In Focus This Week
Election directors and technology
Finding funding and support for election modernization
By Jamie Chesser, director of programs
National States Geographic Information Council
While election directors face numerous challenges – increased polarization, voter distrust, even the threat of violence – having access to technology that makes their work more accurate and efficient shouldn’t be one of them. Yet, in research conducted by National States Geographic Information Council (NSGIC), that is the picture painted by representatives from 53% of state election offices across the United States. Twenty-seven state election directors, along with two from U.S. territories, reported on the use of geographic information systems (GIS) in elections. They also shared information on voter registration systems and whether these support efforts to audit voters’ location compared to precinct and district assignments. Lastly, they provided insight on relationships and funding to support election modernization.
The results: not great. In 76% of the surveyed jurisdictions, voter registration systems do not support GIS data, meaning that ensuring that voters have been placed in the right precincts and voting districts is needlessly difficult. Only one in five election directors work with a geographic information officer (GIO) to get needed support for voter audits and other tasks that can ensure accuracy, efficiency, and transparency in elections. Two-thirds of respondents reported not having access to, or not knowing if they had access to, a universal address list, such as data from 911 address databases or the National Address Database (NAD).
At least the last couple of challenges are easily fixable. Many states have GIOs, and NSGIC’s Geo-Enabled Elections project has worked hard to build relationships between election offices and GIOs in the past few years. It has also developed leading-edge insight and resources to support states on the path to election modernization. State GIOs are geospatial information experts and can support election directors in identifying resources like address databases and in creating audit processes to uncover errors. Geocoding software can be bought off the shelf and can be deployed to automatically compare voter locations to voting district boundaries, in order to identify discrepancies in election data.
NSGIC also offers tools to help election offices with more long-term election modernization efforts: if a voter registration system is outdated and doesn’t support geo-enabling, or GIS integration, the organization shares sample requests for proposals that could assist in procuring a new one. If funding or support from a state’s legislature is needed to enshrine important processes in law or to provide funding for needed investments, NSGIC in 2021 developed sample statutory language as a starting point for the work to create state statute.
Some encouraging news was uncovered in the survey: two-thirds of responding election offices use GIS for some election-related activities, most commonly for redistricting (59%), followed by election data management and creating and maintaining point locations for registered voters (35% each) and spatial data audits to verify districts or precincts (31%).
The work to geo-enable elections is progressing in states and counties across the nation. Some of that progress has been spurred by and documented in the Geo-Enabled Elections project’s many pilot projects, available for download on elections.NSGIC.org. An additional pilot project report, involving a number of states and counties across the United States working on election modernization during 2021, is currently wrapping up and is scheduled to be published in December.
Perhaps the thorniest challenge in election modernization is voter registration systems. Among the 29 jurisdictions that provided input, over half appeared to be using bespoke systems, developed more or less uniquely for them. And even among the remainder, significant fragmentation could be seen in the technology they were using. This means it would be tricky to develop an off-the-shelf modular solution that can integrate GIS into the many commercial VRS solutions, not to mention the vast number of bespoke systems at both the county and state levels. This is a very challenging situation, and one with a variety of solutions including individual software development approaches, technological band-aids, or even upgrading to an entirely new voter registration system.
That, of course, would involve significant financial investments – another area where the 2021 election director survey offers good news: 28% of respondents report that they have used, or plan to use, HAVA funding to geo-enable elections. Similarly, 10% have considered using funds from the American Rescue Plan Act 2021 or the American Jobs Plan to invest in geo-enabling their elections. Since the survey was conducted in the summer of 2021, items from the American Jobs Plan may have been incorporated into the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act.
In part to reflect on the Election Director survey findings, and also to look ahead to further election modernization, NSGIC will be convening its third Elections GeoSummit on December 9, 2021, from 1-5 pm ET. The keynote speaker, Neal Kelley, registrar of voters for Orange County, California, is a long-time proponent of election modernization, and the overall theme of Technology, Elections, Relationships should provide a stimulating stepping-off point for panel discussions, group discussions, and a tech forum of interest to anyone involved in elections. For more information and to register, go to the NSGIC website.
A full report of the Election Director survey will also be available soon at elections.NSGIC.org.
December Schedule Changes
During the month of December, on Fridays and the week between Christmas and New Year, the Daily News will post by 10am each day. The Daily News will not post on December 24 and 31, which are federal holidays. Electionline Weekly will continue to publish as normal each Thursday.
2022 EAVS Public Comment Period
2022 EAVS Public Comment Period
Comments due by Jan. 28
In compliance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, the U.S. Election Assistance Commission (EAC) announces an information collection and seeks public comment on the provisions thereof. The EAC intends to submit this proposed information collection (2022 Election Administration and Voting Survey, or EAVS) to the Director of the Office of Management and Budget for approval. The 2022 EAVS asks election officials questions concerning voting and election administration, including the following topics: Voter registration; overseas and military voting; voting by mail; early in-person voting; polling operations; provisional voting; voter participation; election technology; election policy; and other related issues.
