In Focus This Week
Elections: A Love Story
“We are the same type of weird”
By M. Mindy Moretti
Like many Americans, Hina Patel was looking for a way to be part of the historic 2020 election. The Atlanta-area pharmacist decided that being a poll watcher was a great way to get involved and try something new.
Jeff Danovich, a nationally recognized election trainer, was serving as a poll manager for early voting at the High Museum of Art in Atlanta.
Being a first time poll watcher, Patel wasn’t really sure what to expect on that October day.
“I was really nervous; not knowing how the day would unfold and what to expect,” Patel said.
As a long-time election official, Danovich wasn’t expecting anything out of the ordinary either.
“I thought it would be just an ordinary early voting day. Initially I thought the only thing of consequence would be to deal with the crazy, homeless man who was outside the polling location spouting misinformation,” Danovich said.
One thing neither of them were necessarily looking for that October in 2020 was love.
“I was not looking at all,” Patel said. “As someone who has been single for the majority of my adult life, meeting someone was the furthest thing on my mind.”
But fate has a funny way of working and what happened is an elections-style meet cute.
“During this time of COVID, when everyone was masking up, I only saw his bespectacled blue eyes. He introduced himself to me and my Republican counterpart,” Patel said. “He shared his background and what really caught my attention was when he talked about his Master’s thesis about Post-election Violence. As a ‘dorkaphile’, I immediately checked his ring finger. “
While they were both at the polling site to work, Danovich said there was some “low-key flirting throughout the day, which Danovich said there are no rules against.
“I noticed he was glancing at me an awful lot that afternoon along with ‘discovering’ reasons to come talk to me,” Patel said.
One of those “reasons” was to try and encourage Patel to become a poll worker, and snag her digits too of course.
“I told her that if she was interested in becoming a poll worker, she should take one of my classes (my dorky way of admitting I wanted to see her again).,” Danovich said. “As the polls were closing for the day, she said she’d be interested in taking my class and she asked for my phone number. In her contacts, she listed me as ‘Jeff Danovich Democratic Party’. I asked her to change it because, as Election Officials, we cannot be associated with any political party. So she changed it to ‘Jeff Danovich Party’. I reciprocated and listed her in my contacts as ‘Hina Patel Party’. We laughed and she asked if my wife would be upset with the choice of contact names, and I said ‘I haven’t had to worry about a wife for five years, so I think it’ll be all right’.”
The two communicated back and forth for about a week before their first official date and made plans for their second date the very next night.
“It just so happened to be right after her shift as a poll watcher at the same early voting site. The plan was to just “pop in” at Early Voting and we would walk together (without trying to be obvious I was only there for her) to a local restaurant for dinner,” Danovich said. “As hard as we tried to not make it obvious, my poll manager friend … texted me the next day and asked, “Did you and that poll watcher go out on a date yesterday after the polls closed?’ I said yes and she said we look ‘…super cute together…’”
Although Patel never signed up to take one of Danovich’s poll worker training classes she’s got her eyes on the future.
“I did online training as a poll watcher for the Democratic Party of Georgia. I have not signed up for the 2022 cycle,” Patel said. “More than likely, I will sign up as a worker–not watcher–for the 2024 cycle.”
The rest as they say is history. And because this a love story for our times, given her work in the medical field, Patel was able to administer Danovich his first two COVID shots.
Editor’s Note: If the Hallmark Channel can run holidays movies starting in October, then we can run election love stories any time, so if you’ve got one, let us know!
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Election News This Week
Fighting Disinformation: Last week we reported that, citing concerns about funding sources and pressure from outside sources, Louisiana Secretary of State Kyle Ardoin (R) pulled the state from ERIC effectively immediately. This week, NPR has a piece about how right-wing conspiracy theorists are threatening the data-sharing system. According to NPR, On Jan. 20, the far-right blog The Gateway Pundit published the first of a number of articles about the program, falsely implying it is part of a left-wing election conspiracy. Seven days later, Louisiana withdrew its membership. One candidate running for Alabama secretary of state has already threatened to pull the state from the system, however current Secretary of State John Merrill supports ERIC. “It helps identify duplicate registrations,” Merrill said. “It helps identify dual participation in elections. That’s a concern [and] there’s no other way that any state in the union can do that independently of ERIC.” David Becker of the Center for Election Innovation & Research told NPR that t’s because election deniers don’t actually want voting to be more secure or efficient. It’s the same reason, he says, they often oppose ballot drop boxes even though they are considered a more secure way to return mail ballots than using the Postal Service. “They don’t care about actual integrity,” Becker said. “They only care that their side wins. That is the most anti-democratic idea that I can imagine.”
Fighting Disinformation II: Nebraska Secretary of State Bob Evnen recently sent a PowerPoint to all state senators called “Fake vs. Fact”. According to Nebraska Examiner, Evnen’s presentation called attention to several rumors about irregularities in the 2020 election. The PowerPoint stated, “The Secretary of State’s Office is fully informed of the concerns and claims that have been raised and has fully investigated them.” In a recent legislative committee hearing, the Nebraska Voter Accuracy Project stated Evnen’s office wasn’t listening and that they underestimated the people they believe committed fraud. The group also claimed the state’s election counting machines aren’t tested for accuracy, which Evnen calls entirely false. He says the state spent $7 million in 2019 to update its ballot counting system. Evnen rejected allegations that more than 4,000 votes could not be linked to registered voters as well. The PowerPoint explains voter registration lists are updated almost daily, showing some differences can be attributed to people dying in the months following the election.
Early Voting: The first Saturday in May is still three months away, but this season’s cohort of three-year-olds are already working on qualifying for the 148th running of the Kentucky Derby. One of those 3-year-olds is Early Voting. The colt is owned by Klaravich Stables, Inc. and trained by Chad Brown. He was bred by Three Chimneys Farm. His most recent race, was the Withers Stakes at Aqueduct which he won. “He’s a horse that’s going to progress with each race. Each race is going to propel him, and we’ve seen that in the morning with him. He was very impressive in his works. Especially, in his last two works leading up to this,” Dan Stupp, assistant trainer told Thoroughbred Daily News. “He’s an exciting horse and I was really ready to see him run today. I think he’ll move forward nicely in his 3-year-old year.” According to The TwinSpires Edge, Early Voting has an excellent pedigree to make him a Derby contender. There’s still a lot of time till Saturday May 7, but we’ll be keeping an eye on Early Voting and fortunately, bipartisan legislation was signed into law in Kentucky in 2021 expanding early voting.
Personnel News: Virginia Elections Commissioner Chris Piper has announced that he is leaving his post on March 11. Paige Riegner is the new Berks County, Pennsylvania elections director. Kelly Beattie is the new Grand Haven, Michigan city clerk. Peggy Hockenberry has been sworn in as the new director of the Knox County, Ohio board of elections. Bob Page will be the new Orange County, California registrar of voters. He is currently the San Bernardino County registrar. Vickie Godwin has been promoted to voter service director of Jackson County, Florida (she started as a poll worker 20 years ago!)
