In Focus This Week
NIST releases RFI on accessibility
RFI focuses on 20 specific types of information
By M. Mindy Moretti
Following the 2020 election, the U.S. Election Assistance Commission (EAC) and Rutgers University conducted a survey of accessibility for voters with disabilities.
The study found that the difficulties voting among people with disabilities declined markedly from 2012 to 2020, the last time the survey was conducted. However despite the improvement, one in nine voters with disabilities encountered difficulties voting in 2020 which is double the rate of people without disabilities.
Changes to state election policies have many advocates in the disability community worried that some of those changes may have negative impacts on voters with disabilities and erase the advances made since 2012.
In response to some of the state-level election policies, President Joe Biden issued Executive Order (EO) 14019 on Promoting Access to Voting.
Among other things, the EO tasked the National Institutes of Standards and Technology (NIST) with evaluating the steps needed to ensure that the online Federal Voter Registration Form — also called the National Mail Voter Registration Form — is accessible to people with disabilities. It also states that NIST will work with U.S. agencies including the Department of Justice and the EAC to analyze barriers to private and independent voting for people with disabilities, including access to voter registration, voting technology, voting by mail, polling locations and poll worker training.
NIST has released a Request for Information (RFI), which first appeared in the Federal Register on June 16, seeking information on barriers to voting which it will then use to inform a report planned for December 2021 offering recommendations on how to overcome barriers that these voters experience.
“A wide spectrum of issues can create barriers to voting,” said NIST’s Sharon Laskowski, a member of the research team behind the project. “Voters with physical disabilities, for example, may have challenges with registration, or with traveling to and entering the polling place, or with filling out their ballots privately and independently. We’re looking at how technology can help remove those barriers.”
The RFI lists 20 specific types of information NIST will consider, including: barriers people with disabilities encounter with voting by mail and registering to vote; the availability of accessible voting equipment; and issues that remain in making voting accessible. While the list covers a wide range of other topics as well, Laskowski said that the team wants information not only about those barriers that it specifies in the list, but also about those the researchers are not aware of.
“It’s exciting that they are taking a broad look at challenges of voting with a disability. The VVSG standard is focused on specific requirements for voting systems, but this Executive Order is a chance to look at the entire experience from registering to vote to casting a ballot—whether at a polling place or voting by mail. I hope it will be a much needed chance to identify the bumps and disparities in the process that need to be fixed.” Whitney Quesenbery, director, Center for Civic Design.
Michelle Bishop, voter access & engagement manager with the National Disability Rights Network (NDRN) said the organization is glad the Executive Order includes a much needed focus on access for voters with disabilities, but it is disappointed to see a question included in the RFI that focused on how elections security can be used to limit voter access technologies.
“This Executive Order is an opportunity to center the voices of people with disabilities in the work and imagine the practical solutions we can find to long standing barriers to the vote,” Bishop said. “NDRN firmly believes that we can make elections work for everyone, and we look forward to a report resulting from this RFI that is focused on its directive for access and will break down barriers for voters with disabilities.”
Laskowski noted that while advances have been made in accessibility, there is still much to learn.
“We don’t presume to know what all of these barriers are, so we are posting this RFI to get as much input as possible. We want to leave no stone unturned,” Laskowski said
In Their Own Words
Military and overseas civilian voters have lost a great champion and hero.
Former Senator John Warner (R-Virginia) died on May 25 in northern Virginia at the age of 94. President Biden lauded his “principled stances” on important issues facing our nation during his five terms in the US Senate from 1979 until 2009. Former Senator Warner also served as Secretary of the Navy between 1972 and 1974.
In 1988, Senator Warner led the effort to approve the Uniformed and Overseas Civilian Absentee Voter Act P.L.99-4120 (UOCAVA), which was signed into law by President Reagan on August 28 of that year. UOCAVA assures the rights of covered citizens to register to vote and to vote by absentee ballot in all federal elections for the following classes of American citizens:
- Members of the seven uniformed services
- Members of the US Merchant Marine
- Eligible family members of the above
- US citizens employed by the federal government residing outside the US
- Other private US citizens residing outside the US
U.S. Vote Foundation and our Overseas Voter initiative wish to publicly acknowledge Senator Warner’s long years of wise leadership and dedicated service to our country. Ensuring that UOCAVA voters can exercise their franchise, even when away from the US, provides a shining underpinning of our Mission: “Every Citizen is a Voter”.
Thank you, Senator Warner!
The Board of U.S. Vote Foundation and Overseas Vote
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Election News This Week
Vote Local: New Yorkers went to the polls for local primaries on Tuesday and most eyes were on New York City where voters were using ranked choice voting for the first time. While results still aren’t known, in a city that’s known for its opinions, there were a lot of thoughts on the new ranked system. “It’s real easy if people just learn how to read,” voter Debra Titus, told the New York Times. Voter Chris Walton “I forgot my glasses, but it was still pretty simple,” he told the paper. According to the Times, interviews with voters indicated that they seemed to split roughly into three groups: highly motivated individuals who have studied the field and planned their choices in advance, those who have a chosen favorite but know little of the rest of the group, and those with little interest in filling any of the ovals beyond their first choice. “I don’t know which vote they are going to take — are they going to take my first pick or second pick?” asked Reginald Thomas, 58, on Monday in Harlem. “How are they going to figure that out?” Yvette Chavis, a marketing consultant, had just one question: Why? “I don’t understand why we need it, first and foremost,” she said Monday in Harlem. “Why is it better than what we had in the past?” Time was an issue for some voters. Dee Parker, who, said she researched the candidates and ranked five choices in most of the races told the Brooklyn Eagle, “It was too much time spent,” Parker complained. “I didn’t find it difficult, just time-consuming.” Agustin Ricard a Dominican immigrant voting in his first mayoral primary, told the Eagle he understood the ranking system but chose not to use it. “I voted for just one candidate for mayor,” he said in Spanish. “I just don’t understand it, I don’t think it was explained properly,” Saquan Jones told Politico. The city spent about $15 million on a voter education campaign for the new system including $10.5 million on its media campaign, including $7 million on TV ads and $1 million on digital ads, around $2 million on direct outreach partnerships. Print and “out-of-home” outreach, which includes bus shelter and subway system advertising, cost approximately $600,000 and $500,000, respectively.
