In Focus This Week
WARNING: This story and the linked video contain audio, language, and imagery that some people may find disturbing.
One in Three Election Officials Report Feeling Unsafe Because of Their Job
New Report Offers Solutions to the Various Threats to Election Officials
“We will demand the truth and you will [expletive] pay for [expletive] lying [expletive] remarks you little liberal [expletive] RINO! We will [expletive] take you out. [Expletive] your family! [Expletive] your life! You [expletive]! Watch your [expletive] back!”
This is just one of the countless voicemails left for election officials across the country who conducted safe and secure elections during a pandemic in 2020. These public servants did their duty despite death threats, armed protesters, security details — and everything else that 2020 threw at them.
These threats should concern everyone, not just election officials. We all have a role to play in protecting election officials in today’s environment.
In partnership with the Bipartisan Policy Center, the Brennan Center for Justice at NYU Law this week published a report on the state of the election official profession and the toll of the unprecedented attacks on these officials’ authority, credibility, and personal safety that surged in the run-up to the 2020 election and have not stopped. The report features a survey finding that one in three election officials report feeling unsafe because of their job, and one in six reported having been threatened due to their job. The authors provide solutions for the various problems facing election officials, with calls to action for local, state, and federal governments as well as social media companies and other institutions.
“Threats of violence, smear campaigns, laws and lawsuits undermining election officials at every turn – this is what the professionals who uphold our elections and democracy are facing every day,” said Lawrence Norden, director of the Election Reform Program at the Brennan Center for Justice and co-author of Election Officials Under Attack: How to Protect Administrators and Safeguard Democracy. “The attacks will keep coming – and succeeding – unless there is a multipronged intervention across government and society to stop the purveyors of the Big Lie from making it impossible for election officials to do their jobs: conducting free and fair elections without partisanship.”
Election Officials Under Attack: How to Protect Administrators and Safeguard Democracy identifies four factors making election officials’ work more difficult and dangerous: threats of violence and other safety concerns; increased disinformation being spread about elections, especially online and often by public officials; rising pressure to prioritize party interests over a democratic process; and unsustainable workloads. For each problem, the authors present multiple, urgent solutions.
“The continued threats against election officials and attempts to undermine their independence months after the presidential election are antithetical to a free and fair democracy,” said Matthew Weil, director of the Election Project at the Bipartisan Policy Center. “There are reasonable, implementable solutions that will safeguard our elections going forward and the recommendations in this report are developed with the direct input and participation of election officials from across the country.”
Here is a selection from the report’s recommendations, listed by the type of challenge confronting election officials:
Threats of violence against election officials and other safety concerns.
- The Department of Justice should create an Election Threats Task Force, which would work with federal, state, and local partners to provide expertise and resources to prioritize the investigation and prosecution of threats to election officials. (This could be an initiative housed in the Civil Rights Department’s Voting Rights Enforcement Unit, which Attorney General Merrick Garland announced Friday he was planning to expand.)
- States should pass laws to protect officials’ personal information and provide grants for officials to purchase home security equipment.
Increased disinformation being spread about elections, especially online and often by public officials.
- The Department of Homeland Security’s Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency should support the creation of a comprehensive directory of U.S. election officials, which could be shared with internet platforms so they can amplify accurate information from those officials.
- Social media companies should strengthen their efforts to push back against individuals who spread mis- or disinformation repeatedly, including by delaying posts of repeat disinformation spreaders to allow for vetting.
- Party monitors, who became sources of misinformation in 2020 about election procedures and the vote counting process, should be required to attend additional training and should be accountable for violating rules and spreading disinformation.
Rising partisan pressure to prioritize party interests over a democratic process, such as former President Trump’s call to Georgia’s secretary of state.
- States should explore structural changes to election administration to insulate officials from attacks on independence, including protecting election officials’ scope of authority over counting and certifying elections, and guaranteeing a minimum level of funding for elections so that officials can resist political pressure without fearing they are risking the resources needed to do their jobs.
- States should create election administration advisory boards that include election officials and members who represent statewide officeholders, legislative leadership, voting rights organizations, and other stakeholders to foster effective communication and the depoliticization of election administration policymaking.
Unsustainable workloads for current election officials and challenges recruiting future administrators.
- Election officials should leverage existing relationships with state and local election official associations which can help empower officials to improve working conditions and better impact election-related policy.
- Election officials can develop relationships with local colleges and universities to help build talent pools for future recruitment.
Election Officials Under Attack: How to Protect Administrators and Safeguard Democracy is based on dozens of interviews with election officials across the country about their experiences during the 2020 elections. These interviews were conducted by the Brennan Center and the Bipartisan Policy Center, with assistance from Harvard Kennedy School’s Ash Center for Democratic Governance and Innovation.
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Election News This Week
Stewards of Democracy: In their final installment of the Stewards of Democracy series from The Democracy Fund and Reed College, Paths Forward: Lessons in Supporting Local Election Administration and Officials, researchers provide a forward-looking, proactive agenda to sustain this critical part of our democracy and to support the people who serve in more than 8,000 voting jurisdictions nationwide. In the final installment, the team identifies key areas they believe should be a focus for state and local officials and their allies in the policy and research communities. For each, the team describes what they have learned from the research as well as where they know there is still a lot to learn — critical questions that call for further experimentation and evidence. The key areas include: sustainability advancement, networks and community, and voter-centric practices.
U.S. Department of Justice: Attorney General Merrick Garland has pledged to double the size of the Justice Department’s voting rights enforcement staff to combat efforts to restrict ballot access and prosecute those who threaten or harm election workers. In a speech that invoked the nation’s long and, at times, faltering progress toward ensuring every American’s right to vote, Garland likened the fight against efforts to curtail ballot access to past campaigns enshrining voting rights for Black Americans in the Constitution and the seminal Voting Rights Act of 1965. Garland said the additional trial attorneys, which he plans to hire over the coming 30 days, will scrutinize new laws and existing practices across the nation for potential discrimination against Americans of color, including in new measures GOP state lawmakers are pushing. They will enforce provisions of the Voting Rights Act by challenging such laws or practices in court — and prosecute anyone found to intimidate or threaten violence against election officials. The expanded unit will also monitor the growing number of post-election ballot reviews being called for around the country by supporters of former president Donald Trump in search of signs of violations of federal laws, Garland said, and will watch over upcoming redistricting efforts to call out discriminatory practices. “To meet the challenge of the current moment, we must rededicate the resources of the Department of Justice to a critical part of its original mission: Enforcing federal law to protect the franchise of all eligible voters,” Garland said in his address to department employees. He added: “Where we see violations, we will not hesitate to act.”
