their office. For smaller jurisdictions, almost 70% are elected to their position, while for larger jurisdictions over 70% are appointed.
Local election officials in the United States, for all of their diversity of duties, are a group of experts who have crucial and insightful opinions about elections and voting. They follow a varied path into election administration, but once they get there, many hang around.
LEOs are uniquely positioned to share their perspectives about change and reform to our elections system. The DF/RC LEO Survey is designed to elevate and amplify these opinions in the ongoing debates over election reform. We will be discussing these opinions in the next few weeks.
Filling the Technology Gap
Inyo County, California launches new voter-friendly website
USDR, CTCL help fill technology gap for local elections
Last week we brought you news from U.S. Digital Response, an NGO that provides vetted, pro bono technologists who can handle the heavy-lifting of designing and implementing low-risk solutions in a matter of days or weeks, for free. USDR’s services range from help with elections websites to automating the vote by mail application process to answering voters questions efficiently to managing poll workers and beyond.
Inyo County, California was one of the first local elections offices to call on USDR for their services to help the county with its website. The newly designed site launched last week.
“Elections are chronically underfunded, especially so for small jurisdictions like Inyo County. Thankfully, there are several non-governmental agencies, like USDR, that have stepped in to fill the technology gap, to help voters around the country –whether from rural, suburban or urban communities – get access to the information and technology tools they need to exercise their right to vote,” said Kammi Foote, Inyo County Clerk/Recorder & Registrar of Voters.
Like elections offices around the country Foote and her staff are busy preparing for November and while this doesn’t seem like the ideal time to roll out a new site, Foote felt it was important, especially since she had the help of USDR and the Center for Tech and Civic Life (CTCL).
“Access to accurate information is crucial, and with so many changes with the normal voting process, we felt it was well worth the effort to invest in an enhanced website ahead of the election – even if it meant a little extra work on our end. Working with USDR and CTCL made the process efficient and streamlined,” Foote said.
According to Foote, due to the personal tech support, the pre-populated template and the well written instructions, it only took her less than one week of dedicated time to transfer all of the information from the previous website and have it live for the voters of Inyo County to view.
“I know adding one additional task to your election planning agenda may seem overwhelming, but USDR and CTCL have made the process seamless and proficient,” Foote said “The voters in your area will be thankful to have easy access to all of the information they need to vote, including the many changes they might expect in this upcoming Presidential election.”
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2020 Election Updates
Massachusetts: Voters went to the polls—or the mailboxes really—in the Bay State this week in one of the last statewide primary elections in the country. While many states have seen an increase in absentee and early voting during the pandemic, for Massachusetts which only recently began offering early voting, the 2020 primary really was unprecedented. While most voters chose to vote by mail, some voters did turn at the polls on Tuesday and overall things went well. “It was a success, I think was a good day for democracy, it was a good day for Massachusetts. Comparative to other states, we did pretty well,” Secretary of State William Galvin said of the election, which likely set a new record for the number of ballots cast at over 1.5 million. There was some confusion about the commonwealth’s new hybrid voting system. Boston-area television stations reported voters showing up at the polls with their voted mail ballot looking to drop it off, which was not an option. Boston election officials said they were experiencing heavy call volumes on the absentee ballot line for voters who requested a ballot and were showing up to vote in person.The same situation, voters showing up with their cast ballots at the polls, caused some confusion in North Attleboro. Poll workers in Yarmouth faced an additional hurdle of providing two balltos to voters—one for the primary and one for a local election which caused some issues including running out of local ballots at one polling place. Secretary of State Galvin had to seek court permission—which was granted—for certain cities and towns to continue counting ballots that had arrived by the deadline. Galvin said he sought court authorization to make sure the process remains transparent. The day was not without at least one “tragedy” though. Worcester voter Ellen Jankewicz told the Telegram about a glaring omission. “I miss the ‘I voted’ sticker,” Jankewicz told the paper.
Election News This Week
Plans for November: The Michigan secretary of state and Detroit city clerk will work together to administer the general election in the Motor City this fall. The new effort will provide Detroit a former state elections guru Christopher Thomas, an additional 14 satellite voting locations, 30 new secure drop boxes, thousands of additional poll workers and more training for those who count ballots or otherwise assist on Election Day. Maine Governor Janet Mills signed an executive order last week that among other things, extends the state’s voter registration deadline to October 19 and it allows municipalities to begin processing absentee ballots up to 7 days before the election instead of 4, maintains the 50-person gathering limit at polling sites and allows municipalities to consolidate polling places. In Cape Girardeau County, Missouri, County Clerk Kara Clark Summers has received approval from the county commission to lease a larger space in order to process absentee ballots. Clark will spend about $4,600 to rent space for six weeks. The money will come from the county’s CARES Act fund. With less than nine weeks to go till the November election, most Montana counties have opted to conduct the general election via mail. A small number will offer in-person voting a few have yet to decide what their plans are. Oklahoma Gov. Kevin Stitt extended his executive order for at least 30 day meaning that absentee voters will be able to choose between having their absentee ballot notarized or submitting a copy of a valid form of ID. The Rhode Island Board of Elections recently voted to extend the time period for certifying mail ballots; giving voters an additional day to submit an emergency ballot and allow for ballot drop boxes. With three pandemic elections under its belt, the Wisconsin Elections Commission released its election preparedness report this week determining that the agency and county and local clerks are ready for November and detailing all of the changes that have been made.
