In Focus This Week
How We Voted in 2020
A look at the Survey of the Performance of American Elections
The MIT Election Lab team has been hard at work at a number of data puzzle pieces since the 2020 election — our ongoing precinct data project, for example. The piece we launched this week, though, is something we’ve been particularly excited about: the latest iteration of the Survey of the Performance of American Elections (SPAE).
The SPAE provides information about how Americans experience voting during a federal election. It is the only national survey of election administration that focuses on the process of voting, and provides insights into election performance in the individual states. It’s been conducted in every presidential election since 2008, giving us over a decade of data to draw from.
In 2020, 18,200 registered voters responded to the survey. Two hundred respondents each were interviewed in 40 states plus the District of Columbia, and 1000 interviews were conducted in Arizona, Florida, Georgia, Iowa, Michigan, Nevada, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin. We’re grateful to many folks for making this year’s survey possible, including the Democracy Fund, which supported the 2020 SPAE in part.
On Monday, March 29th, we released a report summarizing our findings from the survey, as well as the SPAE questionnaire and data. We encourage you to read the report and examine the data yourself, if you’re so inclined! You can find everything linked through this portal page on our website (which also links back to previous years’ data and findings).
To start you off – or for those of you who we know are pressed for time – we’ve summarized some of the top findings from our report below.
Voting by mail vs. in person:
- The percentage of voters casting ballots by mail grew to 46 percent, more than doubling the fraction from 2016. On the other hand, the share of voters casting ballots on Election Day fell to 28 percent, from 60 percent in 2016. Sixty percent of Democrats, compared to 32 percent of Republicans, reported voting by mail.
- Voters who cast ballots in person and by mail continued to express high levels of satisfaction with the process, as in past years. Average wait times to vote increased for all modes of in-person voting, and in most states.
- Only about half of the ballots that were mailed to voters were returned by mail. Twenty-two percent of mail ballots were returned to drop boxes. In the long-standing vote-by-mail states of Colorado, Oregon, and Washington, 60 percent were returned to drop boxes.
Voting in a pandemic:
- Worry about COVID was the top reason cited for voting by mail. But 59 percent of in-person voters were “very confident” that the public health measures in their polling place would protect against catching COVID.
- Eighty-seven percent of in-person voters report seeing poll workers wearing masks.
Voter confidence and perceptions of fraud:
- Measured across all voters, confidence that votes were counted as intended remained similar to past years. However, significant partisan gaps opened up.
- Among Republicans, lack of confidence in whether votes were counted as intended at the state level was strongly correlated with whether Donald Trump won the respondent’s state and with the fraction of votes cast by mail in the state.
- Partisan attitudes about the prevalence of several types of vote fraud became more polarized in 2020, particularly attitudes about absentee ballot fraud.
Attitudes toward election reform:
- Voters’ attitudes around reform — both overall support and partisan divisions — remained similar to past years. However, partisan divisions opened up further for voting by mail.
- Requiring electronic voting machines to have paper backups, automatically changing registrations when voters move, requiring election officials to be nonpartisan, declaring Election Day a holiday, and requiring voters to show a photo ID to vote were supported by majorities of both Democrats and Republicans.
- Adopting automatic voter registration, election-day registration, and moving elections to weekends are supported by a majority of voters, but not by a majority of Republicans.
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Election News This Week
The Arizona Senate has hired four companies to conduct its audit of Maricopa County’s 2020 presidential election. Wake Technology Services, CyFIR, Digital Discovery and Cyber Ninjas are expected to issue their report in about 60 days. “The scope of work will include, but is not limited to, scanning all the ballots, a full manual recount, auditing the registration and votes cast, the vote counts, and the electronic voting system,” a press release says. The company leading the audit Florida-based Cyber Ninjas is drawing scrutiny because of past Tweets from the company’s founder Doug Logan that show his support of the “Stop the Steal” campaign. “I’m tired of hearing people say there was no fraud. It happened, it’s real, and people better get wise fast,” said one post he shared from another Twitter user around the end of 2020. He also appears to have shared posts by Sidney Powell, an attorney who supported former President Donald Trump’s efforts to overturn the election results, and U.S. Rep. Lauren Boebert, R-Colo., a prominent proponent of conspiracy theories about the last election. Neither Logan nor the company immediately responded to requests for comment from The Arizona Republic on Wednesday. Maricopa County Board of Supervisors Chairman Jack Sellers said in a statement on Wednesday that he was “not familiar with any of the firms” the Senate has hired. “Elections are complicated and highly regulated operations,” he wrote. “Maricopa County hired certified experts to conduct its audits and examinations of equipment. I hope the auditors hired by the Senate will take great care with your ballots and the election equipment leased with your tax dollars.”
The kids are alright: According to early data from CIRCLE, estimates of youth voter turnout in 21 states shows that, although young people’s electoral participation increased from 2016 in nearly every state — in many cases by double-digit margins — there were big differences between states, with some nearly doubling the youth turnout rate of others. Shortly after the 2020 presidential election, CIRCLE used the immediately available exit poll and Census population data to estimate youth voter turnout nationally, and our analysis showed a major increase from 2016 and a likely historic level of youth or voter participation. Now that the states are updating their voter rolls, CIRCLE is able to get a more granular, state-by-state view of youth turnout based on official election data. To date, CIRCLE has released estimates states in the West, Southwest, and Southern United States. Data on additional states will follow in the coming weeks! Some of their findings so far: As in every election cycle, youth turnout varied widely across states, from 63% in Colorado to 34% in Oklahoma. On average, turnout was higher in Western states—many of which have stronger facilitative election laws and vote by mail policies—than in the South, where fewer states have automatic voter registration or automatically sent ballots to registered voters. Youth voter turnout was above 50% in competitive 2020 battleground states like North Carolina, Virginia, and Florida.
That’s a lot of elections: Cook County, Illinois Clerk Karen A. Yarbrough recently honored longtime election judge Caryl Tietz who has served as an elections judge for 67 years. “It’s people like Caryl Tietz who help to keep democracy alive and well in our communities and we are so grateful for her commitment and her service to our office and the voters of Cook County,” said Yarbrough. Tietz began working as an elections judge in the mid-1950s in Blue Island, Illinois where she was from. She moved to Orland Park in 1998 and began work as a judge at Century Junior High School, where she still works. “I just truly enjoy my work as an election judge. I just love meeting and getting to know so many people. I guess you could say it’s in my blood,” said Tietz.
Personnel News: Veronica Degraffenreid has been nominated to serve as Pennsylvania secretary of state. Royce Richardson, chairman of the Rockingham County, North Carolina Board of Elections has resigned. He is being replaced by Ophelia Wright who is the first Black woman to lead the county board of elections. Jonathon “JC” Elgin, has been appointed to the Richland County, Ohio Board of Elections. Bryan Poe, director of elections in Pulaski County, Arkansas, since 2013, has resigned. Jennifer Briggs is the new Gregg County, Texas elections administrator. Bob Morgan is the new Luzerne County, Pennsylvania director of elections. GOP State Rep. Mark Finchmen has announced his plans to run for Arizona secretary of state. State Sen. Mary Souza, R-Coeur d’Alene, has announced she’ll run for Idaho Secretary of State in 2022. Congratulations to Milwaukee Election Commissioner Claire Woodall-Vogg who was named one of the Milwaukee Busines Journal’s 40 Under 40.
In Memoriam: Former Iowa Secretary of State Elaine Baxter has died. She was 88. In 1973, Baxter became the first woman ever elected to the Burlington City Council in 1973. In 1982, she was elected to the Iowa House of Representatives, where she served three terms. In 1986, Baxter won a statewide race to serve as Iowa Secretary of State and served two terms as Iowa’s top election official. Her statewide appointments included the Iowa Humanities Board, Iowa State Lottery Board, Mississippi River Parkway Commission Board, Iowa Historic Preservation Alliance and Terrace Hill Society Foundation Board.
Research and Report Summaries
Michigan’s Department of State released a report on voting equipment issues from the 2020 election in Antrim County last week. Conducted as part of an ongoing lawsuit, the report, Analysis of the Antrim County, Michigan November 2020 Election Incident, analyzes the relevant voting equipment and affirms the accuracy of the county’s official presidential election results. The report further confirms statements from the county and state that errors in reporting unofficial election results were the result of human error and were not caused by a security breach, and that there is no credible evidence that errors were caused deliberately.
Verified Voting released a report on voting equipment this week. The report, The Price of Voting: Today’s Voting Machine Marketplace, explores the voting equipment marketplace, including market share by vendor and the costs of voting equipment.
The German Marshall Fund’s Alliance for Securing Democracy released a report on election security this week. The report, Defending 2020: What Worked, What Didn’t, and What’s Next, assesses efforts by the government, civil society, the private sector to counter foreign influence in the 2020 elections.