Federal Legislation: The House has approved legislation that will significantly overhaul the U.S. Postal Service for the first time in nearly 20 years. To address the financial strain on the agency, the bill requires retired employees to enroll in Medicare when they are eligible and removes a mandate, first imposed by a 2006 law, that the agency cover its future health care costs decades in advance. The Postal Service estimates that those two changes will save the agency about $50 billion over a decade. The measure also would require the agency to publish delivery data that customers could search using a street address, ZIP code or post office box, as well as mandating the agency maintain a delivery standard of at least six days a week. The bill also would expand special rates for local newspaper distribution, and would also require regular reports to Congress about the agency’s financial state. The House approved the measure 342 to 92. A companion bill in the evenly divided Senate has bipartisan backing, including more than a dozen Republican co-sponsors, signaling sufficient support for the measure to move through that chamber and become law.
Arizona: Arizona Republicans advanced legislation to unwind the state’s overwhelmingly popular early voting system by requiring that voters have a reason and make a request to vote by mail. The measure aims to steer most voters toward in-person balloting on Election Day, a method used by just 10% of voters in 2020. It would eliminate the Automatic Early Voting List, which allows voters to get a ballot in the mail before every election, and nix in-person early voting and emergency voting before Election Day. The measure was approved in party-line votes of the Senate Government Committee, setting up a potential debate in the full Senate in the coming weeks.
Arizonans for Free and Fair Elections is looking to restore the permanent early voting list that lawmakers modified in Arizona last year. The local coalition has taken steps to repeal laws that limit who can deliver an early ballot to the polls and ensure people can cast them the weekend before Election Day. Initiative organizer Joel Edman says the larger goal of the group is to prevent measures, like those that would permanently remove millions from the early voting list, in the Legislature. “The goal here is to be nonpartisan and advocate for policies that are going to benefit all voters in the state, regardless of their party, and protect our democracy for all of us so that we can get results that actually reflect the needs of our communities,” Edman said. The group is working to put the initiative on the November ballot, which would also prevent lawmakers from handing election equipment and ballots to unqualified firms.
Colorado: Colorado lawmakers are seeking stronger protections for election workers after an unprecedented year of terroristic threats. The “Election Official Protection Act” would expand on existing law to “make clear that it is a crime to intimidate, threaten, or coerce – or to attempt to intimidate, threaten or coerce – an election official while they are performing official duties,” said Colorado Secretary of State Jena Griswold. The bill, sponsored by state Representatives Monica Duran and Emily Sirota, both Democrats, also makes it a crime to retaliate against election officials “for the performance of official duties.” And it gives election workers greater protections against “doxing,” the public release of information such as home addresses or other private identifying information, often to facilitate harassment. Another bill, Vote Without Fear Act, which seeks to prohibit openly carrying a firearm within 100 feet of voting centers and drop boxes.
Florida: Two bills that would offer voters the power to recall county commissioners and other county officers passed their second committee Monday. HB 663, a bill that would place a constitutional amendment on the ballot expanding Florida’s recall law to include county officers in all Florida counties, passed the House Public Integrity and Elections Committee with only two dissenting votes. HB 1399, which lays out the recall process for county commissioners and would only come into effect if the ballot initiative is approved, also passed the committee. Under current Florida law, only municipal and charter county officers can face a voter recall. Of note, 20 of Florida’s 67 counties operate under county charters. Under Florida law, “county officers” include each county’s Clerk of Courts, Property Appraiser, Sheriff, Supervisor of Elections and Tax Collector. If the legislation is passed, voters would have to collect signatures from 15% of a county’s registered voters to trigger a recall election.
SB 1228 and HB 903 were filed by Representative Anna V. Eskamani and Senator Annette Taddeo to require all public high schools to provide their students a bi-partisan presentation regarding voter registration. The presentation would show students the steps required to register to vote online. The bill would require the Division of Elections to prepare certain materials and make such materials readily available to each public high school. The bill would allow students to opt out and prohibits teachers from pressuring, requiring, or otherwise incentivizing a student to take certain actions. The bill also prohibits teachers from handling physical voter registration applications.
Idaho: The House State Affairs Committee introduced a pair of new bills that would change voting procedures ahead of this year’s primary elections. One bill, House Bill 549, is a voter identification bill that sponsors are calling the Secure Election Act. If passed into law, House Bill 549 would make it so that Idahoans would no longer have the option to sign a voter affidavit verifying their identity at the polls on Election Day. That bill would also make it so that student IDs would no longer be an acceptable form of ID to vote, though the bill would add the ability to use a concealed weapons permit that displays the permit holder’s date of birth and Idaho address. The bill would also eliminate same-day voter registration. Under the bill, if a voter cannot produce an ID, they would be given an provisional ballot, which would be kept separate, the voter would have until 10 days following the election to present proper ID to the county clerk and have their ballot counted. Provisional ballots that are not validated would be marked spoiled and not counted. Under the bill, the only acceptable form of IDs would be: A current Idaho driver’s license or state ID; A current U.S. passport; A current active military ID card; A current tribal ID card issued by a federally recognized Native American tribe; and A current Idaho license to carry concealed weapons that displays the permit holder’s date of birth and address in Idaho. The bill contains an emergency clause, which would make it effective the date it is signed into law. Normally, bills that do not contain an emergency clause take effect on July 1, the first day of the state’s fiscal year. The emergency clause ensures the bill would be in effect for the spring primaries if it becomes law. House Majority Leader Mike Moyle, R-Star- is pushing a rewritten version of the so-called anti ballot-harvesting bill from 2021. The new bill is House Bill 547, and the legislation makes it illegal to knowingly collect and return someone else’s absentee ballot. The previous version of Moyle’s bill passed the Idaho House last year but was never considered by the Idaho Senate. This bill would still make it a felony to turn in more than 10 other people’s ballots or if the person turning in the ballots was paid by anyone other than the voter. The House State Affairs Committee voted to introduce House Bill 547, which clears the way for it to return to the committee for a full public hearing. The bill also contains an emergency clause, which would make it effective the date it is signed into law.
The Senate State Affairs Committee advanced a bill this week that would require post-election audits of a random selection of counties after a general or primary election. Senate Bill 1274 was introduced to the committee by Deputy Secretary of State Jason Hancock, who said the audits would increase public confidence in election results, and it’s a practice that many states have already implemented. Under the new bill, the audits would be open to attendance by media personnel, candidates and representatives from political parties. The exact procedures for the audits would be developed with county clerks, according to the bill text. Counties would be randomly selected each year according to population, with a certain number from counties with populations between 10,000 and 100,000 people and counties with more than 100,000 people.
Sen. Grant Burgoyne (D-Boise) has introduced Senate Bill 1230 which would allow for ranked choice voting. Burgoyne’s measure would set up a nonpartisan primary for federal through county offices (except president). There, “The top four vote getters in the nonpartisan primary will be nominated and placed on the general election ballot. At the general election, voters will have the opportunity to rank their choices for each of these offices from first to fourth.”