Public Opinion: This week Monmouth University released the results of a poll taken on Americans support, or lack thereof on certain voting issues. For instance the poll found that 71% of Americans support making it easier to vote while 80% support showing some form of ID to vote. There’s lots to take away from the poll, but what struck us, and The Washington Post took a deep look at is that one third of respondents to the Monmouth poll believe that President Joe Biden won only because of voter fraud. The same fraction of the electorate that held that view in Monmouth’s polling in March, in January and in November. Despite the lack of credible evidence for the claim and the amount of time that has passed during which such evidence could have emerged, Americans are as likely to ascribe Biden’s victory to unfounded claims of fraud as they were seven months ago. While this has to be frustrating and disheartening for elections officials, as a fellow elections geek said to us, “It is a sign of how bad things have gotten that my take away was ‘well, at least it hasn’t gone up’”.
Ex-Felon Voting Rights: Analysis by the Marshall Project found that only a small number of thousands of formerly incarcerated people whose voting rights were restored in time for the 2020 election made it back on to the voter rolls in four key states – Nevada, Kentucky, Iowa and New Jersey. According to the analysis, at least 13 states have expanded voting rights for people with felony convictions between 2016 and 2020. As a result, millions of formerly incarcerated people across the country are now eligible to vote. Yet none of the states analyzed registered more than 1 in 4 eligible voters who were formerly incarcerated. That’s significantly lower than the registration rate among the general public, where almost 3 in 4 eligible voters registered in each state. According to USA Today, many people working to register newly eligible voters said the low registration numbers for formerly incarcerated people reflect more than apathy and political alienation. Most don’t even know they now have the right to vote. None of the states in the analysis required corrections departments or boards of elections to notify newly eligible voters of their rights. The task was left to political organizers, already stretched thin by get-out-the-vote efforts amid a pandemic. To coax the newly enfranchised back onto the voter rolls, they’ve had to dispel the widely held fear that voting could mean going back to prison.
Voter Education: Palm Beach County Supervisor of Elections Wendy Sartory Link recently invited the community to come visit the elections office to get a behind the scenes look at what happens before, during and after an election. About 200 people took advantage of the opportunity to get tours or guide themselves through nine learning stations from ballot creation to the canvassing board. According to the Palm Beach Post, No elections-related questions for Link were off limits. Elections staff waited in the wings to add their expertise, too. Some who participated in the voter ed program had served as poll workers in the past and others were new to the process other than the casting of the ballot. “We know how the election process works at the poll,” said Jennifer Ford, 53, who has served as a poll owrker. “But this is the behind-the-scenes (look) after the election. I want to see what happens at this building when we’re not voting.” To see first-hand how the voting machines work, attendees also could fill out a faux ballot, answering questions about favorite dog breeds and if Election Day should be a national holiday. “I’ve never thought about it,” said Toby Levi of Boca Raton. “After putting the ballot in there, I just thought, ‘OK, I’m done.’”
Personnel News: Connecticut Secretary of State Denise Merrill has announced that she will not seek a fourth term in office. Kansas Secretary of State Scott Schwab has announced that he will seek re-election. Former Missouri Secretary of State Robin Carnahan has been confirmed as the director of the General Services Administration. Lesley Milton is the new Palo Alto, California city clerk. She is replacing Beth Minor who is retiring. Patricia White is retiring after 33 years as the Accomack County, Virginia registrar. Alisha Beeler is the new Green County, Ohio board of elections director. Maryann Blake and Mack Thomas were recently sworn in to the Colleton County, South Carolina board of elections. Marion County Supervisor of Elections Wesley Wilcox is the new president of the Florida Supervisors of Elections. Alachua County Supervisor of Elections Kim A. Barton and Jackson County Supervisor of Elections Carol Dunaway joined the Board of Directors of the Florida Supervisors of Elections. State Rep. Shawnna Bolick announced that she would seek the Republican nomination for Arizona secretary of state.
In Memoriam: Eldon L. Hoel, former Madison, Wisconsin city clerk has died. He was 98. Following service in the Navy during World War II, Hoel started as a trainee in the Madison City Clerk’s Office under the GI Bill. He would spend the rest of his career in that office until his retirement in 1985. Hoel became Madison’s first voting machine custodian in 1948. He was appointed City Clerk in January of 1963. According to his obituary, Hoel was also proud of his role in implementing the 26th Amendment, which led to the registration of newly qualified 18 to 20-year-old-voters. Upon retirement, Eldon indicated, “The one thing I’ve always kept in mind is the meaning of ‘civil servant.’ If you don’t truly believe you should be civil and that you are a servant of the people, then you shouldn’t be in government.”
