In Focus This Week
USPS release preliminary assessment of 2020 performance
Election mail represented a 96 percent increase from 2016
By M. Mindy Moretti
While some of you may still be waiting on holiday packages and cards to arrive, according to a recently released analysis from the U.S. Postal Service, the agency’s performance in delivering the 2020 General Election went relatively well.
On December 28, USPS released a 2020 Post-Election Analysis: Delivering the Nation’s Election Mail in an Extraordinary Year.
The analysis outlines the steps USPS took to deliver the 2020 election as well as a preliminary assessment of the agency’s performance. According to USPS, the report will be supplemented following the completion of the Georgia run-off elections.
“Throughout the 2020 election, the Postal Service faced unprecedented challenges, but the commitment of our 644,000 men and women to deliver the nation’s ballots securely and in a timely manner never wavered even in the face of the pandemic,” Post Master General Louis DeJoy said in a statement. “We take great pride in the Postal Service’s performance which is thanks to our hard-working men and women who went to extraordinary lengths to fulfill our public service mission, meet the public’s high expectations and uphold the Postal Service’s promise to deliver the nation’s Election Mail securely and in a timely manner.”
According to the analysis, preliminary estimates are that, in the 2020 election cycle, the Postal Service delivered more than four billion pieces of political mail – i.e., mail from political candidates, political action committees, and similar organizations in order to advocate for candidates or issues – which represents a 76 percent increase over the amount of political mail delivered in the 2016 election cycle.
The Postal Service also delivered roughly 543 million pieces of election mail – meaning mail to or from election officials, including ballots, ballot applications, registration forms, or other items that enable citizens to participate in the voting process – which represents a 96 percent increase over the amount of election mail delivered in 2016.
Key General Election Performance Statistics
- 99.89 Percent of Ballots Delivered to Election Officials Within a Week. Overall, 99.89 percent of identified ballots mailed after September 4 were delivered within seven days, consistent with the Postal Service’s recommendation to voters. The overwhelming majority of ballots were delivered in far less time than that. Specifically, based on internal processing scores, 97.9 percent of ballots mailed from voters to election officials were delivered within three days, and 99.7 percent were delivered within five days.
- 1.6 Days Average Delivery Time for Ballots from Voters to Election Officials. While the average delivery time for First-Class Mail, the class of mail by which nearly all ballots from voters are mailed, was 2.5 days in October, ballots generally traveled even faster. On average, the Postal Service delivered ballots from election officials to voters in 2.1 days and ballots from voters to election officials in 1.6 days.
- 4.6 Billion Political and Election Mail Mailpieces. Total mail volume surpassed 4.6 billion mailpieces for both Political Mail and Election Mail tracked, representing a 114 percent increase above the 2016 election cycle.
- 135 Million Ballots Processed and Delivered. The Postal Service delivered at least 135 million ballots, including both blank ballots delivered from election officials to voters and completed ballots returning from voters to election officials.
While many elections officials are just seeing the analysis, they worked with USPS throughout the 2020 cycle and have first-hand knowledge of how things went.
“20020 was a challenging year, and election officials had to adapt quickly to meet voters’ needs and expectations. At the national level, NASED was proud to work with USPS to address our significant concerns with their messaging and communications, and we look forward to building on those efforts in the future to proactively mitigate issues,” said Michelle Tassinari, director & legal counsel for the Massachusetts Secretary of the Commonwealth and incoming president of the National Association of State Election Directors. “State postal staff and election mail coordinators were of huge help, both in the traditional vote by mail states, and in those states with previously limited experience with high rates of voting by mail like Massachusetts. The 2020 election was an administrative success, and NASED values USPS’s role in making that happen.”
Despite the drumbeat to request and return ballot as early as possible, according to the analysis, 4.8 million ballots entered the system between October 26 and November 3. The Postal Service took the following measures designed to rescue as many “at risk” ballots as possible.