Maine: Threats made against Maine election clerks could come with stiffer penalties and involvement from the state attorney general following a vote by a legislative committee Monday. The Veterans and Legal Affairs Committee voted unanimously to approve a bill that would make the intentional interference, intimidation or violence against a municipal election official a Class D crime, punishable by up to a year in prison and a $2,000 fine. The proposal was backed by the Maine Town Clerks’ Association and individual election officials who told the committee last month that they have witnessed increasing harassment and hostility directed at election procedures. The bill approved by the committee was amended to reduce the proposed crime from a Class C felony to a misdemeanor after defense attorneys and the Maine ACLU warned that it went too far. But the committee did add the crime to the list of offenses that can be prosecuted under state election law, which would involve the Office of Attorney General. Secretary of State Shenna Bellows says that moving threats against clerks into that part of the law “gives it a statewide importance and focus that by necessity, one hopes, will influence the prosecution, particularly depending on the circumstance if it’s a disruption in the polling place.” The change also puts election clerk threats in the same category as voter or election fraud.
Maryland: A bill to ensure Marylanders get a second chance to sign a mail-in ballot oath, required for their vote to be counted, moved forward in the Senate on Wednesday after an unsuccessful attempt by Republican lawmakers to amend it. Senate Bill 163, sponsored by Sen. Cheryl C. Kagan (D-Montgomery) includes several reforms aimed at mail-in ballots, which surged in popularity during the unconventional 2020 election. Kagan’s bill also would allow local boards of elections to begin processing mail-in ballots eight days before early voting, although local election officials wouldn’t be able to release any preliminary mail-in ballot results until after polls close on Election Day. Under current Maryland law, voters who don’t sign the oath on a mailed-in ballot have their ballot automatically rejected. Under Kagan’s bill, voters would be allowed to provide a signature via “a digital picture message” by phone or email, an online portal, by text message, by mail or by an in-person visit to their local board of elections’ office.
Mississippi: House Concurrent Resolution 39 seeks to return a voice to the voters but not exactly like it was before the Supreme Court struck down the initiative process. This proposal would only allow citizens to propose or amend state statutes (laws) not amend the state Constitution. If this passes through the legislature, it would appear on the November ballot to see if voters will agree on the new initiative process. Several amendments were offered including requiring the secretary of state and attorney general’s offices to review signatures, remove the requirement for a fiscal note and legislature could amend the law put in place by initiative within 2 years of an emergency is declared. He suggests adding an appeal option to state Supreme Court. All amendments failed and the bill was approved 91-26.
Nebraska: A bill to increase the security of ballot drop boxes was heard Feb. 2 by the Government, Military and Veterans Affairs Committee. LB1263, introduced by Sen. Robert Clements of Elmwood, would establish statewide standards for counties that employ ballot drop boxes. The bill would require drop boxes to be: securely fastened to the ground or on a concrete slab connected to the ground; secured with a lock that can be opened only by the county election commissioner, county clerk or an election official designated by the commissioner or clerk; compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act; emptied each business day; and opened for accepting ballots no later than the sixth Friday before a statewide election or the fourth Friday before a special election. The measure also would require a county election commissioner or county clerk to inform the Nebraska Secretary of State of each drop box location in the county no later than 42 days prior to a statewide election. Wayne Bena, deputy secretary of state for elections, testified in support of LB1263. All county election commissioners were provided with drop boxes for the 2020 primary election, he said, but the department currently lacks authority to regulate their use. The bill would ensure that all drop boxes comply with state standards, Bena said.
Lawmakers are considering a bill that would restore Nebraskans’ right to vote immediately after they complete their felony sentences, instead of having to wait two years. ACLU Nebraska Board Member Jason Whitmer said LB158 would encourage more people re-entering society to educate themselves about programs that impact their families, and to get more involved in improving communities. Backers of the two-year waiting period have argued that it provides a carrot to encourage good behavior when people re-enter communities, and helps reduce recidivism.
Nevada: Nevada legislators have approved spending another $2.2 million to facilitate Nevada’s switch to a largely vote-by-mail state ahead of the 2022 election, pushing the total cost north of $14 million. The funding request, passed unanimously by members of the Interim Finance Committee on Wednesday, comes from the secretary of state’s office and was described by Deputy Secretary of State for Elections Mark Wlaschin as the list of necessities to successfully implement new mail voting requirements for the 2022 election. The additional funding comes on top of $12.2 million already allocated by lawmakers last year as part of AB321, the bill implementing the move to permanent, expanded mail voting. Under the law, which was opposed by all legislative Republicans, every active registered voter will be sent a mail ballot before a primary or general election. Inactive voters, who are legally registered to vote but don’t have a current address on file with election officials, will not be sent a mail ballot. According to a memorandum submitted to lawmakers, the requested $2.2 million would be split between the secretary of state’s office and county election clerks for the cost of ballot drop boxes, ballot tracking software, signature curing software, ballot sorting equipment and increased pay and signature verification training for poll workers.
New Jersey: Election workers may see a permanent pay raise from the present $200 a day to $300 a day if Assembly Bill A208 should become state law. Further, the bill seeks to appropriate $7M to the Department of State for the purpose of reimbursing the respective counties for the cost of the bill’s implementation. Counties receive $125 from the state towards election workers’ $200 payment, making up the balance of $75. This would not change under the new law: counties would continue to pay $75, but the state would reimburse them $225. For election workers covering a school election “held at a time other than the general election,” their hourly rate would rise from $14.29 to $19.64.
New Mexico: A proposal to update New Mexico’s voting laws and establish new rules for poll challengers won approval 39-0 in the state Senate. The measure, Senate Bill 6, would require counties to use voter convenience centers that allow voters to cast ballots at any polling location and impose an 11 p.m. halt to absentee-vote counting on election night, among other changes. It also requires training for poll watchers and challengers and imposes some limits on their activities. State elections officials would establish a new program intended to maintain accurate voting rolls.
After more than seven hours of testimony and debate, the Senate Rules Committee an amendment striking a provision from Senate Bill 8 that would have allowed 16-year-olds to vote. As amended, the bill would allow 17-year-olds to vote in local elections — but only if they turn 18 by the next general election. The bill, which is backed by Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham, also would allow felons to vote after they’ve completed their sentences. In addition, qualified electors would be automatically registered to vote after completing a transaction at the Motor Vehicle Division, though they could opt out afterward. The bill would also create a permanent absentee ballot list that would allow voters to receive mail ballots for every election without requesting one each time; allow New Mexicans without a state-issued ID to register to vote online with a Social Security number; and make every statewide election a holiday. The amended bill cleared the Senate Rules Committee on a party-line vote.
