In Focus This Week
Being online isn’t enough
CISA works to get election website to move to .GOV domain
By M. Mindy Moretti
While the 2020 election may have been the most secure election in our nation’s history, mis/disinformation leading up to November 3, 2020 and most certainly in the days and weeks that followed has plagued elections officials.
“Election officials continue to face an uphill battle of misinformation being spread about elections and voting,” said Trish Robertson, public relations officer for the Collier County, Florida Supervisor of Elections Office.
But the county has made a change that it hopes will help elections officials and voters alike.
“By changing our website to CollierVotes.gov, we hope voters will be confident in using our website knowing that the .gov means it belongs to an official government organization in the United States,” Robertson said.
With the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) taking over responsibility for the TLD program under the DOTGOV Online Trust in Government Act of 2020, the agency is looking to support election offices and understand where it can ease their transition and get more sites migrated to the .GOV domain.
Because only US-based government organization can obtain a .GOV domain, using one shows you’re official. Anyone, malicious actors included, can get a .COM, .NET, .ORG, or .US domain.
“The public turns to election officials as the trusted source of information for their elections. The .GOV top level domain perfectly supports that trusted role,” explained Geoff Hale, director of CISA’s Election Security Initiative. “Increasing the public’s expectation that government information is at .GOV will make it harder for malicious actors to succeed when they attempt to impersonate governments. .gov also has technical benefits to using .gov over other TLDs, like mandatory two-factor authentication on the .gov registrar and notifications of DNS changes to administrators.”
In September 2020, cybersecurity firm McAfee found that a majority of county election websites in all 50 states — 80.2 percent — lacked the .GOV validation that confirmed they were an official government site.
While moving to the .GOV top level domain has been a key security topic promoted throughout the election community as November 3 approached, only 16.4% of U.S. county election websites implemented U.S. government .GOV validation and HTTPS encryption.
Those numbers have improved slightly since September considering that there are still only 6400 registered .GOV addresses nationwide there is plenty of room for improvement.
“In an Election Infrastructure Government Coordinating Council (GCC) meeting in February, members held a fruitful discussion between secretaries of states and local election officials on their interest in the .GOV, as well as some of the hurdles that they may face,” said Geoff Hale,. “Many described their experience, from local supervisors of elections in Florida proactively pursuing these safeguards, to Secretaries’ varied approaches, directing action or reimbursing the changes.
.GOV operates differently than other domain name registries in that it’s not first-come-first-serve. Municipalities can only get domain names that are associated with their geographic boundaries. The transition from an existing domain name to another is a technical exercise that often requires renaming files and changing links, but it’s also a branding and marketing exercise.
“While the burden of that effort will largely remain on registrants, CISA plans to create and maintain a transition guide to help governments think through that transition and aid their business cases in making the move. The DOTGOV Act does contemplate the use of Homeland Security Grants for “migrating any online service” to .GOV, a process we will work out with FEMA,” Hale said.
Hale noted that local election officials have raised concerns around branding – many voters and stakeholders are familiar with the current domains.
“As part of CISA’s transition guide, we’ll make sure to encourage redirects from an old site to a new .GOV address. We’re also interested in supporting government organizations who have built up some brand equity in the former domain name so they can obtain an equivalent .GOV domain,” Hale said.
The DOTGOV Act reports Congress’ finding that “the .gov internet domain should be available at no cost or a negligible cost” to U.S.-based government organizations. According to Hale, CISA is working on this. The way .GOV domains are priced is tied closely with the service contract to operate the TLD, and change in the price of a domain is not expected until next year. The Act also contemplates the use of Homeland Security Grants for “migrating any online service” to .gov, a process we will work out with FEMA.
According to Kristen Muthig, director of communications for the U.S. Election Assistance Commission, HAVA funds can be used for the process of transitioning to a .GOV address. Muthig noted that the funds can cover any cost associated with making that transition.
In 2019, as part of an election security directive to county boards of elections, Ohio Secretary of State Frank LaRose mandated that all counties elections offices move to a .gov (or .us) address and no county business could be conducted on any email accounts other than .gov or .us. All 88 county boards of elections had moved to .gov by the end of 2020. According to Rob Nichols, spokesman for the secretary of state’s office, the office allocated $50,000 per county in cybersecurity grant money for .gov (among other things), and worked with individual boards of elections, helping them with technical assistance and support as needed.
In 2020 Iowa Secretary of State Paul Pate pledged $1 million to help Iowa counties move to a .GOV web address using HAVA fund.
Of course, the transition to a .GOV address isn’t always up the county’s elections office but may rely on a countywide IT infrastructure. Hale said CISA is working with its partners in the GCC (i.e., NACo, iGo, etc.) and other election stakeholder partnerships (i.e., NCSL, NGA, NASCIO, etc.) to develop resources that will seek to address concerns like this of election officials, particularly the small and midsized jurisdictions that may need additional assistance.
Oh, and for all you Hamiltons, Montgomerys, Washingtons and Fayettes out there that have web addresses to make you stand out from all the rest, don’t worry, CISA has this under control.
“Because determining who gets ‘springfield.gov’ can be a fraught process, CISA will, like GSA before us, maintain rules around who gets which domain names,” Hale said. “Though each request is reviewed for alignment with those rules, there’s also an exception process that CISA will maintain.”
One County’s Experience
Collier County, Florida recently went through the switch from a .COM to a .GOV address and has some advice to offer from their experiences.
