In Focus This Week
2021 Legislative Action on Elections
NCSL staff take a look at some of the trends in election leg last year
By Saige Draeger and Amanda Zoch, Ph.D.
National Conference of State Legislatures
On the heels of an election year unlike any other, it’s no surprise interest in elections peaked during the 2021 legislative session. An astounding 3,676 election bills were introduced last year—the highest number recorded since NCSL began tracking in 2001. Despite this groundswell of activity, the number of election enactments was consistent with other odd-numbered years (2019 being the exception) with 285 bills across 42 states and 2 territories becoming law.
Absentee/mail voting was a popular topic, due in large part to the historic expansion of absentee and vote-by-mail options precipitated by the pandemic in 2020. Even so, only a handful of states drastically expanded or limited absentee/mail voting, a larger chunk made changes to ballot collection rules, and addressed a feature of the process that, until 2021, wasn’t much of a legislative issue: ballot drop boxes. Lawmakers also enacted laws for the first time prohibiting private funding for election administration (a 2020 trend never seen before) and in a few states, increased oversight of election officials, including setting civil and criminal penalties for officials who break state laws.
We’ve summarized the year’s legislative trends below. For details on all these enactments and more, visit our enactments page. To learn more about what didn’t pass, visit NCSL’s state election legislation database.
Absentee/mail voting received serious attention in 2021 from various angles. Three states—California, Nevada and Vermont—moved to all-mail elections, bringing the total number of states conducting elections by mail to eight.
Several enactments addressed when absentee/mail ballots must be returned. New York joined 34 other states requiring ballots be returned by Election Day (previously the deadline had been the day before Election Day).
The other 15 states and D.C. will accept ballots after Election Day, as long as they’re postmarked on or before Election Day. In 2021, Iowa and Oregon shifted places: Iowa removed its “postmarked by” provision and now requires ballots to be received by Election Day, and Oregon went the opposite direction.
Four states—Iowa, New York, Texas and Utah—established ballot tracking systems allowing voters to follow their absentee ballot as they would a package, bringing the total number of states with such systems to 34. Three states—Florida, Georgia and Texas—added voter identification requirements to absentee ballot request applications and/or absentee ballot returns. And Kentucky and New York established online absentee ballot request portals.
Five states also took steps to reduce absentee/mail ballot rejection rates. Indiana, Kentucky, Texas, Virginia and Vermont—created a signature curing process, which allows voters to correct signatures deemed discrepant by election workers from previous signatures on a voter’s record. This brings the total number of states with a signature cure process to 23.
Ballot Drop Boxes and Ballot Collection
Until 2020, only eight states made mention of drop boxes in statute, and those statutes almost entirely addressed security features. In 2021, that changed, with nine states—Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Illinois, Iowa, Kentucky, Maryland, Minnesota and Virginia—enacting bills related to drop boxes. While many of those bills addressed security features, such as 24-hour cameras and lighting requirements, some created new stipulations relating to the number of drop boxes permitted or required in a given area, and where they should be located.
Ballot collection laws, which define who can return a ballot on behalf of a voter and how many ballots can be returned per collector were common and controversial before 2020. The issue got even hotter in 2021. Forty-three states have ballot collection laws, and three of them—Iowa, Kentucky and Montana—enacted legislation placing further limits on ballot collection in 2021.
Voter registration is said to be the gateway to voting—and thus always a legislative priority. This year, California and Nevada updated or expanded their existing automatic voter registration programs, but the biggest news was that Delaware enacted automatic voter registration for the first time. Now, 21 states and D.C. automatically register citizens when they do business with state agencies like the Department of Motor Vehicles-.
A stone’s throw away, Maine became the 42nd state with online voter registration.
Montana repealed its Election Day registration policy, the first state to move in that direction. Eighteen states allow voters to register and vote on Election Day. In Montana, the deadline to register is now the day before Election Day.
Lastly, Virginia will permit 16-year-olds to pre-register to vote.
NCSL has written on voter ID more than any other election topic due to steady legislative interest that just won’t quit.
In 2021, three states tightened identification requirements. Wyoming enacted its first voter ID law (classified as strict non-photo by NCSL), bringing the total number of states with voter ID laws to 35. Arkansas eliminated the sworn affidavit as an alternative to presenting a photo ID (separately, Arkansas removed a photo ID religious exemption for voters with beliefs which prevent them from taking a photograph). Montana enacted legislation requiring voters without a state, military, tribal ID or passport to provide two forms of alternate ID, one of which must include a photo. This enactment also added concealed carry permits to the list of accepted single-source voter IDs.
States also expanded voter ID options. In North Dakota, students can request a document from their college or university to use as voter ID, and Indiana now accepts tribal IDs.
Early In-Person Voting
Early in-person voting has steadily ticked up over the past two decades. According to the MIT Election Data + Science Lab, just over a quarter of all voters cast their ballots during an early in-person voting period in 2020, up from 3% in 2000. While lawmakers introduced more bills on early in-person voting in 2021 than in years prior, enactment numbers stayed relatively steady.
Kentucky added three days of early in-person voting, bringing the total of states with early in-person voting to 43. Indiana, Louisiana, and Oklahoma all extended early voting days, Iowa decreased the number of days from 29 to 20, and Georgia standardized the number of days across the state, requiring two Saturday voting days and two optional Sunday voting days.
Some states also limited specific types of early in-person voting. Texas prohibited most overnight voting and drive-thru voting, and Georgia limited the use of mobile voting centers to declared emergencies.
The term “audit” has been paired with “elections” much more this year than ever before. In NCSL parlance, we refer to statutorily mandated post-election tabulation audits, which define procedures that can verify the accuracy of an election’s outcome .
Most states, use a traditional fixed percentage audit, in which a small percentage of precincts or machines are selected for a comparison of the official count to a hand tally. Over the last few years, risk-limiting audits, in which the number of ballots to be reviewed depends on how close the margin of victory was, are getting lawmakers’ attention.
In 2021, Kentucky and Texas both established pilot programs for risk-limiting audits, bringing the total number of states with either risk-limiting audit pilots, statutorily mandated risk-limiting audits, or optional risk-limiting audits to 15. Nevada, which established a risk-limiting audit pilot in 2019, passed legislation this year making adjustments to the implementation of its program.
Alabama enacted legislation that will allow a post-election audit of three counties in 2022, and New Hampshire established a committee to study post-election audit counting devices, possibly setting the stage for more action on audits in the future.
How Elections are Run
In 2021, in addition to legislation addressing how people vote, we saw bills and enactments on how elections are run. Here are a few that caught our eye.
For the first time, we saw legislation addressing private election funding. Eleven states—Arizona, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Kansas, North Dakota, Ohio, Tennessee and Texas—enacted bills prohibiting the use of private funding for election administration, a response to the infusion of philanthropic funding used to cover pandemic-related election costs during the 2020 general election.
Some novel enactments focused on election officials. Four states—Arkansas, Georgia, Iowa and Texas—created criminal penalties for election officials who don’t follow state law, each in its own way. Mis- and dis-information was also a concern, and Arizona, Kansas and Louisiana passed bills making it a crime to impersonate an election official.
Poll workers and watchers—those who help run elections and those can observe them—were also a hot topic in 2021, with 13 enactments in 11 states. Some of these enactments related to new training requirements, and several others were in response to poll worker shortages and will now allow poll workers to serve in precincts where they are not registered or counties where they don’t live.
