In Focus This Week
26th Amendment turns 50
Fulfilling the promise of the 26th means structural change to grow voters
By Ruby Belle Booth, diverse democracy fellow and
Abby Kiesa, deputy director
The Center for Information & Research on Civic Learning and Engagement (CIRCLE)
Today, we honor the bipartisan expansion of voter enfranchisement. Let us continue our work to make the 26th Constitutional Amendment ever more meaningful in the months and years ahead. —President Joe Biden
As we have been reminded over the last several months in advance of this anniversary, this effort was decades in the making and bipartisan, in Congress and among young people. On this notable day, let’s honor the vision of those before us and the hard work of young people today by committing to build healthier democracy with them.
The 26th amendment marks one moment in a long legacy of youth leadership catalyzing change in the United States, particularly in the voting space. In the 50 years since its passage, young people have become an instrumental and influential part of the electorate. Not only do they turn out at the ballot box, but they also work diligently to expand the electorate, from registering to voters to battling voter suppression.
In fact, it was youth leadership that resulted in historic turnout in the past two elections. In 2020, youth voter turnout increased 11 percentage points, from 39% of youth voting in 2016 to 50% in 2020. This impressive increase mirrored the elevated engagement of two years prior, when young voters more than doubled their turnout compared to 2014’s midterm elections. These history-making results in the 2018 and 2020 elections stem not only from young people organizing and participating in voter registration and get-out-the-vote efforts, but also from young people showing civic leadership in their personal lives; in our post-election survey, we found that two-thirds of young people talked to their friends about politics or the election and 45% tried to convince others to vote. 84% of young people say that they believe they have the power to change the country, and just as many assert that this work must go beyond the ballot box. Young people are civically engaged in many ways, using donations, volunteering, media creation, and more to advocate for the many issues that are important to young people. Much as youth activists in the 1960s and 1970s joined the fight for young people’s electoral voice with the Civil Rights Movement, the women’s liberation movement, and the student movement, many young people now pair electoral politics with their advocacy surrounding a host of issues including climate change, gun control, and racial injustice.
As young people have continued to be a relentless force of change in our country, adults have started to pay more attention, seeing the many ways that young people are shaping our communities, democracy, and partisan futures. This attention has brought support to young people’s efforts from a range of actors, including education institutions, companies, public libraries, digital platforms and more. Since young people have comparatively less access to both social and monetary capital, they often rely on investments from such stakeholders to support their efforts. Unfortunately, this makes youth activists beholden to the often temporary and episodic attention to their work.
Such episodic investment as well as narrow definitions of success often steer the field towards reaching youth who are already engaged or on a path to engagement. It’s part of larger issues with frameworks for thinking about who deserves to be reached in an election (Enos, Fowler, Vavreck, 2014). Such nearsightedness fails to account for the inequalities that plague youth voting. For instance, though the condensed youth populations on college campuses make them a seemingly convenient place to sponsor youth electoral leadership, only 45% of youth between the ages of 18 and 22 are enrolled in college. Focusing investments exclusively in this obvious space leaves out the majority of young people, many of whom already face greater barriers to voting. This lack of outreach and support is mirrored in youth voter turnout rates by education, where turnout among youth with any college experience has been consistently higher since the 26th amendment passed. And, the recent 2020 election, showed again how young people of color have many more structural issues with the registration and voting process.
To continue to grow and diversify the youth electorate, we must treat these inequities not as a cultural issue of lesser interest among some young people, but rather as a structural problem, acknowledging the inequities riddling our democratic infrastructure. Youth leadership and activism has gotten us this far, but young people cannot do it alone. In order to reach a wider diversity of young people, adult stakeholders need to step up through long term investments, strategic partnerships, institutional policy shifts, and research on how policy can be implemented in equitable ways. This work must include deep and intentional partnership with young people that goes beyond tokenizing them as members of a desired voting bloc and instead values and uplifts their knowledge, skills, and expertise.
Through grassroots activism, leadership development, policy, and institutional changes, stakeholders across the fields of voter engagement and youth development have already begun such partnerships. In the education sector, coalitions such as Teaching for Democracy Alliance and Students Learn Students Vote are creating ways for a range of partners to institutionalize and deepen their civics-focused work by sharing resources, networks, and strategic visions. Policy makers in the House of Representatives are seeking to strengthen the legacy of the 26th amendment through the Protect the Youth Vote Act of 2021. The 2020 election highlighted the myriad benefits of diverse young people as poll workers, and our partnership with Minneapolis Election Services and some of these young leaders showed that this investment in youth leadership was related to higher turnout among underrepresented groups. Each of these examples models how adult allies can enact sustained structural changes to support young people’s civic leadership with a mind toward equity.
The 50th anniversary of the 26th Amendment offers us a moment to reflect on the legacy of youth leadership and to imagine its future. Not only are young people leading the way to record turnout, but they also are advocating for increased youth voice in government through youth councils and other initiatives, engaging in election administration, fighting for racial justice at the ballot box and beyond, and continuing the legacy of the young people of the 1960s and 1970s by pushing for an even lower voting age at local and national levels. Young people are driven toward the possibilities and potential they see for the future of our country and democracy. And this vision understands the interconnectedness of how we address issues, like the young leaders who pushed for the passage of the 26th amendment did. And adult allies have an important role to play if young people’s dreams of a healthier democracy are to become a reality. Young people are doing the work, and it is time for everyone else with a stake in electoral outcomes and civic life to catch up.
