In Focus This Week
Stewards of Democracy
Understanding career journeys of local election officials and anticipating potential shortages
By Paul Gronke, Paul Manson, Jay Lee, and Heather Creek
A modern, trusted, and equitable U.S. election system depends not just on laws or administrative procedures, but on people who are pivotal to delivering democracy: local election officials. In this post we examine the career trajectories, job satisfaction rates, and retirement plans of those playing this important role. Our research found generally good news about the experience and satisfaction of this workforce. We also found a few points of concern — specifically the significant proportion of local election officials eligible for retirement before the next general election.
Findings are based on survey and interview responses from more than 850 individuals who serve as chief local election officials — those in charge of elections in their jurisdiction — across the country. Whenever interpreting information about local election administration and administrators, it is important to pay attention to differences by jurisdiction size. For our analysis, we often present data sorted in this way, and all means are weighted to represent the overall population of local election officials. See the Reed College Early Voting Information Center website for further survey results broken down by jurisdiction size.
Wide Variation in Scope and Staffing
The specific array of election officials’ responsibilities varies enormously across states and between jurisdictions of different sizes. In the largest jurisdictions, these professionals are full-time officials, compensated with six-figure salaries and running operations with hundreds or even thousands of permanent staff, and they administer elections to millions of eligible citizens.
At the other end of the spectrum, more than one-third of officials tell us that their jobs are less than full-time and that they are responsible for far more than just administering elections. Notably, over half of our respondents (and by implication, half of local election officials nationwide) told us that their “staff” consists of only one person — that is, themselves.
Three-quarters of jurisdictions serving fewer than 5,000 registered voters have only one staff member working in the elections office, and 25 percent of jurisdictions serving between 5,000 and 25,000 voters have only one elections staffer. In the largest jurisdictions, by contrast, almost 85 percent of elections offices have 10 or more staff members — and many have more than 50.
Paths to Becoming a Local Election Official
The path to leadership as a local election official differs across and within states. It also differs by jurisdiction size as illustrated below. Whether officials are elected versus appointed is the most basic difference, but elected officials may also vary in whether they run for partisan versus non-partisan positions. Of note, research has shown that how officials are selected can be influential in shaping their incentives and policy goals.
While over half of local election officials are elected to their positions, less than 20 percent of these officials in the largest jurisdictions are elected. Among local election officials who are elected, 61 percent are elected in partisan elections, while the other 39 percent hold non-partisan positions. Our overall estimate of the percentage of local election officials who are elected versus appointed closely matches estimates obtained from surveys conducted by the Congressional Research Service.
Among officials who are appointed, those appointments may be made by county commissioners, a chief executive, or by elections boards or commissions, which themselves can be elective or appointive. Finally, appointive positions may or may not have civil service protections.
The responses in our survey indicate that the community of local election officials is highly experienced. The median official has been working in elections for over 12 years, having started in 2008. Local election officials in larger jurisdictions have a slightly longer tenure than those in smaller jurisdictions. Less than 5 percent of survey respondents reported that they had been working in election administration less than a year, and just over 10 percent said they had been in their current position for a year or less.
While local election officials in larger jurisdictions reported slightly longer tenures, those from smaller jurisdictions reported that they were older. Seventy-six percent of local election officials in jurisdictions serving under 5,000 voters are over age 50, while 60 percent of those in jurisdictions serving over 250,000 voters are over that age. In combination with findings about tenure, this would seem to indicate that officials in larger jurisdictions are starting in the elections field earlier in life than those in smaller jurisdictions, thus gaining more job experience at a younger age. Based on available data, it seems likely that a significant number of local election officials working in larger jurisdictions served previously in smaller- or medium-sized jurisdictions in something of a career “pipeline.” We do know that large jurisdictions with appointed election officials often conduct national searches for replacements. What is less well known is the breadth and diversity of these search pools.
“I took a part-time job in our community — we’re in a small town — working with what is like our chamber of commerce. Did that for 10 years, being active with the community… that led to me eventually running for office here, trying to have a voice in the direction of our community.” – LOCAL ELECTION OFFICIAL, ELECTED POSITION
Local election officials in smaller jurisdictions are more than twice as likely as those in the largest jurisdictions to have no prior elections experience before starting their current job as the chief local election official.
The types of jobs and activities that current local election officials worked on before entering the elections field can also inform our understanding of the career pipeline. Our survey respondents were most likely (39 percent) to say that they were working in the private sector (non-elections related) before entering election administration. Another 21 percent said they had other roles in local government, and 13 percent were elected officials serving in roles other than election administration.
