In Focus This Week
What to Watch 2021
Odd-year elections bring plenty of headlines, things to watch
By M. Mindy Moretti
Although many Americans are already focused on the 2022 mid-term elections, voters head to the polls in numerous states next week to cast their ballots in state and local elections.
While November 2, 2021 may not have the “star power” that November 8, 2022 will have, there will still be plenty of storylines to watch. Many of those storylines are things we watch every Election Day, however in the post-2020 world many of those storylines have taken on new/different meaning.
Electionline won’t be doing dispatches throughout the day like we do during the mid-term and presidential years, but we will be keeping a close eye on things and will report back here next week If you see something we need to know about, ping us on Twitter (@electionline) or drop us an email (email@example.com).
With just a few days to go, jurisdictions are still looking for poll workers. While this is a recurring problem (a known known) efforts to recruit poll workers in odd-year elections are often more difficult. In New Jersey, the governor issued an executive order increasing pay for poll workers. In Ohio, at least 7,000 poll workers responded to a call by Secretary of State Frank LaRose to sign up to be poll workers and while that’s still helped, some counties are still short. Fortunately in Virginia, many regular poll workers took last year off, have come back and state officials and outreach organizations are confident staffing needs are met. In addition to securing enough poll workers, several elections offices, especially in Pennsylvania, are either without a current permanent leader or under new leadership. There’s a learning curve for every job, but what impacts could new/interim leadership have on Election Day and Night?
Voters in several states will be casting ballots under new laws this November. While the typically lower turnout odd-year elections can help officials ease into new voting laws. In Georgia, there are a host of new laws that voters and local officials will be dealing with for the first time. Voters and local elections officials in Iowa have already run into some issues with that state’s new voting laws. Johnson County Elections Technician John Deeth told the Daily Iowan that a new, shorter early voting window and new deadlines leave little time to correct problems like a mail delivery issue or a forgotten signature on a ballot. The new law also requires absentee ballots to be in a county auditor’s office by 8pm on Election Day. A special election in portions of Florida will be a first test of that state’s new voting laws. In New Jersey, the state’s new early voting law means new elections equipment that has required training for elections staff, poll workers and voters. While the new voting laws in Florida, Georgia and Iowa are more restrictive than in years past, new laws in Virginia have created unprecedented access to the polls in the commonwealth.
Will losing candidates and voters whose candidates didn’t win accept the results? While the 2020 election was the most secure in history, a narrative pushed by the former president and his supporters has led many Americans to question the results of the election. Will that persist in 2021? State and local elections officials have worked tirelessly to dispel the disinformation campaign. In Virginia, some counties have shifted their reporting procedures in order to head off conspiracy theorists. Scott Konopasek, the new general registrar of Fairfax County, told Politico “it’s going to look like a wildly different night” in his county this year than in years past. “Right at seven o’clock, or right shortly after seven o’clock, I’ll be reporting the absentee portion,” Konopasek told Politico, noting that those numbers have historically been one of the last things in the evening. He said he anticipates early in-person voting results to come in within an hour of polls closing, and numbers from Election Day precincts should start rolling in around 8 p.m. “The big giant bite of ballots that has, in the past, mysteriously shown up at the end is going to start out at the kickoff this time,” Konopasek said. He noted it was a jurisdiction-by-jurisdiction decision, and others will not have the same reporting timeframe that he does. Despite the efforts of state and local officials, some candidates have continued to push the big little lie and have refused to say whether or not they will accept the results if they don’t go their way. If 2020 is any indicator, surely there will be some lawsuits over results but just how many remains to be seen.
Vote by mail vs. Voting in person
Due to the pandemic, voting by mail saw unprecedented numbers in 2020. Although more and more Americans are vaccinated, will that trend continue or will voters return to in-person voting? If voters do choose to vote by mail, will issues with postage and the U.S. Postal Service delay the delivery of their ballots? If voters choose to vote in-person will newly trained poll workers be ready? Will voters face issues with poll watchers or candidates and campaign volunteers as we’ve seen in early voting?
Elections-related initiatives are on the ballot in several places. In Broomfield, Colorado and Ann Arbor, Michigan, voters will be deciding whether or not to move to a ranked choice voting system for local elections. In Denver, voters will be voting on whether or not to move the city’s municipal elections from May to April. In New York, there are two statewide voting centric initiatives on the ballot this year. Ballot Proposal 3 would eliminate the 10-day advance voter registration requirement and essentially allow for same day voter registration. Ballot Proposal 4 would allow for no-excuse absentee voting. The two proposals in New York have drawn opposition from the state’s GOP.
And finally, the unknown, unknowns. Nearly 20 years ago (February 2002), late Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld was quoted as saying during a Department of Defense briefing: “Reports that say that something hasn’t happened are always interesting to me, because as we know, there are known knowns; there are things we know we know. We also know there are known unknowns; that is to say we know there are some things we do not know. But there are also unknown unknowns—the ones we don’t know we don’t know. And if one looks throughout the history of our country and other free countries, it is the latter category that tends to be the difficult ones.” While this quote was about alleged weapons of mass destruction, there’s probably not a better quote for the administration of elections, especially on Election Day.