Threats to Democracy: According to the Arizona Republic, people are knocking on the doors of Yavapai County residents and asking how they voted in the last election, while falsely claiming to represent the county recorder’s office, sheriff’s office officials said. Yavapai County Recorder Leslie Hoffman said she did not know if the people knocking on doors around Prescott are working on behalf of a political organization, but raised concerns that information residents provide could result in identity theft. “I don’t want some of our more vulnerable residents giving information and thinking they’re giving it to the recorder’s office,” she told the paper. Hoffman said local officials had received reports of two incidents last week in which people claiming to be from her office asked voters if they voted in the last election and who they voted for. In one case, a pair of people knocked on the door of a local resident and sought to verify the names of people living in the home. But the duo declined to produce any identification when asked, including anything verifying connection to the recorder’s office, Hoffman said. The Yavapai County Sheriff’s Office told residents the recorder would never send anyone to a residence asking survey questions or asking voters for personal information, and asked anyone approached in a similar fashion to contact local law enforcement.
In Celebration of Voting Rights: Working in elections can sometimes feel like a telenovela, but an opera? The Kentucky Opera will co-present a new one-act opera commissioned by the Santa Fe Opera called “This Little Light of Mine” for Juneteenth. This free online workshop is about voting rights activist Fannie Lou Hamer, a Black woman whose fight for equal rights helped implement the Voting Rights Act of 1965. According to the Courier Journal, The project, composed by Chandler Carter with a libretto by Diana Solomon-Glover, portrays key events in Hamer’s life, including how the injustices of the Jim Crow laws emboldened her to demand the right to vote for Black Americans, and how she shook the political world during the “Freedom Summer” of 1964 by helping found the Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party. Hamer was known for her powerful voice during the civil rights movement and her will be used throughout the production, Carter said, where parts of Hamer’s speech testimony are incorporated into the musical score. “You hear Fannie Lou Hamer’s voice sounding through the loudspeakers incorporated into the scene and incorporated into the music underneath. So it punctuates and frames the story,” Carter said. The free pre-recorded workshop will be available on the Kentucky Opera’s YouTube channel on June 19 at 6 p.m. and will remain available for on-demand viewing.
Personnel News: NPR reporter Pam Fessler, who has extensively covered elections in America, is retiring. After nearly two decades overseeing elections Deschutes County, Oregon Clerk Nancy Blankenship is retiring, effective July 31. Congratulations to Fulton County, Ohio board of elections director Melanie Gilders for receiving the “Pat Wolfe Election Official of the Year” for 2020 from the secretary of state’s office. Former Maricopa County, Arizona Recorder Adrian Fontes is running for secretary of state. Arizona Rep. Reginald Bolding has announced his run for secretary of state. David P. Morrow is stepping down from the Transylvania County, North Carolina board of elections. The Fresno County, California city council has dismissed City Clerk Yvonne Spence. Congratulations to Mercer County Clerk Verlin Moye who was named the West Virginia county clerk of the year. Lynn Bailey, executive director of Richmond County, Georgia elections for the past 28 years, is retiring. Michael L. Johnson is the new chief enforcement counsel for the New York board of elections. Navarro County, Texas Elections Administrator Daniel Teed has resigned. Rose M. Brown is the new Berkley County, South Carolina voters registration and elections director.
In Memoriam: Columbia County, Oregon Clerk Elizabeth “Betty” Huser passed away on April 26. Huser served as the county clerk for 32 years. Huser served as mayor of Scappoose from 1979 to 1988. At various points throughout her long career, she served as president of the Oregon Mayors Association, Oregon Association of County Clerks, Columbia County League of Women Voters and Scappoose Kiwanis. Upon her retirement from that position, former County Clerk Reta Kerry asked her to accept the appointment of County Clerk, and Huser has filled that role since. On Columbia County’s County Clerk website, Huser wrote in welcome, “I am honored that you have elected me to this important position since 1989. It has been my pleasure to issue marriage licenses, manage county elections and provide passports, among my other various duties.”
John Anderson, Republican registrar of voters in Vernon, Connecticut, has died. He was 74. In a statement issued with the Vernon Town Council, Mayor Daniel Champagne and Town Administrator Michael Purcaro said, “John Anderson was a longtime leader and public servant of the Town of Vernon, and a good friend to many.” Anderson was a respected registrar, a position he had held since 2013, Purcaro said. He also served as a special constable since 2014 and “fulfilled a significant leadership role” on the Water Pollution Control Authority for many years, town officials said. The statement continued, “John epitomized life and service in a small town. He was woven into the fabric of this community. Losing someone like John creates a loss, a vacuum that will not be easy to fill. He was a person who could always be counted on and who cared deeply about Vernon. John’s devotion to volunteering and public service are part of his legacy.”
Federal Legislation: Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska), a key swing vote who often breaks with her party, said she opposes H.R. 1, Democrats’ sweeping election and campaign finance reform package, but supports individual provisions, namely expanding no-excuse absentee voting. Murkowski told reporters she sees H.R. 1 as too “overwhelming and all-encompassing.” Murkowski said certain provisions in the bill are “probably worthy of support,” noting Alaska has no-excuse absentee voting, which means residents can request a mail-in ballot without having to give a reason such as illness, age or absence from the state. Murkowski said she “didn’t have any appreciation” of “how many states are so extraordinarily limited and restricted” with mail-in voting, calling for those restrictions to be “addressed.” Murkowski also reiterated her support for the John Lewis Voting Rights Act, which would restore the federal government’s ability to vet proposed changes to polling rules in places with a history of racial discrimination in voting, a power that was taken away by a 2013 Supreme Court ruling. Ten Republican senators are needed for any Democratic election reform bill to overcome a filibuster and pass the Senate.
Senator Joe Manchin of West Virginia has circulated a list of demands for voting legislation among his Democratic colleagues, indicating he may be willing to consider a revised version of the sweeping voting and elections reform bill that the Senate will take up at the end of the month. Manchin told reporters on Wednesday that he had shared with his colleagues “things I can support and vote with” in the For the People Act. According to a copy of the list obtained by CBS News, these areas of support include provisions banning partisan gerrymandering and mandating at least 15 consecutive days of early voting for federal elections. Manchin’s list also includes areas of compromise relating to ethics and campaign finance. However, he supports some provisions that could be unpopular with progressive Democrats, such as requiring a voter ID with “allowable alternatives” for providing proof of identity to vote and allowing elections officials to purge voter rolls. He also does not appear to support no-excuse mail-in voting, although he would want to require states to send absentee ballots to eligible voters ahead of an election.
Connecticut: A provision in the 800+ page budget bill would allow people on parole to vote, completing a decade-long effort to end felony disenfranchisement in Connecticut. Lawmakers attempted to restore access to the ballot box for people on parole during the regular legislative session that ended last week, but the omnibus bill failed to come up for a vote in the House. Instead, the bill — a wide-ranging proposal intended to broaden the state’s voting rules, allowing different state agencies to automatically enroll new voters and giving people time off work to vote — made it into the budget implementer that was approved in the Senate Tuesday evening and is scheduled for a vote in the House Wednesday. The current law on who is disenfranchised is confusing, said Michael Lawlor, former undersecretary for criminal justice policy and planning under former Gov. Dannel Malloy and now a professor at the University of New Haven. “There are all these different statutes, and I think people mistake ‘parole’ for all forms of supervised release, which is definitely not the case.” According to Lawlor, the current felony disenfranchisement statute only bars people from voting who are incarcerated for a felony or on parole, not other forms of paroled supervision, like special parole, transitional supervision. That confusion over eligibility was part of the reason why the Secretary of State’s Office supported the bill during the legislative session. Gabe Rosenberg, spokesman for the office, said that uncertainty over who was and who wasn’t eligible potentially made people hesitant to vote, choosing to instead err on the side of caution and not cast a ballot. “As people return to their community from incarceration, the earlier they vote, the more likely they are to continue to vote and be more connected civically to their communities, and that’s a public good,” Rosenberg said, noting that the proposed language makes it simple: if you are incarcerated for a felony, you cannot vote, but if you are not locked up for a felony, you can cast a ballot.