- Processing ballots as Priority Mail Express, at no additional charge to the customer, to accelerate the delivery of ballots that were at risk of not arriving before state deadlines;
- Pulling ballots from processing facilities on Election Day and transporting them directly to boards of election to satisfy state deadlines;
- Employing local “turnarounds,” in which ballots mailed to board of elections in the same locality would be handled by local retail and delivery units without ever entering the processing network;
- Coordinating direct hand-offs among delivery units to ensure ballots reach boards of election before state deadlines;
- Collecting and processing mail on Sunday, November 1;
- Running early collections on November 2 and November 3;
- Altering sort programs in processing plants so that ballots could be pulled and moved more quickly to their destination; and
- Creating “ballot postmark only” lines or drive-through ballot-acceptance lines at retail facilities to expedite collection and/or postmarking of customers’ ballots.
“[I have] tremendous gratitude to all of the dedicated local and regional postal staff who worked in close partnership with local and state elections officials to ensure timely processing of election mail,” said Anthony Albence, state election commissioner Delaware Department of Elections and chair of the Election Center’s postal committee. “It was a monumental task, and this partnership is what made this possible.”
EAC Clearie Awards
EAC Clearinghouse 2020 Awards Information
The U.S. Election Assistance Commission (EAC) invites submissions for its fifth annual national Clearinghouse Awards. The Clearinghouse Awards, also referred to as the “Clearies,” honor the enterprising spirit and hard work of election officials across the country. In the challenging circumstances created by the COVID-19 crisis, the Clearies offer the opportunity to recognize the resourcefulness of officials who adjusted their efforts to account for the ever-evolving pandemic. This year, the EAC is also pleased to offer a new category distinguishing cybersecurity and technology initiatives that improve election security of voting systems and strengthen U.S. elections.
The EAC will present awards in the categories of:
- Improving Accessibility for Voters with Disabilities,
- Outstanding Innovations in Elections,
- Best Practices in Recruiting, Retaining, and Training Poll Workers,
- Creative and Original “I Voted” Stickers, and
- Outstanding Innovation in Election Cybersecurity and Technology.
Jurisdictions of all sizes are encouraged to submit their work. Entries must be received by Friday, January 22, 2021. Submissions will be judged on innovation, sustainability, outreach, cost-effectiveness, replicability, and the generation of positive results.
“The 2020 Clearie Awards will help recognize the innovation and hard work of election officials across the nation during an extremely well-run general election with record turnout,” said EAC Chairman Ben Hovland. “Election officials did an amazing job this fall as they navigated unprecedented health concerns due to COVID-19, a substantial increase in early and mail or absentee voting, and poll worker shortages. The best practices developed from 2020 will be highly valuable for future elections. The EAC Commissioners look forward to honoring these hard-working public servants who do so much to serve voters and further our democracy.”
The 2020 Clearies will build on the successes of past years, encouraging innovations in election administration and publicizing achievements across the elections community. Under the Help America Vote Act of 2002 (HAVA), the EAC is charged with serving as a clearinghouse for election administration information. The Clearies and the efforts they celebrate play an important role in helping the EAC fulfill this mission.
The 2019 winners of the Clearie Awards can be found here.
More information on submission guidelines can be found here. All submissions should be sent to the EAC at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Election News This Week
Georgia Runoff: Georgia held it’s 2020 Senate runoff election this week and while it was not without issues, overall things went relatively well from an administrative standpoint, especially on Election Day. In Columbia County several polling places had issues with scanners early on Tuesday morning and needless to say that got the social media disinformation machine ramped up, but voting was never interrupted. The FBI is looking into a threat to a Fulton County polling place. Fulton County elections director Rick Barron said Tuesday during a media briefing that “the person said that the Nashville bombing was a practice run for what we would see today at one of our polling places.” A polling place in Cobb County was required to stay open 10 additional minutes because it opened 10 minutes late due to getting voting equipment up and running on time. Voting was extended till 7:33 and 7:35 at two polling sites in Chatham County. Savannah Mayor Van Johnson and other members of the Democratic Party of Georgia asked for the extension from a judge due to technical issues and possible misinformation. Also in Chatham County, a poll watcher had to be removed from a voting said because they “disregarded the rules and yelled at poll workers and voters.” Problems with scanners delayed some voters about 15 minutes in Effingham County early Tuesday, but otherwise the runoff election was going smoothly. Olivia Morgan, director of elections and registration, said difficulty clearing seals on scanners caused the delay. Some voters had to wait for a technician to fix the problem. In Morgan County, a county that typically votes Republican, several voters interviewed by The Atlanta Journal-Constitution said they have misgivings about whether their ballots would be accurately counted, but those doubts seemed to have little impact on turnout. As of Tuesday afternoon, more than 40,000 military and overseas voters received ballots, the Georgia secretary of state’s office said late Tuesday afternoon — a nearly 54 percent increase from the general election. Only 4,000 of the nearly 28,000 military ballots have been returned, according to agency spokesman Walter Jones. Among the civilians, 6,000 ballots have returned, roughly half of the total issued. Ballots from military and overseas voters are due Jan. 8.