Federal Legislation: House Democrats have introduced legislation that would allow residents of federally subsidized housing to register to vote when they fill out their lease and verify their income. The bill, dubbed Our Homes Our Votes Act, was introduced by Democratic Reps. Jesús García (Ill.), Mary Gay Scanlon (Pa.) and Nikema Williams (Ga.) on Monday. It currently has 26 cosponsors. If passed, the bill would allow eligible voters that reside in housing administered by a Public Housing Agency (PHA) to register to vote when they sign their lease and verify their income. The agencies would be required under the legislation to then transmit the registration forms to the proper local election officials. The bill also designates private landlords for subsidized housing as “voter registration agents” and would make them “responsible for distributing voter registration forms and helping tenants fill them out if needed,” an announcement detailing the bill stated.
Arizona: Republicans on the House Committee on Government and Elections approved a measure to require voters to fill out an affidavit that includes their date of birth and either their driver’s license number or the number of their county-issued voter ID card. Then county election officials would be required to be sure these match what they have on file. This would be in addition to the current signature-matching mandates in state law.
The same Republican-controlled panel, also on a party-line vote, agreed to allow anyone with enough money to buy a recount of any — and all — elections, and at any level they wanted, right up through the entire state. And under SB 1010 they could demand not just a regular recount, which is done by running the ballots again through tabulation equipment, but even a hand count as long as they could afford the cost — no one had any figures — and the request was made within five days after the formal certification of the results and could afford the cost.
Arkansas: A bill that would prevent people from lingering near polling places is headed to the Arkansas Senate. Senate Bill 486, by Sen. Kim Hammer, R-Benton, would bar people from entering or remaining in an area within 100 feet of the entrance to a voting site while voting is taking place, except for a person entering or leaving the building for “lawful purposes.” Proponents of the bill said it aims to prevent voter intimidation, electioneering activities and violations of the Americans with Disabilities Act, while objectors said it was overly broad and could prevent nonprofits from distributing food and water. A divided voice vote sent SB486 to the state Senate for further consideration.
The committee also recommended Senate Bill 487, which would make establishing polling sites solely the duty of county election commissioners, and Senate Bill 488, which would amend the Arkansas Freedom of Information Act to exempt ballots from records that can be disclosed to the public.
The committee voted down Senate Bill 485, which would do away with early voting on the last Monday before an election takes place and Senate Bill 556, by Sen. Mark Johnson, R-Ferndale, which would set up a process for the state Board of Election Commissioners to take over for a county board in an emergency situation. The votes on both SB485 and SB556 were expunged. The bills can be brought before the committee again at a later date.
The House Committee on State Agencies and Governmental Affairs advanced House Bill 1715 by Rep. Mark Lowery, R-Maumelle, would ban the distribution of unsolicited absentee ballot applications to voters by designated elected officials and would make the possession of more than four absentee ballots by one person a rebuttable presumption of intent to defraud. The committee also advanced House Bill 1803, also by Lowery, would give the state Board of Election Commissioners the authority to institute corrective actions in response to complaints and would expand the types of violations about which county election boards can make complaints.
Colorado: The House State, Civic, Military and Veterans Affairs Committee on Monday killed five GOP bills that sought to reform Colorado’s election infrastructure. Included in the package were:
House Bill 21-1086 from Rep. Stephanie Luck, R-Penrose, which would have only allowed voters who could provide proof of citizenship access to a ballot. Luck requested her bill be postponed indefinitely and the committee obliged on a 9-2 vote, the only bipartisan action the panel took during the meeting.
House Bill 21-1088 from Rep. Andy Pico, R-Colorado Springs, a bill that sought to require the state auditor to conduct an annual audit of the statewide voter registration system. Pico’s bill, like the remaining three, was killed by the committee on a party line vote.
House Bill 21-1170 from Rep. Tim Geitner, R-Falcon, which would have created a bipartisan commission made up of outside experts to evaluate the security of electronic election systems and make recommendations to the secretary of State.
House Bill 21-1176 from Rep. Richard Holtorf, R-Akron, which sought to create a bipartisan commission to advise the state auditor on standards for a comprehensive audit of the state’s election processes.
House Bill 21-1053 from Rep. Dave Williams, R-Colorado Springs, which would have allowed registered voters to request an election recount.
Delaware: State lawmakers are moving forward on expanding access to voting through automatic registration. under legislation passed by the State Senate Tuesday, Delawareans will no longer be asked that question. They’ll be registered automatically if qualified, and sent a postcard later asking if they’d like to opt-out. Senate Majority Leader Bryan Townsend (D-Brookside) says this kind of bill is a great step towards improving access to voting in the First State. The bill passed in a straight along party line vote and now heads to the house.
Georgia: The Georgia Legislature has approved and Gov. Brian Kemp has signed Senate Bill 202 which will usher in sweeping changes to how people vote in Georgia. Here are some of the key provisions of the legislation, now law. Absentee ballots would be verified based on driver’s license numbers or other documentation instead of voter signatures. Ballot drop boxes would only be allowed inside early voting locations and available strictly during business hours. Weekend voting would be expanded for general elections, with two mandatory Saturdays offered statewide. Counties could also choose to offer early voting on two optional Sundays. Early voting for runoffs would be reduced to a minimum of one week because runoffs would occur four weeks after general elections. The deadline to request an absentee ballot would be set 11 days before election day. Members of the public would be prohibited from distributing food or water to voters waiting in line. The State Election Board could remove county election boards and replace them with an interim elections manager. A hotline to report illegal election activities would be set up in the attorney general’s office. Counties would be required to certify election results within six days, instead of the 10 days currently allowed. Election workers would also be required to count ballots without stopping until they’re finished.
A Georgia state senator has filed legislation she hopes will make it easier for voters to vote on election day. According to a statement from Senator Sally Harrell (D – Atlanta), her office filed Senate Bill 314, which will give county election supervisors and local elections boards the option to allow out of precinct voting on election day. Harrell said her proposal will make voting easier and more accessible in those counties. “Every Election Day, thousands of voters go to the wrong precinct because of confusion with early voting sites, changes in polling locations, or poll books that have incorrect data,” said. Harrell. “We can eliminate this problem completely by making it as easy as possible to get to a voting location.”
A bill that would have reformed the Gwinnett County Board of Registrations and Elections was defeated by the House this week. The rejection of the bill to reconstitute the elections board, to give local elected officials a say in who sits on the board, means the board’s format will likely remain as is until at least the 2023 legislative session, said state Rep. Sam Park, who authored the bill and is the Gwinnett Legislative Delegation’s chairman. The rejection, on a 97-70 party line vote on March 22, is significant because it came during a legislative session where the GOP-controlled Georgia General Assembly passed elections board reconstitution bills in several Republican-leaning counties.
Illinois: Both houses of the General Assembly approved a bill that expands voting access measures that were implemented for safety during the COVID-19 pandemic and makes them permanent. House Bill 1871, which passed the Senate in a bipartisan vote of 48-7 and the House 70-41, allows for curbside voting before and on Election Day. It also allows ballot drop boxes to continue. Ballots that are received with no or insufficient postage must also be accepted. The bill now heads to Gov. JB Pritzker’s desk for his signature. The bill will take effect as soon as he signs it, which could mean some of these changes will be used in the April 6 consolidated election if Pritzker signs the measure before then.
Indiana: Under Senate Bill 260, county election officials would be allowed to scan absentee ballots up to seven days prior to Election Day, so they are ready for immediate tabulation as soon as the polls close. However, doing so under the provisions of current law relating to dead voters requires creating a system that allows ballots to subsequently be removed from the scanned ballots, such as keeping opened ballots and mailing envelopes together. State Rep. Matt Pierce, D-Bloomington. recommended revising the legislation to count the votes of every person who is a qualified voter at the time they cast their ballot. The Republican-controlled Indiana House voted 52-36 to reject his proposal. State Rep. Tim Wesco, R-Osceola, chairman of the House Elections and Apportionment Committee, said there are only ever a few ballots in each election rejected due to the voter dying, and “I believe that should remain the policy of our state.”
Iowa: The third time was not the charm for ex-felons in Iowa looking to have their voting rights restored. For the third year in a row, a constitutional amendment to restore voting rights to people with past felony convictions apparently will not move forward in the Iowa Legislature. While the Iowa House passed the proposal unanimously last week, the Iowa Senate did not schedule a subcommittee hearing on it and the Senate Judiciary Committee adjourned its only scheduled meeting of the week Wednesday without considering it. The amendment, House Joint Resolution 11, would have had to advance through a full committee in the Senate this week in order to survive Friday’s second “funnel” deadline, although legislative leaders have ways of bringing bills back if they choose. Proposals to amend the Iowa Constitution must pass two consecutive general assemblies and win majority approval in a statewide vote. If the Legislature passed the measure next year, it would have to pass the same language in 2023 or 2024 before the proposal could be put before Iowans for a vote.