Delaware: The second leg of a constitutional amendment to allow no-excuse absentee voting fell short of the two-thirds vote needed to pass in the House. No Republicans voted for the amendment, even though many of them were in the House in 2019, when the first leg of the amendment was approved in a landslide 38-3 vote. Democratic Rep. David Bentz, sponsor of the bill, suspects the national debate over mail-in voting likely played a role in the GOP members switching their votes this time around. “Unfortunately, I think the rhetoric around this particular policy has been tainted … over the last year,” he said on the House floor Thursday. “From 2019 until now, nothing has changed about the efficacy, the security of absentee voting in Delaware or nationwide. The only thing that has changed, unfortunately, is the political rhetoric around it.” Currently, Delaware law permits absentee ballots only if people won’t be able to vote in person because they are participating in “public service” of the state or nation, working elsewhere, are on vacation, have an illness or physical disability, or have a religious reason. Republican House Minority Leader Danny Short said members of his caucus reexamined the amendment since that 2019 vote and came up with significant reservations about the bill. “I believe they intend to turn no-excuse absentee voting into a ‘vote-by-mail’ system — a scheme that will benefit Democrats. Any doubt about the partisan nature of this issue was erased after today’s vote,” Short said. “We may not have seen the last of this bill, but House Democrats have given us even less reason to trust their good intentions on this issue.”
District of Columbia: Ward One Councilmember Brianne Nadeau has re-introduced a bill allow non-citizens to vote in local D.C. elections. The bill would expand voting eligibility to legal permanent residents — Green Card-holders — and would apply to the elections for mayor, D.C. Council, State Board of Education, Advisory Neighborhood Commissions, and attorney general. “People who have made their permanent homes here should have a hand in who represents them in government,” Nadeau said in a press release. “The District of Columbia has long been a place that has welcomed immigrants into our community, and it’s time to allow for their full participation in our institutions.” At-Large councilmembers Elissa Silverman, Robert White, and Christina Henderson, along with Ward 2 Councilmember Brooke Pinto, Ward 4 Councilmember Janeese Lewis George, and Ward 6 Councilmember Charles Allen co-introduced the bill. Similar bills have been introduced in the D.C. Council several other times.
Louisiana: The will be moving to elections using paper ballots under legislation finally approved about 90 minutes before the Legislature adjourned Thursday at 6 p.m. Senate Bill 221, by state Sen. Sharon Hewitt, had been negotiated behind closed doors for about two weeks. Agreement came in the closing moments of the two-month-old legislative session. The result merged much of the language from two similar House-passed bills with the Senate measure. Louisiana’s current fleet of voting machines are aging and replacement parts aren’t easy to find. Secretary of State Kyle Ardoin has been trying to nail down a deal for new machines. Hewitt’s SB221 would set up commissions to review and make recommendations about the types of systems available as well as bids from vendors. The Secretary of State would still make the final decision. But state law currently requires the Secretary of State to only purchase direct-recording electronic voting machines, the variety now being used. The legislation merged House Bill 653, by Central Republican Rep. Barry Ivey and House Bill 704, by Denham Springs Republican Rep. Valarie Hodges, with Hewitt’s bill. Both House bills had more detailed versions of how new voting machines should be chosen and used along with when paper ballots could augment the voting procedures. Rep. John Stefanski, R-Crowley, who handled the legislation in the House, tamped down some opposition by saying the structure set up in SB221 allows more participation by the public and ensures that the next voting machines the state purchases are more in line with what other state have bought.
Gov. John Bel Edwards signed a bill into law that would extend early voting periods for presidential elections in the state. Edwards signed House Bill 286, authored by Democrat state Rep. Frederick D. Jones, which extends the early voting period by three days. Louisiana law previously allowed for early voting from 14 to seven days prior to a scheduled election. Edwards said he was proud to sign the bill amid the Republican Party’s efforts to limit access to voting across the country. “That’s not the case here in Louisiana, where we are now adding more early voting days for one of the most consequential and popular elections people vote in – the presidential election,” Edwards said. The governor said the new law will give Louisianans more opportunities to cast their votes and make their voices heard. “I am thankful the Legislature sent me this bill and I will continue to advocate to expand access to voting,” Edwards said. HB 286 was approved by a 91-7 vote in the House and a 35-0 vote in the Senate.
Maine: Maine will join a growing number of states in allowing online voter registration if a bill approved by the state Senate moves forward. The Senate approved the bill 22-12 without debate, with minority Republicans in opposition. In the House, the measure passed on a vote of 81-61, also on party lines. Both chambers must still cast final votes on the bill. The online voter registration bill is sponsored by Rep. Teresa Pierce, D-Falmouth. Currently Maine voters can request an application to register online but must return that application to their local election officials by mail or in person. Maine residents can also register in person on Election Day. The bill, L.D. 1126, also has the support of Maine Secretary of State Shenna Bellows, a Democrat. Bellows said that while Maine already enjoys one of the highest voter participation rates in the U.S., online registration would make voting even more accessible.
A push to have Maine’s attorney general, secretary of state and treasurer elected by voters stalled on Tuesday after only a narrow majority of the House of Representatives backed sending a proposed constitutional change to the ballot. The bill from Sen. Joe Baldacci, D-Bangor, would put the amendment before Maine voters to ask if they would prefer the secretary of state, the treasurer and the attorney general to be elected by a majority vote. The Maine Legislature — assembled together — currently picks those officeholders and it is the only state to pick an attorney general that way. The chamber initially passed an earlier version of the bill in a closely divided 74-68, which fell short of the two-thirds vote that would be required to send a constitutional amendment to voters. When a ranked-choice voting provision was added, the body rejected it in a 81-62 vote.
Additionally, the Legislature has approved a semi-open primary system that would let independent voters participate in Democratic and Republican primaries in the state. Sponsors said all voters pay for elections. While independents, which represent 32% of Maine voters, registered Democrats and Republicans could not cross over and vote in the other party’s primary without changing their affiliation with the state. The bill has bipartisan support.
Massachusetts: The House has approved legislation to make mail-in voting and early voting before the biennial state primaries and general elections permanent. The amendment to but the supplemental budget would establish the framework for early voting and mail-in voting, which proved popular last year with many voters during the pandemic, for state primaries, state general elections and any municipal elections held at the same time, meaning the provision would take effect with the 2022 primary. The House adopted the amendment filed by Election Laws Committee Chairman Dan Ryan as part of a policy-heavy budget bill it passed Thursday after Ryan presented it as a time-sensitive matter, which irked Minority Leader Brad Jones.