Ruby Belle Booth is a recent Tufts University graduate who double majored in History and Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies. While at CIRCLE, Ruby is helping to evaluate civic learning projects responding to COVID and the 2020 election through the Civic Spring Project and on the team working to develop a growing voters research. She is also assisting with a range of communications projects to help disseminate CIRCLE’s research and maximize its impact.
Abby Kiesa Abby joined CIRCLE in 2005, after working with students across the country, to focus on maintaining a conversation between research and practice. Now, as Deputy Director of CIRCLE, Abby continues that work and also provides leadership for CIRCLE’s election strategies, website content, and external communications. She has worked on several major research projects and evaluations while at CIRCLE, as well as on several partnerships to support growing voters for a more equitable electorate.
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Election News This Week
Threats to Democracy: The U.S. Department of Justices has announced that it is launching a task force to address the growing threats against election officials and workers. “The Department of Justice has a long history of protecting every American’s right to vote, and will continue to do so. To that end, we must also work tirelessly to protect all election workers—whether they be elected officials, appointed officials, or those who volunteer their time—against the threats they face,” according to the memo sent to all federal prosecutors and the FBI, written by Deputy Attorney General Lisa Monaco. The task force will include members from the Criminal Division, Civil Rights Division and the FBI to address the rise in threats against election officials. The Justice Department will also launch in the coming days a toll-free hotline for the public to use to report election-related threats. “A threat to any election official, worker, or volunteer is, at bottom, a threat to democracy. We will promptly and vigorously prosecute offenders to protect the rights of American voters, to punish those who engage in this criminal behavior, and to send the unmistakable message that such conduct will not be tolerated,” Monaco wrote, adding, “I am confident that you will meet this obligation and investigate all instances of election-related intimidation.”
Vote Local: On Tuesday, the New York City Board of Elections released a new tally of numbers from the city’s Democratic mayoral primary—the first big test of the newly implemented ranked choice voting system. Shortly after the results were posted, they were removed from the board’s website citing a “discrepancy”. Late Tuesday night, the board released a statement, explaining that it had failed to remove sample ballot images used to test its ranked-choice voting software. When the board ran the program, it counted “both test and election night results, producing approximately 135,000 additional records,” the statement said. The ranked-choice numbers, it said, would be tabulated again. In addition to retabulating the ranked ballots, the BOE till has about 124,000 absentee ballots to count. “It is critical that New Yorkers are confident in their electoral system, especially as we rank votes in a citywide election for the first time,” front runner Eric Adams said in a statement. “We appreciate the board’s transparency and acknowledgment of their error. We look forward to the release of an accurate, updated simulation, and the timely conclusion of this critical process.”
Shattered Glass: Women earned the right to vote nearly 101 years ago and finally one of them has earned the right to run the elections Putnam County, Illinois. In an industry dominated by female election officials, Tina Dolder becomes the county’s first female clerk in 190 years. Dolder, who previously served as the part-time deputy clerk is taking over for Dan Kuhn who is retiring after 19 years on the job. “Dan pointed out that I would be the first female county clerk right before I was appointed,” Dolder told the Journal Star. “I feel it is an honor and a privilege to serve the people of Putnam County as their first female county clerk and recorder.” Dolder will serve through the end of Kuhn’s term in Nov. 2022 and plans to seek election at that time. “I most look forward to serving the residents of Putnam County,” she said. “I aim to put our office online and have an open door policy. I hope to create a good working relationship with the public and all who utilize this office.” According to the Journal Star, all the other Peoria-area counties—Peoria, Tazewell, Woodford, Marshall, Stark, Knox, Henry, Fulton, Mason, Schuyler, Logan McLean, McDonough and Warren all have or have had women in the role.
Sticker News: It’s been a minute since we had some sticker news, but now are cup runneth over as we’ve got news from Colorado and Florida! In Adams County, Colorado, Jade Fernandez, a rising freshman at Peak to
Peak Charter School was the county’s most recent “I Voted” sticker winner. When describing her inspiration for the sticker, Jade said one of the first things she thinks of when it comes to America is the national bird, the bald eagle, and the flag. The colors of those elements contrast and complement each other nicely, especially the hues of blood red in the stripes of the flag which represent the sacrifices of the country’s founders and forefathers. Adams County held its first “I Voted” sticker contest in 2019 and the inaugural winner was Lana Fernandez, Jade’s younger sister. In Volusia County, Florida, where the “I Voted” sticker contest was open to all county residents, the supervisor of elections office received 23 designs and DeBary resident Erin Maciejewski was the winner. “The contest provided some great artwork. It was fun to see how creative our voters are. I hope voters enjoy the new sticker,” said Lisa Lewis, supervisor of elections.
