In Focus This Week
State election associations play a vital role
And they need to share information effectively
By Kurt Sampsel, Senior Program Manager
Center for Tech and Civic Life
I can’t help but be amused by the acronyms of state election associations.
SCARE is the acronym for the South Carolina Association of Registration and Election Officials. Meanwhile, the acronym for Maryland’s election officials association, MAEO, is pronounced like a popular condiment.
Don’t you think Virginia’s association, VRAV, sounds like a sporty car model? Personally, I feel like Connecticut’s association, ROVAC, could be the name for a fancy Roomba.
But regardless of their fun nicknames, state associations play an indispensable role in today’s election administration ecosystem. With an ever-increasing slate of pressures facing election officials, state associations help by providing resources, protection, professionalization, advocacy, and – perhaps most importantly – opportunities for community and social support.
It’s not an exaggeration to say that state associations are helping to sustain the profession. That’s why, now more than ever, they need to share information effectively.
In this article, I’ll talk about how having an effective and informative website can help state associations do their work, and I’ll introduce a new website template to make it all easier. Staff from Democracy Fund’s Elections program will share ideas for what state association websites should do and how state associations can better serve the election community in the years to come.
Why State Associations Need Website Help
Recent reporting from Democracy Fund and the Elections and Voting Information Center at Reed College has revealed how much local election officials rely on their state associations.
For instance, when surveyed about which sources of information and support they found most helpful for pandemic planning, local election officials rated their state association about as highly as their state election authority.
That’s a noteworthy finding, especially when you consider the differences in budget and capacity for these two kinds of organizations. While most state election authorities have robust budgets and teams of full-time employees, the average state association works with limited funds and is led by busy officials doing their association duties alongside full-time jobs.
This resource gap becomes quickly evident if you do a landscape analysis of state association websites, as Ebony West, Program Associate in the Elections Program at Democracy Fund, has done.
“There are a handful of state associations out there with useful and informative websites,” observes West. Unfortunately, she says, most associations “do not have the permanent staff, technical expertise, or necessary resources to develop and maintain a website.”
This is why Center for Tech and Civic Life worked with Democracy Fund to create a website template tailored for the needs of state election associations.
Just like CTCL’s voter-facing website template for local election departments, this new template is easy to use, mobile friendly, secure, and accessible for people with disabilities. But the state association template comes with a specific information architecture and placeholder content to cover the most important topics for state associations.
“There are several vital things that a state association website should include,” explains West.
These include, she says, items like a mission statement and bylaws for the association, contact information for association leadership as well as for state and local election officials, conference information and materials, up-to-date information about voting in the state, legislative resources, contact information for a designated media representative, and details about training and certification.
Keeping these topics in mind, CTCL and Democracy Fund set up the template so that it would cover all these areas in a simple package. Just like with any template, there are plenty of opportunities for customization, including adding sections and removing sections.
To support the important work of state associations, CTCL is offering to work with any association in the U.S. for free to set up a website using the template. We hope that having a new, more effective website will help associations rise to the challenges of 2022 and beyond.
State Associations and the Future
There certainly are plenty of challenges facing the election administration field.
But according to Viviana Pérez, Senior Program Associate with Democracy Fund’s Elections program, state associations are uniquely positioned to make a difference. For those that have the capacity to make changes, she has three suggestions for how state associations can have a greater impact in the future. For each, their website plays a key role.
With so much election legislation being proposed and passed, Pérez first suggests for state associations to “increase their legislative capacity by developing legislative committees and agendas.” So, on your association website, you can share information about the legislative actions you’re working on for your members, legislators, and journalists.
Her second suggestion also involves addressing a wider audience. “Take a more hands-on approach to media and community outreach,” Pérez advises. The idea here is to elevate the voices of election officials and unify their message. “The state association website,” she says, “is a great platform to share press releases, articles, or election guides.”
Finally, Pérez recommends for associations to collect and share resources for election officials, including materials contributed by other election officials. She explains that, at Democracy Fund, “Election officials often reach out to us for a wide variety of resources related to innovation in election administration, election security, election law, physical safety, and mental health.” While Pérez is happy to point people in the right direction, she says that “These are prime examples of items that state associations can have on their websites for their members to access more easily.”
As we look ahead to the 2022 General Election, we know election officials will need to overcome many obstacles. There’s a lot that state associations can do to support them, but they’ll need to share information effectively – with both their members and the general public.
That means having an informative, clear, and user-friendly website.
If you’re an association leader who’d like to work with CTCL for free to adopt the website template we’ve developed, visit the CTCL website and submit a service request.
If you want to improve your current site, dedicate some time toward implementing Pérez’s suggestions to make it more informative.
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Sixth Annual EAC Clearinghouse Awards
Submission period opens for the EAC’s “Clearies”
The U.S. Election Assistance Commission (EAC) invites submissions for its sixth annual national Clearinghouse Awards, also known as the “Clearie” Awards, for best practices in election administration. The awards program recognizes the hard work and leadership of election officials and staff across the country.
Election jurisdictions of all sizes are encouraged to submit their work. Entries must be received by Friday, February 18, 2022. Submission guidelines for this year’s contest are available here. All entries and supporting materials should be uploaded through the EAC’s new online submission form. Please send any questions to the EAC at firstname.lastname@example.org. Submissions will be judged based on innovation, sustainability, outreach, cost-effectiveness, replicability, and the generation of positive results.
The 2021 Clearie winners will be announced in April 2022.
This year, EAC Commissioners are pleased to announce two new award categories honoring innovative programming developed by election official associations and successful Help America Vote Act (HAVA) grant initiatives. 2022 marks the 20th anniversary of the signing of HAVA, and the Commissioners hope to highlight the spirit of this landmark bipartisan legislation by recognizing innovative uses of HAVA funds. The prestigious new award will also help jurisdictions utilize these best practices to enhance future efforts.
The EAC will present awards in the categories of:
- Outstanding Use of HAVA Grants in Elections Modernization,
- Outstanding Election Official Association Program,
- Outstanding Innovation in Election Cybersecurity and Technology,
- Improving Accessibility for Voters with Disabilities,
- Outstanding Innovations in Elections,
- Best Practices in Recruiting, Retaining, and Training Poll Workers, and
- Creative and Original “I Voted” Stickers.
“Leading up to the 2022 elections, officials are handling issues related to election security, further utilization of cutting-edge technology, COVID-19 precautions, and increased voter engagement. The 2021 Clearie awards will once again celebrate the outstanding work of election officials meeting these challenges,” said Donald Palmer, EAC Chairman. “Twenty years ago, Congress enacted HAVA, bringing about sweeping election reforms and greater accessibility in voting. Under that Act, the EAC was entrusted to serve as a clearinghouse for election administration information by offering comprehensive products and services to state and local election offices. As the EAC celebrates the anniversary of this historic law, my fellow Commissioners and I can think of no better stage for the EAC to uphold the tremendous work of election officials.”
Election News This Week
Threats to Democracy: Nearly a quarter of Americans say it’s sometimes OK to use violence against the government — and 1 in 10 Americans say violence is justified “right now.” That’s the finding of a new report by The COVID States Project, which asked 23,000 people across the country whether it is “ever justifiable to engage in violent protest against the government?” The report is one of several in recent months that find people more likely to contemplate violent protests than they had been in the past. Nearly 1 in 4 said violence was either “definitely” or “probably” justifiable against the government. A similar percentage of liberals and conservatives agree on this point. Gjergi Juncaj, 50, of Las Vegas is accused of threatening a state election worker in four separate phone calls all made the day after Jan. 6, federal prosecutors said. Juncaj is the second person charged following investigations by the Justice Department’s Election Threats Task Force. Shasta County, California Clerk/Recorder Cathy Darling Allen spoke about bullying that she and her employees have faced around this week’s contentious recall election. “I’m just trying to get through this week,” she told the Record Searchlight.. “I personally have had several conversations with several people that I would characterize as bullying, much more aggressive than is appropriate,” she said. Following the vote, a small group of protestors gathered outside the elections office making baseless claims about mail ballots. In Nevada County, California, a judge has approved a temporary restraining order on behalf of elections office employees against three supporters of the recall effort against the Board of Supervisors. The petition for the restraining order states that the recall supporters have “intimidated, harassed and caused plaintiffs to fear for their safety.” The employees have asked for the supporters to stay at least 50 yards from them, their workplace, home and vehicle. They would be allowed to visit the Eric Rood Administrative Center, but couldn’t visit the building’s second floor, where the elections office is located. A hearing on the request for a permanent restraining order is set for Feb. 22 in Nevada County Superior Court.