NIST Comment Period
NIST Draft Report on Promoting Access to Voting
Comment period open until November 22
As part of the federal government’s effort to improve access to voting, the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) has released a draft publication outlining barriers that voters with disabilities may encounter during the election process — as well as potential approaches for addressing them. NIST is requesting comments from the public on the draft by Nov. 22, 2021, to inform a final version expected in December.
The draft publication, formally titled Promoting Access to Voting: Recommendations for Addressing Barriers to Private and Independent Voting for People with Disabilities (NIST Special Publication 1273), forms part of NIST’s response to the March 7, 2021, Executive Order (EO) 14019 on Promoting Access to Voting.
How to Comment:
You can comment via regulations.gov or directly to NIST.
If possible, we encourage you to use this comment template for sending in your comments.
You can find the Request and the draft document through regulations.gov by Searching regulations.gov with “NIST-2021-0005.” Or, go directly to https://www.regulations.gov/document/NIST-2021-0005-0001for the notice and to submit your comments (click the “comment” icon) and https://www.regulations.gov/document/NIST-2021-0005-0002 to download the report.
You can also go to the NIST webpage https://www.nist.gov/itl/voting/executive-order-promoting-access-voting and scroll down to “New Request for Comments” which also has links to the report, the comment template, and the regulations.gov notice.
If you prefer, you can send your comments directly to NIST via firstname.lastname@example.org (and NIST will post them on the regulations.gov comments page for you).
Again, we encourage you to use the comment template, if possible.
The NIST EO Voting Team
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Election News This Week
Speaking Out: The Florida Supervisors of Elections, the organization that represents elections officials from all 67 of the state’s counties recently sent a memo to politicians asking them to tone down the rhetoric with regard to election security. “During and after the 2020 Presidential Election, the integrity of our democracy has been challenged by misinformation, disinformation, and malinformation that sows discord and undermines trust in America’s electoral process,” the memo states. “Many of us have been threatened by our fellow citizens who have been led astray by these deceptions.” “Instead of standing idly by, we ask all candidates and elected officials to tone down the rhetoric and stand up for our democracy.” “In hindsight, we probably should have done it 8 or 9 months ago,” said Marion County Elections Supervisor Wesley Wilcox, president of the Florida Supervisors of Elections. “But it needs to be done, just to protect the foundation of this democracy.” He said the memo is directed at elected officials everywhere. “You can’t continue to knock it down and expect it to survive,” Wilcox said of the country’s democracy. “If we don’t stand up and start doing this for ourselves, nobody else is. Nobody else is coming to our rescue.”
Speaking Out Part II: Colorado Public Radio has a piece this week about the work Colorado elections officials are doing to stop the spread of mis/disinformation. Fremont County Clerk Justin Grantham, who has become frustrated with disinformation being spread by candidates recently poke at a forum hosted by the local Republican party, going over the checks and balances in Colorado’s voting system, including the use of bipartisan election teams, paper ballots, and risk-limiting audits to ensure accuracy. “A lot of people came up to me afterwards and said, ‘thank you for doing this and we feel better about what’s going on here in Fremont,’” Grantham told CPR. Efforts to reassure doubting voters go beyond outreach; in many counties, clerks are adding new procedures to back up the accuracy of their results. El Paso county has created a citizen audit tool and put images of all its ballots online, a huge extra task. Over the summer, the county re-ran all of the ballots for the presidential race through Clear Ballot machines, and plans to do that again after this election. Republican Clerk and Recorder Chuck Broerman. Broerman said he’s talked to over a thousand people about the election, but notes that claims of election fraud aren’t new. “There’s been that undercurrent, but not to the level that it’s been this year. It’s just caused us here as election administrators and officials to redouble our efforts, because we’re confident in our process.”
Speaking Out Part III: The Michigan Association of County Clerks is calling for citizens and activists to accept the results of the November 2020 election in Michigan, including those in Antrim County. Antrim County’s results have come under particular scrutiny because initial results briefly showed Joe Biden had won the race in the county and later results showed Donald Trump had won in the county. Though officials attributed the mistake to human error and an audit was performed, Antrim County has been used to push false claims of election fraud. The Michigan Association of County Clerks (MACC) on Monday said Antrim County Clerk Sheryl Guy nor her office “did anything to purposefully generate incorrect results initially reported for the Nov. 3, 2020 presidential election.” Both Democratic and Republican members of the association affirm the issue was not caused by equipment but instead by “innocent human error.” “In the end, the system worked in Antrim County,” St. Joseph County Clerk Lindsay Oswald said. “Clerk Guy caught the mistake and corrected it.” “Because of the many checks and balances we have in place, mistakes like the one in Antrim County are caught and fixed,” Muskegon County Clerk Nancy Waters said. “MACC echoes the findings of the Michigan State Senate Oversight Committee which, after months of testimony and research, found ‘no evidence of widespread or systematic fraud occurred’ during the November 2020 election.”