Personnel News: Lisa Arsenault is the new (again) Alna, Maine town clerk. Deloris Overton Short is stepping down as the Portsmouth, Virginia registrar of voter after 28 years on the job. The DeKalb County, Georgia GOP has nominated Nancy Jester to fill one of two vacant positions on the county elections board. Bonnie Ramey is retiring after 38 years as the Jefferson County, Montana election administrator. Rockland County, New York Elections Commissioner Kristen Zebrowski Stavisky has been appointed as the Democratic Co-Executive Director of the State Board of Elections. Jane Rae Fawcett is the new Lee County, North Carolina board of elections director. Zach Manifold has been hired as the new Gwinnett County, Georgia election supervisor. Josh Jaffee has bene appointed to the Franklin County, Ohio board of elections. Daniel Locklear and Gretchen Lutz has been appointed to the Robeson County, North Carolina board of elections. Loutricia Cain has been appointed to the Rowan County, North Carolina board of elections. Don Pyle is retiring as the Crawford County, Kansas clerk after more than a decade and a half on the job. Danielle Sexton is the new Inyo County, California clerk-recorder/registrar of voters. Enrique J. Rodriquez has been appointed to the Genesee County, Michigan board of canvassers. Hakeem Brown has joined the Bladen County, North Carolina board of elections. Chris Johnson has joined the Maine secretary of state’s office as the chief information officer. State Rep. Mark Lowery has announced his candidacy for Arkansas secretary of state.
Research and Report Summaries
The German Marshall Fund’s Alliance for Securing Democracy and OSET Institute released a report on electronic poll books this week. The report, Enhancing the Security of Electronic Pollbooks is Essential for Election Integrity, provides an overview of e-poll book use in the U.S. and internationally, election security risks posed by their use, technical risk mitigation measures, and operational security considerations.
Arizona: The House passed a series of GOP-backed election measures, which were included in budget legislation that had passed the state Senate on Wednesday. It now heads to the desk of GOP Gov. Doug Ducey, who is expected to sign the legislation. Among the measures is one that establishes Arizona’s attorney general as the “sole authority” to defend state election laws. That law will be in place only until January 2023 — with both the secretary of state’s office and the attorney general’s office potentially changing party hands in the 2022 election. Hobbs is running for governor, and Republican Attorney General Mark Brnovich is running for Senate. It also bars the secretary of state from using any public funds for hiring outside lawyers. Additionally, it limits Hobbs to hiring the equivalent of one full-time lawyer to represent her office. The budget bill tasks members of the Senate Government Committee with serving on an election audit committee that will review the audit’s results — which experts have said could be rife with errors. The measure also allows third parties designated by the legislature to sift through the state’s voter database and flag voters for removal. Ballot security measures could require counties to include watermarks, QR codes or other similar markings on ballots, potentially increasing the cost of printing those ballots, and could complicate their counting since election officials would have to determine how to verify those markings appear on each ballot.
Connecticut: Governor Ned Lamont signed into law Senate Bill 1202, restoring the right to vote for people on parole. Alongside signing the state budget, the 837-page special session bill aimed at broadening the state’s voting rules will now allow Connecticut citizens on parole to vote in addition to only those on probation. As of May 1, there were 3,997 people being supervised by the Department of Correction parole officers. This bill comes after a decade-long effort to end the disenfranchisement of people who have served time when Connecticut became the 21st state to restore voting rights for people on probation in 2001. Previously, Connecticut stood alone in the Northeast being the last state to restore voting rights immediately after release.
Maine: Governor Mills recently signed into law several bills that affect campaigns and elections in the state of Maine.
L.D. 1363 makes several changes to the use of ranked-choice voting and absentee ballots in Maine elections. The bill expands the type of elections using ranked-choice voting. The new law also uses ranked-choice voting in general elections for presidential electors and primary elections for president. Ranked-choice voting is used in elections with three or more candidates, or elections with two candidates and one for more declared write-in candidates. It allows the order of office printed on a ballot to be modified so that ranked-choice contests can be printed on separate sides of the ballot from non-ranked-choice contests. It also changes the rules by which batch eliminations can be used to remove candidates in ranked-choice voting races. For presidential primaries, batch elimination cannot be used for candidates with more than 100 votes. Tabulation must be used until only 2 candidates remain. And separate tabulations must be conducted statewide and for each congressional district. Other measures in the bill include changes to a requirement that the Bureau of Motor Vehicles scan documentation that will be used to create a pending voter registration record for an individual who hasn’t opted out of automatic voter registration and applies for a license of state-issued identification card. Instead, L.D. 1363 requires the Bureau to record the information of anyone applying for, updating or renewing a license or state ID and store it into a pending voter registration record, unless that individual opts out. It also allows voters who have an alternative registration signature statement on file with their municipal registrar to authorize any other Maine-registered voter to sign a candidate’s petition, direct initiative of legislation petition, people’s veto petition or any Maine Clean Election Act form on their behalf, in the presence of and at the direction of that voter. The individual assisting the voter cannot be a candidate, the circulator of the petition, the voter’s employer or an officer of the voter’s union. The individual signing on behalf of the voter must print their own name and residence on the petition or form and swear they are signing on the voter’s behalf. The law also allows residents of a municipality who are 16-years-old and conditionally registered to vote to serve as election clerks. L.D. 1363 also makes several changes to the way absentee ballot drop boxes are used. It allows a municipality to obtain a drop box for absentee ballots for use outside a municipal office building. Municipalities may use more than one drop box, but these must be approved by the secretary of state. They must submit certification that additional drop boxes meet requirements to the secretary of state at least 90 days before the election. Drop boxes must be secured and either be monitored by law enforcement, municipal staff, or a surveillance camera. They must be clearly labeled as absentee ballot drop boxes. They must have a slot or chute into which voters can drop their ballot, but which passersby cannot reach into to remove ballots. Absentee ballots must be retrieved, at minimum, once each day the municipal clerk’s staff is working in the office. Retrieval of ballots must be logged by the clerk’s staff. On election night, the clerk or the clerk’s staff must arrive at the drop box just prior to 8 p.m., remove deposited ballots at 8 p.m. and lock the deposit slot of the ballot box so no additional ballots can be deposited after the deadline to return ballots. The new law clarifies that candidates cannot be issued any absentee ballot except for their own. The law also provides voters an opportunity to cure defects in their absentee ballots.