“Before this, my experience varied from construction to working in law offices… I worked in the office under the previous clerk as a part-time employee, then bumped up to full-time employee while working another full-time job. The previous clerk passed away in office and another deputy finished the term and then I ran and won the election.” – LOCAL ELECTION OFFICIAL
As we think about career pathways, we must realize that for many local election officials, there isn’t a dedicated “career track” to follow into this profession. Larger jurisdictions might train up their assistant elections director or actively pursue outside candidates to replace a retiring official, while in a smaller jurisdiction an outgoing election official might be replaced by a first-time elected clerk with no previous elections experience.
Job Satisfaction Among Local Election Officials
For all the diverse pathways and job responsibilities involved, there is remarkable agreement that being a local election official is a rewarding career. Among our respondents, 55 percent said that they were “satisfied” with their job, and another 37 percent said they were “very satisfied.” This holds true regardless of the jurisdiction size.
An important caveat for all of our findings on job satisfaction is that the survey was conducted prior to the November 2020 election, which saw death threats and other attacks directed at local election officials. We asked these questions during the summer of 2020, when dedicated officials may have felt determined to stay focused on the positive aspects of their work. Perspectives on satisfaction may have shifted by November.
“There’s something at the end of the day, knowing the most fundamental aspect of our country was carried out from president to school board. …We had a transition of power, and people had faith in the results, in the votes counted being valid.” – LOCAL ELECTION OFFICIAL
Across most questions probing specific areas of job satisfaction, there was very little disparity between local election officials serving in jurisdictions of different sizes. When grouped by size of jurisdiction, all groups on average agreed with about eight or nine of the 14 statements indicating satisfaction.
When asked how they feel about specific facets of their job, respondents unsurprisingly presented more varied opinions.
“Election offices on the local level should have more support. We are expected to give a herculean effort without the proper resources in space, employees, and equipment. We sacrifice our own health in order to make sure everything goes smoothly.” – LOCAL ELECTION OFFICIAL, SMALLER JURISDICTION
Overall, approximately 50 percent of local election officials surveyed said that they were satisfied with their pay. Still, it’s important to understand that this high rate of pay satisfaction is uneven; when we isolate the responses of those from the largest jurisdictions, the figure jumps to 74 percent.
When we further probe into the elements of local election officials’ job satisfaction we find a few concerns. For example, resources and funding are a pain point, with over half of local election officials agreeing with the statement, “a lack of sufficient funding prevents me from doing my job well.” Local election officials share issues about their personal work experience as well. For example, less than 45 percent said that their workload was “reasonable.” Managing work-life balance is also a problem. While overall, most local election officials share that they are able to balance work and home priorities, the larger the jurisdiction is, the more this is a reported challenge.
It is important to note that 25 percent of respondents neither agreed nor disagreed with the question of balancing work and home priorities. To explore this further, we framed the question a different way. When asked if they agree with the statement, “I am able to leave problems at work,” local election officials surface more worries. Almost half of respondents said they agreed that they could leave problems at work, and 42 percent disagreed with the statement. In the responses to both of these questions, we see that for larger jurisdictions, balancing the stresses of work is harder.
“I’m exceeding my capacity for dealing with it. I’m tired, constantly. It’s stressful. I go home and crash, get up and do it again the next day. I think all election officials right now are kind of in that same boat. Presidential elections are always stressful but this one seems hyper stressful, at least to me personally.” – LOCAL ELECTION OFFICIAL
Combining the pandemic with heightened political pressure, misinformation, and staffing concerns, the 2020 election created a uniquely stressful environment for local election officials. Some expressed this during interviews conducted in fall 2020.
Plans for Leaving the Field
Having an experienced body of local election officials is important to maintaining administrative competencies, knowledge of state laws and local procedures, as well as an intimate familiarity with the local electorate.
This local election official population is older, with many nearing retirement. Indeed, 74 percent of chief local election officials are over age 50, and a quarter are over age 65. Almost 35 percent report that they’re eligible to retire before the next presidential election in 2024, and this figure is more than 50 percent among local election officials in the largest jurisdictions. It should be noted that among those eligible to retire in the next four years, only 45 percent said that they planned on doing so. Even so, this expected wave of retirements diminishes today’s population of local election officials by 16 percent. When we asked those who were planning to retire to tell us their motivations for doing so, the top three reasons shared were a desire to move on to something else in their life (37 percent); that they had served long enough to retire (35 percent); and the political environment (23 percent). In addition, 20 percent noted they “no longer enjoy the position” or “want to do something else for work.”
Of the local election officials that are not eligible to retire soon, we asked whether they were planning to leave the field otherwise. Only 10 percent said yes, but a quarter responded that they were “unsure.” Similar to those planning for retirement, the most common reason they gave was a desire to move on to something else in their life (33 percent). But notably, job satisfaction concerns like the desire to move to a position with a better work-life balance (29 percent), desire to do something else for work (25 percent), and no longer enjoying the work (20 percent) were cited more often than, for example, the political environment, which factored more significantly into retirement decisions.