Voter Registration: Louisiana Secretary of State Kyle Ardoin (R) announced late last week that Louisiana will suspend its participation in the Electronic Registration Information Center (ERIC) effective immediately. According to WSDU, the announcement comes amid concerns raised by citizens, government watchdog organizations and media reports about potential questionable funding sources and that possibly partisan actors may have access to ERIC network data for political purposes, potentially undermining voter confidence. “When Louisiana joined ERIC under my predecessor, we did so under the impression that it would enhance the accuracy of our voter rolls and strengthen Louisiana’s election integrity. After reading about these allegations and speaking with election attorneys and experts, I have determined that it may no longer be in Louisiana’s best interests to participate in this organization,” Ardoin said. “It is vital that any legitimate allegation of voter fraud or possible misuse of our voters’ personal information is investigated. My job is to ensure that the data voters entrust to my office is protected. I look forward to ERIC’s swift response to these allegations.” Louisiana joined the organization in 2014. Additionally, Rep. Wes Allen, Republican candidate for Alabama Secretary of State, announced Monday that, if elected, his first act as Secretary of State would be to withdraw Alabama from membership in the Electronic Registration Information Center, also known as ERIC. “I do not believe that most Alabamians know that their information is being provided to this outfit and I don’t think they would approve of the annual $25,000 taxpayer-funded membership fee either,” Allen said.
EAC Annual Report: The U.S. Election Assistance Commission (EAC) has published its 2021 Annual Report, which details the agency’s activities during Fiscal Year 2021 and the 2021 calendar year, along with efforts to further the mission of the EAC. Chairman Donald Palmer, Vice Chair Thomas Hicks, Commissioner Christy McCormick, and Commissioner Ben Hovland issued the following joint statement about the 2021 Annual Report: “As the annual report showcases in-depth, 2021 was an important year of growth and preparation for the U.S. Election Assistance Commission (EAC). There is no off-year in elections and throughout 2021, the EAC staff provided resources and materials to election officials based on lessons learned from the 2020 elections, and lay groundwork for the midterms and elections to come. The EAC worked diligently to fulfill its mission and better serve election officials and voters. This included the passage of the latest iteration of the Voluntary Voting System Guidelines, VVSG 2.0, the publication of the Election Administration and Voting Survey report, and internal reorganization so the agency could better address the needs of stakeholders. As the pandemic continued, the EAC found different ways to engage with election officials and voters and share information. Those efforts will continue in 2022 and the EAC will strive to find new avenues for feedback. The annual report showcases all the hard work of the EAC and we hope this will serve to raise awareness of the contributions and value of the agency to the nation’s elections.” Highlights from the 2021 EAC Annual Report include: Continued oversight and comprehensive technical assistance to states for the more than $800 million in HAVA election grants; Unanimous approval of the VVSG 2.0 on February 10, 2021; The formation of a new advisory board of local election officials: the Local Leadership Council; The release of the 2020 Election Administration and Voting Survey (EAVS) report; The launch of an e-poll book testing pilot program; The growth and reorganization of staff in several departments, including the Clearinghouse and Grants divisions, to improve service to stakeholders; and Additional research and materials in areas, such as election accessibility for voters with disabilities, post-election audits, and language accessibility.
Personnel News: Howard Knapp has been appointed the permanent director of the South Carolina Elections Commission. Colleen Hauryski is the new Democratic elections commissioner for Steuben County, New York. Shannon Adams is the new Marine, Maine city clerk. Kern County, California Auditor-Controller-County Clerk Mary Bedard will step down after her term ends in 2022. Betty Manzella has been appointed as Republican elections commissioner in Suffolk County, New York. Randall Curtis is the new director of the Abbeville County, South Carolina Board of Voter Registration and Elections
In Memoriam: Washington County, Tennessee Election Commissioner CB Kinch has died. He was 78. Kinch had served on the election commission since 2014. “He was just a joy to work with,” Election Commissioner Margaret Davis said. “He brought levity to our meetings. He knew when and how to lighten the mood.” Davis said Kinch was an active member of the community who brought institutional knowledge and a “historical context” to the election board through the many relationships he developed over the years. Dana Jones, Washington County’s administrator of elections, said Kinch was “a true delight” to work with and to know as a person. “He had a dry sense of humor and knew how to use a comical statement to lighten the mood,” Jones said. “He was a very special soul and will be hard to replace.” Election Commission Chairman Gary McAllister said he and his fellow Republican colleagues Phyllis Fox and John Abe Teague, who were all appointed to the board early last year, enjoyed getting to know Kinch better during the short time they were able to work with him. “He was always a pleasure to be around,” McAllister said. “He wanted to work together for what was best for everyone, regardless of your political party. I will truly miss him as a colleague and as a friend.”
Arizona: Under HB2596, offered by Rep. John Fillmore (R-Apache) would allow lawmakers to set aside election results if they believe there was fraud or other irregularities. The 35-page bill would also: Require that ballots for all future elections be counted by hand; Mandate that votes be cast only on Election Day; Repeal laws allowing anyone to get an early ballot, instead saying they need a specific excuse, like being outside the state, unable to get to the polls because they are in a hospital or nursing home, or have a visual impairment; and Prohibit the practice used in many counties of setting up Election Day voting centers where anyone can cast a ballot, restricting people to voting only in their home precinct. “We need to get back to 1958-style voting,” Fillmore said separately during a hearing on election issues. House Speaker Rusty Bowers told Capitol Media Services that he is not killing HB 2596. That’s something he could do by simply refusing to assign it to any committee to be considered. Instead, Bowers has taken the unprecedented step of assigning the proposal to each and every one of the 12 House committees, saying he knows full well there is no way it can secure approval of each of them. This move will all but kill the bill.
The House Rules Committee has approved House Bill2238 that prevents ballots dropped at some unmonitored boxes from being counted. The bill was amended to exclude boxes at polling places and voting centers where voting staff are present or at facilities used by county recorders. “This bill doesn’t prohibit ballot drop boxes as long as they are staff monitored. As long as they have someone there, we have existing laws in place regarding and governing the dropping off of early ballots,” said Rep. Jake Hoffman, sponsor of the legislation.
The Senate Government Committee gave its approval to proposed legislation that would punish election workers who misplace ballots and penalize contractors who don’t meet the terms of their contracts. Senate Bill 1055 states that a contractor who provides election-related services to the state or a county “and that fails to perform its obligations under the terms of the contract” is liable for damages equal to the value of the contract, and could even face criminal charges in the form of a class 2 misdemeanor.
The committee also approved Senate Bill 1056, which states that any ballots that are not included in election officials’ tallies because they were misplaced can’t be counted, and that anyone who misplaces a ballot is guilty of a class 2 misdemeanor. If an uncounted, misplaced ballot is found and the voter can be identified through the envelopes used for early or provisional ballots, that voter can sue whichever government entity administered the election.
Lawmakers advanced legislation requiring voters to show identification when they drop off a mail ballot at a polling place, a move that election officials say would lead to longer lines on Election Day. Republicans on the House Government & Elections Committee approved the measure in a party-line vote. Democrats said it serves no purpose but would make it harder for people to use the early voting system.
Florida: Sen. Travis Hutson, R-St. Augustine unveiled legislation with a slew of changes to Florida’s voting laws, including a proposal sought by Gov. Ron DeSantis to establish a new office investigating election fraud and a mandate to purge voter rolls more frequently. The legislation is being proposed as an amendment to SB524. The amendment also makes changes to mail voting by requiring additional personal information to be included with submitted ballots, either the last four digits of the voter’s driver’s license or the last four digits of the person’s social security number. The amended legislation also would require elections officials in each county to update voter rolls every year, instead of every odd year. It also gives added power to DeSantis. The governor would appoint a special Florida Department of Law Enforcement agent in each of the agency’s seven regions who would be “dedicated to the investigation of alleged violations of election laws.” It would also include new state reporting requirements for potential elections violations, detailing the number of complaints received, independent investigations started and the number referred to prosecution. The proposal also would increase misdemeanor penalties to felonies for various election violations, including collecting the mail-in ballots of other people or paying petition gatherers, based on the number of signatures collected. It would also ban ranked-choice voting. The proposal would create the Office of Elections Crimes and Security within the Florida Department of State. The office would employ election fraud investigators, although they would not be sworn law enforcement officers, as sought by the governor. Instead, the investigators would send their findings to FDLE. The bill was approved on a party-line vote by the Senate panel, the first stop for another overhaul of Florida elections laws poised to be embraced by the Republican-controlled Senate and House.