The best laid plans. Earlier this year, Vermont Secretary of State Jim Condos created a new program to make voting more accessible to those for who English is not their first language. According the Valley News, starting with the March presidential primary, ballots would be translated into six languages at the Burlington and Winooski polling locations. Both cities have substantial numbers of people whose first language is not English. However, translated ballots were requested only twice in Winooski, both in Arabic, said Town Clerk Carol Barrett. In Burlington, no one at all requested a translated ballot, City Clerk Amy Bovee said. The state has no obligation to provide translated ballots. But, as a second-generation American — Condos said his grandparents emigrated from Greece — this initiative was personal for him. He said it was simply “the right thing to do.” “People are not making good use of it because of a lack of education,” said Raghu Acharya, a longtime Winooski advocate originally from Bhutan. The languages are: French, Arabic, Burmese, Swahili, Nepali and Somali. The Winooski city clerk, said there had been no widespread promotion of the translated ballots before the Aug. 11 primary and, the Burlington city clerk, said signs advertising the ballots were posted on the polling place doors and information about the ballots was on the city clerk’s website. After the November election, he said, his office plans to regroup with the steering committee that has helped guide the translated ballot work. “Do we wish that we could do more? Absolutely,” Condos wrote. “We are grateful for the support and guidance our partners have provided in this work, and look forward to discussions of how we can grow upon what we have done so far.”
V is for Voting! BookRiot has a list of their 10 favorite children’s books about voting. The books range from board books perfect for baby hands to picture books with informative supplementary pages. In addition to BookRiot’s suggestions we’d also like to add Dr. Suess’ One Vote, Two Votes, I Vote, You Vote. This one is a bit more detailed and even has a verse about online voter registration, but who doesn’t like a good rhyme about voting?! Our online shopping cart is already full!
Cheers! Lots of great initiatives to recruit poll workers are happening around the country including Old Navy giving its employees a paid holiday if they want to serve as a poll worker, but it was one in Kentucky that particularly caught our eye. Kentucky Secretary of State Michael Adams has formed a partnership with the Kentucky Guild of Brewers to help get the word out. Together they designed beer labels that solicit volunteers to work the polls and encourage Kentuckians to register to vote. The labels have QR codes directing to govoteky.com where imbibers can register to vote and apply to be a poll worker. The campaign, SOS From Your SOS, is now being carried by four Kentucky breweries. “When we are asked to help the Secretary of State with the ‘SOS From Your SOS’ project, Dreaming Creek Brewery jumped at the chance,” Charley Hamilton, owner of Dreaming Creek Brewery, said. “We along with several other microbreweries around the Commonwealth were eager to help support the initiative by getting custom labels to help promote and make the information easily accessible through QR codes. With COVID-19 still a strong concern going into voting season, poll workers are in short supply. This initiative will hopefully bring attention to this and get some new folks to help out working the polls come voting time.”
Not that beer isn’t good news, but let’s end this week’s Election News section on some great news! According to an article in The Denver Post residents in Colorado have stepped up in a huge way and signed up to be election judges. “We’ve seen a remarkable response. We’ve have had hundreds per county,” said Pam Anderson, executive director of the Colorado County Clerks Association. Anderson told the paper that not only the numbers of people signing up good, but clerks are also seeing a broader range of ages and backgrounds of people signing up. Elections officials in the Washington Metropolitan Area have also seen a dramatic increase in poll worker sign-ups after fearing a shortage. “We have too many right now, to be honest,” Eric Olsen, the deputy director of Arlington County’s Board of Elections told DCist. “I can’t remember an election where I felt where we had this many people.” At the DCBOE Executive Director Alice Miller told DCist that the city needs about 4,000 poll workers for early and Election Day voting. So far the city has trained 1,300 and there are another 4,000 in the queue to be trained.
Personnel News: Jackie Ortiz has been appointed Democratic elections commissioner in Monroe County, York. Pearl Sears has been appointed Plymouth, Massachusetts town clerk. Melinda Luedecke, Bell County, Texas elections administrator, is resigning effective Sept. 8. Erma Denney has resigned from the Jackson County, Georgia board of elections. Steven Richman, the legal counsel for the New York City board of elections is taking a leave of absence. Mary Beth Kuznik is the new director of elections and chief registrar for Armstrong County, Pennsylvania.
Research and Report Summaries
The United States Postal Service Office of the Inspector General released an audit report on the Postal Service’s readiness for the 2020 elections this week. The report identifies concerns surrounding integrating stakeholder processes with Postal Service processes to help ensure the timely delivery of election and political mail. Areas of concern include: ballots mailed without barcode mail tracking technology; ballot mailpiece designs that result in improper processing; election and political mail likely to be mailed too close to the election, resulting in insufficient time for the Postal Service to process and deliver the mailpieces; postmark requirements for ballots; and voter addresses that are out of date. The report offers best practices and recommendations to mitigate such concerns. The report finds that 94.5 percent of identifiable Election and Political Mail was delivered on-time nationwide from April 2020 through June 2020, a decrease of 1.7 percentage points compared to the same time period in 2018.
The Stanford-MIT Healthy Elections Project released a report on polling place line management during the COVID-19 pandemic last week. The report, What Queuing Theory Says about Managing Polling Places Amid COVID-19, summarizes findings from research in this area before the pandemic and discusses ways to change queue length in light of social distancing, including changes to the arrival of voters, the number of poll workers, service time, and increased variability.
The American Bar Association released updated election administration guidelines last month. The guidelines and accompanying commentary cover voter education, rights and responsibilities, voter registration, absentee voting, early in-person and Election Day voting, voter verification, ballots, recounts, challenges to elections, emergency management, and other aspects of election administration. The guidelines include model statutory language on provisional balloting.