L.D. 1575 makes several minor changes to election law. The law allows students who are registering to vote to use student photo identification cards from state-approved public or private schools to verify their identity. It also directs the secretary of state to prepare instructions for absentee voter applications that describe the reason a voter can request and receive an absentee ballot after the no-excuse absentee voting period has ended. The law requires municipalities to include this message on a sign posted at the municipal office and on any website, social media page or other medium the municipality uses to communicate election information to its residents. It also requires the municipal clerk to add information about the location of absentee ballot drop boxes and the hours in-person absentee voting is being conducted in a report filed with the secretary of state at least 60 days before an election. The law authorizes the secretary of state to adopt rules governing pollwatchers, party workers and others present in the polling place. It also stipulates that absentee ballots cannot be counted until after all polls have closed on election day, all ballots have been cast and and all absentee ballots have been processed.
L.D. 916 makes changes to the laws that govern how voter information can be accessed from the state’s central voter registration system. The law prohibits political parties, individuals, or organizations involved in get-out-the-vote (GOTV) efforts, or other efforts directly related to a campaign from releasing any specifically identifiable voter information to the general public when they access the state’s central voter registration system. The same prohibition applies to municipal, county, state, or federal office holders. The law further prohibits anyone who accesses or obtains voter information from using it to engage in discriminationon the basis of physical or mental ability, race, color, age, sex, sexual orientation, religion, ancestry, or national origin. Anyone who violates these restrictions can be fined up to $1,000 for a first offense and up to $5,000 for a second or subsequent offense. A separate fine can be imposed for each voter’s information that is made available on the Internet.
Michigan: The Senate approved legislation that would let active-duty military members vote electronically, although lawmakers stopped short of extending the proposed change to military spouses and dependents. Senate Bills 8 and 311, sponsored by Sens. Paul Wojno, D-Warren, and former Secretary of State Ruth Johnson, R-Holly, would let active-duty and overseas members of the military to electronically return their ballot to their city or township clerk using a U.S. Department of Defense verified electronic signature. Currently, military voters serving overseas have to print out their ballot and mail it back — an extra step that can be difficult for people serving in areas with little to no mail service.
A group of Democrats in the State House wants to allow some 17-year-olds to cast their votes in primary elections. They introduced House Joint Resolution I, which proposes a change to the Michigan Constitution. It would allow people to vote in the primary at the age of 17 as long as they would be 18 by the date of the general election in November. The resolution would also update the state’s constitution to reflect the national voting age of 18. The Michigan Constitution set the voting age at 21. Then in 1971, the 26th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution was ratified, setting the voting age nationwide at 18. However, our state constitution has never been updated to reflect this. House Joint Resolution I has been referred to the Committee on Elections and Ethics.
Minnesota: Key lawmakers have agreed in principle to setting up new standards for absentee ballot drop boxes, including 24-hour video surveillance of those ballot receptacles. House Democrats and Senate Republicans agreed that ballot drop boxes need to be protected from tampering, or abuse through ballot harvesting schemes. A compromise version of the State Government Finance bill will set new standards and require video surveillance. Until now, state law has lacked a lot of specifics when it came to ballot drop boxes. “The law basically said, ‘Hey, here are these things called drop boxes. They exist and you can have them.’ But there wasn’t a lot of meat on the bone. So we decided to change that,” Minnesota Secretary of State Steve Simon told KARE.
New Hampshire: State gave final approval to a bill to move the date of the state primary election from the second Tuesday in September to the first Tuesday in August. The bill now heads to the desk of Gov. Chris Sununu, who, along with Secretary of State William Gardner, opposes the change. Sununu, however, has said through a spokesperson he will confer with Gardner and lawmakers before making a final decision on whether to veto the bill. As it stands, House Bill 98 would not take effect until Jan. 1, 2023, which means that in next year’s midterm election, the primary would be held Sept. 13, the second Tuesday of that month. The bill does not affect municipal elections, so the first state election that would be held on the new date would be in 2024.
New Jersey: The Assembly advanced a bill expanding the hours during which New Jersey’s minors can serve as poll workers. The measure, which was sponsored by Assemblyman Raj Mukherji (D-Jersey City) and cleared the chamber in an overwhelming 73-1 vote. Assemblyman Jay Webber (R-Morris Plains) was the only member to vote against it. The bill creates a carveout allowing minors between the ages of 16 and 18 to work from 5:30 a.m. to 9 PM on the day of an election. The current state law, sponsored by then-Assemblyman Thomas Kean, Jr. (R-Westfield) in 2002, allows 16 and 17-year-old to work eight-hours on Election Day, with the consent of a parent and a school official. The bill’s movement comes after sustained shortages of poll workers amid the pandemic. Earlier this month, lawmakers passed a bill doubling pay for poll workers, to $400 for the day, at breakneck speeds in an effort to fill the staffing gap. That bill only applied to 2021’s general elections.