Research and Report Summaries
Michigan’s Senate Oversight Committee released a report on the state’s 2020 elections this week. The report, Report on the November 2020 Election in Michigan¸ summarizes findings from the committee’s investigation into claims of election fraud, impropriety, mismanagement, and error in the elections. The report concludes that “while there are glaring issues that must be addressed in current Michigan election law, election security, and certain procedures, there is no evidence presented at this time to prove either significant acts of fraud or that an organized, wide-scale effort to commit fraudulent activity was perpetrated.” The report presents the investigation’s findings regarding claims of voting by deceased individuals and non-residents, implausible turnout, results manipulation in Antrim County, as well as alleged irregularities surrounding absentee ballots and applications, signature verification, the functioning of tabulators and precinct computers, and the use of private funds for election administration.
The Democracy Fund Voter Study Group released a report on voter confidence this week. As in past elections, the report, Crisis of Confidence: How Election 2020 Was Different, finds that partisan considerations in 2020 had a significant impact on the confidence voters expressed in the fairness and integrity of the election, with those voting for Trump becoming less confident following the election and those voting for Biden becoming more confident. While such views were also observed in past elections, the report finds that Trump voters had less confidence following the 2020 election than Clinton voters following 2016.
The States United Democracy Center released a report on the post-election review in Maricopa County, Arizona this week. The report, Report on the Cyber Ninjas Review of the 2020 Presidential and U.S. Senatorial Elections in Maricopa County, Arizona, finds that the review does not meet the standards of a proper election recount or audit, flagging issues related to contracting, impartiality, the ballot review processes, inconsistent procedures, security, and transparency.
Demos released a report on same-day registration (SDR) this week. Using voter turnout data across a sample of similarly situated states with and without SDR, the report, Same Day Registration: How Registration Reform Can Boost Turnout Among Black and Latinx Voters, finds that states that have implemented SDR usually experience higher turnout among both Black voters and Latinx voters than similar states without SDR.
Federal Legislation: The Senate failed to advance a sweeping voting rights bill Tuesday, stalling the Democratic legislation aimed at countering recent restrictive state measures pursued in Republican-led states. The Senate was unable to move the For the People Act to the floor for a debate. In a vote of 50-50, it fell short of the 60 needed to overcome a GOP filibuster. All Democratic Senators voted to begin debate, and the Republicans unanimously voted to block it. The legislation aims to counter regulations that make it difficult to vote –especially for people of color. It includes provisions Democrats say would make it easier for people to vote and register to vote. These include expanding early voting and allowing for same-day voter registration. In March, it passed the House largely along party lines, with one Democrat and all Republicans voting against it. It never had any Republican support in the Senate — where it needed the support of at least 10 Republicans to overcome a filibuster.
Oregon Senators Ron Wyden (D) and Jeff Merkley (D) has introduced federal legislation to end hours-long lines at polling places that suppress hundreds of thousands of American votes, and to restore our Constitutional rights to vote in free and fair elections. The People Over Long Lines (POLL) Act would require state and local governments to end these forms of voter suppression. The bill requires states to file public plans detailing how they will ensure voters can cast ballots with waiting times of less than 30 minutes and require audits by the Election Assistance Commission to determine how many voters face longer waits. The bill includes $500 million to help states reduce voter wait times. The POLL Act would also create a private right of action of $50 for voters forced to wait for longer than 30 minutes, with an additional $50 for every hour after that. Penalties would increase if a court determines long lines were the result of intentional voter suppression or reckless disregard for election plans. Successful plaintiffs would also be entitled to court costs. “Forcing people to wait in long lines to vote is a long-standing tool used to prevent citizens from voting to manipulate elections, and like nearly every voter suppression strategy in American history, it’s directed six times as often at people of color,” said Merkley. “Nobody should have to spend hours out in the weather, when they might need to get to work or pick up their kids, to exercise their constitutional rights. If we believe in the freedom to vote and democracy, let’s make sure staffing and equipment are distributed equitably so nobody has to wait more than 30 minutes to vote.”
U.S. Sen. Raphael Warnock (D-Georgia) introduced legislation this week aimed at circumventing some of the pressure of partisan politics on state elections while also providing more safeguards to insulate local election boards, election workers, and volunteers. Warnock is the lead sponsor of the new Preventing Election Subversion Act of 2021 that targets provisions of new election legislation sweeping the country, like the state takeover of local election boards that’s now permitted under Georgia’s new voting law.
Arizona: The House advanced a measure requiring election officials to give prosecutors records of mail ballots that get rejected because the signature doesn’t match the one on file. SB1241, would require county election officials to give a variety of information from those ballots to the county attorney or attorney general, including the signatures from the ballot envelope and those on file and the voter’s contact information. Republicans said the measure would help find potential criminals trying to illegally cast ballots. But Democrats said there’s no evidence of widespread fraud, and the measure would promote the myth that the 2020 election was marred by illegal votes. Republicans also voted to raise the threshold for an automatic recount of an election to 0.5 percentage points. Under the current standard, recalls are triggered for most statewide races when the margin is fewer than 200 votes. Both measures still need approval in the Senate.