“It starts with an application and then a lot of verification with Jennifer Edwards, our Supervisor of Elections, and other points of contact registered to the new domain,” Robertson explained of the process. “Once approved, there is a second tier of verification which was conducted with our IT staff and then we finally were able to make the switch. From start to finish it took us about two weeks before we were able to have the .gov website up and running.”
Collier County is taking this opportunity to make some other changes as well such as updating elections email addresses to the .GOV domain and working on a new design for their website. Because they are implementing three changes, they’ve decided to conduct their public education campaign in stages. Robertson explained the stages:
Stage 1: Building our search engine optimization and making internal updates; this includes making our staff, vendors and community partners aware of the change so they can update their bookmarks to our new web address and update their contact information for our staff.
Stage 2: (currently completing): Updating materials; this includes new business cards, updating our social media platforms and linked text on our website; recreating outreach materials, etc. We have a shared document that each department has been adding to ensuring nothing gets missed. Everything from our voicemail to the logo on our office’s vehicle has to be updated.
Stage 3: Official roll out in June; once our new website design is completed, we will set a deadline where everything that has our old information will be stopped for distribution. The good news is that coming off an election cycle, our outreach department is in a decent spot for reordering supplies. Things that we do have left over (pens/tote bags) we plan to donate to local nonprofits. We then plan to distribute a press release and launched promoted social media posts and possibly some printed materials if needed.
For those county elections offices considering the move to .GOV Robertson has three pieces of advice.
“Research how this experience went with other counties. Be patient. Get your staff involved – on the surface this seems like just a small website change (literally three letters being changed), but it will affect everything and everyone,” Robertson said. “By getting the entire team involved, it will help with efficiency and creative solutions when they are needed (e.g. what do we do with 1,500 pens that have our old website on them?!?).”
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Improving the Voting Experience After 2020
Improving the Voting Experience After 2020
12 recommendations highlight tangible steps
The Bipartisan Policy Center’s Task Force on Elections released its latest series of recommendations focused on improving the whole of the American election ecosystem.
Entitled Improving the Voting Experience After 2020, these 12 recommendations highlight the tangible steps states and local jurisdictions must take to provide the accessible and secure election ecosystem that Americans expect. The pandemic ushered in a burst of election administration transformation borne of necessity. Long-term, sustainable election rules only work when they incorporate the unique perspectives and expertise of election administrators representing voters across the political spectrum.
“The 2020 election showed us just how fortunate American voters are to have dedicated election professionals securing their right to vote,” said Matthew Weil, director of BPC’s Election Project. “This task force report builds on the lessons learned in 2020 to develop forward thinking reforms that increase access and transparency across the country.”
The Bipartisan Policy Center launched the Task Force on Elections in February 2019. It is comprised of a geographically and politically diverse group of state and local election officials devoted to making meaningful improvements to United States elections. Members were selected for a variety of reasons to aid in this goal; among them are the partisan preferences of the jurisdictions they serve, the region of the country in which they live, and their perspective on election administration from either the state or local level. View the full report here.
Election News This Week
Business not as usual: Hundreds of corporations, executives and celebrities released a statement this week in opposition to “any discriminatory legislation or measures” that would restrict ballot access. Businesses included Amazon, Netflix and Starbucks. Individuals that signed on included Berkshire Hathaway CEO Warren Buffett, actor Leonardo DiCaprio and music star Ariana Grande. Law firms and nonprofits also signed the statement. According to The New York Times, the statement was organized in recent days by Kenneth Chenault, a former chief executive of American Express, and Kenneth Frazier, the chief executive of Merck. A copy appeared on Wednesday in advertisements in The New York Times and The Washington Post. The statement does not address specific election legislation in states, and Mr. Chenault told The New York Times there was no expectation for companies to oppose individual bills. “We are not being prescriptive,” he said. “There is no one answer.”
It’s a family affair: Paulette Hankins is retiring at the Richland County, Ohio Board of Elections director and while that news would typically end her up in the Personnel News section, it’s who she’s being replaced with that bumps her up a bit in the news section. Hankins is being replaced by Matt Finfgeld, her son. “Most families, when they have their dinner discussions, they talk about sports or news or something,” Hankins told the Richland Source. “We talk about politics and elections.” Finfgeld was the unanimous choice by the bipartisan elections board earlier this month to replace Hankins, who is leaving the department after 38 years, the last 26 as director. Finfgeld has worked part-time for the local elections board since 1992 in a variety of roles. “I can’t even imagine training a person coming in off the streets to run an elections board,” Hankins said. “I just can’t imagine a person with no experience trying to do this job.” Finfgeld, who started his tenure loading and unloading election equipment, has trained poll workers, acquired new polling locations, tested voting machines prior to each election and been a rover, traveling to voting sites to ensure things run smoothly. Hankins had originally planned to retire in 2020, but COVID kept her on the job and now she’s ready to relax. Hankins has made it clear to her replacement that she has no plans to work the polls going forward, including the upcoming May 4 primary election. “Let someone younger do it,” she said with a laugh.
Tallahassee, Florida has joined a small, but growing number of localities that make Election Day a paid holiday for city employees. The measure, unanimously approved last week was proposed by Mayor John Dailey. Dailey said he has been watching “voter suppression” efforts in other states and approving a paid holiday for municipal employees is a chance for Tallahassee to lead an effort to expand rights. “In our country, voting is a right. It is a human right,” he told the Tallahassee Democrat. “I think we have the opportunity to set the example.” The city commission action would cost roughly $67,000 during an election year due to employee overtime for areas where certain employees cannot take time off, such as fire, police and utility workers.