Guam: Gov. Lou Leon Guerrero’s administration is reviewing two measures passed by the legislature that proposed earlier deadlines for candidates seeking elected office, and allow for the cancelation of certain primary races. Bills 173-36 and 174-36 were both authored by Sen. Jim Moylan, at the request of the Guam Election Commission. The first bill eliminates a primary election for any race if fewer or equal to the maximum candidates that can advance for that contest qualify for a primary election ballot. he proposed elimination policy won’t apply to all elections, only those for: The legislature, Governor and lieutenant governor, Washington delegate, Mayor, Vice mayor, Public auditor, and Attorney general. The second measure pushes up the primary election and deadlines associated for candidates and residents looking to participate in a local election. Bill 174-36 proposes that the primary election be held on the first, and not last Saturday in August. The legislation moves the final day to file nominating papers for those seeking elected office from 60 days before a primary election to 90 days prior as well. The legislation would also push up the first day to file nominating documents by 30 days.
Idaho: One of the sponsors of a bill that would have changed the voter registration deadline for unaffiliated voters says the bill will not be heard this session. Rep. Caroline Nilsson Troy, R-Genesee, confirmed in an email that House Bill 439 is dead for this session, but did not elaborate on the reason why. Troy presented the bill to the House State Affairs Committee on Jan. 13, and it was printed the following day. Under existing Idaho law, voters in the state’s four recognized political parties — Republican, Democrat, Constitution and Libertarian — who want to change their party affiliation or become unaffiliated can do so by filing a request with the respective county clerk office by the candidate filing deadline before a primary election. The bill also included an emergency clause, meaning the law would have affected the 2022 primary election.
Indiana: The House has reversed course, restoring language in a bill that will move up the deadline for counties to install a vital election security measure .Current law requires counties to have paper backup systems for their electronic voting machines by 2030. A bill this session, HB 1116, would move that date up to July 2024. But the House Ways and Means committee eliminated that change because it costs money – about $12 million. Then, on the House floor Thursday, Ways and Means Chair Tim Brown (R-Crawfordsville) put the July 2024 deadline back into the bill. “We heard complaints about this bill as we’re going through the process,” Brown said. “And we listened.” But the bill doesn’t include any money to help counties with the cost of adding the paper backups. And House Republicans rejected an attempt by Democrats to supply that funding. The bill also includes language on absentee voting. As approved by the House, Hoosier must now attest that they are unable to vote during all of the days available for early, in-person voting and on Election Day. Previously, absentee ballots were permitted for those who had conflicts with Election Day and didn’t inquire about early voting days. Counties vary on how many days they offer early voting and at what locations but may offer up to 28 days of early voting.
Maryland: Senate Bill 73, sponsored by Sen. Clarence K. Lam (D-Howard County) is the latest attempt to fill legislative vacancies by election. Vacancies are currently filled by gubernatorial appointments based on party central committee nominations. Lam’s bill would require that, if there is a vacancy in the state Senate or House of Delegates at least 55 days before the candidate filing deadline for regular statewide elections held in the second year of a lawmaker’s four-year term, the governor would need to declare special primary and general elections to decide who will fill the vacancy.
Senate Bill 101, an omnibus reform introduced by Vice Chair Cheryl C. Kagan (D-Montgomery County), would ban candidates for petitioning for a recount if they lose an election by more than 5% of total votes cast or if there is a 5% gap in the amount of votes cast for the prospective winning candidate and the losing candidate. It also redefines when a candidate must pay for the cost of a recount as opposed to a county. Counties currently need to pay for the recount if the difference in the number of votes between the candidates is 0.1% or less. Kagan’s bill would change that to less than 0.25%. The bill would also add costs and assistance associated with recounts to candidates’ campaign finance disclosures.
Senate Bill 158, another election reform from Kagan, would codify the longstanding election cost-sharing agreement between state and local boards of elections. The bill requires counties to pay half of the cost of election-related goods and services that are mandated by the State Board of Elections. Existing provisions, which aren’t enshrined in state law, require counties to pay half of the state’s voting system costs. The Department of Legislative Services estimates the bill would save local governments $500,000 in the 2022 fiscal year and roughly $3 million annually after that — with those costs shifted to the state government. Kagan said the bill would also require expenditures of more than $50,000 to be voted on by the State Board of Elections, and every expenditure be reported to them.
Senate Bill 112, also sponsored by Kagan, would make establishing fake ballot drop boxes a felony punishable by up to three years in prison and a fine up to $10,000 — a similar penalty to other already existing election-related offenses like damaging voting equipment. Drayton said there was a “meteoric rise” in mail-in ballot and drop-off box use during the 2020 elections, and said the bill would deter interference with drop-off boxes. Kagan said fake drop-off boxes weren’t a problem in Maryland during the last election, but a few cropped up in other states.
Senate Bill 163, yet another election reform from Kagan reviewed by the Senate committee Wednesday, would allow election officials to begin processing mail-in ballots eight days before the start of early voting, although they wouldn’t be able to tabulate those ballots. Kagan’s bill would also require election officials to provide precinct-level results. She said her bill also allows mail-in ballots to be cured, or fixed by voters, if they forgot to sign the oath on the ballot envelope. Kagan said she plans to introduce an amendment to the bill that would require local boards of elections to notify voters within three business days after election officials find that a voter didn’t sign the oath. The bill would allow voters to correct that error by text message, an accessible online portal, a mailed form, or an in-person visit to the local board office. The bill would require that a ballot without a signed oath be rejected if a voter doesn’t fix it before 10 a.m.10 days after the election.
Delegate Robert Long, R-Baltimore County, is the sponsor of HB0099, which would require residents voting by absentee ballot to furnish a signature and have it verified. Long also is the sponsor of HB0113, legislation that would require proof of identity for in-person voting. Long said the bills were drafted in response to concerns he heard from constituents about voting integrity.
Massachusetts: By a vote of 124 to 34, the House approved a major overhaul of the state’s voting laws that will make mail and early voting permanent. The legislation will allow for the broad use of voting by mail and expand in-person early voting options. Communities would be required to allow early voting during business hours and all weekends during the early-voting period. The bill would also mandate that the incarcerated be informed about their voting rightsHouse Republicans filed amendments to the proposal to scale back the mail and early voting provisions, toughen penalties for voter fraud and require voter ID to cast ballots, but the Democratic majority rejected their proposals. A majority of the 41 proposed amendments to the bill were either rejected or withdrawn. . An amendment that would have added same-day voter registration—something included in the Senate version of the bill—failed.
Michigan: A progressive-backed voting rights coalition has launched a campaign to put a constitutional amendment on the November ballot. The campaign submitted its petition language Monday to the state Bureau of Elections. If the proposal makes the ballot and is approved by voters, the amendment would require at least nine days of in-person early voting, funding for ballot drop boxes, and a system that allows voters to track mailed-in ballots. It would also guarantee people the right to vote either by presenting a government issued ID or signing an affidavit. “We must create a voting system that secures options for voters, equitable access to the polls, and ensures that all voters are heard in our election system,” said Promote the Vote campaign president Khalilah Spencer during an online press conference. The campaign would have to gather a little more than 425 thousand signatures to get on the November statewide ballot.
Nebraska: A bill was proposed to shorten early and mail-in voting in Nebraska by almost two weeks, but no one testified in favor. In a Government, Military and Veterans Affairs committee hearing, state Sen. Mike Groene of North Platte sponsored the bill. It proposes a reduction in the time window for early and mail-in voting, from 35 days to 22 days. The bill also limits people to collecting a maximum of two ballots on behalf of others and submitting them to county election officials. Groene said this will still give voters time to complete the necessary steps in voting, and it would reduce the influence of advocacy groups. All of the committee members voted against this bill. Advocacy groups for voting rights, retirees, and disabled voters pointed out it would go directly against all of the progress Nebraska has made to increase voter participation. County officials also said the bill could.
