In Focus This Week
“Clearies” honor enterprising spirit and hard work of election officials
A look at the 2019 winners with 2020 deadline on horizon
By M. Mindy Moretti
In 2016, the U.S. Election Assistance Commission launched the Clearinghouse Awards, also referred to as the “Clearies,” to honor the enterprising spirit and hard work of election officials across the country.
The award categories celebrate innovation in election administration, improving voting accessibility for voters with disabilities, best practices in recruiting, training and retaining election workers, creative and original “I Voted” sticker design and new this year, distinguishing cybersecurity and technology initiatives that improve election security of voting systems and strengthen U.S. elections.
“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.”
With the deadline for submission for the 2020 Clearies coming tomorrow, we thought we’d give you a brief look at the 2019 winners for some inspiration. Shortly after the 2019 winners were announced, the country fell in to the grips of the coronavirus pandemic and the winners never really got (from us at least), the attention they deserved.
Improving Accessibility for Voters with Disabilities
In this category, winning submissions help further voting access for people with disabilities while upholding the provisions in HAVA and the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).
Merced County, California: During the 2019 elections, Merced County utilized their new Multilingual Virtual Poll Worker Program (MVP) to assist voters who are deaf by providing a direct iPad-based connection to American Sign Language interpreters. In an effort to make the voting process accessible and inclusive to all county voters, a planning and research effort resulted in the adoption of the new county-wide system. The convenience of using an app-based program on user-friendly iPads made the integration of the new service seamless at polling places. The MVP may also be used to provide interpreters for dozens of languages.
National Council of Independent Living: Over the past two years, NCIL has worked to promote their toolkit for election officials and voters with disabilities. The “Achieving Accessibility for Election Websites and Sample Ballots” toolkit provides information for election workers and disability advocates on resources to improve the online accessibility of election offices and sample ballots. Through a clearly constructed web-based presentation, the comprehensive guide seeks to help individuals and organizations understand the importance of accessibility and ballot access. The toolkit’s five chapters work to empower advocates and election officials by discussing topics such as website access barriers, accessibility evaluation tools, and ways local disability advocates can work with election officials to improve accessibility on the frontline of democracy.
District of Columbia Board of Elections: The DC BOE works diligently to ensure the accessibility of the voting process for voters with disabilities. This award recognizes the BOE’s overall commitment to accessibility. The elections office has worked to implement new voting machines, an electronic absentee ballot marking system, polling place ADA surveys, and poll worker training, all focused on helping voters with access needs. Other accomplishments include eliminating barriers to voting such as inaccessible polling sites, curbside voting, and no excuse absentee voting. In 2018, an independent organization surveyed all DC polling places and found 98% offering outstanding physical access for voters with disabilities.
Outstanding Innovations in Election
In this category a winning program should exhibit tools for creatively improving election administration, while advancing new and innovative concepts.
Anne Arbor, Michigan Clerk’s Office: The Line Tracking Project is the culmination of several years of extensive research studying voter wait times. The project features a new public website allowing voters to check wait times at their local polling place and access additional tools to facilitate the voting process. The website and tools were introduced in 2018 and improved upon during the 2019 elections. As home to the University of Michigan, many Ann Arbor polling places previously experienced long wait times. In partnership with the University, the project team continues to evaluate how line counts, website data, e-pollbook numbers, and ballots casts can be harnessed to improve the voter experience.
Coconino County, Arizona Elections Office: Started in the late 1970’s, Coconino County leads an extensive Native American Outreach Program. The program has emerged as a hub to coordinate the unique elections needs of communication, registration, and polling in tribal lands. Outreach activities include: the coordination of reservation polling places and vote centers, election worker recruitment and training, a customized handbook to assist Navajo poll workers, and other initiatives. All of these efforts have allowed the county to develop a successful outreach program that continues to evolve and improve.
Maricopa County, Arizona Recorder’s Office: In 2019, the county conducted an extensive Roundtable Project engaging underrepresented and historically disenfranchised communities in the elections process. Through this initiative, the county collaborated with a community host to identify topics for discussion and foster community involvement in addressing elections issues. Each roundtable consisted of a presentation from the county and a guided discussion with attendees. The programs led to outstanding results in increasing voter engagement while allowing the county to receive direct feedback about community-specific access needs.
Salt Lake County, Utah Election Division: Leading up to the 2019 elections, Salt Lake County focused on “Innovating and Accountability,” a comprehensive effort to improve election services through enhanced poll worker training and the use of new technologies. From open-source election Worker Directory management software, to a QR code voter outreach survey, to creative uses of GIS programs, the county produced several cost-effective, sustainable, and innovative solutions that will benefit voters for years to come. Poll worker and voter feedback surveys documented the benefits of their efforts and will allow the county to evaluate future endeavors.
Office of the Washington Secretary of State: With planning commencing in 2014, the VoteWA Project sought to create a secure and modern Elections Management System and statewide voter registration database. The Secretary of State’s Office cultivated buy-in from the 39 county auditors across the state to achieve several goals. As a result, VoteWA was effectively used as the statewide voter registration and election management system in the 2019 August Primary and General Elections. The VoteWa project provides a secure environment for the state’s voter data and other elections information. It will also save taxpayer dollars, reduce data management time for local election officials, increase confidence in election security, and enable a number of process efficiencies.
Yolo County, California Elections Office: In 2018, the county harnessed GIS Systems and Mapping, along with a new poll worker app, to streamline election night reporting and improve voter participation. The Elections Office partnered with the county’s Information Technology division of the General Services Department to attain several innovative successes. The effort resulted in improved resource allocation, greater response time to polling places, strengthened communication of election results to citizens, and the likelihood of increasing future turnout through targeted outreach and education.
Best Practices in Recruiting, Retaining and Training Poll Workers
In this category, winning Programs utilize creative recruitment, training, and retention of election workers during the ever-changing election landscape.
El Paso County, Colorado Clerk and Recorder’s Office: The Clerk and Recorder’s Office collaborated with the county’s Public Information Office to create a video classroom training module consisting of twelve “chapters” illustrating each of the duties required of an election judge. The videos are being used to prepare potential applicants for the requirements of their position, thereby reducing turnover and helping the county maintain capable election workers.
Martin County, Florida Elections Office: Recognizing that most poll workers were 65 years of age or older, Martin County developed a Work the Polls campaign to recruit high school and college students for poll worker positions. Interns created a video to be posted on the website while staff reached out through meetings and presentations on campuses throughout Martin County. This outreach led to a more representative demographic for poll workers while increasing community involvement in the elections process.