Comments: Public comments are invited on: (a) Whether the proposed collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of the functions of the agency, including whether the information shall have practical utility; (b) the accuracy of the agency’s estimate of the burden of the proposed information collection; (c) ways to enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected; and (d) ways to minimize the burden of the information collection on respondents, including through the use of automated collection techniques or other forms of information technology.
Comments on the proposed information collection should be submitted electronically via https://www.regulations.gov (docket ID: EAC-2021-0002). Written comments on the proposed information collection can also be sent to the U.S. Election Assistance Commission, 633 3rd Street NW, Suite 200, Washington, DC 20001, Attn: EAVS.
electionline Daily News Email
What’s the best part of waking up? electionline Daily News in your inbox of course so be sure to sign up for your daily dose.
Each morning you’ll receive the top headlines of the day, plus a listing of states featured in that day’s news round up.
To sign up, simply visit our site and provide us with your email and you’ll begin receiving the news in your inbox each morning.
We Google so you don’t have to!
Election News This Week
Paying it Forward: Oh man do we love reading stuff like this! A collection of suitcases once used to transport the Woonsocket, Rhode Island’s list of eligible voters to polling places on Election Day have a new home and a new purpose. According to the Valley Breeze, last week, employees with the Board of Canvassers and other city departments donated 18 suitcases filled with personal care supplies to the men’s shelter at Harvest Community Church. The suitcases will be offered to men who stay in the seasonal homeless shelter during the winter months. “Most of these guys live out of plastic bags,” said Pastor Steve Bacon of Harvest Community Church. “Most of the time, it’s the clothes on his back and a trash bag.” The donation is the result of a recent cleaning effort at the Board of Canvassers office. For years, the city used rolling luggage to transport thousands of pages of registered voter lists to precincts around the city on Election Day. Poll workers would use three-ring binders to look up residents’ information when they came to vote. With the advent of electronic poll books, however, the paper voter lists—and the suitcases that carried them—are now obsolete. Board of Canvassers Manager Michael Narducci said the office kept only about a dozen suitcases to use as back-ups on Election Day. The suitcases contain personal care items including hand sanitizer, toothbrushes, toothpaste, socks, soap and wipes. Most of the items were donated to the city by private companies throughout the pandemic for distribution to residents and employees. As for the Board of Canvassers office, Narducci said he and Elections Clerk Gianna Savastano are relieved to reclaim the space taken up by the suitcases and an outdated filing system. The two spent the past several months clearing equipment out of the office, a process that began after the 2020 election.
Greater Accessibility in the Mountain State: The West Virginia Secretary of State’s Office, in conjunction with the State Election Commission, has published a complete Voter’s Guide in braille to benefit voters who are blind or visually impaired. The newly published “West Virginia Voter Guide” is targeted for voters with visual impairments who may otherwise have difficulty receiving voting information. A copy of the Guide has been mailed to all 55 county clerks who will make them available to loan to any citizen requesting them. Additionally, a limited amount of copies are available to distribute to voters as needed. Braille voter guides will also be distributed to citizens by Disability Rights of West Virginia, a non-profit organization that provide services and advocacy for people with disabilities in the mountain state. “We are continuing our effort to eliminate barriers to the ballot box for all registered West Virginia voters,” Secretary of State Mac Warner said. “This new Voter Guide in braille will assist a special group of West Virginians and make it easier for them to receive information on our election process.” The West Virginia Voter Guide includes information on some of the most frequently asked questions on the topics of voting options, how to find your polling place, or to check if your registration is up to date. This voter guide now comes in two forms – an easy-to-distribute rack card and a booklet with braille embossing for the braille-reading community. “The best way to empower voters is to educate them on the entire voting process from start to finish” said Warner. “We want to ensure that every eligible voter has the information they need to be an active and informed voter.”
Voting on Voting: There are several election-administration ballot measures in varying states in the process nationwide. In Nevada a proposed initiative petition was filed with the Secretary of State’s office on Nov. 12 by a newly formed political action committee called Nevada Voters First. The proposal would reform how congressional, statewide and state legislative races are decided. Under the proposed voting system, Nevada primaries would be open, rather than split into Democratic and Republican. All registered voters could cast a ballot, including the more than 30% of the Nevada electorate now registered as a nonpartisan or third-party voters. The top five finishers move onto the general election. On that November general election ballot, voters would rank the five candidates, To qualify for the ballot, Nevada Voters First will have to gather signatures that equal at least 10% of the total number of voters who cast ballots during the last general election — roughly 142,500 registered voters, evenly divided between the state’s four congressional districts. It is a proposed constitutional amendment, meaning it would have to be approved by voters in 2022 and 2024 before going into effect. In Missouri, A group called Better Elections is pushing an initiative petition that would amend Missouri’s constitution to allow all voters to vote for any candidate in a combined primary. The four candidates in the primary with the most votes would advance to the general election, regardless of party. Then in the general election, voters would be allowed to rank those four candidates from first choice to last — or just vote for their first choice. The change would apply to elections for statewide office, the Missouri General Assembly and U.S. Congress. Two versions of the initiative petition have been approved by the Secretary of State’s Office to begin collecting signatures. And in Michigan an initiative called Secure MI Vote is collecting petition signatures in support of altering Michigan’s election code in an effort to tighten voter and election laws. Organizers argue that in order to ensure a fair election, it is necessary to require Michigan voters to present a photo ID, to limit how absent voter ballots are distributed, how funds are used during elections and more.