Oklahoma: Senate Joint Resolution 47 would submit a constitutional amendment to a vote of the people to require post-election audits in 10 randomly selected Oklahoma counties. This would take place at the end of each general election. Upon conclusion of the audits, results would then be made available to the public. “Many officials have said there’s no evidence of election irregularities in Oklahoma,” said Sen. Warren Hamilton who introduced the resolution. “I disagree, but even if that’s the case, periodic audits of the way we do business will go a long way to ensure our election processes stay as good as we are led to believe they are. If issues are discovered, then the audits have accomplished their purpose and we can resolve issues before they become major.” The resolution has been assigned to the Senate Rules Committee at this time.
South Carolina: A bill introduced by House Republicans would allow South Carolinians to vote early without needing an excuse but require people voting by mail to include their ID number. The measure, sponsored by House Speaker Jay Lucas on Feb. 3, is a response to the 2020 elections that, for the first time, saw more South Carolinians vote early than on Election Day — sometimes standing in long lines to cast an early ballot. The bill would require every county to provide early-voting locations for two weeks before Election Day, with set hours of 8:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Saturday. They must open more than one location. The minimum number would vary by county, using a formula that involves total square miles and the number of registered voters, spaced at least 10 miles apart. A house subcommittee heard public testimony on the bill that would also require people voting by mail to supply a government-issued ID number with their ballot application. “There are some things here that are amazing and that we’ve been asking for, and there are some things that need a little tweaking,” said Director of Elections for Charleston County Isaac Cramer. Several amendments to the bill are expected to come, especially on the early voting distance requirements. The subcommittee will discuss those amendments at their next meeting in the coming days.
The House amended an elections-related bill it passed last year to add a series of controversial election security measures opposed by Democrats, who said the changes on short notice took them by surprise. The amendment, introduced by House Majority Whip Brandon Newton, R-Lancaster, and adopted 75-39 largely along party lines, changed portions of a bill that firmed up the oversight and authority of South Carolina’s State Election Commission to add a prohibition on ballot drop boxes and expand the array of election audits the state can perform, among other things. The bill adopted Tuesday, which had been sitting in the House since it was amended late last session by the Senate, now returns to the upper chamber, which must decide whether to accept the House change or to convene a small panel of House members and senators and hash out the differences.
South Dakota: A fiscal note is being sought before the House State Affairs committee makes its final decision on a proposed bill that could set South Dakota’s presidential primary during super Tuesday in March. The proposal, pitched by District 3 Rep. Drew Dennert, R-Aberdeen, seeks to move just the presidential primary to the Tuesday following the first Monday in March. The decision to seek a fiscal note was the third vote with votes to pass and defer to the 41st Legislative Day both ending in a tie vote. Dennert, who is prime sponsor on the bill, proposed the change to give South Dakota more of a voice in selecting the presidential candidate. House Bill 1116 seeks to establish the March election date only for the presidential race every four years, essentially creating two primary election dates for South Dakota with other primary election races, like those for the legislature, still happening in June. Included in the bill would be a requirement the state reimburse counties for the cost of the elections. Dennert said that would be an estimated $1 million to $2 million.
Utah: A sweeping new election security bill would mandate 24-hour video surveillance at Utah’s ballot drop boxes and require first-time voters to show photo identification to participate in an election. The legislation unveiled by Rep. Jon Hawkins would also require voters to write their driver license number, voter identification number or the last four digits of their Social Security number on their mail-in ballot envelope before returning it. In a new verification step, poll workers would compare the number to the information on file about the voter to make sure they match, according to the bill. First-time voters would have to show their driver license or state identification card at the polling place or include a copy of these identifications with their mail-in ballots, HB313 states. The lieutenant governor’s office would also have to develop security requirements for Utah elections officials, relating to the handling and “documentation of custody” of ballots. Election officials would have to sign an affidavit after every election, certifying that they complied with these rules and have properly maintained the voter rolls under their supervision. The state would also have to create minimum standards for vendors that print ballots in Utah and establish “software validation procedures” meant to ensure no one can tamper with voter files. Video cameras would be stationed near each ballot drop box with a sign posted nearby to notify people that the premises are monitored around the clock. The bill would require the lieutenant governor’s office to audit the state’s voter registration records on at least a yearly basis; mandate that local election officials keep detailed records for maintenance work on voting machines; and prohibit tabulation machines or ballot scanners from ever being connected to the internet.
A House committee abruptly yanked a bill dealing with ranked-choice voting off their agenda Wednesday afternoon. HB178 from Rep. Mike Winder, R-West Valley City, expands the use of ranked-choice voting in primary and general elections with more than two candidates. Last year 23 Utah cities used the system during their municipal elections as part of a pilot program. Lawmakers have faced withering pressure from opponents who organized an email and text messaging pressure campaign on right-wing social media and messaging apps, many of which are focused on baseless conspiracy theories about rampant election fraud. That appears to have paid off with the cancellation of Wednesday’s House Government Operations Committee hearing. According to the Salt Lake Tribune, opponents packed the committee room before the hearing anticipating a chance to speak against the proposal. The last-minute change dashed those plans.
Virginia: A proposal to expand and split Virginia’s State Board of Elections evenly among Democratic and Republican appointees received unanimous support in the state Senate. The bill, which Gov. Glenn Youngkin is backing, would expand the board from five to eight members and also strip the governor’s authority to pick the commissioner of the Department of Elections and give it to the board. The legislation wouldn’t go into effect until 2023 if passed by the House of Delegates and signed by Youngkin, giving the governor time to replace the outgoing elections commissioner. The board would be split between members representing the political party of the governor and the party that received the second most votes in a governor’s race. If the expanded board reaches a tie in a decision, the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Virginia will appoint a retired judge to break the 4-4 split. While the board would have the power to hire and replace the elections commissioner, any such decision would require at least five of the eight board members to agree.
Republicans in the House of Delegates advanced several bills to roll back new voting laws. One proposal would discard absentee ballots that arrive in the mail after polls close. Currently, a vote is counted if it’s postmarked on or before election day and received by noon on the third day after the election. A separate bill would shorten the in-person early voting period from 45 days to two weeks but expands poll hours to 7:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. each day.
West Virginia: Republican lawmakers in West Virginia want to increase the penalties for illegal voting in elections. House Bill 4311 would make it a felony to “knowingly and willfully” vote twice in an election or to reject or alter ballots in an effort to deceive voters. The crime is currently a misdemeanor. The bill passed the House of Delegates with no opposition on Thursday. Six delegates were absent.
The House Political Subdivisions Committee approved the third bill in three weeks dealing with local elections. This one, HB 4353, is a 78-page bill that requires nearly all local elections to be held on the same date as statewide elections. It also does away with local special elections and requires them to be held during statewide primary or general elections. The previous two bills set up procedures to enable city and county voters to overturn city and county ordinances. All three were originally on a single agenda for the committee’s first meeting but couldn’t be handled in a single hour. This one generated less heat. Committee counsel explained some of the many details spread among the bill’s 78 pages. For example, for local levies that expire in an off year, the levying body may set a special election to extend or renew the levy until the next statewide election. Terms of local officials elected in off years or off months may be adjusted to conform with new dates. Local school boards will likewise have to hold special elections to extend board terms. The bill will still allow statewide bond elections to be held in off years, in order for the state to react quickly to situations, counsel explained.