Michigan: Republicans who control the Senate passed contentious legislation this week that would mandate a photo ID to vote in person and add identity requirements for people who want to vote by mail. The bills, which were sent to the GOP-led House on party-line 19-16 votes, are among a wave of Republican-sponsored measures to tighten voting rules in various states. Democratic Gov. Gretchen Whitmer will veto the bills if they reach her desk, but the GOP could eventually sidestep her with a maneuver that lets the Legislature enact citizen-initiated ballot proposals, Michigan voters without a photo ID now can sign an affidavit and cast a ballot at their polling place. More than 11,400 of nearly 5.6 million voters did that in the November election. Under the legislation, they would instead vote a provisional ballot and have to either verify their voter registration or their identity and residence within six days for it to count. Voters currently seeking an absentee ballot by mail or at an election clerk’s office must sign the application, and the signature is matched to the voter file. The legislation would require applicants to include a copy of their photo ID, their driver’s license number or the last four digits of their Social Security number. Those who do not would get a provisional ballot. The $10 fee for a state ID card already is waived for certain people, including the elderly, those on welfare or disability assistance, the homeless and veterans, she said. GOP senators on Wednesday introduced bills they said would remove all financial barriers to getting a card. Michigan’s existing voter ID requirement was first enacted in 1996, declared unconstitutional by a Democratic state attorney general in 1997, reenacted in 2005 and upheld by the state Supreme Court in 2007.
Nevada: Governor Steve Sisolak signed multiple bills into law that expand accessibility to elections in Nevada. Assembly Bill 121 requires the Secretary of State to allow voters with a disability to register to vote and vote through an approved online system. The system is currently used to for overseas military members and will now be expanded to those with disabilities. Assembly Bill 126 moved Nevada’s caucus to a primary election. Assembly Bill 422 requires the Secretary of State to create a centralized voter registration database, and requires all counties to use the same database. Assembly Bill 432 was approved in the 2018 general election, also known as the Automatic Voter Registration Initiative, and requires the Department of Motor Vehicles to create an automatic voter registration for those who apply for a driver’s license or ID.
New Hampshire: Legislation asserting the state’s right to conduct its own elections and rejecting the federal elections reform bill known as the For the People Act is headed to the desk of Gov. Chris Sununu. Stopping short of promising to sign it, Sununu said at a news briefing he will confer with Secretary of State William Gardner, local elected officials and legislative leaders before making a decision. But he said he is “praying” the For the People Act “gets shot down in Washington and we don’t have to deal with it.” Senate on Thursday concurred with an amendment passed by the New Hampshire House a week ago that says that if the federal bill, S.1, passes the U.S. Senate and becomes federal law, New Hampshire will retain the authority under its state constitution to control all aspects of its elections for state and county offices. The amendment says that if the For the People Act becomes federal law, ““all procedures and requirements relating to elections conducted pursuant to the New Hampshire constitution and as prescribed by New Hampshire law shall remain in full force and effect for all state and county officers.” The procedures include those related to voter eligibility, voter registration, absentee voting, conducting the voting and counting of votes. The state would most likely not have authority over the conduct of federal elections for federal offices – setting up the possibility of a two-tiered elections system, one for federal offices governed by federal law and another for state and county offices governed by state law.
A state Senate-House conference committee reached agreement on legislation that both clarifies a specific absentee voting provision and ensures that people who vote in New Hampshire but previously voted in another state are removed from their former state’s checklist. Senate Bill 31, which will return to the House and Senate for final votes, includes language ensuring that people who are in penal facilities awaiting trial or serving a misdemeanor sentence can cite their incarceration as a reason to receive absentee ballots. The bill, as agreed to, adds to the absentee voter request affidavit a new line stating: “I am confined to a penal institution for a misdemeanor or while awaiting trial.” On a separate issue addressed in the bill, Senate Bill 31 says that in cases in which an individual reports previously having been registered to vote in another state but is now registered to vote in New Hampshire, the Secretary of State’s Office will have the responsibility of notifying election officials of the other state that the person is now registered in New Hampshire.
House and Senate conferees have agreed to move the date of the state primary election from the second Tuesday in September to the first Tuesday in August and left open the possibility of having the new date in place in time for the 2022 midterm elections. As it stands, the agreement reached Tuesday by the conference committee calls for the new primary date to not take effect until Jan. 1. 2023, which would mean the first early August state primary would not be held until 2024. The deal must now be approved by the full House and Senate – and if it is, it would then go to the desk of Gov. Chris Sununu. Sununu has voiced clear opposition to any change in the primary date from the current second Tuesday in September.
New York: The state Legislature finalized a bill that will expand early voting in New York and require counties to offer more polling locations during that nine-day period for general, primary and special elections. The legislation, the product of an agreement between the state Assembly and Senate, would require counties with at least 500,000 registered voters to have one early voting center for every 40,000 thousand registered voters. Counties with less than 500,000 voters will need to have one early voting site for every 30,000 registered voters. It’s a significant change from the existing law, which mandates early voting sites for every 50,000 registered voters regardless of the county’s size. The minimum number of sites required can’t be greater than 10 — a provision that will remain in effect for smaller counties. The bill also requires counties to place at least one early voting site in their largest municipality. It would increase the number of hours early voting locations must be open on holidays and weekends from five to eight, and allow sites to stay open until 8 p.m. (instead of 6 p.m.) on Saturdays and Sundays. The state Senate passed the bill by a 45-18 vote. The state Assembly approved it Thursday evening.
North Carolina: The state Senate approved a series of changes to North Carolina election laws, including moving up the deadline for mailed absentee ballots to be considered valid. Under Senate Bill 326, dubbed the Election Day Integrity Act, all absentee ballots must be received by the time polls close on Election Day to count. Currently, ballots can arrive up to three days late, as long as they are postmarked by Election Day. According to the state elections board, 11,635 ballots arrived within three days of Election Day last fall. The bill passed on a 28-21 party-line vote and now heads to the House.
Two other measures also passed on party-line votes and move on to the House: Senate Bill 724 would provide a mobile unit to help people get photo identification cards that they could use once legal issues over North Carolina’s voter ID requirement are resolved and IDs are required at the polls. It also writes online voter registration into state law and expands voting access for visually impaired people. Senate Bill 725 prohibits state and county officials from accepting money from private sources to run elections.
Pennsylvania: The House of Representatives could vote on a sweeping election reform bill that introduces early in-person voting and expanded voter identification requirements. Details of the 149-page bill, dubbed the Voting Rights Protection Act, bill grew out of testimony offered to the House State Government Committee through 10 hearings it held on election reform. The same committee gave the legislation its first approval this week over objections of Democrats. Among the highlights of the plan:
- It would allow voters to visit a staffed county voting center on the Monday through Friday of the week before the election to vote in person. Counties would be allowed to set the hours and establish one polling center for every 100,000 residents, with a maximum of 10.