Wake County, North Carolina Board of Elections: The elections office designed “buck slips” to recruit poll workers and increase interest in the election worker process. The slips were included in county-wide elections and tax revenue mailings already in place. These advertisements led to a substantial increase in applications for election worker positions, allowing staff to streamline the recruitment process and focus on other needs. The increase has not only prepared for attrition in existing poll worker pools but has allowed the county to create a STAR Team of election workers on stand-by for any needed last-minute substitutions.
Creative and Original “I Voted” Stickers
Winners in this category exemplify voter education, outreach, and community flair.
Clark County, Nevada Election Department: The colorful Clark County, Nevada, “I Voted” sticker was designed to reflect civic pride and encourage voting through a unique sticker that incorporates iconic elements of Las Vegas in a patriotic motif. Designed in the shape of the famous “Welcome to Las Vegas” sign, the sticker portrays the Las Vegas Strip skyline in red, white, and blue colors alongside the Statue of Liberty. In use since 2016, it coordinates with the graphics and materials used for the elections division’s outreach slogan of “Don’t Lose Your Voice, Vote.”
Louisiana Secretary of State: Louisiana is unique in many ways. From its 64 parishes to its melting pot of cultures, the Bayou State is one-of-a-kind. In 2019, Louisiana’s Secretary of State chose a local artist to create the art for the fall election cycle’s sticker. The result, “In Love with Louisiana,” features an artistic rendition of the state’s bird, the brown pelican, and the seal.
State of Alaska Division of Elections: In 2017, an elections official discovered a creative “I voted” sticker featuring a bear at a local store. Inspired, the elections office worked with an Alaskan artist to produce stickers for the 2018 elections with various Alaskan animals. Stickers included the moose, walrus, raven, Dungeness crab, king crab, eagle, caribou, and beaver. The stickers were enthusiastically received: voters across the state picked their favorites and started social media campaigns around the initiative. The stickers were also produced in Alaska’s Native Language.
Douglas County, Nevada Clerk-Treasure’s Office: In the fall of 2019, the county collaborated with the Nevada’s Office of the Secretary of State and a local artist to create an accessible braille “I voted” sticker for use in the 2020 elections. As noted in their competition submission, “we are very hopeful that this campaign will catch on. With so many visually impaired and blind people across our country, its innovative design should help draw many people with or without disabilities to the polls.” Along with the stickers colorful artistry and rich local design, the “white dots” indicate the braille and will be raised by a die impression at the printers. In braille it says, “I Voted Today!”
Washoe County, Nevada Registrar of Voters: In 2018, in conjunction with the introduction of new county-wide election machinery, Washoe County updated their “I Voted” sticker. The elections office wanted a new original sticker to go with the fresh look of the new voting machines and operations. The sticker features the Sierra mountains in the background and the city skyline to celebrate civic pride and the county’s picturesque landscape.
Congratulations again to all the 2019 winners. We hope folks have found some inspiration to get those submissions in quickly. More information on submission guidelines can be found here. All submissions should be sent to the EAC at firstname.lastname@example.org. Again, the deadline to submit is Friday, January 22.
2020 Legislative Review
2020 Legislative Action on Elections
By National Council of State Legislatures Staff
In 2020, election administration made headlines (and, for some, headaches), as issues once limited to election insiders became the subject of mainstream debate.
Yet election-related enactments were down this past year, largely due to the COVID-19 pandemic’s effect on legislative sessions and priorities. In 2020, lawmakers in 43 states and Washington, D.C., Guam and Puerto Rico passed 223 bills—fewer than two-thirds as many enactments as 2019 (when 46 states passed 367 measures) and 2018 (when 46 states passed 336). In fact, 2020 had the fewest total election enactments since 2010.
The pandemic disrupted legislative sessions, but it also brought new legislative attention to voting options, and absentee/mail voting was far and away the most popular topic—24 states and D.C. passed 52 bills on the subject. Voter registration—last year’s hot topic—remained a top legislative concern, alongside enactments on candidates, election officials, postelection processes and emergency powers.
We’ve summarized the year’s legislative trends below, and for complete details on these enactments and many others, visit NCSL’s state election legislation database.
Absentee and Mail Voting
Most enactments on absentee and mail voting were temporary changes prompted by the pandemic and aimed at helping voters cast ballots during new, challenging circumstances. While many of these changes came from executive branches (not covered in this article), legislatures also sprang into action.
California, D.C. and Nevada enacted universal mail voting for the 2020 general election only. Nine states—Connecticut, Delaware, Massachusetts, Mississippi, Missouri, New Hampshire, New York, Oklahoma and South Carolina—temporarily expanded eligibility requirements for absentee voting due to COVID-19.
Some states made short-term changes to the absentee ballot application process. Delaware, Illinois and Massachusetts mailed absentee ballot applications to all registered voters for the November election. Illinois allowed absentee ballots to be requested online, and North Carolina approved the submission of absentee ballot applications via email or fax.
To accommodate more mail ballots, Connecticut allowed absentee ballot processing to begin 14 days prior to the election, rather than seven days. The Constitution State also allowed ballot drop boxes for 2020.
Will any of these temporary changes become permanent? Or will states return to pre-pandemic policies? It’s hard to say, but we expect absentee and mail voting to remain a hot topic in 2021.
Of course, lawmakers in a few states enacted more lasting changes to absentee and mail voting policies. Louisiana added new eligibility requirements for witnessing an absentee ballot and restricted the addresses to which ballots can be sent, while Virginia instituted no-excuse absentee voting, a bill that was well on its way before COVID-19 and brings Old Dominion into the company of 33 other states and D.C.
Oklahoma and Utah placed restrictions on who can return absentee ballots for a voter, pejoratively known as “ballot harvesting.” Maryland enacted prepaid postage for mail ballots, Michigan authorized some city or township clerks to begin opening absentee ballots one day earlier, Mississippi allowed ballots postmarked to be accepted after Election Day, and New Jersey established a ballot cure process.
Eight states passed 18 bills related to voter registration, and New York made late-breaking news by enacting automatic voter registration. Virginia also passed automatic voter registration earlier in the year.