Election Security Updates
Following a viral article in a Russian newspaper where a user on a Russian hacker forum claimed to have acquired the personal information of 7.6 million voters in Michigan and other states, federal and state officials both quickly said that there is no evidence that any state’s voter registration database has been hacked. “Voter information in Michigan and elsewhere is accessible to anyone through a FOIA request,” Tracy Wimmer, a spokesperson for Michigan’s State Department, said in a statement, referring to the Freedom of Information Act. “Our system has not been hacked. The FBI and the U.S. Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency, which provides states with election security protections, issued a joint statement saying they hadn’t seen cyberattacks on election infrastructure in 2020 and noting that “a lot of voter registration data is publicly available or easily purchased.” A thorough review conducted by the cybersecurity firm Recorded Future found nothing that wasn’t already publicly available, company spokesperson Caitlin Mattingly said according to NBC News.
Representatives from the Office of the Director of National Intelligence informed the House and Senate Intelligence Committees of the policy change by telephone and followed up with a batch of letters to congressional leaders. In the letters, the chief of the intelligence office, John L. Ratcliffe, framed the move as an attempt to “ensure clarity and consistency” in intelligence agencies’ interactions with Congress and to crack down on leaks that have infuriated some intelligence officials. “I believe this approach helps ensure, to the maximum extent possible, that the information O.D.N.I. provides the Congress in support of your oversight responsibilities on elections security, foreign malign influence and election interference is not misunderstood nor politicized,” he wrote, according to a copy obtained by The New York Times. “It will also better protect our sources and methods and most sensitive intelligence from additional unauthorized disclosures or misuse.”
New Jersey: Gov. Phil Murphy signed several bills into law that will help with the voting process this November. The following bills were signed into law: A4475/S2580– Requires county boards of election to establish ballot drop boxes in each county at least 45 days before election; revises procedures concerning mail-in ballots for 2020 general election. A4276/S2598 – Establishes “The Ballot Cure Act” requiring election officials to notify voters within 72 hours of receiving their ballot – or within 48 hours of Election Day – to provide an explanation for the potential rejection and an opportunity to repair the defect. A4320/S2633 – Extends ballot receipt and election certification deadlines; increases certain messenger and bearer ballot limits; requires certain information to increase public awareness and use of voting by mail.
Ohio: The House, by a 58-33 vote, has approved a bill that would limit the governor’s emergency rulemaking powers when it comes to elections. The legislation states that “no public official shall cause an election to be conducted other than in the time, place, and manner prescribed by the Revised Code.” The only exception would be in cases of enemy attack. The bill comes after Gov. Mike DeWine and Secretary of State Frank LaRose attempted to reschedule the March 17 primary for June 2.
Pennsylvania: The House has approved a bill that seeks to address concerns that county and election officials raised about late-arriving, uncounted ballots, election security, timely vote counts, and finding poll workers to help run the election. Among the proposed changes to election law: Reset the deadline for applying for mail-in or absentee ballots to 15 days before the election; Allow voters to drop off mail-in or absentee ballots at polling places on Election Day as well as at the county election office or at a designated location in the county courthouse any day it is open up through Election Day; Allow county election officials to begin opening ballots, verify voter signatures and start processing mail-in and absentee ballots three days before the election; Permit poll workers to come from outside the county where a polling place is located. The bill was approved 112-90 on a near party-line vote. Gov. Tom Wolf (D) has said he will veto the legislation.
South Carolina: The Senate this week unanimously voted to expand absentee voting to all registered voters. However, the Senate also voted to eliminate the State Election Commission’s plans to add more drop boxes for collecting ballots and keep the absentee ballot witness signature — one measure a judge removed before the June primary citing the danger of forcing voters to make contact with other people during COVID-19. The expansion is similar to what lawmakers did in May ahead of the June primary when, after a spike in COVID-19 cases in the state, counties decided to consolidate precincts. The legislation now moves to the House which will not return until September 15.
Virginia: Virginia’s General Assembly passed measures to broaden access to absentee voting in this fall’s presidential election, including the creation of ballot drop boxes that Republicans warned would be an invitation to fraud. Each measure would set aside $2 million for prepaid postage on mail-in ballots and instruct registrars to allow voters to correct ballot errors that might keep an absentee vote from being counted. The bills also would remove the requirement for a witness to certify a ballot signature and mandate drop boxes at voting precincts as an alternative to putting absentee ballots in the mail. Once the Senate and House of Delegates take up each other’s version, the matter will go to Gov. Ralph Northam (D) — who supports the legislation — for his signature.
Arkansas: The Arkansas Supreme Court sided with the secretary of state’s office in a decision to reject petitions for a proposed constitutional amendment that would have allowed for open primaries and ranked choice voting. Secretary of State John Thurston, said the initiative campaigns did not comply with a state law requiring them to certify that their signature gatherers passed criminal background checks. The groups argued that they complied with the background check requirement and accused the state of blocking them merely because the word “passed” wasn’t used in affidavits they submitted.
Arizona: Attorney General Mark Brnovich is asking the Arizona Supreme Court to force Tucson to align its local elections with regular state balloting. The lawsuit follows a conclusion by Brnovich in July that cities have no legal right to maintain their own election dates when turnout is low. Tucson officials disagree and have refused to budge. So now the attorney general hopes to force the issue. But it remains to be seen whether Brnovich will have any better luck in court than he had before. According to Capitol Media Services, at the heart of the battle is a 2012 law that declared that all elections must be conducted in even-numbered years, and only on dates spelled out by the legislature. But the state Court of Appeals concluded that there were no legislative findings to support the action overriding the decisions of charter cities like Tucson.