New Hampshire: Republican state representatives are bringing forward legislation to conduct a full forensic audit of New Hampshire’s 2020 election, and supporters want donations to cover what election officials believe would be a multimillion-dollar price tag. Granite Staters who are convinced that the 2020 election was fraudulent, despite there being no evidence, alternately pleaded with and threatened state representatives to pass legislation for a full forensic audit of the results, paid for by donations and nonprofits. New Hampshire Secretary of State David Scanlan said New Hampshire’s voting systems are decentralized and administered locally. He said that if the dedicated volunteers who run elections thought something was amiss, they would have spoken up.
New York: Assembly Member Kevin Byrne (R-Mahopac) has introduced a bill that seeks to change the wording in Article 2, Section 1 of the New York State Constitution from “every citizen shall be entitled to vote” to “only citizens shall be entitled to vote.” If approved this would block noncitizen voting in the state including in New York City where it was recently approved by the city council. “My proposed amendment would supersede any effort to expand voting rights to non-citizens at the local level. I encourage my fellow state legislators to sign on to support this amendment,” says Byrne
North Carolina: Gov. Roy Cooper (D) has vetoed a bill that would have moved the state’s primary elections to June. The Democratic governor had said last week before the General Assembly approved the legislation that it was a bad idea for lawmakers to interfere as the state’s highest court considers litigation challenging congressional and legislative boundaries. The justices last month already postponed primary elections originally set for March 8 until May 17 to allow time for them to hear the lawsuits claiming that illegal partisan gerrymandering and the dilution of Black voting power favor Republicans. The state Supreme Court plans to hear oral arguments in the case this week. The bill was approved on party lines by Republicans, who said a further primary delay to June 7 was needed to reduce confusion as the state awaits the court’s decision. With the GOP lacking veto-proof majorities in the House and Senate, the chances of an override are slim. The State Board of Elections has said it needs final maps by Feb. 18 in order to keep the May primary on schedule. Republicans note a state law that requires the General Assembly be given at least two weeks to redraw the maps if they are struck down, before judges could step in and draw their own. Registered Democrats hold a 4-3 majority on the Supreme Court.
Tennessee: Sen Brian Kelsey (R-Germantown) has introduced Senate Bill 1820 (companion measure: 1868 HB, by Rep. Nathan Vaughn, a Collierville Republican), which would prohibit the use anywhere in Tennessee of ranked choice voting, a mode of elections that has been twice approved by Memphis voters in referenda but has been prevented by the City Council and by the state Election Coordinator from taking place. Introducing his bill in the Senate’s State and Local Government committee on Tuesday, Kelsey noted that his legislation had both Republican and Democratic co-sponsors and said, “It’s not a partisan issue. It’s really an issue about voter clarity.”
Vermont: Lawmakers are considering a bill that would create a ranked choice voting system in time for the 2024 election. “We are routinely the state that votes outside of the two parties more than any other. Our voting system doesn’t deal with that. It solves several problems,” said Sen. Chris Pearson, D/P-Chittenden County.
Virginia: Delegate Margaret Ransone is sponsoring HB 185, which repeals a law that would allow Virginians to register to vote on the day of the election. The original bill wasn’t set to go into effect until October first. Ransone’s bill includes exceptions for Virginians temporarily abroad and active duty military. The bill is also cosponsored by two Republican Delegates that attended a rally near the US capitol before rioters stormed it last January, seeking to overturn the election.
The committee also sent a bill that would allow voters to opt-in to a system requiring their photo identification be shown at a polling place. Delegate Amanda Batten, a Republican from the Virginia Peninsula, sponsored that bill. Another photo ID law sponsored by Republican Delegate Lee Ware also was forwarded to the subcommittee to the full committee earlier this week. HB46 requires a photo ID to vote.
A bill to remove dead people from voter rolls every week instead of once a month passed the Virginia Senate on a bipartisan vote. The legislation from state Sen. Jennifer Kiggans (R-Virginia Beach) would require the state registrar of vital records to share an updated list of people who died in Virginia with the Department of Elections each week. Under the current system, these lists are provided to the department each month. If passed by the legislature and signed by Gov. Glenn Youngkin, general registrars would need to “promptly cancel” the voter registration for anyone on the list for updated voter rolls.
Senate Bill 3 proposes to change how absentee ballots are tallied in Virginia, reporting them by the precinct from which they are cast. Currently, all absentee votes are lumped into their own centralized precinct, which is often counted last. The bill received a 15-0 vote from the Senate Privileges and Elections Committee, allowing it to advance to another Senate panel for financial considerations.
Delegate Phillip Scott (R-Spotsylvania) has introduced legislation that would limit early voting to two weeks before an election. Currently Virginia has a 45-day early voting window. Scott argues the 45 days puts an undue strain on elections officials.
Washington: SB 5584, would allow cities in Washington to implement what’s known as ranked-choice voting. Existing state law prohibits the use of RCV in most counties, excepting those operating under a specific type of charter that allows for broad authority to amend voting and government structure at the local level. Washington has seven counties in total that are allowed to use RCV — King, Clallam, Whatcom, Snohomish, Pierce, San Juan, and Clark counties. With SB 5584, the state’s remaining 32 counties — as well as cities, towns, and districts within those areas — would similarly be allowed to implement ranked-choice voting. There appears to be early momentum for the bill too, with SB 5584 already getting passed out of the state Senate’s elections committee on a party-line vote. It will next make its way to the Ways & Means committee for further consideration.
HB 1727 would move most odd-year elections to even years. HB 1727 would apply to the vast majority of state, county, city, town, and district elections, excepting votes on levies, tax increases, recalls, and special elections to fill unexpired terms for departing members of Congress. It was passed out of the state House’s Governmental & Tribal Relations Committee.
State lawmakers heard testimony on Friday for a bill from Gov. Jay Inslee, which would make it a misdemeanor for elected leaders or candidates to spread unfounded allegations of election fraud. Inslee’s bill seeks to account for that legal precedent by focusing on the U.S. Supreme Court’s 1969 Brandenburg v. Ohio decision, which established that any speech inciting “imminent lawless action” isn’t protected under the First Amendment. Using that standard, Inslee points to the Jan. 6 riot at the U.S. Capitol as proof that allowing election falsehoods to spread has the potential to directly incite lawless and harmful behavior. “We cannot afford, and we should not have to endure, another insurrection like January 6, 2021,” Inslee testified on Friday. “But violent insurrection is not the only threat to democracy. This bill takes on all attempts to spur violence through election lies. Diminished acceptance of election results threatens our system of government and the people who serve.”
West Virginia: This week, the House of Delegates considered HB 4312, which would extend the option of electronic absentee balloting to first responders in certain emergency circumstances. Two delegates tried to broaden a bill to instead give all registered voters the right to submit absentee ballots by mail. The amendment was voted down overwhelmingly. “We had an experiment in the 2020 election due to covid, and in that experiment 145,000 West Virginians voted absentee,” De. Evan Hansen (D-Monongalia) said, noting that was the highest absentee participation ever. “We had an experiment. We proved we could pull it off and allow every West Virginian who’s qualified to vote easy access to the polls.” House Judiciary Chairman Moore Capito, R-Kanawha, pushed back on the amendment, saying West Virginians are more trusting of ballots cast at voting precincts. “Universal mail-in balloting in the state of West Virginia, I don’t think, is something the majority of West Virginians want to see,” Capito said, praising the Secretary of State and county clerks for pulling off a secure election under unprecedented circumstances.
Wisconsin: State Rep. Barbara Dittrich, R Oconomowoc and Sen. Kathy Bernier, R–Chippewa Falls, have introduced a bill sets in placing training requirements for clerks. Municipal clerks must receive three hours of training before conducting their first election. The governing body of a municipality shall notify WEC of clerk vacancies. The bill implements a regular schedule for data to be requested from the Electronic Registration Information Center and makes it clear that said information may be used by WEC to update state voter rolls. Additionally, this bill prohibits all voting machines from being connected to the internet, with the exception of one point-to-point contact between the machine and county election server after polls closed. Under the bill, WEC must promulgate rules for additional clerk training related to certain aspects of electronic equipment usage. Municipal clerks must notify both the county clerk and WEC whenever election equipment is rented.