Wisconsin: Sen. Kathy Bernier (R-Chippewa Falls) says she will soon introduce a bill that adds a seventh, tie-breaking vote to the Wisconsin Elections Commission. Currently comprised of three Democrats and three Republicans, the commission has recently deadlocked on contentious issues like guidance on whether clerks can place additional drop boxes for absentee ballots. Bernier said she is drafting a bill that would require both Republican and Democratic legislative leaders to agree on a list of four retired judges with whom they’d be comfortable serving as a seventh commissioner. Bernier said her proposal would then call for the list of retired judges to go before the state supreme court.
Federal Litigation: Right-wing U.S. television network Newsmax Media Inc this week countersued Smartmatic Corp. Smartmatic sued Newsmax in November for amplifying false claims that Smartmatic voting machines rigged the election against then-President Donald Trump, who persists in falsely claiming his defeat was the result of fraud. In a response filed in Delaware state court, San Diego-based Newsmax denied it defamed Smartmatic and claimed that the election software firm was trying to censor free speech and intimidate a critic. “The action brought by Smartmatic against Newsmax arises from and is because of Newsmax’s exercise of its right to free speech in connection with issues of public interest,” Newsmax’s lawyers said in the filing.
Alabama: The U.S. Supreme Court has reinstated Alabama’s new GOP-drawn congressional map over the objection of civil rights groups and decisions of two lower courts finding that it dilutes the influence of Black voters in violation of the Voting Rights Act. The vote to temporarily stay a lower court order blocking the map was 5-4, with Chief Justice John Roberts joining the court’s three liberals in dissent. The decision means Alabama will not immediately have to redraw its political lines to include a second majority-Black district, as had been ordered by a District Court judge, allowing the original maps to take effect for midterm elections. At the same time, the Supreme Court’s majority said it would take up the Alabama redistricting case on the merits later this year. Justice Brett Kavanaugh, in a statement concurring with the decision, argued that the court should stay out of the political process so close to an election, insisting the decision makes “no new law regarding the Voting Rights Act” and simply allows time for a full briefing and oral argument. “That decision does a disservice to our own appellate processes, which serve both to constrain and to legitimate the Court’s authority. It does a disservice to the District Court, which meticulously applied this Court’s longstanding voting-rights precedent,” Justice Elena Kagan wrote for the dissent.. “And most of all, it does a disservice to Black Alabamians who under that precedent have had their electoral power diminished—in violation of a law this Court once knew to buttress all of American democracy.”
Arizona: Secretary of State Katie Hobbs is going to court to block Attorney General Mark Brnovich from taking action against her for the decision to temporarily take an online candidate signature-gathering website offline to be updated. In new legal filings, attorney Roopali Desai said Brnovich is pursuing “unfounded and unprecedented enforcement action” against Hobbs, threatening her with criminal prosecution “for performing her duties as the state’s chief elections officer.” And she wants Maricopa County Superior Court Judge Joan Sinclair to block Brnovich from initiating any civil or criminal complaints against Hobbs. The fight is over the E-Qual system, first established in 2011, which allows candidates to get signatures they need for nomination online. Due to redistricting, Hobbs said she needs to take the system offline o account for those new districts, as the voter registration system — the one that determines if signers live within the districts of those they are supporting — cannot accommodate more than one set of maps. So that means the system will not be available for those running for Congress or the legislature. That led to a letter from Assistant Attorney General Jennifer Wright warning that any move to do so would be “contrary to law,” floating the possibility that Hobbs could be charged with a Class 3 misdemeanor —and jailed for up to 30 days and fined $500 — for knowingly refusing to perform a duty required under state election laws. Wright said that the refusal to keep E-Qual online could be a felony that carries a penalty of a year in state prison. “This threat against the secretary is not only legally baseless, but also dangerous,” Desai wrote. And she sees a political motive.
Georgia: U.S. District Judge Steve Jones said in court this week he could delay Georgia’s primary election, possibly until June or July, if he rules that the state’s new political maps illegally weakened representation of Black voters. Jones said that he would consider the risks to voter confusion and confidence before ruling on lawsuits alleging Georgia’s redistricting discriminated against Black voters in violation of the Voting Rights Act. Delaying the primary could potentially allow Jones to address concerns raised by the U.S. Supreme Court’s conservative justices in a redistricting decision earlier this week. The high court put on hold a lower court ruling that Alabama was required to draw new congressional districts to increase Black voting power, in part because there’s little time to craft new maps before the May 24 primary. “I could change the whole calendar,” Jones said. “I need to hear all the evidence before I make a decision,” likely soon after court hearings conclude early next week.
Missouri: The Missouri Supreme Court ruled that state lawmakers have illegally limited citizens’ right to weigh in on laws, a decision that could make it easier for people to force a statewide vote on laws they don’t like in the future. In a 5-2 decision, judges wrote that Missouri citizens’ right to overturn laws passed by the Legislature is a “fundamental expression of the power held by the people.” “The legislature must not be permitted to use procedural formalities to interfere with or impede this constitutional right that is so integral to Missouri’s democratic system of government,” Judge Mary Russell wrote. In Missouri, referendum petitions must be submitted to the Secretary of State’s Office 90 days after the end of the legislative session during which the law passed. A 1997 state law requires petitions to contain an official ballot title certified by the secretary of state, and another law sets forth procedural deadlines for the secretary of state to approve that ballot title. The American Civil Liberties Union and the group No Bans No Choice sought to overturn those rules after Republican Secretary of State Jay Ashcroft used all of his allotted time to approve the ballot title, leaving petition gatherers with just two weeks to collect hundreds of thousands of signatures. Ashcroft had argued that even with such a tight turnaround time, it’s still possible to collect enough signatures to put a law to a referendum vote. But Russell wrote that especially for people who can’t afford to pay workers to gather signatures, the deadlines are a hurdle to access the referendum process.
North Carolina: Legislative defendants and the N.C. Department of Justice are defending North Carolina’s voter ID law before the N.C. Court of Appeals. Two separate briefs supporting the 2018 law arrived this week at the Appeals Court. Meanwhile, ID critics continue to push to have the case moved to the N.C. Supreme Court. “This State’s Constitution provides that ‘[v]oters offering to vote in person shall present photographic identification before voting’ and that the General Assembly ‘shall enact general laws governing the requirements of such photographic identification, which may include exceptions,’” according to a brief from attorney Nicole Moss, representing legislative leaders. “The General Assembly enacted Senate Bill 824 … to implement this mandate.” “Two judges on a divided three-judge Superior Court panel have now permanently enjoined S.B. 824 as a violation of North Carolina’s Equal Protection Clause,” the legislators’ brief added. “But they could do so only by failing to honor the presumption of legislative good faith and by implausibly concluding that a General Assembly bent on entrenching itself through a racially targeted voter-ID law would pass a law that does not prevent anyone from voting and do so with the support of several members of the party allegedly targeted.” In a separate brief, lawyers working for N.C. Attorney General Josh Stein also defended the voter ID law. “It was Plaintiffs’ contention that by passing S.B. 824, the Republican majority of our legislature attempted to disenfranchise African Americans, who historically support Democratic candidates, as a mechanism to entrench itself politically,” according to the brief from Special Deputy Attorney General Terence Steed. “The majority of the three-judge panel in this case agreed and concluded that ‘the enactment of S.B. 824 was motivated at least in part by an unconstitutional intent to target African American voters.’ This conclusion was erroneous.”