Personnel News: Al Schmidt is resigning from the Philadelphia city commission. Richard House has been selected to be the new deputy director of the Kentucky board of elections. Steve Hobbs has officially been sworn in as the Washington secretary of state. Lisette Sanchez is the new Roselle, New Jersey city clerk. Shay Luedecke has been appointed interim elections administrator of Bell County, Texas. Stephanie Cooper is the new Hood County, Texas elections administrator. Susan Irvine has resigned as the Sedona, Arizona clerk. Donna Conkling is retiring as the Scarsdale, New York clerk. Weld County, Colorado Clerk and Recorder Carly Koppes announced her run for a third term in the office. Snowmass Village, Colorado Clerk Rhonda Coxon is retiring. Barbara Wagner is the new Frederick County, Maryland board of elections director. State Rep. Stephanie Thomas (D) has announced her candidacy for Connecticut secretary of state. State Sen. Keith Wagoner (R) has announced his candidacy for Washington secretary of state.
Georgia: Gov. Brian Kemp officially signed the new Floyd County Elections board bills into law, dissolving the current three-member board and replacing it with a new five-member board. Bill sponsors Rep. Katie Dempsey, R-Rome; Rep. Eddie Lumsden, R-Armuchee; and Rep. Mitchell Scoggins, R-Cartersville, as well as State Senator Chuck Hufstetler, R-Rome, released the following joint statement: “Over the last year, Floyd County residents have made it clear that they want to feel confident that our elections are being run with integrity and efficiency, and revamping our elections board reflects these desires. This legislation will usher in a more robust elections board ahead of the next election cycle. We also recognized the need for increased staff support for the board, so we are grateful that the county will now have a full-time elections supervisor position, who will specialize in carrying out secure and efficient elections.” House Bills 8EX and 9EX passed the House 150-7 and it passed the Senate 38-1. The five members would be appointed by the Floyd County Commission. Commissioners would choose four of the members from lists submitted by county executive committees of the two local political parties whose candidates for Georgia governor received the most votes in the previous election. At this point, that means two members from the Floyd County Republican Party and two from the Floyd County Democratic Party. The fifth member would be selected by the Floyd County commissioners and would serve as chairperson of the board. This legislation also provides greater staff support to the elections board. Under HB 8EX, commissioners will appoint an election supervisor. The election supervisor will serve as staff support for the board, attend meetings of the board, assist the board in fulfilling its duties of voter registration and the conduct of elections and provide daily supervision of other county employees who assist the board. The election supervisor will be considered a full-time county employee and cannot be a member of the elections board.
Iowa: The Page County Board of Supervisors unanimously approved a resolution regarding the confidentiality of public records related to the election infrastructure of Page County. County Auditor Melissa Wellhausen says the resolution would make security plans and other sensitive information about how elections are run confidential. “At some trainings that we attended, they advised that this is a good idea to put this forward,” said Wellhausen. “We do have a policy in place — a security policy in place — that we set up a while ago. This just protects that information and makes it confidential.” Wellhausen says the security policy in place for elections in the county contains information that hackers or other bad actors could use to hijack voting equipment. Under Iowa Code, most information regarding elections and election administration falls under Iowa Code Chapter 22, which dictates which documents are public record and available for public inspection. Wellhausen says an administrative rule allows county governments in Iowa to hold back certain sensitive information.
Michigan: The Lansing city council has passed a resolution opposing a statewide petition that officials feel would put ballot access at risk in Lansing and across the state. The Secure MI Vote petition, if successful, would toughen in-person voter ID laws, require ID information for absentee ballot applications, restrict the ability of election officials to send out absentee ballot applications and prohibit private election funding. Lansing’s resolution opposing the petition was suggested by the Clerk’s Office and put forward jointly by the entire council. Council members approved the resolution in a 6-0 vote during Monday night’s meeting. “Lansing City Council supports equitable and easier access to the ballot box through federal and state standards around early voting, absentee voting, and voter registration,” the resolution states.