Most other enactments made smaller changes to the state’s existing policies, and several focused on voter registration outreach. For example, D.C. will require its Board of Elections to create voter registration resources for new homeowners and tenants and require public housing authorities to provide those resources to new tenants. And Virginia will require high schools to provide students with registration information and opportunities to register to vote.
California allowed voters to change their registration address or party affiliation up until the close of the polls on Election Day. Kentucky allowed voters to cast provisional ballots if they cannot provide proof of identification. In West Virginia, counties will now be permitted to store voter registration records in a digital format, and Wyoming will allow tribal identification cards to be used for voter registration.
Twenty enactments in 12 states addressed candidates for elected office. A handful of these made temporary changes to candidacy procedures due to the pandemic: Alabama and New York extended candidate qualification and filing deadlines, and New Jersey temporarily allowed electronic signatures on candidate petitions.
Changes unrelated to COVID-19 include alterations to candidate filing requirements in Louisiana and Virginia. Louisiana will require candidates to submit valid forms of identification, and in Virginia, candidates must submit a statement of economic interests.
Election officials were the subject of 17 enactments in six states. Virginia made several notable changes to its State Board of Elections—including increasing the size of the board and requiring it to identify, assess and address threats to election integrity.
Louisiana prevented the disclosure of poll workers’ addresses and telephone numbers, and Mississippi authorized a per diem compensation for election officials working during special elections.
Nine states passed 10 bills on postelection processes, which includes ballot counting, canvassing and certification.
California extended its county risk limiting audit program through 2023. Idaho strengthened its laws related to ballot custody, and Utah enacted multiple new provisions to ballot custody, voter intent and other postelection processes. Virginia established new procedures for election recounts.
Not surprising in a year with a pandemic, ten enactments in nine states were related to emergencies. Some states expanded emergency powers for local entities. Louisiana gave parish boards of election new election emergency powers related to absentee and mail voting; New Mexico did the same for counties. Massachusetts gave municipalities the authorities to postpone elections in the event of an emergency.
As executive branches took action on elections during the pandemic, some states sought to clarify who ultimately has policymaking power. To that end, Iowa and Ohio restricted the emergency powers of state election commissioners and state executives, while Vermont authorized the secretary of state—in consultation with the governor—to order appropriate election procedures for 2020.
Three states—Indiana, Louisiana and Washington—enacted four laws on cybersecurity. Indiana now requires each county to use a cybersecurity company designated by the secretary of state to investigate cybersecurity attacks, protect against malicious software and analyze information technology security risks.
Louisiana required the secretary of state to establish cybersecurity training for people with access to the state’s voter registration computer system and prohibited election officials from disclosing various types of computer system information, including internet protocol (IP) addresses. Washington enacted new policies to address security breaches of election systems by foreign actors.
Legislatively Referred Ballot Measures
Voters passed a handful of legislatively referred ballot measures related to elections. Two of these addressed who can vote: Californians passed a measure restoring the right to vote to people on parole, and Alabama voters approved an amendment changing language in the constitution from “every citizen” can vote to “only a citizen” can vote. (Colorado and Florida passed similar measures, though those were initiative by citizens, not the legislature.)
In Nevada, voters approved a measure establishing constitutional rights to certain voting procedures, including a right to vote without intimidation or threats, a right to return a spoiled ballot and receive a replacement, and a right to receive instructions on how to use voting equipment.
And Mississippi made a sweeping electoral change when voters passed a constitutional amendment removing the requirement that a candidate for governor or state office receive the highest number of votes in a majority of the state’s 122 House districts. If a candidate does not receive a majority vote of the people, they will proceed to a runoff election, instead of being chosen by a vote of the House of Representatives.
For more on statewide ballot measures, visit our 2020 state election coverage or statewide ballot measures database.
California will require its secretary of state to establish a Native American Voting Accessibility Advisory Committee.
D.C. joined Maine and Vermont in allowing convicted felons to vote while incarcerated and also passed legislation requiring polling places for incarcerated voters.
Illinois and Virginia made Election Day a holiday, and Tennessee did the same for Women’s Suffrage Day, Aug. 26.
Maine implemented ranked-choice voting for presidential elections—it’s the first state to do so, although this alternative voting system has been in place for primaries and federal congressional elections since 2018. Virginia also permitted local governments to use ranked-choice voting.
Utah repealed straight ticket voting.
Virginia created an Election Day page program, which allows high school students to serve as election workers.
Looking Ahead to 2021
We haven’t mentioned every enactment from 2020—we couldn’t possibly cover them all here—so to learn more about election changes in your state or elsewhere, visit our state election legislation database.
Our team anticipates continued interest in election administration, especially absentee and mail voting, when legislatures convene in 2021, but we also know—now more than ever—that predicting legislative trends is nearly impossible. We’ll do our best to track the action, and we are here for you—our members—whenever you need us.
(This article first appeared in NCSL’s The Canvass, which is great! You should really subscribe.)
Election News This Week
Massachusetts secretary of state William Galvin is proposing that COVID-19 vaccination stations be set up near polling places during town elections this spring as way to help inoculate the state’s population. In a letter to Gov. Charlie Baker, Galvin suggested a pilot program that would take advantage of upcoming municipal elections by staffing adjacent locations with temporary medical personnel “to serve defined populations, such as over 75 years of age.” He noted that communities including Newton, Lexington, Wellesley and Duxbury have March elections scheduled, and many others have elected planned in April. “With planning, this opportunity presents geographically organized populations which are specifically identified and where appropriate age can be verified,” Galvin wrote. He said wide-scale vaccine distribution is like an election in that both “involve an army of trained temporary workers and enough space to accommodate large crowds with detailed record-keeping.” Reaction among local elections officials has been mixed. Rehoboth Town Clerk Laura Schwall noted that a flu clinic was once run in conjunction with a fall election in her town and it worked well. “The program ran smoothly and the voters were appreciative of the one stop voting and vaccination opportunity,” she told the Sun Chronicle. As a result, she’s willing to consider Galvin’s suggestion. But Norton Town Clerk Lucia Longhurst said the effort could create unnecessary confusion and expose her workers. “First of all, I am always willing to put Norton’s residents first but not on this,” she said in an email. “No, as an election official, I do not support it.”