From Washington to Washington: Kim Wyman (R) resigned this week as Washington’s secretary of state in order to take a role with CISA as senior elections security lead. CNN first reported the news Monday night with Wyman making an official announcement on Tuesday. Former CISA director Chris Krebs told CNN that he was “really impressed” by the choice of Wyman to lead the agency’s election security efforts. “Kim doesn’t see R or D, red or blue,” Krebs said. “She’s committed to delivering democracy for the nation. Everyone wins here.” In her announcement to supporters, Wyman said, in part: “I am leaving office with a heavy heart, as I love this job and appreciate all you have to help me succeed as secretary of state. The opportunity to serve our country as a guardian of our election system and to be part of an agency that is the tip of the spear defending our country is a high honor.” In a Twitter thread, current CISA Director Jen Easterly said, “Kim & I share a common view that the security of our elections must be a non-partisan effort. As someone who served in R & D administrations, I was looking for the BEST PERSON to lead our Election Security mission. Kim Wyman IS that person. I can’t wait for her to join the team!”
Ramp Raising: You’ve heard of barn raisings, well recently in Worcester, Massachusetts and Madison County, Georgia volunteers got together to build ramps at a voting site and an elections office. In Worcester, the ramp was installed at the American Legion East Side Post with the help of Worcester City Councilor Candy Mero-Carlson, as well as Worcester firefighters and volunteers from the Central Massachusetts AFL-CIO. The ramp will permanently be part of the building. Mero-Carlson says it was difficult for many to get up the previous ramp. A group called the ‘Ramp Gang,’ which is made up of retired firefighters, decided to help and redirect it towards the parking lot in hopes of making it more convenient. “This is one of the greatest, you know,” said Election Commission Vice Chair Winnie Octave. “I never thought that would be such a big job. This is a real big job and I’m so proud of all the people who organized it.” In Madison County, Georgia, the Madison County Rotary Club constructed an access ramp for the Madison County board of elections building. The ramp, which consists of a 16-foot ramp and a six-foot ramp joined by two landings, will make it possible to transport the large and bulky voting machines into the board of election building. “The Rotary Club of Madison County was happy to assist the County Commission in this community service,” Rotary members said.
Personnel News: Former Jefferson County Clerk Pam Anderson is running for Colorado secretary of state. John Scott has been appointed to serve as the Texas secretary of state. Melinda Lemmons is the new Pulaski County, Arkansas director of elections. Sandra Bonnette has been sworn in as the new Rapides Parish, Louisiana registrar of voters. Barbara “Barb” Jones is retiring as the Dickinson County, Kansas clerk after 44 years of working for the county including 12 as the county clerk/election officer. Adams Township, Michigan Clerk Stephanie Scott has been directed by the Michigan Bureau of Elections to cease administering elections, including the Nov. 2 election. Chesterfield Township Clerk Cindy Berry has joined the race for Michigan secretary of state. Myrna Perez has been confirmed to serve on the 2nd U.S. Court of Appeals.
Maryland: The mayor and Council voted unanimously to amend city code to provide for universal voting by mail, new protocols related to the casting and counting of ballots and elimination of absentee ballots. The city used mail-in voting for the most recent city election and the 1,031 ballots cast was an increase over previous years. There were just 725 ballots casts in 2018, 418 in 2016 and 446 in 2014. “It strikes the absentee ballot provisions because everyone is getting a ballot by mail,” said Elizabeth Stahlman, the city’s administrator. As part of the provision, ballots “shall be mailed to registered voters no sooner than 35 days and no later than 25 days prior to the date of the election.”
Alaska: Opponents of Alaska’s new ranked-choice election system, having lost a lawsuit in Superior Court, are now appealing to the state Supreme Court. Alaska’s high court has accepted the appeal under an accelerated timeline that will have justices hear arguments Jan. 18. The justices are expected to issue a summary decision shortly afterward, and that decision will determine how Alaska will conduct its statewide elections in 2022. Last year, 50.6% of participating Alaska voters approved Ballot Measure 2, which significantly changes how Alaska conducts state elections. Attorney Ken Jacobus, a Republican, is representing himself, the Alaskan Independence Party and Libertarian candidate Scott Kohlhaas in a legal effort to overturn that result, arguing that it is impossible to implement the measure in a way that follows the Alaska Constitution and U.S. Constitution. “We’re trying to set aside the whole thing,” he said. Defending against the suit are the state of Alaska, which is in charge of implementing the measure, and Alaskans for Better Elections, successor to the organization that campaigned in favor of the measure.
Colorado: The Colorado Supreme Court declined to take up Mesa County Clerk and Recorder Tina Peters’ (R) appeal to a 21st Judicial District Court’s ruling concerning her status as the county’s Designated Election Official. 21st Judicial District Court Judge Valerie J. Robison officially removed Peters as the county’s DEO on Wednesday, October 13. Peters and her attorney Scott Gessler sought to overturn that decision. Mesa Co. resident Heidi Heiss, one of the plaintiffs in the case, shared her thoughts on the matter. She says she got involved after becoming concerned about the Mesa Co. Clerk and Recorder’s Office. Heiss explained that, “I had concerns about what I was seeing in the news… And hearing from our clerk… In the media about what had happened and what she was admitting to.” The Supreme Court’s decision not to take up the matter leaves standing the findings of the district court’s ruling in this civil case. The district court found that Clerk Peters neglected her duty and committed “wrongful acts.” Wayne Williams remains the county’s DEO, and Mesa Co. Treasurer Sheila Refiner stays the Election Supervisor.