When we take into account those planning to retire and planning to leave for other reasons, the numbers give us pause. Overall, 22 percent of respondents said that they were planning on leaving the profession in the next four years, 49 percent said they weren’t planning on leaving, and 29 percent said they were unsure.
Most worrisome, local election officials in the largest jurisdictions were almost twice as likely to say that they’re planning to leave in the next four years. These officials have large and presumably experienced staff but very little is known about planned transitions in leadership. Local election official turnover in the largest jurisdictions has the potential to impact a huge number of American voters.
In survey follow-up interviews, local election officials were asked to discuss what transition-planning looks like in their jurisdiction. Few of them — whether elected or appointed — said they have formal transition plans or documented procedures in place for their eventual successors. Most said that they expect their second-in command (e.g., deputy clerk, assistant manager) to take over the role when they leave the position.
Paying Attention to the Pipeline
Given that more than half of all local election officials have served over a decade in their positions and express overall high levels of satisfaction with the job, there is much positive news about this field of professionals at the front lines of democracy. Still, traditional pain points — budgets, facilities, and compensation — remain, supporting assertions by many that the field is undervalued and under-resourced.
Further, with half of local election officials from the largest jurisdictions reporting that they are qualified for retirement, the shape and composition of the pipeline of talent to support this work is an important topic for future investigation. This means paying close attention to retirement and other turnover, as well as the degree to which these positions are filled by people who are diverse, experienced, and capable of playing this vital role.
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Election News This Week
Fighting Disinformation: A bipartisan group of 11 state election chiefs have asked the Department of Homeland Security to do more in coming elections to push back against foreign disinformation campaigns aimed at undermining the U.S. democratic process. According to StateScoop, In a letter to Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas and Brandon Wales, CISA acting director, the officials thanked the agency for its efforts fighting false claims during the 2020 election — such as the Rumor Control website, on which CISA published rebuttals of foreign, and later domestic, disinformation and misinformation about voting procedures and election equipment. But the election officials also said that the heavy circulation of these rumors sowed distrust that continues today. “There have been some good and bad days in the election community since November. On one hand, election officials successfully ran multiple elections during a pandemic,” the letter reads. “The general election was the most secure in recent history. On the other hand, because of disinformation, some Americans now lack confidence in the electoral process.” The letter was led by Colorado Secretary of State Jena Griswold, a Democrat, and signed by the chief election officials in Alaska, California, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, New Mexico, Rhode Island, Vermont and Washington.
Nothing to see here: The Nevada secretary of state’s office has recently completed a review of the 2020 election and found that there is no evidence to support a complaint filed by the state Republican Party that alleged widespread voter fraud. The investigation “revealed that these allegations and others are based largely upon an incomplete assessment of voter registration records and lack of information concerning the processes by which these records are compiled and maintained,” said Deputy Secretary for Elections Mark Wlaschin in a letter on behalf of Secretary of State Barbara Cegavske released Wednesday. According to the Las Vegas Review-Journal, the state party initially filed a complaint with nearly 123,000 individual records of alleged fraud. Cegavske’s office initially whittled that number down to less than 4,000, many of them already under investigation by her office. While the state GOP “raises policy concerns about the integrity of mail-in voting, automatic voter registration, and same-day voter registration, these concerns do not amount to evidentiary support for the contention that the 2020 general election was plagued by widespread voter fraud,” Wlaschin wrote in a letter accompanying an 11-page detailed report of the office’s findings.
Public Opinion: A new poll from the University of Georgia has found that Georgia voters are split along party lines over the state’s new election law, with a divided majority supporting drop box limits, absentee ballot ID requirements and shorter deadlines to request absentee ballots. But some parts of the law earned bipartisan support or condemnation. Voters overwhelmingly back weekend early voting options but they oppose a ban on giving food and drinks to voters waiting in line, and they object to allowing the state to take over underperforming county election offices. There was widespread support for mandatory Saturday and optional Sunday voting during the state’s three-week early voting period before general elections, with about three-quarters of voters approving of both. The law requires all counties to offer early voting on two Saturdays, a provision that will cover about 40% of the state’s voters who live in mostly rural areas that didn’t previously offer voting on a second Saturday. The poll of 887 voters was conducted by UGA’s School of Public and International Affairs from March 31 to April 19. It has a margin of error of 3.3 percentage points.