Real news, fake site: One of the more bizarre stories to come out of the 2020 election was the fake “election assistance site” a candidate in Orange County, California set up. The Los Angeles Times has a look into and what it could mean for the future. The center was advertised on Vietnamese language radio and television as an election assistance site, a “secure” location where non-English speakers could guarantee their absentee ballots weren’t “fraudulent.” Another sign that was posted outside the office said “ballot room” or “polling place” in Vietnamese. In reality, it was the campaign office for Republican Westminster Councilwoman Kimberly Ho. Two months after the election, a number of questions about the site remain unanswered, including whether the campaign misled voters by promoting the office as a place to drop off ballots and receive other election-related services. Critics also raised possible repercussions: Will other campaigns see value in such voting assistance, muddying the distinction from official polling places? An investigation by the Orange County district attorney’s office remains ongoing. The inquiry will likely rest on a number of factors, including whether the staff filled out ballots for voters, whether the free sticky rice, sweets and tea offered at the center were provided in exchange for votes for particular candidates, and whether communications about the center were intended to deceive voters, Justin Levitt, a professor at Loyola Law School and an expert on California election law told the paper.
Congratulations! Outgoing Citrus County, Florida Supervisor of Elections Susan Gill was named Citrus County Citizen of the Year by the Citrus County Chronicle. From the Chronicle: “She was first elected as Citrus County’s supervisor of elections in 1996 and modernized the elections process here as many other Florida counties struggled to get voting results right and out on time. But it is for the work she’s done quietly behind the scenes for nearly a dozen local charitable organizations, and the organizational skills she brought to bear, as well as her work at the elections office, that made her the Citrus Chronicle 2020 Citizen of the Year.” She ran unopposed again in 2000, 2004, 2008, 2012 and 2016. She announced earlier in 2020 she would not seek re-election after this past year. Of the job she said laughing, “No one ever grows up saying they want to be a supervisor of elections. It just doesn’t happen.” “But I liked the structure. Government has to hold things together. Without government there’s chaos,” she said. She recalled saying to her elections staff, “We just keep our noses to the grindstone. We don’t want to see my smiling face in the newspaper because that would mean something went wrong. We just want to see the (voting) results in the newspaper.” Congratulations Susan on the honor and best wishes on your life after elections!
Personnel News: Matt Crane, former Arapahoe county clerk, has been named the new executive director of the Colorado County Clerks Association. Gerry Pelissero is retiring after 20 years as the Gogebic County, Michigan clerk. Hunterdon County, New Jersey Clerk Mary Melfi announced today that she would seek re-election to a fourth term in 2021. Crawford County, Wisconsin Clerk Janet Geisler is retiring after 41 years of service to the county. Donna Shortall has resigned as the Rockland, Massachusetts town clerk. Chris Hamill has joined the Muskingum County, Ohio board of elections. Tim Hallett has joined ES&S as vice president of certification. Antone White, former executive assistant at the Franklin County Board of Elections, has been appointed as the agency’s new director. Ron Massullo retired as deputy director of the Trumbull County Board of Elections, a job he held since August 2018. Lori Lott will be the new Madison County, Tennessee election administrator. Shenna Bellows has been sworn in as Maine’s new secretary of state. Shemina Fagan sworn in as Oregon’s new secretary of state. Carol Dunway has been sworn in as the new Jackson County, Florida supervisor of elections.