Iowa: Attorneys for the League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC) of Iowa filed a lawsuit challenging Iowa’s “English-Only Law.” The suit, filed against Iowa Secretary of State Paul Pate, the Iowa Voter Registration Commission and county auditors in Buena Vista, Calhoun, Jefferson and Montgomery counties, challenges election officials’ failure to provide non-English election materials, specifically Spanish language materials, to voters with limited English proficiency. A 2002 state law mandates all official political documents from the state be written in English, with the exception of voting materials in two counties. Only Buena Vista and Tama counties are allowed to translate election materials, due to their high populations of Hispanic and Indigenous Peoples, respectfully. “(B)ut Spanish speakers outside Buena Vista County — and other language minorities with limited English-language proficiency — face unnecessary barriers to voting due to an erroneous interpretation and implementation of the English-Only Law,” according to the lawsuit filed by Washington, D.C.-based election law firm Elias Law Group and Des Moines law firm McCormally & Cosgrove. LULAC claims the Iowa law disenfranchises voters and violates provisions in federal law and both the U.S. and Iowa constitutions protecting the right to vote.
Pennsylvania: Democratic and Republican voters, as well as advocacy organizations including the League of Women Voters of Pennsylvania, took to the stand, applying to intervene the Commonwealth’s lawsuit challenges against the subpoena for 9 million voters’ personal information for a review of the 2020 General Election and the 2021 Primary Election. Attorney General Josh Shapiro filed the lawsuit on behalf of the Department of State against the Senate Intergovernmental Operations Committee, Senator Cris Dush and Senate President Pro Tempore Jake Corman. In court, the League of Women Voters of Pennsylvania said the subpoena is an invasion of personal information, which could expose voters to identify theft, financial fraud and is a form of voter suppression. In court, those testifying called the subpoena an invasion of private information. The defense maintained the stance personal information is already shared by state entities. The subpoena requests names, dates of birth, home addresses, driver’s license numbers and partial social security numbers. Voters inside the court expressed the most concern for driver’s license numbers and the last four digits of their society security number to be shared. No decision was made as to whether or not voters and organizations can join the lawsuit, but both sides expect a decision to come soon. If they’re told they cannot join the effort to keep their information private, the voters and organizations plan to start their own lawsuit. A Commonwealth Court judge has approved the motion to intervene.
Virginia: A lawsuit filed by a think tank claims Fairfax County is violating Virginia election laws by approving absentee and mail-in ballot applications that do not include information required by the state, but county officials are saying they have not broken any laws. The lawsuit, filed by the Virginia Institute for Public Policy, asserts the county is approving ballot applications that have been requested by mail or digitally and do not include the last four digits of the applicant’s social security number. Section 24.2-701 states that an applicant must provide this information, unless the person is filling out the application in person. “This requirement is designed to protect the right to vote by ensuring that only the eligible voter may obtain an absentee ballot in his or her name,” the lawsuit states. The affidavit alleges Fairfax County Electoral Electoral Board Chairman Stephen Hunt wrote an email to Brim, in which he confirmed the county was approving absentee ballot applications that did not include the last four digits of the applicant’s social security number, but had been approved. According to the lawsuit, the county does not have the authority to suspend these requirements and the lawsuit requests the court prevent them from approving any more applications that do not include the information and prevent them from enrolling applicants who submitted such applications. The lawsuit also requests the court order the county to collect the social security numbers of any person who was issued an absentee or mail-in ballot without providing his or her social security number.
The Virginia Democratic Party filed a lawsuit against the US Postal Service on Friday, alleging local branches failed to deliver and process election-related material ahead of its high-stakes gubernatorial race, thereby “threatening to disenfranchise thousands of Virginia voters.” The organization says delays in election-related mail across Albemarle County, which includes the city of Charlottesville, James City County, which is adjacent to Williamsburg, and the area of Portsmouth near Norfolk, are “particularly egregious,” according to the lawsuit. “Thousands of ballots delivered to postal facilities by the general registrars weeks ago are still outstanding and, weeks later, have not yet even been scanned into USPS’s system. Even if these voters do eventually receive their ballots before Election Day, the slowdowns promise that they will not have sufficient time to send them back with assurance that they will arrive in time to be counted,” the lawsuit filed in US District Court says. “And even if a ballot reaches the appropriate election official before the receipt deadline, if the official identifies any issues with it that require remediation before it may be counted, the voter will have run out of time to rectify the problem.”
Wisconsin: Attorney General Josh Kaul is seeking to block subpoenas former Supreme Court Justice Michael Gableman issued to state elections officials as part of Assembly Republicans’ review of the 2020 presidential election. Kaul is asking a Dane County judge to declare that the subpoenas are unenforceable under the state and U.S. constitutions and Wisconsin state law. He also wants the judge to issue an order barring Gableman from enforcing the subpoenas or penalizing those who do not comply. Kaul argued the subpoenas are improper because Gableman wants to interview Wisconsin Elections Commission administrator Meagan Wolfe privately, rather than in public in front of a legislative committee. “The Special Counsel and his staff, however, have been charged with assisting the Committee, but they are not themselves a house of the Legislature or a legislative committee. The Subpoenas also command the witnesses to appear not in the state capitol or any other location in which a legislative committee would ordinarily meet, but rather in a non-public office ‘at 200 South Executive Drive, Suite 101, Brookfield, WI 53005,'” Kaul wrote.
