In Focus This Week
What’s on the Horizon for Remote Voter Identity Verification?
New report from Bipartisan Policy Center looks at voter verification
It is an axiom of election administration that it should be easy to vote and hard to cheat.
Applying that framework to the modern American voting experience indicates that a perfect remote identity verification policy meets two key goals: 1) accuracy, ensuring that the verification method filters out all ineligible ballots without disqualifying any valid votes; and 2) accessibility, guaranteeing that the verification process doesn’t establish requirements that restrict access to the ballot box.
U.S elections take place in the context of a stratified society, wherein race, class, and ability can all impact an individual’s access to voting and likelihood of having their vote accepted and tabulated. Verification policies need to actively counter contextual disparities, rather than passively perpetuate or exacerbate them. Additionally, given that under-resourcing for state and local elections infrastructure is a chronic, national issue, verification measures must be feasible for elections jurisdictions to implement and administer.
Outside of the elections field, a variety of industries have leveraged technological innovation to accurately and efficiently discern identity remotely through tools like data verification and two-factor authentication. The private sector may offer lessons to be learned on how to improve and modernize remote voter identity verification.
As the nation trends towards a wider reliance on convenience voting methods, this report explores how states and localities can ensure that their voter verification policies achieve the nexus of accuracy, accessibility, equity, and practical feasibility. This paper is not intended to provide specific recommendations about how election officials should be conducting identity verification. Rather, it provides a survey of the major benefits and drawbacks of the policy alternatives in use today, as well as the methods that might gain traction down the road.
This report provides a survey of the major policy alternatives in use today, as well as those with potential for the future.
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Election News This Week
President Joe Biden (D) gave a speech on voting rights this week and while he intensified his explanation of the stakes, his speech did not include a call for the Senate to change the filibuster, which is seen by advocates as the best, and perhaps only, way to usher in the kinds of changes Biden is seeking. This is a test of our time,” he said to a crowd of 300 civil rights advocates, top advisers, and local officials. “Hear me clearly,” he added. “There’s an unfolding assault taking place in America today, an attempt to suppress and subvert the right to vote and fair and free elections. An assault on democracy, an assault on liberty, an assault on who we are.” He urged Americans to channel their concern into action. He also called for a “new coalition” of activists, students and leaders from the faith, labor and business communities to help bolster voter education and eventual turnout at the polls.
Auditors investigating discrepancies in a local legislative race in Windham, New Hampshire released a report this week confirming their earlier statements that fold lines on ballots were the “primary root cause” of about a 400-point gap in vote totals. “Fundamentally, the large discrepancy between election night totals and both hand counts in the State Representative contest in Windham can be attributed to unforeseen consequences and misfortune,” the auditors Harri Hursti, Mark Lindeman and Philip Stark wrote. “Harried election officials borrowed a folding machine to send out thousands of absentee ballots more quickly, and votes on roughly 400 ballots were miscounted as a result.” The town used the machine to fold the absentee ballots before sending them to voters. After they were returned, the ballots were fed into a counting machine. Because the folds on some ballots went through a Democrats name, the ballot was either not counted or a vote was wrongly given to the Democrat. Auditors said the problem was most likely limited to Windham, a claim echoed by by Secretary of State Bill Gardner. Ballots are sent to towns and cities with score marks to facilitate folding and the state ensures those marks don’t go through the ovals where votes are marked. “It is not impossible that folds affected the outcome of some contest in the 400-seat New Hampshire House of Representatives, but we can conclude that Windham was not the tip of a massive miscount iceberg,” the auditors wrote. “Nonetheless, people’s votes must be counted accurately, so procedural reforms are warranted.”