- It would allow for mail-in ballot return receptacles — a new term for drop boxes that are staffed by poll workers who can review mailed ballots to ensure they are signed and dated correctly.
- It would require counties to reach out to voters whose mail-in ballots have issues that would prevent them from being counted to allow them the opportunity to fix them by 8 p.m. on Election Day. In the November 2020 election, some counties did this and others didn’t. Grove said this would ensure uniformity across the state.
- It would allow counties to begin preparing mailed ballots for counting five days before Election Day, which is a change counties have demanded to ensure a more timely release of election results particularly when there is a large voter turnout. This was a priority to counties along with another provision in the bill that moves up the mail-in or absentee voter application deadline to 15 days before an election, instead of the current seven days.
- It allows for curbside voting on Election Day at all polling places to ensure access for voters with disabilities.
- Under this bill, all voters choosing to vote in person would be required to produce a driver’s license, or a PennDOT-issued non-license photo ID, or a free Department of State voter identification card, or a free county-issued scannable, durable voter registration card. Or a voter could sign an affidavit affirming their identity under penalty of perjury.
- Moving up of the voter registration deadline to 30 days before the election that is intended to give county election officials more time to process applications.
Washington: Metropolitan King County Councilmember Girmay Zahilay is introducing legislation seeking to amend the county charter to allow for ranked-choice voting for county positions. If the ordinance passes the council, voters would get the final say in the November election. If approved, the change would take effect on Jan. 1, 2022. While Washington state law bars certain local governments from enacting such reforms, King County has the authority to do so as a charter county. A legislative effort to allow all cities and counties to adopt ranked-choice systems failed earlier this year.
Wisconsin: Democrats are introducing a pair of election bills after Republican lawmakers recently passed proposals that create restrictions on absentee ballots and implement new penalties for those who violate election laws. Democrats are circulating two bills at the capitol to allow 17-year-olds to vote in a primary election as long as they turn 18 when the general election is held. Another bill would require K-12 schools to teach students a course on voter education, such as the importance of voting, how to vote and additional information to prepare them for when they become eligible to vote. The Department of Public Instruction would be responsible for developing the curriculum about the electoral process which would be at least one hour of voter education every school year, under the bill. “I think it’s a great way to help young people pay attention earlier to help education themselves and to learn more about the candidates,” said Democrat Senator Kelda Roys of Madison, a co-sponsor of both bills. “Democracy works best when more people can participate, especially young people.”
California: The Supreme Court rejected a case challenging California’s electoral process in another instance of the high court shying away from election-related disputes. The case, brought by comedian Paul Rodriguez, Rocky Chavez, League of United Latin American Citizens and California League of United Latin American Citizens, sought for the high court to consider whether the state’s winner-take-all approach to selecting its presidential electors was constitutional. Attorneys argued that “by diluting and discarding votes” the method “violates Petitioners’ right to cast an effective vote” and that it “severs the connection between voters and presidential candidates” allowing candidates to ignore California voters. The court’s action, made without comment, comes amid calls to change the electoral process and as former President Donald Trump along with GOP allies continue to push lies of election fraud despite no evidence after President Joe Biden’s 2020 electoral victory. California, which has the largest population of any state, currently has 55 electors — the most electoral votes in the country.
Federal Judge Andre Birotte dismissed with prejudice a lawsuit filed by California Republicans that echoed false allegations made by former President Donald Trump about the validity of the 2020 election. The lawsuit, filed in January by a conservative election watchdog group and 10 failed GOP congressional candidates against a slew of state and county elections officials, claimed the November election in California was rife with “mass irregularities and opportunities for fraud.” The plaintiffs argued that such conditions have been brewing in California for years, but were exacerbated by changes made last year to make sure all voters in the state had access to a ballot during the COVID-19 pandemic. Birotte wrote in a 13-page ruling published Tuesday that the plaintiffs didn’t offer concrete evidence that problems affected the outcome of California’s November elections. Birotte also said he agreed with the defendants’ statement that the lawsuit amounted to “an incremental undermining of confidence in the election results, past and future.”
Florida: A lawsuit, filed on behalf of the groups HeadCount and the Harriet Tubman Freedom Fighters Corp. is the fourth federal lawsuit filed against Florida’s new election law. The latest case is narrowly tailored to one section of the law that involves what are known as third-party voter-registration organizations. The law, in part, requires the organizations to inform voter-registration applicants that the organizations might not meet legal deadlines for delivering forms to elections officials. Also, the organizations are required to tell applicants how to register online. The challenge, filed in federal district court in Tallahassee, contends the law (SB 90) requires a “misleading warning” and violates First Amendment rights. “The mandatory disclaimer serves no legitimate governmental function or purpose, as there is no evidence that Floridians have been confused about the nature of community-based voter registration activity,” said the lawsuit, filed by attorneys for the Southern Poverty Law Center and the Fair Elections Center. “There is no suggestion that plaintiffs or similar voter registration groups have regularly turned in late forms or that they would make anything other than their best efforts to timely submit forms.” The lawsuit also said the requirements “serve to significantly impede plaintiffs’ mission of connecting with new voters and those without Florida driver’s licenses and printer access (who must print, sign, and submit their applications created online in order to register to vote) because in-person registration is more effective for reaching these prospective voters and field registration using paper forms is the most effective means of promoting voter registration at the events, festivals, and communities where plaintiffs operate.”
Michigan: The Michigan Supreme Court unanimously ordered the state elections board to certify a veto-proof initiative that would let Republican legislators wipe from the books a law Gov. Gretchen Whitmer used to issue sweeping pandemic orders. The decision came after two Democrats on the Board of State Canvassers opposed ratifying the ballot measure in April, despite a finding from the elections bureau that enough signatures had been collected. The justices said the four-member panel “has a clear legal duty to certify the petition.” The board’s Democrats had called for further investigation into alleged wrongdoing by some circulators. The canvassers will meet soon to certify the petition. The GOP-controlled Legislature will likely enact the measure rather than let it go to a public vote in 2022.
Mississippi: Mississippi Supreme Court Justice Kenny Griffis on June 3 dismissed an election challenge appeal from a D’Iberville City Council race. In that challenge, incumbent Craig “Boots” Diaz, believed that his challenger, Zack Grady, was wrongly certified to appear on the ballot. The crux of the legal challenge centered around a recent opinion from the Mississippi Attorney General’s Office interpreting a 2019 law to mean that candidates for municipal offices must live in the ward they wish to represent for at least two years before qualifying to hold office. The Secretary of State’s office has previously interpreted the 2019 law to only require a two-year residency somewhere within the municipality, not within any particular ward. The attorney general’s opinion was issued days before the municipal qualification deadline, which drew a rebuke from Secretary of State Michael Watson and caused three candidates in Oxford to drop out of their respective races.