A Republican bill authored by Sen. Kathy Bernier (R-Lake Hallie), Sen. Alberta Darling (R-River Hills), Sen. Duey Stroebel (R-Cedarburg), and Rep. Cindi Duchow (R-Town of Delafield) would make clear voters could not use a public health emergency to declare themselves indefinitely confined. The bill would strip away the status of all voters who received the status between March 12, 2020 and the November 2020 election. Barbara Beckert, Director of Advocacy for Disability Rights Wisconsin, said she worried that provision cast too wide of a net.
Other measures would codify rules for when special voting deputies must visit nursing homes and, if that’s not allowed due to a public health crisis, allowing nursing home workers to be designated care assistants who help residents vote.
Another would ban clerks from accepting outside money or equipment from private entities. That bill stems from GOP suspicions of more than $10 million that flowed into Wisconsin from the Mark Zuckerberg-funded Center for Tech and Civic Life; more than 85 percent of those dollars went to the state’s five biggest cities, prompting conservatives to argue that unfairly benefited communities that traditionally vote for Democrats.
A number of bills were introduced aimed at voting rights for those who are or used to be incarcerated. The Unlock the Vote Bill package was introduced by Emerson and State Senator Lena Taylor of Milwaukee. The package consists of four bills. Two of which focus on convicted felons and those in county jails. The main bill would address restoring voting rights to certain people who have been denied due to a felony conviction. Another bill involves those who are awaiting trial or are serving short sentences in county jail. The Unlock the Vote bill package is still in the co-sponsorship stage in the State Legislature. Emerson says after about a week or so, the package will go on a waitlist in hopes of going to a committee to be granted a hearing. “The Unlock the Vote is really about making sure that people who are incarcerated or have been incarcerated have the information that they need to be able to carry out their civil rights of voting,” Eau Claire State Representative Jodi Emerson said.
Republicans who control the Legislature want to close out the legislative session by giving themselves the power to take away staff and funding from state agencies deemed to have run afoul of election laws and taking control over guidance that comes from the state Elections Commission. One bill would give the Republican-controlled Joint Finance Committee the power to eliminate staffing positions and withhold funding from the state Elections Commission and state agencies that have a hand in administering elections if the committee and the governor determines those state officials “failed to comply with any election law” or if the commission provided “erroneous guidance” to municipal clerks. In another bill proposed by Sen. Alberta Darling of River Hills and Rep. John Spiros of Marshfield, the state Elections Commission would allow the Republican-controlled Joint Committee for Review of Administrative Rules to have control over what kind of guidance the commission hands down to election clerks. In separate legislation proposed by Assembly Speaker Robin Vos and Senate Majority Leader Devin LeMahieu, a Republican-controlled legislative committee would have the power to prevent the governor from distributing federal election funding if the lawmakers did not like the way the state elections agency planned to spend it.
Alabama: Alabama’s bid to pause a court order requiring the state to redraw its congressional map was denied late last week, setting the potential for the Supreme Court to quickly intervene in case. “We discern no basis for a finding that this case is the extraordinary case in which we must allow an election to proceed under a map that we have determined — on the basis of a substantial evidentiary record — very likely violates the Voting Rights Act,” a panel of three federal judges said. The panel includes two appointees of former President Donald Trump. Earlier in the week, Alabama was ordered to redraw its congressional map after the regime it adopted last year, using data from the 2020 Census, was found in two cases to have likely violated the Voting Rights Act. The order gives the legislature 14 days to draw a new map that includes “two districts in which Black voters either comprise a voting-age majority or something quite close to it.”
Florida: A federal trial challenging recent changes to Florida’s voting laws began this week with voting rights groups claiming the laws have made it harder to register voters. During a day of testimony advocates claimed that one of the lesser-discussed changes to the state’s voting laws has created a chilling effect on both potential voters and those who try to sign them up to vote. The trial is over Senate Bill 90, passed by GOP lawmakers last year at the urging of Gov. Ron DeSantis. The legislation targeted the state’s vote-by-mail process and the use of ballot drop boxes, which were the basis of some of former President Donald Trump’s widespread claims of voter fraud. On the first day of the trial, testimony focused on an aspect of the bill that has been given less public attention. The legislation required third-party groups to issue a warning when trying to register voters. The groups now have to tell voters that their registration application might not be turned in before the voter registration deadline or within the required 14 days. And they have to inform potential voters how to register on the Secretary of State’s website and how to determine whether the application has been delivered. The trial is being overseen by U.S. District Judge Mark Walker in Tallahassee and is expected to last two weeks and involve nearly 30 witnesses
Georgia: Georgia election officials and critics of the state’s voting touchscreens asked U.S. District Judge Amy Totenberg to release a confidential report that describes how a hacker could attempt to change votes. The calls for disclosure come a day after The Atlanta Journal-Constitution published an article on the findings of University of Michigan computer science professor Alex Halderman, who detailed vulnerabilities of Georgia’s voting equipment in a sealed court document. There’s no sign of tampering with the state’s Dominion Voting Systems equipment in the 2020 election, according to audits and experts, but Halderman’s report outlined risks for upcoming elections this year. Totenberg said in a court teleconference Thursday that she will review a version of Halderman’s report that redacts sensitive information and decide whether to make it public by Monday. Totenberg said she was displeased that the report, which has been discussed in public court hearings but remains under seal, became a “political football.” “I’m unhappy with the political treatment of the report,” Totenberg said. “… The entire purpose of having hearings was to maximize transparency but at the same time trying to be mindful of the risks involved of disclosure.”
U.S. District Judge Steve Jones denied motions to dismiss three lawsuits challenging Georgia’s new political maps. The lawsuits allege that Georgia’s redistricting in the fall violated the Voting Rights Act’s protections against discrimination of Black voters, weakening their voting strength by splitting populations into different districts. Defendants for the state of Georgia disagree, saying the new districts are fair. The cases were filed by a variety of civil rights, religious and political groups soon after Gov. Brian Kemp signed new redistricting plans into law. Attorneys for the state had argued that the cases should be dismissed because they were assigned to Jones instead of a three-judge panel of judges. But Jones ruled that federal law doesn’t always mandate three judges in redistricting cases. “The plain language only requires a three-judge court to hear cases challenging the constitutionality of a statewide legislative body, not purely statutory challenges to the apportionment of a statewide legislative body,” Jones wrote.
Idaho: The Idaho Supreme Court has upheld the state’s new map redrawing Idaho’s 35 legislative districts, finding that four separate lawsuits against the Idaho Commission for Reapportionment failed to show that the way the map split some counties was unreasonable. The unanimous ruling was written by Justice John Stegner. Commissioners in Ada County also sued over the number of county splits, and Spencer Stucki, a Chubbuck resident, sued to challenge the way districts are redrawn in southeastern Idaho. The Coeur d’Alene Tribe in northern Idaho and the Shoshone-Bannock Tribes in southern Idaho filed a lawsuit as well, contending that the map wrongly split their respective reservations into different districts without regard for the fact that they are each “communities of interest” that should be maintained together as much as possible. In the ruling, the Idaho Supreme Court acknowledged the difficult job faced by the redistricting commission, especially given Idaho’s unique geography and the different federal and state redistricting rules at play. “Navigating this tension is no easy feat,” Stegner wrote, calling the work a “delicate balancing act.” “To perform that balancing act as quickly and thoroughly as the Commission did, resulting in a legislative plan with unanimous bipartisan support on behalf of all six commissioners, is certainly laudable,” Stegner wrote.