In other 2020 ballot review news, Oklahoma, State Election Board Secretary Paul Ziriax has responded to a letter requesting a review of 2020 ballots from Rep. Sean Roberts (R-Hominy). “There is no controversy surrounding the 2020 General Election in Oklahoma,” Ziriax wrote. Because of the strong protections our state has in place for the security and integrity of elections, there is no credible suspicion or evidence of pervasive fraud here. In fact, our state successfully defended a lawsuit against our election integrity laws in 2020. Furthermore, evidence suggests that voter suppression is virtually non-existent in our state.” Ziriax said such an audit would be unnecessarily time-consuming and expensive, as well as potentially unlawful. In Pennsylvania, Tiago County, one of three counties targeted by a state lawmaker for a ballot review of the 2020 election will not provide its voting machines for review. The three commissioners in rural Republican-controlled Tioga County announced the decision Tuesday, six days after receiving a sweeping, five-page request for access to documents, information and equipment. “We can’t be in a position where we don’t have the election machines, because we have to run the next election, these are extremely expensive machines and our position is we need to follow the direction that the secretary has given us,” county solicitor Christopher Gabriel said. And in Maricopa County, Arizona, the board of supervisors voted unanimously to spend nearly $3 million to replace the county’s voting equipment that had been reviewed by outside groups during the Senate-mandated ballot review.
The Yakima County, Washington auditor’s office has devised a new policy that will make it possible for elections staff to do their jobs and run for office should they want to. Raul Martinez, an elections office specialist since August, expressed interest in running for Yakima City Council earlier this year, County Auditor Charles Ross told the Yakima Herald. While elections manager Kathy Fisher had not experienced the candidacy of an election official in her more than 20 years in the office, Ross said she turned to several other counties of similar size in the state for help. Based on what she learned from other counties, Fisher wrote a county-specific policy and oath. “Yakima County Elections employees do not give up their constitutional rights when they accept a position with the division,” the county’s new Preserving Election Integrity When an Employee is a Candidate policy states. “These rights include the right to vote, the right to sign petitions, the right to participate in political activity, or the right to run for office as a candidate.” Employees are allowed to conduct these activities outside of their workplace time and role. They are prohibited under the new policy from handling any ballots until the election is complete if they are a candidate, related to a candidate, managing a campaign, serving on a committee for a ballot measure or are published as an endorser of a candidate in the Voters’ Guide, it says.
Personnel News: Jen Easterly has been confirmed to lead CISA. Steve Dennison has been appointed interim county clerk in Deschutes County, Oregon. Dele Lowman Smith is the new chair of the DeKalb County, Georgia elections board and Nancy Jester is the vice chair. Chris Prue, Democratic registrar of voters for Vernon, Connecticut is the new president of the Registrars of Voters Association of Connecticut. Gina Martinez is the new Monterey County, California registrar of voters. Laura Clark has announced that she is running for Alabama secretary of state. Floyd L. Griffin Jr. has filed to run for Georgia secretary of state. Lara Smits is the new president of the League of Women Voters of Connecticut. James Hill has been appointed to the Watauga County, North Carolina board of elections. Julie Young has been named as the new director for the Florence County, South Carolina voter registration and elections. Jose Salvador Tellez is stepping down as the Webb County, Texas elections administrator. Shontay Jones is the new Bulloch County, Georgia election supervisor.
Federal Legislation: A bipartisan group of lawmakers is seeking to increase the number of U.S. service members who exercise their right to vote — especially those stationed in combat zones or deployed overseas. Sens. Tammy Duckworth, D-Ill., and John Cornyn, R-Texas, introduced a bill that would establish a secure electronic voting system for those assigned to hazardous duty stations or on a rotational deployment. According to the senators, the fully auditable system would track votes from the time they are marked through the counting process. In a release, Duckworth said a new system is needed as part of an overall effort to “strengthen voting rights across the country.” “Service members face numerous barriers to voting that make it more difficult for them to participate in our democracy by exercising their right to vote,” she said. “[The bill] would increase access to the ballot box for troops.” The proposal follows an executive order signed March 7 by President Joe Biden that required the Defense Department to establish an “end-to-end tracking system” for all absentee ballots cast by military personnel and Americans living overseas. Duckworth and Cornyn’s legislation would specifically target troops who face the most challenges in voting — those at remote or dangerous locales. Similar legislation was introduced in the House earlier this year by Reps. Andy Kim, D-N.J., and Joe Wilson, R-S.C.