Also in Arizona, The Arizona Center For Disability Law has sued Cochise County alleging that the county’s refusal to implement curbside voting is in violation of the American With Disabilities Act. Sey In is a staff attorney with ACDL and represents a client with multiple disabilities impacting her ability to walk. In says the client was denied a request to vote curbside in Cochise County in 2018, violating her rights under the ADA providing for a reasonable modification. “Voting on election day in person is an important right,” In told KJZZ, “and people with disabilities should be given all the same voting options as non-disabled people.” ACDL filed the lawsuit in federal court in Arizona, seeking a preliminary injunction against the policy.
Georgia: U.S. District Judge Eleanor Ross extended the deadline for absentee ballots to be returned in Georgia, ruling that they must be counted if postmarked by Election Day and delivered up to three days afterward. The decision will likely result in tens of thousands of ballots being counted after Nov. 3 that would have otherwise been rejected, enough to swing close elections. The ruling invalidates Georgia’s requirement that ballots had to be received at county election offices by 7 p.m. on Election Day. “Extending the deadline would ensure that voters who receive their ballots shortly before Election Day are able to mail their ballots without fear that their vote will not count,” Ross wrote in her 70-page order.
Iowa: Judges in Linn County and Woodbury have invalidated thousands of absentee ballot applications that were sent to voters with much of the information already pre-populated by the county auditor’s office. Linn County District Judge Ian Thornhill said Linn County Auditor Joel Miller must notify voters that the forms are invalid and cannot be used to get an absentee ballot to vote “It is implausible to conclude that near total completion of an absentee ballot application by the auditor is authorized under Iowa law where the legislature has specifically forbidden government officials from partially completing the same document,” wrote Thornhill. Judge Patrick Tott found that Woodbury County elections commissioner Patrick Gill acted improperly when he sent absentee ballot request forms to 57,000 registered voters that had their personal information filled in. About 14,000 have been returned so far.
Along those same lines, The Democratic campaign committees in the U.S. Senate and House and the Iowa Democratic Party filed two petitions in Polk County District Court on Monday challenging the Iowa Secretary of State’s authority to issue an emergency directive in July that county election officials use absentee ballot request forms without the voters’ identification numbers already filled inTthe Democrats argue Secretary of State Paul Pate’s order violates the Iowa Constitution, and that the secretary exceeded his power under state law.
Indiana: Judge Tanya Walton Pratt has ruled that Secretary of State Connie Lawson cannot summarily purge Indiana voters from election rolls because of a change in address. Pratt ruled Aug. 24 that the secretary of state must notify voters they will be purged due to a suspected change in address and, if they fail to respond, wait two federal election cycles before removing them. Government watchdog Common Cause alleged in a lawsuit that purging voters without notice violates federal protections that essentially require states to notify voters and confirm a change of address. Pratt agreed, saying the harm to voters who have unknowingly and wrongly lost their eligibility far outweighs any possible harm to the election process.
Maine: Secretary of State Matt Dunlap appealed a court decision that put a Republican effort to repeal a new law expanding ranked-choice voting to presidential elections back on Maine’s November ballot. The timeline for Dunlap’s challenge, which centers around whether petition circulators needed to be registered voters at the time they were collecting signatures, is not yet clear. But his office has begun laying out ballots that feature the question and do not feature ranked-choice voting for the presidential race. The state will have to pivot quickly if the court takes it back off.
Michigan: Indianapolis-based Public Interest Legal Foundation filed a federal lawsuit against Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson to get access to voting records that resulted in felony charges last year against the Southfield clerk. The complaint the seeks the release of 193 voter history files that Clerk Sherikia Hawkins is alleged to have altered during the November 2018 election. The suit was filed in the Western District of Michigan U.S. District Court. The lawsuit wasn’t filed until Wednesday because the foundation first attempted to gain the records from Southfield last year, then Oakland County, then Benson’s office. When the Benson refused to allow a review of the records, the foundation had to wait 90 days under federal law before filing suit to allow for a potential reversal of Benson’s decision.
Mississippi: Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law and Southern Poverty Law Center filed the suit in U.S. District Court in Jackson on behalf of three Mississippi residents, the League of Women Voters of Mississippi and the Mississippi State Conference of the NAACP. Their suit claims that Mississippi election laws could force people to choose between their health and their constitutional right to cast a ballot. It says that the defendants — Mississippi Secretary of State Michael Watson and Attorney General Lynn Fitch — “have failed to take necessary steps to protect Mississippi voters’ fundamental right to vote despite the public health risks of voting in person during the COVID-19 pandemic.” The new lawsuit is similar to one filed Aug. 11 in state court by the American Civil Liberties Union of Mississippi and Mississippi Center for Justice, which was also brought against Watson. One of the plaintiffs in the federal court lawsuit is the husband of a woman who is a plaintiff in the state court suit. [Editor’s Note: We know this isn’t the state flag yet, but we really like it and hope voters approve in November.]
Missouri: Iron County Circuit Judge Kelly Parker entered judgment for a new sheriff election to take place Sept. 22, following a petition filed by Iron County Sheriff Roger Medley contesting the results of the August primary election. Medley’s petition filed last week alleged that several irregularities occurred during the election, and requested the court to order the sheriff primary to be redone. After a preliminary hearing Parker found that there were “multiple and substantial irregularities of sufficient magnitude to cast doubt on, and place under suspicion, the validity of the primary election in Iron County for the Republican nomination for Sheriff of Iron County, Missouri.”