Other 2021 Election Enactment Highlights
Ranked Choice Voting: Four states passed pro-ranked choice voting bills this year. Colorado will allow the use of instant runoff voting—aka ranked choice voting—in nonpartisan municipal elections beginning in 2023, and Utah eliminated the sunset date for municipalities opting to use ranked choice voting in local elections. Georgia made provisions for military and overseas voters to use ranked choice voting in the state’s primary runoff elections. And Maine, the first state to make widespread use of ranked choice voting, passed a housekeeping bill clarifying the procedures for ranked choice voting in presidential primaries and general elections.
Cybersecurity: Although just four states—Arizona, Arkansas, Montana and Washington—passed bills on election cybersecurity, it remains an evergreen (and difficult to legislate) topic. Arizona and Arkansas required that jurisdictions prevent unauthorized access to election systems, keeping electronic poll-books and voting machines off the internet. Montana required local election officials to conduct security assessments, and Washington exempted election security information from public records requests.
Felon Voting Rights: Three states made big changes to felon voting rights. Connecticut, New York and Washington all restored voting rights to citizens on parole—becoming the 19th, 20th, and 21st states to do so.
Voter list maintenance: In 2021, 19 enactments in 14 states addressed the upkeep of voter rolls—the first step in running secure elections including:
- Changes to how deceased people are removed from lists in Arizona, Louisiana, Texas and Utah.
- Allowing or requiring a state to join the Electronic Registration Information Center, aka ERIC in Alabama, Nebraska and Oklahoma.
- Making provisions for some voters, such as victims of domestic violence, to keep their registration information private in Arkansas, Illinois, Nevada, New York and South Dakota.
The only crystal ball we have is this picture, but here’s what we do know: Years ending in “2” are always busy for election officials because of redistricting and all the work associated with it.
No matter what happens, one thing’s for sure: Our team will be covering the action and at the ready to help you make sense of it all.
(This article first appeared in the January 2022 edition of The Canvass and is reprinted with permission from the National Conference of State Legislatures.)
Bipartisan Policy Center Report
Policy to Advance Good Faith Election Observation
New report from the Bipartisan Policy Center
The United States’ democracy is built on a foundation of checks and balances. They extend from the three branches of government to the relationship between state and federal legislatures—and even to the inner workings of local election administration. Election observers and challengers are one small, but mighty, component of our intricate system of collective governance.
Across the globe, election observation is regarded as a pillar of democracy-building, crafted to advance transparency and integrity. When correctly managed, it stands to boost civic engagement, voter confidence, and election security. Yet without the proper guardrails in place, election observation can become a partisan or prejudicial tool used to disrupt orderly elections and undermine voter confidence.
Dating back to the earliest days of the republic, election observation—like much of our electoral system—has a checkered past. Throughout history, individuals have abused the right to observation to unfairly target marginalized groups. In 2020, a new crisis emerged when pandemic social distancing requirements clashed with the high number of prospective observers, all during the heat of one of the most contentious elections in U.S. history. Resource and capacity limitations left many observers feeling as if they were unfairly excluded from the observation process; other observers took advantage of their position to disrupt and delay the administration of the election. One thing became clear: Current rules around election observation are inadequate to advance the meaningful engagement of observers in the electoral process.
As we gear up for the 2022 midterms, many in the elections community are increasingly concerned about partisan observers and challengers disrupting the voting and counting process. If 2020 and 2021 are any indication, going forward we can expect large numbers of observers and challengers who are eager to interact (or, at worst, interfere) with the voting process. As we have seen, inadequate protections risk undermining trust in both the process and the outcome of elections. With proper policy and preparation, states will reap the benefits of an engaged electorate who is well-informed about how elections operate. If states fail to act, they risk further fracturing an already-polarized public and undermining election worker security.
This report outlines policy best practices for election observers and challengers. The set of recommendations is unanimously endorsed by the Bipartisan Policy Center Task Force on Elections, a diverse group of state and local election officials from across the country. Election officials have the best perspective for how election policy works when put into practice. To secure the integrity of the 2022 and 2024 elections, we need look no further than the dedicated professionals long committed to our democracy.
The recommendations made in this report stand to ensure accountability and transparency in the administration of elections. For maximum effectiveness, the recommendations should be considered as a unified set. Election administration is a complex ecosystem: Changes to one policy have upstream and downstream impacts for countless other parts of the process. This set of recommendations anticipates those impacts and works cohesively to address them.
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Election News This Week
Federal Voting Rights Action: This week President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris traveled to Atlanta where Biden gave a speech on voting rights. In his speech, the president endorsed altering the Senate rules “whichever way they need to be changed” to bypass Republican opposition to two voting rights bills in the Senate. The president initially had resisted the rules change even as Republican-led states enacted a spate of new voting restrictions. “Let the majority prevail,” he said at the Atlanta University Center Consortium on the grounds of Clark Atlanta University and Morehouse College. “Today, I’m making it clear, to protect our democracy, I support changing the Senate rules, whichever way they need to be changed, to prevent a minority of senators from blocking action on voting rights.” While experts agree that it was the president’s most forceful statement on voting rights to date, the response from both sides of the aisle was mixed. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Kentucky) called the speech “profoundly unpresidential.” Derrick Johnson, president and CEO of the NAACP said in a statement: “While President Biden delivered a stirring speech today, it’s time for this administration to match their words with actions, and for Congress to do their job. Voting rights should not simply be a priority — it must be THE priority.” In a memo to Senate Democrats following the speech, Majority Leader Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-New York) laid out a new strategy intended to overcome at least one procedural obstacle erected by Republicans to prevent the Senate from even considering the legislation. Under the plan, the House would package two major pieces of voting rights legislation being pushed by Democrats — the Freedom to Vote Act and the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act — insert them into an unrelated bill and pass it. That measure would then go to the Senate as what is known as a “message,” meaning Republicans could not filibuster a move to bring it to the floor for debate and Democrats would not need to muster 60 votes to do so. You can read the president’s full remarks here. And watch a video here.
Threat to Democracy: This week, Mathew Smith, 24, was sentenced to 12 months probation, ordered to perform 240 hours of community service, fined $650, and was required to write an essay on the effects of bullying others by Genesee District Judge William H. Crawford. Smith, chairman of the Genesee County, Michigan Republican Party and a member of the Davison Community Schools Board of Education was sentenced pleading guilty to malicious use of a telephone for making a harassing phone call during which his victim says he threatened to kill her dogs. The victim was Houghton County Clerk Jennifer Kelley. Kelly, who was re-elected to her position as Houghton County clerk in 2020, said she initially supported the plea arrangement but told Crawford via Zoom Tuesday that she regrets having done so because Smith has downplayed the seriousness of the phone call to her since entering his plea. “He called me to scare me. He succeeded. To live how I have for the past two years has been more than I can tell you, your honor,” Kelly said. “I have hid in my own home. I have been afraid to go outside. I have avoided functions. I have feared losing my animals … What Matt Smith has done to me … has truly changed my life.” This is one of the first successful prosecutions of someone threatening an elections official.
Updated Case Study: Lisa J. Danetz has released an updated case study of Colorado’s administrative and legislative motor voter process improvements and voter registration systems. An instructive resource for states that may consider or choose to upgrade motor voter technology and/or adopt an automatic voter registration system, the updated case study explores the impact resulting from the state’s transition to a “back end” automatic voter registration system, which occurred subsequent to the case study’s initial release in 2019.