Illinois: Gov. J.B. Pritzker signed into law an election package that moves next year’s March 15 primary to June 28, makes the general election day in November a state holiday and allows voters to permanently cast ballots by mail. In signing the elections bill, Pritzker painted the new law as a sharp contrast to efforts in other states to curtail voting rights. “With attacks on voting rights on the rise in states across the nation, Illinois is proud to stand up for a strong, secure, and accessible democracy,” Pritzker said in a statement. The new law builds off election changes imposed during the pandemic. It makes curbside voting permanent and sets up voting centers on Election Day where anyone within the election’s jurisdiction can vote, regardless of the precinct of their residence. Election authorities will send out a notice of the availability of vote-by-mail applications as well as a new registry allowing people to permanently vote by mail. People who move or die would be removed from lists based on address data and death certificates. The measure also allows county sheriffs statewide to set up polling places in their jails for people who are awaiting trial and have not been convicted, similar to what Cook County already does. In addition, due to a previous hacking of the Illinois State Board of Elections, the law requires the state’s 108 election authorities — primarily county clerks and boards of election — to conduct monthly vulnerability risk scanning.
Maine: Lawmakers in the Maine House and Senate voted overwhelmingly to advance a bill aimed at opening up primary elections to unenrolled and independent voters. The House voted 92-52 in favor of the bill, which would allow unenrolled and independent voters to vote in a primary election without having to register under a particular political party. The vote came one day after the state Senate voted 27-7 in favor of the bill. The bill, LD 231, has been placed on the Special Appropriations Table and will need to be funded before it’s sent to Gov. Janet Mills’ desk for her signature or veto. As Maine election law stands now, voters can only cast ballots in primary elections by registering under a particular political party. LD 231 would allow unenrolled voters to cast a ballot in a party’s primary election without registering for that party, which would serve to increase primary turnout, as unenrolled voters account for nearly one-third of all voters in Maine. Primaries would then be considered “semi-open.”
Michigan: House lawmakers passed a bipartisan bill that would require election challengers to undergo training. The GOP-sponsored bill passed the House 105-4 without debate. Four Republican House lawmakers voted against the legislation. The bill – HB 4528 – would require the secretary of state to develop comprehensive training on election processes and the rights and duties of challengers. County clerks and the secretary of state would be required to provide the training for political parties and organizations designating challengers. Political parties and organizations would then be required to provide the same training for the challengers they appoint and provide a certificate of completion. Individuals who do not undergone the training would not be allowed to serve as challengers. Political parties and organizations that issue certificates to individuals they did not train may be subject to a $2,500 fine under the bill. The House bill would also amend Michigan’s election law to allow candidates to serve as challengers. Under the bill, candidates would only be allowed to serve as challengers in precincts outside the jurisdiction in which they’re on the ballot.
House Republicans passed a series of bills that would enact a strict voter ID law in Michigan. Michigan already requires voters to present an ID at their polling locations. But under current law, voters who don’t have an ID when they show up can sign an affidavit affirming their identity and vote normally. SB 303, which passed the House along a party-line vote, would eliminate that option. Instead, voters who don’t present an ID on Election Day would have to cast a provisional ballot. In addition to eliminating the affidavit ballot option, the House amended SB 303 to also require a digital copy of voters’ signatures to be included in the electronic poll book used to process voters at polling locations. Under the bill, election workers would verify voters’ signatures at polling locations. Voters whose signature does not match the one on file would be issued a provisional ballot. SB 304, which also passed the House along party lines, would allow those provisional ballots to be counted only if a voter goes to his or her local clerk’s office and presents an ID within six days of the election. Earlier versions of the bills were passed in the Senate June 16. The two bills have been returned to the Senate. The bills are tie-barred to HB 5007, which would eliminate fees for obtaining or renewing a state ID card starting in 2022. That bill passed along a party-line vote.
Rep. Steve Carra, R-Three Rivers wants to create a bipartisan board to contract with an “impartial, nonpartisan corporation” to audit the 2020 election. Carra introduced House Bill 5091, which would create a bipartisan audit board to review the 2020 general election. Despite court rulings, canvassing boards and dozens of audits performed across the state affirming the results, Carra said in an interview Tuesday that the only way to ensure the integrity of the 2020 election is through what he calls a “forensic audit.” Under House Bill 5091, a bipartisan audit board would be tasked with contracting an outside group to conduct the investigation of the 2020 general election. The audit would be required to begin no later than 45 days after the bill takes effect, and the corporation would have 90 days to complete the audit. The bipartisan audit board would then have two weeks to complete and submit a final report. The bill proposes a body that would consist of seven members: the state auditor general or the auditor general’s designee; one each appointed by the Republican and Democratic leaders of the House and Senate; and one election challenger who served during the 2020 general election from each of the two major political parties. Carra’s bill asks auditors to take a look at 10% of precincts from across Michigan’s counties and 20% from “each city with at least 500,000 residents,” a designation that only the city of Detroit would qualify for.
Minnesota: Republicans’ push for voter ID and a provisional ballot system appears to have failed at the Minnesota Capitol, and Democrats’ hopes to expand voter access and felon voting rights have fallen by the wayside, too. A deal on the bill that helps fund elections — among many other aspects of state government — leaves out controversial voting provisions that have been sources of contention in Minnesota and across the country. “In the end, I think neither side was 100% happy with it, but I think that’s when you get to a good compromise,” Rep. Michael Nelson, DFL-Brooklyn Park, the lead House negotiator on the bill, said Wednesday. “No one is claiming victory.” A draft of the agreement negotiators struck on the state government bill does include other new items, including a security requirement for absentee ballot drop boxes and a veterans court program to direct people struggling with post-traumatic stress or addiction to treatment rather than prison. The compromise is still winding its way through the legislative process.