In Memoriam: Patsy Jenney-Colòn, former Yavapai County, Arizona recorder died on December 20, 2020. She was 86. Jenney-Colòn was the Yavapai County Recorder for more than 30 years. She was first elected to the position in 1972 and served until 2004. She lost re-election for one 4 year term (1993-1996), but regained it in 1997. She is largely responsible for bringing the Recorder’s Office into the 21st century, directing the change from microfiche (film) to digital. Patsy embraced new technology and used it to make voting, and county records more accessible to everyone; a legacy that continues today. “I remember Patsy as always being forward-thinking, innovative, and striving to move the elections process into the future. Patsy moved Yavapai County to optical scan in 1998, a full 6 years before the HAVA mandate,” said current Yavapai County Elections Director Lynn A. Constabile. “Patsy had touchscreens for early voting in 2002, while the rest of the state didn’t get them until 2006. Patsy Jenney-Colon was a trailblazer in the elections field and we are all better off because of her contributions.”
Federal Legislation: Rep. Julia Brownley (D- California) introduced her first bill of the 117th Congress: the Same Day Registration Act, legislation that would require all states to allow same-day voter registration for all federal elections. Brownley’s legislation would require every state to enact same-day voter registration for all federal elections, similar to the process allowed in her home state of California. “Our democracy is strongest when it is reflective of the people it serves. Same-day voter registration is one of the most effective tools for increasing voter participation, which means better representation for everyday Americans.”
Alaska: The City and Borough of Juneau Assembly Human Resources Committee passed a motion asking the city clerk to flesh out thoughts around a hybrid election for the Oct. 6, 2021, municipal election. They declined to entertain a motion directing the clerk’s office to look beyond the next election. Since the Assembly doesn’t keep a standing elections committee, the Human Resources Committee became the starting point for the question. In late February or early March, the assembly’s Committee of the Whole will hear the results of the research and consider the possibilities for the upcoming election. City Clerk Beth McEwen asked the committee to weigh in with direction on the preferred process for future elections, noting that planning for the mayoral election slated for fall needs to begin by April. McEwen explained that a mail process elongates the election process, requiring earlier filing and taking longer to certify because Juneau doesn’t have equipment capable of locally counting votes cast by mail. She also said that the assembly had mentioned an interest in pursuing this track based on the successful 2020 municipal election.
Delaware: Legislation already introduced for the upcoming General Assembly session could change how Delawareans vote absentee. Lawmakers passed an amendment to Delaware’s constitution eliminating limitations on when voters can vote absentee last session. It must pass a second time by a two-thirds majority in this new session to be finalized, like any amendment to the state constitution. The change would strike the specific excuses currently needed to vote absentee—such as being away on vacation or having a physical disability—and direct the General Assembly to enact “general laws” providing the circumstances, rules, and procedures for absentee voting.
Louisiana: Louisiana appears on track to broaden the mail-in balloting options for spring municipal elections and two upcoming special congressional elections because of the coronavirus pandemic. The emergency plan easily won bipartisan support Tuesday from two key legislative committees, and Gov. John Bel Edwards announced his backing. The emergency rules offered by Ardoin caused none of the controversy that marked prior debates. Lawmakers on the House and Senate governmental affairs committees approved the recommendations without objection in separate hearings, advancing the proposal to the full Legislature for a decision. “With all the teeth-gnashing we did over the COVID ballot, relatively few people took advantage of it,” said Slidell Republican Sen. Sharon Hewitt, chair of the Senate committee. Fewer than 5,500 people out of the 2.1 million who voted in November used the COVID-19 excuses to cast ballots absentee by mail, Ardoin said. Across elections in July, August and December, the numbers were even smaller.
Maine: The Maine Legislature is poised to debate more than a dozen bills that could substantially change the way ballots are cast and counted in state elections. The voting bills range from requiring verification of absentee ballot signatures to establishing full online voting. Rep. Maureen Terry, D-Gorham, is the primary sponsor of a bill that would make Maine one of the first states to allow full online voting. Terry believes encryption technology is at a point where voters should be able to cast their ballots securely from their homes electronically. Rep. Heidi Sampson, R-Alfred, is one of several lawmakers who is sponsoring a bill seeking to make Maine’s absentee balloting system more secure and more private. Her bill would remove the voter’s party designation from a bar code that is printed on all envelopes that are used to return completed absentee ballots. Rep. Billy Bob Faulkingham, R-Winter Harbor, is proposing a bill that would have Maine adopt a system to verify absentee voter signatures, a practice required in a handful of states. Other bills would put into law temporary policies that were adopted last fall to help protect against the spread of COVID-19. Rep. Kyle Bailey, D-Gorham, is sponsoring legislation that codifies the drop boxes that many towns and cities installed for absentee ballots in last November’s election. Another bill offered by Bailey would codify an online absentee ballot tracking system that went into effect in 2020. Several other bills dealing with absentee ballots would expand the time allowed for early processing of ballots by local election officials or expand the period when a voter can apply for an absentee ballot.