Personnel News: Nebraska Secretary of State Bob Evnen has filed for re-election. Indiana Secretary of State Holli Sullivan has announced that she is seeking election for the seat. David M. Scanlan has been sworn in as the new New Hampshire secretary of state. New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy will renominate Secretary of State Tahesha Way for another term. Tammy Smith is the new Wilson County, Tennessee elections administrator. Natalie Adona has announced her candidacy to run for Nevada County, California clerk-recorder. Lori Stelzer has retired after 28 years as the Venice, Florida city clerk. Sarah Dvoracek is the new Charlevoix, Michigan clerk. Kaitlyn Mosley is the new Young County, Texas elections administrator. Destiny Scott Wells, a first-time candidate for statewide office, this week announced she’s seeking the Democratic Party nomination for Indiana secretary of state. Fayette County, West Virginia Clerk, Michelle Holly, announced her re-election bid. David Damron has resigned as the chairman of the Sebastian County, Arkansas election commission. Jeanetta Watson, who became Macon-Bibb County, Georgia’s first Black elections supervisor is resigning effective Jan. 21. Garfield County, Colorado Clerk Jean Alberico will retire after this year. Tim Germani has been named the new director of elections in Lawrence County, Pennsylvania. Rebecca Guerrero will be the new Travis County, Texas clerk. Brandon Gay is the newest member of the DeKalb County, Tennessee elections commission.
In Memoriam: Lani Guinier, a legal scholar whose work on voting rights and affirmative action led President Bill Clinton to nominate her in 1993 to be an assistant attorney general has died. She was 71. According to her obituary in The New York Times, Guinier made her name in the 1980s as an unorthodox thinker about whether America’s legal institutions, even after the civil rights revolution of the 1960s, needed to change further to realize true democracy. She argued, for example, that the principle of “one person, one vote” was insufficient in a system where the interests of minorities, racial or otherwise, were inevitably trampled by those of the majority, and that alternatives needed to be considered to give more weight to minority interests. During the assistant attorney general nomination process, Guinier came under fire from Republicans for her progressive views on voting rights and quotas and some scholars questioned whether her ideas about voting were in fact democratic, as she claimed. Clinton eventually bowed to pressure and withdrew her nomination in June 1993, calling some of her positions “anti-democratic.” Guinier returned to teaching and eventually moved from the University of Pennsylvania to Harvard Law School where she became the first woman of color to receive tenure. She pioneered research on implicit bias in the classroom and workplace. Later in her career she opened a wide-ranging critique of merit, especially the way it distorts institutions like her own. “The ability to see so far down the line was her gift,” Heather Gerken, the dean of Yale Law School, said in a phone interview. “She had a deep understanding of the insidious ways that power corrupts institutions, even institutions acting in good faith.”
Arizona: Republican Sen. Wendy Rogers has introduced SB1133 which would ban cities, towns and school boards from holding all-mail elections. According to CBS5, local government entities have decided to run many of its low turn-out and off-cycle elections this way because it’s cheaper to send ballots to voters than open and staff polling stations and voting cites. Stephen Richer, the Maricopa County Recorder, said he doesn’t see a reason to change state law that gives local governments the option on how they want to run an election. “My perspective on election legislation generally is that it should identify and solve real problems, not just something we have general, vague concerns about, and I’m unaware of any such real problem,” he said Tuesday. Last year, Richer said there were three mail-in voting elections in Maricopa County with no problems. He added that there is no evidence that mail-in voting increases the risk for fraud.
San Jose, California: A pair of San Jose councilmembers is proposing a measure that would allow immigrants who are not U.S. citizens to participate in local elections. The measure, which requires voter approval, would give more than 200,000 noncitizen residents in San Jose a right to select new lawmakers and weigh in on different policies in future local elections. Councilmembers Magdalena Carrasco and Sylvia Arenas, who are spearheading the efforts, introduced the landmark proposal Friday—just days before the City Council is scheduled to vote on changes to the city’s charter. “This is a novel idea, but not a new idea,” Carrasco said at a news conference Monday, adding it’s unfair that the immigrant community pays taxes and contributes to the economy without having a say on local policies. “We need to make sure that the voice of our noncitizen community is not suppressed or erased… They deserve the right to vote for those in power.”
Florida: Two Florida lawmakers are seeking a change in state law to force governors to set special elections for Congress and state Legislature within six months of vacancies. The effort is aimed at preventing a repeat of moves made in 2021 by Gov. Ron DeSantis. He delayed setting special elections to fill a congressional and three state legislative seats far longer than he and other governors ever have before. The proposed change would require the governor to set special elections within 180 days of the vacancy, but also asks that they be set as soon as is feasible, “so it certainly could be much sooner than six months.” “There was no reason for this to happen. It has never happened before,” Sen. Tina Polsky said. The proposed change would “take away this discretion, the vagueness [in the law] that has allowed this to go on. I don’t want to see this happen again in the future.”
Sen. Travis Hutson, a Palm Coast Republican, has filed an elections package that would, among other things, eliminate ranked-choice voting (RCV) in Florida. “I don’t think you should be numbering and ranking people on the ballot,” Hutson said of SB 524. “One person should win, or if there is a runoff you should go to a top two.” The bill also would also raise a cap on candidate reporting fines and allow for elections supervisors to have two more early voting sites.
Illinois: Gov. J.B. Pritzker signed an amended bill that deals with the primary election in 2022, allowing voters to request vote by mail ballots beginning March 30 and ending June 23, and allowing for a signature collection period from Jan. 13 to March 14. House Bill 1953 as amended would amend the Election Code for 2022 and the Legislative Commission Reorganization Act of 1984, and also provides that in 2022 the period during which newsletters and brochures may not be mailed begins on May 15. The bill is effective immediately.
Maine: In order to ensure that Maine’s elections remain safe and secure, 2 bills are being proposed during this legislative session in Augusta. The bills are LD1821 “An Act To Make Interfering with an Election Official a Class C Crime”, and LD 1779 “An Act To Protect Election Integrity by Regulating Possession of Ballots and Voting Machines and Devices”. “A bill by representative Bruce White, it is a bipartisan piece of legislation to make it a crime to threaten an election worker or attempt to disrupt an election through a violent activity. The second bill is to protect the integrity of ballots and voting equipment,” said Secretary of State Sheena Bellows. At a hearing this week, clerks said they have noticed higher tensions and more confrontations with angry and misinformed voters, and the situation is making it harder to find poll workers.
St. Louis, Missouri: An effort will be launched this week at the Board of Aldermen to repeal the nonpartisan “approval voting” system used for the first time in last year’s city election and to replace it with another new approach. Alderman Sharon Tyus, 1st Ward, plans to introduce two bills to try to do that, according to the tentative agenda released for the meeting. One measure would simply repeal the existing law, under which residents vote for as many nonpartisan candidates for an office in a March primary as they “approve” of — with the top two moving on to a runoff in the April general election. City voters adopted the new system at the November 2020 election after activists got it on the ballot through an initiative petition campaign. The other Tyus bill would return to holding partisan primary and general elections, but add a runoff in situations in which no one gets at least 50% of the vote in a primary with more than two candidates. Under that proposal, the municipal primary would move to February, the new primary runoff would take place in March and an April general election would feature party nominees and any independent candidates who qualify by petition.