Every weekend is a long weekend: After a four month pilot, the Boulder County, Colorado Clerk and Recorder’s office will permanently move to a four-day work week with expanded hours Monday through Thursday. The Elections, Motor Vehicle, and Recording Divisions will operate from 7:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Mondays through Thursdays. “We originally decided to try the pilot program after lengthy conversations with other clerk and recorder offices in the metro area who had positive feedback from the public and staff after similar 4-day expanded weekday schedules,” Boulder County Clerk Molly Fitzpatrick said in a statement. We started it as a pilot here in Boulder County, as we wanted to then gauge our public and staff response to the new days and hours of operation,” Fitzpatrick said. “After two months in, we surveyed staff and the response was overwhelmingly in support of continuing the new schedule. Additionally, the public response has been substantially more positive than negative. The main feedback we’ve heard from residents is how they can now get to our office for quick trips before going to work themselves.” Fitzpatrick’s staff said that under this schedule, most employees will work four 10-hour days instead of five 8-hour days. The four-day schedule also provides a window of time immediately before and after public access hours for staff to return resident emails and phone calls.
Stepping Down: Steve Sandvoss, executive director of the Illinois State Board of Elections is resigning a little more than two weeks after being put on administrative leave after he reported being the victim of an unspecified online extortion attempt, the board said this week. Sandvoss took over as executive director seven years ago after serving as the board’s general counsel since 2004. His resignation is effective June 30.
Personnel News: James Barnes is the new Coffee County, Georgia elections supervisor. Dana Jones is the new Washington County, Tennessee administrator of elections. Hannah Hopper is the new chair of the Knox County, Tennessee election commission. Pat Jones is resigning as the Bulloch County, Georgia elections supervisor. Marie Muir is stepping down as the Norton, Virginia general registrar after 30 years. Denise Williams is the new chair of the Luzerne County, Pennsylvania election board. Isaac Cramer is the new executive director of the Charleston County, South Carolina board of elections and voter registration.
Alabama: Under SB118, voting rights would be restored to thousands of former prisoners without including their remaining court fees and criminal fines as a prerequisite. SB118 was first proposed by Sen. Linda Coleman-Madison (D-Birmingham) and now awaits action in the House.
Alaska: A Republican plan to change Alaska’s election system has been rewritten to remove several controversial parts and now includes a unique state-issued voter ID program to be put in place before the 2022 election. The bill also sets new standards for maintaining the state’s voter registry and for absentee ballots, which would be tracked from voter to ballot box. Voters would also be told immediately if their vote is rejected and be given a chance after Election Day to fix problems. In its current form, Sen. Mike Shower’s (R-Wasilla) bill would require the Alaska Division of Elections to issue “digital multi-factor authentication security identifiers to all registered voters.” Voters would not be required to use the new system, which Shower said could function like an ATM card with a PIN or the cellphone-app boarding pass system used by Alaska Airlines. The precise look of the program would be determined later.
Arizona: After shutting down debate and a walkout by Democrats that delayed proceedings for several hours, Republicans in the Arizona House of Representatives passed a bill to remove some people from the early voting list. Senate Bill 1485 is one of the most high-profile changes Republicans have proposed to Arizona’s voting laws during this legislative session. It comes after nearly half the GOP caucus in the Legislature backed throwing out the results of last year’s presidential election following Donald Trump’s defeat in the state. Following the 31-29 vote along party lines, the measure has one more vote in the Senate before it would land on Gov. Doug Ducey’s desk.
Arkansas: House Bill 1517 which would have established an online voter registration system in Arkansas failed to pass the state Senate. Under the bill, citizens in Arkansas, who have conducted business with the state’s Department of Motor Vehicles, would have had the ability to register to vote through an online system. Citizens would have to submit their application at least 30 days before an election in order to qualify to vote in said election. They would also have to provide a current driver’s license number or the last four digits of their social security number. The bill also requires Arkansas Secretary of State to go through voting registration data before each election and identify and purge from the rolls any listed voter who is deceased by comparing data received from the Social Security Administration.
The House approved Senate Bill 498 by Sen. Mark Johnson, R-Ferndale, requires that complaints made to county election boards about alleged election law violations be sent to the state Board of Election Commissioners. In response to a question from House Minority Leader Tippi McCullough, D-Little Rock, the House sponsor, Rep. Carlton Wing, R-North Little Rock, said the bill would not take away the oversight of local prosecutors, because the state board would refer complaints to the appropriate authority. It was sent to Gov. Asa Hutchinson on a 79-9 vote.
Senate Bill 557, also sponsored by Johnson, would give county boards the power to supervise all election officials, and it states that county employees detailed as election officials must comply with the county board’s directives in election matters. The House sponsor, Rep. Keith Brooks, R-Ferndale, said the bill clarifies lines of responsibility for election officials. SB557 was sent to the governor’s desk on a 76-17 vote.
The House also sent Senate Bill 549 by Sen. Alan Clark, R-Lonsdale, to Hutchinson unanimously. That bill requires the county boards of elections to prepare a report on absentee and provisional ballots. It passed 92-0 in the chamber.
Additionally, Senate Bill 643 and Senate Bill 644, both by Sen. Kim Hammer, R-Benton, also gained final legislative approval in the House on Tuesday. SB643 requires that absentee ballots be turned in by the end of the day on the Friday before an election and passed 65-25. SB644 sets up procedures for the Legislature to review issues with elections and prohibits anyone convicted of a misdemeanor related to violating election law from becoming an election official in future elections. It passed in a 73-17 vote.