Kansas: Lawmakers in Kansas gave tentative approval to two elections-related bills this week. House Bill 2332 prohibits the executive and judicial branches of government from creating election laws. It also limits the Secretary of State’s power to regulate elections by actions such as entering into consent decrees with a court without legislative approval. The bill also creates disclosure requirements for organizations distributing information about mail in voting and mandates the Secretary of State to maintain residential addresses in addition to mail addresses of voters. It also creates new election tampering crimes.
House Bill 2183 focuses largely on mail-in voting. It limits who is permitted to return a mail-in ballot for another person and makes it a felony for one person to return more than five mail-in ballots. The measure also requires the signature on a mail ballot to match the signature election officials have on file, creating a potential for votes to be discarded, and bans the Secretary of State from extending mail-in vote deadlines. The bill also makes it illegal to backdate a postmark on a ballot and bars election offices from accepting money from any entity other than the state for administering elections.
Kentucky: The state House of Representatives’ Republican and Democrat members overwhelmingly voted, in a 91-3 decision, to give House Bill 574 final passage and send it to Gov. Andy Beshear’s desk. As long as the governor doesn’t veto it, HB 574 will make significant changes to state law, including: Establishing three days of in-person early voting on the Thursday, Friday and Saturday before Election Day; Letting people “cure” their absentee ballots if a problem, such as a mismatched signature, would otherwise cause it to be thrown out; Making the online portal through which Kentuckians requested — and government officials tracked — absentee ballots in 2020 a standard feature of future elections; Letting counties offer vote centers where residents from any precinct can cast their ballot; Allowing for secure drop-boxes where people can turn in their absentee ballots; Requiring counties to gradually phase out electronic-only voting systems and switch to equipment that can process paper ballots; Letting state officials quickly remove someone from the voter rolls if they’re notified that person moved to and registered to vote in another state.
Maine: The Legislature’s Veterans and Legal Affairs Committee approved a bill from Senator David Miramant, D-Camden, to expand the use of ranked choice voting in Maine elections. LD 202, “Resolution, Proposing an Amendment to the Constitution of Maine To Implement Ranked-choice Voting,” was voted out of committee 6-4 Ought to Pass as Amended, with three members absent. This resolution would amend the Constitution of Maine to require candidates for the offices of Governor, State Senator and State Representative to be elected by a majority of the votes cast for that office. Currently, those offices are elected by a plurality of the votes cast. In 2016, Maine voters adopted ranked-choice voting, including for the offices of governor and state legislature, by referendum. This voter-approved law was repealed by lawmakers in 2017. That repeal then was overturned by Maine’s voters in a second referendum in 2018. In 2019, the legislature expanded the ranked-choice system to include presidential primary and general elections. Currently, ranked-choice voting is used in Maine for all elections to federal office and for presidential primaries. LD 202 now faces votes in the Senate and the House. As a Constitutional Amendment, LD 202 would require two-thirds approval in both chambers of the Legislature, and would need to be approved by a majority of voters at the next general election.’
A petition drive to force a statewide referendum on whether non-citizens should be allowed to vote in local elections has failed to garner enough signatures to qualify for the ballot, according to state elections officials. After failing to win legislative support for a constitutional amendment in 2019, a Republican lawmaker from Hancock County had proposed a ballot initiative seeking to prohibit non-citizens from participating in municipal elections. The campaign was inspired by a debate in Portland in 2018 about whether legal non-citizens should be allowed to vote in City Council, school board or other city elections. But proponents of the ballot initiative fell well short of the number of valid signatures need to trigger a statewide vote this November, despite receiving more than $350,000 from an out-of-state political group, the Liberty Initiative Fund. Maine Secretary of State Shenna Bellows said Monday that “An Act to Clarify the Eligibility of Voters” submitted 41,075 valid signatures, which was 21,992 fewer than the 63,067 signatures of registered Maine voters needed to qualify for the ballot. Bellows’ office said that during the petition-certification process, the elections division found that 25,323 signatures were not valid.
Maryland: The Senate Education, Health and Environmental Affairs Committee has advanced House Bill 745, sponsored by House Majority Leader Eric G. Luedtke (D-Montgomery), which would increase the number of early voting centers required in counties based on the number of registered voters in those jurisdictions. Luedtke’s bill would broaden that formula, and require that counties: With less than 50,000 registered voters have one early voting center; With 50,000 to 100,000 registered voters have two early voting centers; With 100,000 to 200,000 registered voters have three early voting centers; With 200,000 to 300,000 registered voters have five early voting centers; With 300,000 to 400,000 registered voters have seven early voting centers; With 400,000 to 500,000 registered voters have nine early voting centers; With 500,000 to 600,000 registered voters have eleven early voting centers; And with more than 600,000 registered voters have 13 early voting centers. The bill also requires local election boards to consider, when determining the location of early voting centers, such factors as accessibility to historically disenfranchised communities and ensuring that voting centers are distributed in an “equitable” way throughout the county. The full Senate has approved the bill.
Missouri: The Missouri House has approved election law changes that include requiring residents to show photo IDs before voting. The measure also prohibits counting absentee ballots until all Election Day ballots are counted, potentially delaying results. And it bars election law changes within six months of a presidential election, which would have prevented the kinds of changes that were made to voting procedures last year when the pandemic hit. The measure was sent to the Senate on a 109-48 vote. Rep. Shamed Dogan, R-Ballwin, cast the lone “no” vote among Republicans. It now goes to the Senate for consideration.
The Senate is considering a bill that would change how the referendum process works. The proposed law would enact a $500 filing fee for groups to file a proposed petition in a bid to cut down on the scores of proposals that the secretary of state must process. It also would standardize the paperwork used to collect signatures and expand the number of words allowed on the official summary statement of the petition.
Montana: The Montana House narrowly advanced a bill that seeks to make it easier for Native Americans to vote, even as Republican lawmakers are pushing election restrictions. The bill aims to reduce travel time for tribal members to access voting services by requiring at least one satellite elections office to be available on each reservation in the state – with the same services as county elections offices – at least 30 days before election day. The measure was advanced with a preliminary vote in a 53-47 split, with several Republicans joining Democrats in voting in favor of the measure. The House is expected to vote on the bill for a third and final time this week. Opponents of the measure said it wouldn’t allow enough state oversight over the satellite election offices, which could be placed on federal land, outside the jurisdiction of county election officials. But supporters of the measure said it cements in state law practices that are already in place, following a 2014 settlement in a voting rights lawsuit and guidance issued by the secretary of state’s office for counties and tribes to comply with the settlement. However on Wednesday on a follow up vote, the House voted down House Bill 613.
Nevada: AB321 was set for its first hearing at press time. Under the legislation, universal mail voting would be made permanent. The bill would also include a reduction in the time allowed for curing ballots from seven to four days, regulations for the verification of signatures, guidelines for using electronic signature verification machines, and a requirement that the secretary of state matches the state’s voter rolls with available death records.
New Jersey: Lawmakers in the Senate approved a bill allowing in-person early voting, sending the measure to Gov. Phil Murphy’s desk, where he signed it this week. The measure, which cleared the chamber in a 28-8 vote, would provide three days of early voting for most primaries, five days of early voting for presidential primaries and nine days of early general election voting. The periods provided by that bill, sponsored by State Sen. Nia Gill (D-Montclair) and Assemblyman Andrew Zwicker (D-South Brunswick), represent significant reductions from previous versions, which provided for a two-week early voting period but limited the practice to general elections and municipal elections in towns that passed an ordinance to approve early voting. Murphy, long a proponent of early voting, has signaled he would support the bill, even if it fell short of the 30-day period he proposed in July.
Both chambers of the legislature approved a bill allowing county election boards to decide where ballot drop boxes are installed. The measure allows county election boards to decide by simple majority vote the placement of secure ballot drop boxes in their county. In the case of a tie, the county clerk casts the deciding vote. It requires each county erect at least 10 ballot drop boxes, with at least one box in each municipality with average per capita or median family incomes at or below 250% of the federal poverty line. The bill is a bid to prevent drop box clusters seen in some towns in last year’s elections. The rules used for those races required drop boxes be placed at specific sites, including county and municipal government buildings, community colleges and state universities.
The Assembly advanced a measure barring police officers from loitering within 100 feet of a polling place or drop box Thursday, but the bill stalled in the Senate despite a past version clearing the chamber in a narrow vote last month. The bill is a bid to prevent the resurgence of actions undertaken by the infamous National Ballot Security Task Force, a group of off-duty police and sheriff’s officers who intimidated voters, largely non-white ones, away from the polls in 1981 at the behest of the Republican National Committee. The bill has met opposition in the Senate and according to the New Jersey Globe is being amended.