Nebraska: Sen. Tom Briese has introduced legislation to enhance penalties for voter fraud in the Corn Husker state. Illegal manipulation of election results through fraud, extortion would be consider a Class II felony. Briese told Fox42 that he’s not questioning past election results, but that he’s concerned about the perception and sees the legislation as a way to address that. Briese said, “Voter fraud whether real or imagined I believe poses a serious threat to our republic and I believe we need to prevent voter fraud and increase the public’s confidence in the system.” Sen. John Cavanaugh says there’s little to no evidence of voter fraud in Nebraska and he’s concerned about efforts that address a problem that doesn’t exist. “I don’t think it’s the purview of the legislature to regulate people’s perceptions,” Cavanaugh said.
New Jersey: A bill that would allow early and mail-in votes to be canvassed by county election boards prior to Election Day advanced through the Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee. The bill was drafted largely in response to last year’s general election, when slow vote counting in some counties caused election results in several races to remain undetermined for days or weeks after Election Day. “This year’s election results were significantly delayed due to the counting of [absentee and early] ballots,” State Sen. Troy Singleton (D-Delran), one of the bill’s sponsors, said last month when the bill was introduced. “By allowing county boards of elections to begin processing early votes and VBMs before Election Day, we hope to restore timeliness and confidence in the process, while maintaining and upholding election integrity.” Every Democrat on the committee voted in favor, while all four Republicans abstained.
Both chambers of the Legislature have approve a bill that would limit police presence — for plain-clothed or uniformed officers — and would also prohibit any electioneering within 100 feet of a ballot drop box. If signed into law by Gov. Phil Murphy (D) it would become law immediately.
New Mexico: Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham (D) and Secretary of State Maggie Toulouse Oliver (D) have rolled out a series of election reform proposals that attempt to expand the franchise and make voting easier for New Mexicans. Under the proposal: Extending early voting, making Election Day a holiday, and permitting residents as young as 16 to vote in local elections. Restoring voting rights to those convicted of felonies who are not incarcerated. Creating a voluntary permanent absentee voter list of voters who would automatically receive election ballots by mail. Allowing residents without a state-issued ID to register online using their Social Security number. Mailing ballots to voters 35 days before Election Day and accepting ballots as late as 7 p.m. on the Friday after an election, to accommodate postal service delays. Extending time for indigenous nations, tribes, and pueblos to request alternate voting sites. Allowing automatic voter registration when completing transactions at state Motor Vehicle Division offices. Secure electronic submissions of nominating petition signatures. Enabling straight-party voting on the ballot.
New York: The Senate has approved a package of bills to expand voter access, after voters in November rejected two ballot proposals to make it easier to vote. The bills would continue expanded absentee ballot voting that was allowed earlier in the COVID-19 pandemic, and permit voters to cite the virus as a reason to skip going to the polls. They would instead receive mail-in ballots for the spring school board elections, the June primary and November’s general election. The measures would also shrink the voter registration deadline from 25 days before an election to 10 days. They would also create more early voting locations and allow for portable polling places in some counties. There also would be more absentee ballot drop-off locations. And, New Yorkers could more easily register to vote at a second residence within the state. Two of the measures are aimed at remedying the November defeat of two ballot propositions. One would have allowed the Legislature to enact universal mail-in voting, and the other would help pave the way for same-day voter registration.
Pennsylvania: House Minority Leader Joanna McClinton introduced the proposal this week. House Bill 2090, known as the K. Leroy Irvis Voting Rights Protection Act, is named after K. Leroy Irvis, a former speaker of the Pennsylvania House who was also the first Black speaker of any state legislature since Reconstruction. The proposal would bring 15 days of early voting and same-day voter registration to Pennsylvania, while giving counties 21 days to pre-canvass mail-in ballots – a provision that counties have been asking for since mail-in voting was enacted in 2019. The bill would also implement the use of electronic poll books, allow voters to fix or “cure” ballots that are defective and require counties to provide at least two ballot collection drop boxes within their borders. HB 2090 currently awaits a vote in the House State Government Committee.
A bill to ensure voting precincts have enough ballots to accommodate in-person voters has been approved by the House State Government Committee. State Rep. Ryan Warner, R-Perryopolis, introduced the legislation after voting precincts in several areas of the state, including Fayette and Westmoreland counties, ran out of ballots in the May 2021 primary election. “It’s unconscionable that a voter would show up to cast his or her ballot only to be told there aren’t any left,” Warner said. “There is no excuse for ballot shortages in any election, and my bill will make sure this never happens again.” House Bill 1614 would require enough ballots to be printed and supplied to each precinct for 50% of all registered voters in that precinct in each party for a primary election, and 100% of all registered voters in that precinct for a general election. Each of these numbers could be reduced by the number of registered voters in an election district that have requested an absentee or mail-in ballot. The measure now goes to the full House for consideration.
Vermont: The House of Representatives has passed a bill allowing towns and school districts to hold town meeting votes by Australian ballot to prevent the further spread of COVID-19. The bill, S. 172, passed by voice vote and was sent back to the Senate for delivery to Gov. Phil Scott. Quick passage was seen as essential to allow town clerks, and town and school boards, to plan for Town Meeting Day, which is March 1 this year. An amendment offered by Rep. Casey Toof, R-Franklin, that would have mandated universal balloting by mail for town meetings, was defeated on voice vote. The bill, which was sponsored by Sen. Jeanette White, D-Windham, and passed through the Senate on Wednesday, allows cities, towns and school districts to hold annual meetings by Australian ballot rather than floor meetings, and move the meeting to a potentially safer date later in the year. The bill also provides for electronic informational meetings to held in advance of Australian ballot voting. But it does not allow towns to permanently replace the floor meeting with polling place voting.
Washington: The state Senate unanimously approved a measure that would make it a Class C felony to harass an election worker, with violations potentially resulting in a five-year prison sentence and a $10,000 fine. The measure was sparked by reports of threats to workers across the country following the 2020 presidential election and the misinformation that stemmed from that, and continues to date. Democratic Sen. David Frockt, the bill’s sponsor, said the measure is needed to address “a grievous threat to our democratic system.” It’s the second time the Democratic-led chamber has voted on the measure, first passing it last year. The measure now heads to the House, also led by Democrats, where it died last year.
A bill that would ban guns from election-related locations received a public hearing this week. Violations would be gross misdemeanors punishable by up to a year in jail and a fine of $5,000. “When our ballots and elections workers are under threat, our democracy isn’t safe,” said Democratic state Rep. April Berg in testimony before the House Civil Rights and Judiciary Committee regarding her bill to ban weapons from ballot counting centers and other election-related facilities. “This legislation is about extending the same protections we offer to students, teachers and our courtrooms to the beating heart of our democracy, the very place where our election workers count ballots,” Berg said. Opponents of the proposed new restrictions pushed back forcefully in their own testimony. A common theme was that the bills would abrogate their state and federal constitutional gun rights and unfairly penalize lawful gun owners, without improving public safety.