New Jersey: A bill to raise the pay of Election Day workers from $200 to $275 was approved today by the Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee. The legislation, which effectively raises the hourly rate from $14.28 to $19.64, was introduced by State Sens. Jim Beach (D-Voorhees) and Joseph Cryan (D-Union) and co-sponsored by lawmakers from both parties. The Senate panel approved a similar bill in 2019, but the Assembly never considered the measure. The legislation includes a $5 million appropriation to pay for the added cost.
Pennsylvania: The House has approved the Voting Rights Protection Act by a 110-91 vote. The sweeping changes to election administration would cut off voter registration 30 days before an election instead of the current 15 days. Applications for mail-in ballots would be due 15 days before an election, instead of the current seven days. Supporters say it would allow the counties more time for processing those requests. It also responds to counties’ request for more time to open and prepare mailed ballots for counting by letting them begin that five days before the election instead of just on Election Day as the law now allows. And it requires counties to continue counting votes until the results are known. The legislation would set a standard that limits voting lines to no more than a 30-minute wait and allows older and disabled voters to move to the front of the line. It establishes early in-person voting starting in 2025, as well as allows for curbside voting by disabled voters. It requires election official and poll worker training; requires poll workers to reside in the county where the polling place is locate; and allows for counties to have one bipartisan-staffed ballot drop box locations for every 100,000 residents. It now goes to the Senate for consideration. Earlier Tuesday, the State Government Committee chairman there, Sen. David Argall, R-Schuylkill County, implored his members to start boning up on the House bill, “so that you’re prepared to vote on this legislation in the next few days if, indeed, it is approved by the House.” Even if it passes the upper chamber, Gov. Tom Wolf, a Democrat, has made it clear his veto pen is ready despite its inclusion of elements he favors such as pre-canvassing of mailed ballots and $11 million annually to counties to administer elections and for election machines.
A proposed constitutional change that would require Pennsylvanians to show identification every time they vote is headed to the floor of the Pennsylvania state Senate. The legislation, sponsored by Sen. Judy Ward, R-Blair, cleared the Senate Appropriations Committee on a 15-9 party-line vote on Monday, which means it could come before the full Senate soon. Republicans in the GOP-controlled General Assembly are increasingly looking to constitutional amendments to dodge Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf’s veto pen. Under Ward’s proposal, voters would include a copy of their identification with their mail-in ballot, so whoever opens their envelope will have access to their name and ballot results. This wouldn’t be the case for traditional in-person voters who cast their vote in the privacy of a poll booth. Before a ballot question reaches voters, amendments must be approved by the Legislature in two consecutive sessions — meaning that the process can take months, if not years. The earliest this amendment could reach voters for consideration is May 2023.
Rhode Island: Despite objections from elections officials, the House voted 48 to 17 for legislation that would allow voters with disabilities and military voter to “electronically receive and return their mail ballot.” The bill now goes to the Senate, where its prospects are uncertain. Secretary of State Nellie Gorbea (D), who is running for governor, initially supported the bill but sent a letter to lawmakers before the vote withdrawing her support. “It has become clear that more work is needed before passage of this bill,” she wrote. Among her stated reasons: “Just this week, at its June 14 meeting, the Board of Elections voted unanimously to oppose House Bill 6004 and Senate Bill 738. [Included in] the testimony the Board received was a letter from the Rhode Island Developmental Disabilities Council. “The letter expresses support for the electronic transmission of ballots to voters, such as the process we implemented last year, while expressing security concerns regarding the electronic return of mail ballots. The Council suggests additional time is needed to study the issue of the secure return of mail ballots prior to moving forward.” “As you know, my office is responsible for sending mail ballots to voters. … However, voters return their mail ballots to the Board of Elections. I do not believe it is appropriate to support a bill that is opposed by the State election office that receives the ballots.”
Vermont: The House of Representatives voted to override Gov. Phil Scott’s vetoes of two bills that would allow noncitizens in Montpelier and Winooski to vote in local elections. By a vote of 103 to 47, representatives mustered the two-thirds vote necessary to force the bills into law over the governor’s objections. The 30-member Senate is expected to follow suit later this week. The residents of the two cities had already voted overwhelmingly to change their charters to allow noncitizens to vote in local — but not statewide or national — elections. The Vermont legislature must approve all proposed local charter changes, and it did so in these cases. But Scott vetoed both measures earlier this month. “This is the local control that Vermont champions,” Rep. Hal Colston (D-Winooski) said. “This is the local democracy that other states covet.” In his veto message, Scott argued that a “highly variable town-by-town approach” to local voting effectively creates “separate and unequal classes.