Missouri: Two House members, Reps. Dan Stacy, R-Blue Springs, and Jered Taylor, R-Republic, along with Sen. Andrew Koenig, R-Manchester, have introduced bills requiring voters to choose a party if they wish to vote in primaries. And anyone who wants to run for office in a particular party would have to be registered in that party for at least 23 weeks prior to the opening of filing for office. The proposals to limit nominating primaries to voters registered in a party would still allow independents to receive a non-partisan ballot for statutory and constitutional questions.
New Hampshire: A bipartisan group of lawmakers is seeking to fast-track a bill allowing towns to postpone their town meetings as far back as July, as concerns over the state of COVID-19 in March persist. The bill, Senate Bill 2, would allow towns or cities to push back town elections and annual meetings to the second Tuesday of April, May, June or even July. Those elections are typically held in March. The deliberative sessions ahead of those meetings could also be postponed. Town representatives would be required to announce the amended dates 14 days before the rescheduled date. The bill would also bring back several temporary changes to absentee voting implemented for the elections last year, and allow them to be applied to town meeting days. It would allow moderators of elections to partially process absentee ballots in the days ahead of Election Day – in this case Town Meeting day.
Utah: Rep. Dan Johnson, R-Logan, said the mistrust of mail-in voting being vocalized in many parts of the country led him to sponsor HB70 for the upcoming legislative session to require a ballot tracking system. The system would be optional for registered voters to sign up for, but would provide electronic notifications via email or text that their ballot was received and counted. Utah voters can already track their ballots by visiting votesearch.utah.gov once they’ve mailed it in. Johnson wants to give all registered voters the choice to streamline the process of verifying mail-in voting with auto-alerts when their ballots arrive at their county’s ballot center.
Vermont: The Joint Fiscal Committee voted unanimously to use some of the state’s remaining federal CARES Act money to help municipalities with postage and other expenses. The committee allocated $2 million to cover costs of vote by mail for Town Meeting Day. Vermont lawmakers are expected to pass legislation in coming days that will allow mail-in voting for Town Meeting Day on March 2, or postponement of voting, to mitigate the health risk associated with the COVID-19 pandemic. Mail-in voting in the November general election cost about $1.5 million in postage alone, with 440,000 active voters, Secretary of State Jim Condos told the panel. That includes postage to send the ballots, and the prepaid postage for voters to return the ballots. Condos expects it to cost municipalities, including cities and towns, sewer districts and school districts, at least that much. “You have solid waste districts out there, water/sewer districts out there, school districts that cross town lines,” Condos said. “There are districts that include several towns. If those towns don’t align their votes together (on a ballot), we could fast use that money up and not have enough to cover postage.”
Arizona: The Arizona Supreme Court upheld a lower court decision dismissing the last in a series of challenges that sought to decertify Democrat Joe Biden’s victory in the state. The high court ruling is the second time the majority-Republican court has turned aside an appeal of a court loss by backers of President Donald Trump seeking to overturn the results of the election. In all, eight lawsuits challenging Biden’s Arizona win have failed. It comes the day before a divided Congress is set to certify Biden’s victory. Tuesday’s ruling from a four-judge panel of the high court agreed with a trial court judge in Pinal County that plaintiff Staci Burk lacked the right to contest the election. That’s because she wasn’t a registered voter at the time she filed her lawsuit, as required in state election contests. Both courts also agreed that she made her legal challenge too late, after the five-day period for filing such an action had passed.
The U.S. Supreme Court said it would hear oral arguments March 2 on an Arizona law that forbids anyone but a family member, household member or caregiver from turning in another person’s early ballot. The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals struck down Arizona’s ban on so-called “ballot harvesting” nearly a year ago, ruling that it violated the Voting Rights Act, disproportionately affects Black, Latino and Indigenous voters and was enacted with discriminatory intent. The court also struck down a state law disqualifying ballots cast in the wrong precinct.