Wisconsin: A new Republican-backed proposal would put more voting restrictions on people who have been convicted of felonies. Under current law, people who have been convicted of felonies in Wisconsin are not allowed to vote until they complete their term of imprisonment, as well as any court-mandated periods of probation or parole. Under the new proposal, those people would also be barred from voting until they have completed any required community service hours and finished paying off any financial penalties imposed as part of their sentence, including fines and victim restitution. Rep. Shae Sortwell, R-Two Rivers, one of the bill’s sponsors, said the plan is not intended to create more barriers to voting in Wisconsin. “We’re not making it more difficult to vote. We’re making sure justice is fulfilled here,” he said. Sen. Duey Stroebel, R-Saukville, another sponsor, argued it’s appropriate to restrict certain rights until all terms of an individual’s criminal sentence have been met. “I believe the restoration of one’s right to vote should be contingent on all debts to society being paid,” Stroebel said in a prepared statement. However, opponents of the plan equate it to a “poll tax” — a harmful obstacle that prevents people from exercising their constitutional right to vote.
The state legislature’s rule-making panel, the Joint Committee for Review of Administrative Rules has ordered the Wisconsin Elections Commission to finalize its emergency rules for dropboxes, as well as its rules for “curing” ballots within the next 30 days.
Indiana: Of the three lawsuits filed in 2020 challenging Indiana’s voting laws, one remains on the Southern Indiana District Court’s docket, with plaintiffs now seeking summary judgment to enable any eligible Hoosier, regardless of age, to cast an absentee ballot. The case, Barbara Tully, et al. v. Paul Okeson, et al., 1:20-cv-01271, argues that Indiana’s law limiting mail-in voting to Hoosiers who are 65 or older violates the 26th Amendment, which lowered the voting age to 18. “Construing the Twenty-Sixth Amendment to merely guarantee that citizens age 18 or older shall have the right to vote also ignores the Amendment’s textual and historical context,” the plaintiffs argued in their brief in support of their motion for summary judgment. “In prohibiting both the denial and the abridgment of the right to vote, the Twenty-Sixth Amendment consciously echoes three of the Constitution’s earlier Amendments, which similarly provide that no state shall ‘den[y]’ or ‘abridge’ the right of citizens to vote on account of certain criteria: race, color, or previous servitude (Fifteenth); sex (Nineteenth); or ability to pay a poll tax (Twenty-Fourth).”
Montana: Several tribes and Indigenous-rights groups in Montana this week asked Yellowstone District Court Judge Michael G. Moses to put the brakes on new election laws that ended Election Day registration and restricted ballot-collection practices in the state. Arguing that the changes will irreparably harm the voting rights of Native Americans living in Montana, the plaintiffs are asking Moses to issue an injunction blocking the enforcement of the two laws until a ruling is made on their constitutionality. The American Civil Liberties Union filed the request for a preliminary injunction on behalf of a coalition that includes Western Native Voice, Montana Native Vote and the Blackfeet, Confederated Salish and Kootenai, Fort Belknap Indian Community and Northern Cheyenne tribes. The lawsuit was initially filed by the groups as a challenge to two election-related bills signed into law following the 2021 legislative session. Last month it was consolidated with two other cases challenging Republican-led changes to voting laws. Montana Secretary of State Christi Jacobsen is the defendant in the case.
Nevada: Carson City District Court Judge James Wilson has ruled in favor of backers of a proposed ballot question calling for open primaries and a ranked-choice general election in a lawsuit aimed at keeping the initiative off the ballot. Wilson’s ruling was issued following a roughly hour-long hearing. The ruling rejected all three claims raised against the initiative, and the judge concluded that changes to both primary and general elections did not violate the single-subject rule for ballot initiatives. “Every initiative presents voters with policy choices, some of which voters may prefer more than others,” the ruling stated. “But so long as those provisions relate to a single subject, it is for the initiative’s proponents to propose those policy changes. The law allows Nevada voters to propose to change the manner in which specified officeholders are chosen.” The ruling could be appealed to the State Supreme Court.
New Jersey: Superior Court Judge Thomas Daniel McCloskey has set March 22 for a do-over city council election in Old Bridge. McCloskey threw out the election in late December 2021after finding that election officials didn’t properly follow boundaries set in the 2011 ward redistricting map put voters from the odd numbered homes on one side of Cymbeline Drive in Ward 2, and the even numbered homes on the opposite side of Cymbeline Drive residing in the Ward 4. The original ruling is being appealed with a hearing set for Jan. 21.
New York: A number of Republican elected officials have filed suit against New York City Mayor Eric Adams (D), the New York City Board of Elections and the New York city council challenging the new noncitizen voting law. The litigation challenges the bill based on the state’s constitution, election law and municipal home rule law that contradicts the bill that became law last week. “Anyone reading N.Y. state election law in plain English can see that it prohibits foreign citizen voting,” City Council Minority Leader Joe Borelli (R-South Shore) said. “The public should look for themselves at section 5-102 to fully grasp how their city government willfully violates the law without regard.” Part of the election law reads that “(no) person shall be qualified to register for and vote at any election unless he is a citizen of the United States.” As of now, about 900,000 non-citizens, who are lawful permanent residents, will have the opportunity to vote in local elections starting Dec. 9 for things like borough president, mayor and City Council. Opponents have raised several concerns about the bill, including the brevity of the 30-day residency requirement and its effect on the city’s African-American community.
North Carolina: Associate Justices Phil Berger Jr. and Tamara Barringer have said they won’t step away from hearing a case that challenges a pair of constitutional amendments, one of which mandates photo voter identification. Berger and Barringer wrote separately that each believes they “can and will be fair and impartial” in hearing the lawsuit brought by the state NAACP. Both justices cited in part the will of the voters who elected them in 2020 to resolve judicial questions. Lawyers for the civil rights group asked last summer that the two justices be disqualified from participating in the deliberations, citing conflicts. The attorneys pointed to Berger as the son of Republican state Senate leader Phil Berger, who is a defendant in the lawsuit that challenges in part the legality of a 2018 statewide referendum that enshrines a voter ID mandate in the North Carolina Constitution. And as a senator, Barringer voted in favor of holding the referendum on the voter ID amendment.
Pennsylvania: The ACLU filed a lawsuit claiming that Fulton County in Pennsylvania has refused to comply with a Right To Know request for documents related to a third-party review of the 2020 election. In July 2021, ACLU Legal Director Witold Walczak formally asked for all documents related to the request of Sen. Doug Mastriano of Franklin County to review the county’s voting machines and election results by private company Wake Technology Services Inc. (Wake TSI), which was involved for a time in the Arizona election review. The review ultimately led the state to decertify the machines because the review violated state law. Fulton County originally denied the ACLU’s request, but on appeal the Office of Open Records ordered the county to comply in September. In the new lawsuit, the ACLU recognizes that the county released 691 documents but says there are materials missing from the collection. The lawsuit identifies several categories of documents that should have been released but were not. Specifically, the ACLU was looking for contracts and email communications with Wake TSI that are discussed and referenced in other records, including a contractual document signed by Wake TSI co-founder Gene Kern and Fulton County Director of Elections Patti Hess that was referenced in an email released by the county.
A lawyer for Democratic candidate Zachary Cohen has filed a petition with the Pennsylvania Supreme Court appealing a ruling by the state appeals court that 261 undated mail ballot from the November 2021 election should not be counted. That ruling was in favor of Republican candidate David Ritter. It overturned a lower court’s ruling that the ballots should be counted. No word on when the latest petition will be taken up.