California: State Sen. Josh Newman (D-Orange County) is pulling a bill that would have allowed politicians targeted by recall efforts to see who signed petitions to oust them. Newman said he’s pulling the bill due to pressure from supporters of a likely recall election against Gov. Gavin Newsom, also a Democrat. Newman’s bill would not have applied to the anti-Newsom effort, but that movement’s supporters vehemently opposed it, saying it would violate citizen privacy and intimidate voters. Newman’s proposal would have allowed an elected official facing a recall to see the names of people who signed the petition so they can contact them to make sure they understood what they signed and see if they want to remove their names. People currently have 30 days to remove their names from a recall petition once state elections officials determine there are enough signatures.
Delaware: The House Administration Committee heard testimony on two elections-related bills. One bill would implement automatic voter registration at the DMV, a bill that’s already passed the Senate. The second bill would move the primary date from September to the same day as the presidential primary in July. The bill’s sponsor, State Rep. Stephanie Bolden (D-Wilmington) has introduced this bill three times before, and each time it’s failed to pass through the state senate, despite bipartisan support in the house. Bolden says every time the bill is passed, it receives more support from legislators, and she hopes this is the year it finally passes. Advocates testifying in support of the bill say moving the primary date is even more of a necessity if no-excuse absentee voting is becoming a mainstay, as it gives more time for the elections department to handle the mailing of ballots before the general election in November. Bolden adds turnout in the presidential primary is often higher than the statewide primary, and combining the two would boost turnout, especially among voters who may have difficulty getting to the polls in the first place. All bills passed through the committee, and now head to the House floor for debate.
Hawaii: An automatic voter registration measure that advocates say will make it easier than ever to register to vote in Hawaii cleared a key hurdle at the state Legislature this week. Senate Bill 159, which makes an application for voter registration part of all state identification card or driver’s license applications, was passed out of conference committee. It now awaits a final vote from the full House and Senate. SB 159 requires license and ID applicants to choose to be registered to vote or to make changes to voter registration information. Certain information may be shared but only among county agencies, the state Department of Transportation, election personnel and the online voter registration system.
Idaho: Idaho Gov. Brad Little has signed a bill that will make it tougher for voters to bring initiatives onto statewide ballots. Senate Bill 1110 was passed by the Senate in March and by the House earlier this month. The law will make it significantly harder for voters to get referendums or initiatives on ballots by requiring that 6% of registered voters in each of Idaho’s 35 legislative districts sign a petition before it will be accepted by the state. Currently, 6% of voters in only 18 districts are required to sign the petitions, which must also total 6% of voters statewide.
Louisiana: The Senate and Governmental Affairs Committee backed legislation by Chairwoman Sharon Hewitt, R-Slidell that would make a host of changes to how Louisiana buys new voting machines, after a recent effort to procure machines fell apart amid uproar from some voters who believe the 2020 election was rife with fraud. Senate Bill 221 would set up several layers of oversight of Secretary of State Kyle Ardoin’s effort to buy new voting machines. Under the measure, Ardoin would be required to use input from lawmakers to create a set of standards for new machines. It would also create a new commission to evaluate voting systems. Ardoin raised some concerns that the bill limits his ability to make decisions on picking new voting machines, but he vowed to work with Senators on the legislation. Ardoin is a Republican but has clashed with lawmakers over the voting machine procurement. The committee also backed Senate Bill 220 by Sen. Heather Cloud, R-Turkey Creek, to require the Louisiana legislative auditor to conduct a review of Louisiana’s election processes.
Maine: State lawmakers are weighing a proposal that would ban Mainers from packing firearms in polling stations. LD 805 would authorize municipal officials to prohibit firearms in polling stations on Election Day. Under the proposal, firearms would be prohibited from being within 250 feet of a polling station, though law-enforcement officers would be exempt from the ban. Maine is one of a handful of “open carry” states where firearm owners can possess a gun in plain view, without any special permit. While federal law prohibits firearms in schools, where many polling stations are located, there’s no prohibition in city or town halls, community centers and other places where people cast ballots. The bill’s primary sponsor, Sen. Cathy Breen, D-Falmouth, calls the proposal a “common-sense measure that provides protection for everyone working at the polls.”
Massachusetts: Rep. Nick Boldyga has proposed legislation requiring would-be voters to show a driver’s license, an armed services ID card or certain student IDs before receiving a ballot. The proposal surfaced as one of 1,157 amendments to the House’s $47.6 billion budget for fiscal 2022. The legislation would give a town clerk the discretion to accept or challenge the would-be voter’s credentials if the person fails to produce a valid photo ID in a process that voting rights advocates described as overly complicated.