Missouri: A bipartisan coalition seeking to change how Missouri elects its top state officials has filed a lawsuit against Republican Secretary of State Jay Ashcroft. The legal action by the team is focused on a maneuver Ashcroft could use in their bid to ask voters if they want to switch to a ranked choice voting system for electing statewide officials. The lawsuit, filed by attorney David Roland, raises concerns that Ashcroft will use a provision in state law to put the ballot question on the low-turnout August primary election rather than the November 2022 general election, when a larger share of voters go to the polls. Ashcroft, whose primary job is to oversee state elections and conduct other mostly clerical duties of state government, has injected himself into the debate by saying he opposes the idea. A spokesman said Ashcroft has not made a decision on how the signatures would be counted because the office has not yet received the signatures. The lawsuit says Ashcroft could move to fast track the referendum by altering the way signatures are typically counted when he certifies whether enough were collected to put a question on the statewide ballot. The lawsuit asks Cole County Circuit Judge Cotton Walker to require the secretary of state to introduce and then follow a formal rule-making process to establish how the sampling is conducted. “The secretary can arbitrarily determine on which initiatives to utilize random sampling. And because there are no promulgated rules, the secretary can use an opaque process to deny plaintiff access to the ballot,” the lawsuit notes.
North Carolina: The N.C. State Board of Elections and the Public Interest Legal Foundation have reached a settlement for the board to disclose records relating to foreigners registering and voting. The state elections board, PILF says in a news release, agreed to settle the case after a federal appellate court ruled that the registration act requires disclosure of documents relating to noncitizens registering and voting. The terms of the settlement also included an agreement to pay a portion of PILF’s attorneys fees. PILF is touting the settlement as a win for election transparency and the National Voter Registration Act, which requires election officials to allow inspection of all records related to the maintenance of the voter rolls. PILF, the release says, filed the lawsuit against the elections board in June 2019 for failing to disclose records showing noncitizens’ registration and voting. The lower court dismissed the complaint, saying that PILF could not obtain the records. In May 2021, PILF won its appeal to the Fourth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.
Pennsylvania: The Pennsylvania Commonwealth Court struck down the state’s mail voting law, saying the state constitution requires voters to cast ballots in person unless they meet specific requirements. The court notably did not rule against the merits of mail voting and its expansion — it focused instead on how that expansion occurred, saying the constitution must first be amended to allow it. “No-excuse mail-in voting makes the exercise of the franchise more convenient and has been used four times in the history of Pennsylvania,” Judge Mary Hannah Leavitt wrote for the court. “Approximately 1.38 million voters have expressed their interest in voting by mail permanently. If presented to the people, a constitutional amendment … is likely to be adopted. But a constitutional amendment must be presented to the people” before legislation like Act 77 can take effect. Act 77 was negotiated by Republican legislative leaders and Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf and was passed with widespread bipartisan support in 2019. It was the largest change to Pennsylvania election law in generations. In addition to the massive expansion of mail voting, the law extended the voter registration deadline from 30 days before Election Day to 15, and it removed the straight-ticket option that allowed voters to vote once for a political party and have that choice apply to every race on the ballot. By overturning the law in its entirety, the ruling would roll back all those changes. The decision was 3-2, with three Republican judges striking the law over the dissent of two Democratic ones. The state has filed an appeal to the state Supreme Court.
The Pennsylvania Supreme Court has shut down an appeal by Democratic judicial candidate Zachary Cohen. It was earlier this month the court ruled hundreds of undated ballots from November’s election should not be counted. A decision needed to be made over 261 votes that were dated by the post office and submitted on time but were not dated on the return envelope. The Lehigh County elections board initially approved those votes. “The local judge thought that was sufficient but by the Supreme Court now ruling that it won’t take the case, they are saying no it wasn’t,” said Lehigh County Executive Phillips Armstrong. After all this, Armstrong believes the state needs to come up with better instructions for the voting public moving forward. “They needed to put more exact rules in place which left a lot of things for the local counties to have this interpretation,” Armstrong noted. A bipartisan group of Lehigh County voters asked a federal court for an emergency injunction Monday to stop the Lehigh County Board of Elections from certifying November’s results on Tuesday. According to the filing, plaintiffs Linda Migliori, Francis J. Fox, Richard E. Richards, Kenneth Ringer and Sergio Rivas are among the 257 Lehigh County voters who did not write a date next to their signature on their mail-in ballots’ return envelope. In addition to asking the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania to delay the certification, it asks the court to ensure the 257 ballots are counted. In the lawsuit filed by the American Civil Liberties Union on behalf of the five voters, plaintiffs argue that discarding the ballots amounts to “disenfranchisement” that will “cause irreparable harm.”
The Pennsylvania Supreme Court took control of a redistricting lawsuit and will now decide how the state’s congressional districts will be drawn for the next decade. A lower court had been poised to select a new map from among 13 proposals this week because the normal redistricting process between the governor and state legislature had broken down. Now the high court will instead make the decision, exercising its “extraordinary jurisdiction” power to take over any case. That will likely speed up the selection of a final map, which was the stated goal of the plaintiffs who asked the Supreme Court to step in. The clock is ticking — there are less than four months until the May 17 primary — and uncertainty around district boundaries has kept candidates, voters, and elections administrators in limbo. The court cited both “the impasse between the legislative and executive branches” and the election timeline in its order.
Wisconsin: Absentee ballot drop boxes will continue to be allowed in Wisconsin for the state’s Feb. 15 primary following a ruling by the Wisconsin Supreme Court. Justices also agreed to hear an expedited appeal of the case, meaning they’re likely to decide sooner rather than later whether drop boxes will be allowed for the state’s higher-turnout elections in August and November. The state Supreme Court was asked to weigh in on drop boxes following a flurry of lower court rulings this month put their future in doubt. A coalition of groups including Disability Rights Wisconsin, the League of Women Voters of Wisconsin and Wisconsin Faith Voices for Justice appealed, arguing in part that the ruling had “created a mess” because it was handed down too close to Wisconsin’s Feb. 15 spring primary. A unanimous state appeals court agreed, issuing a stay of Bohren’s ruling that would keep drop boxes in use, at least in February. WILL appealed that ruling to the state Supreme Court, and while justices didn’t issue a final decision in the case, a majority ruled that it was too close to the Feb. 15 primary to change the rules for voting by banning drop boxes. While the majority opinion was unsigned, it was supported by liberal Justices Ann Walsh Bradley, Rebecca Dallet and Jill Karofsky, and concurred in by conservative swing Justice Brian Hagedorn. Hagedorn wrote separately to explain that regardless of the merits of the case, it was too close to an election to change the rules for voting. “Whether the circuit court’s decision to deny a stay constituted an erroneous exercise of discretion or not, further judicial relief would be inappropriate at this time,” Hagedorn wrote. “As a general rule, this court should not muddy the waters during an ongoing election.”
Dane County Judge Rhonda Lanford has ruled an immigrants’ rights group can join a lawsuit challenging the subpoena power of a Republican hired to investigate the 2020 election. Lanford granted a request to intervene in the case filed by attorneys for Voces de la Frontera, which was recently subpoenaed by former Wisconsin Supreme Court Justice Michael Gableman. Republicans in the Wisconsin Assembly hired Gableman to lead a taxpayer-funded investigation of the 2020 presidential election at a cost of up to $676,000. In a court hearing Wednesday, Voces de la Frontera attorney Dan Lenz argued the group was raising some of the same issues as the Wisconsin Elections Commission. “They all get to the same question which is: What are the rules for these subpoenas?” Lenz, an attorney for the liberal firm Law Forward, said. George Burnett, the attorney for Assembly Speaker Robin Vos, R-Rochester, argued allowing Voces to join the case would slow it down, which could defeat the purpose of Gableman’s investigation.
Colorado: The Weld County Clerk & Recorder’s Office has released a tool that will allow voters to view ballot images online. With email registration, users can view, sort, filter and download ballot images, as well as cast vote records and audit marks, from the 2021 election. The tool is meant to provide an extra level of election transparency from the comfort and safety of home. The tool is available at weldvotes.com. Users must enter an email address and password to create a profile before gaining access to the tool. “Weld County voters can continue to count on our office to be transparent when it comes to elections. We are once again making all ballot images available for free in an even more convenient to use format,” said Carly Koppes, Weld Clerk and Recorder, in a news release. “This is one of several initiatives the Clerk’s office offers to ensure confidence and trust in the election process and the confirmation of election results.”
