In Focus This Week
Orange County’s Neal Kelley retires
By M. Mindy Moretti
Orange County, California Registrar of Voters Neal Kelley is a bit of a Renaissance man.
Before joining the county as chief deputy registrar, Kelley worked in a variety of fields including retail, law enforcement and he’d served as an adjunct professor with Riverside Community College’s Business Administration Department.
Kelley was hired as chief deputy registrar in 2004, got appointed acting registrar the following year and was named to the position permanently in 2006. He the longest serving Orange County election official and one of the most senior—in experience, not age!—election officials California.
“Neal Kelley has been a model and a courageous spokesperson for thoughtful reform. Under his leadership, Orange County‘s election office has become not only state of the art, but well ahead of the game. It’s unfortunate he’s leaving, but I wish him well,” said California Secretary of State Shirley Weber.
According to the Orange County Register, Kelley has overseen 85 elections encompassing more than 20 million ballots.
Kim Alexander with the California Voter Foundation said her first experience with Kelley was in 2013, when the CVF was researching the vote-by-mail ballot process and the problem of rejected ballots. Alexander said she could see first-hand how his experience in retail sales was translating into more efficient and effective election administration for Orange County voters. His contributions to CVF’s 2014 report, “Improving California’s Vote-by-Mail Process: A Three-County Study” helped policymakers understand the need to adopt stronger laws to address weaknesses in California’s mail balloting process, which today is considered a model among the states.
“He is one of those people who does not accept ‘good enough’ and is always looking for a better way,” Alexander said. “Voting in California has evolved tremendously during Neal’s tenure, with expanded use of vote-by-mail and a shift away from neighborhood polling places open a single day toward county-wide vote centers open multiple days. He has guided this transition smoothly in Orange County and set an incredible example for others in the election community and beyond about how to navigate challenging changes and attitudes with grace, kindness and good humor.”
During his tenure in Orange County, Kelley, who is a Certified Elections and Registration Administrator, was a long-standing member of the U.S. Election Assistance Commission Board of Advisors, served as the president of the California Association of Clerks and Election Officials and the National Association of County Recorders, Election Officials and Clerks.
In 2019, he convinced the Board of Supervisors to make the switch to mail ballots for everyone, vote centers (instead of the old precincts) for those who prefer to vote in person, and a new higher-tech voting system – and he rolled all that out in time for the March 2020 primary.
Not one to rest on his laurels, even in the waning days of his tenure as registrar, Kelley was still busy innovating and working to bring more efficient and transparent elections to the voters. Just a few weeks ago his office announced a pilot program that will include barcode scanners at nine ballot drop box locations so voters can scan their ballot envelope as they drop it off. As they deposit their ballot the voter will receive an SMS text message confirming that their ballot was dropped off at the specified ballot drop box. Their ballot will then be tracked from pick-up through the tally process (using existing technology).
Why have you decided to retire at this time?
I had planned originally to retire at the end of 2020, I felt the timing was right. But then California was hit with a statewide Gubernatorial recall election, and I would not leave the County at such a critical time. I feel like I have been able to accomplish so much during my tenure and after leading the recall the timing became right again.
Your pre-elections career included a stint in law enforcement as well as running a retail shop, how did those experiences shape how you run the OC elections office, if at all?
It had a tremendous impact on me. Half of my professional career was in the private sector making a payroll, and that engrains you with skill sets that translate well into the complex world of elections. Plus, my time in law enforcement gave me valuable perspective when it came to election security issues.
Sort of a follow to that, I know that you have embraced lessons for your own office drawn from the private sector in Orange County – especially Disneyland; do you think there is value to other EOs in reaching out to local companies both for ideas and to build bridges to the community?
Absolutely – retail is a great example. Large retail companies, theme parks, and food service industries throughout this country have done great work on improving customer experiences, speeding up transactions, innovating, handling line management, outreach and more. There are many parallels and to ignore them means missing out on fresh ideas.
You have always emphasized the public nature of your position – with aggressive outreach to the voters, especially through the media. What’s your advice for other election officials looking to step up their public presence?
Telling your office’s story, demystifying the process, and being transparent are all hallmarks, in my opinion, of a positive relationship with voters. You can’t hide in this business, the public demands transparency and rightfully so. I recognized from day one that my office had to do business differently, and that began a journey of creating expansive outreach programs that I remain proud of to this day.
What do you wish lawmakers, in Sacramento and in Washington knew about the elections process?
It costs money, and not just one-time money. I have been grateful over the years to Congress and our state legislature for the funding mechanisms that they have provided. There has certainly been a change in how election costs are viewed, but we are only halfway there. One-time allocations do not address the long-term costs associated with sustaining quality elections in this country. I suppose comparing elections to our roads and bridges is not the best analogy at the moment, but truth be told we have to treat elections like the roads we drive on and to not let potholes develop. It requires constant attention, upkeep and focus.