Michigan: House Republican lawmakers are attempting to slip substantial legislative changes into a budget bill that would eliminate the Secretary of State’s Office’s ability to mail absentee ballot applications and establish a timeline for reviewing petition initiatives. The proposal is included in a bill that outlines funding for the Department of State along with other agencies. “These provisions aren’t about the state budget. They are instead another attempt by state legislators — notably the most nakedly partisan branch of our state government — to overstep their authority in an effort to control our elections and undermine our democracy,” Benson spokesman Jake Rollow said. The House Appropriations Subcommittee on General Government voted 5-3 on Tuesday to advance the massive budget proposals to the full appropriations committee. All three Democrats on the subcommittee opposed the move.
Montana: Gov. Greg Gianforte (R) signed two elections-related bills into law this week. House Bill 176, sponsored by Rep. Sharon Greef, R-Florence, eliminates Election Day voter-registration in Montana after 15 years. The new law ends voter registration at noon on the Monday before an election. MTN News reported last month that anywhere from 1 percent to 2.3 percent of Montana votes cast in recent presidential general elections have been cast by people who register on Election Day. Senate Bill 169, sponsored by Sen. Mike Cuffe, R-Eureka, more tightly defines the type of ID required to vote in Montana or register to vote. Cuffe said voter ID “is a key component in protecting the integrity of Montana elections.” Any voter who does not have a government-issued photo ID or a state concealed carry permit must produce two forms of identification in order to cast a ballot at the polls.
New York: The New York state legislature passed a bill that would automatically restore voting rights to people convicted of a felony once they are on parole. The bill is intended to improve upon a 2018 executive order granting voting pardons to the 35,000 New Yorkers on parole, according to Assembly member Daniel O’Donnell, a co-sponsor of the bill. Currently, parolees must wait a period of four to six weeks to receive a pardon and then must register to vote on their own. The legislation would restore voting rights at the time of release and would require Department of Corrections employees to provide parolees with a voter registration form. Some Republican assembly members argued that a felon’s debt to society isn’t paid until they finish parole, but the bill was ultimately passed with a Democratic majority in both chambers of the legislature. The bill will be sent to Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s desk, although there is no set timeline for when that will happen.
South Carolina: Under House Bill 3822, no excuse would be required to vote absentee, the witness signature requirement would be removed and it also ensures people that have served time will be notified that they can vote.
House Bill 3372, aims expand in-person absentee voting by giving a two week ‘no excuse’ period for everyone to vote early, but it limits absentee voting by mail.
Texas: By an 8-1 vote, the House Committee On Elections has approved Rep. James White’s (R-Woodville) bill which would require electronic voting machines to produce a traceable paper ballot. If passed, starting September 1, 2021, electronic voting machines that do not produce a verifiable paper record cannot be purchased. Beginning September 1, 2023, electronic voting machines cannot be used in an election, unless it produces a paper record. The bill will now go before the Committee on Calendars for possible placement on the House floor.
The Senate Committee on State Affairs has unanimously passed a bill which would require the secretary of state to publish voting history records. SB 1925, authored by Sen. Bryan Hughes (R-Mineola) was approved in a 6-0 vote. According to documents filed by Hughes, the record would indicate the voter and the process by which the voter voted: election day, early voting by appearance or voted early by mail. The record would not indicate the contents of a ballot. The record would appear on the secretary of state website. The committee opted to have the bill placed on the Senate’s local and uncontested calendar.
The House Committee on Elections approved HB 1314 by a 5-3 vote. The bill requires all components of voting equipment to be American made. Rep. Cole Hefner (R-Mount Pleasant) calls HB 1314 simple and straight-forward. The bill not only requires all parts to be American-made but also the companies manufacturing the equipment, and their parent companies must be located and headquartered in the United States. Also, data and equipment storage must remain in the United States. The bill will now go to the Committee on Calendars for possible placement on the House floor.
Texas House Bill 4322 aims to change the state Election Code so each polling place has to be inside a building and cannot be in tent, temporary structure, movable structure, parking garage or parking lot facilities primarily designed for motor vehicles. Republicans in the Texas House Elections Committee advanced it with a 5-4 vote along party lines Wednesday.
The House passed a bill that would allow election judges to carry handguns at most polling locations on Election Day and during early voting. House Bill 530, by Rep. Jared Patterson, R-Frisco, aims to codify an attorney general’s opinion from three years ago that said election judges have the same power as district judges to enforce order and keep the peace and therefore are exempt from prohibitions against carrying guns at polling locations. That reasoning stemmed from a 1913 Texas Court of Criminal Appeals case, and the attorney general opinion was non-binding. The bill passed on a vote of 94-51 and now moves to the Senate.