New York City: Legislation dubbed “Our City, Our Vote,” is set to be approved by the New York City Council on December 9 with a veto-proof majority that would allow green card holders or city residents who have the legal right to work in the United states to vote in municipal elections and for local ballot initiatives. The bill would affect more than 800,000 New Yorkers. According to The New York Times, the legislation, first introduced almost two years ago, is the culmination of more than a decade of work to gain local voting rights for some legal permanent residents. It also extends the right to those with work authorization, such as the so-called dreamers, recipients of a program known as DACA that shields young immigrants brought into the country illegally from deportation and allows them to live and work here. Those eligible must be residents of New York City for 30 days and otherwise eligible to vote under state law. In spite of having a veto-proof majority of 34 out of 51 City Council members and the public advocate co-sponsoring the bill, the legislation has not moved forward until now partly because of concerns about its legality. A vote is scheduled for December.
New York: Assemblyman Jeffrey Dinowitz is trying to expand eligibility as the pandemic continues. A temporary measure allowing voters in New York to cite the pandemic as a reason to vote absentee will expire Jan. 1, 2022. The bill passed July 22-23, 2020, and was sponsored by Dinowitz, a Democrat, in the Assembly and Progressive state Sen. Alessandra Biaggi in the Senate. The expanded pandemic-related eligibility was set to expire and align with no-excuse voting being implemented following the general election proposition, according to Dinowitz’s office. But now that the measure failed, “leaving voters who would prefer to cast their ballots from the safety of their own homes to weigh the importance of their health and their vote,” the state lawmaker is introducing a bill that would extend the expanded eligibility through Feb. 1, 2024. “My new legislation is a critical measure so that no New Yorker is forced to put their own health at risk simply to cast a ballot, and I urge my colleagues to support this important measure when we return to Albany in January,” Dinowitz said. A statement from Dinowitz’s office said that if the legislation passes then lawmakers and voters, from 2022-2024, can decide whether to revisit a constitutional amendment about absentee voting. The proposed legislation, which has been filed in Assembly, doesn’t have a bill number or Senate co-sponsor yet.
North Carolina: Absentee ballots would have to be received by the time polls close on Election Day to count, under legislation that cleared the General Assembly. That change and a measure that would prohibit elections officials across North Carolina from accepting donations from private groups are headed to Gov. Roy Cooper, where one or both are likely to be vetoed. The Democratic governor has repeatedly clashed with the Republican-controlled legislature on elections policy and procedures. Senate Bill 326, dubbed the Election Day Integrity Act, which set the night of Election Day as a firm deadline to accept mailed ballots. Only ballots received from deployed military would be accepted after that. Another bill, titled the Election Integrity Act, would require that all new voting equipment and software be made in the U.S. and that courts officials send the names of people who get out of jury duty by claiming that they aren’t citizens to the State Board of Elections so they can be removed from voter rolls. It still needs Senate approval.
The General Assembly voted to keep private donors from covering election costs, cutting out a revenue stream that generated millions of dollars last year for boards of election around the state. Senate Bill 725 passed the House earlier this month on a party-line vote, with Republicans voting for it and Democrats against. It cleared the state Senate Monday by a similar vote and heads to Gov. Roy Cooper, who can sign it into law or block it with a veto. Cooper’s press office didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.
West Virginia: During a meeting of the Legislature’s Joint Judicial Committee, lawmakers heard about proposed legislation that would give the secretary of state’s office the means to publish election audit data online, line up municipal and levy elections with county elections and potentially establish penalties for county clerks who don’t supply local precinct data to the Census Bureau. Deak Kersey, general counsel with the secretary of state’s office proposed a bill to mandate counties send their post-election audit results to the state, the that the data can be posted online. Kersey said the 2020 election also showed ways officials need to be more stringent in ensuring safety which includes updating existing state law that prevents any electronic voting machines from being connected to the Internet. Other proposed legislation includes: clarifying the voter registration deadline; extending the number of days a county clerk has to mail an absentee ballot; changing the appeals process for challenges to municipal and county election results; extending opportunities for electronic voting; syncing municipal and levy elections; requiring non-public funding sources for public elections be approved by the West Virginia Election Commission; repealing a 50-cent DMV fee that supports automatic voter registration; and establishing a ban on “harassing” voters within 100 feed of polling places.
Federal Litigation: Magistrate Judge N. Reid Neureiter of the US District Court in Colorado has ordered Attorneys Gary D. Fielder and Ernest John Walker to pay nearly $180,000 to the defendants they sued in a suit the judge said was aimed to “manipulate gullible members of the public and foment public unrest.” Fielder and Walker will have to pay attorneys fees of $50,000 to Facebook (now Meta), about $63,000 to Dominion Voting Systems, about $63,000 to the non-profit Center for Tech and Civic Life, more than $6,000 to the state of Pennsylvania and nearly $5,000 to the state of Michigan. “They need to take responsibility for their misconduct,” Neureiter wrote in his order, adding that the lawsuit defamed the defendants. He continued: “I believe that rather than a legitimate use of the legal system to seek redress for redressable grievances, this lawsuit has been used to manipulate gullible members of the public and foment public unrest. To that extent, this lawsuit has been an abuse of the legal system and an interference with the machinery of government. For all these reasons, I feel that a significant sanctions award is merited.”