Congratulations! The National Association of State Election Directors (NASED) was selected as a recipient of the American Society for Public Administration’s (ASPA) 2021 Public Integrity Award, along with the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA). This award pays tribute to an individual or organization that has made outstanding contributions to responsible conduct in public service. “NASED is proud to accept the ASPA Public Integrity award on behalf of our members in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and the five US territories. Election officials in every state and territory worked diligently to make sure that eligible voters could cast their ballots safely and securely last year. 2020 was unique in so many ways, but our members rose to the occasion. We are grateful to ASPA and its leadership and members for recognizing our hard work, commitment to our voters, and passion for what we do. We are honored to receive this award, but the 2020 election was not a success just because of our work. America’s local election officials deserve credit and appreciation for the work they did last year under trying circumstances. They put their lives on the line to make sure that eligible voters could participate in our democracy, and we are thankful for their partnership and dedication. We also value the thousands of election workers whose devotion to democracy meant that voting locations could open and voters could feel safe while casting their ballots in person. NASED members serve our communities and our country with integrity and a commitment to our democracy. Election officials use every election, big or small, as an opportunity for growth and improvement. We are proud of the work our entire community did last year, as well as the years of preparation and training that allowed us to adapt successfully to everything 2020 put in our way.” NASED’s acceptance video is available here.
Personnel News: Heather Glaser is stepping down as the Malibu, California city clerk. Phyllis Fox, Gary McAllister and John Abe Teague have all been appointed to the Washington County, Tennessee election commission. Bartholomew County Clerk Jay Phelps has announced that he will step down as clerk to accept a new role at the Indiana Secretary of State’s Office. Karen Barsoum has been appointed director of Chester County Pennsylvania’s Department of Voter Services. The Richmond, Virginia Electoral Board has appointed Keith Balmer as the city’s new general registrar.
Federal Legislation: Democratic Reps. Susan Wild of Pennsylvania and Nikema Williams of Georgia have introduced the Stay in Line to Vote Act. The Stay in Line to Vote Act prohibit states from restricting a person from providing food or drink to individuals at a polling place in an election for Federal office, and for other purposes. The bill has 10 co-sponsors.
Arizona: Gov. Doug Ducey (R) signed legislation banning the use of private funding for elections but said the money the state received last year from organizations with funding from Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg’s foundation was helpful and used with “integrity.” But the governor said election officials should not be forced to rely on private grants for voter outreach, staffing or other expenses in the future. While he said nothing in the new law should be interpreted as a sign the state is unappreciative, the bill is needed to preserve the integrity of and voter confidence in elections. “With public confidence in our elections in peril, it’s clear our elections must be pristine and above reproach — and the sole purview of government,” Ducey said in a signing letter. Republicans who control the Legislature voted for the measure, with some questioning how county officials used the money. Democrats warned the measure could starve election offices of the funds needed to run secure and efficient elections because lawmakers consistently underfund state and county elections operations.
Ducey vetoed a bill that would have given the secretary of state control of an online voter registration system that is currently managed by the Arizona Department of Transportation. In explaining his first veto of the year, Ducey said Arizonans recognize and appreciate the website developed by ADOT, and transferring control to the state’s top election official would remove checks and balances from the system. The bill would have taken affect in 2023, after the end of Democrat Katie Hobbs’ term as secretary of state. Hobbs supported HB2360, which was sponsored by Republican Rep. John Kavanagh. The measure would have required Hobbs’ successor to work with a committee of county recorders to run the website.
Arkansas: The House State Agencies and Government Affairs committee approved Senate Bill 486 by Sen. Ken Hammer (R-Benton) targets the volunteer groups of young people who traveled among polling places last November with boxes of bottled water and chips. Hammer said candidates cannot go within 100 feet of polling locations, and other groups shouldn’t be allowed to, either. He suggested t-shirts worn by these refreshment fairies might be political in nature and aimed at influencing votes. The full House approved the bill 74-23.
A bill that would implement stricter scrutiny of absentee voting applications in Arkansas has received final legislative approval and is heading to the governor’s desk. The Senate, by a vote of 27-8 on Tuesday, passed House Bill 1715. It would change several aspects of absentee voting in the state, including banning county clerks or other designated election officials from distributing absentee ballot applications or ballots to voters who had not requested them. The bill would also require the creation and approval of a uniform voter statement by the State Board of Election Commissioners. Another part of the legislation would require election officials to verify the signatures of a voter’s absentee ballot application with their voter registration application. If the signatures do not match, an absentee ballot would not be mailed.
SB 485 a bill that would eliminate early voting in Arkansas on the Monday before an Election Day has failed in a Senate committee for a second time. During a voice vote, members of the Senate State Agencies & Governmental Affairs Committee did not have enough yes votes to advance Senate Bill 485. It would eliminate all early voting in Arkansas on the day before both a preferential primary or general election day. Though the bill failed again, the chair of the committee, Sen. Jason Rapert, R-Conway, said the bill’s sponsor could bring the bill back to the committee in another attempt to pass it.