North Dakota: The Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa and the Spirit Lake Tribe have sued North Dakota, alleging the state’s new legislative map dilutes tribal members’ voting strength. The federal lawsuit alleges violations of the Voting Rights Act. North Dakota’s Republican-controlled Legislature in November approved a new legislative map. It separates the state House districts on the Turtle Mountain Indian Reservation in northern North Dakota and the Fort Berthold reservation, in the heart of the state’s oil patch in the western part of the state and home to the Three Affiliated Tribes. Some tribal members and lawmakers said the move would increase the odds for tribes to elect their own members to the Legislature. Turtle Mountain argues the split House districts “packs” and “cracks” tribal members into a single house district on its reservation, while diluting their vote by non-native voters in the non-reservation subdistrict. Spirit Lake alleges the new redistricting map dilutes American Indian voters on and near its reservation. North Dakota Secretary of State Al Jaeger told the Associated Press he had not seen the lawsuit and could not comment on it.
Pennsylvania: The period for candidates and their supporters to circulate petitions to qualify for Pennsylvania’s May 17 primary election was put on temporary hold by the state Supreme Court. The justices issued an order that apparently applies to congressional and legislative races, as well as contests for U.S. Senate, governor and lieutenant governor. The three-week petition gathering period was set to kick off Tuesday and last for three weeks. Instead, the high court noted it was hearing oral argument on Feb. 18 in a case that will determine the lines of congressional districts. Philadelphia’s elections officials posted on Twitter that the ruling applies to all nomination petitions. In the congressional redistricting case, a lower court judge on Monday recommended a new map of the state’s 17 congressional districts and suggested alterations to the petition gathering period. The Supreme Court will have the final say, and could delay the primary election date.
Texas: The American Civil Liberties Union Foundation of Texas and the Mexican American Legal Defense and Education Fund are is suing the Texas secretary of state over a so-called “voter purge” program. The suit alleges the secretary of state is violating the National Voter Registration Act by refusing to turn over documents related to the program. “The Texas secretary is once again improperly trying to purge voters from voter rolls [and is] ensnaring a ton of naturalized citizens in its efforts,” said Ashley Harris, a lawyer with the ACLU of Texas. “[They are] targeting largely communities of color in Texas who have just as much of a right to vote as everyone else.” The elections law passed last year by the Legislature requires the secretary of state to do regular sweeps of the voter rolls to verify voters’ citizenship status. This new iteration of a voter purge program follows a similar attempt made in 2019. That program was halted after it came out that the office was relying on out-of-date records and would have wrongly canceled thousands of voter registrations of legal Texas voters. The groups suing say they cannot determine if the secretary of state’s office is following the rules set by the 2019 settlement without the documents. The secretary of state’s office declined to comment on the lawsuit but did point to documents on its website detailing the citizenship verification process. About 11,000 voters have been flagged as potential non-citizens this time around, and about 2,500 registrations were canceled as of Dec. 31, 2021.
Wisconsin: The Wisconsin Supreme Court has denied a lawsuit by former Lt. Gov. Rebecca Kleefisch seeking to overturn guidance from the state’s elections agency on absentee ballot drop boxes, polling places and voting in nursing homes. The 4-3 ruling by the court against Kleefisch, who is running for governor, comes as justices are already considering a separate lawsuit challenging the use of drop boxes in Wisconsin. t was the latest in a series of election cases where conservative Justice Brian Hagedorn provided the swing vote, joining the court’s liberals to reject Kleefisch’s original action petition. The court’s majority did not issue a written order accompanying its decision. The court’s other three conservatives dissented, with conservative Justice Patience Roggensack writing that the court had “sidestepped” its responsibility. “The legality of absentee ballot guidance from (the Wisconsin Elections Commission) has been simmering since 2020, and will likely continue until we thoroughly address absentee ballot issues generated by WEC,” Roggensack said. “Because Wisconsin voters deserve elections conducted in a manner that we have reviewed and approved, I would grant Kleefisch’s petition to commence an original action.”
District of Columbia: Due to inconsistent submission of data to ERIC, the District Board of Elections is on the brink of becoming the first jurisdiction to be banned from the multi-state system. Monica Evans, director of the DCBOE testified at a DC Council oversight hearing that the DMV is not providing the necessary data. “If we are essentially kicked out of ERIC that means we will not be able to take advantage of that data that comes from other states,” said Evans. “This is a tool to help those member states update voter rolls as much as they can. That is the gold standard… in terms of getting information from other states. Which is why states are joining ERIC. It helps all of us provide the most accurate voter rolls we can.” Evans also told the council that the DMV told her last week that it would need a $2,000 monthly payment to provide the data the elections board needs, the first time any such payment was brought up. “We’re kind of reaching the end of our ability to sort of accommodate and be patient with the DMV as they try to work through this and figure it out,” Shane Hamlin with ERIC told DCist. “It is jeopardizing the District’s membership in ERIC. Not getting D.C.’s DMV data is harming other states’ ability to maintain good, accurate voter rolls. And it’s certainly harming the District’s ability to update records and have good, strong, accurate voter rolls.”
Georgia: A data breach of the voting software company EasyVote Solutions exposed Georgia voters’ registration information on the internet. Public information about voters was posted to an online forum, but the breach didn’t involve Social Security numbers or driver’s license numbers, said Charles Davis, chief financial officer for EasyVote. Voter registration information can include names, addresses, races and dates of birth. EasyVote’s software isn’t connected to Georgia voter registration computers. Voter information may have been obtained from an EasyVote online storage location, Davis said. It’s unclear how many voters were affected by the breach, which EasyVote learned about on Jan. 31. “Upon learning that the files had been made available, EasyVote immediately started an investigation,” Davis said. “EasyVote quickly disabled access to that storage location and transferred the data to a new environment with additional security controls.”
South Carolina: The EasyVote data breach was not limited to voters in Georgia. The personal information of at least two poll workers in Beaufort County was posted on line. This information included copies of Social Security cards and driver’s license number. State and federal law enforcement are investigating. Beaufort County used the company’s system to upload hiring documents, which included poll workers’ personally identifiable information (PII), Whitmire said. “We’re not aware of any other county that used the system in that way,” Elections Commission spokesman Chris Whitmire said. “Any time any individual’s PII is compromised, it’s a big deal. It’s not acceptable. We, as government administrators who are charged with protecting information, we have to follow through with that. We see that as an important part of what we do.” The S.C. Law Enforcement Division notified Beaufort County’s voter registration office about the data breach last Wednesday, said Chris Ophardt, Beaufort County spokesperson. Because the breach involved data in at least Georgia and South Carolina, the Federal Bureau of Investigation also is involved in the investigation, he said.