North Carolina: Democrats have announced they plan to file legislation that would make voter registration of eligible citizens automatic when they turn 18, permit same-day registration on Election Day and make that day a holiday. Other measures would combat voter intimidation, make online registration more accessible and keep in place a nine-day window in which absentee ballots postmarked by Election Day could be received by counties and still count. Current law limits to three days the time in which absentee ballots postmarked by Election Day or a primary elections must be received to be counted. But a legal agreement in September between the State Board of Elections and a union-affiliated group extended the receipt date for the fall election from Nov. 6 to Nov. 12.
North Carolina’s constitution still includes an unenforceable relic of the Jim Crow era — a voter literacy test. Some state lawmakers are trying, again, to do away with it. A House judiciary committee scheduled debate on a bipartisan measure that would allow voters to decide next year whether to eliminate that section of the constitution. The section says anyone attempting to register to vote must “be able to read and write any section of the Constitution in the English language.” This requirement was added to the constitution in 1900 and used to keep many Black citizens from casting ballots. The federal Voting Rights Act of 1965 made literacy tests and similar barriers to voting unlawful nationwide. But in 1970, North Carolina voters weren’t willing to give up the language — they defeated an amendment to remove the section. House members have pushed again for its repeal in recent years. Three-fifths of the House and the Senate members must agree to such a referendum.
North Dakota: North Dakota’s House of Representatives passed a bill giving more time for local election officials to process absentee and mail-in ballots before Election Day. Senate Bill 2142, brought by Sen. Kristin Roers, R-Fargo, passed 84-9. The Senate in January passed the bill unanimously. The bill allows ballots to be processed but not tabulated up to three business days before Election Day, until polls close. The bill now goes to Gov. Doug Burgum, who has three legislative days to act upon receiving it.
South Carolina: South Carolina election officials would need to receive confirmation from the state Senate before taking the job under a bill the chamber approved March 31, but the legislation would not expand the state’s authority over counties, the proposal the House passed a few weeks earlier. The two chambers will now need to decide which of the two bills should make it to Gov. Henry McMaster’s desk or whether they can reach a compromise. In a 37-7 vote, the Senate passed S.499, which would add confirmation votes for each of the five members of the state Election Commission, as well as the agency’s executive director. Under current law, the governor appoints the commissioners without any confirmation vote. The commission’s partisan makeup would be left in tact: Up to four of the commissioners could come from the majority party in the Statehouse, and at least one would need to come from the minority party. Republicans currently hold sizable majorities in both the House and Senate. Senate Minority Leader Brad Hutto, D-Orangeburg, sought to change that by making it a 3-2 breakdown rather than 4-1. But state Sen. Chip Campsen, who authored the bill, noted that Democrats established the 4-1 composition decades ago when they had control in the Statehouse and Republicans should get the same benefit.
Texas: HB 1264 has been approve 9-0 by the House Committee on Elections. The bill would expedite the process by which dead Texans are purged from voter registration rolls. “It is my belief that election integrity is essential,” Rep. Keith Bell (R-Forney_ said in a January interview. “Upon someone’s death, the county registrar will be notified to remove that individual from the roll. That process being done quickly will prevent someone from taking on that individual’s identity possibly to commit voter fraud.” Bell said there is currently no specified amount of time between a person’s death and when a registrar is required to remove their name from voter rolls. The bill will now be taken to a calendars committee for possible placement on the House floor.
In an overnight vote after more than seven hours of debate, the Texas Senate signed off on Senate Bill 7, which would limit extended early voting hours, prohibit drive-thru voting and make it illegal for local election officials to proactively send applications to vote by mail to voters, even if they qualify. The bill originally limited early voting hours from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., curtailing the extended hours offered last year in Harris County and other large counties where voting ran until 10 p.m. for several days to accommodate people like shift workers for whom regular hours don’t work. The bill was rewritten before it reached the Senate floor to allow for voting only between 6 a.m. and 9 p.m. Those hours will still prohibit the day of 24-hour voting Harris County offered last November. The legislation would also outlaw the drive-thru voting set up at 10 polling places in the county for the general election. If passed into law, the legislation would broaden poll watchers’ access at polling places, even giving them power to video record voters receiving assistance in filling out their ballots if the poll watcher “reasonably believes” the help is unlawful. That provision has drawn particular concerns about possible intimidation of voters who speak languages other than English as well as voters with intellectual or developmental disabilities who may require assistance through prompting or questioning which could be misconstrued as coercion.
Virginia: Gov. Ralph Northam signed HB 1810 last week, which allows a Virginia governor to extend the voter registration deadline in the event that an online voter registration system is down. The extension would last for however long the system was offline. Mark Finks, the director of elections and general registrar in Harrisonburg, said this will be helpful to local registrars by allowing quicker actions to be taken in emergency situations. “It makes it a little bit clearer where the power is vested and what the process to get this extended is. I think hopefully this will give voters a little peace of mind that certain aspects of this won’t be up in the air,” Finks said.
Northam has also signed the Voting Rights Act of Virginia measure into law. The bill prohibits any state or local policies from denying or restricting voting rights based on race, color, or native language. The bill passed out of both chambers along party lines. Virginia’s voting rights act requires local election officials to get feedback or pre-approval from the state’s attorney general before making changes to their voting system. It also allows residents to sue in cases of voter suppression. The act also requires local election officials to provide all voting materials in other languages as needed.
Washington: The Legislature has approved House Bill 1078 that will automatically restore the vote to formerly incarcerated people upon their release from full custody, regardless of whether they are in community custody or owe court debts. Washington would become the 21st state, along with Washington, D.C., to adopt such a policy. The bill is sponsored in the House by Rep. Tarra Simmons, D-Bremerton, who is likely the first formerly incarcerated legislator in the country. This is Simmons’ first bill as a newly elected member of the House to be approved by the Legislature, and one that is particularly close to her. “When an individual does come home after incarceration, they will face many barriers. The punishment never seems to end, and I can tell you that firsthand,” Simmons said at a hearing in January. “This makes the law easier to administer, and it restores some sense of dignity to our neighbors when we welcome them home.”
West Virginia: Senate Bill 565 moves up the deadline for in-person early voting to six days ahead of an election. The measure also moves the deadline for absentee ballots to be mailed from six days prior to the election to 11. That is just shy of a request by the U.S Postal Service for a 15-day window in order to guarantee all ballots are delivered to county clerks on time.
The House of Delegates passed House Bill 3307 on Wednesday afternoon, creating the Social Media Integrity and Anti-Corruption in Elections Act. The bill passed 72-28, with five Republicans voting with the Democratic caucus against the bill. The bill now heads to the state Senate. The Social Media Integrity and Anti-Corruption in Elections Act would provide requirements for social media companies to prevent corruption and provide transparency of election-related content made available on social media websites. Social media companies would need to seek approval from the West Virginia Secretary of State’s Office before publishing election information, though that rule doesn’t apply to users of social media accounts. The bill would prohibit censorship of West Virginia political candidates on social media platforms by the companies that control those platforms, requiring the companies to provide timely service requests. It would limit social media companies from freezing or removing social media accounts of candidates. The bill sets out a number of penalties for non-compliance, including a $100,000 fine per day if the State Election Commission finds a social media company in violation with provisions of HB 3307.
Federal Lawsuits: Dominion Voting Systems has filed a $1.6 billion defamation lawsuit against Fox News, saying the network spread false claims that the voting machine company was involved in voter fraud during the 2020 presidential election. “Fox sold a false story of election fraud in order to serve its own commercial purposes, severely injuring Dominion in the process,” according to the lawsuit filed Friday in Delaware. “If this case does not rise to the level of defamation by a broadcaster, then nothing does.” “Fox endorsed, repeated, and broadcast a series of verifiably false yet devastating lies about Dominion,” the complaint says, including claims that the company’s software manipulated the results of the 2020 vote. In response, Fox News issued a statement Friday morning stating that it “is proud of our 2020 election coverage, which stands in the highest tradition of American journalism, and will vigorously defend against this baseless lawsuit in court.”
Florida: Three Republican candidates from 2020 have abandoned their legal challenge seeking a recount of Hillsborough County’s mail-in ballots in last year’s general election. Their case remains open in Hillsborough Circuit Court, but the named defendant, Hillsborough Supervisor of Elections Craig Latimer, has not been served with the complaint, his spokeswoman Gerri Kramer said this week. The 120-day window to serve Latimer with the lawsuit and a subpoena demanding a legal response within 20 days expired Thursday. The Hillsborough Circuit Court Clerk’s Office issued the subpoena to the plaintiff’s attorney, Terri Gaffney, Nov. 25. The losing candidates filed suit Nov. 17, four days after Latimer certified the final results of the Nov. 3 election. The legal challenge contended the vote totals warranted additional scrutiny because voters were confused over required signatures on both the mail ballot and envelope. Some ballots may have needed to be rejected over signature issues, the suit stated, and it contended Latimer’s office sent ballots to people who were deceased.