Opinions This Week
National Opinions: Voting rights, II | Democracy | The Big Lie | Vote by mail | Attacks on voting | Federal election legislation | Threats | Judge Myrna Perez
Arizona: Voting rights
California: San Diego County
Colorado: The Big Lie;
Connecticut: Absentee voting, II
Illinois: Election integrity
Indiana: Federal election legislation | Voting rights
Florida: Election supervisors | Voting changes
Massachusetts: Voting rights
Michigan: Federal election legislation
New Jersey: Early voting
New Mexico: The Big Lie
New York: Ranked choice voting
North Carolina: Election legislation
Pennsylvania: Election reform
South Dakota: Ranked choice voting
Texas: Secretary of state, II, III
Utah: Faith in elections, II | Voting system | 2020 election review, II
Virginia: Early voting | The Big Lie
Washington: Kim Wyman | Secretary of state
Wisconsin: 2020 election review
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.
One Year Out from the Midterms: Where Election Misinformation Stands: Election misinformation is more prevalent now than at any other time in American history. 29% of Americans believe the 2020 election was “stolen” from former President Trump, despite there being no evidence of widespread voter fraud in any state. Social media has become a battle ground where misinformation and authoritative information compete for users’ trust and clicks. One year out from the 2022 midterms, join the Bipartisan Policy Center for a conversation between social media and election experts about what is being done to promote authoritative election information, what additional actions need to be taken, and how it could impact the midterms. Panel discussion with: Maurice Turner, Cybersecurity Fellow, Alliance for Securing Democracy at the German Marshall Fund of the United States; C. Murphy Hebert, Director of Communications, Arizona Secretary of State; Katie Harbath, Tech and Democracy Fellow, BPC. Moderated by: Naomi Nix, Tech Reporter, Bloomberg LP. When: November 4, 12pm. Where: Online.
Disinformation in American Elections Part III: This three-part online lunch series hosted by the Fair Elections and Free Speech Center at UCI Law explores the risk of disinformation in American elections, spread through social media and otherwise, and how to counter it. This session, Part III of the series, features a conversation among leading social scientists studying disinformation in American elections and our evolving understanding of how disinformation spreads and may be limited. Speakers include: Joan Donavan (Harvard), Brendan Nyhan (Dartmout) and Renee DiResta (Stanford). The event will be moderated by former NPR correspondent Pam Fessler. When: November 10; 3:15pm Eastern. Where: Online.
Foxes and Henhouses: Restoring Oversight and Accountability A Year After the 2020 Election: As we approach the one-year anniversary of the 2020 election, advocates and lawmakers are still debating how best to protect our democratic institutions and promote accountability for executive branch transgressions. Some are particularly concerned about the role that the Department of Justice and its Office of Legal Counsel (OLC) played in undermining congressional oversight during the Trump years, when it issued opinions that arguably distorted the separation of powers by brooking no recognition for Congress’s prerogatives as a co-equal branch. Others are focused on the need to protect and strengthen the roles of Inspectors General after former President Trump fired four IGs in the span of six weeks in what some called a “dangerous pattern of retaliation” against federal watchdogs. Recognizing that transparency and oversight is key to democratic survival, what are the best ways to achieve accountability for executive branch transgressions? What role should the Office of Legal Counsel play in reigning in executive branch illegality? And what reforms to the Inspector General system are needed so that these watchdogs can provide the independent nonpartisan oversight they are legislatively required to deliver? Moderated by Josh Gerstein, senior legal affairs reporter with Politico and featuring welcoming remarks from former Sen. Russ Feingold. When: Nov. 18, 2pm Eastern. Where: Online.
Democracy Fund Language Access for Voters Summit: We hope you will join our summit on the importance of language access for voters. With the newest set of Section 203 determinations likely to be released in early December, this virtual convening of election officials, voting rights advocates, and translation experts will feature discussions on a variety of language needs and the services necessary to meet those needs, to meet voters where they are. Join us on December 13-14th at 2pm ET/11am PT to share ideas, tools, and best practices with a focus on practical ideas about what needs to be done between now and November 2022 in order to provide effective language assistance in communities across the United States. Please stay tuned for more information about our program, panelists, and workshops. When: December 13-14, 2pm-5pm Eastern. Where: Online.
IGO Mid-Winter Conference: The International Association of Government Officials will hold its 2022 Mid-Winter Conference in-person in Indian Wells, California. Registration is currently available. Check back for more information on the agenda. When: January 20-25, 2022. Where: Indian Wells, California.
NASED Winter Conference: Watch this space for more information. When: January 27-30, 2022. Where: Washington, DC.
NASS Winter Conference: Watch this space for more information. When: January 27-30, 2022. Where: Washington, DC.
Job Postings This Week
electionlineWeekly publishes election administration job postings each week as a free service to our readers. To have your job listed in the newsletter, please send a copy of the job description, including a web link to email@example.com. Job postings must be received by 5pm on Wednesday in order to appear in the Thursday newsletter. Listings will run for three weeks or till the deadline listed in the posting.