The New Jersey State Senate today passed a bill to raise the pay of Election Day workers from $200 to $400 after amending a version approved by the Budget and Appropriations Committee last week that set the new compensation at $275. The legislation, which effectively raises the hourly rate from $14.28 to $28.57, was introduced by State Sens. Jim Beach (D-Voorhees) and Joseph Cryan (D-Union) and co-sponsored by lawmakers from both parties. Poll workers will also receive $50 for training on early voting-capable machines. For April school board elections, Election Day workers will see their pay increase to $19.64 per hour. The bill also includes an automatic trigger to increase poll worker pay if the minimum wage goes beyond the $400.
Oregon: Beginning in 2022 Oregon voters will be able to drop their ballot in the mail on Election Day without worrying it will be rejected, under a bill that has passed the state Legislature. House Bill 3291 cleared the state Senate on a razor-thin 16-13 margin, with one Democrat allowing the bill to pass despite his misgivings. The bill passed the House of Representatives last month. If signed by Gov. Kate Brown, HB 3291 would ensure ballots are accepted as long as they’re postmarked on or before Election Day, and reach elections officials within a week of the election. Under current law, ballots are only counted if they have been received by 8 p.m. on Election Day. The bill also would allow county clerks to begin counting ballots when they’re received, rather than waiting until a week before an election. It would also change some dates related to elections.
Pennsylvania: Despite a veto threat from Gov. Tom Wolf, the GOP-controlled Senate has passed a rewrite of Pennsylvania’s election code that tightens deadlines and expands voter identification requirements. The bill sponsored by House State Government Committee Chairman Seth Grove, R-York, also moves back the deadlines to apply for a mail-in ballot and voter registration, creates new restrictions on returning mail-in ballots in-person, and implements in-person early voting in 2025. It’s the product of 10 committee hearings on election reform held after the 2020 General Election. After an hour of debate and three days after it passed the state House of Representatives, the upper chamber voted 29-21 to send the 150-page bill to Wolf, who promised to veto the legislation because of its voter identification requirements. Among the proposed changes are giving counties five days to process mail-in ballots ahead of an election, as well as moving back the application deadline for absentee ballots from seven to 15 days before Election Day. County election officials have sought both of these changes for more than a year, but those same officials have said Grove’s bill — by packing their top two requests for a slew of other requirements and restrictions — could cause problems rather than address them. If the bill became law, counties would be required to send every voter a durable voter registration card that they could use instead of photo identification. Voters could also sign an affidavit certifying their identity if they don’t have an ID. The bill also requires counties to digitally scan and verify voter signatures on mail-in ballots. Voters whose ID doesn’t match would be able to fix, or “cure,” the ballot before Election Day. Wolf vetoed the bill on Wednesday. “This bill is ultimately not about improving access to voting or election security, but about restricting the freedom to vote,” Wolf said in a statement. “If adopted, it would threaten to disrupt election administration, undermine faith in government, and invite costly, time-consuming, and destabilizing litigation.”
According to The Associated Press, lawmakers are feuding over whether Pennsylvania’s roughly $40 billion budget package negotiated behind closed doors and passed within hours of becoming public includes money for the state auditor general to begin auditing election results. House Speaker Bryan Cutler, R-Lancaster, maintains that budget legislation carries $3.1 million for Auditor General Tim DeFoor, a Republican, to create a bureau of election audits with broad authority to subpoena materials and review votes counted, ballots, ballot envelopes, election machine logs, pre-election machine tests and more. Gov. Tom Wolf and his fellow Democrats in the Legislature say there was no agreement to fund an election-auditing bureau in budget legislation on Wolf’s desk, and there is nothing in the legislation requiring funding for such a bureau.
Virginia: Gov. Ralph Northam (D) has signed a series of elections-related bills into law. House Bill 1968 allows localities to provide in-person absentee voting on Sundays. HB1921 states any voter with a permanent or temporary physical disability has the right to vote outside of the polling place. During a state of emergency regarding public health, such as the coronavirus pandemic, any voter is entitled to the same right. In addition, the bill states designated outdoor voting areas should be clearly marked with instructions. HB1888 requires the processing of absentee ballots prior to election day, allowing voters to make corrections under certain circumstances. The bill also clarifies procedures for election officers on election day, ballot counting and more.
Wisconsin: Gov. Tony Evers has vetoed a bill that would have prevented local elections offices from accepting grant money to help conduct elections. Assembly Bill 173 would have prohibited local governments from accepting donations to help run elections from the center or other private groups. Any donations to the state for conducting elections would have to be equally distributed to local governments based on their populations. The governor in his veto message noted election officials must follow strict state laws for how they run elections, regardless of how they get their funding.