Georgia: Two lawsuits have been filed over Georgia’s new voter law. The 35-page New Georgia Project v. Raffensperger was filed shortly after Gov. Brian Kemp signed the “Election Integrity Act of 2021” Thursday, and the 56-page Georgia NAACP v. Raffensperger was filed Sunday. Both argue that many of the sweeping changes made to Georgia’s election administration disproportionately negatively affect Black voters. The New Georgia Project suit argues sections of the omnibus voting law violates both the First Amendment and Fourteenth Amendment by placing an undue burden on the right to vote, citing increased absentee ID requirements, restrictions on secure drop boxes and a ban on local governments mailing unsolicited absentee applications. Other changes that are allegedly unconstitutional include a ban on mobile polling places (used only by Fulton County), a virtual ban on out-of-precinct provisional ballots and a prohibition on handing out food or water to voters within 150 feet of a polling place or 25 feet of voters in line. The New Georgia Project suit also says Georgia violated Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act because many changes would affect Black voters more In the challenge filed by the Georgia NAACP, the Georgia Coalition for the People’s Agenda, League of Women Voters of Georgia, GALEO, Common Cause and the Lower Muskogee Creek Tribe, lawyers argue more explicitly that elements of SB 202 is “the culmination of a concerted effort to suppress the participation of Black voters and other voters of color.” Similarly to the first suit, this case focuses on new absentee ID requirements that use a driver’s license or state ID number or photocopy of voter ID as the way to verify identity, as well as opposition to the new rule on drop boxes. While drop boxes did not exist before the 2020 election cycle, the new voting law limits when and where Georgians can use them, including a cap on available boxes per county that are only available in early voting sites during early voting hours. A third suit over the new voting law was filed by the African Methodist Episcopal Church and other plaintiffs. This suit is aimed at many parts of the voting law, including absentee ID requirements, drop box restrictions, absentee ballot request deadlines and a ban on volunteers handing out food and water to voters waiting in line. “Simply put, this new law not only seeks to suppress the votes of Black and brown people, but it is also racist and seeks to return us to the days of Jim Crow,” Bishop Reginald Jackson of the AME Church’s Sixth District, which includes Georgia, wrote in a letter to parishioners. “For some Georgians, this inconvenience may be manageable. But for voters of color and other historically disenfranchised communities — who already suffer through disproportionately longer lines than white voters — it could be dramatic,” the 91-page lawsuit states. “This burden is not an accident. Nor is it legal.”
Michigan: Michigan election clerks are contesting subpoenas in an ever-widening election fraud lawsuit that would require them to turn over vast numbers of documents and provide physical access to tabulators and other election equipment used during the 2020 presidential election. Attorneys for Livingston County Clerk Elizabeth Hundley, Grand Traverse County Clerk Bonnie Scheele, Barry County Clerk Pamela A. Palmer and Macomb County Clerk Anthony Forlini last week filed motions to have presiding Antrim County Circuit Judge Kevin A. Elsenheimer block the subpoenas. They call it an overly burdensome and irrelevant “fishing expedition” that is “designed to harass” public election officials. Similar subpoenas were also served to county clerks in Wayne, Kent, Charlevoix and Oakland counties. The subpoenas arise out of a lawsuit filed by William Bailey, a Central Lake Township resident who raised accusations of tampering and fraud related to election software and machines manufactured by Dominion Voting Systems that are used in Antrim County and across the state. The subpoenas to county clerks request election tapes, paper ballots, system logs, tally servers, computer storage devices, reports, canvasser paperwork and notes created during the election certification process. An April 12 hearing will determine if the clerks have to comply.
Minnesota: U.S. District Court Judge Eric Tostrud refused to dismiss entirely a challenge from voting rights advocates to the state’s requirement of a witness signature on mail-in ballots for the duration of the Covid-19 pandemic. Tostrud’s ruling — the latest in a monthslong fight over a rule that requires Minnesota voters to get their mail-in ballot signed by a notary public or another voter — let the as-applied challenge survive a motion to dismiss from the Republican National Committee and Republican Party of Minnesota, who intervened in the matter last summer. In his decision issued Monday, Tostrud found that “plaintiffs plausibly allege a certainly impending threat that an ongoing Covid-19 pandemic and Minnesota’s absentee-ballot witness requirements will combine to burden the right to vote,” namely for voters like plaintiff Isabel Bethke and others who do not live with someone qualified to serve as a witness for upcoming elections this fall.
New York: A Monroe County grand jury declined to indict Jalil Muntaqim on voter fraud charges. Muntaqim was in prison for nearly 50 years for his role in the murder of two New York City officers. He was facing felony charges for registering to vote last October after he was released from prison.
Texas: David Lopez, an air conditioning repairman who was held at gunpoint last October as part of a right-wing group’s voter fraud investigation has sued the group and its CEO, Houston conservative activist Steven Hotze. Lopez’s suit, alleges longtime GOP activist Hotze approved of, paid for and directed a private investigator’s allegedly violent actions in a “bizarre and unfounded” voter fraud investigation. Lopez’s attorney, Dicky Grigg, said the civil suit was filed to hold Hotze accountable for his alleged role in the incident that resulted in the arrest of former Houston Police Department Captain Mark Aguirre.
The Texas Court of Criminal Appeals has agreed to review the illegal voting conviction of Crystal Mason, a Tarrant County woman facing a five-year prison sentence for casting a provisional ballot in the 2016 election while she was on supervised release for a federal conviction. The state’s court of last resort for criminal matters granted Mason’s petition on this week, elevating the profile of a case that could test the extent to which provisional ballots provide a safe harbor for voters amid questions about their eligibility. Her 2016 vote was never counted. The Court of Criminal Appeals isn’t required to review non-death penalty convictions, and it rarely grants requests to do so. However, the court indicated it won’t hear oral arguments in the case and instead rely on legal briefs. In her petition to the court, Mason’s lawyers argued the appeals court erred in upholding her conviction because the state’s definition of voting illegally requires a person to know they are ineligible to vote and Mason did not. In its ruling, the three-judge appeals panel wrote that the fact Mason did not know she was ineligible was “irrelevant to her prosecution.”
NIST Framework: This week, the National Institute of Standards and Technology published a draft framework to help local election officials prepare for and respond to cyber threats. The framework takes NIST’s pre-existing cybersecurity best practices and applies them to election infrastructure such as polling places, voter registration databases and voting machines. “The guide can help these officials reduce the risk of disruptions to the major tasks they must perform in the process of an election,” according to NIST. “These range from the immediate concerns of an election day, such as vote processing or communicating the details of a problem or crisis, to longer-term efforts, like maintaining election and voter registration systems.” According to FCW, the new draft framework is the first time NIST has combined election security and cybersecurity in one of its playbooks, according to one of the authors. NIST will accept comments on the draft through May 14.
New Initiative: The National Cybersecurity Center kicked off a new initiative this week to offer training sessions on cyber hygiene and IT security to elected officials in state governments and their staff members. The program will feature virtual briefings, on-demand workshops and other materials addressing not only good online safety measures, but also an overview of the many different cyberthreats state and local government face. “Cybersecurity is more important than ever with businesses, government, and private individuals falling victim to digital attacks everyday,” Forrest Senti the director of business and government initiatives at the Colorado Springs, Colorado, think tank said in a press release. The training series is backed in part by Google, which recently expanded its election-security products — such as physical multi-factor authentication keys — to state and local election administrators, after offering them to campaigns and candidates last year. Senti told StateScoop in an interview last year the point of the training will be to provide state legislators, who are responsible for funding IT and cybersecurity policies, with information from industry experts from Senti’s organization as well as its industry partners, such as Google and Microsoft. The initial lessons will focus on the basics, like the importance of multi-factor authentication, strong passwords and regular software patching, but the training series will also aim to teach lawmakers about different types of threats, from ransomware and phishing to more recent supply-chain attacks like the compromises of SolarWinds and Microsoft Exchange Server.