Montana: The president’s re-election campaign and and the Republican Party sued Montana on Wednesday after Democratic Gov. Steve Bullock gave counties the choice to conduct the November election entirely by mail amid the coronavirus pandemic. The lawsuit alleges Bullock’s directive would dilute the integrity of Montana’s election system. The lawsuit in Montana names Bullock and Republican Secretary of State Corey Stapleton as defendants. “This template lawsuit appears to be part of a pattern of lawsuits across the country by Republican Party operatives to limit access to voting during the pandemic,” Bullock said in a statement. “Voting by mail in Montana is safe, secure, and was requested by a bipartisan coalition of Montana election officials seeking to reduce the risk of COVID-19 and keep Montanans safe and healthy.”
New Hampshire: The Attorney General’s office says an absentee ballot application distributed by the New Hampshire Republican Party violates state election law and may confuse voters, and has ordered party officials to stop mailing it immediately. “The State [Republican] Committee’s choice to publish this defective form more than two weeks prior to the September State Primary may cause voter confusion and frustration,” reads a cease and desist order issued Friday by the Department of Justice. The order also requires the state Republican Party to come up with a plan for letting the recipients of the mailer know that the absentee ballot form it includes is faulty.
North Carolina: Nineteen people in North Carolina face federal charges of voter fraud over accusations that they voted in 2016 despite not being citizens. Some were also charged with other crimes. All of them voted in a 2016 federal election and one person also voted in 2018, according to a news release Wednesday from U.S. Attorney Matthew G.T. Martin announcing the August indictments. The charges include voting by a non-citizen, claim of United States citizenship by non-citizen, false statement in a voter registration application, false statement in an immigration document, false statement in a naturalization proceeding, false statement to a federal agent and procuring naturalization contrary to law.
Ohio: The League of Women Voters of Ohio, the A. Philip Randolph Institute, a national organization for African American trade unions and community activists, and the NAACP of Ohio sued Ohio Secretary of State Frank LaRose last week, seeking to dismiss his directive that forces each county to have just one drop box for absentee ballots. Attorneys filed the lawsuit in U.S. District Court in Cleveland that requests an injunction to prevent the move that advocates say violates residents’ constitutional voting rights. The suit came a day after the Ohio Democratic Party filed a similar suit in Franklin County Common Pleas Court. The lawsuit filed Wednesday in federal court in Cleveland seeks to allow multiple drop boxes in each county, as it says LaRose’s order unfairly harms voters in the state’s largest counties, such as Cuyahoga.
Pennsylvania: The re-election campaign for President Donald J. Trump is asking a Pittsburgh federal Judge J. Nicholas Ranjan to order the state and county election officials all across Pennsylvania to “segregate” and not open or count certain of state’s vote-by-mail ballots in the fall general election. They include mailed ballots returned through drop boxes, those missing an inner secrecy envelope or containing any marks on them, or delivered in-person by someone other than the voter, unless the voter is disabled. lawyers also want a court order to retain and make available for periodic review any and all digital images and video used to monitor drop boxes and locations, including county election offices used for return and collection of mail-in ballots.
The Pennsylvania Supreme Court will take up another election-related lawsuit, it announced Tuesday, this one filed by the state Democratic Party amid a partisan fight over fixing glitches and gray areas in the battleground state’s fledgling mail-in voting law. The Democratic Party’s lawsuit asks the court to order an extension of Pennsylvania’s Election Day deadline to count mailed-in ballots, a similar request to one in a lawsuit already taken up by the state Supreme Court. It also asks the court to allow mailed-in ballots to be counted if they are returned without a secrecy envelope, to allow voters to fix problems with their mail-in ballot before it is discarded, and to uphold the requirement in state law that poll watchers be registered voters from the county. In addition, it asks the court to allow the use of drop boxes — which Philadelphia and its heavily populated suburbs used in the primary to help relieve the pressure from an avalanche of mailed-in ballots — as well as satellite election offices. Briefs are due Sept. 8, the state Supreme Court said.
Tennessee: Sharing an absentee ballot request form can be prosecuted as a felony in Tennessee if the sharer is not an election commission employee. A new lawsuit that aims to change the system before the November general election calls the restriction on sharing the form, which is freely available on the Secretary of State’s website, a limit to free speech. The new filing joins a pair of cases at both the state and federal level aimed at expanding access to voting-by-mail during the novel coronavirus pandemic as record numbers of absentee ballots were returned in the August primary election. A Memphis labor organizer, the Tennessee State Conference of the NAACP, the Equity Alliance, the Memphis A. Phillip Randolph Institute and voter advocacy organization Free Hearts filed the federal lawsuit Friday in Nashville. In the lawsuit, the groups argue the law “serves no purpose, unreasonably restricts how they can engage voters and “imposes an extraordinarily burdensome restraint on (their) right of free speech.”
U.S. District Judge Eli Richardson in Nashville rejected a request for a preliminary injunction of a ballot verification law, ruling late last week that the record shows the risk of ballot rejection through the verification process is exceedingly low, whether it’s proper or erroneous. He also wrote that voters have other options, including voting in-person early or on Election Day. The groups challenging the law have sought the right for voters to fix signature issues before ballots are rejected. “Although the signature-verification requirement does represent some kind of obstacle between placing a vote and having it counted, the mere existence of such an obstacle does not mean that Plaintiffs are excluded from voting,” Richardson wrote.