Florida: Democratic Florida congressional candidate Dale Holness who lost a special election primary by five votes has filed two lawsuits asking that the result be thrown out, alleging his opponent’s support of a universal income plan amounted to bribing voters. Holness alleges Sheila Cherfilus-McCormick’s support of a proposal that would pay most U.S. adults $1,000 a month was an attempt to illegally bribe voters. His lawsuit also wants 18 mail ballots counted that were received from military members and family members that were rejected by elections officials because they arrived after Election Day. He also says Cherfilus-McCormick should be disqualified because she did not file a financial disclosure form with the U.S. House.
Georgia: U.S. District Judge Steve Jones said in court this week that a two-week trial could begin the week of Feb. 7, over three years after the voting rights organization Fair Fight Action sued in the wake of Democrat Stacey Abrams’ loss to Republican Brian Kemp. It will be the first voting rights case to go to trial in Atlanta’s federal court in at least a decade. The lawsuit initially alleged far-reaching voter suppression, but a series of court rulings eliminated many of the claims made by Fair Fight, which Abrams founded. The trial will focus on “exact match” voter registration policies, allegations of voter roll inaccuracies and inconsistent absentee ballot cancellation practices. “My first goal is to ensure both sides have a fair trial,” Jones said. “We need to bring this case to closure.” The plaintiffs will attempt to prove that the state’s voting practices infringe on fundamental rights guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution and the Voting Rights Act of 1965. If they’re successful, Jones could order changes to voting in Georgia before the 2022 general election.
Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger (R) has sued the U.S. Department of Justice over its response to his request for documents he believes could show political motivations behind a federal lawsuit against the state’s new voting law. Raffensperger said his lawsuit seeks to compel the government to turn over any communications, if they exist, between the Department of Justice and dozens of his political and legal opponents. Raffensperger had filed a Freedom of Information Act request in August for communications between the Justice Department and 62 individuals and organizations. The Justice Department acknowledged the records request but said it needed more time to respond given its scope and the need to consult with various government offices.
Kansas: U.S. District Court Judge Kathryn Vratil temporarily blocked enforcement of a controversial election law passed earlier this year that makes it illegal for out-of-state groups to send Kansas residents advance ballot applications, among other provisions. HB 2332, which took effect in July, also barred advance ballot applications from being sent if information is already filled out on them. Both provisions were the subject of a lawsuit from national voting rights groups, which argued it violates the First and Fourteenth Amendments, as well as the Commerce Clause of the U.S. Constitution. The groups, Vote America and the Voter Participation Center, said in the lawsuit that the newly enacted law effectively halts their work in Kansas and keeps them from “employing their most effective means of persuading voters to engage in the democratic process.” Vratil denied a request from the state to dismiss the case and instead blocked the law from being enforced. The ruling merely halts the law’s enforcement until the case is resolved, with the judge saying “delayed implementation is not likely to cause material harm, even if it is eventually found to be constitutional and enforceable.” In her opinion, Vratil said the law “will have the inevitable effect of reducing the total quantum of speech on an important public issue” and agreed with the voting rights group that a more demanding level of legal review was required.
Minnesota: The Minnesota Supreme Court heard arguments this week in a case that affects the voting rights of more than 50,000 Minnesotans with active felony records. The challenge involves a constitutional clause and its interaction with a 1963 law that requires felons to complete time in custody, on supervised release or on probation before they can vote again. The people and groups behind the lawsuit argue the system disproportionately hurts communities of color because their punishments tend to trail them longer. They want voting eligibility to automatically be restored upon release from incarceration. Plaintiffs argue that it’s the court’s role to fix the problem since lawmakers haven’t. Attorneys for Secretary of State Steve Simon argue that it is the role of the Legislature to change the law. Whether rights should be restored earlier is certainly up for debate,” Angela Behrens, an attorney for the states aid. “And if this were a hearing in front of a legislative committee, the parties would likely be aligned.” According to Minnesota Public Radio, the justices were heavily engaged in the hearing, lobbing question after question at the attorneys. Six of the seven justices spoke at some point. A decision from the court is expected sometime next year.
North Carolina: The U.S. Supreme Court has agreed to hear a case brought by Republican legislators who are seeking to defend the state’s strict voter ID law because they think the Democratic state attorney general is not adequately representing their interests. North Carolina Senate Bill 824 requires a photo ID to vote. It was immediately challenged by the North Carolina State Conference of the NAACP, which argues that the law disproportionately impacts African American and Latino voters. The Supreme Court is not planning to take up the issue of N.C.’s voter ID law. The question is whether lawmakers have the right to defend the laws they make, independent of the executive-branch attorney general. The dispute raises questions about who can act as an agent of the state to defend a law in a divided government. Under the state constitution, the attorney general represents the state in court. North Carolina Attorney General Josh Stein is a Democrat. Republican politicians Phil Berger, the president pro tempore of the state Senate, and Tim Moore, the speaker of the state House of Representatives, seek the right to intervene to defend the law. They argued in court papers that the case raises issues that are of “particular importance in the context of divided government and litigation involving controversial matters.”