New York: According to the Gotham Gazette, the New York State Board of Elections is a year or more behind implementing a statewide online voter registration system, setting it up to blow past an April 12 deadline. The delay, discussed at a recent meeting of state elections commissioners, is the result of funding stops issued from Governor Andrew Cuomo’s office, according to the elections commissioners on the call. A claim that is disputed by the Cuomo administration. “There is no way that we are going to comply with the statutory deadline because we’ve lost more than a year because of the delay in funding the project,” said State Board of Elections Co-Chair Doug Kellner at the March 15 meeting, which was held virtually. “We’re now talking about many months perhaps even more than a year after the deadline before the system will be ready.” “It’s not that we dragged our feet, it’s that the [state] didn’t give us adequate funds to do it. But nonetheless, the reality is we have a statutory date and we have to try to meet it,” Co-Chair Peter Kosinski said, reminding everyone that the April deadline is set by the law creating online voter registration in New York. Freeman Klopott, a spokesperson for the state Division of the Budget, disputed the claim. “The FY 2021 Budget provided $16 million in funding for this project, it has been available, and the Board hasn’t drawn down any of it,” he wrote in an email to Gotham Gazette. The State Board of Elections had received a $16 million allocation “only to have it frozen by Division of Budget on April 28, 2020,” wrote Cheryl Couser, a board spokesperson, in an email responding to Klopott.
Opinions This Week
National Opinions: Joe Manchin | U.S. Supreme Court | Voting rights, II, III, IV, V, VI | Secure elections | 26th Amendment | HR1, II, III | The big lie | Election fraud | Election legislation | Online voting | Primaries | Voter suppression | Fox News
Alaska: Election legislation
Connecticut: Voter data
Kentucky: Secretary of state
Michigan: Election legislation
Missouri: The big lie
Montana: Election legislation
New York: Ranked choice voting
North Dakota: Election laws
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.
Administrative Specialist III (Ballot Collection Lead), King County, Washington— This is an amazing opportunity to be engaged in the election process! The Department of Elections is recruiting a Ballot Collection Lead for the Elections Services Division. Under the direction of the Ballot Collection & Logistics Supervisor, this position will provide logistical support for ballot collection, fleet, and warehouse tasks and lead processes, projects and temporary staff. With over 70 ballot drop box locations throughout King County, this is a work group that continues to grow and evolve. This is a great opportunity for a detail oriented person with warehouse/receiving, data entry and strong interpersonal skills. King County Elections (KCE) manages voter registrations and elections for more than 1.4 million voters in King County, the largest vote-by-mail county in the United States. KCE’s mission is to conduct fair, open and accurate elections. As a leader in providing inclusive elections, KCE is focused on three key priorities – (1) actively identifying and working to remove barriers to voting at both the individual and community level, (2) strengthening relationships with community and governmental partners, and (3) creating a culture of professional growth and development, openness and inclusion. The Department of Elections is searching for an energetic and resourceful professional who likes to “get stuff done”. The Ballot Collection Lead position in the Elections Department combines an exciting, fast-paced 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. Application: For the complete job listing and to apply, click here.
Assistant Elections Manager, Alexandria, Virginia — The City of Alexandria is looking for an Assistant Elections Manager to support election operations and election officer staffing within the City. The Assistant Elections Manager’s primary responsibility is to manage elections officer recruitment, placement and training, and help coordinate election day preparation Responsibilities also include assisting with the management of voting equipment, polling place activities, and the daily operations of absentee voting. The work is performed under the general direction of the Elections Manager. Manages the staffing of election officers, including verifying their eligibility to serve, ensuring that all have signed oaths, arranging training, maintaining records and scheduling election officer assignments; Maintains communications with election officers regarding department-wide information, including writing content for and distributing the election officer newsletter; Helps coordinate polling place activities, ensuring that all appropriate signage is posted, that each location has appropriate supplies and parking, and that all locations are accessible and appropriately staffed; Assists with the preparation of voting equipment prior to each election which includes programming equipment, testing equipment, ensuring the secure storage of equipment, and delivering equipment to/from polling places; Assists with the daily operations of absentee ballot processing, including verifying voter eligibility and assisting voters in casting absentee ballots; and Performs other duties as required. Salary: $46,758.92 – $76,858.11 Annually. Deadline: April 6. Application: For the complete job listing and to apply, click here.
Assistant IT Chief, Dallas County, Texas— Manages, oversees and performs technical and administrative work of information technology for the Elections Office. Provides technology vision and leadership in the development and implementation of the elections technology program while assisting the Elections Administrator in strategic, tactical and elections related compliance. Oversees the design, implementation and evaluation of systems to support end users in productive use of computer hardware and software; collaborates with the County’s Information Security Officer, IT operations, IT applications to ensure best-in-class recording and elections security, infrastructure and client services. Directs and oversees IT projects and systems to ensure security, quality control and efficiency; facilitates the development of each project to meet customer needs. Plans and implements enterprise information systems to support elections operations. Manages and directs IT personnel to establish workload priorities; coordinates projects and reporting of activities while maintaining workflow estimates. Facilitates communication between staff, management, vendors, and other technology resources within the organization and with outside stakeholders. Provides project management oversight for key initiatives and division-level responsibilities. Manages the division budget expenditures and related administrative tasks. Plans, directs, and monitors the development, installation and maintenance of computer programs and associated computer operations necessary to achieve functional departmental systems. Develops the design specifications of computer systems, programs and operating systems, with the following core competencies: Security Analysis, Design, Business Process Improvement, Data, Modeling, Development, Planning, Implementation, Test Script Development, Monitoring/Controls, Troubleshooting/Problem Solving, Documentation and Service Motivation. Collaborates with the Information Security Officer, IT Operations, IT Applications and PMO to ensure best-in-class procedures and security standards for the security of all elections information and established IT programs. Directs and/or assists in the resolution of highly complex or unusual business problems that cross various IT disciplines and agency boundaries. Develops and establishes department standards and procedures, including application development, quality assurance, incident management, documentation and project management. Evaluates, plans, reviews, and recommends long-range enhancements for computer hardware, software and data communications equipment. Performs other duties as assigned. Application: For the complete job listing and to apply, click here.
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.
CEO, Verified Voting — Verified Voting is seeking its next CEO for its 501(c)(3) and 501(c)(4) entities. In the course of completing its strategic plan, Validating 2020, Verified Voting has significantly expanded its team and programmatic capacity to address the urgent need for greater accuracy, security, and verifiability in elections. The organization is now looking for a dynamic and experienced executive to lead the Board and staff through its next strategic planning, implementation and evaluation process as it continues to fulfill its mission. Reporting to the Board of Directors, the CEO will manage a team of seventeen. Key responsibilities include, but are not limited to: Organizational Strategy and Vision; Fundraising and Resource Development; Financial Management and Operations; Outreach and Communication; Human Resources / Staff Management; and Board Relations. Application: For the complete job listing and to apply, click here.
Certification Program Manager, Hart InterCivic— The Certification Program Manager performs high level management of multiple state and federal certification activities. The Certification Program Manager assists with developing the state certification roadmap in conjunction with internal stakeholders, communicates the roadmap to other departments, and provides direction for Certification Project Managers for individual certification campaigns. Additionally, the Certification Program Manager is responsible for ensuring that equipment inventory is appropriately utilized and tracked. Application: For the complete job listing and to apply, click here.
Chief Counsel, The California Citizens Redistricting Commission— The California Citizens Redistricting Commission (Commission) seeks a Chief Counsel with demonstrated experience and expertise in implementation and enforcement of Administrative or Constitutional law, combined with the background and knowledge to support the Commission’s redistricting mission. The applicant should be a creative problem-solver with strong communication, negotiation, and relationship building skills. A strong candidate for this position will have a background in the Bagley-Keene Open Meeting Act requirements and experience advising public commissions, boards, agencies or departments. This is an exempt executive assignment position, non-tenured, full time, and is appointed by the Commission. Employees of the Commission occupy non civil service positions serving at the pleasure of the Commission. This position is Limited Term 24 months. It will not become permanent; it may be extended or be canceled at any time. The position will be located in Sacramento, California. Frequent travel may be required. The Commission is a 14-member body created by the passage of the Voters FIRST Act, in 2008. It is charged with redrawing the California State Senate and Assembly, State Board of Equalization, and Congressional districts based on information gathered during the 2020 census. The Commission must draw the districts in conformity with strict, nonpartisan rules designed to create districts of reasonably equal population that will provide fair representation for all Californians. It is a further mandate that this process be conducted in an open and transparent manner, allowing for participation by the public. Application: For the complete job listing and to apply, click here.