The Maricopa County Board of Supervisors is preparing to release election material to the Arizona Senate in response to its subpoenas, so that the Senate can perform an audit. The Senate first issued two subpoenas in December 2020 even after a routine audit conducted by the county found no problems. Instead of responding to the subpoenas, the supervisors went to court. Now, according to The Arizona Republic, the supervisors said in a statement that they continue to negotiate with the Senate on how to respond to the subpoenas, while Senate President Karen Fann put out a statement that said the Senate and supervisors had come to an agreement. A list provided by Senate Republicans shows what could be included in the agreement, including, but not limited to: The county will provide images of ballots; An audit will be performed including a logic and accuracy test on a random sample of tabulation machines and a review of the source code on a random sample of tabulation machines; The audit will only examine material related to the “2020 election;” The auditor will be certified by the U.S. Election Assistance Commission and will have access to a “random sample of desktops, servers, and routers” in a way that wouldn’t disrupt county operations; Only authorized parties would have access to data or materials provided by the county; and The parties will “work together in good faith” to resolve issues arising during the audit. According to the paper, the supervisors declined to confirm the terms of the potential agreement.
Sedgwick County, Kansas Election Commissioner Tabitha Lehman will be out of a job when her term expires this summer because, according to both Lehman and Secretary of State Scott Schwab Lehman knowingly violated a Kansas policy while working from home while fighting cancer during the coronavirus pandemic. Lehman said she stands by her decision to violate a policy on remote access to the state’s voter registration database. According to a statement from Lehman, Schwab, instituted a policy in March that “restricted remote access, including county provided VPN connectivity.” In her statement, Lehman said, “Because of my oath to uphold the laws and constitution of both United States and the State of Kansas, I knowingly chose to violate the policy of the Secretary of State in order to direct a fair and accurate Presidential election. That violation of policy is the rationale for not reappointing me.” Schwab’s office provided a written statement to The Wichita Eagle: “This was not a hasty decision,” Schwab said, according to the news release. “We understand the difficult circumstances election officials encountered throughout the fall. Ultimately, we could not jeopardize the safety of Kansas election systems to the benefit of one.” According to the paper, Schwab’s office did not cite any security breaches nor did he question the results of the November election in Sedgwick County. Meanwhile, Sedgwick County commissioners forwarded legislation to the statehouse that would strip the secretary of state’s authority to hire and fire election commissioners. Out of the state’s 105 county election officers, only four are selected by the secretary of state. Those four counties — Johnson, Sedgwick, Shawnee and Wyandotte — are the largest in the state by population. The other, smaller counties select their own top election official. The proposed bill would allow the Sedgwick County Commission or the county clerk to appoint an election commissioner. “If you believe in local control, this is local control,” Commissioner David Dennis told the paper. “We are very proud here in Sedgwick County. Our election commissioner has been outstanding. We can control it here. The Board of County Commissioners are each elected, we can make the best decision locally.”
Personnel News: Robert Poche, Ascension Parish, Louisiana registrar of voters is retiring after 40 years on the job. Pamela Dashiell, a Republican, resigned from the Transylvania County, North Carolina Board of Elections on Nov. 30. She has been replaced by Sandra E. Watson. Lake County, Indiana Election and Voter Registration Board member Dana Dumezich has retired. Former Republican board attorney John Reed will serve in Dumezich’s seat. Stephen French is the new Three Rivers, Michigan city clerk.
Federal Legislation: Senate Democrats, on the cusp of holding the slimmest possible majority in the chamber, signaled Tuesday a symbolic first order of business: a major overhaul of the nation’s voting, campaign finance and ethics laws. The measure, dubbed HR 1 in the House and now christened in the Senate as S1 to signify that it is a top priority, died in the GOP-controlled Senate last Congress. It could see the same fate again in the 117th Congress unless Democrats remove the 60-vote threshold to end filibusters on legislation, a change the party’s base eagerly wants but remains in doubt. Advocates pushing for the overhaul said they were mobilizing anew to build public support in both chambers. House Democrats expect to take up the measure as soon as this month or next, congressional aides said, as it closely tracks the same bill in the last Congress. The bill would create nationwide automatic voter registration and require paper ballots in all jurisdictions. It would set up a 6-to-1 optional public financing system to pay for congressional campaigns and tighten disclosure rules for political groups and super PACs that spend money to influence elections. It would require early voting and expand voting by mail, two changes made hastily in some states to cope with the pandemic in 2020 that Trump and many of his GOP allies falsely charged led to fraud. Some House Republicans have responded with their own bill that would sharply curtail such practices in federal elections. The bill would also put new limitations on some behind-the-scenes lobbying efforts, require more disclosure of online political ads and create nonpartisan redistricting efforts, among numerous other provisions.
Alaska: The Anchorage Assembly approved an ordinance with a package of adjustments to the municipal code that governs city elections. The measure, which passed 8-1, is the result of a yearly review of election code. Leading up to the vote, Assembly members grappled with questions of eroding public trust in elections systems. Nationwide, distrust among some voters hit a crescendo after the presidential election and the ensuing unsubstantiated claims of widespread voter fraud. The municipal election is April 6. • The updated code makes it explicit that the municipal clerk can “gather information” pertaining to alleged voter fraud or an election offense and then give that information to law enforcement when needed so a complete investigation can be conducted. Vote centers will be open for fewer days during runoff elections because of the shortened election period. Ballots mailed from overseas and postmarked by election day will have four days longer to be received. How questioned ballot envelopes are reviewed has been changed so that a voter ballot can still be counted if the voter is verified and qualified to vote, even when the voter or an election worker fails to sign the questioned ballot envelope.Voter misconduct offenses that are consistent with those in state statute have been added to code. This is so the city has “the authority to prosecute election offenses and maintain the accuracy and integrity of municipal elections,” according to the memorandum.
Arizona: Senate Bill 1023 by Sen. Kelly Townsend, R-Mesa, would bar county boards of supervisors from requiring that a specific marking pen be used on paper ballots and “shall not provide for use on ballots any pen that creates marks that are visible on the reverse side of the paper ballot or that otherwise may damage or cause a ballot to be spoiled.”
Sen. J.D. Mesnard, R-Chandler wants the hand count of the votes from precincts or vote centers, comparing what the machines tallied with what humans have determined are the votes to be increased from 2 percent to 5 percent. He also wants to allow anyone with enough money to cover the costs to demand a full recount of any election. Now, the only way that happens is if the margin of victory falls within certain margins, like 200 votes for a statewide race.]