Texas: In a 68-page ruling, U.S. District Judge Orlando Garcia of San Antonio found that Texas continues to violate the federal National Voter Registration Act by not allowing residents to register to vote when they update their driver’s license information online. Garcia found that DPS is “legally obligated” to allow voters to simultaneously register to vote with every license renewal or change-of-address application, and ordered the state to set up a “fully operable” online system by Sept. 23. The Texas attorney general’s office did not immediately respond to a request for comment, but the state is likely to appeal the ruling.
A Fifth Circuit panel heard arguments this week over a law that limits mail-in voting to people 65 and older, with an attorney for the state Democratic Party arguing the restriction constitutes discrimination. Texas Solicitor General Kyle Hawkins argued on behalf of Governor Greg Abbott, Attorney General Ken Paxton and Secretary of State Ruth R. Hughs, the Republican defendants in a lawsuit filed in April by Texas Democrats. He defended the law at issue, saying that allowing the elderly to vote by mail does not take rights away from any other group of people and “doesn’t abridge anyone else’s right to vote.” Chad Dunn, general counsel for the Texas Democratic Party, disagreed and called the law discriminatory. “What the state can’t do by statute is say a bracket of people based on their age get a voting benefit while others” do not, Dunn told the judges.
Attorney General Ken Paxton, at the request of the secretary of state’s office has sued Harris County after county election officials refused to drop plans to send absentee ballot applications to all registered voters, not just those over 65. Paxton is asking a state district court to bar Harris County Clerk Chris Hollins from proactively providing the applications to every registered voter in the county, alleging Hollins does not have the authority under state law to carry out the plan. There is no state law that specifically prohibits election officials from sending out mail-in ballot applications to all voters. Instead, Paxton argues that county clerks are only “expressly empowered” by the Texas Election Code to send out applications to voters who request them, “but there is no statute empowering County Clerks to send applications to vote by mail to voters who have not requested such an application.” Following the filing of the suit, the county agreed to only send ballot apps to those 65 and older, for now. On Wednesday the state’s Supreme Court made it official by temporarily blocking the county from sending the apps.
Virginia: A court has approved an agreement that will ensure Virginians who have disabilities will be able to safely vote this November. The agreement means the state will provide voters with disabilities different options for voting, such as using screen reader assistive technology, so they can vote privately and independently The state will make the tool that allows print-disabled voters to electronically receive and mark their absentee ballots — using assistive technology — available to all localities. The state will also send updated guidance to local registrars and instructions on how to make a Ballot Marking Tool available to all print-disabled voters.
Georgia: The secretary of state’s office has launched a website allowing voters to apply for absentee ballots online and eliminating the need to download and mail-in a form. According to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, the website reduces the risk that election officials will overlook absentee ballot applications or incorrectly type in voters’ information, problems that surfaced before Georgia’s June 9 primary. The site instantly transmits ballot requests to county election officials, avoiding potential delays in mail delivery. Voters can choose to receive an automatically generated email confirming that their request has been received.
North Carolina: The State Board of Elections recently launched a new website that will help North Carolinians easily navigate registering, voting and ballot casting options for upcoming elections. “At the State Board, we wanted the best user experience for voters and candidates in North Carolina,” said Karen Brinson Bell, State Board executive director. “We believe the new website is a huge leap forward in keeping voters informed about elections.” The website was designed to be an easier resource for users to operate and also a more mobile-friendly site. Through the website, voters can: Learn more about registering to vote; Check registration and your sample ballot (when available); Learn the three options for voting in North Carolina; Find important election dates and deadlines; Request an absentee ballot (An online portal will be available by September 1); View election results and a greatly expanded and more user-friendly data section; Search campaign finance reports; and Read press releases
Opinions This Week
National Opinions: General election | Vote by mail | Suffrage | National Guard | Election night | U.S. Postal Service | Global standards | Election month | Youth vote | Poll workers, II | Contested election | Voting rights, II | Native American voting rights | Voter registration | Election interference | Stacey Abrams film
Alaska: Ballot Measure 2
Idaho: Election legislation
Kentucky: Election plan
Michigan: Poll workers
Minnesota: Poll workers
Nebraska: Election officials
New York: Voting rights act
Utah: Vote by mail
CISA Election Security Initiative Virtual Training – Public Communications in a Dynamic Election Environment: Communication challenges faced by election officials in the post-2016 environment have been exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic. In addition to providing trusted information in an environment of heightened concerns regarding cybersecurity threats to election infrastructure, foreign interference, and mis- and disinformation campaigns, election officials must also communicate accurate, up-to-date information on the new and rapidly changing election processes resulting from the pandemic. This presentation covers the types of content election officials may want to provide, people who may be able to assist with distributing accurate information, and communication methods. The session also provides resources, services, and best practices to manage public communications risks. When: Sept. 4. Where: Online.
Disinformation in 2020: In preparation for the 2020 election season, experts across government, industry, and academia have been working diligently to develop a vibrant election security community and strengthen our Nation’s cybersecurity and resilience posture. Join this webinar to learn more about the threat that disinformation poses, as well as tools to help election security and critical infrastructure stakeholders combat that threat — including the Election Influence Operation Playbook for State and Local Election Officials, from Harvard’s Defending Digital Democracy Project (D3P). This webinar is part of a series co-hosted by the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA), the Regional Consortium Coordinating Council (RC3), and the State, Local, Tribal, and Territorial Government Coordinating Council (SLTTGCC). When: September 9, 1pm Eastern. Where: Online.