The statewide Commonwealth Court declined to block an entire subpoena to state election officials in what Republican state lawmakers call a “forensic investigation” of 2020’s presidential election, fueled by former President Donald Trump’s baseless claims that Democrats stole the election. But the court did not immediately greenlight the release of some information that Democratic state Attorney General Josh Shapiro challenged as being protected by privacy laws. In the unsigned order, the court said state officials and Democratic lawmakers did not persuade it that the subpoena issued in September by a Republican-controlled Senate committee had no legitimate legislative purpose. The subpoena had requested a 17 categories of records, much of it public, but also wanted information the state attorney general’s office said is protected by privacy laws — namely voters’ partial Social Security numbers and driver’s license numbers and details about election systems that are barred from public disclosure by federal law governing critical infrastructure. The court also declined to debate whether the subpoena was issued appropriately under internal Senate rules, saying it would leave that matter to the Senate. It did not issue a hearing schedule or instructions on how it will handle the release of information potentially protected by privacy laws, including the partial Social Security and driver’s license numbers of roughly 9 million registered voters.
#TrustedInfo2022: National Association of Secretaries of State (NASS) is continuing its landmark, nonpartisan initiative highlighting state and local election officials as trusted sources for election information entitled #TrustedInfo2022. The nearly 40 NASS members who serve as their states’ Chief Election Official are working continuously to inform Americans about safeguards at every step of the election process from registration, to voting, to post-election procedures. #TrustedInfo2022 will increase voter confidence and reduce misinformation and disinformation by directing voters to election officials’ websites and verified social media pages. “By turning to election officials for trustworthy information, voters can better understand the measures that go into their elections and have more faith in the integrity of the democratic process,” said Kyle Ardoin, NASS President and Louisiana Secretary of State. “That is why I encourage everyone to successfully prepare for this year’s elections by joining NASS and our members in supporting #TrustedInfo2022.” “We want to ensure all voters have the most accurate and up-to-date information they need to perform their civic duty through voting. The public can help in that effort by only sharing election information from trusted sources, and promoting #TrustedInfo2022 within their networks and communities,” said Tahesha Way, NASS President-Elect and New Jersey Secretary of State. Since its initial launch in November 2019, the #TrustedInfo initiative has received commendation from a variety of non-profit, private sector and government organizations.
Vendors: Election Systems & Software (ES&S) announced the U.S. Election Assistance Commission (EAC) federal certification of two new voting system releases — ES&S EVS 6200 and EVS 6060. These new releases include a suite of fully integrated election management products enhanced to improve speed and usability for election officials and voters. The releases also include federal certification of the DS950® — a new high-speed central count scanner and tabulator. “Security, accuracy, usability and reliability are the cornerstone of our latest releases,” said Tim Hallett, ES&S Vice President of Certification. “EVS 6200 and EVS 6060 represent thousands of hours of development, programming and testing, culminating with the EAC testing and certification. We are thrilled to offer election officials the enhanced speed, accuracy and security these releases bring to both tabulation and reporting.” Both EVS 6200 and EVS 6060 include the new DS950 high-speed scanner and tabulator – the most advanced central count tabulator on the market today. The machine meets the nation’s increasing demand for reliable, accurate paper ballot scanning with customizable, full-speed sorting capabilities. The machine’s enhanced design and ballot control capabilities allow ballots to be read without scanning interruptions. ES&S’ patented, embedded Intelligent Mark Recognition (IMR®) and Positive Target Recognition & Alignment Compensation (PTRAC®) technologies reduce the number of ballots requiring time-consuming manual adjudication.
Vendors: VR Systems, one of the nation’s premier elections technology companies, today announced its EViD solution has been certified by the Texas Secretary of State’s Elections Division. Election Administrators across the 254 counties in Texas now have two new options when choosing an electronic pollbook solution, and the EViD has a long history of providing an efficient and secure voter check-in process at the polling location. “We are excited to expand the solutions we offer to Texas election officials,” said Mindy Perkins, President and CEO of VR Systems. “We know that an accurate and fast voter check-in process is an important step in securing the public’s trust in elections and we have built the EViD electronic pollbook solution to be the reliable, robust system election offices trust during early voting and on Election Day.” The EViD electronic pollbook software has been in use since 2004 and has been refined and enhanced in response to the needs of election officials. The result is one of the most advanced, carefully designed, and reliable electronic pollbook software solutions available.
Opinions This Week
National Opinions: Election interference | Democracy, II | 2024 | Election legislation, II | Voting rights, II | Election subversion, II | Election fraud claims | Election laws | Lani Guinier | The Big Lie
Book Review: The Steal
Arizona: 2020 election review | Election lies
California: Voting rights
Colorado: Pitkin County
District of Columbia: Ranked choice voting
Florida: Elections police
Georgia: Secretary of state | Voting rights, II, III
Idaho: Election integrity
Illinois: Will County
Indiana: Hamilton County
Kentucky: Mitch McConnell
Maine: Voting rights | Ballot access law
Maryland: Voting rights
Missouri: Election integrity | Secretary of state
New Hampshire: Secretary of state
New Jersey: Voting rights, II | Turnout | Ranked choice voting
New Mexico: Election reform
New York: Turnout
Oregon: Unaffiliated voters
Pennsylvania: Westmoreland County | Future elections | National Popular Vote
South Carolina; Election reform
Utah: Voting rights
Vermont: Ranked choice voting
West Virginia: Confidence in elections
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: The NASED Board voted unanimously to cancel its in-person conference scheduled for the end of January and hold the conference virtually at a date to be determined. In the coming days, NASED will announce the dates for the virtual winter conference, but they will not overlap with the National Association of Secretaries of State (NASS) conference so that anyone who wants to attend both is able to do so. This is not a decision that we made lightly and it was not an easy one to make, but ultimately, we think it is the best one for our members and other conference attendees. We hope to see you in person in July in Madison, Wisconsin and, of course, virtually at our rescheduled event.
NASS Winter Conference: The National Association of Secretary of States has decided to move to a virtual event with dates and registration to be announced.
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.
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.
Consultant: Network Coordinator, U.S. Elections, The Carter Center— The Carter Center is seeking two consultant Network Coordinators to work as part of an established team on efforts aimed at the adoption and implementation of an electoral code of conduct at the state or national level. Working with Carter Center staff and consultants, the Network Coordinators will work to build diverse coalitions at the state and national level to gain signatories to and support for a code of conduct for promoting good elections. In order to uphold our nonpartisan approach, The Carter Center is considering both politically right-leaning and left-leaning consultants to support this effort. Application: For the complete job listing and to apply, click here.
Director, Filing, Disclosure and Compliance Division, Michigan Secretary of State’s Office— This position serves as the Director of the Bureau of Elections’ Filings, Disclosure and Compliance Division. The Division is responsible for administering the Campaign Finance Act, Lobbyist Registration Act, Casino Registration Act, portions of the Michigan Election Law, and Notary Public Act. This position is responsible for managing and overseeing multiple complex work units and other professional staff; core programs related to campaign finance and lobby registration reporting, disclosure and compliance; Office of the Great Seal, including intake of enrolled bills and assignment of Public Act numbers, filing of Executive Orders and Executive Directives, document authentication and certification; state-level candidate filings for office and statewide initiative, referendum and constitutional amendment petition filings; and Bureau responsibilities related to the Board of State Canvassers. 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.