U.S. Supreme Court: The U.S. Supreme Court on Thursday upheld an Arizona law prohibiting anyone but a family member, household member or caregiver from turning in another person’s mail ballot. The practice, known as ballot collection or ballot harvesting had been used by campaigns to boost turnout but critics argued the ban was a reasonable precaution against fraud or tampering. The Democratic Party challenged Arizona’s ban in court, arguing it violated the Voting Rights Act because it disproportionately affected Black, Latino and Indigenous voters and contending it was enacted with what the law calls discriminatory intent. Today’s 6-3 decision focused on Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act, which remained in place and prohibits any election rule that denies or abridges a citizen’s right to vote on account of race or color. The section requires that — in the totality of circumstances — elections are equally open to participation. The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals struck down both laws last year, pointing to a district court’s ruling that the laws had a disproportionate impact on people of color and that racial discrimination was a motivating factor behind enacting the laws. Courts found that people of color were more likely to rely on ballot collection to vote, for example, and critics argued that banning the practice disproportionately affected people living in rural areas, without door-to-door mail service or with limited transportation. Writing for the court, Justice Samuel Alito said both laws pass muster under Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act. Ballot collection can lead to pressure and intimidation, he wrote. And he suggested it doesn’t matter that no case of voting fraud has been linked to the practice. “A State may take action to prevent election fraud without waiting for it to occur within its own borders,” he wrote. The court’s three more liberal members dissented — Elena Kagan, Sonia Sotomayor and Stephen Breyer. “What is tragic here is that the Court has (yet again) rewritten — in order to weaken — a statute that stands as a monument to America’s greatness, and protects against its basest impulses. What is tragic is that the Court has damaged a statute de-signed to bring about ‘the end of discrimination in voting,'” Justice Elena Kagan wrote for the group.
Federal Lawsuit: Former President Donald Trump’s former lawyers and allies urged a federal judge in Washington to throw out a trio of billion-dollar defamation lawsuits filed by Dominion Voting Systems over false claims that the company’s technology was used to rig the 2020 presidential election. Dominion says the falsehoods spread by former Trump attorneys Sidney Powell and Rudolph W. Giuliani, in addition to MyPillow chief executive Mike Lindell, amounted to a “viral disinformation campaign” that damaged the company’s reputation and its business and led to death threats against employees. According to The Washington Post, U.S. District Judge Carl J. Nichols seemed skeptical Thursday of the argument from Lindell’s attorney that the Republican donor was merely opining on the important issue of election security. “The public debate about election security is not the same as saying a particular company intentionally committed voter fraud,” Nichols said.
Florida: Anthony Steven Guevara, 20, of Naples has agreed to plead no contest in a case where Guervara was charged with hacking Gov. Ron DeSanits’ voter record. Under a plea deal, Guevara expects to be sentenced to two years of probation and assigned 100 community service hours and fined an amount that represents the cost of the investigation and prosecution against him. Guervara’s attorney has described the crime as an effort to point out weaknesses in the state’s voter registration systems. “This is a mistake of the head, not the heart,” Mike Carr told WJCT, describing Guevara as a decent young man. “He honestly thought he was doing something good. He was pointing out a weakness in the system and he’s paying quite a price on it.”
Georgia: The U.S. Justice Department sued Georgia over a new election law that includes restrictions on voting, setting up a legal showdown over Republican-led changes that President Joe Biden and other Democrats cast as disproportionately harmful to Black voters. The challenge seeks to overturn portions of Senate Bill 202, the 98-page rewrite of election rules that imposes new voter identification requirements, limits the use of ballot drop boxes, shifts early voting days and gives the Republican-controlled Legislature more oversight in elections. It’s the first major voting rights case brought by the Justice Department under the Biden administration, and it comes days after the U.S. Senate failed to advance a measure that would have blunted the impact of changes in Georgia and other states that adopted ballot restrictions after the 2020 election. The complaint is the eighth lawsuit overall that seeks to overturn the law, though the federal government can devote far more resources than the various voting rights groups that brought previous challenges. U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland framed the court challenge as a way to meet promises to aggressively protect voting rights.
Superior Court Judge Brian Amero dismissed most of a lawsuit seeking a deep inspection of Fulton County absentee ballots from last year’s presidential election, a review pursued by voters trying to find fraud. Amero’s ruling jeopardizes the prospects for the ballot inspection to continue, though a plaintiff in the lawsuit said he believes it will soon move forward. Amero dismissed most claims against the county elections board, the county clerk and the county itself, deciding they couldn’t be sued under Georgia’s sovereign immunity laws, which limit when plaintiffs can turn to the courts for relief. The judge left in place a previous order requiring the county to produce digital images of absentee ballots and other election records that are public documents under the Georgia Open Records Act. “That litigation is finished,” said Don Samuel, a prominent Atlanta attorney hired by the Fulton elections board. “Is there going to be an audit? Not right now. … There’s no discovery permitted. There’s no lawsuit pending anymore.”
DeKalb County Board of Registrations and Elections voted on June 29 to settle a lawsuit for $82,500 filed by Georgia Chapter of NAACP and Georgia Coalition for the People’s Agenda. NAACP and Coalition for the People’s Agenda alleged in a lawsuit filed February 2020 that DeKalb County Elections Board was unlawfully purging voters from the DeKalb County registration rolls in violation of the National Voter Registration Act of 1993 (NVRA). Board member Susan Motter presented the motion: “To resolve this lawsuit, plaintiffs and their counsel will be paid the total sum of $82,500, subject to approval of that payment by the DeKalb County governing authority, and the Board of Registration and Elections will continue to utilize the written procedures for voter challenges previously adopted for at least two years after the effective date of the settlement agreement, and will not amend said procedures during that two-year period, except to the extent that amendment is necessary to comply with changes in applicable laws or regulations.” The vote was split 3-1-1.