In a brief filed in Maricopa County Superior Court Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich said the Senate had the authority to issue two subpoenas demanding the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors turn over election materials and machinery earlier this month. Brnovich’s brief, claims the supervisors misunderstood the scope of the Legislature’s sweeping authority to issue and enforce subpoenas. It contends the county’s position is “inconsistent with constitutional structure, governmental tradition and practice, the plain meaning of an Arizona statute, and binding Arizona Supreme Court case law.”
Illinois: Frank DiFranco, who ran as a Republican candidate for the 12th Cook County Subcircuit seat against incumbent Patricia Fallon, filed county and federal lawsuits on Dec. 30, claiming that election misconduct and over-counting of ballots resulted in his opponent winning the election. DiFranco is asking to be declared the winner of the election and is seeking monetary damages of more than $100,000. The federal lawsuit, which names the clerk’s office, Cook County Clerk Karen Yarbrough, the Illinois State Board of Elections and Fallon as defendants, alleges that the clerk’s office continued counting ballots after the Nov. 17 state deadline and that a “great majority” of these ballots favored his opponent. In his complaint, DiFranco also accuses the clerk’s office of “altering” the postmarks on vote-by-mail envelopes to make them “appear to have been postmarked on or before Nov. 3,” and claims the clerk’s office counted ballots that had already been counted, resulting in higher vote totals.
Michigan: The city of Detroit filed its request for a federal judge to impose sanctions against attorney Sidney Powell and other pro-Trump lawyers involved in the infamous “Kraken” election fraud lawsuit, as those involved in the president’s post election challenges begin to face calls for legal consequences from multiple angles. The 40-page motion requests that the “Kraken” lawyers “deserve the harshest sanctions” the court is empowered to order, including fines, a sweeping ban from practicing law in the Eastern District of Michigan and a referral to the state’s bar for grievance proceedings. The motion argues that the lawsuit, which hinges on debunked claims and crackpot witness testimony that the election’s voting machine system was manipulated in favor of President-elect Joe Biden, is “the quintessential example of a case filed for an improper purpose,” submitted with so many false allegations that “it is not possible to address them all in a single brief” and done so despite lawyers knowing that their complaint was “deficient.” Detroit is seeking sanctions under federal rule 11, which requires that lawyers must not make cases in court “for any improper purpose, such as to harass, cause unnecessary delay, or needlessly increase the cost of litigation.”
Nevada: Former Attorney General Adam Laxalt has filed a lawsuit against Secretary of State Barbara Cegavske on behalf of several plaintiffs, including a former Republican legislator, over an alleged inability to keep noncitizens off the state’s list of registered voters. The lawsuit, which was filed last week in Carson City District Court names three conservative-aligned plaintiffs who say their votes were improperly diluted by an alleged failure to keep noncitizens from registering to vote in state elections. “The Secretary of State, by not verifying the citizenship of those on the voter rolls, is allowing the dilution and discount of Plaintiffs’ votes because noncitizens are on the voter rolls and have voted in the past,” the complaint states. “Thus, Plaintiffs’ right to participate in Nevada elections on an equal, undiluted basis has been infringed.”
New Jersey: Superior Court Judge Joseph Marczyk on Monday revoked the election of Democrat Thelma Witherspoon as District 3 Atlantic County Commissioner and ordered a new election be held to fill the position because the county clerk sent 554 voters the wrong vote-by-mail ballots — affecting only the District 3 race. “In short, there were sufficient legal votes rejected to change the results pursuant to (New Jersey law),” Marczyk wrote in explaining his decision. Witherspoon, of Hamilton Township, defeated Republican Andrew Parker, of Egg Harbor Township, 15,034 to 14,748. That’s a margin of just 286 votes, fewer than the number of people denied their right to vote in the race, the judge said. Marczyk said 335 ballots without the District 3 county commissioner race were sent to voters who lived in District 3, and only seven of them were replaced with corrected ballots.