Election Director, Weber County, Utah— Under the general supervision of the Clerk/Auditor, manages the voter registration and service, voting systems, candidate services, and elections processes in Weber County. Assigns, supervises, and monitors the work of elections staff; ensures staff are properly trained. Interviews and hires elections personnel. Conducts annual performance evaluations in compliance with County policies, procedures, and practices. Coordinates Election Day activities and work flow with election staff and poll workers. Oversees recruitment of poll workers and ensures poll workers are properly trained on voting procedures and on operating voting equipment. Prepares and submits the Elections Department’s budget; monitors and approves expenditures. Prepares and submits grants for state and federal funds. Manages Weber County Primary, General and other required elections; coordinates municipal election process with Weber County cities and Special Districts, and provides assistance in carrying out election responsibilities. Ensures compliance with all state and federal elections laws. Interprets, clarifies, and explains County policies and procedures and related state and federal laws and regulations. Writes, updates, and implements policies and procedures for the Weber County elections process. Ensures office policies and procedures relating to voter registration and election processes are in compliance with federal and state code. Reviews and approves ballot text and format. Reviews population growth and makes recommendations for precinct boundary lines and polling locations. Arranges for vote centers; physically inspects each location to ensure adequacy for equipment set-up and for voter accessibility. Prepares correspondence to poll workers, candidates, State Elections office, political parties, polling locations, voters, etc. Develops poll worker training curriculum. Provides election education training materials; coordinates and conducts training for Registration Agents and Elections Judges in compliance with Utah Code. Oversees and maintains voting systems in Weber County; evaluates systems on a regular basis to identify problems and makes recommendations for improvements. Develops and updates procedures for storing, testing, and transporting voting equipment. Maintains inventory of voting equipment; ensures proper storage (humidity, temperature, etc.). Ensures pre-and post-election testing of voting machines to ensure machines function properly. Coordinates programming needs with the Information Technology and GIS department(s). Monitors the elections supplies inventory. Compiles data and prepares reports identifying elections supplies needed. Responsible for ordering and receiving elections supplies. Works closely with designated vendors when ordering election related supplies and inventory ensuring accuracy, compliance with Utah Code, county purchasing policies, and cost-effective strategies that consider both cost and quality. Responsible for organizing and storing elections supplies and equipment (voting machines, ballot marking devices, scanning equipment, tabulation equipment, ballots, ballot boxes, etc.). Responsible for the distribution and retrieval of voting supplies and equipment to/from appropriate locations. Represents the Clerk/Auditor at various meetings on matters pertaining to elections services. Prepares and publishes public election notices. Responds to public concerns and issues regarding elections. Oversees the processing of voter registration forms, voter data requests, Certificate of Election, and other materials and ensures accuracy and completeness; makes additions and resolves discrepancies. Operates computer hardware and applicable software, and/or modern office equipment, including envelope processing equipment, ballot scanners, epollbooks, tabulation equipment, multi‑line telephones, calculators, computers, copiers, and printers. Operates a motor vehicle in a safe manner and in compliance with all Utah laws and regulations. Performs other related duties as assigned. Salary: $75,000 – $85,000. Application: For the complete job listing and to apply, click here.
Elections Analyst-Candidate Filings, Arizona Secretary of State’s Office— The Election Services Division of the Office of the Arizona Secretary of State is seeking a dedicated employee to serve as an Elections Analyst. This position will assist in administering elections, provide customer service to voters and the regulated community, communicate with Arizona counties, and maintain compliance with state and federal election laws. The main focus of the Election Analyst will be managing the candidate desk. Job Duties: Lead the planning and administering of the candidate petition review process, to include working with vendors and third parties to prepare and execute review process for candidate petitions. Develop training materials and handbooks. Present information to stakeholders and interested parties regarding the candidate filing process. Follow court challenges at the close of the candidate filing process. Maintain the candidate information on the webpage. Act as the primary contact for candidates and campaigns about the candidate filing process; Assist ballot measure desk lead in administering petition review process for initiatives, referendum, and recalls. Assist in developing training materials and handbooks for ballot measures. Assist in processing of circulator registrations related to petition circulation and creation of training materials and handbooks for circulator registrations; Act as subject matter expert in financial disclosure laws and regulations. Draft training materials and handbooks to assist filers in achieving compliance with disclosure requirements. Communicate with officeholders and proxies, judicial officers, and court administrators to provide accurate and concise filing information and instructions. Work with court administrators to track and inform new appointees of filing obligations. Track financial disclosure filings and initiate enforcement proceedings as necessary; Provide customer service to voters, election officials, and the general public regarding elections and voter registration. Provide support and guidance to the regulated community and the general public in areas of Elections Division oversight, including ballot measures, petition circulators, lobbyists, campaign finance, financial disclosures, etc.; As required, serve in a general capacity to accomplish Elections Division goals and meet deadlines. Provide support to upline managers by occasionally coordinating employee teams or working with specialized staff to complete projects. Assist fellow staff during periods of heavy volume; Help maintain all election-related information presented on the Secretary of State website, while ensuring content quality and functionality. Provide timely and accurate updates to election-related pages; and other duties as assigned as related to the position. Application: For the complete job listing and to apply, click here.
Elections Analyst-Public Records, Arizona Secretary of State’s Office— The Elections Division of the Office of the Arizona Secretary of State is seeking a dedicated employee to serve as an Election Analyst. Their main focus will be to fulfill public records requests submitted to the Elections Division. They will report to the Senior Elections Policy Manager. Job Duties: Responsible for receiving, reviewing, and fulfilling public records requests and litigation discovery requests. This process includes the following tasks: tracking requests; communicating with the requester on topics such as fulfillment guidelines, costs, and updates on progress; coordinate collection and organization of responsive records by working with IT, elections, and other staff members; and reviewing and preparing documents for delivery; Responsible for records retention and document storage. Ensure Elections Division stores minimum hard copy documents consistent with the retention schedule; ensures that electronic records are properly maintained. Maintains records retention schedule, Iron Mountain storage, and schedules proper records destruction; Conducts ballot measure Town Halls. Organizing these events includes: scheduling venues; scheduling interpreters as needed (sign language, Spanish); conducting publicity and outreach; ensuring pro and con groups are represented; preparing and delivering presentation; Produces statewide Publicity Pamphlet by working with the vendor on layout, printing and proofing; coordinate the development of the household mailing list; ensuring pamphlets printed for English, Spanish, large print, and ADA; and ensure electronic version of pamphlet is appropriately distributed; Assist with voter registration quarterly reports, list maintenance, and other projects as assigned; Assist with customer service via phones and emails to voters, election officials, and the general public regarding elections and voter registration; and Other duties as assigned as related to the position. Application: For the complete job listing and to apply, click here.
Elections Director, Pima County, Arizona— The Director of Elections leads a department comprised of multiple complex and technical units responsible for the successful conduct of elections in Pima County with over 650,000 registered voters. The role is primarily strategic, operations, and leadership-focused, requiring experience and expertise in the field of conducting elections, elections policy, leading and managing employees to success. Under administrative direction of the County Administrator or designee, this position plans, organizes, supervises and manages the activities of the Pima County Elections Division in compliance with applicable laws, ordinances, rules and regulations. This classification is in the unclassified service and is exempt from the Pima County Merit System Rules. Salary: $125,000. Application: For the complete job listing and to apply, click here.