Wisconsin: Assembly Republicans sent bills to Gov. Tony Evers on that would prevent election clerks from filling in missing information on absentee ballot paperwork and require disabled and elderly voters to show ID to vote absentee. The governor has signaled he will veto the bills. Advocates for the elderly and disabled called the bills — all of which passed on party-line 60-38 votes — unfair. Senate Bill 212 would bar election officials from filling in the addresses of witnesses on absentee ballot envelopes if they were missing. Under current law, ballots can’t be counted if that information is missing. Senate Bill 204, which would require elderly and disabled voters to produce IDs to vote absentee in many cases. The bill would require confined voters to show an ID to get absentee ballots in most cases, just like other voters must. Confined voters who do not have an ID could instead provide a statement from a witness to confirm their identity. Under another part of the legislation, the state would no longer recognize voters as indefinitely confined if they claimed that status during most of 2020. Those voters would have to apply anew to be treated as a confined voter. Another part of Senate Bill 204 would require ordinary voters to fill out more paperwork when they vote absentee. The bill would require voters to fill out two forms — one to apply for an absentee ballot and one to certify they filled out the ballot. The bill would also require voters to provide a copy of their ID every time they ask for an absentee ballot. Now, voters have to provide a copy of their ID the first time they vote absentee but not after that. The bill would also bar election officials from sending unsolicited absentee ballot applications to voters, as the state Elections Commission did last year with bipartisan support. Under the legislation, applications could be sent only if voters requested them. Senate Bill 205 would create a backup system for voting at nursing homes if poll workers are unable to visit the facilities. The bill would allow nursing home workers who got election training to fulfill those duties if the voting deputies could not visit, provided the nursing home workers belonged to different parties. Senate Bill 210 would allow observers during election recounts to sit or stand within 3 feet of poll workers. Currently, they are not allowed to be within 3 feet of the table where they work but cannot be told to stay more than 8 feet away from the table. Under the bill, a clerk who intentionally obstructed an observer’s view could be jailed for up to six months and fined up to $1,000. Senate Bill 292 would require municipal clerks who livestream vote canvassing to maintain recordings of the livestream for 22 months after the election. That’s in line with how long they must keep other election records. Senate Bill 203 is meant to prevent what Republicans disparage as ballot harvesting — having political groups collect absentee ballots so they can deliver them to election officials. Another provision of the bill would prevent activities like “Democracy in the Park,” which allowed Madison voters to return their absentee ballots last fall to poll workers who were stationed in more than 200 parks.
Wyoming: State legislators plan to consider allowing county clerks in Wyoming to process absentee ballots before election day. The idea came from the Wyoming Association of County Officer Clerks Association, whose legislative committee co-chair Julie Freese – also Fremont County’s clerk — said it was necessary to process absentee ballots ahead of election day this year due to an influx of early voting during the COVID-19 pandemic. She estimated that Fremont County received more than twice the number of absentee ballots than typical in 2020. “There was going to be no way for our absentee boards, as large as we could get them, to get all that information done by election night,” Freese told the Joint Corporations, Elections and Political Subdivisions Committee last week. “(So) we got a directive on how to do the absentee voting a little bit earlier than normal.” Committee chair Wyoming Rep. Dan Zwonitzer, R-Cheyenne, guessed that use of the absentee voting system will remain at higher rates in the future, and that change will make a “difference in workload” for county officials facilitating local elections. “Something probably should be done,” he said. The county clerks have not yet come to consensus on an appropriate timeframe for absentee ballot counting, but this week Carbon County Clerk Gwen Bartlett said “we’re looking (at) possibly the Thursday to Friday before election day.”
Arkansas: A voting-rights lawsuit challenging the legality of a quartet of election changes passed by lawmakers this year must be dismissed because there is no evidence the new laws will harm voters, state lawyers assert in a response to the month-old litigation. Plaintiffs Arkansas United, an immigrant-advocacy group, and The League of Women Voters of Arkansas, a voter-education organization, argue the four laws targeted by the suit must be struck down as illegal, claiming they are really intended to keep poor and minority-group residents away from the ballot box or at least restrict their access to voting. Republican Attorney General Leslie Rutledge filed her response to the suit on behalf of the state, outlining a four-point argument for Griffen to dismiss the lawsuit. Rutledge’s first argument is that neither of the plaintiff groups have standing to sue because they can’t show they’ve been harmed by the new laws because the organizations are not persons to whom the challenged laws would apply. Claims that the laws will injure voters are without evidence, the attorney general’s dismissal motion states. “Their fears are speculative,” Rutledge states in the 25-page response, written by Assistant Attorney General Michael Mosley. Secondly, the state lawyers argue the suit should be dismissed because the litigation is going after the wrong defendants, Secretary of State John Thurston and the state Board of Election Commissioners. The actual defendants should be each county’s election commission because those county boards are the only ones who have the authority to directly administer elections, the Rutledge pleading states. Rutledge further disputes that the litigation can meet the standard set by the Arkansas Supreme Court to successfully challenge the constitutionality of a law. To prove the laws are illegal, the plaintiffs must prove the laws have no “rational basis,” but Arkansas courts have held for more than 20 years that Arkansas “indisputably has a compelling interest in preserving the integrity of its election process,” the filing states, quoting a 2006 decision by the state’s highest court involving voter-identification laws. Strengthening election integrity and preventing fraud are sufficient reasons to justify the law, Rutledge asserts. Rutledge also asserts sovereign immunity prohibits the litigation from succeeding because state courts are barred by Arkansas.
Georgia: Henry County Superior Court Chief Judge Brian Amero heard arguments this week on whether to dismiss claims brought by a group of voters who allege that fraud during the November general election in Georgia’s most populous county resulted in the violation of their constitutional rights. The lawsuit filed by nine Georgia voters alleges that counterfeit ballots were counted and some ballots were counted multiple times in Fulton County, a Democratic bastion that includes most of Atlanta. As part of their suit, they want to inspect some 147,000 ballots to see whether any are illegitimate. Amero heard arguments this week on motions to dismiss filed by Fulton County, the county election board and the clerk of the county’s courts. Amero said at the end of the hearing that he wanted time to review the arguments and last-minute court filings but he would try to rule as quickly as possible.