District of Columbia: At-Large Council member Christina Henderson, along with six of her colleagues, introduced the Voter Ownership, Integrity, Choice and Equity (VOICE) Amendment Act of 2021 which would implement a ranked choice voting system. In a news release announcing their proposal, Henderson said the benefits of ranked choice voting “are just as diverse as the candidates who are empowered to run under this system” Henderson also believes it will encourage those running for office to campaign more broadly to supporters of other candidates. The VOICE Amendment Act would also create a voter-education campaign ran by the DC Board of Elections to improve outreach to seniors and low-turnout precincts.
Michigan: Michigan Republicans’ attempts to add an ID component to absentee ballot applications and to institute signature verification at polling places have died in the GOP-led Legislature, amid pushback from election clerks and voting-rights advocates. Rep. Ann Bollin, who chairs the House Elections and Ethics Committee, told The Associated Press that she and many other House Republicans oppose a Senate-passed bill that would require absentee ballot applicants to include a copy of their photo ID, their driver’s license number or the last four digits of their Social Security number. Those who do not would get a provisional ballot and have to either verify their voter registration or their identity and residence within six days after the election for it to count.
The Lansing City Council voted to add ranked-choice voting to the November ballot. Eastpointe Michigan is currently the only city in the state using ranked-choice voting.
Ohio: Rep. Bride Rose Sweeny (D-Cleveland) has introduced legislation that she says repeals language that was inserted in to the state’s budget without debate or hearings and that advocates fear could impact voter outreach efforts. The budget language in question says: “No public official that is responsible for administering or conducting an election in this state shall collaborate with or accept or expend any money from a nongovernmental person or entity for any costs or activities related to voter registration, voter education, voter identification, get-out-the-vote, absent voting, election official recruitment or training or any other election-relation purpose…” The Ohio League of Women Voters and other voting rights group had asked Gov. Mike DeWine (R) to repeal the controversial language. He later told reporters he doesn’t think it will prevent voter education or voter registration efforts. Secretary of State Frank LaRose (R) says he was told that the measure is meant to keep large companies from injecting money into elections through boards of election.
Texas: Senate Bill 1 and House Bill 3 were each approved out of committee over the weekend following hours of testimony during the special session. Republicans have already dulled some of the edges of the legislation, dropping controversial provisions to restrict Sunday voting hours and to make it easier for judges to overturn elections. But the bills’ authors are still moving to ban drive-thru and 24-hour voting options, enhance access for partisan poll watchers and prohibit local election officials from proactively distributing applications to request mail-in ballots. Both bills also include language to further restrict the state’s voting-by-mail rules, including new ID requirements for absentee voters. Significant portions of both bills focus on shutting down local expansion of voting options meant to make it easier to vote. Senate Bill 1 was approved by a vote of 18-4. It now heads to the House were its future is uncertain due to the fact that Democratic members of the House have fled the state to prevent a quorum.
Senate Democrats offered up their own elections overhaul legislation that aims to make voting more accessible, a counter to the GOP’s priority bills that they say would suppress votes, especially those of Black and Latino Texans. Named for Barbara Jordan, the state’s first Black female senator, the Democrats’ bill would usher in online and same-day voter registration, allow all voters to request mail-in ballots, expand the early voting period, permit additional documents to be used as voter ID and make Election Day a state holiday and require employers to let employees vote. All 13 Democratic senators back the legislation. “This bill is designed to make voting and the election process more safe and more secure and more accessible,” said the chief author, Sen. Royce West of Dallas. “That’s what we need to be doing in 2021.”
Washington: The King County Council voted six to three to advance a proposal to put ranked-choice voting on the November ballot. The vote took place during a meeting of the council’s Committee of the Whole, on which all nine members sit. The proposal was introduced by Councilmember Girmay Zahilay last month. Zahilay, along with Councilmembers Jeanne Kohl-Welles, Dave Upthegrove, Claudia Balducci, Pete von Reichbauer and Joe McDermott voted to advance the measure for consideration at the July 13th meeting. Councilmembers Rod Dembowski, Kathy Lambert and Reagan Dunn voted in opposition. If the proposal passes in a full council vote, voters in King County will decide whether they want to use ranked-choice voting to elect county officials. Those positions include the King County executive, assessor, director of elections, prosecuting attorney and members of the county council. The council ultimately decided to delay moving forward with the proposal at this time.