Lessons Learned From the 2020 Primaries: Now, before we’re in the thick of November’s election fever, is an excellent time to pause and reflect on this year’s primary season. What did we learn from the states, starting from Iowa’s caucuses in February all the way through September’s state primaries? We’ll discuss the timing for primaries, whether state and presidential primaries are best run jointly or as two separate events, how ranked-choice voting performed this year, independent voters’ role in political party decision-making and more. Expect to take away ideas for 2022 or 2024. Speakers include: Iowa Secretary of State Paul Pate, Rob Richie, president and CEO of FairVote and Scott Saiki, Hawaii Speaker of the House and NSCL president-elect. When: Sept. 9, 2pm Eastern. Where: Online.
Vote at Home Election Operations Tools Demo: the National Vote at Home Institute invites election officials to an interactive demo of our operations tools: the vote-by-mail calculator and the polling place planner, designed to help election officials consider staffing, space and other resource needs for both vote-by-mail and in-person voting. At this presentation, Hillary Hall, Senior Advisor for State and Local Election Officials, and the State Implementation team will walk through both tools, sharing tips and tricks to get the most out of these resources and ensure your voting processes run smoothly. A Q&A session will follow. When: Sept. 9; 3pm Eastern. Where: Online.
Will the Election Be Legit: There are very real threats to our elections in November. A great deal of misinformation is spreading, and voters do not know where to look for trusted information. Increases in by-mail voting and safety concerns about voting in polling places have led to confusion about the best options to vote. All of these changes will likely lead to slower results reporting and the possibility of one or both parties dismissing official totals as fraudulent or illegitimate. Please join The Bipartisan Policy Center as we discuss what’s fact and what’s fiction, and what we can still do to maintain the integrity of our elections this November. Featured Participants: Donna Brazile, Michael Steele, and Laurel Lee, Florida Secretary of State. Moderated by: Steve Scully. political editor, C-SPAN. When: September 18 2pm Eastern. 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.
Clerk, Douglas County, Colorado— This position (4 openings) serves as office support for the Elections Division of the Clerk and Recorder’s Office. The Election Clerk provides customer service, assists with clerical functions, and performs data entry for voter registration. Other duties in support of the conduct of elections or mail ballot processing may be assigned. Must be detail oriented, well organized, productive, and able to adapt in a high change environment. This role requires both independent judgment and the ability to work well as a part of a team. Professional representation of the Clerk and Recorder’s Office to the public is required to include standards outlined in the Vision, Mission, and Core Values of the Office. Provides daily customer service; answers phones; greets and serves in person customers; Performs general scanning, typing, filing, and collating functions; Performs complex data entry for new, changed, and canceled voter registrations; Performs verification and tracking of data entry; Assists with election judge coordination; Assists with processing incoming and outgoing mail; Administers state election laws and rules, and federal election laws to provide successful voting experience to staff and public; Maintains confidentiality of information consistent with applicable federal, state and county rules, and regulations; Provides support to election coordination, including deployment of materials to coordinating entities and Voter Service and Polling Center. This task may require operation of a motor vehicle; Assists with various special projects; Lives out the Vision, Mission, and Core Values of the Clerk and Recorder’s Office, maintains a supportive environment conducive to teamwork. Salary: 13.50 – 16.90 per hour. Application: For the complete job listing and to apply, click here.
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.
Customer Success Manager, Dominion Voting Systems, Denver— The Customer Success Manager role started on a simple promise of transforming customer engagement from ‘reactive’ to ‘proactive’. Our CSM’s know that when our elections customers purchase Dominion Voting products that this is only the start of a meaningful exchange between Dominion Voting and our customers. Our CSM’s build value over time by balancing customer benefits and company profits. As the CSM, you will be the first voice of the customer and you will be responsible for the customer’s overall success, as defined by the customer. You will be successful in this role if you have superb people leadership skills, customer empathy, elections knowledge and experience, Dominion Voting product knowledge, and excellent project management skills. Application: For the complete job listing and to apply, click here.
Director of Elections & Chief Registrar, Beaver County, Pennsylvania — This is administrative work managing and administrating the County voter registration and election processes, in accordance with the County Code, the policies of the Board of Commissioners and/or Board of Elections and Federal, State and Local laws and regulations. The employee is the Chief Registrar and reports to the Board of Commissioners who sit as the Board of Elections. This position supervises a staff of technical and clerical employees and establishes election and office policy and procedures consistent with Federal, State and local law. Performs related work as directed. The list of essential functions, as outlined herein, is intended to be representative of the tasks performed within this classification. It is not necessarily descriptive of any one position in the class. The omission of an essential function does not preclude management from assigning duties not listed herein if such functions are a logical assignment to the position. Develops procedures consistent with applicable law for the registration of eligible voters and the maintenance of all election records for the county and it’s municipalities and school districts. Assigns, reviews, plans and coordinates the work activities of others. Provides work instruction and employee training. Maintains work standards and evaluates employee work performance. Responds to employee issues and grievances. Recommends and/or approves the selection, transfer, promotion, salary increase, discipline and/or discharge of employees. Creates automated systems for the storage and retrieval of all voter registration data and creates various reports and analyses. Manages all elections including the selection of polling localities, ballot format and production, purchase and set up of all equipment and supplies, training of staff and election officers regarding absentee ballots, write-ins, recounts, tallying, posting of results and issuing certificates to successful candidates. Issues, receives and decides the sufficiency of nomination petitions certificates of candidates and petitions for change to election districts. Prepares office and election budgets. Oversees campaign expense laws, financial interest statements of candidates for office, elected county officials and supervisors. Conducts preliminary investigations of allegations of election fraud and/or other violations of the election code. Ability to develop a working knowledge of the principles and practices of Pennsylvania election laws and the operation and maintenance of voting machines. Knowledge of computer technology, such as data management, work and spreadsheet applications. Knowledge of computer applications sufficient to learn the specific programs and technology of election equipment. Salary: $55,000 – $67,000 a year. Application: For the complete job listing and apply, click here.