The Senate State Agencies & Governmental Affairs Committee oted to advance House Bill 1517, which would allow for online voter registration in Arkansas. The bill would create the “Voter Integrity and Voter Registration Modernization Act of 2021,” requiring the Secretary of State to prepare and administer electronic voter registration application forms. The system would be available to users for free. In order to be eligible to vote, the online registration must be completed at least 30 days before the date of the election. Applicants would be required to provide a current valid driver’s license number or the last four digits of their Social Security number.
Other bills still moving through the Legislature include: SB 556 to allow the takeover of Arkansas election in cities of populations over 50,000 by the state Election Commission for undefined emergency reasons. SB 557 to transfer supervision of elections from full-time, trained county employees to partisan, part-time election commissioners. SB 644 to establish a legislative committee with investigative powers into local elections, and further shifts authority from local officials to state legislators with a personal stake in the election outcomes. HB 1112, now Act 249, that eliminates the voter ID verification statement option for voting, for those without current photo ID.
California: The Senate Committee on Elections and Constitutional Amendments has approved SB 583, the Secure Voter Verification and Enrollment, authored by Senator Josh Newman (D-Fullerton), passed by a 3-2 vote. The legislation will create an AVR system in which adults who have provided proof of U.S. citizenship during a DMV transaction will have their information provided automatically to the Secretary of State. Citizens who do not wish to register to vote may opt-out. California began modernizing the voter registration system in 2018 with upgrades that expanded voter registration through an opt-in system. SB 583 will expand voter registration by developing and deploying an automated process for registering eligible voters through the DMV, while also providing enhanced protections for people who are ineligible to register.
Florida: A controversial elections bill focused largely on the state’s vote-by-mail process underwent an overhaul in the Florida House, but critics say it still poses unnecessary barriers to voters. The revamped proposal, which addresses issues such as the use of mail-in ballot drop boxes and signature verification, relaxes some restrictions included in an earlier version of the bill. Under the proposal approved Thursday by the House Appropriations Committee, supervisors could continue to use drop boxes at their offices if they are “continuously monitored in person” during regular office hours. Those drop boxes could be made available after hours only if they are “secured from tampering and monitored by video surveillance.” Copies of the videos would have to be provided to candidates or political parties within 24 hours of requests. The House plan (HB 7041) would allow drop boxes to be used at other locations, but only during early voting hours. The boxes would have to be staffed by supervisors’ employees. The measure, sponsored by Spring Hill Republican Blaise Ingoglia, also would require supervisors of elections to designate drop boxes at least 30 days before elections and prohibit officials from changing or moving the boxes after they’ve been designated. Contents of the boxes would have to be emptied and returned to supervisors’ offices daily. Voters who want to submit ballots at drop boxes would have to show proof of identification or sign an “attestation” saying they did not have identification with them. The revised House bill would subject supervisors to a $25,000 civil penalty if drop boxes are available when early voting is not underway.
The Senate Rules Committee debated, but did not vote on SB90 this week. The bill (SB 90) would, among other things, curtail elections supervisors’ use of ballot drop boxes; change the process for verifying mail-in ballot signatures; and make it more difficult for voters to change registrations. The plan could also have an impact on hundreds of thousands of Floridians who registered to vote when they received their driver’s licenses or state identification cards. Senate sponsor Dennis Baxley, R-Ocala, argued the changes are needed to protect against vote-by-mail fraud but acknowledged that Florida’s elections last year ran smoothly and that no evidence of fraud exists. But Leon County Supervisor of Elections Mark Earley told the committee that several provisions in Baxley’s bill are problematic, including a section that addresses the duplication of mail-in ballots that are damaged or unreadable by tabulation equipment. Under the proposal, elections supervisors would be required to allow observers “to stand in close enough proximity to observe the duplication of ballots in such a way that the observer is able to see the marking on each ballot and the duplication taking place.” But Earley said the provision raised serious concerns for the Florida Elections Supervisors association because of space issues and because it could allow dozens of people to be close enough to see personal identifying information about a voters’ secret ballots. The provision “presents very grave security” issues, Earley said. But Baxley said supervisors will have to figure out a way to cope.
Georgia: The Fulton County Commission has decided to begin the process of legally challenging the state on Senate Bill 202. The “Stop Voter Suppression” resolution was adopted 4 to 2. The resolution directs the county attorney to provide legal methods the county could use to fight the implementation of the bill, along with other measures. Several provisions of SB 202 re aimed at how Fulton County conducts its elections.
Hawaii: The House has approved Senate Bill 159 that would make voter registration part of the application process for a driver’s license. The measure was approved with one lone vote against it. The bill now returns to the Senate and will likely head to conference committee to resolve differences between the House and Senate amendments. The most significant discrepancy between the two lies in specific language whether one would be required to opt into or opt out of registering to vote. Under the Senate’s proposal, a qualified applicant would automatically be registered to vote upon completion of the license/identification card application unless affirmatively declining registration; under the House’s proposal, one would not be registered to vote until they’ve made the choice to register.
Indiana: Senate Bill 353 adds identification requirements to vote by mail and limits who can alter how elections are held will head to the House floor for a full vote, but with significant changes. Two of the bill’s provisions — which would have prevented the election commission and governor from ever expanding vote-by-mail or changing the time, place or manner of an election — were removed entirely by a bi-partisan vote. And the bill’s requirements that voters provide an identification number when applying for an absentee ballot now only applies to online applications.