Nevada: The Nevada Supreme Court upheld Clark County Commissioner Ross Miller’s 15-vote victory in the November 2020 election. Former Las Vegas Councilman Stravos Anthony had sued challenging the results. Chief Justice James Hardesty wrote the unanimous opinion for the court, disagreeing with Anthony’s attorneys, who argued discrepancies in the voting process met the definition of an election being “prevented.” “Because voters had the opportunity to vote in the November 3, 2020, general election and were not prevented from casting their votes for District C, we conclude that the district court properly found that the election was not ‘prevented” under (state law),” Hardesty wrote. “Accordingly, we affirm the judgment of the district court.”
New York: An appeals court has rejected the state attorney general’s request for an injunction that would have required Rensselaer County’s Board of Elections to choose new polling places for early voting while the board appeals a lower court’s ruling that its plan for early voting violated state law. In an order issued late Wednesday, the Appellate Division of state Supreme Court scheduled a June 23 hearing on the matter in Albany but rejected Attorney General Letitia James’ request for an immediate injunction that if granted would have required the elections board to comply with the lower court ruling while the appeal is handled. The hearing will be held three days after early voting ends for June’s primaries. On Monday, state Supreme Court of Claims Judge Judge Adam W. Silverman tossed out Rensselaer County’s three early voting locations as too remote and not providing equitable access for people of color and ordered the Board of Elections to have new polling places selected by Wednesday. But the board appealed the judge’s ruling, setting the stage for the Appellate Division order.
Pennsylvania: Court of Common Pleas Judge Thomas Burke has ruled that there will be no recount of the May 18 primary in Luzerne County. Ronald Knapp, who lost a Republican nomination for county council by 57 votes, had filed paperwork seeking a hand recount and reconciliation. The county argued Knapp’s request must be rejected because his filing did not meet legal requirements. A recount would take the election bureau a week or two and require assistance from other departments, officials said. Burke said Knapp, who was representing himself, failed to comply with some fundamental legal requirements, including a state law mandate to post a bond or cash based on the number of machines involved in the recount. The judge said he admires any citizens willing to run for office and tries to provide some latitude with litigation filers representing themselves. However, Burke said judges take an oath to uphold the law, and he cannot overlook fatal legal defects in Knapp’s filing.
South Dakota: United States District Judge Lawrence Piersol has blocked the secretary of state from enforcing a 2020 state law requiring registration for paid petition circulators. In a 28-page ruling, Piersol ruled the “State did not meet its burden of showing that the burdensome requirements of SB 180 challenged by Plaintiff as violating the First Amendment are substantially related to the State’s interests in election integrity and avoiding fraud.” Piersol issued a preliminary injunction. Dakotans for Health, a group looking to get Medicaid expansion on the 2022 ballot, filed the lawsuit. “This court agrees that the State has an important regulatory interest in preventing fraud and its appearances in its electoral processes. But the record does not support the conclusion that SB 180’s public disclosure requirements combat actual instances of fraud or forgery committed by petition circulators in the signature gathering process,” the ruling said.
Texas: The Texas Supreme Court rejected a long-shot request to give former Dallas City Council candidate Donald Parish Jr. a chance at a new election. Parish, a pastor, came in third in last month’s election to represent South Dallas’ District 7, short by just 28 votes to advance to the runoff election, in which the candidate in second place, Kevin Felder, lost to incumbent Adam Bazaldua. In a complaint filed May 21, Parish claimed irregularities with voting locations made the race void. On June 11, the Supreme Court denied a petition by Parish for a new election and did not offer an opinion. Parish’s complaint argues the race’s tight election results made the problems reported at several polling places significant. Nine polling sites, many of which were in South Dallas, had problems ranging from broken voting machines, to workers who couldn’t access buildings or supplies because they didn’t have keys, to too few electrical outlets or extension cords for voting machines. Some voters were turned away.
Idaho: The Secretary of State’s office announced it launched a new Voter Education page on the state’s election information website. Newly created voter education videos will be collected and placed on the page for easy access. The latest video in the series brings the total number available to 11. The video talks about incarcerations and felonies and discusses their effect on voter registration. The new video completes the chapter on Registration Management. This is the third completed chapter, along with the Citizen’s Guide to Voting and Voter Registration. According to the Secretary of State’s Office, five more chapters are scheduling for release throughout the year, including Absentee Voting, Election Day, Ballot Tabulation, Election Policies and Election Crimes. “The purpose of this series is to give Idaho citizens an in-depth look at the systems and processes behind Idaho’s elections,” says Chief Deputy Secretary of State Chad Houck. “Educated citizens are less likely to be susceptible to misinformation, and that makes for a safer, more secure voting experience for everyone.”
Ohio: This week, Secretary of State Frank LaRose announced updated guidelines for voting systems within the state which go a step further than VVSG 2.0 and explicitly prohibit wireless capabilities in the equipment used. “VVSG was a big change. This was a small but impactful change,” LaRose told StateScoop of the EAC update that allows the inclusion of wireless radios. The changes were made by the Ohio Board of Voting Machine Examiners, a four-person bipartisan group that reviews and certifies the election equipment used by the state’s 88 county boards of elections, including electronic pollbooks, printers and ballot scanners. “A voting machine shall not be connected to the Internet. A voting system or voting machine is prohibited from containing any wireless communication hardware or software components,” the updated standards read. “I’m no luddite when it comes to this stuff,” LaRose said. “I’m all about embracing technology. But the actual casting of ballots, that should be completely air-gapped.”
Opinions This Week
National Opinions: Election officials, II | Voting rights, II, III, IV, V | For the People Act, II, III, IV, V | Joe Manchin, II, III, VI | U.S. Department of Justice, II | Ranked choice voting | Voting restrictions
Connecticut: Early voting
Idaho: Secretary of state
Maine: Voting rights
Massachusetts: Voting rights
Michigan: Election officials
New York: Ranked choice voting
North Carolina: Private funding
Texas: Voter fraud
Washington: Ranked choice voting
How can we strengthen trust in the integrity of presidential elections?: Distrust of the results of presidential elections has been particularly intense in recent years. Many Democrats believed Donald Trump won the 2016 election through interference by Russian disinformation campaigns, and an even larger percentage of Republicans believe Democrats stole the 2020 presidential contest. This denial of election results is indisputably corrosive to the American political system’s long-term well-being. Please join AEI’s Kevin R. Kosar and a panel of experts as they discuss various ways to strengthen the public’s trust in the results of our presidential elections. When: June 21, 10am Eastern. Where: Online.
Today’s Electronic Voting Machines: An Examination of the Use and Security of Ballot Marking Devices: Amid mounting evidence of vulnerabilities in electronic voting machines, and the growing focus on securing our elections, broad consensus has emerged among election officials, computer scientists, national security experts, election stakeholders and voters, that all votes should be recorded on a paper ballot. For years, that meant most voters would mark choices with a pen on a pre-printed paper ballot, and that voters that maybe unable or uncomfortable hand-marking their ballot would use an assistive ballot marking device. Assistive ballot marking devices are essential to provide differently-abled voters the opportunity to mark a paper ballot privately and independently. We will take a deep dive to answer these and other questions regarding the use of universal-use ballot marking devices. When: June 22, 12pm-5pm Eastern. Where: Online.