Federal Litigation: Key elements of the first federal technology standards for voting equipment in 15 years should be scrapped because language that would have banned the devices from connecting to the internet was dropped after private meetings held with manufacturers, according to a federal lawsuit filed this week. The lawsuit against the U.S. Election Assistance Commission, filed in U.S. District Court in Washington, D.C., claims those meetings should have been open and that changes to the draft standards should have been shared with the commission’s advisory and standards boards. The lawsuit seeks to have those changes set aside. The standards, approved in February, did not include draft language that would have banned wireless technology from voting equipment under federal certification guidelines. Voting security experts say the machines will be vulnerable to hacking without such a ban. Federal law requires the agency to develop its guidelines for voting systems in public, said Susan Greenhalgh of the nonprofit Free Speech for People, the group that brought the lawsuit along with University of California, Berkeley computer scientist Philip Stark, who sits on the commission’s advisory board.
Alaska: A state court judge heard arguments this in a lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of a voter-approved initiative that would end party primaries in Alaska and institute ranked-choice voting in general elections. Scott Kohlhaas, who unsuccessfully ran for a state House seat last year as a Libertarian; Bob Bird, chairman of the Alaskan Independence Party; Bird’s party; and Anchorage attorney Kenneth P. Jacobus sued in December, shortly after the initiative was approved. In court documents, they say people “exercise their right of free political association by forming political parties for the purpose of electing candidates” and advancing issues and principles. They call the new voter-approved system a “political experiment” and say it was designed in a way to harm political parties. They cite concerns that candidates for minor parties, like the Alaskan Independence Party, could get “lost in the shuffle,” in a primary where all candidates are listed on one ballot and the top four vote-getters advance to the general election. They allege in court documents that ranked-choice voting imposes “an unconstitutional burden on the voter’s right to make a knowledgeable choice,” saying voters will make choices not knowing which candidates might be eliminated.
California: California’s citizen redistricting commission will ask the state’s Supreme Court to give the panel two extra weeks to draw political maps this fall and winter, saying that a delay from the federal government in providing new census data will otherwise limit public participation in the once-a-decade process. All 14 members of the California Citizens Redistricting Commission voted in favor of the proposal Tuesday night, setting the stage for the state’s high court to intervene for the second time in the past year to adjust the process of drawing new legislative, congressional and Board of Equalization districts. Last summer, the justices agreed to add four months to what would otherwise have been an Aug. 15 deadline to finalize the state’s maps. That decision, given current expectations that state officials will receive census data next month, would require maps to be completed by the end of December. The commission wants the state’s highest court to grant an additional two weeks, seeking to finalize its work no later than Jan. 14.
Kansas: Attorney Josh Pierson argued in Shawnee County District Court for the release of provisional ballot data requested by Davis Hammet, a voter rights advocate who hoped to educate the public about why their ballots weren’t being counted. Hammet won a lawsuit last year over whether details about provisional ballots are a public record, and District Judge Teresa Watson ordered Secretary of State Scott Schwab to turn the information over. The Republican secretary of state, whose agency oversees elections and manages a statewide voter database, instead ordered software engineers to remove the database function that allows the agency to produce the records. The secretary then denied Hammet’s request on the grounds that the records no longer exist. Schwab’s office told Hammet he could still get access to the data, but only if he paid $522 for the database vendor, Election Systems & Software, to retrieve it. Hammet sued again, with support from the ACLU. Pierson and Garrett Roe, an attorney for Schwab’s agency, are asking Watson to issue summary judgment in the case. Roe argued that the Kansas Open Records Act (KORA) only requires agencies to turn over existing records, and says nothing of software management.