Kansas: The House has approved House Bill 2183, opposed by voting rights activists, would restrict the number of advance ballots an individual may deliver on behalf of others to a maximum of 10, loosened from five in negotiations. In addition, the measure would remove the authority of the secretary of state to extend the deadline for receiving mail ballots. The bill also bans candidates from assisting neighbors, friends or family with their ballots. Senators passed the bill 27 to 11, and within an hour, the House followed suit, 80 to 42.
House Bill 2332, the second election bill considered late last week, passed in the House 83 to 38 and in the Senate 27 to 11. The bill would amend the law regarding advanced voting ballot applications and require every county election officer to keep the residential and mailing address for each registered voter if they differ.
Maine: Three Republican-backed bills that would require Maine voters to show a photo ID before casting ballots were voted down along party lines by a key legislative committee Wednesday. The measures were defeated on 8-5 votes, with majority Democrats on the Legislature’s Veterans and Legal Affairs Committee united in opposition. All would have required a photo ID, but they differed in details such as the kinds of photo IDs that could be used. The three bills, which go to the full Legislature for votes later this year, come as Republican-controlled legislatures across the U.S. are pushing for changes to voting laws that critics say will strip or erode voting rights for minorities, the elderly and the impoverished. The committee also rejected an amendment to one of the bills that would have required voters to show an identification document acceptable as proof of residence for voter registration. This could include documents that do not bear a photo of the voter, such as a utility bill. A fourth bill, L.D. 1099, was rejected unanimously by the committee. It would not only require photo identification at the polls, but would also strip voting rights from incarcerated Mainers.
Maryland: Two bills that expand voter access became law without Gov. Larry Hogan’s signature. Senate Bill 683 will require a local board of elections to designate the locations of ballot drop boxes in accordance with certain factors; requiring each local board to submit proposed ballot drop box locations to the State Administrator of Elections; requiring a local board to ensure the security of ballot drop boxes; requiring that certain guidelines for absentee voting established by the State Board provide for a permanent absentee ballot list; prohibiting canvassing, electioneering, or posting campaign material on a ballot drop box; etc. House Bill 745 will alter the number of early voting centers counties are required to establish; clarifying the process by which one additional early voting center may be established in a county in excess of the number of required to be established; and requiring a local board of elections, in determining the location of centers, to take into account the accessibility of centers to historically disenfranchised communities, proximity to dense concentrations of voters, accessibility by public transportation, and equitable distribution of centers in the county. Also approved was a bill that would allow Marylanders to opt-in to a permanent vote by mail list.
Missouri: The House Elections and Elected Officials Committee approved by a party-line vote of 7-2 a proposal by Rep. Curtis Trent, R-Springfield, clarifying only citizens older than 18 can vote in the state. Opponents have argued the measure is redundant and meant to confuse voters or stoke anti-immigrant fears. Some lawmakers on the committee argued local governments in other states have allowed certain noncitizens to vote in local elections and said they want to prevent Missouri cities from doing the same.
Montana: Senate Bill 170, was signed into law by Governor Greg Gianforte this week. The new law will require annual voter registration list maintenance, while previous maintenance was held only in odd-numbered years. Annual maintenance of the voter list will reduce the cost for taxpayers, lawmakers said, while also improving efficiency for election administrators. The bill, sponsored by Senator Doug Kary (R, SD-22) was requested by Secretary of State Christi Jacobsen.
The Senate voted down a bill that would have restricted absentee ballot collection, with some Republicans joining Democrats who opposed the measure as creating an unnecessary barrier for mail-in voting. House Bill 406 sought to outlaw a practice commonly used by get-out-the-vote groups, in which organizations submit mail-in ballots collected from voters. Under the measure, voters could have still let family members and legal guardians submit their ballots for them, but they would have been be required to enter their personal information into a state registry subject to public information laws. Sen. Bryce Bennett, D-Missoula, pointed out that an amendment added to the bill Friday by a Senate panel went further than just prohibiting get-out-the-vote groups from collecting voters’ ballots. Caregivers for voters with disabilities, limited mobility or medical problems would also be prohibited from turning in those ballots. “This bill is not just unconstitutional, as I’m sure the courts will find. It’s just cruel,” Bennett said. The bill failed on a 23-27 vote on second reading, with eight Republicans joining all 19 Democrats in voting against it.
Nevada: Members of the Assembly Legislative Operations and Elections Committee voted along party-lines to approve AB126, the bill from Assembly Speaker Jason Frierson to end Nevada’s presidential caucus and replace it with a primary election that would leapfrog other states to the front of the nominating calendar. The bill lays out the form and function of how a presidential primary election would work in the state, and largely mirrors provisions that govern the state’s existing summer primary election structure. A proposed amendment to the bill sets the date of the presidential election to the first Tuesday in February in every presidential election year. The measure would also require at least 10 days of early voting, extending through the Friday before the election. It also copies over provisions allowing same-day registration that currently exist in law to apply to presidential primary elections.
Voting right advocates are voicing support for a measure that would expand automatic voter registration in Nevada. Eligible residents are automatically registered to vote whenever they make a transaction at the DMV, unless they opt out. AB432 would fold more state agencies into the process by allowing the Department of Health and Human Services to register people through Medicaid or the State Health Insurance Exchange.
New Hampshire: SB 43, a bill authorizing an audit of the Rockingham County District 7 state representative race, is now New Hampshire law. Gov. Chris Sununu signed the bill into law on Monday saying, while the state’s elections were safe and secure, the bill would get to the bottom of what happened in Windham during the November 2020 general election. The bill allows for a full audit of New Hampshire’s AccuVote optical scanning machines, memory cards, ballots, and other evidence from the Windham election.