The For the People Act: A Conversation with Sen. Amy Klobuchar and Common Cause President Karen Hobert Flynn: When: June 22, 6pm. Where: Online.
The Fight for Our Lives: Join New Republic deputy editor Jason Linkins for a discussion about the importance of protecting voting rights and the idea of “majority rule.” This event is produced in partnership with the New Republic. Speakers: Matt Ford, Staff Writer, the New Republic; Jeff Merkley, U.S. Senator, Oregon; Osita Nwanevu, Staff Writer, the New Republic; John Sarbanes, U.S. Representative, Maryland; Wendy Weiser, Vice President, Democracy Program, Brennan Center for Justice; and Moderator: Jason Linkins, Deputy Editor, the New Republic. When: June 22, 7pm Eastern. Where: Online.
EAC Board of Advisory Annual Meeting: The U.S. Election Assistance Commission (EAC) Board of Advisors will hold their 2021 Annual Meeting primarily to discuss next steps regarding the recently approved VVSG 2.0 Requirements, including the VVSG 2.0. lifecycle policy and manual enhancements. This meeting will include a question and answer discussion between board members and EAC staff. Board members will also review FACA Board membership guidelines and policies with EAC General Counsel and receive a general update about the EAC from the Executive Director. Board members will also discuss and provide input on the National Institute of Standards and Technology’s portion of the March 7, 2021 Executive Order on Promoting Access to Voting. The Board will also elect new members to the Executive Board Committee and consider amendments to the Bylaws. When: June 23 1pm-4pm Eastern. Where: Online.
Ballot Battle: How much do you really know about elections?: Georgia, Arizona, and Texas are among the states passing bills that will restrict local voting laws. These laws will make changes to registration polls, early voting, absentee voting, and voter ID requirements. Michigan, Pennsylvania, and North Carolina are positioned to follow suit — but what does this actually mean for voters? Join Votebeat for Ballot Battle to test your knowledge about how voting and elections work. There will be a quiz, an expert panel, and you might even win a prize! Hosted by Votebeat’s editorial director, Jessica Huseman. Our panelists are Paul Gronke, Professor of Political Science at Reed College and the Director of the Early Voting Information Center, Maurice Turner, the Cybersecurity Fellow at the Alliance for Securing Democracy (ASD) at the German Marshall Fund of the United States (GMF), and Michael Miller, Assistant Professor of Political Science at Barnard College. Please RSVP for this event so we’re able to provide streaming information. This virtual event is free to attend, but we do offer the option for a donation to Votebeat to support our nonprofit journalism and events like this. Votebeat is a nonpartisan news organization covering voting access and election integrity year-round. When: June 29 from 7 to 7:45 p.m. Where: Online.
NCSL Redistricting Seminar: Salt Lake City will host the last installment of NCSL’s Get Ready to Redistrict: Seminars for Practitioners and Others. If you are a legislator, legislative staffer, commissioner, commission staffer, an outside advocate or just an interested member of the public, these seminars are for you. In two days, NCSL will deliver knowledge and practical instruction that you can customize for your state and your role in the process. If you’ve come to an earlier serminar, expect to: Focus on practicalities—anything you need to know to get the job done; A chance to visit with your vendors to ensure that you know what your state’s capabilities are; We’ll review what going to court entails (because almost all states will be in court!); and The census is the hottest question in town, and we’ll have answers. You can meet the experts who you might want to bring to your state (I was going to say consult, but some are free and some are not—but all faculty will make themselves available). Where: Salt Lake City. When: July 14-16.
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.
NCSL Base Camp: In a dynamic online setting, NCSL Base Camp brings together policy experts on a wide range of topic areas to educate policymakers and legislative staff. When: Aug. 3-5. Where: Online
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 9-10 and will once again be held virtually. Check please visit the NASED website for more information about agendas and registration. When: Aug. 9-12. Where: Online.
NASS Summer Conference: The National Association of Secretaries of State (NASS) will convene in person for the 2021 Summer Conference. It will be held August 13-16 in in Des Moines, Iowa. The conference will feature committee meetings, discussions and various workshop sessions on election administration, cybersecurity, business services, state heritage and more. A preliminary conference agenda is available online here. In addition, an expo area will have a limited number of NASS Corporate Affiliates on-site showcasing their products and services. Please note, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention health recommendations will be observed throughout the conference. Learn more about the venue’s COVID-19 safety requirements here. There will also be a limited virtual component for those unable to attend in person. Registration for the conference will open in late-May. When: Aug. 13-16. Where: Des Moines, Iowa.
NISGIC Annual Conference: The 2021 NSGIC Annual Conference will be held September 20 – 24 as a hybrid event at the Renaissance Dallas Addison Hotel and leveraging technology to provide for virtual participation, as well. The safety and comfort of conference participants are paramount. We will be following all guidance in place at the time of the conference and working closely with venues to ensure full care is given. We understand that not all conference attendees will be able to join us in person. Those participating virtually can expect a rich experience with interactive plenary presentations, networking opportunities, and participatory workshops and other sessions. (We’re so sure you’re going to enjoy the experience, we urge you to consider participating from home or another space where you can give it your full attention.) Whether you attend in-person or virtually, the NSGIC Annual Conference is the hub of critical connections for state, local, tribal, and federal GIS policymakers and coordinators, private sector partners and solution-providers, and other leaders in the geospatial ecosystem. Like nowhere else, the NSGIC Annual Conference is a place where relationships are built, information is shared, and collaborations are born. When: September 20-24. Where: Hybrid—Dallas & Virtual.
National Conference of State Legislators Legislative Summit: The Legislative Summit is NCSL’s premier annual event and provides a platform for legislators, staff and other public policy professionals to learn from the nation’s foremost experts, as well as each other, about solutions to the country’s most pressing issues. Watch for registration and hotel details in early June 2021. When: November 3-5. Where: Tampa, Florida
Job Postings This Week
electionlineWeekly publishes election administration job postings each week as a free service to our readers. To have your job listed in the newsletter, please send a copy of the job description, including a web link to email@example.com. Job postings must be received by 5pm on Wednesday in order to appear in the Thursday newsletter. Listings will run for three weeks or till the deadline listed in the posting.
Administrative Specialist II (Language Services), King County, Washington— This is an amazing opportunity to be engaged in the election process! The Department of Elections is searching for Language translation professionals to support the following languages: Spanish, Korean, Chinese and Vietnamese. This job posting will be used to fill multiple short term temporary positions to support the Language Services Program. These individuals must be able to read, write and understand at the language proficiency testing level used by the Department. These positions will translate and proof documents and web materials in Spanish, Korean, Chinese and Vietnamese; conduct research, and provide administrative support to other election work groups as needed during elections. These positions are expected to begin on June 1, 2021 and last approximately one month. In this role you will have the opportunity to: Translate or proof election-related documents and web materials to Spanish, Korean, Chinese or Vietnamese including but not limited to: voter registration information, letters and other correspondence to Limited English Proficiency (LEP) voters including, notice of elections, ballot titles and voters’ pamphlet information, candidate statements, ballot measures, resolutions and related materials; and Review, edit and proofread all translated documents produced by translation service providers and others for accuracy, clarity and consistency. Salary: $22.57 – $28.75 Hourly. 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.