Legislators proposed to abolish the permanent early voting list — which 3.2 million of the state’s voters use to get their ballots in the mail for each election — and to require anyone voting by mail get their ballot notarized. Rep. Kevin Payne, a Republican from Peoria sponsoring both bills, said he wants changes to state election laws this year and argued the latter proposal in particular is meant to improve election security.
Payne has also introduced House Bill 2369 would require attestation by a notary that the person whose name is on the envelope was in fact the person who signed it.
House Bill 2054 would require the Secretary of State to compare names of those who have died to the voter rolls on an annual basis. Current law requires the counties to make the comparison once a month. The bill was taken up Wednesday by the House Government and Elections Committee. The bill passed on an 8-5 vote. Democrats said it was unnecessary because the law already requires the month check. The proposal still must be approved by the full House and Senate.
California: Senate Bill 29, written by Sen. Tom Umberg, D-Santa Ana, would continue universal vote by mail for another year, covering the special election for the 30th District state Senate seat vacated by new Los Angeles County Supervisor Holly Mitchell. It could also apply to a special election to fill San Diego Democratic Assemblywoman Shirley Weber’s seat (if she is confirmed as secretary of state) and a potential recall campaign against Gov. Gavin Newsom. “Special elections and off-year elections are notoriously low in terms of turnout,” Umberg said. “I think this should help turnout by making sure everybody has access to a ballot.”
Assembly Bill 37, written by Assemblyman Marc Berman, D-Menlo Park, would make universal vote by mail a permanent feature of California elections. Weber has said she would support the change as secretary of state. A handful of Republicans supported making the change last year, but it’s unclear how many would back an ongoing expansion of mail voting.
SB 34 would create penalties for falsely labeling a voting location or drop box as “official.”
AB 53 would make Election Day a state holiday and avoid added costs by replacing the President’s Day holiday with Election Day in even years.
Georgia: Democratic lawmakers have filed legislation that would reinstate voting rights to Georgians who have been convicted of a felony. The bill’s sponsor, state Rep. Josh McLaurin, an Atlanta Democrat, said the current law is rooted in racism. Under the Georgia Constitution, those who have been convicted of a “felony involving moral turpitude” can’t be registered to vote until their sentences are completed — including the completion of any probation, parole and payment of any fines. But the state hasn’t defined which felonies involve “moral turpitude,” and election officials interpret the state constitution to mean that all felonies limit voting rights.
A bill introduced in the Georgia House would stop organizations from donating money to help run elections after a group backed by Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg gave millions of dollars last year. State Rep. Joseph Gullett, a Republican from Dallas, said taxpayers and their governments should fund elections administration, not nonprofit groups. Gullett introduced his legislation after the Center for Tech and Civic Life awarded grants to several county election offices in Georgia.
Illinois: The vote-by-mail bill, which passed the Senate by a vote of 40-18, would have made permanent some changes that were implemented in response to the pandemic for the 2020 general election. This would have included the use of drop-box sites to collect ballots without postage and curbside voting during early voting or on Election Day. It also would have required the State Board of Elections to provide guidance, rather than rules, for securing collection sites. Neither bill was taken up for a vote by the full House on Wednesday.
Indiana: State Representative Vernon G. Smith (D-Gary) announced this week that he introduced a bill during the 2021 legislative session that would permit same-day voter registration. The bill, HB 1301 would allow voters to register at the polls on the day of an election, providing they have not voted elsewhere and show an ID and proof of residence. “We need to begin removing the harmful barriers that discourage people from exercising their right to vote,” Smith said. “There is strong evidence that same-day registration increases voter turnout. The more people we have participating in our democratic process, the better.”
Kentucky: State lawmakers this month approved and sent to Beshear a bill that would take authority for deciding the “manner” of an election away from the governor and secretary of state in emergencies and give it to lawmakers. Beshear, a Democrat, announced late Monday that he has vetoed it. The changes in elections law were contained in Senate Bill 1. The measure also limits the governor’s emergency executive orders, such as those requiring face coverings to be worn in public, to 30 days unless extended by the legislature. It also says the governor needs approval from the attorney general to suspend a state law by executive order in an emergency —a provision Beshear says is unconstitutional. Quietly added to the bill in a Senate committee was the provision preventing the governor or secretary of state from changing election policies during an emergency.
Massachusetts: With more than a million Massachusetts voters submitting ballots by mail in the November election, state Sen. Becca Rausch D-Needham, believes it’s time to make vote-by-mail permanent. Last week she filed a bill called the MAIL-In Voting Act to do just that. “The bill is a new piece of legislation to retain and expand the vote-by-mail system that was implemented last year in response to the COVID-19 pandemic,” Rausch said in a press release. One of the main provisions of Rausch’s bill allows voters to become permanent mail voters at the time of registration, which means they would automatically get a ballot for every eligible election. Another would allow ballots postmarked by Election Day for primaries and general elections to be counted if received within 10 days thereafter. It would allow vote by mail in municipal elections. And it would allow communities to opt out of providing police details at polling places and would require employers to provide two hours of paid leave for employees for the purpose of casting a vote in person or by mail.
Nebraska: A Nebraska bill aims to change when early voting ballots can be sent out to voters. State Sen. Mike Groene introduced a measure that would shorten the time ballots can be delivered to voters from 35 days to 20 days before a primary or general election. The bill would also shorten the time frame when an absentee voter can pick-up a ballot in-person from their election commission office from 30 to 15 days. The measure was introduced Wednesday.
New Jersey: The Senate State Government Committee pulled a bill that would have allowed county election boards to decide the placement of all ballot drop boxes after an advocate voiced concerns that the bill did nothing to prevent unequal placements. The measure, sponsored by Senate State Government Committee Chairman James Beach (D-Voorhees), would eliminate provisions requiring drop boxes be installed at certain locations, like county clerk offices and colleges campuses, instead allowing election boards to decide drop box placement through a majority vote.
The Senate State Government, Wagering, Tourism and Historic Preservation Committee tabled bills that would establish in-person early voting and restrict access to legislators’ personal information Tuesday. Both bills were pulled before the committee meeting began. The Assembly Appropriations Committee tabled an identical early voting bill last week.