Opinions This Week
National Opinions: Democracy, II | Voting rights | Election fraud | Voter suppression | Stop the steal | U.S. Department of Justice | Noncitizen voting | 2024 | Federal election legislation | Election administration
Alaska: Ranked choice voting
California: Voting rights
Connecticut: Election integrity
Hawaii: Ranked choice voting
Iowa: Voting rights
Montana: Election integrity
New Hampshire: Ranked choice voting
New Mexico: Election legislation
New York: College student voting
Pennsylvania: Voting rights
South Carolina: Voting rights
Tennessee: Paper ballots
West Virginia: Precinct changes
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 over four days, February 24-25 and March 3-4. 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. When: February 24-25 and March 3-4.
NASS Winter Conference: When: Feb. 28 to March 2. Where: Online.
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.
Administrative Specialist III (Elections Specialist Lead), King County, Washington— This position will lead processes, projects, and people within the Scan work area of Ballot Processing. This will include leading, coaching, mentoring, and training temporary and regular staff. Leads may also provide assistance and/or participate in long-term cross-training in multiple work areas to meet organizational agile efforts. This is a great opportunity for a person with strong communication and interpersonal skills. The Department of Elections is searching for an energetic and resourceful professional who likes to get stuff done. The Administrative Specialist III in the Elections Department combines an exciting environment with the opportunity to cultivate talents and apply a variety of skills. The ideal candidate will thrive in an innovative, fast-paced environment and will not hesitate to roll up both sleeves, work hard, have fun, and get the job done. Salary: $24.87 – $31.66. Deadline: Feb. 4. Application: For the complete job listing and to apply, click here.
Consultant: Nonpartisan Observation Coordinator, U.S. Elections, (Michigan and Arizona), The Carter Center– The Democracy Program at The Carter Center works globally to support democratic elections and strengthen participatory democracy, consistent with human rights. Beginning in 2020, The Carter Center began efforts to support good elections in the U.S. There are multiple key aspects to this project, contributing to electoral reform, promoting candidate codes of conduct, tracking disinformation and dangerous speech, and establishing nonpartisan observation efforts. The Carter Center plans to advance possible nonpartisan observation efforts in two key states: Arizona and Michigan. These states were selected following state assessments completed on multiple states. Nonpartisan observation efforts implemented and/or supported by The Carter Center will differ from existing partisan poll watchers and election protection groups. The goal of this observation is to provide credible and transparent information on the conduct of election in each state through public reports. The Carter Center is seeking Observation Coordinators to lead efforts in Arizona and Michigan to establish and support nonpartisan observation efforts. Working with Carter Center staff and consultants, the Observer Coordinators will work to meet with new and existing stakeholders to build an observation effort and determine the best possibility for nonpartisan observation in each state. The work will be conducted in two Phases. In Phase I, the Coordinators will focus on partnership and network building. The second phase will focus more deeply on the logistics of observer deployment and project implementation based on the plans and partnerships developed in Phase I. Start date: As soon as possible, with potential travel around the state Location: Michigan or Arizona Length of assignment: This project is in two phases. Phase 1 will be for 3 months with possibility of extension into Phase 2 which will last up to 9 months. Application: For the complete job listing and to apply, click here.
Desktop Support Technician, Wake County Board of Elections— Do you have a strong IT background and a desire to be a part of the elections process? If so, get ready to roll up your sleeves and become a part of something bigger! The Wake County Board of Elections is seeking a Desktop Support Technician to manage the IT services required to conduct elections for the citizens of Wake County. The ideal candidate will possess experience working in a field support setting with computer equipment, networking, software installation and troubleshooting, and customer support. This is not your typical IT help desk support role. In this physically demanding position, you will need to be able to lift up to 50 lbs. and endure extended periods of time lifting, squatting, crawling in tight spaces, climbing on ladders to pull cables from drop ceilings, pushing and pulling gaylord bins on wheels, carrying supplies and equipment. Work is performed mostly indoors investigating or installing networks, running cables, setting up computers and peripherals at voting locations. This position is in-person and will work at various locations including the Board of Elections Operation Center, polling places, and Early Voting locations across the county (churches, community centers, libraries, schools, etc.). Salary: 22.97 – 31.01. Deadline: Feb. 10. Application: For the complete job listing and to apply, click here.
Director of Elections, 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 – $160,638 DOE• Relocation Assistance up to $10,000 available. Application: For the complete job listing and to apply, click here.
Director of Elections/General Registrar, Virginia Beach, Virginia— The Virginia Beach Electoral Board is currently seeking a progressive leader with a demonstrated history of collaboration, negotiation and communication amongst diverse stakeholder groups. The successful candidate will think strategically and be able to navigate dynamic political environments, facilitating compromise and cooperation when needed. Specific responsibilities include, but are not limited to: Plan and direct the operations and activities of the voter registration office; Provide leadership and supervision to paid staff and volunteers on all election procedures; Develop plans to encourage the registration of eligible voters; Oversee the registration process including eligibility determination and denial notification process in accordance with State Board of Election Guidelines; Manage the departmental budget; Plan and provide oversight of educational programs; Oversee maintenance of all official records; Ensure adequate space(s) to facilitate voting process; Ensure election equipment is maintained and readily accessible to voters; Assist with ballot design’ Carry out provisions enumerated in §24.2-114, Code of Virginia, and ensure compliance with the entirety of Title 24.2.; and Communicate election requirements, processes, and results to election observers and stakeholders, including the press. Salary: $136,982. Application: For the complete job listing and to apply, click here.
Election Program Coordinator—Absentee, Buncombe County, North Carolina— An employee in this position is responsible for the management of all aspects of conducting absentee by mail voting. This employee will lead a team who will perform the administrative duties of absentee by mail voting. An employee in this position is also responsible for the administrative work in creating all written materials needed for training election workers and conducts all election worker training, as well as the management of a support team. Work requires that all materials meet the guidelines of election law and department standards. Application: For the complete job listing and to apply, click here.
Election Technician, Thurston County, Washington– The position of Election Technician produces maps to update and maintain accurate taxing district boundaries. Also uses mapping data to develop and maintain address-based voter street/levy database and takes a leading role in the planning and coordination of the technical aspects of the election process. Additional responsibilities may include, but would not be limited to, the following: Plans, organizes, and supervises the work of assigned temporary staff. Recommends selection, provides training, and evaluates performance. Trains staff in the accurate use of election machines and proper use of all election supplies. Programming for elections using advanced software for ballot printing, ballot sorting, ballot tabulation, accessible voting units, and election results reporting.Plans and conducts logic and accuracy tests; responsible for and maintains back-up procedures in case of emergency conditions. Performs formal ballot tabulating tasks at the ballot processing center on election day. Directs on-the-spot activities. Coordinates and trains staff on ballot processing to ensure we follow federal, state, and county election laws. Coordinates the preparation and distribution of ballots for voters; mails all ballot material to voters, both domestic and overseas. Plans and coordinates the vote-by-mail election process. Acts as purchasing agent for the Election Division. Plans, purchases, and maintains sufficient inventory for all election activities. Handles special projects for the division. (Example: requests for proposal purchases, vendor contracts, etc.) Salary: 4,210.00 – $5,600.00 Monthly. 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 Program Manager, CIS— The primary purpose of this position is to coordinate EI-ISAC operations and projects and to represent the EI-ISAC in public forums regarding election infrastructure issues. The Elections Program Manager will work with the EI-ISAC Director to build and maintain relationships in the elections community and develop tools, products, and initiatives that meet the security needs of election officials. This position will oversee a team of Elections Analysts and Stakeholder outreach staff. Application: For the complete job listing and to apply, click here.
Executive Director, U.S. Election Assistance Commission— The Executive Director has overall Commission-wide responsibility for implementing, through its operating divisions and offices, the management and administrative policies and decisions of the Commissioners. The Executive Director serves as a key management advisor to the Commissioners. The Executive Director is responsible for ensuring the agency meets its mission defined in HAVA. The Executive Director’s responsibilities include: Ensuring that EAC administrative activities comply with governing statutes and regulations in support of the effective and efficient accomplishment of EAC’s mission. Understanding HAVA and other election laws, regulations, and legal decisions pertinent to the EAC mission to assist with agency oversight. Maintaining good relationships with the U.S. Congress and the various EAC oversight committees and governing bodies of elections, including, state legislatures, city/county officials, and EAC FACA boards. Ability to establish program/policy goals and the structure and processes necessary to implement the organization’s strategic vision and mission, to ensure that programs and policies are being implemented and adjusted as necessary, that the appropriate results are being achieved, and that a process for continually assessing the quality of the program activities is in place. Providing periodic assessment of the administrative efficiency and managerial effectiveness of the EAC through strategic planning including: program reviews, reviews of programmatic goals and outcomes, and resource utilization in achieving results. Consulting with and advising Divisions and Offices on general management and operating practices affecting their substantive program areas. Developing solutions to potential and existing barriers that may limit or impede goal achievement. Planning, assigning, and appraising work products to assure high levels of performance. Application: For the complete job listing and to apply, click here.