Michigan: U.S. District Judge Linda Parker grilled Sidney Powell and her team of lawyers for roughly six hours Monday in response to motions to sanction the attorneys in connection with their conspiracy-laden lawsuit claiming election fraud in the state. Parker heard arguments from lawyers for Detroit and Michigan for sanctioning Powell and her team, but spent most of the hearing scrutinizing the baseless allegations of fraud and misconduct leveled in the lawsuit, which involved several attorneys, including three from Michigan: Scott Hagerstrom, Stefanie Lambert Junttila and Greg Rohl. Parker repeatedly questioned whether the attorneys properly investigated the claims of fraud and misconduct presented in affidavits included in the lawsuit before submitting them to the court. “My concern is that counsel here has submitted affidavits to suggest and make the public believe that there was something wrong with the election. And that is what this is all about. That’s what these affidavits are designed to do, to show that there was something wrong in Michigan, there was something wrong in Wayne County,” Parker said.
After the Asian-American Legal Defense and Education Fund (AALDEF) sued the city of Hamtramck for violating the federal Voting Rights Act, a court order and consent decree have been issued, calling for the metro Detroit city to provide a more ethnically diverse elections environment. Following filing of the complaint in federal court, AALDEF carried out negotiations with the city of Hamtramck and a consent decree was reached. The Hamtramck City Council convened an emergency meeting to approve the terms of the deal on June 30. City officials are required to: Create a language access advisory group comprised of community groups, including Detroit Action and Rising Voices who work with Hamtramck’s Bengali-speaking community; Meet with the advisory group in advance of future elections and hire a Bengali elections program coordinator; Assign at least one Bengali speaking bilingual poll worker to each of Hamtramck’s seven voting precincts and at least one Bengali interpreter will be assigned to each of the city’s four poll sites, including two interpreters at the city’s community center poll site.
Mississippi: Madison County election officials are in the clear when it comes to potential contempt of court charges, following a hearing this week. Senior Status Judge Jeff Weill lifted a show cause order he placed on the county, days after it appeared the election commission and circuit clerk had refused to comply with his earlier order requiring them to oversee new elections in Canton. On July 1, Weill ordered new elections in Canton’s Ward 2 and Ward 5 Democratic primaries. He also ordered the county’s elected officials to preside over the races. However, he backed off that stance on Tuesday, after city and county officials agreed to hammer out how the upcoming elections would be handled. “We all are here to see, ultimately, that the election gets (done properly),” he said.
New Jersey: Superior Court Judge Joseph Marczyk ordered a special election for Atlantic County commissioner to be held concurrently with the general election on November 2, eschewing a bid by Republicans to hold a special election in late August or early September. The 3rd district commissioner seat has been vacant since January after Marczyk invalidated the November 2020 election that was botched by County Clerk Ed McGettigan, a Democrat. Ed McGettigan goofed by mailing the incorrect ballots to 544 votes in a race where Democrat Thelma Witherspoon defeated Republican Andrew Parker by 286 votes. “The court’s goal is to interpret statutes consistent with the intent of the Legislature,” Marczyk said. “When the language is clear and unambiguous and susceptible to only to one interpretation, the courts assume the legislature meant what it said … the court’s role is not to question legislative action, but to enforce them, so long as they are not contrary to constitutional principles.” Marczyk had previously denied a bid by Democrats to temporarily fill the seat. It had previously been held by Democrat Ashley Bennett, who did not seek re-election to a second term. He also had ordered an April special election, which was cancelled as a result of Gov. Phil Murphy’s executive order.
New York: The U.S. Department of Justice reached an agreement with the Oneida County elections board over voter registrations and provisional ballots, in the wake of federal election law violations coming to light in a tightly contested congressional race last year. The Justice Department and the Oneida County Board of Elections filed the proposed consent decree with a federal court, which must still approve it. The department had said in March that it planned to sue the board over violations including thousands of voter registration applications that were not processed in time for last November’s general election, as well as the rejection of hundreds of affidavit ballots submitted at county polling sites, if a settlement was not reached. As part of the consent decree, the county board agreed to create policies and procedures to make sure voter registrations are processed, and train employees on provisional ballot requirements. It will also send reports on its compliance to the department. In a statement, Assistant Attorney General Kristen Clarke of the department’s civil rights division said, “We will continue using critical federal voting rights laws to help ensure that eligible voters enjoy access to the ballot box.”