New York: After three years in legislative limbo, Democrats in the state Senate have passed a bill giving state residents a way to track their absentee ballots. S.1028, sponsored by Sen. Leroy Comrie, D-Queens, was approved in a 43-20 party-line vote. The legislation amends the state Election Law to require the state Board of Elections to provide a secure website where New Yorkers can track an absentee ballot from the moment the original request is received, approved, mailed or delivered to the voter, received a completed ballot back, opportunities to cure and the actual counting of the vote. While the website would be run through the state Board of Elections, it will require data to be sent from local Boards of Election in order to function. County Board of Elections and the New York City Board of Elections will be allowed to establish absentee ballot tracking systems of their own accord, if desired. Tracking information would only be available for individual voters to track their own ballot.
Oklahoma: Sen. Julia Kirt filed a trio of election bills to boost voter registration and participation in the state. Senate Bill 103 would allow absentee voters who are unable to vote in person because of physical incapacity, or their designee, to hand-deliver their sealed ballot to their county election board. Currently, absentee ballots for these groups can only be accepted via mail. SB 205 would implement a process for automatic voter registration when an eligible voter gets a state driver’s license or ID, building on the partnership of the State Election Board and the Department of Public Safety (DPS) for verifying individuals. The measure would direct DPS to provide electronic records of each person who is a qualified voter, or who will be a qualified voter within the next two years. The final bill, SB 77, would require the State Election Board to establish a website to allow Oklahomans to register to vote online by Dec. 31, 2021. Kirt ran the measure during the 2020 legislative session, but it was put on hold due to the COVID-19 pandemic and shortened legislative session.
South Carolina: If a bill crafted by state Rep. Russell Fry, R-Surfside Beach, becomes law, county-level candidates who protest their partisan primary elections will have to head to Columbia to make their case. Fry’s bill would take away local political parties’ responsibilities for handling primary election protests for county-level partisan offices. Instead, it would give control of the process to state parties. Fry said his bill would create a standardized way of handling all partisan primary challenges at both the state and county level. He said the state party is better equipped to handle the primary protests since it already performs that function for state-level candidates. Fry added that some county parties don’t have the infrastructure and experience to handle the protests and follow the process required by state law.
Utah: Rep. Mike Winder, R-West Valley City, is sponsoring HB127 that would implement ranked choice voting and apply to all state and county primary elections for all political parties. Ballots would move from an either/or option to a ranking system. Instead of picking one candidate, the voter will be able to pick candidates by ranking them as first pick, second pick, and so on. The bill allows up to five choices that could receive a vote in a primary. “You see a lot more positive campaigns and less mudslinging with ranked-choice voting because you’re hoping that people, if they don’t put you as their first choice, they at least put you their second or even third choice,” Winder said.
HB12 would require county clerks work in conjunction with the state or local registrars via the lieutenant governor’s office to ensure that the certificate of death for a Utah resident is provided. Once a death certificate is issued, notification to county clerks must be done within five days. Once the clerk receives that death certificate, they have one day to remove the dead person’s name and information from the voter rolls. The bill outlines the process that would create a paper trail that can be audited to make sure all steps have been taken and all offices have complied.
Vermont: The bill, H. 48, moved quickly through the state House of Representatives and state Senate last week so that town and city clerks can prepare for Town Meeting Day, scheduled for Tuesday, March 2. The legislation allows cities, towns, school boards and other municipal boards to mail town meeting ballots to registered voters, or change the date of their town meetings so they can be held outdoors. It also allows for Brattleboro’s Representative Town Meeting to be held electronically. Gov. Phil Scott has signed a bill. Scott had sought a mandatory vote-by-mail strategy in the bill, saying it would do the most to protect Vermonters from exposure to COVID-19. The Legislature did not agree, saying that it wanted to leave that choice to cities and towns. In announcing the signing, Scott advocated for voting by mail.
Virginia: Del. Cia Price (D-95th District) has introduced the Voting Rights Act of Virginia, modernized update to the federal Voting Rights Act enacted in 1965, aimed at expanding and protecting the right to vote for all Virginians. The Voting Rights Act of Virginia: Requires that changes to local voting laws and regulations be advertised in advance for public comment and evaluated for their impact on Black, Indigenous, and people of color communities; Expands requirements for localities to provide voting materials in languages other than English; Ensures fair representation in local government; and Strengthens protections against voter threats and intimidation to ensure every voter can make their voice heard safely.
The House of Delegates passed a bill to maintain various changes to election law that made it safer to vote during the coronavirus pandemic. If passed by the Senate, the bill sponsored by Del. Schuyler VanValkenburg (D-Henrico) would continue pre-paid postage and codify designated ‘drop boxes’ for absentee ballots. It would also establish a process allowing voters to ‘cure’ errors to mail-in ballots. Previously, VanValkenburg said many of these votes would’ve been discarded. These measures were among those approved temporarily by the General Assembly in 2020.
A bill to ban guns at polling locations in Virginia advanced in the General Assembly. The proposed legislation would prohibit firearms within 40 feet of polling sites, electoral board meetings and places where ballots are being counted. It includes exemptions for certain groups, including law enforcement and those whose homes fall within the gun-free zone. Del. Mark Levine (D-Alexandria), the bill’s chief sponsor, said the alleged plot by two armed Virginia men to attack a vote-counting operation in Pennsylvania underscored the need for change.
Washington: Washingtonians would be automatically eligible to vote after they are released from incarceration under a bill that was introduced in the state House last week. If passed, an estimated 10,000 people in Washington would immediately regain their right to vote, the bill sponsors say. As the law currently stands, those convicted of felonies are not immediately eligible to vote when they are released back into their communities. However, they can regain voting rights on an individual basis, either provisionally or permanently. If people violate the terms of their parole or fail to pay legal financial obligations, their voting rights can be revoked. Introduced at a public hearing last week, HB 1078 would replace the current process with one where voter eligibility is automatically restored upon the completion of one’s sentence. The bill would not grant currently incarcerated people the right to vote.
California: On Monday, Jan. 4, Primary Law Group, P.C., and co-counsel, Tyler & Bursch, LLP, filed a Complaint for Declaratory and Injunctive Relief in the U. S. District Court, Central District of California against multiple California state officials and 13 county registrar of voters, on behalf of Election Integrity Project California (EIPCa) and 10 California Congressional candidates. The suit alleges, among other things that: “The expansion of vote-by-mail ballots and the changes in the law to send vote-by-mail ballots to all registered voters created a process where known ineligible voters (including deceased persons, non-citizens and non-residents) were sent live ballots.”