Opinions This Week
Alabama: SCOTUS ruling
Arizona: Election legislation
Colorado: Ranked choice voting
Connecticut: Voting rights
Georgia: Voting laws
Indiana: Campus vote center
Kansas: Conspiracy theories
Nevada: Voter ID
Maine: Voting rights
New Jersey: Same day registration
Ohio: 2020 election
Utah: Vote by mail
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 firstname.lastname@example.org. Job postings must be received by 5pm on Wednesday in order to appear in the Thursday newsletter. Listings will run for three weeks or till the deadline listed in the posting.
Account Management Specialist, EI-ISAC— The EI-ISAC is looking for an ambitious teammate who is passionate about making a difference in the realm of cybersecurity for (SLTT) election offices. The ideal candidate will be comfortable building relationships with the election community to support and advance the mission of “confidence in a connected world.” What You’ll Do: Support the development and execution of the EI-ISAC strategy and mission; Assist election officials to determine security needs and how they integrate with election technology; Facilitate communications between election officials and IT professionals; Provide exceptional service to all members and be able to explain the concepts and services that can protect their technology via email, phone calls, and WebEx meetings/conferences; Ensure ongoing customer satisfaction and retention; Assist with the scheduling and running of member meetings and webinars; Responsible for the onboarding process of new members; Research, record, track, and report on member prospects and qualified leads to the team and management; Assist with data cleanup, reporting, and any ongoing projects; Update metrics for EI-ISAC reports and presentations; Represent the EI-ISAC in a professional and courteous manner; and Other tasks and responsibilities as assigned. Application: For the complete job listing and to apply, click here.
Administrative Specialist IV, King County, Washington— This is an amazing opportunity to be engaged in the election process! This position will be filled as a Term-Limited Temporary position or Special Duty Assignment for current King County employees who have passed their initial probationary period. Term-Limited Temporary positions are “at-will” positions but are eligible for benefits. This position is anticipated to last through December 2022. This position will supervise the temporary administrative staff who are participants of the King County Jobs and Housing program. This position will work on the Signature Update Project in Voter Services and will also provide technical and specialized administrative support services. Signatures are a vital part of the election process, being used in many different areas including verifying identity and counting ballots. Signatures may also change over time due to a variety of reasons. Signature update forms will be mailed to over 1.4 million registered voters to get an updated signature on their voter registration file. This will help us ensure that we have the most up to date information and reduce signature issues when participating in the electoral process. Salary: $28.07 – $35.71 Hourly. Deadline: Feb. 16. Application: For the complete job listing and to apply, click here.
Campaign Finance Lead (Compliance Specialist 3), Oregon Secretary of State’s Office— In this role, you will provide regulatory compliance oversight and enforcement of Oregon election law. As the Campaign Finance Lead, you will work under the direction of the Elections Program Manager. You will guide and perform tasks associated with day-to-day operations of the Campaign Finance program’s internal and external services. This is accomplished in part by, but not limited to: Serving as subject matter expert and point-person for programs related to campaign finance and campaign finance investigations; Drafting, reviewing, and updating program related policies, administrative rules, directives, and procedure manuals to meet both state and federal constitutional and statutory mandates; Guiding the routine work related to issuing proposed penalty notices, final orders, and other related documents for violations of campaign finance regulations; Reviewing, assessing, processing, and managing election law complaints related to campaign finance; Creating, updating, and maintaining procedures and standards for investigations, and provide direction to staff on those procedures and standards; and Serving as program related subject matter expert for electronic applications and systems including the Oregon Elections System for Tracking and Reporting (ORESTAR) and case management databases. Salary: $5,167 – $7,937 /per month. Deadline: Feb. 21. 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 Analyst, Arizona Secretary of State’s Office— The Elections Division of the Office of the Arizona Secretary of State is seeking a dedicated employee to serve as an Election Analyst. Their main focus will be to fulfill public records requests submitted to the Elections Division. They will report to the Senior Elections Policy Manager. Responsible for receiving, reviewing, and fulfilling public records requests and litigation discovery requests. This process includes the following tasks: tracking requests; communicating with the requester on topics such as fulfillment guidelines, costs, and updates on progress; coordinate collection and organization of responsive records by working with IT, elections, and other staff members; and reviewing and preparing documents for delivery. Responsible for records retention and document storage. Ensure Elections Division stores minimum hard copy documents consistent with the retention schedule; ensures that electronic records are properly maintained. Maintains records retention schedule, Iron Mountain storage, and schedules proper records destruction. Conducts ballot measure Town Halls. Organizing these events includes: scheduling venues; scheduling interpreters as needed (sign language, Spanish); conducting publicity and outreach; ensuring pro and con groups are represented; preparing and delivering presentation. Produces statewide Publicity Pamphlet by working with the vendor on layout, printing and proofing; coordinate the development of the household mailing list; ensuring pamphlets printed for English, Spanish, large print, and ADA; and ensure electronic version of pamphlet is appropriately distributed. Assist with voter registration quarterly reports, list maintenance, and other projects as assigned. Assist with customer service via phones and emails to voters, election officials, and the general public regarding elections and voter registration. Other duties as assigned as related to the position. Salary: Salary: $18.00 – $22.20. Deadline: Feb. 28. 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 Administrator, Bell County, Texas— Bell County, Texas, is seeking an experienced professional with a proven track record in a public sector setting to serve as the new Elections Administrator. While elections experience and experience in the public sector is preferred, it is not required. From being or becoming an expert on election law to understanding election machine technology to being a detail-oriented person while still seeing the big event that is an election, the Elections Administrator must take ownership of the entire election process from start to finish. This position directs the daily operations of the elections office to ensure the lawful conduct and integrity of Federal, State, County, and local elections. The Elections Administrator performs the duties and functions of the Voter Registrar for the county; performs election-related duties as may be required by federal, state, and/or local law; is responsible for the conduct of elections, to include but is not limited to: preparing ballots, ordering ballots, furnishing and maintaining election equipment and supplies. This position requires an Associate’s degree in Business Administration or a related field supplemented by four years of experience in administration with an additional two years of supervisory experience. The person selected for this position must be a current registered voter in the State of Texas or be eligible to register to vote in the State of Texas upon hire, and must be able to work extended hours during election cycles. A valid Texas driver’s license is required or must be obtained within 90 days of employment along with an acceptable driving history. Salary: $75,000 to $100,000. Application: For the complete job listing and to apply, click here.