Pennsylvania: Judge Edward Reibman with the Lehigh County Court of Common Pleas has ruled that Lehigh County does have to count more than 250 undated mail-in ballots in a Lehigh County judicial race. The ballots in question arrived on time, but either didn’t have dates or had dates in the wrong places. The Lehigh County election board ruled the ballots should be counted. That decision was challenged by Republican David Ritter, who held a narrow lead in a judge race. Reibman ruled that the board had the authority to make the decision on the votes. In his ruling, he said the law should be interpreted as though it “favors the fundamental right to vote, and enfranchises, rather than disenfranchises, the electorate.” Reibman has denied an appeal and plaintiffs have appealed to the Commonwealth Court.
Opinions This Week
National Opinion: Secretary of state candidates | Democracy | Voting rights, II, III | Ranked choice voting | Voting machines | “Irregularities” | 2024, II, III | Mail ballots
California: Neal Kelley
Colorado: Mesa County | Election security, II
Florida: Vote by mail | Late ballots | Faith in elections | Special election costs
Iowa: Federal election legislation
Kentucky: Early voting sites
Louisiana: Voting equipment
Maryland: Voter fraud
Nevada: Threats | Ballot measure | Voter fraud
Ohio: Vote totals
Pennsylvania: Mail ballots | Election administration | Election integrity | Election review
South Carolina: Voting rights
Tennessee: Early voting sites
Texas: Election review, II, III
Virginia: Voter access | Voter fraud
Washington: Secretary of state
West Virginia: Threats | Federal election legislation | Access to voting
Wisconsin: Trust in elections
Elections GEO Summit: Each year, the Elections GeoSummit brings together the nation’s leaders in elections management and geographic information systems (GIS) to share leading-edge findings and craft best practices to enhance election systems. Promising to be engaging and insightful, this year’s agenda kicks off with a keynote address and group discussion, followed by a panel discussion on the significance of the master address database to election administration, and concludes with a tech forum to share thoughts on the essential components required for enhanced Voter Registration System (VRS) and GIS integration. The day will culminate with a social event ripe for networking and discussion. When: Thursday December 9 1pm-5pm 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 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.
Account Management Specialist, EI-ISAC— The EI-ISAC is looking for an ambitious teammate who is passionate about making a difference in the realm of cybersecurity for (SLTT) election offices. The ideal candidate will be comfortable building relationships with the election community to support and advance the mission of “confidence in a connected world.” What You’ll Do: Support the development and execution of the EI-ISAC strategy and mission; Assist election officials to determine security needs and how they integrate with election technology; Facilitate communications between election officials and IT professionals; Provide exceptional service to all members and be able to explain the concepts and services that can protect their technology via email, phone calls, and WebEx meetings/conferences; Ensure ongoing customer satisfaction and retention; Assist with the scheduling and running of member meetings and webinars; Responsible for the onboarding process of new members; Research, record, track, and report on member prospects and qualified leads to the team and management; Assist with data cleanup, reporting, and any ongoing projects; Update metrics for EI-ISAC reports and presentations; Represent the EI-ISAC in a professional and courteous manner; and Other tasks and responsibilities as assigned. Application: For the complete job listing and to apply, click here.
Administrative Law Specialist, Michigan Department of State— This position serves as an Administrative Law Specialist in the Regulatory Section to assist and advise the supervisor, State Elections Director, Department of State Executive Office, Bureau of Elections staff, county and local clerk community and other interested parties on Michigan Election Law, Michigan Campaign Finance Act, Michigan Lobbyist Registration Act and other legal issues involving the Bureau of Elections. This position will also coordinate the investigation of and response to complaints filed with the Bureau of Elections and public records requests under the Freedom of Information Act. The incumbent will also assist the Department of Attorney General in litigation by compiling records, drafting responses to discovery requests, and reviewing documents in connection with lawsuits involving the Bureau of Elections, Department of State or Board of State Canvassers. Salary: $59,592.00 – $112,195.20. Deadline: December 7. Application: For the complete job listing and to apply, click here.
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.