Election Administrator, Michigan Department of State–This position serves as the Director of the Election Administration Division. The Division is responsible for programs that provide administrative support and training for approximately 1600 county, city and township election officials on issues related to the conduct of elections in Michigan. This position is responsible for managing and overseeing multiple complex work units and other professional staff; Training programs for clerks and election staff throughout the state, contracts, purchasing and monitoring of elections-related vendor products, and Bureau-wide coordination of major projects and initiatives. Salary: $95,730.00 – $130,146.00 Deadline: Sept. 9. Application: For the complete job listing and to apply, click here.
Elections Administrator, Harris County, Texas— Harris County seeks an Elections Administrator to plan, coordinate, lead, and manage the newly established Office of the Elections Administrator under Chapter 31 of the Texas Election Code. The Elections Administrator will act as the county voter registrar, administer all local, state, and federal elections in Harris County, and oversee Harris County’s elections operations, including voter registration, public education and outreach, and recruitment and supervision of election judges and poll workers. The Elections Administrator will also work to modernize Harris County elections, expand access to registration and voting, and ensure voting is fair, easy, efficient, secure, and accessible for all eligible Harris County voters consistent with the Texas Election Code and Federal regulations. Deadline: Sept. 21. Application: For the complete job listing and to apply, click here.
Election Administration Specialist (Consultant), The Carter Center— The Carter Center is guided by a fundamental commitment to human rights and the alleviation of human suffering; it seeks to prevent and resolve conflicts, enhance freedom and democracy, and improve health. In 2020, The Carter Center will engage on election issues in the United States. Drawing on our international experience and knowledge of election administration and standards, the Center would analyze critical issues, raise public awareness, and engage experts and election officials, including on possible discretionary administrative steps that officials can take to increase electoral transparency and bolster public confidence. To support these efforts, the Center is creating a Study Team of senior election experts. We are currently recruiting a highly qualified Election Administration Specialist to join the Study Team. The expert will help to strategize the Center’s engagement on key issues relevant to US elections. The position will be from roughly September 1, 2020 – Jan 31, 2021. While The Carter Center is based in Atlanta, GA this work may be conducted remotely. Application: Please send a resume and cover letter to email@example.com.
Elections Analyst – Training and Communications Unit, Michigan Department of State–The incumbent will provide training, guidance and policy interpretation to county, city, and township clerks statewide based on voter registration, Michigan Election Law, established election-related policies and procedures, and the eLearning Center. Assist with the coordination of Bureau of Elections (BOE) activities related to the planning, scheduling, development, revision, delivery and ongoing assessment of BOE training programs for over 1,600 election officials statewide. Assist in the supervision and administration of the election laws under the direction of the Secretary of State, Director of Elections and the Board of State Canvassers. Assist with regular statewide reporting projects, including the Provisional Ballot Report, Military and Overseas Voter Report, Post-Election Audit reports and other election-related requests and topics. Salary: $21.03 – $35.59 Hourly. Deadline: Sept. 9. Application: For the complete job listing and to apply, click here.
Elections Operation Administrator, Michigan Department of State–This position is responsible for assisting the Director in the overall management and supervision of the activities performed in the Bureau of Elections. This position is also responsible for providing supervision to the Bureau’s teams. These responsibilities include leadership and direction to professional staff, as well as planning, organizing, direction, and evaluation of projects and high priority initiatives. This position also provides internal Bureau-wide coordination and communication with outside advisory groups, vendors, and other agency and Departmental staff; coordination of major purchasing processes; and oversight and monitoring of the Bureau budget including Help America Vote Act (HAVA) federal grant expenditures. Salary: $95,730.00 – $130,146.00. Deadline: Sept. 9. Application: For the complete job listing and to apply, click here.
Grants Associate, Center for Election Innovation and Research— The Grants Associate will report to the Operations Manager and will help with the subgrant awarding process and will also be responsible for post-award subgrant financial management. The Grants Associate will track subgrant funds, compile any information needed to comply with reporting requirements, and perform the following activities: Review subgrant financial reports and supporting documentation to ensure that expenditures comply with donor requirements; Assist with review of documents pertaining to the subgrant approval process to ensure completeness and compliance with relevant regulations; Assist with providing post-award guidance to subgrantees, including basic terms of signed agreement, reporting schedule, and documentation of allowable costs; Ensure Operations Manager has information needed to prepare subgrant related journal entries for monthly accounting; Assist with month-end and year-end financial closings; Participate in program meetings, planning, and problem-solving meetings as needed; Help develop and maintain subgrant trackers and project files, ensuring integrity of data; File/organize financial documents as needed. This is an excellent opportunity for a highly motivated, detail-oriented individual who wants to join a quickly growing nonprofit that seeks to make a substantial, positive, nonpartisan impact on elections and American democracy. The Grants Associate role is a full-time job. 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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.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 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.
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.
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: email@example.com. 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.
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