Deputy Director, Registration and Elections, Fulton County, Georgia— Aides the Director in supervising, directing, and evaluating assigned staff: makes hiring or termination decisions/recommendations; establishes workloads and prioritizes work assignments; approves/processes employee concerns and problems and counsels or disciplines as appropriate; approves leave/vacation requests; completes employee performance appraisals; develops, interprets, trains staff in, and enforces operations, policies, and procedures. Tracks each election cycle as a project; determines best practices to track each task and staff during an election project in order to keep the Director abreast of developments and/or potential delays that could impact operations. Assists the Elections Director with projecting, managing and maintaining adequate and accurate election and grant budgets and expenditures. Oversees and manages registration, absentee, elections and administrative functions of the department; provides oversight of logistical operations of elections to include equipment deployment, warehouse operations, early voting activities and poll worker training and assignment; oversees and monitors the development and maintenance of the department’s annual project plan; ensures standard operating procedures are routinely reviewed, updated and maintained; participate in the development and maintenance of the department’s contingency plans for operations; implement and manage the department’s cross training program and production of position desk procedures. In the absence of the Director, will represent the department to media, voters, other departments, municipalities and other stakeholders: represents department at Board of Commissioners meetings; serves as liaison with Secretary of State’s office with regard to elections and voter registration; serves as Supervisor of Elections and Chief Administrative Officer for the Fulton County Board of Registration and Elections, including ensuring implementation of Board policies, scheduling meetings, and preparing/approving agendas and minutes; and communicates with these and other individuals/entities as needed to coordinate work activities, review status of work, exchange information, or resolve problems. Prepares or completes various forms, reports, correspondence, and other documentation, including performance appraisals, memos for new positions, budget proposals, news releases, and PowerPoint presentations; compiles data for further processing or for use in preparation of department reports; and maintains computerized and/or hardcopy records. Maintains a current, comprehensive knowledge and awareness of applicable laws, regulations, principles and practices relating to registration and elections processes; maintains an awareness of new trends and advances in the profession; reads professional literature; maintains professional affiliations; and attends workshops and training sessions. Collaborate with director to respond to Board of Registration & Elections, Board of Commissioners and the media. Salary: $80,188 – $120,282. Deadline: April 30. Application: For the complete job listing and to apply, click here.
Deputy Director, Lake County, Ohio— The Lake County Board of Elections (Painesville, Ohio) is accepting applications for the position of Deputy Director of the Board of Elections. Situated in Northeast Ohio along Lake Erie, Lake County boasts a strong local economy with diverse dining, entertainment and housing options. Lake County ranks 12th in the State of Ohio in voter registration population with approximately 163,000 registered voters, 56 polling locations and 163 precincts. The Board plans to implement a new voting system in 2021, which is one of the many exciting projects the new Deputy Director will assist with upon appointment. The Board’s 7 full-time employees and numerous seasonal employees offer decades of combined election experience and are committed to administering free and fair elections. The successful applicant will be affiliated with the Republican Party and will reside and register to vote in Lake County within 30 days of being appointed. Additional minimum qualifications include the following: a high school diploma or have attained the equivalency of a high school diploma (GED). College level education is desired. Baseline understanding of the rules, processes, procedures, and equipment used in local election administration, including: Operating voting machines and other automated office equipment; managing a successful and efficient database; using, understanding and applying election law terminology; understanding the basics of Ohio’s “sunshine laws” governing open meetings and public records; and, receiving and implementing assignments and instructions from board members and the Ohio Secretary of State’s Office. Managerial requirements, as demonstrated by previous work experience, include the following: Effective written and interpersonal communication abilities; strong organizational skills and attention to detail; familiarity with relevant state and federal human resources policies and practices; familiarity with the handling of budgets and public appropriation of funds; ability to perform duties as assigned by the law, the board of elections, and/or the Secretary of State; ability to convey or exchange information, including giving and managing assignments or direction to board personnel; ability to adapt and to perform in a professional manner under stressful or emergency situations; ability to comprehend a variety of informational documents; and, ability to conduct self at all times in a professional and courteous manner. Ideal candidates will have previous employment at a Board of Elections or similar elections office and experience with programming elections using hardware and software provided by Election Systems and Software (ES&S) as well as Triad Government Services voter registration software. Starting salary is negotiable and recruitment is open until the position is filled. The successful applicant must consent to and pass a statewide criminal background check. Qualified applicants must send cover letter and resume to Lake@Ohiosos.gov or mail hardcopy of the same to: Attention: Board Members; Lake County Board of Elections; 105 Main St. Ste. 107, Painesville, OH 44077
Deputy Elections Administrator, Dallas County, Texas— Assists with the direction and oversight of absentee mail voting, early voting, and election day voting for 1.1 million registered voters; ensures the voter registration rolls are accurate and complete; and assists in the oversight of the campaign finance files for candidates and office holders. Coordinates with the County IT Department in managing the department’s purchased software solutions and developing internal software solutions; coordinates employee usage of software. Negotiates, drafts, finalizes and manages comprehensive election contracts with the Elections Administrator; ensures compliance of contracts for thirty (30) contracted elections per year; and presents briefings and orders for Commissioners Court, the Election Board and the Citizen Election Advisory Committee. Assists the Elections Administrator in managing the budget, monitoring purchases and developing strategic, operational, and budgetary plans. Manages daily activities of staff; reviews and approves delegated personnel functions with the Elections Administrator regarding hiring, evaluating, disciplining, training and terminating of early voting election judges and staff, the utilization of equipment, and the reporting of counted ballots and election results; provides direction and guidance to supervisory staff on personnel issues. Monitors, reviews and analyzes statutes, regulations, and election legislation to determine impact on election operations and to ensure compliance. Performs all functions of the Elections Administrator in his or her absence. Interacts with judiciary, department heads, elected officials, other County staff and the general public to resolve problems, provide information and communicate ideas. Performs other duties as assigned. Salary Range: $8,077-$10,081/month. Application: For the complete job listing and to apply, click here.
Director/Deputy Director, Geauga County, Ohio — The Geauga County Board of Elections is seeking applicants for the position of Director/Deputy Director. The applicant must be registered as a Democratic and be a resident of Geauga County within 30 days of being hired. Deadline: April 1. Application: For the complete job listing and to apply, click here.
Director of Elections, Denver, Colorado — Do you have a passion for democracy and working in elections administration? If so, we want to hear from you! The City and County of Denver has an exciting opportunity for an appointed Director of Elections to serve in the Office of the Clerk & Recorder Paul D. López. Join our team of dedicated public servants in supporting residents while upholding public trust and integrity in our elections process. The Denver Office of the Clerk and Recorder serves Denver residents through two primary divisions: Elections and Recording/Public Trustee. By making more than 11 million records available online and providing electronic recording, the Office of the Clerk and Recorder allows people to do business more efficiently 24 hours a day. It is responsible for managing technology to collect, preserve and disseminate records that reflect and verify ownership, transfer, encumbrance, and foreclosure rights of all real property in the City and County of Denver. It issues and records marriage and domestic partnership licenses; administers records for elections and lobbyist information, has executive authorization to formally execute all contractual agreements with the City, and has executive and legislative authorization to formally implement and publish all policies, ordinances and appointments in the City and County of Denver. The Elections Division within the Office of the Clerk and Recorder provides comprehensive elections services for the City and County of Denver, including voter records, voter services, ballot operations, technical and logistical support, and election administration. The Denver Elections Division is a national leader and vanguard of elections administration, with a reputation for innovative and voter-centric service. Salary Range: $99,649 – $159,438. Application: For the complete job listing and to apply, click here.
Elections Director, Oregon Secretary of State’s Office— Are you ready to put your experience in election administration, management, and practical skills to work leading an election division in a state that prides itself on its innovative election policy? Would you like to be part of a new, principled, equity-driven administration that is committed to empowering the public through election education, access, policy, and outreach? The State of Oregon is looking for you. This is an extremely visible, high profile position that serves at the pleasure of the elected Secretary of State. This position reports to the Deputy Secretary of State and serves as a member of the Agency’s executive management team. As the Elections Director for the State of Oregon you will: Ensure all election-related processes run smoothly and fairly, including initiative petitions, campaign finance, complaint response; Support election officials, legislators, members of the public, the media, and others with your election expertise; Ensure agency compliance with all relevant state and federal mandates; Support and encourage counties, candidates, campaigns, and voters to comply with election laws and procedures; Protect all election systems from outside interference; oversee development of programs to proactively combat misinformation campaigns and mitigate with accurate resources via multiple channels; Procure new Oregon Central Voter Registration System; Write policies, recommendations, strategic plans, and draft legislation; Manage a yearly budget of approximately $10 million and lead a team of approximately 40 people; Connect with employees to establish relationships to promote a strong division culture; Identify, needed skill sets to ensure employees are engaged and receive the necessary support, coaching, development, and training for continuous success; and Maintain and improve the culture of voting in Oregon. Salary: $8,842 – $15,240 Per month – Full Time. Application: For the complete job listing and to apply, click here.
Election Superintendent, Mason County, Washington— The Election Superintendent is responsible for the overall management, supervision and implementation of all facets of voter registration and of all federal, state and local elections. This includes the preparation, distribution, process and tabulation of ballots, ballot and election security and secrecy of each voter’s ballot. All of these tasks must be performed while maintaining accuracy, efficiency and transparency. This position must utilize county and grant funds in the most effective way to implement short and long-term goals, organize personnel, facilities, and time to assure optimum services to Mason county. This position requires a high level of complex computer skills and the ability to be the public face of the department. Salary: $5,175-$6140/month. Application: Mason County Human Resource 411 North 5th Street, Shelton, WA 98584.