Indiana: The U.S. Supreme Court declined to hear an appeal of a lawsuit seeking to require Indiana to offer mail-in voting to all residents. The lawsuit argued Indiana’s requirement that absentee voters be at least 65 years old violates the 26th Amendment: “The right of citizens of the United States, who are eighteen years of age or older, to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of age.” By declining to hear the case, the Supreme Court allows a federal appeals court’s ruling in favor of the state to stand and keeps the absentee voting requirements in place. The appeals court ruled the requirements for mail-in voting do not violate the 26th Amendment because they don’t prevent anyone from exercising their right to vote. The legal battle will be remitted back to the Southern District court where it started.
North Carolina: Judge Terrence Boyle of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of North Carolina has ruled that the state must provide permanent access to an online voting system previously reserved to overseas and military voters to blind voters in the state. The ruling also expands other accessibility requirements that will have impacts beyond accessible at-home voting. Boyle granted the plaintiffs a preliminary injunction in September that forced the state to allow blind voters to vote online during the 2020 election. In the most recent ruling, Boyle granted summary judgment, meaning there was no genuine issue of material facts and the plaintiffs were entitled to a judgment as a matter of law without a trial. Boyle made his preliminary injunction permanent and added that the N.C. State Board of Elections must provide Braille and large-print options for absentee-by-mail ballots, meet accessibility standards with its website and have an accessibility coordinator. The state will also add accessible sample ballots, according to the State Board of Elections. Boyle’s ruling may also indirectly lead to more information about voters with disabilities in North Carolina. The NCSBE will be able to track how many blind voters request online, Braille or large-print ballots, as well as how many of those ballots are counted.
McCrae Dowless pleaded guilty in federal court to two crimes stemming from the investigation into the absentee ballot fraud scheme he’s accused of running in Bladen County and other parts of southeastern North Carolina. Neither of the charges dealt directly with the election fraud allegations, however. Instead, he pleaded guilty to two of the four charges he faced related to Social Security disability fraud, and prosecutors agreed to drop the other two charges. There’s a separate state-level court case dealing with the election fraud accusations, led by Wake County District Attorney Lorrin Freeman. That case is still underway and wasn’t affected by Dowless’ plea deal Monday.
Tennessee: A split 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals panel reinstated a Tennessee law requiring first-time voters in the state to appear in person to vote. The panel overturned a lower court’s ruling that blocked the restriction on absentee voting ahead of the 2020 general election. Judge Julia Smith Gibbons reasoned in part that the COVID-19 pandemic is “unlikely to pose a serious threat during the next election cycle.” In dissent, Judge Karen Nelson Moore wrote that it’s hard to tell how the pandemic will evolve over months and years. The law requires first-time voters to vote in person or show ID at the local election office to vote by mail.
Texas: The Texas chapter of the League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC), a civil rights group, and Voto Latino filed a federal lawsuit this week saying a bill signed into law by Gov. Greg Abbott that prevents Texans from using a commercial address or post office box as their address when they register to vote is unconstitutional. Plaintiffs are asking the court to block the enforcement of Senate Bill 1111, which the groups say violates the First, 14th, and 26th Amendments. The bill is set to go into effect on Sept. 1. The law states that a person cannot “establish a residence at any place the person has not inhabited” and they cannot “designate a previous residence as a home and fixed place of habitation unless the person inhabits the place at the time of designation and intends to remain.” This means that the address a voter gives while registering to vote must be the address at which they currently reside. In addition to the address restrictions, the bill empowers voter registrars to send a confirmation notice letter to a registered voter requiring them to confirm their address. If a completed confirmation notice is not received within 30 days, that voter may become unregistered and be unable to vote. The groups allege the law “burdens voters who rely on post office boxes” and unfairly targets people who may not reside in a single location for long periods of time. The population of people who may not have a primary location and rely on P.O. boxes include people who are experiencing homelessness and students who may live on a college campus.
Opinions This Week
National Opinions: Election officials, II | Voting rights, II, III, IV, V, VI, VII, VIII, IX | Democracy, II, III | Voter ID | Voting, II | Ranked choice voting | Election security | Voting reform, II | Election Day holiday
Georgia: Election integrity
Louisiana: Voting rights
New Hampshire: Local election officials
New Mexico: Ranked choice voting
Texas: Election legislation
Washington: Voting rights
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.
Chief Deputy County Clerk, Summit County, located in Utah, is seeking candidates with administrative professional experience for Chief Deputy Clerk. The Chief Deputy Clerk performs a variety of professional administrative and supervisory duties related to organizing, directing, and coordinating the various legally required functions of the office of the County Clerk. In the absence of the County Clerk, assumes all statutory authority and responsibility of the department. Works in close relationship with the Clerk. Appointments to this position are politically exempt from protection under county personnel policies and procedures; as such employee works at the will and pleasure of the clerk. May provide close to general supervision to Deputy Clerk(s) and Elections Clerk. We are a drug free workplace conducting pre-employment drug testing. We are an equal opportunity employer and encourage women, minorities, and the disabled to apply. Salary: $75,000. Application: For the complete job listing and to apply, click here.