Texas: Williamson County Sheriff Robert Chody, who lost his November bid for reelection while under criminal indictment, has filed a lawsuit against the winner, claiming there was election fraud. The lawsuit against Mike Gleason says there was an electronic glitch that caused voters in Leander to be given the wrong ballots on Election Day. It also says that Gleason and his wife were seen standing within Wi-Fi range of one of the Leander polling places for most of Election Day. Chody brought the suit in civil court. Neither he nor Williamson County prosecutors have brought criminal charges against Gleason or his wife in connection to any allegations of election fraud.
Wisconsin: U.S. District Judge James Boasberg rejected the underpinning of a lawsuit seeking to undo election results brought by two Wisconsin Republicans and others, writing that it was riddled with errors, unserious and brought in bad faith. “Courts are not instruments through which parties engage in such gamesmanship or symbolic political gestures,” he wrote. “As a result, at the conclusion of this litigation, the Court will determine whether to issue an order to show cause why this matter should not be referred to its Committee on Grievances for potential discipline of Plaintiffs’ counsel.” His ruling denied a preliminary injunction that sought to undo the certifications of elections in Wisconsin and other battleground states that went to Democrat Joe Biden over President Donald Trump.
Michigan: The Michigan Department of State has created a fact-checking website section to provide facts and information regarding the 2020 election. From details about absentee ballots to how the list of Michigan’s registered voters are maintained to election security, the section goes into detail on a variety of election topics. One part of the site also explains false claims of election fraud.
Opinions This Week
Florida: Citrus County
Louisiana: Pandemic voting rules
Michigan: Election reform
Missouri: Election reform
New York: Ex-felon voting rights
North Carolina: Voter fraud allegations
Oklahoma: Confidence in elections
Oregon: Secretary of state
JELOC 2021— Until we can once again offer in person class instruction, we are pleased to continue to offer virtual sessions. Our mission continues to be to promote and support continuous improvement in the administration of elections and voter registration through research, professional education, conferences, networking and consulting and we will do our very best to honor that mission while maintaining the health and safety of our members. Registration and participation in the JEOLC virtual session will qualify as one of the Election Center’s conference requirements towards CERA/CERV graduation or renewal. When: Jan. 14 and 15. Where: Online.
IGO 2021 Mid-Winter Conference: IGO will hold its mid-Winter conference in-person in Phoenix. Elections-related sessions include seminars on the 2020 election, adapting to ever-changing elections during a pandemic, ransomware and cybersecurity and effective communication strategies. Where: Phoenix, Arizona. When: Jan. 22-28.
NASED Winter Conference: We’re disappointed not to meet in person, but we look forward to seeing you virtually at the NASED Virtual Conference. Sessions topics include: Effective Incident Response; What Happened in 2020 and Cyber Priorities for 2021; Managing Misinformation on Social Media Platforms and Media Relations: Working Collaboratively to Build Trust. When: February 1-5. Where: Online.
NASS 2021 Winter Virtual Conference: NASS will hold its 2021 Winter Conference virtually this year. Elections-related events include workshops and sessions on election cybersecurity. The Elections Committee will consider two resolutions. When February 2-5. 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 email@example.com. 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.
Certification Project Manager, Hart InterCIvic— The Certification Project Manager manages state and federal certification projects of our Hardware and Software products, under the direction of the Sr. Director of Product Management. The Certification Project Manager must be able to exercise sound judgment and interact with regulatory authorities in a professional manner, particularly in high-pressure situations. Essential Duties and Responsibilities (Other duties may be assigned): Submit state/federal certification application materials; Plan for and coordinate logistics for onsite state/federal certification activities; Lead onsite state/federal certification activities; Provide follow up to state/federal certification activities. Application: For the complete job listing and to apply, click here.