Bills requiring verifiable photo IDs for all people registering to vote and for some who mail in requests for absentee ballots were passed by the House. House Bill 292 would require voters applying by mail for an absentee ballot to include a copy of a photo ID if they are asking their city or town clerk to return the absentee ballot to them at an address other than the address on file with the city or town as their domicile. Another option under the bill would be to have the signature on their application notarized. The bill passed the House on a roll call of 198-174. House Bill 523 would require a person who registers to vote on Election Day but does not have a photo ID to have his or her photograph taken at the polling place. The bill would do away with a religious exemption that currently allows some people who do not show a photo ID to register without having their photo taken. It passed the House on a vote of 197-172.
New Jersey: A-5375 has been signed into law by Gov. Phil Murphy. The new law will allow county boards of elections to relocate drop boxes if they are within 2,000 feet of another box – regardless of existing criteria regarding placement. Members of a county’s Board of Elections would determine the new location, which must be within the same municipality as it was originally located. “It is not fair for some New Jersey residents to have to trek miles to drop their ballot off while other residents have multiple boxes to choose from within just blocks of each other,” said Assemblyman Moen (D-Camden, Gloucester). “Rather than spending taxpayer money on entirely new boxes, this law will permit county boards of elections to better allocate the resources they already have. Allowing them to determine better locations for boxes that are unnecessarily close together will help give more voters equal access to these secure receptacles.”
Pennsylvania: Two bills from a Bucks County state senator could give voters more access to mail-in ballot drop boxes across the state and counties more time to prepare those ballots for the final Election Day tally. Sen. Steve Santarsiero, D-10, of Lower Makefield, introduced the Safe Drop Act on Tuesday requiring at least one ballot drop box for every 20,000 residents. An upcoming bill to be introduced in the coming week would change state law from limiting a county’s precanvassing start time to 7 a.m. on Election Day, to up to 20 days beforehand. Santarsiero said the bills would help ensure mail-in ballots are returned to a respective voter’s local election board in a timely fashion and strengthen public trust in the vote-counting process.
Texas: In a party-line vote, the House Elections Committee approved a key Republican voting bill, sending the measure to the full House, where a vigorous floor debate is expected. House Bill 6 was approved without discussion, a common practice on committee votes. HB 6 would: Bar election officials from removing poll watchers, who typically represent a political party or candidate, from polling places except for crimes “related to the conduct of the election.”; Create new crimes for election officials who turn away poll watchers or obstruct the view of poll watchers; Require people who help voters fill out a ballot to submit a document listing their name, address, relationship to the voter, reason the help was necessary and what help was provided; Ban getting paid, or offering compensation, for depositing mail-in ballots or helping voters fill out an absentee ballot; Beef up criminal penalties for election fraud; Make it a state crime to vote in Texas and in another state on the same day; Create a new crime for “vote harvesting,” defined as interacting with one or more voter in connection with a ballot, a vote-by-mail ballot or an application to vote by mail with the intention “to deliver votes for a specific candidate or measure;” Prohibit local officials from sending out vote-by-mail applications unless requested by a specific voter; Create an expedited court process for complaints of election or voting impropriety before election day; and Speed the distribution of death certificates to local and state voting officials.
Senate Bill 598, authored by Sen. Lois Kolkhorst, has been approved by the Senate. The bill requires a voter-verifiable paper audit trail for all elections systems. The bill also prohibits any voting system from being connected to the internet and includes a risk limiting audit to ensure the accuracy of voting systems, according to the news release. “In 2005, I filed one of the first bills calling for a paper ballot trail to combat election fraud,” said Kolkhorst, R-Brenham. “After many visits with so many concerned constituents and years of efforts I am glad to see this through. Elections are the bedrock of our republic and ensuring that our elections are conducted to the highest standards possible is a must.” The measure will now be sent to the Republican-led House.
HB 1264, from Rep. Keith Bell (R-Forney) has been approved by the House and now moves to the Senate. The bill would expedite when a deceased person is removed from the voter rolls.
Wisconsin: The Senate has approved several bills that would alter the state’s election laws even though Democratic Gov. Tony Evers has made clear he is unlikely to approve them. n a voice vote, the Senate approved Senate Bill 207, which would prohibit the state and local governments from accepting donations from private groups to help run their elections. The legislation is in response to the Center for Tech and Civic Life giving millions of dollars to more than 200 Wisconsin municipalities to help them run last year’s elections. Together, the state’s five largest cities received $6.3 million from the group. Senate Republicans signed off on Senate Bill 210, which would allow election observers to sit or stand within three feet from the table where voters tell poll workers their names and addresses. Now, they are not allowed to be within three feet of the table but cannot be told to stay more than eight feet away from the table. The Senate on a voice vote passed Senate Bill 208, which would require the state Elections Commission to post its meeting minutes on its website within 48 hours of each meeting. The election measures now go to the Republican-controlled Assembly, which could take them up in coming weeks. Evers has said he is likely to veto their plans.
Federal Lawsuits: Fox News has hired two high-profile defense attorneys to combat a $1.6 billion lawsuit filed against it by voting technology company Dominion. The media outlet disclosed in a court filing that it had hired Charles Babcock and Scott Keller for its defense. Fox News confirmed the hirings to The Hill. Babcock currently works at the Texas law firm Jackson Walker. Keller, of the Texas law firm Lehotsky Keller LLP, has argued several cases in front of the Supreme Court and served as Texas’s solicitor general. Babcock and Keller are joining Valerie Caras, Blake Rohrbacher and Katharine Mowery, who are all currently listed in court filings as Fox News’s defense attorneys.