Georgia: GOP attorney Sidney Powell withdrew her lawsuit in the U.S. Supreme Court challenging Georgia’s election results this week, her second to be voluntarily dismissed, as the legal campaign to overturn President Donald Trump’s election loss has petered out in the waning days of his term. Powell and the other attorneys on the case submitted a stipulation of dismissal to the U.S. Supreme Court, saying the plaintiffs “respectfully request that this case be dismissed.” The lawsuit sought to overturn Georgia’s election results and made baseless claims about election fraud involving Dominion voting machines; it was struck down in district court for lack of standing and being brought too late.
Illinois: It may now be 2021, but the legal battle over the 2018 race for sheriff in Macon County continues. At a hearing held this week, a large portion hearing in Macon County Circuit Court into the contested 2018 race was spent probing the history of those found votes. Incumbent Sheriff Tony Brown had originally been declared the winner by 19,655 votes to the 19,654 awarded to his challenger and fellow officer, Lt. Jim Root. The two extra votes, found stuck in a voting machine, had been cast for Root. Root’s challenge to overturn the result is being heard by Champaign County Circuit Court Judge Anna M. Benjamin and she was told by Brown’s lawyer, Chris Sherer, that the found votes had not been handled properly. As their security could not be vouched for, they had to be thrown out. Benjamin rejected that argument, and eventually agreed they would be taken into evidence in the case without her deciding, yet, whether they could count. According to the Herald & Review, part of the problem with the lost and found ballots is their strange history. The election judge who discovered them uncounted in a voting machine in Forsyth had flagged them. They were put in an envelope that ended up on now retired Macon County Clerk Stephen Bean’s desk; but Bean said they turned up there two days after the election when he found them there after returning from lunch. Bean testified he tried to find out about what happened to them, didn’t get very far, and locked them in a vault and forgot about them. Weeks later, when the election results were finalized and the contest was decided by one vote, he remembered the ballots in the vault and said he felt sick. He was taken so ill he ended up going to hospital believing he was having a heart attack as the stress consumed him. “It just freaked me out,” he told the court.
Nebraska: Lancaster County District Judge Lori Maret has upheld the constitutionality of the law requiring election commissioners in Lancaster, Douglas and Sarpy counties to be appointed to their posts rather than elected, as they are in most other counties in Nebraska. “The Court … places great weight on the fact that for more than a century the Legislature, the executive officers, and the residents of counties with election commissioners have acquiesced in the appointment of election officials,” Lancaster County District Judge Lori Maret wrote in a 14-page decision. The ruling ran counter to a nonbinding 2019 opinion by the Nebraska Attorney General’s Office, which had called the law, which says the governor shall appoint election commissioners in counties of more than 100,000 people, “constitutionally suspect.”
New Mexico: A Bernalillo County man is suing Secretary of State Maggie Toulouse Oliver over rules regarding special elections he says discriminate against candidates not affiliated with a major political party. J. Edward Hollington’s complaint, filed in state District Court, references a special election that will be needed to fill Congresswoman Deb Haaland’s seat if she is confirmed as secretary of the interior. The complaint says candidates who aren’t Democrats, Republicans or Libertarians face a much tougher time getting their names on the ballot than affiliated candidates because of the way the state’s elections are run. Due to eligibility issues that could arise with the signatures, the lawsuit says, candidates seeking to be assured a place on the ballot would realistically need to gather two to three times that number in a 21- to 35-day time frame following the announcement of a special election. “The special election regime described above imposes an unequal burden on and discriminates against independent candidates and voters,” Hollington’s attorney, Kenneth H. Stalter, wrote in the complaint.
New York: State Supreme Court Justice Scott DelConte is ordering the Oneida County Board of Elections to review more than 1,000 rejected affidavit ballots in the 22nd Congressional District race which remains undecided. Republican Claudia Tenney has a lead over incumbent Democrat Anthony Brindisi of just 29 votes. DelConte is ordering the Board to properly canvass all of its affidavit ballots, after it was discovered that the Board failed to process more than 2,400 voter registration applications that were filed on time through the state DMV website. Those people, DelConte said, were registered and entitled to vote in the 2020 election. Someone is registered to vote under the law, “as soon as her completed voter registration application is received by the proper Board of Elections.” The judge’s order says every ballot rejected by the Board as “not registered” must be reviewed. There are 1,028 rejected affidavit ballots, where it is unclear if their unprocessed voter registration applications were filed on time. DelConte said the Board failed a December order to review records relating to voters who filed affidavit ballots, to determine if they were eligible to vote.
North Carolina: Amy Simpson, the former senior deputy director of the Rockingham County Board of Elections, recently filed a federal lawsuit against the board and two of its members, alleging they violated her First Amendment rights and state law by firing her. In Simpson’s complaint, made by her attorney Walter Horton of Winston-Salem in U.S. District Court for the Middle District of North Carolina, Simpson alleges she was wrongfully terminated after board members Toni Reece and Bonnie Purgason acted to have her ousted based on a private conversation Simpson had with her doctor about placement of a sign outside his office. Simpson, who is seeking a jury trial, asks in the lawsuit for $100,000 in punitive damages, both from the board and from Reece and Purgason, $25,000 in compensatory wages for time she performed the duties of interim elections board director, reinstatement as senior deputy director of the elections board, and further damages to be awarded at the discretion of a jury, including legal costs.
Washington: A lawsuit filed by Loren Culp’s campaign for governor against Washington Secretary of State Kim Wyman and select county auditors has been dismissed, according to a news release from the secretary of state’s office. Culp had demanded an audit of Washington’s 2020 General Election. However, Culp’s campaign withdrew the lawsuit on Thursday, state officials said. According to the release, a notice of dismissal was filed “with prejudice,” which officials said means the lawsuit cannot be refiled. “These unsubstantiated allegations were without merit and created confusion among Washington voters,” Wyman said. “Today we finally have an opportunity to shed light on some of the misleading and inaccurate assumptions made in this lawsuit and can continue working to restore confidence with a swath of Washington’s electorate.”
Opinions This Week
National Opinions: Voting rights, II | Disinformation | Stop the Steal | Ballot access | Election security | Election coup | Election integrity
Alabama: Election fraud
Alaska: Ranked choice voting
Arizona: Maricopa County audit Election reform
California: Election security | Voter fraud
Hawaii: Election modernization
Michigan: Election reform
New York: Ranked choice voting
Oregon: Primary system
Pennsylvania: Election reform | Election lies
South Carolina: Voter ID
Tennessee: Voter suppression
Texas: Ranked choice voting
Vermont: Town Meeting Day
Virginia: Ex-felon voting rights
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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.