Elections Office Technician, Yavapai County, Arizona— The Elections Office Technician is a full-time position within the Yavapai County Elections Department. Major responsibilities include: Recruiting, interviewing, training, and overseeing poll workers; Processing candidate, special district and committee forms and paperwork, including campaign finance reports; Maintaining various databases for the Elections Department; Communicating with various stakeholders and the public; and Performing general office duties including ordering supplies, processing invoices, and filing. 2 years of professional experience in administration of elections, project planning, or adult learning required. Preference to applicants with experience in Microsoft Access. Salary $18.30 – $22.33 / hr, DOE. Application: For the complete job listing and to apply, click here.
Elections and Recording Manager, Marion County, Oregon— The Marion County Clerk’s Office is seeking a dynamic, experienced, trusted leader as our next Elections and Recording Manager in Salem, Oregon, our capitol city. Salem is Oregon’s central hub to cultural venues and events, valley vineyards and wineries, the coast and the mountains. Competitive applicants will be highly motivated, detail-orientated, have well developed management and supervisory skills, and have a strong commitment to outstanding customer service. A demonstrated ability to maintain an environment of high integrity and dependability is critical in this role. The County Clerk’s Office is responsible for conducting elections, issuing marriage licenses, recording specified documents, maintaining official records and coordinating the Board of Property Tax Appeal as required by law. The Elections and Recording Manager is responsible for managing the technical and administrative activities of licensing and recording, elections, maintenance of official records, and coordinating the Board of Property Tax Appeals. This individual also serves as the County’s Records Officer’s designee and ensures that recording activities comply with federal, state and local statutes, regulations and rules. Specific functions include records storage, microfilming and digital imaging operations, retention and disposition scheduling, archival storage and information management. This individual works closely and cooperatively with the County Clerk to ensure the County Clerk remains informed of all critical issues. This individual may also represent the County Clerk in public meetings and presentations. Salary: $6,184.53 – $8,290.53 Monthly. Deadline: Jan. 19. Application: For the complete job listing and to apply, click here.
Elections Supervisor, Larimer County, Colorado— The Larimer County Clerk & Recorder Elections division offers an outstanding opportunity for a rewarding career in the ever-changing, always engaging field of Election Administration – where the foundation of government begins for our citizens! Larimer County is increasingly aware of the need to attract and retain the best people for our workforce, and we are seeking skilled Elections Supervisors to join our highly respected team. We serve a population of more than 300,000 citizens, of which more than 250,000 are registered voters. We embrace innovative processes and have a solid reputation for integrity. If you are a self-motivated, positive team player who thrives in a fast-paced professional environment – we want to hear from you! The successful candidate will be dedicated, assertive, and possess exceptional interpersonal and problem-solving skills. The process of Election Administration is project-driven and very detail-oriented. The position of Elections Supervisor supervises the daily performance of staff and operations related to the conduct of Elections. Elections Supervisors lead either the Voter Operations or Ballot Operations process area, as assigned. Salary: $26.78 – $32.14 Hourly. Deadline: Jan. 16. Application: For the complete job listing and to apply, click here.
Fellowship, Arizona Secretary of State’s Office— The Arizona Secretary of State’s Office Elections Fellowship Program offers recent graduates who are interested in public service the opportunity to spend up to 12 months working with the Elections Division in the Arizona Secretary of State’s Office. The Elections Division advances the Secretary of State’s mission of ensuring a fair and secure election process across Arizona. The 2021-2022 fellows will have the exciting opportunity to work with our office during a midterm election cycle. The main fellowship duties will include work that advances the Secretary of State’s responsibilities regarding voter registration and data tracking. This position will be a good fit for someone who is detail-oriented and interested in learning more about elections administration. Throughout their fellowship, fellows will participate in monthly check-in meetings with an Elections team lead to receive guidance and feedback. Job Duties: Assisting with proofing voter registration statistics, researching voter cancelations, assisting uniformed and overseas citizens with voter registration and casting a ballot, election night reporting, proofing the official canvas, and other administrative duties; Maintaining and organizing records to track statutory voter registration list maintenance and election reporting requirements; Conducting document review to support the Office’s public records responses; Researching and responding to public inquiries; and Other duties and responsibilities as related to the position. 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.
In-Person Absentee Coordinator, Charleston County, South Carolina— This is a managerial position that provides supervision in the daily operation and management of the front of the office, in-person absentee voting, and candidate filing. Supervises both permanent and temporary employees during in-person absentee voting for elections. Responsible for management of each satellite absentee location, as well as hiring/training absentee poll workers. Provides operational supervision of voting processes from the deployment of voting equipment to receipt and security in absentee voting. Salary: $48,722 – $66,276. Deadline: Jan. 31. Application: For the complete job listing and to apply, click here.
Mail Ballot Administrator, City and County of Denver, Colorado— The City and County of Denver’s Election Division is seeking an accomplished elections professional to serve as the Mail Ballot Administrator and provide administrative and strategic direction for the functional area of Mail Ballot Administration. The Mail Ballot Administrator oversees and acts as the technical expert in all aspects of the mail ballot processing rooms including ballot receiving, ballot verification, and mail ballot extraction in accordance with statutory and Secretary of State rule requirements. Refines and coordinates all operating policies and procedures relating to mail ballot processing. The Mail Ballot Administrator is responsible for training and supervising (50 to 70+) election judges and leads for all mail ballot processing rooms. Creates and oversees the development of all mail ballot materials; acts as the primary point of contact with the ballot production vendor and coordinates production, mailing and receiving of mail ballots; coordinates the post-election process including Canvass preparation, provisional ballots, and poll book processing; cooperates with local, state, and national partners to continually develop best practices; acts as a liaison for the Denver Elections Division to the United States Postal Service and acts as a subject matter expert for postal policy as it relates to non-profit and election mail; oversees quality assurance measures to ensure processes and procedures are tested to evaluate for potential improvement and accuracy; manages continuous improvement initiatives. Salary: $61,263-$101,084. 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.
Program Manager Sr. II (Assistant Deputy for Election Policy), Maryland State Board of Elections—The Assistant Deputy for Election Policy provides senior leadership on all matters related to the implementation and execution of election laws and policy and supervises the Voter Registration and Petition Division, the Candidacy and Campaign Finance Division, and the Election Reform and Management Division. This position coordinates policy development and implementation, provides oversight for all election-related functions and services, and ensures a uniform and coordinated agency approach by managing work and issues impacting one or more of these divisions. The position supports the agency’s core mission by ensuring Maryland elections are conducted accurately, fairly, and in a manner fully consistent with State and federal laws and regulations. Salary: $80,074.00 – $128,568.00/year. Deadline: Jan. 17, 2022. Application: For the complete job listing and to apply, click here.
Program Manager 3, Nevada Secretary of State’s Office— This position is a supervisory position in the Elections Division of the Office of the Secretary of State located in the Capitol building in Carson City. The incumbent will directly support the preparation and conduct of Nevada’s Primary, General, and Special elections through oversight of the following: Legislative/ Regulation /Election Complaints; Campaign Finance; Publications, Training, Research and Website; Election Night Reporting (ENR)/Candidate Filing; Recall Petitions/ Initiatives. Program Officers administer a program or major component of a program by planning, coordinating and managing services and activities in accordance with legal and regulatory requirements and established program performance standards and objectives. Incumbents are responsible for administering a large and complex program which affects a significant number of people on a continuing basis; develop, revise, recommend, and implement changes to work plans, program performance standards and objectives for providing services, and eligibility requirements as permitted by program regulations and guidelines; ensure compliance with State, federal and/or other granting agencies rules and regulations; and draft laws, rules and/or regulatory changes. 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.
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