Utah: Ranked-choice voting will get its largest test yet in Utah this fall. The Salt Lake City Council on Tuesday voted 6-1 to approve the use of ranked-choice voting for the municipal election this November. With the move, the city will waive a primary election ahead of the November vote. The city’s decision was made just before the May 9 deadline cities have to notify the Lieutenant Governor’s Office if they will participate in a ranked-choice vote this year. The ranked-choice voting plan was supported by multiple residents who logged onto Tuesday night’s meeting.
Federal Lawsuit: The MyPillow company, whose CEO Michael Lindell has helped former President Trump peddle baseless claims of widespread election fraud, is countersuing Dominion Voting Systems over Dominion’s defamation lawsuit against MyPillow. In a federal lawsuit filed in Minnesota seeking more than $1.6 billion in damages, MyPillow accused Dominion of “debasing the legal system” with its efforts to strike back at the right-wing campaign to discredit its voting systems. “Dominion’s purpose is to silence debate; to eliminate any challenge to the 2020 presidential election; and to cancel and destroy anyone who speaks out against Dominion’s work on behalf of the government in administering the election,” the lawsuit reads. Dominion filed a $1.3 billion defamation lawsuit against Lindell and his company in February over his claims that Dominion assisted in engineering widespread election fraud that delivered the White House to President Biden in November. Dominion, through a lawyer, on Monday dismissed the retaliatory lawsuit. “This is a meritless retaliatory lawsuit, filed by MyPillow to try to distract from the harm it caused to Dominion,” Stephen Shackelford, an attorney for the voting systems company, said in an emailed statement.
California: A three-judge panel at the Third Appellate District heard arguments this week in a case of Gov. Gavin Newsom’s decision to mail ballots to all registered voters for the 2020 election. Newsom declared a state of emergency in March 2020, just after the primary election. Newsom issued an executive order to send vote-by-mail ballots to all registered voters for the November general elections. The governor also required local election officials to use a specific barcode to track ballots in the mail and changed hours of operation at polling places in certain counties leading up to the Nov. 3 general election. He issued his three orders under the California Emergency Services Act (CESA), which gives the governor complete authority over state government agencies and the right to police power under state law and the Constitution. In November 2020, Sutter County Superior Court Judge Sarah ruled the CESA “does not authorize or empower the governor of the state of California to amend statutory law or make new statutory law, which is exclusively a legislative function not delegated to the governor under the CESA.” The state appealed the ruling and now it’s before the appellate court. Assemblymen James Gallagher (R-Yuba City) argued before the panel that Newsom usurped the Legislature’s authority. Deputy Attorney General John Killeen argued Newsom could not achieve some sort of broad, long term change under his emergency powers since “there are plenty of safeguards in CESA, it’s not even close to being unconstitutional.”
Montana: A day after Gov. Greg Gianforte (R) signed two laws that would change how and when voters register, attorneys for the Montana Democratic Party have sued to stop them, saying they unfairly disenfranchise young voters, the elderly, Native Americans and the disabled even though not a single case of voter fraud has been documented in the past 20 years. In the lawsuit filed by Mike Meloy of Helena and Matthew Gordon of Seattle, they ask the court to strike down House Bill 176, which eliminated Election Day – or same-day – voter registration. They also asked the court to rule that Senate Bill 169, which established stricter rules for acceptable identification, as unconstitutional. The lawsuit, filed in Yellowstone County, has been assigned to Judge Mary Jane Knisely. The Democrats have named Secretary of State Christi Jacobsen as the defendant in her role as overseeing statewide elections and voter registration. The party’s complaint alleges that the two bills violate provisions in the state constitution requiring equal protection under the law, arguing that young voters would be disproportionately impacted. Democrats also complained that the laws would hamper their get-out-the-vote efforts, which hinge in part on convincing people to register and vote on election day, and would force them to spend additional resources on voter education.
Pennsylvania: The U.S. Supreme Court rejected a case against Pennsylvania’s handling of mail-in ballots, dispensing with yet another legal challenge over the 2020 election. The justices released an order Monday instructing a lower court to dismiss the case as moot. The order did not include an opinion or indicate which justices supported or opposed the move. A Republican congressional candidate and four individual voters filed a federal lawsuit against Pennsylvania elections officials in October after a state court ruled that mail-in ballots could be counted if they were received up to three days after Election Day, which legislators had established as the deadline. Democrats had sued in state court to have the deadline extended due to the expected increase in mail ballots because of the pandemic. The Supreme Court’s order comes nearly two months after it rejected a handful of cases brought by former President Trump and his allies that sought to challenge the election results in battleground states that helped carry President Biden to victory.