Bilingual Coordinator/Clerk, York County, Pennsylvania— Assist in the voter registration and election process. Coordinates all bilingual activities of the Election/Voter Registration Office. Assemble and pack supplies for local election boards. Answer telephone. Assist in the voter registration and election process including scanning signatures. Assist at the front counter. File as required. Assist Spanish-speaking voters, candidates and other members of the public through interpretation and service. Coordinate all bilingual activities of the Election/Voter Registration Office. Speak before various community groups concerning the election/voter registration process. Other reasonable duties as assigned by Supervisor. Salary: $11.50/hr. Application: For the complete job listing and to apply, click here.
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.
City and County Clerk, City and County of Broomfield, Colorado — Do you want to lead a highly functioning and motivated Clerk and Recorder team? The City and County of Broomfield is accepting applications for the position of City and County Clerk. This is a one-of-a-kind opportunity as the City and County of Broomfield is the only county in Colorado that appoints their Clerk. This position leads a team of committed individuals passionate about the services they provide the residents of Broomfield in the areas of Elections, Recording, Motor Vehicle, and City Clerk. As the City and County Clerk you will be required to perform the following job duties: Plan, direct, organize, implement, and coordinate all programs and activities associated with City Clerk, Recording, Elections, and Motor Vehicle divisions. Create strategic plans, assemble staff resources, and delegate tasks to assigned staff members. Communicate official plans, policies, and procedures to staff, civic organizations, and the general public through various means of communication. Effectively communicate and work with City Council members. Review proposed ordinances and regulations, plans, and technical reports related to departmental activities for content, accuracy, and feasibility; present ordinance changes, reports, and studies. Salary: $93,288.00 – $126,152.00. Deadline: Jan. 25. 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.
Elections Specialist, Stanly County, North Carolina— This position provides customer service to the Stanly County residence by telephone and in person; and issue forms, applications and inform customers of online resources. Duties include responding to and resolving customer inquiries through research; processing voter registration applications, cancellations and absentee ballot requests; keying updates provided on federal and state forms; assisting staff in daily office procedures and providing accurate information to the public; processing, sorting and date stamping mail; and collaborating with team members to gain knowledge of work processes. Work may include other duties and responsibilities assigned. Salary: $15.82/hr. Deadline: Jan. 22. 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.
Language Services & Community Engagement Program Supervisor, King County, Washington— King County Department of Elections is searching for an energetic and resourceful professional who likes to “get stuff done.” The Language Services & Community Engagement Program Supervisor position in the Elections Department combines an exciting environment with the opportunity to cultivate talents and apply a variety of skills. The ideal candidate will thrive in an innovative, fast-paced environment and will not hesitate to roll up both sleeves, work hard, have fun, and get the job done. We are looking for a dynamic person to lead the Language Services and Community Engagement Program. This position will administer the Voter Education Fund outreach activities and programs as well as coordinate activities between the Department and community-based organizations, community leaders and other public sector partners. This position also supervises the team responsible for translating election materials, providing language-based assistance to new and existing voters in King County, and supporting the Department’s community engagement work. A key purpose of this position is to promote the vision, mission and priorities of the department with stakeholders as well as working with them to identify and ultimately remove barriers to voting. The outreach work is performed under limited supervision and requires considerable independent judgment and discretion in responding to and interacting with individuals and groups, sometimes in politically sensitive situations. The work requires an understanding of County and Department priorities, policies and procedures, as well as community interests and concerns. A successful candidate for this position will be comfortable both serving a very public role for the department, as well as overseeing technical internal processes related to translation and customer service. Salary: $78,992.16 – $100,127.46. Deadline: Jan. 28 Application: For the complete job listing and to apply, click here.
Redistricting Litigation Counsel— The Citizens Redistricting Commission is seeking Statements of Qualifications (“SOQ”) from attorneys, including law firms and other entities, to provide legal services to defend its four final certified voting district maps (Congressional, and State Senate, Assembly, and Board of Equalization) in the event of litigation. The California Supreme Court has original jurisdiction over any claims that are brought in state court; however, cases may also be brought in federal court.The SOQ will be used by the Commission to selectcounsel for this purpose. An applicant may apply to provide such services, by responding to this Request for Information (“RFI”) in the manner described in Section III.At the Commission’s discretion, it may decideto hire more than one attorney or law firm based on the Commission’s perceived needs, and the attorney or law firm must be willing to coordinate with other firms as needed. If the Commission chooses representation from more than one attorney or law firm, the order of subordination with regards to any coordinated effort shall be made solely by the Commission or its designee. Deadline: Jan. 29. Application: For the complete job listing and to apply, click here.
Voter Information Coordinator (Elections Specialist), Pierce County, Washington— This individual will play an integral part in carrying out and conducting elections in Pierce County and in the day to day operations. This position supports the foundational aspect of our democratic process while providing services and outreach to our customers. Core Daily Responsibilities: Design and produce all publications, reports, manuals, flyers, legal advertisements, related election materials including Voter Pamphlets, and all jobs using a variety of desktop publishing software. Perform quality control work including proofreading, grammar, and spelling. Create and manage the voter pamphlet including submission of statements from candidates and committees. Active role in candidate filing and resolution submission. This work includes communicating with candidates and jurisdictions. Create ballot inserts for each election. Coordinate the language translation program of the voter pamphlet, ballot materials, and voter outreach materials. Work in conjunction with office media specialist to update and maintain social media accounts. Update website with relevant election information. Produce an accurate Voters’ Pamphlet for each election. Voter outreach to live and virtual audiences, upon request attend community events to educate prospective voters, supports school districts, colleges and universities with election related events and programs. Salary Hiring Range: $31.42 – $39.73 Hourly. Application: For the complete job listing and to apply, click here.
Voting Rights Act Counsel — The Citizens Redistricting Commission is seeking Statements of Qualifications (“SOQ”) from attorneys, including law firms and other entities to provide legal services to assist the Commission with its responsibilities pursuant to the Voters First Act. The SOQ will be used by the Commission to select counsel to advise specifically on Voting Rights Act (“VRA”) matters. An applicant may apply to provide such services either as an independent contractor or as an employee of the Commission, by responding to this Request for Information (“RFI”) in the manner described in Section III. Deadline: Jan. 29. Application: For the complete job listing and to apply, click here.
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