CEO, Democracy Works— Democracy Works seeks a strategic, committed leader to serve as its Chief Executive Officer. Democracy Works’ rise over the last 11 years was led by its Founding Chief Executive Officer who will be stepping down at the end of 2021. The incoming CEO will step into an organization in strong financial and strategic health, with an exceptional team. Reporting to Democracy Works’ Board of Directors, the CEO will serve as the organization’s most senior external advocate and fundraiser, overseeing the organization’s continued growth in its current moment and beyond. The CEO will also set organizational strategy, enabling Democracy Works to continue to deliver consistent, high-quality products, research, and expert assistance in pursuit of a fairer voting system. As the organization’s primary strategic leader, the CEO will support Democracy Works’ leadership team and staff to achieve exceptional results and impact at scale. Upon starting, it is anticipated that the CEO will lead an organizational strategic review and a foundational analysis of organizational strengths and opportunities in the areas of diversity, equity, inclusion, and access working closely with staff to chart its course into the future. The CEO will play a critical leadership role to foster an inclusive workplace that not only values and is responsive to the diversity of staff and the audiences it serves, but elevates all voices and identities across its work internally and with external partners. CEO will also build the organization’s internal capacity to ensure diversity, equity, and inclusion are central tenets of Democracy Works and are embedded across the organization. The CEO will directly manage a senior leadership team of 8 and an organization of over 60 staff. Application: For the complete job listing and to apply, click here.
Civic Design Fellowship, Center for Civic Design— Join us as the 2022 Civic Design Fellow. In a 4-month program, from January to April, you’ll take your interest in democracy as a design problem to the next level, working with the Center for Civic Design team and completing an independent project exploring the intersection of language access and voting participation. The Civic Design Fellowship is an opportunity for an early-career professional in UX or an adjacent field to develop their superpowers and take a step towards a career in civic design and research. During the 4 months of the Fellowship, you will: Work on CCD projects covering a range of topics and methodologies, giving you a well-rounded experience of our work and impact. You’ll contribute your own skills and work alongside staff with a wide range of expertise — including design, research, usability testing, language access, and plain language.; Join our regular team-life meetings and contribute to internal conversations. We use this time to discuss projects and civic or election-related news, tackle design challenges together, and try out new ideas; Conduct your own independent project. You’ll propose a topic during the application process. Then, we’ll help you refine the idea and plan the project. You will have staff support through planning, implementation, and final report. And you’ll leave the Fellowship with a completed project for your civic design resume; and Meet election officials and others working in civic design to learn more about the field. Deadline: November 12. Application: For the complete job listing and to apply, click here.
Counsel, Fair Elections Center— Fair Elections Center is a national, nonpartisan, non-profit voting rights and election reform organization based in Washington, D.C. Our mission is to use litigation and advocacy to remove barriers to registration and voting, particularly those disenfranchising underrepresented and marginalized communities, and to improve election administration. Fair Elections Center is seeking an attorney with a background or strong interest in civil rights, voting rights, and/or election reform to join our legal team. The Center has an aggressive and expanding litigation docket, including pending challenges to the arbitrary felon voting rights restoration scheme in Kentucky, restrictions and penalties imposed on voter registration activity and voter assistance for persons with disabilities in Florida, and unnecessary barriers to the use of student IDs as voter ID in Wisconsin. Recent cases include a First Amendment challenge to Florida’s arbitrary voting rights restoration system which resulted in the first court order striking down a state felon disenfranchisement or re-enfranchisement scheme in over 30 years, and lawsuits in Wisconsin, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Louisiana, and Kentucky to make voting safer and more accessible during the COVID-19 pandemic. Salary: $85,000 to $100,000. Application: For the complete job listing and to apply, click here.
Director, Voter Registration & Elections, DeKalb County, Georgia— The purpose of this classification is to plan, direct, and oversee the operations and staff involved in voter registration and elections processes for the County and to ensure compliance with local, state, and federal election and voter registration laws, rules, and regulations under the general oversight of the Board of Registration & Elections. Essential Functions: The following duties are normal for this classification. The omission of specific statements of the duties does not exclude them from the classification if the work is similar, related, or a logical assignment for this classification. Other duties may be required and assigned. Manages, directs, and evaluates assigned staff; oversees employee work schedules to ensure adequate coverage and control; reviews timesheets; approves/processes employee concerns and problems and counsels or disciplines as appropriate; assists with or completes employee performance appraisals; directs work; acts as a liaison between employees and County administrators and elected officials; and trains staff in operations, policies, and procedures. Organizes, prioritizes, and assigns work; prioritizes and schedules work activities in order to meet objectives; ensures that subordinates have the proper resources needed to complete the assigned work; monitors status of work in progress and inspects completed work; and consults with assigned staff to assist with complex/problem situations and provide technical expertise. Partners with Board of Registration & Elections to establish vision and goals for department and overall conduct of all elections-related efforts in the County; develops and implements long and short-term plans, goals, and objectives for department; evaluates effectiveness and efficiency of department activities; establishes, reviews, and revises policies, procedures, plans, and programs; and researches, assesses, and develops strategies to meet current and future election and voter registration needs. Supports, guides, and responds to requests and directives from the Board of Registration & Elections; ensures Board members understand their role and duties; plans, prepares, and executes Board meetings in partnership with Board Chair; communicates with and informs Board members in accordance with Board by-laws. Interprets, applies, and ensures compliance with all applicable codes, laws, rules, regulations, standards, policies and procedures; initiates any actions necessary to correct deviations or violations; maintains a comprehensive, current knowledge of applicable laws/regulations and pending legislation that may impact department operations; and maintains an awareness of new products, methods, trends and advances in the profession. Consults with Board of Registration & Elections to develop, implement, and administers department budget; applies current and commonly accepted financial management practices to create and monitor project and program budgets; presents and defends budget to County officials and Commissioners; monitors expenditures for adherence to established budgetary parameters; and prepares and submits invoices and other financial documentation. Directs functions and activities of the department; directs voter registration programs, voter education and outreach programs; administers elections; recruits and trains poll workers; and oversees storage, maintenance, preparation, and testing of election equipment. Directs voter registration activities; reviews and approves staffing levels during high volume and peak registration periods; monitors work activities to ensure timely processing of applications and maintenance of voter registration rolls; and conducts voter education seminars and training for citizens. Conducts elections; supervises departmental personnel to ensure that all elections are conducted in accordance with state and federal laws and regulations; determines locations and schedule for early voting; organizes equipment and staff deployment levels for early and election day voting; reviews training packets; monitors early voting traffic and election task lists; approves ballot layouts; and implements changes in procedures to resolve issues. Represents department to media, voters, other departments, municipalities and other stakeholders; represents department at Board of Commissioners meetings, Registration and Elections Board meetings, and to Secretary of State’s office; answers questions and provides information; coordinates work activities; reviews status of work; and resolves problems. Salary: $102,843 – $159,408. Deadline: November 19. Application: For the complete job listing and to apply, click here.