South Dakota: Two Native American people announced they were joining a lawsuit against South Dakota alleging that state agencies failed to offer voter registration services. The two tribal members, along with the Lakota People’s Law Project, said they were asking a federal district judge to allow them to join a lawsuit that alleges state agencies are breaking federal law by not providing ample opportunities to register to vote or update voter registration information at places like motor vehicle and public assistance offices near Native American reservations. Federal law requires the agencies to help people register to vote at those kinds of offices, including ones that provide public assistance or serve people with disabilities. The Oglala Sioux Tribe and the Rosebud Sioux Tribe initiated the legal challenge last year. The state has denied those allegations in court documents and asked that the lawsuit be dismissed. The tribes have argued that state practices already make it difficult for Native American people to register to vote. They alleged that they have documented instances in which people tried to register their votes at state agency offices but were turned away.
Tennessee: he Tennessee Supreme Court announced it will not take up the Davidson County Election Commission’s Metro Charter referendum appeal. The ruling by the Tennessee Supreme Court states, “The Court concludes that this case does not warrant the extraordinary action of the exercise of the Court’s authority to assume jurisdiction. As a result, the motion to assume jurisdiction is DENIED.” The Davidson County Election commission voted to appeal a judge’s ruling to strike down a charter referendum on Metro’s property tax – The Nashville Taxpayer Protection Act. And in order to determine whether or not residents will be voting on a referendum this year, the Davidson County Election Commission filed an appeal to the Tennessee Supreme Court to speed up the process. On another legal front in the same matter, a local coalition vying to stop an anti-tax referendum sued the Davidson County Election Commission, saying the commission was taking illegal steps to put the referendum on a September ballot.
Vendors: Runbeck Election Services has partnered with high-tech manufacturer FlexMet to provide Vote Center Hubs for jurisdictions nationwide. The Vote Center Hubs, which encase voting equipment, provide easy voting set-up, a safe voting space, built-in security and mobility for storage. The Vote Center Hubs were manufactured to help jurisdictions assemble and disassemble their in-person voting centers for each election. Also, costly voting equipment used at voting locations must be stored and protected. The Vote Center Hubs fulfill both crucial needs. The Hubs are designed with two security features to lockdown and protect the equipment when not in use. When elections are completed, the jurisdictions move the mobile, self-contained Hubs to their storage locations. Jeff Ellington, President and CEO of Runbeck, explains, “This collaboration allows us to solve logistical and security problems that counties encounter with their voting spaces and equipment, which is a major undertaking every election. The Hub is simple and smart—counties can use it, lock it and store it.”
Opinions This Week
National Opinions: Voting rights, II, III, IV, V, VI, VII, VIII | Election legislation | Voter suppression, II | Ranked choice voting, II | Early voting | Accessibility, II | 2020 ballot reviews, II | President’s speech, II, III, IV, V, VI
Alabama: Voter ID
Connecticut: Election monitor
Kansas: For the People Act
Louisiana: Voting rights
Massachusetts: Vote by mail
Michigan: Detroit clerk
New Hampshire: Court decision
North Carolina: Voting rights
North Dakota: Secretary of state race
Virginia: Voting rights
Democracy at Work: How States Are on the Front Line of Protecting the Right to Vote: States truly served as laboratories for democracy during the past year, expanding access to voting during the COVID-19 pandemic and leading the highest turnout election in a hundred years. Election and pro-voter reforms—such as mail voting, same-day registration, and early voting—have never mattered more. And yet, there are coordinated campaigns in some states to eliminate or curtail commonsense policies that helped Americans vote last year and in every election cycle. Throughout the country, voting rights are under assault. Already, more than 360 anti-voter bills have been introduced in state legislatures to block Americans from voting. These anti-democratic efforts are based on “the big lie” and represent a nefarious response to high turnout among voters of color in 2020. Please join the Center for American Progress Action Fund and State Innovation Exchange Action for a discussion on what is it like to be on the front lines of these attacks and what state leaders are doing to combat them. CAP Action Founder John Podesta will moderate a discussion with Stacey Abrams, followed by a panel of state legislators moderated by voting rights reporter Ari Berman. When: July 20, 1pm Eastern. Where: Online.
Language Access For Voters: 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 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, 3:30pm Eastern. Where: Online.