What advice do you have for folks in the elections community who are worried about the exodus of election officials in the face of unprecedented threats and attack?
I am hopeful that things will stabilize in the coming years, not decades. This is a frightening time and while I remain optimistic the reality is that a small subset of vocal individuals across the country with extremist election fraud views are continually afforded outsized respect. As a result, upcoming elections are not very appealing to those that run them. In fact, this has mutated into a real migraine for election officials. My advice is to stand tall, build strong partnerships with local, state and federal law enforcement and continue to push back against the misinformation because we can, and we must, continue to improve elections – ultimately I believe rationale people can sort this out with respectful, mutually satisfying conversations.
Why do you think it is important for election officials and advocates to work collaboratively and what impact do you think the Future of California Elections collaboration has had on California election policies and practices?
Early on in my career there was a definite feeling that our advocates in California were adversarial to election officials and vice-a-versa. I am so grateful for the opportunity to have been at the birth of one of the best (in my opinion) organizations that helped to bridge that divide, and that is the Future of California Elections. I have made so many lasting friendships, but more importantly built relationships that have helped to improve the voter experience here in Orange County. I was once told by a colleague that working with these groups was “opening myself up to litigation”. This is the wrong attitude to have – in fact I have seen where it has reduced litigation because we were able to work through issues with our advocacy partners before they festered into unmanageable problems. Embrace collaboration with advocates – we all have the same goal.
What’s been the best part about working in elections/what will you miss most?
The incredibly fast paced, complex and exciting operations. I have loved the energy of elections and seeing how innovation and attention to details can really change and improve the voter experience has been incredibly satisfying.
If you could have a do-over on anything you’ve done in office, what would that be?
Not so much in the office, but a byproduct of what I have done in the office – and that’s lost time with my family. I realize that this forum, which is an opportunity to say goodbye to the industry that I love, is not time for sharing regrets, but it’s an honest answer. I have built in work life balance training for all of my employees for this very reason – it’s that important to me.
So what’s next, besides sleeping in on Election Day?
My calendar is empty in the coming weeks, but I can tell you the first day will be an early walk, taking in fresh air, and popping a cold beer right about noon.
(Editor’s Note: We’d would like to wish Neal well on his retirement. He’s been a big supporter of ours over the years and we’re grateful for that. Looking forward to grabbing a noontime beer with you soon Neal!).
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Election News This Week
One in Five: A new survey of local election officials released by the Brennan Center for Justice found that 1 in 5 local election administrators say they are likely to leave their jobs before the 2024 presidential election. “There’s a crisis in election administration,” said Larry Norden, the senior director of elections and government at the Brennan Center. “[Election administrators] are concerned, and they’re not getting the support that they need.” The Brennan Center worked with the Benenson Strategy Group, which has worked for a number of national Democratic political campaigns, to conduct the poll over two weeks in early February among 596 local election officials. Respondents were split fairly evenly across the political spectrum: 26% identified as Democrats, 30% as Republicans, and 44% said they were independent. The margin of error was about 4%. The poll results show that the 2020 election — specifically false attacks on the legitimacy of the voting process — is playing a large role in how voting officials feel about their work. Of those election officials who said they were likely to leave their jobs before 2024, the most common reasons why were that too many politicians were attacking “a system that they know is fair and honest,” and that the job was too stressful.
Texas Primary Update: According to analysis from The Associated Press, more than 27,000 mail ballots were flagged for rejection in the first test of new voting restrictions enacted across the U.S., jeopardizing votes cast by Democrats and Republicans alike and in counties big and small. The initial rejection rate among mail voters in the Texas primary was roughly 17% across 120 counties, according to county-by-county figures obtained by AP. Those counties accounted for the vast majority of the nearly 3 million voters in Texas’ first-in-the-nation primary. Although the final number of discounted ballots will be lower, the early numbers suggest Texas’ rejection rate will far exceed the 2020 general election, when federal data showed that less than 1% of mail ballots statewide were rejected. For now, the numbers do not represent how many Texas ballots were effectively thrown out. Voters had until Monday to “fix” rejected mail ballots. Along the Texas border, El Paso County reported that 725 mail ballots were officially rejected and not counted after a final canvass Monday — about 16% of all such ballots cast. In the booming suburbs of Austin, Williamson County had a final number of 521 rejected ballots, nearly evenly split evenly between Republican and Democratic primary voters. Roughly 8,300 mail ballots in Texas were rejected in the 2020 election, according to the U.S. Elections Assistance Commission. In Harris County, first-time Election Administrator Isabel Longoria announced that she would resign effective July 1 following a problem-plagued primary that included an oversight that left 10,000 ballots out of the vote tally. Despite well-publicized problems with the primary and the impacts of the new election law, preliminary numbers from the secretary of state’s office indicate that nearly 3 million people voted in the primary which was an increase from 2018. Still, to put that into a bit of perspective, as of January 2022, Texas had more than 16 million registered voters on the books.