Early Voting Specialist, Wake County, North Carolina— The Early Voting Specialist will also assist with planning and 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. What will you do as an Early Voting Specialist? Develop and design training material for election workers, including classroom presentations, manuals, quick reference guides, workbooks, training videos, and e-learning modules; Teach training classes via Zoom or in person at the Board of Elections Operations Center; Monitor and assess election law changes and incorporate the changes into Early Voting site procedures; Identify training needs and solutions, collaborate with team members on best practices, develop training assessments, and implement changes in response to the assessments; Manage the logistics of early voting training, including recruiting and training classroom instructors, scheduling classroom facilities, recruiting and supervising training assistants, and preparing training budget needs; Manage the Learning Management System through user interface design, user record management, course creation, and uploading of SCORM packages; Develop high level design documents, storyboards, audio narration scripts, status reporting, Q&A and testing plans; Schedule and design layouts for training facilities Develop and design election forms, Precinct Official website, newsletters, assessments, and other communications; Answer calls on the Early Voting support help line, including training help line staff, managing telephone, website, and live chat support tools, and managing help line staff schedules; Listen and respond to voter complaints; Identify innovative training tools and methods to enhance the Early Voting training program; Assist with Early Voting site management, including scheduling, communication, support, logistics, database management, and site setups; Assist with election support operations, including answering phone calls at the Precinct Official support help line and performing post-election reconciliation procedures,. Salary: Hiring Range: $17.49 – $23.60. Deadline: November 7. Application: For the complete job listing and to apply, click here.
Election Administrator, Hood County, Texas— Provides customer assistance necessary in structuring, organizing and implementing the voter registration process and the county election process. Examples of Important Responsibilities and Duties—Important responsibilities and duties may include, but are not limited to, the following: Perform voter registration duties and the duties of organizing and conducting elections for the county; Hire, supervise and train department employees and election workers; Custodian of election equipment and all election records; Effectively manage public relations for the Election Administrator office by providing election information, issuing press releases, conducting interviews and participating in interviews with the media; Prepare and present annual department budget for approval of the County Elections Commission; Make reports to and work closely with the County Election Commission as well as the County Commissioners Court; Provide the clerical assistance needed by the Commissioners Court in canvassing precinct election returns; Responsible for filing of petitions, determining their validity and any other matters preceding the ordering of the election; Be willing to work and possibly contract with other political subdivisions in the county for their election needs; Attend annual Texas Secretary of State Election Law Seminar and any other functions deemed necessary; Represent the county in an honest and professional manner; and Perform any and all other duties of an Election Administrator as set forth in the Texas Election Code. Application: For the complete job listing and to apply, click here.
Elections Manager, Clackamas County, Oregon— Our Election Manager must manage and supervise elections flawlessly and with transparency, honoring and counting every vote. The incumbent will plan, organize and manage all general, primary, and special elections held in the county and ensure elections procedures and records comply with statutory requirements. Additionally, the position has supervision over four technical and clerical support personnel and, during elections, up to 100 temporary employees. The Elections Manager is responsible for managing the technical and administrative activities of the Elections Division, including voter registration, candidate filing, ballot preparation, voting, vote tallying, jurisdictional mapping, reporting, and other requirements related to conducting special, primary, and general elections in compliance with federal, state, and local statutes, regulations, and rules. Competitive applicants will be highly motivated, detail-oriented, and have well-developed management and supervisory skills. A demonstrated ability to maintain an environment of high integrity and dependability is critical in the role. Equity, diversity, and inclusion are at the core of everything we do. Clackamas County is committed to building a workforce that reflects the community we serve. In that spirit, we encourage applicants of diverse backgrounds and experiences to apply. Salary: $ 78,088.26 – $ 105,420.58. Application: For the complete job listing and to apply, click here.