For The People Act Unpacked: The FPA has received enormous media attention. The partisan battles have been well covered. Most Americans favor fair and just voting rights and laws. Most want voting to be accessible and simplified. Most want money influence on our campaigns and elected representatives eliminated or at least moderated. This NFRPP event will cover the issues in detail and offer a way to move this needle in the direction of a flourishing democracy. Speakers include: Daniel I. Weiner, deputy director of the Brennan Center’s Election Reform Program and Edward B. Foley the Ebersold Chair in Constitutional Law at The Ohio State University, When: July 22, 7:30pm Eastern. Where: Online.
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.
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.
Deputy Director, Holmes County, Ohio— The Holmes County Board of Elections is accepting resumes and letters of interest for the position of Deputy Director of the Board. This position is responsible for preparing and conducting all elections held in Holmes County. The Director and Deputy Director oversee all operations involved in the election process in accordance with Title 35 of the Ohio Revised Code, policies and procedures of the State of Ohio and federal election laws. Additionally, the Director and Deputy Director’s responsibilities include but are not limited to the management of an annual budget; enforcing board policies on purchasing, personnel and legal matters; staffing, training and election planning. The Director and Deputy Director report to a four-member bi-partisan board. The Board is seeking an exceptional and professional administrator with a documented record of accomplishment and experience. The successful candidate must display strong leadership and communication skills to assume the role of Deputy Director and must have the ability to develop and implement elections procedures and work practices. Qualifications also include a demonstrated ability to solve problems, communicate effectively and to establish and maintain positive working relationships with the Holmes County Board of Elections, the Ohio Secretary of State’s office, the County Commissioners, other elected officials, employees, the media, community representatives and the general public. A high school diploma or GED is required with a college degree preferred. The successful candidate will possess knowledge of and have experience in Ohio election laws and procedures. Candidates should be proficient in Microsoft Office, and knowledgeable regarding cybersecurity and computer information systems. Candidates must be affiliated with the Democratic Party. The successful candidate shall be a resident elector of Holmes County within 30 days of employment. The successful applicant must consent to and pass a statewide criminal background check. Salary: Salary is dependent upon qualifications. Benefits include: paid vacation, sick and personal days, health, dental, vision and disability insurance after 90 days of full-time employment, deferred compensation plan and participation in the Ohio Public Employees Retirement System. Deadline: July 16. Application: For the complete job listing and to apply, please click here.
Election Audit Specialist, VotingWorks— VotingWorks is a non-partisan non-profit founded on the powerful idea that the operating system of our democracy should be publicly owned. Every citizen’s vote is sacred, and every citizen deserves evidence that our elections are free and fair. We’re using open-source software, off-the-shelf hardware, and modern product engineering to make elections dramatically safer, more accessible, and more affordable. Affordability may sound pedestrian, but it is key. The front line of America’s election security rests in the hands of the 50% of US counties that struggle to afford basic services, let alone upgrade aging voting equipment. About the Job: Your goal is to make election administrators successful when running Arlo, VotingWorks’ risk-limiting audit software, to conduct risk-limiting election audits. You succeed when these election administrators succeed in delighting audit board members, voters, and the public. You’ll need to become very skilled with the Arlo software, the VotingWorks voting machines and general risk-limiting audit procedures. You’ll support election administrators and audit board members with tier 1 support (basic software and procedure questions) that includes light training and troubleshooting in preparation for and during audit conduct remotely. Occasionally, you’ll be asked to provide the same support in-person. Your enthusiasm for the product, the process, the mission, and the team should be infectious, surpassed only by your organizational skills and ability to multitask. You know that no matter how robust a technology, at the end of the day it’s people who make other people successful and you feel personally responsible for ensuring that everyone who uses Arlo feels successful. Application: For the complete job listing and to apply, click here.