Smartmatic said that Fox News cannot get a “Get Out Of Jail Free Card” to escape a $2.7 billion defamation lawsuit, in which the company says that the network ruined its reputation when on-air personalities spread conspiracy theories and falsehoods about its role in the 2020 presidential election. “The Fox Defendants solicited and published calculated falsehoods about Smartmatic,” the company’s legal team said in a brief filed late on Monday in New York Supreme Court (read it here). “They enjoy no protection or immunity pursuant to the First Amendment or New York law.” Fox News and three on-air personalities, Maria Bartiromo, Jeanine Pirro and Lou Dobbs, are seeking to dismiss the lawsuit, which Smartmatic filed in February.
Michigan: Thirteenth Circuit Court Chief Judge Kevin Elsenheimer characterized subpoenas filed by a plaintiff’s attorney in an Antrim County lawsuit as a “fishing expedition,” as he ruled clerks in four Michigan counties do not need to provide election data as part of discovery in the case. “The plaintiff must have more than mere conjecture, more than speculation, to support its request to discover information from these other counties,” Elsenheimer said in his ruling. The ruling is among the latest court action in an ongoing election-related lawsuit filed Nov. 23 by attorney Matthew DePerno, on behalf of a Central Lake Township man, Bill Bailey, who accuses the county of voter fraud and of violating his constitutional rights. “Without same, requiring non-parties to comply with requests like this would indeed be burdensome, would be tantamount to a fishing expedition,” Elsenheimer added, “and as I said, would be unnecessarily burdensome to the clerks.”
North Carolina: Lawyers are in court again this week over whether or not North Carolina’s voter ID law is constitutional. This is the state-level trial over the constitutionality of a 2018 voter ID law. There is also a separate lawsuit, over the same law, moving forward in federal courts. No elections have been held using voter ID since the law was passed in 2018; it was put on hold until this trial. The trial is expected to last multiple days. The first day included opening arguments from both the plaintiffs challenging the constitutionality of voter ID and the legislators who are defending it, and at least one witness for the plaintiffs. The trial is being livestreamed online, on the Wake County Superior Court page on YouTube, allowing anyone to watch. Unlike a normal trial, which has a single judge and usually a jury, this trial will have no jury and three judges. That’s how all constitutional cases are handled in North Carolina.
Ohio: The Ohio Supreme Court has laid out its calendar for hearing the Stark County Dominion voting machine dispute. There won’t be a ruling before the primary election on May 4 but Stark County Board of Election had hoped to buy the new voting machines in time for elections later this year. The elections board has until April 26 to file all its evidence and legal briefs. Stark County commissioners have until May 10 to file its briefs, then the BOE must respond by May 14. The Ohio Supreme court noted the clerk of court shall refuse to file any requests for a time extension. “Whether this case is heard quickly or on a normal timetable, we’re confident that the law and evidence support the position of the county commissioners. They have the ability and the duty to carefully review recommended expenditure to ensure taxpayers are getting the best value, The elections board filed the 69-page lawsuit in the Ohio Supreme Court, and a motion to expedite the case due to a “fast approaching election-related deadline of June 15, 2021.” The board is seeking an order from the Supreme Court directing county commissioners to acquire Dominion Voting Systems Image Cast X machines,” attorney Mark Weaver, who represents county commissioners, said.
Wisconsin: The Wisconsin Supreme Court ruled 5-2 that state election officials do not have to quickly take people off the voter rolls when they suspect they may have moved. The ruling means the Wisconsin Elections Commission will not force tens of thousands of people off the rolls near a major election, such as the 2022 contest for governor and U.S. Senate. The state law at the heart of the lawsuit over when to take voters off the rolls does not apply to the Elections Commission, the majority concluded. “There is no credible argument that it does,” Justice Brian Hagedorn wrote for the majority. Joining Hagedorn in the majority were conservative Chief Justice Patience Roggensack and liberal Justices Rebecca Dallet, Jill Karofsky and Ann Walsh Bradley. The lawsuit over the voter rolls stretches back to 2019, when the bipartisan Elections Commission sent letters to about 232,000 voters who it believed might have moved. It asked them to register at a new address or confirm they had not moved. Three voters represented by the conservative Wisconsin Institute for Law & Liberty filed the case, arguing the state had to immediately take the voters off the rolls. The court’s ruling will affect how the commission acts in such matters in the future and could allow election officials to continue to take a year and a half to decide when to take voters off the rolls.
Opinions This Week
Connecticut: Ranked choice voting
Kansas: Election legislation
Kentucky: Election legislation
Montana: Election legislation
Nevada: Secretary of state
New Jersey: Early voting
Ohio: Summit County
Oklahoma: Election system
South Carolina: Voting rights
Tennessee: Voter registration
Utah: Voting laws
Voting Rights and Democracy Reform in the States and on the Hill: With Georgia passing legislation to dramatically restrict voting access, and with similar legislation pending in other states, fundamental issues of voting and democracy are now front and center in Congress. A sweeping set of election reforms recently passed the House as H.R. 1 and are now before the Senate. The fate of these efforts, and the future of fundamental Senate procedures such as the legislative filibuster, could be decided in the weeks ahead. Join the Ash Center for Democratic Governance and Innovation as we convene advocates from the states and Capitol Hill to discuss what is at stake and the strategies being used in the fight for voting rights and democracy reform. Speakers include: Lisa Gilbert, Public Citizen; Wade Henderson, The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights; Representative John Sarbanes, Maryland’s 3rd Congressional District; and Tova Wang (Moderator), Harvard Kennedy School. When: April 19 4pm Eastern. Where: Online.