Elections Manager-Ballot Processing, Boulder County, Colorado— This position will be accountable for overseeing administrative, legal and technical areas and will have a vast amount of project and management responsibilities. This position is accountable for managing our Ballot Processing operations, including ballot receipt, signature verification, ballot sorting, extraction, inspection and duplication. This position is responsible for implementing and continually identifying enhancements in the suite of technology solutions utilized throughout Ballot Processing. This position coordinates and plays an active role in ballot accounting and data reconciliation. Additionally, this position will identify and implement process improvement and efficiency opportunities and supervise up to 3 full time staff. The ideal candidate will have a finesse and passion for making data-driven decisions and will implement a strong data program for Ballot Processing. We are an “all hands-on deck” team, and this position will be expected to execute any and all tasks to ensure our team meets or exceeds all deliverables. The ideal candidate must have the ability and desire to serve the public and Boulder County and maintain compliance with election statute and rule. This person should have experience in supervision and motivating and leading employees (full-time and temporary) to success. Other skills include creation and implementation of ideas and processes that are forward thinking; be self-motivated, team oriented and an excellent communicator in both verbal and written form. The ideal candidate is committed to continuous learning (organizational level and self-development) and has project management skills (able to set clear goals, prioritize tasks, manage time efficiently, and effectively work with others for completion). Additionally, must demonstrate ability to supervise and lead teams in providing excellent service and project results within statute driven deadlines. In addition to teamwork and team leadership, this person will also act as an individual contributor on a variety of projects. This position is expected to build strong working relationships with team members, vendors and stakeholders and be committed to Boulder County and Clerk and Recorder guiding values, including equity and inclusion. Salary: $66,072.00 – $95,184.00 Annually. Deadline: Feb. 20. Application: For the complete job listing and to apply, click here.
Elections Manager-Voter Services, Boulder County, Colorado— This position will be accountable for overseeing administrative, legal and technical areas and will have a vast amount of project and management responsibilities. This position is accountable for our Vote Centers, including site identification, contracting, accessibility, operations, and reconciliation and Election Judge activities, including recruiting, hiring, training, and placement. This position coordinates and oversees Ballot Drop-off site planning, including identifying and contracting of new locations as well as accessibility and contingency planning. Additionally, this position will create, support and oversee a variety of voter service and outreach programs and supervise up to 3 full time staff. The ideal candidate will have a finesse and passion for making data-driven decisions and will implement a strong data program for Voter Services. We are an “all hands-on deck” team, and this position will be expected to execute any and all tasks to ensure our team meets or exceeds all deliverables. The ideal candidate must have the ability and desire to serve the public and Boulder County and maintain compliance with election statute and rule. This person should have experience in supervision and motivating and leading employees (full-time and temporary) to success. Other skills include creation and implementation of ideas and processes that are forward thinking; be self-motivated, team oriented and an excellent communicator in both verbal and written form. The ideal candidate is committed to continuous learning (organizational level and self-development) and has project management skills (able to set clear goals, prioritize tasks, manage time efficiently, and effectively work with others for completion). Additionally, must demonstrate ability to supervise and lead teams in providing excellent service and project results within statute driven deadlines. In addition to teamwork and team leadership, this person will also act as an individual contributor on a variety of projects. This position is expected to build strong working relationships with team members, vendors and stakeholders and be committed to Boulder County and Clerk and Recorder guiding values, including equity and inclusion. Salary: $66,072.00 – $95,184.00 Annually. Deadline: February 20. Application: For the complete 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.
Elections Technician, Pima County, Arizona–Participates in the supervision and training of elections personnel and the administration of elections activity. Supervises and participates in activities involved in inventory control, ordering, receipt, delivery,and storage of election equipment and supplies; Researches election laws and regulations and prepares reports regarding impact on County election procedures; Supervises the preparation of the ballot order; Participates in preparing forms; Receives and files nomination forms; Assists in generating signature requirements necessary for the candidate or proposition to be placed on the ballot; Supervises and coordinates requisite training of election office and warehouse personnel; Coordinates the transportation and delivery of voting machines, supplies and equipment to polling places; Makes minor adjustments to voting machines to ensure functionality and operability prior to use by the public; Demonstrates voting machine operation and explains voting procedures to the public and elections workers; Participates in updating precinct and district maps; Assists State and local agencies in administering election activities; Participates in coordinating elections activities with other government agencies or departments; Assists in the training of subordinate and volunteer staff. Salary: $18.44/hr. Deadline: Feb. 18. Application: For the complete job listing and to apply, click here.
Elections Unit Supervisor, Pima County, Arizona–Supervises the operations and personnel assigned to one or more specific units of the Elections Department. Supervise and coordinate the recruitment and selection of temporary workers to work in the Elections Department as needed in support of local, state and federal elections; Plan, organize, assign, supervise, review and evaluate the work of permanent and temporary elections staff involved in one or more major Election Department units; Train and supervise permanent and temporary Elections Department staff in work processes,responsibilities and applicable election laws and regulations; Research and remain knowledgeable of applicable election laws and regulations relative to area of responsibility and prepare reports regarding impact on unit, department and county election procedures; Develop, recommend and implement improved operational procedures and work processes within area of responsibility; Supervise and participate in activities involved in inventory control, ordering, receipt, delivery and storage of election equipment and supplies; Supervise and coordinate the transportation and delivery of voting machines, supplies and equipment to polling places; Supervise and participate in the preparation of ballot orders and other forms; Develop and implement training materials for election board staff; Coordinate activities with local jurisdictions for their regular and special elections; Maintain appropriate security and confidentiality of information created or encountered in the performance of assigned duties; Maintain appropriate records regarding poll worker activities and assist as needed in preparation of reports; Supervise the receipt and proper accounting of early ballots. Salary: $21.57/hr. Deadline: February 18. 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.
Research Association, CEIR— The Research Associate will work under the direction of the Research Director and in collaboration with other colleagues to support CEIR’s research initiatives. These initiatives include matters pertaining to voter registration, voter access, election integrity and security, and election administration policy. As an integral member of the research team, the Research Associate will support CEIR’s mission by developing and conducting surveys and studies, analyzing data, and contributing to research reports and other written materials for CEIR’s diverse audience of election officials, policymakers, the media, and key stakeholders. Primary Responsibilities: Collect and clean data, analyze data using statistical software, visualize findings, and develop presentations on results for internal and external audiences; Brief members of the leadership and research teams on research results, including through graphs, charts, and other data visualization tools; Synthesize findings and help draft reports, issue briefs, and other written products for publication; As a member of the research team, help assess where CEIR’s work can have the biggest impact, identify growth opportunities, and develop research proposals; Assist with all research activities, including project design, data collection and analysis, and dissemination of findings; Develop deep expertise on issues relevant to CEIR’s mission, including policies affecting election administration and voter access; Monitor trends, research, and publications in the election space to inform CEIR’s research portfolio; Promote a team culture of high performance and continuous improvement that values learning, quality, collaboration, positivity, and transparency; and Maintain effective communication with team members and participate in regular team meetings. 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.
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