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.
Customer Support Consultant, Hart InterCivic— The Customer Support Consultant is responsible for providing application and hardware support to Hart InterCivic customers via telephone and email for all Hart InterCivic products. The Customer Support Consultant is also responsible for monitoring all requests to ensure efficient, effective resolution. The successful Customer Support Consultant will work directly with customers and other staff members. The position is responsible for responding to customer contacts, dealing with issues in a professional manner, providing technical direction to customers in a manner they can understand and being a customer advocate. The Customer Support Consultant must have outstanding written and verbal communication skills. Application: For the complete job listing and to apply, click here.
Election Audit Specialist, VotingWorks— VotingWorks is a non-partisan non-profit founded on the powerful idea that the operating system of our democracy should be publicly owned. Every citizen’s vote is sacred, and every citizen deserves evidence that our elections are free and fair. We’re using open-source software, off-the-shelf hardware, and modern product engineering to make elections dramatically safer, more accessible, and more affordable. Affordability may sound pedestrian, but it is key. The front line of America’s election security rests in the hands of the 50% of US counties that struggle to afford basic services, let alone upgrade aging voting equipment. About the Job: Your goal is to make election administrators successful when running Arlo, VotingWorks’ risk-limiting audit software, to conduct risk-limiting election audits. You succeed when these election administrators succeed in delighting audit board members, voters, and the public. You’ll need to become very skilled with the Arlo software, the VotingWorks voting machines and general risk-limiting audit procedures. You’ll support election administrators and audit board members with tier 1 support (basic software and procedure questions) that includes light training and troubleshooting in preparation for and during audit conduct remotely. Occasionally, you’ll be asked to provide the same support in-person. Your enthusiasm for the product, the process, the mission, and the team should be infectious, surpassed only by your organizational skills and ability to multitask. You know that no matter how robust a technology, at the end of the day it’s people who make other people successful and you feel personally responsible for ensuring that everyone who uses Arlo feels successful. Application: For the complete job listing and to apply, click here.
Election Data Specialist, Boulder County, Colorado— The Boulder County Clerk and Recorder’s office, Elections Division, has an opening for an Election Data Specialist position. Boulder County Elections is committed to setting the state and nationwide gold standard for what an accurate, transparent, organized, and efficient election looks like, and this position is critical to our success in fulfilling that aim. The Elections Division is committed to continual improvement, and we are looking for a team member who can help strengthen our team and our work by overseeing mission-critical process areas that demonstrate accountability to the public while also assuring data integrity through data extraction, processing, analysis and storage. The objective of this position is to create, maintain, manage, and interact with operational and analytical tools which assist elections staff in ensuring the integrity of voter and elections data. This position will create and reconcile a variety of reports that demonstrate the requirements for the certification of an election. This position will also assist election staff in creating and maintain additional reports and with a variety of data needs. To meet these goals, this position also requires an understanding of and experience with relational database systems. Salary: $5,527.00 – $6,742.67 Monthly. Deadline: June 20. Application: For the complete job listing and to apply, click here.
Inventory Control Specialist, Wake County, North Carolina — The Wake County Board of Elections is currently seeking an experienced Inventory Control Specialist to join our Board of Elections Team. The ideal candidate will be a detail-oriented, supply management professional with exceptional organizational skills. As a part of the Board of Elections Team, you are responsible for performing technical and administrative procedures to ensure timely and accurate elections. What will you do as an Inventory Control Specialist on the Board of Elections team? Perform administrative and warehouse duties; Communicate inventory budgetary needs to place orders; Maintain equipment and supplies inventories; Manage the inventory of election equipment and supplies in a database; Arrange existing inventory, stock shelves, and manage supply deliveries; Receive and inspect delivered items; Submit billing statements and monitor pricing arrangements with the Board of Elections Finance Team; Establish and maintain relationships with vendors; Control inventory levels and assess department needs; Maintain equipment warranties; Compile monthly and annual inventory counts and reports; Organize demonstrations of new products; Assist with the planning, packing, and auditing of election supplies; Maintain quality assurance and accountability of all supplies by repairing damaged items or replacing them as needed; Assist with the management of official documents in accordance to retention schedules; Assist with the moving company coordination to plan the distribution and collection of election equipment to and from up to 206 polling places and 20 +/- early voting sites for each election; Assist in the plan for multiple remote locations for supply distribution and collection; Train temporary staff on processes and procedures for various tasks; Load and unload pallets with a forklift in preparation for supply distribution and return; Assist other teams in the office with printing and packing election documents, use of the warehouse dock for deliveries, supply distribution and training events; Work with contractors and outside vendors regarding facility repair and maintenance for the warehouse; Assist in the inspections of potential facilities to be used as polling places; Inspect a variety of structures to ensure compliance with ADA regulations; Evaluate processes and programs and recommend changes in procedures; Pursue ways to streamline routine functions; Maintain a safe and organized work environment by implementing routine preventative maintenance programs for the elections warehouse; Cross-train with other divisions in the office to gain better knowledge of the elections process; Manage seasonal temporary employees. Salary: Hiring Range: $17.49 – $23.60. Deadline: June 25. Application: For the complete job listing and to apply, click here.
Recruitment Coordinator, Wake County, North Carolina— Wake County operates the largest number of Election Day polling places in North Carolina. It takes 2,500+ Precinct Officials to operate our 206 polling places each election and up to 1,200+ Officials to operate Early Voting locations. The Board of Elections Recruitment Coordinator manages the appointment and assignment of Precinct Officials to work in Wake County elections. The Board of Elections Recruitment Coordinator will oversee and assist a team of permanent and temporary employees in performing the following responsibilities: Recruit and assign sufficient Election Official staff to work at 206 Election Day polling places and up to 20 Early Voting Sites; Design and maintain a database of 14,000+ Election Officials; Receive and evaluate Election Official applications in a timely and efficient manner; Receive and process Election Officials’ taxpayer-identification forms; Work closely with political parties and civic groups to recruit new Election Officials; Work and collaborate with a temporary staffing agency to onboard and manage a pool of up to 1,200 Early Voting Officials; Compile and audit weekly timesheets for up to 1,200 Early Voting Officials; Develop and conduct routine audits to ensure Election Official data is accurate; Communicate with Election Official applicants via e-mail, telephone, and in-person correspondence; Draft notices, updates, and other communications for a pool of 14,000+ Election Officials; Maintain a thorough knowledge of federal and state election laws; Calculate costs of supplies, services, and programs to be submitted in the budget; Compile a pay report for all Election Officials who work on Election Day; Ensure compliance with the retention schedule for relevant Election Official documents; Ensure all Election Officials complete required training prior to each new election; Manage the online training system used by Election Officials to register for in-person training and to complete online training; and Perform routine user uploads of Election Officials to the online training system Salary: Hiring Range: $20.19 – $27.26. Deadline: June 23. 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.
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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