Illinois: Illinois Secretary of State Jesse White has reached an agreement with a coalition of advocacy organizations to settle a lawsuit that alleged his office violated federal and state laws by botching the rollout of automatic voter registration. The lawsuit, filed in February 2020 in federal court in Chicago, came after a series of problems with the system came to light last year, including a mix-up that resulted in at least one non-U.S. citizen voting in a 2018 election. The groups that filed the lawsuit already had been critical of the state for the slow implementation of automatic voter registration, which is supposed to seamlessly add citizens to the voter rolls when they get a driver’s license or state identification card, since it became law in 2017. The settlement, reached last week, will address several problems identified in the system, including the lack of adequate access for people with limited English skills and the failure to automatically update the rolls when voters move. It will also stop registration information for people who aren’t eligible to vote because of age or citizenship status from being automatically sent to the elections board, the organizations said.
Michigan: Circuit Court Judge Kevin Elsenheimer denied a motion from the plaintiff in an election-related lawsuit asking the court reconsider a May 18 decision to dismiss the case against Antrim County. The motion argued a hand recount of all ballots cast in the county’s 2020 presidential election was “insufficient and premised on fraud” and that a case study conducted by a plaintiff’s expert witness provided new evidence. “The Court finds that the Plaintiff’s Motion for Reconsideration presents the same issues previously ruled on by the Court, either expressly or by reasonable implication,” Elsenheimer said in his written decision. In his dismissal of the lawsuit, Elsenheimer ruled the court had already provided the plaintiff with all the relief available to him.
Mississippi: The full panel of the U.S. 5th Circuit Court of Appeals has agreed to hear the lawsuit seeking to strike down the Jim Crow-era provision that framers of the 1890 Mississippi Constitution said was designed to try to prevent African Americans from voting. Mississippi denies a higher percentage of its residents the right to vote because of felony convictions than any state in the country. In Mississippi, 235,150 people — or 10.6% of the state’s voting age population — have lost their right to vote, according to The Sentencing Project. Under the same restrictions, 130,500 Black Mississippians — or 16% of that voting age population — cannot vote. Since 2016, Mississippi has moved from second to first highest percentage in the nation. The lawsuit, which challenges the constitutionality of the disenfranchisement provisions and was filed by the Mississippi Center for Justice, appeared dead in the water after a three-judge panel of the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals in February rejected efforts to continue the lawsuit. But last week, the full panel of the Appeals Court agreed to hear the case. Oral arguments most likely will begin the week of Sept. 20.
New Jersey: A state appellate court has ruled on two cases that means there will be a special election for the 3rd District seat on the Atlantic County Board of Commissioners, and a full recount of the November 2020 election will be required in one at-large commissioner’s race. The appellate court sent the decisions back to the trial court for final orders, she said. The recount and special election come as local elections officials are preparing for the first election with 10 days of early voting. “We are glad to have the rulings so we can plan,” said Atlantic County Board of Elections Chair Lynn Caterson. “Regardless of timing, these decisions will be very costly for the Atlantic County taxpayer.”
New York: Andrew Yang’s defunct mayoral campaign served competitors papers in a preemptive lawsuit filed ahead of the city’s counting of ranked choice votes — charging on even after conceding the race Tuesday. The move came as a Staten Island City Council candidate launched a similar lawsuit in another crowded race — heralding a potential onslaught of legal actions in a primary featuring a record number of candidates and the local debut of ranked choice voting. Pre-emptive suits can preserve a campaign’s right to correct any errors in election returns so that a judge can step in if necessary. Going to court ahead of the count may be attractive to some candidates given that the extended tallying period for the new ranked choice voting system makes for tight legal filing deadlines.
Texas: Monica Rene Mendez, 36, of Port Lavaca was arrested by the Texas Attorney General’s Office last week on 26 counts of violating state election laws. Mendez was charged with three counts of illegal voting, seven counts of unlawful voter assistance, eight counts of returning marked ballots without consent and eight counts of election fraud, according to jail records. Victoria County Elections Administrator Margetta Hill said she was not aware of any violations that had occurred locally during this past November’s election or the May 1 elections this year. Local officials and the Attorney General’s office would typically communicate in the event of any election integrity issues, Hill said. “They would notify me, and I would notify them if I was having a problem also,” Hill said. Franklin said the Attorney General’s Office conducted an interview with Mendez at the Victoria County Sheriff’s Office, but said he did not know where the alleged election violations occurred.
Vermont: A superior court judge has effectively ended a Barre man’s bid to be hand-counted out of a city council race he lost by 38 votes on Town Meeting Day. Barring a Supreme Court appeal, Brian Judd will have to live with the loss in a man versus machine lawsuit that sought to put Barre’s vote tabulating machines on trial and secure a hand recount of ballots cast in a race he lost to Teddy Waszazak, 247-209, four months ago. Judd and two other Barre voters testified one of the voting machines used during the city’s March elections initially rejected their ballots before accepting them, Will Senning, the state’s veteran director of elections explained under oath that wasn’t unusual. “It’s a fairly common occurrence every election at almost every polling place for a number of ballots to be rejected by the tabulators,” he said, suggesting that isn’t an indication the optical scanning machines aren’t functioning properly, or that there is something defective with the ballot.