Records and Assessment-Deputy Clerk, Hood River County, Oregon— Bring your sense of adventure because Hood River County is made for exploring and is one of Oregon’s favorite playgrounds. Walk along the waterfront, discover hidden waterfalls, or cycle the trails in the Post Canyon mountain bike network. It will be hard to resist water sports on the Columbia as you will be living in the windsurfing and kiteboarding capital of the world. Located in the scenic Columbia River Gorge, Hood River County has an opening for a Deputy Clerk. The ideal candidate would have 3 years of work experience in a County Clerk/Elections office and 3 years of management experience. You will be responsible for supervising document recording and records management. You will be participating in budget preparation and assisting with the monitoring of fiscal operations of the department. You will supervise and direct the processing of voter registrations and maintaining the voter address library. You will oversee conducting all elections held in the County; establishing ballot drop sites, ordering and maintaining election supplies, certifying ballot information, ballot design, receiving ballots and many more duties specific to the election process. If this is you, we are eager to hear from you. Salary: $4,486 – $6,006/month. Deadline: April 16. Application: For the complete listing and to apply, click here.
Registrar of Voters, San Diego County, California— The Registrar of Voters is an executive management position that leads the Department and provides eligible citizens of San Diego County with widespread and ongoing opportunities to register and vote in fair and accurate elections for all federal, state and local offices and measures; and provides access to the information needed to utilize the initiative, referendum, and recall petition processes. Qualified candidates will possess a bachelor’s degree and five years of management level experience that demonstrates the ability to perform the essential functions of the classification. The ideal candidate for this position will have executive level decision-making skills in the area of election administration, as well as organizational and political acumen in order to advise and provide direction for ROV programs and services. Candidates familiar with election administration principles, campaign finance, election technologies, voting procedures, and federal and state election laws, are preferred. This recruitment will remain open until the position is filled. Interested applicants are encouraged to apply as soon as possible for consideration. Application: For the complete job listing and to apply, click here.
Senior Election Subject Matter Expert (SME), U.S. Election Assistance Commission— The Senior Election Subject Matter Expert (SME) is responsible to create EAC clearinghouse material to assist Election Officials, Voters, and other stakeholders with best practices, white papers, tools, data, training materials, instructions, and any other information that would be helpful to election administrators to assist with the Administration of elections. The incumbent will provide expert guidance regarding election administration that touches all facets of the agency to serve EAC stakeholders. The agency is filling multiple positions with this vacancy. Preparing and implementing programs and resources for election officials and voters. Major Duties: Updating and maintaining current Clearinghouse resources for election officials. Creating professional presentations, brochures, and training materials on all facets of election administration. Creating professional infographics using election-related data. Researching, collecting, and analyzing election data and presenting findings in reports, best practices, and white papers. Writing election related blogs and other publications regarding election administration. Making recommendations for reorganizing the EAC website to better serve its stakeholders regarding its Clearinghouse function. Researching and analyzing trends and identifying solution for election related challenges. Working closely with the senior advisor for programs and program directors to produce timelines for execution of work product and the expeditious issuance of reports, guidance to states, best practices and other documents, including factoring in timelines to accommodate review and comment of various draft documents. Recommends actions to alleviate conflicts within the timeline. Assists with work quality related to all agency Clearinghouse functions. Recommending action to ensure coordination and integration of program activities of each division including meetings and activities of EAC advisory boards. Serving as a team member on ad hoc teams convened to provide quick responses to special projects and studies which may cut across organizational lines, disciplines, and functions. Team participation is vital to effectively accomplish unit assignments. Successful participation in both routine and special assignments requires flexibility, effective interactive skills, and willingness to cooperate to enhance team accomplishments. Ensuring documents meet EAC standards and improve the agency Clearinghouse function. Identify areas that require improvement, establish working groups to assist with gaps. Provide feedback on election-related work quality including editing and guidance to staff to improve overall quality of work. Serving as the Project Manager for outsourced election work product as needed. Working with external stakeholders as needed. Reviewing Grant funding trends and preparing an analysis on trends of how the funds are being spent on innovative ways to assist stakeholders with ideas. Performing other related duties as assigned. Salary: $87,198 to $144,128. Deadline: June 3. Application: For the complete job listing and to apply, click here.
Senior Election Subject Matter Expert (SME), Accessibility, U.S. Election Assistance Commission— The incumbent of this position serves as the Senior Election Subject Matter Expert (SME) Accessibility of the U.S. Election Assistance Commission (EAC) which was established under the Help America Vote Act (HAVA) of 2002. HAVA was enacted to establish a program to provide funds to States to replace punch card voting systems, to establish the Election Assistance Commission to assist States with the administration of Federal elections, to otherwise provide assistance with the administration of certain Federal election laws and programs, and to establish voluntary voting system guidelines and guidance for States and units of local government with responsibility for the administration of Federal elections. EAC serves as a National clearinghouse and resource for information with respect to the administration of Federal elections. The Help America Vote Act of 2002 (HAVA), specifically requires states to make polling places accessible “in a manner that provides the same opportunity to people with disabilities for access and participation” as is provided to non-disabled voters. This includes accessible parking and paths of travel. Each polling place is also required to have at least one direct recording electronic voting system or voting system equipped for individuals with disabilities. HAVA also requires equal access for people with disabilities to registration by mail and a computerized statewide database, eliminating the need to re-register when people move (or re-register as a person with a disability) amongst other provisions. The incumbent is responsible to create EAC Accessibility related Clearinghouse material to assist election officials, voters, and other stakeholders with best practices, white papers, tools, data, training materials, instructions, and any other information that would be helpful to election administrators to assist with the administration of elections. The incumbent will provide expert guidance on accessibility related to election administration that touches all facets of the agency to serve EAC stakeholders. Salary: $87,198 to $144,128. Deadline: June 3. Application: For the complete job listing and to apply, click here.
Senior Information Security Specialist, Oregon Secretary of State’s Office — The primary purpose of this position is to administer the information security program and serve as the technical security advisor for the Elections Division of the Oregon Secretary of State’s Office. This accomplished in part by, but is not limited to: Ensure the confidentiality, integrity and availability of agency information assets by providing guidance on security incidents, security features and/or risks in a given information systems environment. Work with Federal, State and County Election offices on cybersecurity best practices on Elections and voting systems. Provide system administration for information security hardware and software. Monitor, track compliance and document incident handling responses on existing systems. Conduct Information System Security Engineering activities at the subsystem and system level of design and provides security consultation on proposed designs. Enforce compliance with Configuration Management (CM) and Information Security governance to ensure IT policy, directives and guidance are followed on agency systems and Election systems. Complete Vulnerability scans, Information System Security audits, analysis, risk assessments, vulnerability assessments, intrusion detection/prevention and log monitoring of computing resources. Provide support for system engineering life cycle from the specification through the design or hardware or software, procurement and development integration, test, operations, and maintenance. Application: For the complete job listing and to apply, click here.
Testing and Certification Program Director, U.S. Election Assistance Commission — The Testing and Certification Program Director develops EAC policy, quality management system, and standard operating procedures for the Voting System Testing and Certification (VST&C) Program and Division. Works with the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) National Voluntary Laboratory Accreditation Program (NVLAP), regarding laboratory accreditation for laboratories seeking accreditation to test voting systems under the EAC program. Under HAVA, NVLAP does the initial laboratory assessment and makes recommendation to the EAC, through the Director of NIST on the accreditation of candidate laboratories. Manages Division personnel (i.e., current FTE, technical reviewers and new hires). Establishes, implements, and evaluates budget, working jointly with the EAC’s leadership and Executive Director to establish priorities for the VST&C Division. Manages voting system testing and certification efforts, including supervising contract staff, technical reviewers, and consultants. Oversees testing of voting systems developed by registered manufacturers to determine whether the systems provide required basic functionality, accessibility, and security capabilities. Serves as EAC lead/co-lead on critical infrastructure issues. Develops blogs, white papers and other informational material for stakeholders on election technology and cybersecurity. Serves as EAC lead for development efforts on Voluntary Voting System Guidelines and development of requirements for testing at the laboratories. Serves as the lead auditor on voting system test laboratory audits. Leads the Election Official IT Training Program. Represents the EAC and VST&C Program at stakeholder meetings and conferences. Performs other duties as assigned. Application: For the complete job listing and to apply, click here.
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Thermal Tape: Width is 2.25″ and the amount of tape/roll is 285′. Core inner diameter is 0.5″. There are 33 full cases and 24 rolls/case. Previously used in conjunction with the TSX voting machines. Seller: Richland County, Ohio Board of Elections.