Early Voting Specialist, Wake County, North Carolina— Are you looking to be more involved in your community? Do you have a passion for learning? Are you ready to be a part of democracy in the making? If so, get ready to roll up your sleeves and become a part of history! The Wake County Board of Elections is currently seeking an Early Voting Specialist to join our dynamic and talented Early Voting Team. The ideal candidate will be a strong communicator who thrives in a fast paced, ever changing work environment. They will have a clear understanding of the commonly accepted instructional design models, know what is takes to be a behind the scenes designer, and have a strong visual sense and excellent project management skills. The Early Voting Specialist will also assist with planning and management of early voting. This includes logistics, such as identifying and inspecting potential voting sites, communicating with facility staff, scheduling election service vendors, and managing voting site support operations. In addition, they will assist in the physically demanding work of setting up early voting sites. What will you do as an Early Voting Specialist? Develop and design training material for election workers, including classroom presentations, manuals, quick reference guides, workbooks, training videos, and e-learning modules. Teach training classes via Zoom or in person at the Board of Elections Operations Center. Monitor and assess election law changes and incorporate the changes into early voting site procedures. Identify training needs and solutions, collaborate with team members on best practices, develop training assessments, and implement changes in response to the assessments. Manage the logistics of early voting training, including recruiting and training classroom instructors, scheduling classroom facilities, recruiting and supervising training assistants, and preparing training budget needs. Manage the Learning Management System through user interface design, user record management, course creation, and uploading of SCORM packages. Develop high level design documents, storyboards, audio narration scripts, status reporting, QA and testing plans. Schedule and design layouts for training facilities. Develop and design election forms, precinct official website, newsletters, assessments, and other communications. Answer calls on the early voting support help line, including training help line staff, managing telephone, website, and live chat support tools, and managing help line staff schedules. Listen and respond to voter complaints. Identify innovative training tools and methods to enhance the early voting training program. Assist with early voting site management, including scheduling, communication, support, logistics, database management, and site setups. Assist with election support operations, including answering phone calls at the precinct official support help line and performing post-election reconciliation procedures. The Early Voting Specialist must become proficient in the use of the Adobe Creative Suite, in particular Adobe InDesign, Illustrator, and Photoshop. They must also become skilled in developing online training content using Articulate 360. Salary Hiring Range: $17.49 – $23.60. Application: For the complete job listing and to apply, click here.
Election Services Manager, Douglas County, Colorado— The Election Services Manager is responsible for the management and coordination of elections administrative operations, voter registration, mapping for voting districts and precincts, addressing library, and support for mail ballot processing as directed by the leadership team. The objective of this position is to perform a variety of functions and diverse leadership roles on a routine basis, including performance management for a team of Election Specialists. This is a highly visible position requiring exceptional leadership, organizational, and communication skills. The Election Services Manager is responsible for oversight of responsibilities within the elections office and Voter Service and Polling Centers, coaching and supervision of staff; creation and enforcement of policies, procedures, and state and federal statutes and regulations; creation and execution of strategic and tactical plans for operating successful elections; coordination of election functions with entities participating in a County election or conducting their own election; managing key vendor relationships and election assets. Coordinates with and assists other Clerk & Recorder Divisions as needed. Salary: $57,430 – 86,145. Application: For the complete job listing and to apply, click here.
General Registrar, Fairfax County, Virginia— The Fairfax County Electoral Board, serving Fairfax County (population 1.1 million), the largest locality in the Commonwealth of Virginia and a suburb of Washington, D.C., is recruiting qualified candidates with exceptional senior leadership and management experience for the position of General Registrar to serve a four-year term. This is an executive management position that reports to the 3-person Fairfax County Electoral Board. The Board is seeking an innovative leader with demonstrated management experience and political acumen. It is crucial that the General Registrar have excellent interpersonal skills and a high level of multi-cultural sensitivity to work effectively with a diverse community and employee population and a complex hierarchy. The General Registrar is an appointed state employee and sworn official with overall responsibility for administering the provisions of the Virginia election laws under guidelines established by the State Board of Elections and the Fairfax County Electoral Board including the duties and powers of the General Registrar as stated in Title 24.2 of the Code of Virginia and in compliance with other federal, state, and local laws, regulations, and policies. With close to 800,000 registered voters, and yearly or more frequent elections, the General Registrar is responsible for the oversight of a large and complex non-partisan voter registration and election administration agency with approximately 30 full-time equivalent employees, 200 temporary/seasonal employees and, during election season, 3,700 Election Officer employees. The General Registrar consults with, advises, and reports to the Fairfax County Electoral Board on all issues relative to election administration and voter registration. General Registrars serve at the pleasure of the Fairfax County Electoral Board. Pursuant to the Code of Virginia sec. 24.2-109, local electoral boards are granted the authority to appoint and remove from office, on notice, the General Registrar Salary: $95,447.87 – $159,078.61. Deadline: Jan. 29. Application: For the complete job listing and to apply, click here.
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