Wisconsin: The Wisconsin Supreme Court shot down an election lawsuit, offering the latest in a string of narrowly decided cases that found those bringing lawsuits must carefully follow court procedures. As with other recent politically tinged cases, this one was decided 4-3 by the court’s liberals and Justice Brian Hagedorn, who was elected in 2019 with the support of Republicans. The majority concluded the lawsuit put forward important questions but said it wouldn’t take the case because the issues it raised were not “cleanly presented.” The legal standards that should guide the justices were not clear, the majority wrote. “While this court must not shrink back from deciding challenging or politically fraught questions properly before us, neither should we be eager to insert ourselves at the expense of time-tested judicial norms,” the majority wrote in its unsigned opinion. In dissent, Justice Patience Roggensack maintained the majority was avoiding addressing difficult issues. “Are these (election) procedures lawful or contrary to Wisconsin statutes? The public deserves an answer, and it is the institutional obligation of this court to provide that answer,” she wrote. The Court majority expressed concerns that the plaintiffs had come straight to the high court instead of following that procedure, noting that the justices are not “on call to answer questions from citizens, legislators or executive branch officials whenever the answer to a statutory question is unclear.”
Two suburban Milwaukee voters asked a judge to block the use of absentee ballot drop boxes in Wisconsin. With the assistance of a conservative legal group, the pair made the request three days after the state Supreme Court declined to take a separate case that challenged the legality of ballot drop boxes. Drop boxes were widely used in Wisconsin last year in response to the coronavirus pandemic. The latest lawsuit also seeks to prevent voters from having someone else return their absentee ballot for them. If the suit were successful, voters would be barred from handing in the ballots of their spouses and neighbors. Madison officials would be blocked from reprising the “Democracy in the Park” events they held last year that allowed voters to drop off their ballots with poll workers who were stationed in more than 200 parks around the city. The lawsuit was filed in Waukesha County. The suit asks Judge Michael Bohren to invalidate advice to clerks from the bipartisan Wisconsin Elections Commission about how absentee ballots can be returned. The lawsuit contends voters can return absentee ballots in only two ways. They can drop them off in person at municipal clerks’ offices or they can return them through the mail.
Opinions This Week
National Opinions: 26th Amendment | Voting rights, II, III, IV, V, VI, VII, VIII | Voting Rights Act | Merrick Garland | Ranked choice voting, II, III, IV, V | Common ground | Filibuster, II, III | Election reform, II | Fair elections | The Big Lie, II, III | Turnout | U.S. Department of Justice | Threats to election officials | For the People Act | U.S. Supreme Court | Dominion lawsuit
Alabama: Voting rights
Arizona: 2020 ballot review
California: The Big Lie
Florida: Drop boxes
Illinois: Election reform
Missouri: Voter ID
Nevada: Access to the ballot
North Carolina: Fair elections
Ohio: Election reform
Oklahoma: For the People Act
Virginia: Voting rights
Wisconsin: Election fraud claims
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.
Language Access for Voters Webinar: As we all eagerly await the release of census data, including the redistricting data file, another important data release by the Census Bureau is scheduled for December 2021 – the next set of Section 203 determinations. Section 203 has required the provision of language assistance for many Limited English Proficient (LEP) voters for more than four decades, and, when properly implemented, has increased civic participation by the covered language group. The Census Bureau is responsible for making the Section 203 determinations based on American Community Survey. Join us on July 22nd at 3:30-5pm ET/12:30-2pm PT to review the previous determinations to assess which jurisdictions just missed coverage in 2016, and which may be covered during the next determinations, and hear from our guest election officials and voting rights advocates what can be done in preparation for the next set of determinations. When: July 22. Where: Online.
IGO 4th Annual Conference: The IGO 4th Annual Conference is scheduled for July 15-21 at the Sheraton New York Times Square in New York City. Check please visit the IGO website for more information about agendas and registration. When: July 15-21. Where: New York City.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org. 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.
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.
Elections Intern, Douglas County, Colorado— The Douglas County Elections Internship Program is a unique opportunity for students interested in public service, government, and elections administration to gain hands-on experience in the Colorado electoral process. This paid internship program provides students with professional experience while gaining foundational knowledge in the areas of: Federal and state election law and rule; The role of the County Clerk and Recorder as Chief Election Official; Voter registration, education, and outreach; Election coordination and administration; and the Colorado mail ballot process. The Douglas County Elections Internship Program prepares students to serve as informed and engaged citizens while gaining valuable experience for their future careers. DEFINITION OF WORK: This is a highly flexible position ranging from general/clerical support to field/warehouse work. Incumbent will utilize problem solving and adaptability to assist with various tasks and projects including, data entry, mail processing, voting equipment configuration, polling center setup and tear down, basic technical support, and other duties related to Elections operations. Salary: $13.50 – 21.00 per hour. 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.
Product Owner, Runbeck Election Solutions–This position provides an exciting opportunity to participate in the development of the next generation of election technology solutions. The Product Owner is a key member of the Development Team responsible for defining stories, acceptance criteria, and backlog refinement. The Product Owner must ensure the streamline execution of program priorities while maintaining the conceptual and technical integrity of the product features. The Product Owner has the responsibility of maximizing the value produced by the team and ensuring stories meet and comply with the definition of done. The Product Owner has significant relationships and responsibilities outside of the development team working with product management, customers, and other stakeholders. 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.
Technical Account Manager, Runbeck Election Solutions–The Account Manager serves as the liaison between our clients and our internal Sales and Software Development departments with respect to the Voter Registration product lines. This position is assigned to clients for the purpose of developing long term relationships while understanding and managing customer expectations and demands. This is a fast-paced environment and requires the Account Manager to manage multiple projects and clients simultaneously and requires some overtime hours/weekend hours – especially during elections. Individuals in this position will take work seriously, have a strong sense of urgency, and be self-disciplined. Salary: $75-$100K D.O.E. + Benefits. 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 email@example.com.
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