Washington County Judge Michael Lucas has blocked an attempt by three Donegal Township supervisors to halt the municipality’s primary election next month. Lucas ruled late Friday afternoon to deny the preliminary injunction request by Supervisors Richard Martin, Richard Fidler and Tammi M. Iams after they claimed they could be removed from office before their terms expire when the board is downsized from five members to three after this year’s election. “The proper and lawful exercise of a fundamental right to vote may not be sacrificed to maintain the term of any officeholder,” Lucas wrote in his opinion. “An elected office is a public trust, not the private domain of the officeholder.” The three supervisors filed the lawsuit April 9 claiming they could be harmed by the May 18 primary because each has multiple years remaining on their terms, meaning they could be removed early if they lose their reelection bids later this year. The trio sued the Washington County Board of Elections asking for it to halt the election or invalidate the results. Also named in the lawsuit were fellow Supervisors Edward Shingle Jr. and Kathleen Croft.
Virginia: Election officials have agreed to permanently provide an absentee ballot option for blind voters. The agreement comes after several voters with disabilities, the American Council of the Blind of Virginia, and the National Federation of the Blind of Virginia filed a lawsuit in federal court last year against the state for alleged violations of the Americans with Disabilities Act, the Rehabilitation Act and the Virginia Disabilities Act. In August, the state agreed to provide an absentee ballot option that is accessible and can be marked electronically so voters with disabilities could safely vote in the November 2020 general election. The plaintiffs and their lawyers said this week that the state has agreed to permanently provide the remote electronic absentee ballot option for voters with disabilities, beginning with the upcoming primary election in June. Under a consent decree, the state will also appoint an ombudsman to assist voters to use the accessible electronic ballot.
Colorado: The City of Boulder and Runbeck Elections Services have partnered to create Boulder Direct Democracy Online (BDDO) that takes the petitioning process completely online for constituents and petition management teams. Boulder and Runbeck worked closely to develop BDDO which became accessible to nearly 80,000 of Boulder’s registered voters earlier this year. The system supports the electronic endorsement of municipal (non-charter) initiatives, referendums and recalls. Through BDDO, the City Clerk’s office has increased their ability to enfranchise voters and get constituents more involved in the democratic process. Vocem Online is a web-based application that includes an election office portal and a constituent portal. Jurisdictions have a central place to efficiently manage petitions. All constituents can see and track progress of any available petition. Through an online portal, validated registered voters can endorse petitions from a computer or mobile device. The System validates an endorser through two-factor authentication, and then provides a simple two-click, secure methodology for endorsements.
Opinions This Week
Alaska: Ranked choice voting
Arkansas: Election legislation
Colorado: Voting laws
Kansas: The Big Lie
Maine: Secretary of state
Maryland: Voting laws
Minnesota: Ranked choice voting
West Virginia: The 26th Amendment
What Went Right and What Went Wong in the 2020 Election: The Secure Elections Network Presents: Amber McReynolds of The National Vote at Home Institute. What went right and what went wrong in the 2020 election, and what is currently occurring in state legislatures. When: April 25 7pm 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.
The Basics of Ranked Choice Voting Administration: Have you ever wondered what it’s like to administer a Ranked Choice Voting (RCV) election? We’re partnering with the Ranked Choice Voting Resource Center (RCVRC) to provide you with a brief presentation and discussion with election administrators who have firsthand knowledge of administering ranked choice voting elections. The RCVRC provides information, research, and tools to teach the public about ranked-choice voting. With decades of election administration experience at all levels of government, the RCVRC provides RCV best practices and real-world materials as well as RCV consulting services, expert testimony, and implementation guidelines. RCVRC is ready to be a resource to you if and when you’re ready to administer your very first ranked choice voting election in your city, state or county. When: April 27, 4pm 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. 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.
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 a registered Democrat and be a resident of Geauga County within 30 days of being hired. Deadline: May 3. 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 Processing Supervisor, San Diego County, California— Election Processing Supervisors organize, direct, and supervise the activities of sections within the Registrar of Voters’ – Voters Services Divisions. Position responsibilities include but are not limited to: planning, scheduling and coordinating activities related to vote-by-mail ballots, sample ballots, election mail pick-up, voter records and registration, training, election equipment and warehouse; providing lead work in special projects and assignments; providing interpretations and ensuring proper implementation of Federal, State and local laws regulating elections. 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.
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.
Virtual Event Planner, Early Voting Information Center— The Early Voting Information Center (EVIC) at Reed College seeks out a virtual event planner and project manager with a strong understanding of United States politics, particularly as it relates to election policy, to help lead, coordinate, plan, and execute an applied research project focused on understanding and strengthening the capacity of local election administrators in the United States. EVIC seeks out an individual who can help to coordinate and engage academic teams, local and state elections officials, and other stakeholders engaged in the research efforts. The lead project team is located in Portland, Oregon, but remote work is possible. Time demands are expected to be ten hours/week with some variation, beginning on or around May 1stand ending October 31, with a possibility of extension. Application: Interested candidates should send a short letter of interest, qualifications, and description of applicable experience; and a resume or curriculum vita to Karen Perkins at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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