Director of Elections & Voter Services (Assistant City Clerk), Minneapolis, Minnesota— We’re a division of the Office of the City Clerk. We administer local, state, and federal elections for Minneapolis voters. Our estimated population is 430,000 with about 270,000 registered voters. We champion civic participation for all Minneapolis citizens through accurate, fair, and accessible elections. We strive to be leaders in election administration through innovation and collaboration. As the largest and most vibrant city in the state, Minneapolis depends on purposeful, dedicated and innovative employees. Minneapolis has a large variety of careers for people of all experiences and backgrounds who come together for a singular purpose—serving the residents, businesses and visitors of Minneapolis. The Assistant City Clerk is responsible for the direction of a business line in the City Clerk’s Office, including acting as the Responsible Authority and Data Compliance Official, Chief Elections Official, or Chief Legislative Officer. Responsibilities includes: Direction of a business line, including developing strategic goals with the City Clerk Council/Council Leadership; and developing, implementing, and maintaining programs to implement those goals; Manage multiple competing projects of varying complexity across the department and enterprise; Manage the daily operations of the department, including budget, financial, personnel issues, departmental business plans, involvement in Council office matters, and various special projects; Develop, implement, and manage initiatives that improve the service delivery to City administration, and the public; Develop strategic goals with the City Clerk; and develop, implement, and maintain programs to implement those goals; Collaborate with the City Clerk on the preparation of annual budgets, budget presentations, emergency operations and continuity of operations plans; Oversee the preparation of reports, research efforts, planning documents and presentations to elected officials, stakeholder groups and the public; Supervise divisional staff, delegating, coaching, and developing the staff’s professional expertise, and fostering an atmosphere that values the rewards responsiveness, innovation, thoroughness and professionalism; Establish and maintain effective organizational and public relations through the development and implementation of outreach and engagement plans, including hosting events and presenting to the public; Partner and provide professional consultation to City leadership, departments, and other partners, internal and external to the City enterprise; Research, and respond to Mayor and Council Member inquiries and issues independently, including complex requests from policy-makers, the media, and the public involving significant amounts of data or sensitive data; Manage multiple competing projects of varying complexity across the department and enterprise; Oversee and ensure the Implementation of program goals and objectives; Work with the City Clerk regarding support, discipline. and discharge of staff from the department, and when handling controversial or politically sensitive issues; Provide leadership of department-wide initiatives and City-wide initiatives, and oversight of financial decisions for the City Clerk’s Office; Establish and enforce administrative policies, procedures, and standards for the Office; and Act as the City Clerk as assigned. Salary: $112,139.04 – $132,934.88. Deadline: December 5. 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 Director, Pinal County, Arizona— Under the direction of the County Manager or designee performs professional work of considerable difficulty planning, directing, coordinating and controlling overall operations of the Elections Department to ensure that goals and objectives are accomplished in compliance with all elections laws. The Elections Director works to maintain a secure, transparent, accessible, free and fair election that inspires public confidence in the election system. This position is not covered under the Pinal County Merit System. Incumbents in this position serve at the pleasure of their respective Appointing Authority. The employment relationship of incumbents in this position is “at will” the employee may be terminated at any time, for any reason, with or without cause. Salary: $87,718 – $140,349. Application: For the complete listing and to apply, click here.
Elections Mapping Analyst, Arapahoe County, Colorado— The Election Mapping Analyst is responsible for the maintenance of the entire SCORE address library and GIS system ArcGIS, as well as collecting data to make various geographic decisions. This position will review and redraw precincts and districts as necessary and according to Federal and State requirements. The Election Mapping Analyst supports Leadership with election data analysis, visualization projects, and various operational projects relating to the operations of Elections. Salary: $2,044.80 – $3,066.40 Biweekly. Deadline: December 3. 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.
Michigan Regional Services Manager, Hart InterCivic— Hart InterCivic is looking for a Michigan-based Regional Services Manager. A Hart Michigan Service Manager is a highly motivated “self-starter” who responds to all customer requests ranging from training requests, to phone support requests, to onsite repair of voting equipment requests, to delivery and acceptance of new devices. This individual is the customer’s first line of support. The position requires residency in the State of Michigan. The Service Manager handles all Return Material Authorization (RMA) requests for internal and external customers for all Hart InterCivic Verity products within his/her region and provides on-site customer support and troubleshooting as needed. Application: For the complete job listing and to apply, click here.
Policy and Compliance Administrator, Denver, Colorado— The Elections Division provides comprehensive, nationally-recognized, election services for the City and County of Denver. These services include voter records management, voter services, petition management, election administration, elections operations, and strategic communications and outreach. The Elections program goal is to conduct fair, accurate, accessible, secure, transparent, efficient and reliable elections. Do you have a passion for serving others? If so, we want to hear from you! The City and County of Denver has an exciting opportunity for a Policy and Compliance Administrator to serve in the Office of the Clerk & Recorder Paul D. López.In this position, you will work with both divisions to ensure the office’s compliance with federal and state law. As a home rule municipality, Denver is uniquely situated to be involved with both state law and its own charter and ordinances. Additionally, as the Policy and Compliance Administrator, you can expect to: Interpret Denver and Colorado law to advise the Denver Clerk and Recorder on compliance issues related to his duties and the functions of the office; Draft legislation and administrative rules at the direction of the Clerk and Recorder; Serve as the Clerk’s legislative liaison to the Colorado General Assembly; Conduct research for policy determinations as directed by the Clerk and Recorder; Meet with stakeholders and members of the community to achieve the Clerk’s policy goals; Conduct comparative research and keep track of court cases; Represent the Clerk on inter-agency and inter-governmental commissions, etc.; Build strategic relationships for the Clerk and Recorder’s Office with other governmental entities, including the Colorado County Clerks’ Association; Coordinate with the City Attorney’s office to determine the Clerk’s legal strategy for litigation; Perform other duties as assigned or requested; and Assignments for this position are diverse in nature and require determining practical solutions in a fast-paced environment. Salary: $83,348 – $137,524. Application: For the complete job listing and to apply, click here.