Executive Director, Deliver My Vote— Deliver My Vote (DMV) and Deliver My Vote Education Fund (DMVEF) are partner organizations dedicated to voting, voting access, and voting rights specifically as it relates to voters’ ability to vote from home. DMV is a non-profit, non-partisan 501(c)4 organization, dedicated to increasing voter turnout within traditionally disenfranchised communities. DMV’s programs are anchored in helping to facilitate the delivery of a voters’ ballot to their doorstep. Through community organizing campaigns, DMV provides tools and resources to help voters cast ballots from home, taking control of their vote, regardless of life’s obstacles. DMVEF is a non-profit, non-partisan 501(c)3 organization to educate the American public on laws and policies that make voting more accessible for eligible voters. DMVEF provides tools and voter education resources to help eligible voters update voter registration, help interested voters take control of their ballot through absentee voting, and support voters in making specific plans to vote. Salary for this position is highly competitive and is commensurate with experience. Benefits include health, dental and vision, and a 401k with match. Deliver My Vote is headquartered in Washington, DC with Board members and staff working in collaboration from around the country. All work is currently remote. 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.
Manager Election Administrator, Clark County, Nevada— Clark County Elections is seeking qualified candidates to apply for the Manager Election Administration position. This position manages the operational use of the election management system (EMS) as well as the initiation of all ballot information used to generate sample ballots, mail ballots, and ballot definition for the electronic voting system. Manages the vote tabulation process. Serves as the primary liaison with County centralized IT related to technology functions and applications in the Election department. Directs a variety of analytical and interdepartmental coordination activities; performs project management; directs specified operational functions through subordinate supervisors; oversees and performs managerial, operational and other analysis in support of departmental programs and activities. The incumbent must exercise independent judgment and discretion in determining the optimal strategy for resource utilization and in providing support to operating and user staff. Salary: $40.40 – $62.60 Hourly. Deadline: Feb. 18. 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 Coordinator, MIT Election Data & Science Lab— PROGRAM COORDINATOR, Political Science, to coordinate and perform day-to-day operational activities and project planning for the MIT Election Data and Science Lab, a research project that encourages a scientific approach to improving elections in the U.S. The lab’s activities include the conduct of its own research, coordinating the research of others, and fostering a larger community of allied researchers around the country. Will oversee the lab’s budget and reconcile accounts; plan seminar series/workshops; and work as part of a team on a wide range of projects, special initiatives, and events. Responsibilities include developing, implementing, and monitoring the lab’s research projects; overseeing budgets related to grants received by the lab; coordinating seminars, conferences, and workshops; remaining aware of the progress of the lab’s projects and helping to problem-solve bottlenecks; representing the lab at special events and committee meetings; preparing correspondence in response to internal/external inquiries; composing, editing, and proofreading lab materials; helping to track progress on lab achievements and communicating them to funders; making vendor and purchasing suggestions/decisions; developing documentation/reporting for stakeholders; developing and maintaining website content; and performing other dues as necessary. Application: For the complete job listing and to apply, click here.
Project Lead, CEIR— CEIR seeks a qualified Project Lead to guide the Election Official Legal Defense Network (EOLDN) and drive program outreach. As Project Lead, your primary goals will be to: 1) Ensure election administrators’ requests for legal help are addressed promptly and matched with lawyers appropriately, 2) Maximize the number of election administrators who know about EOLDN, and 3) Liaise with lawyers, law firms, and legal organizations to recruit lawyers to the Network and provide value to Network lawyers (e.g., by offering CLEs). EOLDN is a project of CEIR and was designed in response to the threats to and attacks on election officials and provides those public servants with the advice and protection they need. EOLDN will be a crucial resource for election officials both this year and in the years to come. We need to spread the word quickly and ensure we are prepared to respond to what will likely be a high demand for EOLDN’s services. The Project Lead will report to the Chief of Staff and guide the EOLDN team to drive the program’s success. Domestic travel will be required for this role. Salary: $65,000-$100,000. Application: For the complete job listing and to apply, click here.
Senior Programmer Analyst, Clark County, Nevada— This position provides project and program leadership to professional and technical staff; performs applications systems design, modification and programming of a routine to complex nature in support of County administrative and business services for multiple computer platform applications. Provides lead direction, training and work review to a programming project team; organized and assigns work, sets priorities, and follows-up and controls project status to ensure coordination and completion of assigned work. Provides input into selection, evaluation, disciplinary and other personnel matters. Gathers and analyzes information regarding customer systems and requirements and develops or modifies automated systems to fulfill these needs. Conducts feasibility studies and develops system, time, equipment and cost requirements. Using computer generated techniques, simulates hardware and software problems, tests and evaluates alternative solutions, and recommends and implements appropriate applications design. Develops program logic and processing steps; codes programs in varied languages. Plans and develops test data to validate new or modified programs; designs input and output forms and documents. Troubleshoots hardware and software problems, as needed, for customers, other agencies and information systems personnel. Writes program documentation and customer procedures and instructions and assists user departments and staff in implementing new or modified programs and applications; tracks and evaluates project and systems progress. Writes utility programs to support and validate adopted systems and programs. Confers with customer department staff regarding assigned functional program areas. Maintains records and prepares periodic and special reports of work performed. Maintains current knowledge of technology and new computer customer applications. Contributes to the efficiency and effectiveness of the unit’s service to its customers by offering suggestions and directing or participating as an active member of a work team. Uses standard office equipment in the course of the work; may drive a personal or County motor vehicle or be able to arrange for appropriate transportation in order to travel between various job sites depending upon departments and/or projects assigned. This is an open and continuous recruitment, scheduling dates will vary depending on when the application was received and reviewed by Human Resources. This examination will establish an Open Competitive Eligibility list to fill current and/or future vacancies that may occur within the next six (6) months or may be extended as needed by Human Resources. Human Resources reserves the right to call only the most qualified applicants to the selection process. Salary: $32.07 – $49.74 Hourly. Application: For the complete job listing and to apply, click here.
Staffing Specialist, Wake County, North Carolina— Are you looking to get involved in your community? Do you want to make a difference? If so, get ready to roll up your sleeves and become a part of something bigger! The Wake County Board of Elections is currently seeking an enthusiastic, customer service driven individual to join our Staffing Team. The ideal candidate will enjoy interacting with people, be a strong communicator, and thrive in a fast-paced work environment. This position is in-person and will work at the Board of Elections Operations Center. This new, state of the art worksite, adheres to safe COVID standards. What will you do as an Elections Staffing Specialist on the Staffing Team? Recruit and staff Precinct Officials to work at Wake County’s 208 Election Day polling places and up to 25 Early Voting sites; Assist in the development of recruitment materials, such as videos, flyers, tear-off pads, and brochures; Develop and send surveys to a pool of 13,500+ active Precinct Officials to gauge their availability for upcoming elections and to receive feedback from their experience working previous elections; Work with Wake County political parties in odd numbered years to coordinate the appointment of Precinct Officials; Register Precinct Officials for their required training through a learning management system; Record Precinct Official attendance at in-person training classes; Compile a pay report for 2,500+ Precinct Officials at the conclusion of each election; Coordinate with the Wake County Finance Department to process Precinct; Official taxpayer identification and direct deposit forms; Coordinate with a temporary staffing agency to compile and process weekly timesheets for Early Voting workers; Provide customer service to current and prospective Precinct Officials over the phone, through e-mail, and in-person; Assist in maintaining accuracy of Precinct Official information in internal database by performing weekly data audits; Review and process applications submitted by prospective Precinct Officials; and Speak to prospective Precinct Officials at monthly orientation sessions. Salary: $17.49 – $23.60. Deadline: Feb. 10. Application: For the complete job listing and to apply, click here.
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