Executive Assistant (Republican), Lucas County, Ohio— Reports to the Deputy Director; prepares reports, letters and create forms as required; prepares a variety of documents; assists with the preparation of ballot language according to statutory requirements and reports language for approval to the Secretary of State’s Office and County Prosecutor’s Office; assists with the preparation of legal notices for advertisement purposes according to statutory requirements; prepares timely financial reporting to the Secretary of State, the Lucas County Commissioner and the Office of Budget and Management; responsible for purchasing; coordinates travel arrangements/seminars; responsible for electronically taping all Board Meetings and typing minutes; responsible for preparation of all election reporting requirements to the Ohio’s Secretary of State, Ohio Department of Taxation, School Districts, County of Board of Commissioners, Councils and Cities, and Villages Townships Trustee, other taxing authorities and Department of Liquor Control; acts as liaison between municipalities, Secretary of State, and County Commissioners; responsible for preparing and posting Board Meeting Agenda Notices; prepares and post all media advisories; must maintain confidentiality and business integrity; performs all other duties as assigned, by the Director/Deputy Director, the Board of Elections and/or a prescribed by law. Also, back-up for the Executive Assistant to the Director. Process all new employees’ documents; prepares bi-weekly payroll for all staff, seasonal employees and Board members; review all time sheets, maintain accurate records for all vacation, compensatory and sick leave accrued and used by full-time employees. Other duties as assigned. Must be a Republican. Salary: $23-$25/hour. Application: For the complete job listing and to apply, click here.
Government Services Strategy Impact and Learning Associate, CTCL— Election officials want to administer elections where every eligible voter can easily and securely cast their vote. But moving from intention to real-world impact can be challenging, especially without evidence of what works and what doesn’t work. As the Strategy, Impact, & Learning Associate on CTCL’s Government Services team, you will help measure and maximize the impact of CTCL’s work supporting election officials. You will identify metrics, design evaluations, coordinate with partners, and collect and analyze data. You will contribute to a culture of learning at the heart of CTCL’s Gov Services team, which will expand outward to our partners that work directly with election offices, and expand further outward to every election office in the country. You will be filling a new position and will report to the Senior Strategy, Impact, and Learning Manager. If you care about democracy, if you believe in the importance of public service, and if you love to exceed expectations, this is the job for you. Application: For the complete job listing and to apply, click here.
Information Security Officer, Virginia Department of Elections— The State Board, through the Department of Elections (ELECT), shall supervise and coordinate the work of the county and city electoral boards and of the registrars to obtain uniformity in their practices and proceedings and legality and purity in all elections. It shall make rules and regulations and issue instructions and provide information consistent with the election laws to the electoral boards and registrars to promote the proper administration of election laws. Ensuring the integrity and accuracy of the administration of elections through the administration of the state-wide voter registration system, campaign finance disclosure application and other agency applications and solutions. Ensuring that the systems perform to the expectations of the users and conform to applicable federal and state laws and Board rules and regulations. Leads ELECT’s Information Security Program to ensure ELECT Systems remain confidential, integrity is maintained, and ELECT systems remain available for all users. Ensures ELECT systems meet federal, Commonwealth of Virginia and agency security standards. The position will work with ELECT development teams, network service providers and security staff of the Commonwealth of Virginia to ensure security requirements are included in SDLC activities. Responsible for creating and maintaining security policies, artifacts, tracking vulnerability remediation and updating system security plans to meet changing business, security and technology requirements. Responsible implementing and monitoring security controls for ELECT’s information technology systems. Oversees Information Security Program, ELECT’s Data Privacy Program and ELECT’s Locality Security Program including Voting Systems and Voter Registration System Security. Salary: Up to $150,000. Application: For the complete job listing and to apply, click here.
Information Technology Specialist, Leon County, Florida— This full-time employee will provide support for a wide variety of technology needs, primarily specializing in computer hardware. Duties include deploying computer images, providing support for desktop computers, and assisting with security and protection of elections technology and infrastructure. The role is ideal for a dynamic, self-motivated IT professional who is focused on providing outstanding internal customer service and innovations across project teams. Success in this position requires experience with Windows desktops and applications, and installing and maintaining peripheral hardware such as printers, scanners, and bar code readers. Experience in multimedia and video production and editing is desired, but not required. Must be able to deliver work on-time under pressure and maintain flexible hours including on-call shifts and overtime during elections. Occasional out-of-town travel may be required for training. Work is sometimes physically demanding and requires reliable personal transportation, an insurable driving record, and a security clearance. Application: For the complete job listing and to apply, click here.
Voting Systems Assistant OPS/Seasonal, Leon County, Florida— Duties for this full-time seasonal position include equipment maintenance, sign creation and assembly, organizing materials, asset management, assisting with retention of official records, and serving as USPS liaison for the office. Work is performed in a physical, warehouse-type environment supplemented with office work. Applicants should demonstrate integrity and a passion for providing internal operational support for the office. Must be able to work under pressure, have flexible hours during election cycles, and complete tasks in a timely and organized manner. Must be able to lift up to fifty pounds and have an insurable driving record. The anticipated term of employment for this position is at least until completion of the 2022 election cycle (through November 2022). This position qualifies for retirement and health care benefits. Application: For the complete job listing and to apply, click here.
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Cuyahoga County, Ohio Board of Elections has approximately 1,000 poll booths available at no charge. If your county is interested in these poll booths, please contact Cuyahoga County at email@example.com or 216-443-6428.