Chief Deputy Registrar of Voters, San Bernardino County– The San Bernardino County Registrar of Voters seeks a dynamic, innovative administrator, who can lead and thrive in a fast-paced environment, to manage our elections programs, processes and team. The Chief Deputy Registrar of Voters is a key member of the Department’s senior management team, participating in organizational strategic planning and administering election programs. The position serves as a Chief over a division of the Registrar of Voters (ROV) office and has primary responsibility for assisting the ROV in planning, conducting and certifying all Primary, General, and Special elections. Deadline: July 6. 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.
Desktop Technician, Wake County, North Carolina — Do you have a strong IT background and a desire to be a part of the elections process? The Wake County Board of Elections is seeking a Desktop Support Technician to manage the IT services required to conduct elections for the citizens of Wake County. The ideal candidate will possess experience working in a field support setting with computer equipment, networking, software installation and troubleshooting, and customer support. This is not your typical IT help desk support role. In this physically demanding position, you will need to be able to lift up to 50 lbs. and endure extended periods of time lifting, squatting, crawling in tight spaces, climbing on ladders to pull cables from drop ceilings, pushing and pulling gaylord bins on wheels, carrying supplies and equipment. Work is performed mostly indoors investigating or installing networks, running cables, setting up computers and peripherals at voting locations. This position will require work at various locations including the Board of Elections Operation Center, polling places, and Early Voting locations across the county (churches, community centers, libraries, schools, etc.). Salary: Hiring Range: $22.97 – $31.01. Deadline: July 5. Application: For the complete job listing and to apply, click here.
Early Voting Coordinator, Wake County, North Carolina— Are you looking to be more involved in your community? Do you have a passion for learning? Are you ready to be a part of democracy in the making? If so, get ready to roll up your sleeves and become a part of history! The Wake County Board of Elections is currently seeking an Early Voting Coordinator to join our dynamic and talented Early Voting Team. The ideal candidate will be a strong communicator who thrives in a fast paced, ever changing work environment. They will have a strong project management background, with the ability to develop intricate budgets and plan events. The Early Voting Coordinator will assist in the management of Early Voting. This includes logistics, such as identifying and inspecting potential voting sites, communicating with facility staff, scheduling election service vendors, and managing voting site support operations. In addition, they will assist in the physically demanding work of setting up early voting sites. Salary: Hiring Range: $20.19 – $27.26. Deadline: July 5. 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.
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.
IT Specialist, Wake County, North Carolina— The Wake County Board of Elections is seeking an innovative and self-motivated Information Technology Specialist to manage the certification and testing of election ballots and voting equipment. This position is a hybrid job of hardware and software technician, database developer, and data analyst. The Information Technology Specialist will develop, manage, and implement IT solutions for conducting elections while ensuring the security and integrity of certified election equipment including tabulators, voter assistance terminals, laptops, and elections software. You will be responsible for: Programming election contests, candidates, and generating official ballot designs to be used in elections and conforms to statutory requirements; Managing the programming, testing, and deployment of voting equipment prior to each election; Tabulating, reporting, and auditing election results using certified election software and systems; Performing routine preventive maintenance and repairs (when necessary) on voting equipment; Ensuring appropriate security measures are enforced and recommends any policy changes; Actively participating in MS-ISAC and EI-ISAC to ensure systems are following federal security guidelines and best practices; Developing, implementing, and maintaining data collection and analysis tools for business intelligence; Maintaining and creating records and documentation of elections processes; Developing, administering, and managing election databases; Work as part of a team to develop a robust framework to support the various IT needs of the Board of Elections office and at official voting sites; Researching and developing IT solutions to allow elections to run more securely and efficiently; Training temporary staff to support voting processes and election sites; Evaluating and recommending technology innovations and products; Maintaining Board of Elections web pages developed in Drupal and Google Blogger; and YOU will be a key member in various elections-related administrative projects. Salary: Hiring Range: $52,550 – $70,940. Deadline: July 5. 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.
Staffing Specialist, Wake County, North Carolina— Are you looking to get involved in your community? Do you want to make a difference? If so, get ready to roll up your sleeves and become a part of something bigger! The Wake County Board of Elections is currently seeking an enthusiastic, customer service driven individual to join our Staffing Team. The ideal candidate will enjoy interacting with people, be a strong communicator, and thrive in a fast-paced work environment. What will you do as an Elections Specialist on the Staffing Team? Recruit and staff Precinct Officials to work at Wake County’s 206 Election Day polling places and up to 25 Early Voting sites; Assist in the development of recruitment materials, such as videos, flyers, tear-off pads, and brochures; Develop and send surveys to a pool of 6,500+ active Precinct Officials to gauge their availability for upcoming elections and to receive feedback from their experience working previous election; Work with Wake County political parties in odd numbered years to coordinate the appointment of Precinct Official; Register Precinct Officials for their required training through a learning management system; Record Precinct Official attendance at in-person training classes; Compile a pay report for 2,500+ Precinct Officials at the conclusion of each election; Coordinate with the Wake County Finance Department to process Precinct Official taxpayer identification and direct deposit forms; Coordinate with a temporary staffing agency to compile and process weekly timesheets for early voting workers; Provide customer service to current and prospective Precinct Officials over the phone, through e-mail, and in-person; Assist in maintaining accuracy of Precinct Official information in internal database by performing weekly data audits; Review and process applications submitted by prospective Precinct Officials; Speak to prospective Precinct Officials at monthly orientation sessions. Salary: Hiring Range: $17.49 – $23.60. Deadline: July 5. 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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