Election Security: Building on 2020’s Lessons: The 2020 elections drew record turnout with over 158 million Americans casting a ballot. Despite concerns regarding COVID-19 and foreign interference, election officials from federal agencies with oversight over election security, national organizations, nonprofits, and vendors described the election as “the most secure in American history.” Following the first part of this election retrospective that focused on lessons learned from the 2020 elections, a panel of election officials and experts will discuss what comes next for election security policy. To break down what policymakers need to know to prepare for future elections, experts will discuss voter turnout, conducting elections during uncertainty, voting by mail, in-person voting, audits, misinformation, ballot access and equity, and cybersecurity. Presented in partnership with the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine’s (NASEM) Committee on Science, Technology, and Law (CSTL). Speakers: Duncan Buell, NCR Chair Emeritus in Computer Science and Engineering at University of South Carolina; Bridgett King, Associate Professor in Political Science at Auburn; Amber McReynolds, CEO of the National Vote at Home Institute; Maggie Toulouse Oliver, New Mexico Secretary of State. Moderator: Michael McRobbie, Indiana University, President and co-hair 2018 NASEM report, Securing the Vote. Introduced by Anne-Marie Mazza, Senior Director, National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine and Steve Newell, Project Director, American Association for the Advancement of Science. When: April 26, 3pm-5pm Eastern. Where: Online.
Geo-Enabling Elections: Strengthening election systems with GIS: The National States Geographic Information Council (NSGIC) and the Center for Tech and Civic Life (CTCL) are hosting five free 60-minute training sessions exploring the use of geographic information systems (GIS) to increase the accuracy and reliability of election data. The series takes place over five consecutive Thursdays, May 6 to June 3. The content is a good fit for state and local election administrators with the staffing capacity to facilitate technically complex, cross-governmental partnerships, as well as GIS professionals seeking to understand the specific opportunities and challenges of working with elections offices and their data. Each course in this series highlights one of NSGIC’s five best practices for geo-enabling elections written by a team of election officials and their GIS partners. When: Begins May 6. Where: Online.
Media Literacy Education: The National Association of Secretaries of State, with support from The Democracy Fund is presenting a three part webinar series on cybersecurity, media literacy and strategies for communicating #TrustedInfo—all topics we’ve heard that you’d like to hear more on! Webinar 2’s goal is to define what public media literacy is, engage the national media literacy group and suggest resources/connections/examples for states. Featuring a nationally renowned expert on media literacy. 2:30 to 3:30pm Eastern. When: May 17. Where: Online.
Communication Strategies & Promoting Trusted Election Information: The National Association of Secretaries of State, with support from The Democracy Fund is presenting a three part webinar series on cybersecurity, media literacy and strategies for communicating #TrustedInfo—all topics we’ve heard that you’d like to hear more on! Webinar 3’s goal is how election officials can effectively communicate to the media and the public about trusted election information. By using specific communications tools, leveraging media and having a robust communications strategy built on #TrustedInfo’s foundation, election officials can promote credible, accurate election information as well as build confidence in the process. 2pm to 4pm Eastern. When: June 9. Where: Online.
IGO 4th Annual Conference: The IGO 4th Annual Conference is scheduled for July 15-21 at the Sheraton New York Times Square in New York City. Check please visit the IGO website for more information about agendas and registration. When: July 15-21. Where: New York City.
NASED Summer Conference: Twice a year, NASED members gather to discuss the latest developments in election administration. Members of the public are welcome to attend at the non-member registration rate. The Summer 2021 conference is scheduled for August 13-16 at the Des Moines Marriott Downtown, Des Moines, Iowa. Check please visit the NASED website for more information about agendas and registration. When: Aug. 13-16. Where: Des Moines, Iowa.
NASS Summer Conference: Twice a year, NASS members gather to discuss the latest developments in election administration. The Summer 2021 conference is scheduled for August 13-16 at the Des Moines Marriott Downtown, Des Moines, Iowa. Check please visit the NASS website for more information about agendas and registration. When: Aug. 13-16. Where: Des Moines, Iowa.
Job Postings This Week
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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 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. Application: 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 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.
Regional Service Technician, Hart InterCivic— A Regional Service Technician responds to all customer requests ranging from training requests, to phone support requests, to onsite repair of voting equipment requests. This individual is one of the local customer’s support routes. The position requires residency in Harris County, Texas. The Regional Service Technician handles all Return Material Authorization (RMA) requests for external customers for all Hart InterCivic Verity products within his/her region and provides on-site customer support and troubleshooting on an as-needed basis. Application: For the complete job 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.
Research Director, Center for Election Innovation and Research— The Research Director will report to the Executive Director and lead CEIR’s research initiatives. These initiatives include, but are not limited to, matters pertaining to voter registration, voter access, election integrity and security, and election policy, generally. The Research Director will set goals aligned with CEIR’s mission and provide the research team with strategic direction on how to reach those goals, all while ensuring the rigor, integrity, and quality of all research activities. 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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