Registrar of Voters, Orange County, California— Located on the Southern California coast with a culturally diverse population of 3 million, the County of Orange (Orange County) offers a high quality of life and a nearly perfect climate year-round. Orange County features excellence in education, low crime rate, a wide variety of businesses, and unlimited recreational opportunities. The County is seeking a dynamic leader with a strong elections experience, who is a visionary and a proven leader in communities, and involved at the highest levels of government at the federal, state, and local level in proven leadership positions. The ideal candidate will have high levels of integrity and be highly politically astute while maintaining absolute objectivity. A combination of education and experience that demonstrates the competency and ability to perform the duties of the position is qualifying. Typically, 10 years of progressively responsible experience in the election-related field and a Bachelor’s degree in Public Administration, Political Science, Business Administration, or a related field would be qualifying. A Master’s degree is highly desirable. Certification as a Certified Elections/Registration Administrator (CERA) is highly preferred. Salary: $125,153.60 – $237,348.80. Application: For the complete job listing and to apply, click here.
Registration Specialist/Senior Registration Specialist, Arapahoe County, Colorado— The Elections Division of the Arapahoe County Clerk and Recorder’s Office has multiple openings for Registration Specialists or Senior Registration Specialists depending on qualifications and experience. The Registration Specialist is an entry level position responsible for supporting the daily operations of the Voter Services Team in the Arapahoe County Clerk and Recorder’s Office. This position is responsible for providing excellent customer service while assisting with voter registration processing and upkeep of database integrity. The Registration Specialist must be able to complete assignments of basic scope or complexity with limited assistance. The Senior Registration Specialist is an experienced position responsible for supporting the daily operations of the Voter Services Team in the Arapahoe County Clerk and Recorder’s Office. This position is responsible for providing excellent customer service while assisting with voter registration and upkeep of database integrity. The Senior Registration Specialist must be able to complete assignments of any scope or complexity with minimal to no assistance. This position also must be able to perform specialized tasks and projects to promote best practices and efficiencies. Registration Specialist salary range: $16.84 – $25.26/hour. Senior Registration Specialist salary range: $20.38 – $30.57/hour. Deadline: December 3. Application: For the complete job listing and to apply, click here.
Regulatory Analyst, Michigan Department of State— This position serves as a Regulatory Analyst to assist the Regulatory Section in advising the State Elections Director, Department of State Executive Office, Bureau of Elections staff, and other interested parties on Michigan Election Law, Michigan Campaign Finance Act, Michigan Lobbyist Registration Act, Michigan Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) and other legal issues involving the Bureau of Elections. This position will assist the investigation of and response to complaints filed with the Bureau of Elections; be responsible for processing routine requests for information and other public correspondence; coordinate the Bureau’s record retention compliance and file maintenance; and perform other duties as assigned. Salary: $45,947.20 – $72,030.40. Deadline. December 7. Application: For the complete job listing and to apply, click here.
Voter Registration Lead, Arapahoe County, Colorado— The Registration Lead is a leadership position responsible for supporting the daily operations and personnel of the Voter Services Team in the Arapahoe County Clerk and Recorder’s Office. This position is responsible for providing excellent customer service while assisting with voter registration and upkeep of database integrity. The Lead also acts as a positive and supportive role model, offering assistance with difficult transactions and providing on-the-job training for peers. The Registration Lead must have advanced knowledge of Colorado’s laws and requirements related to voter registration, as well as knowledge of Colorado’s SCORE voter registration database. Additionally, the Registration Lead must be certified to process voter registration forms as a Colorado Election Official. The ideal candidate is a positive and effective team player who is able to work independently, as well as provide a professional example and guidance to peers. Salary: 1,825.60 – $2,739.20 Biweekly. Deadline: December 3. Application: For the complete job listing and to apply, click here.
Voter Services, Arapahoe County, Colorado— The Voter Service Manager position has direct responsibility and supervision of the entire Voter Service Team. This position will assist with complex administrative and supervisory work in directing daily activities. The Voter Service Manager supports the Elections Deputy Director, Chief Deputy Director and the Clerk and Recorder with issues concerning all operations of Elections. The following statements are illustrative of the essential function of the job. Salary: $66,520.48 – $106,260.70. Deadline: December 3. Application: For the complete job listing and to apply, click here.
electionline provides no guarantees as to the quality of the items being sold and the accuracy of the information provided about the sale items in the Marketplace. Ads are provided directly by sellers and are not verified by electionline. If you have an ad for Marketplace, please email it to: email@example.com