Election Data Specialist, Boulder County, Colorado— Boulder County Elections has an opening for an Elections Data Specialist position. Our team is committed to setting the state and nationwide gold standard for what an accurate, transparent, organized, and efficient election looks like, and this position is critical to our success in fulfilling that aim. Note: experience with elections is not required – we are looking for someone who has experience and a passion for data and will train the successful candidate on elections. The Elections Division is committed to continual improvement, and we are looking for a team member who can help strengthen our team and our work by overseeing mission-critical process areas that demonstrate accountability to the public while also assuring data integrity. As a member of the election team, this position will be expected to emulate behaviors that demonstrate a commitment to all Clerk and Recorder values, including and not limited to equity, inclusion, accountability, and integrity. Throughout the year, this position works closely with all division staff as well as other election partners; and the ability to form effective, collaborative, communicative working relationships with fellow teammates while under tight deadlines and requirements is a must. This is a crucial role on our 13-member team who must work closely with team members to demonstrate the integrity of our elections to the public while providing robust and inclusive service to the voters of Boulder County. Salary: $66,324.00 – $95,496. Deadline: July 28. 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.
Executive Director, National Vote at Home Institute— NVAHI (“Vote at Home”) is now accepting applications to fill its top leadership position of Executive Director. Vote at Home’s Executive Director will serve in a chief executive role and report directly to the board of the National Vote at Home Institute (a non-partisan, 501 c (3) organization). National Vote at Home Institute is a nonpartisan organization dedicated to making sure every American can vote in secure, safe, accessible, and equitable elections by expanding and improving vote by mail, absentee and early voting processes and supporting election officials, Secretary of States, Commissioners, and boards. The Vote at Home Executive Director shall be responsible for managing all aspects of the organizations’ operations, including: Strategy. Recommending, implementing, and effectively executing all VAH policies and key strategies and programs as approved by the board. Budget. Fundraising and budget administration, to ensure Vote at Home’s financial sustainability and the effective and efficient expenditure of available funds. Management. The proper management and supervision of all staff, contractors, and contracts to promote diversity and equity, ensure a collaborative and productive workplace, and comply fully with all applicable federal, state, and local laws. Partnerships. The creation of collaborative partnership relationships with other key organizations and individuals to help promote and amplify VAH’s work. Communication. The effective communication, in a wide variety of public and private forums, of Vote at Home’s vision, mission, key strategies, and core messages. Application: For the complete job listing and to apply, click here.
GIS Specialist, Polk County, Florida— This position consists primarily of technical work using geographic information system software to create and maintain maps and street index. Following reapportionment in early 2022, tasks will include drawing new precinct boundaries and updating associated tables. Applicant must have experience working with GIS software and various databases, and outstanding attention to detail. All work will be performed in Winter Haven, Florida. For more information, inquire Loriedwards@polkelections.com
Registrar of Voters, San Diego County, California— The Registrar of Voters of the County of San Diego is an executive management position reporting to the Assistant Chief Administrative Officer. The Registrar leads the Department and provides eligible citizens of San Diego County with widespread and ongoing opportunities to register and vote in fair and accurate elections for all federal, state and local offices and measures; and provide access to the information needed to utilize the initiative, referendum, and recall petition processes. Salary: $170,000 – $190,000. Application: For the complete job listing and to apply, click here.
Research Director, Center for Election Innovation and Research— The Research Director will report to the Executive Director and lead CEIR’s research initiatives. These initiatives include, but are not limited to, matters pertaining to voter registration, voter access, election integrity and security, and election policy, generally. The Research Director will set goals aligned with CEIR’s mission and provide the research team with strategic direction on how to reach those goals, all while ensuring the rigor, integrity, and quality of all research activities. Application: For the complete job listing and to apply, click here.
Virtual Event Planner, Early Voting Information Center— The Early Voting Information Center (EVIC) at Reed College seeks out a virtual event planner and project manager with a strong understanding of United States politics, particularly as it relates to election policy, to help lead, coordinate, plan, and execute an applied research project focused on understanding and strengthening the capacity of local election administrators in the United States. EVIC seeks out an individual who can help to coordinate and engage academic teams, local and state elections officials, and other stakeholders engaged in the research efforts. The lead project team is located in Portland, Oregon, but remote work is possible. Time demands are expected to be ten hours/week with some variation, beginning on or around May 1stand ending October 31, with a possibility of extension. Application: Interested candidates should send a short letter of interest, qualifications, and description of applicable experience; and a resume or curriculum vita to Karen Perkins at email@example.com.
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