Fighting Mis/Disinformation: Local clerks in Wisconsin are fighting back against mis- and disinformation in a new way. An ad campaign, a joint effort by the League of Wisconsin Municipalities, Wisconsin Counties Association, and Wisconsin Towns Association, recently launched with the goal of helping build public trust in the state’s election system. “We trust our local elections because our friends, families, and neighbors run them,” Kohler Deputy Clerk Cindi Gamb says in the first ad, titled “We Trust Them.” The ad features Gamb, Town of Neenah Clerk Ellen Skreke, and Cobb Clerk Lisa Riley talking about their connections to their neighbors. Ads will run statewide on TV, radio, and websites starting this week and running through the spring election on April 5. “This statewide campaign will help demonstrate to Wisconsinites that our election process can be trusted,” Jerry Deschane, executive director of the League of Wisconsin Municipalities, said in a statement. “The clerks, poll workers, and election officials are your trusted local community members. Wisconsinites can trust the election process, because our local clerks, poll workers, and election officials are our friends, family members, and neighbors.” We love this idea!
Sticker News: While we’ve written recently about the impact supply chain issues – especially with paper – may have on the 2022 elections, USA TODAY adds to that story with some truly frightening news this week. Industry experts told USA TODAY they now expect to have enough specialized ballot paper for jurisdictions that need it, but the paper used for instructional material, envelopes and registration cards is increasingly difficult to procure. Even “I voted” stickers are at risk, the paper wrote.“All of these things the election community needs all revolve around paper,” said Jeff Ellington, CEO of Runbeck Election Services, a Phoenix-based company that helps produce elections. In better sticker news, congratulations to West Carroll Middle School sixth grader Zoey Bode whose winning “I Voted” sticker design will be handed out to voters in Carroll County, Illinois during the 2022 election cycle. “We had some good entries,” said Clerk Amy Buss . “Zoey got a total of 89 votes between Facebook and Courthouse offices’ votes. The second place winner had a total of 65 votes and third had 40 votes.
Personnel News: James Stephens has been hired as the Floyd County, Georgia elections supervisor. David Fisk is the new Pinal County, Arizona director of elections. Grant Sims is the new Williams County, Ohio board of elections director. Alysoun McLaughlin has been appointed the interim director of elections for Montgomery County, Maryland following the retirement of Margaret Jurgensen after more than 20 years of service. Christina Hagan-Nemeth has been appointed to the Ohio elections commission.
Federal Legislation: The Senate on approved a $107 billion financial overhaul of the U.S. Postal Service, providing monetary relief for the agency that leaders say will allow it to modernize and invest in efficient service. President Biden has signaled his intent to sign the legislation, which has already cleared the House. The Postal Service Reform Act, which passed 79 to 19, provides financial flexibility for the mail agency to take on improvements that have been debated for years. The Postal Service has endured years of losses triggered by slumping mail volumes and a 2006 bill that required it to annually pre-fund retirees’ health-care costs. Declines in mail revenue have forced the agency to default on those health-care payments since 2011. Tuesday’s bill gives the agency a significant reprieve, removing $57 billion in past-due postal liabilities and eliminating $50 billion in payments over the next 10 years. It requires future postal retirees to enroll in Medicare, a move that would add minuscule costs to the public health-care system but would save taxpayers $1.5 billion over the next decade. The legislation also codifies new timely-delivery transparency requirements for the Postal Service, which has struggled with on-time service since Postmaster General Louis DeJoy took office in June 2020, and allows the agency to contract with local, state and Indigenous governments to offer basic non-mail services, such as hunting and fishing licenses.
Rep. Andy Levin (D-Michigan) has proposed an amendment to the Voting Rights Act that would add protections for election workers facing threats and intimidation. The Election Worker and Polling Place Protection Act would amend the Voting Rights Act to implement penalties, including fines and prison sentences, for anyone who threatens, intimidates, or gets violent with election workers, including volunteers and election equipment workers. It would also prohibit and penalize anyone who damages polling places or election equipment. A companion bill has already been introduced in the U.S. Senate. Levin admitted that the bill, like other recent voting rights legislation, faces a tough read ahead, especially in the closely-divided Senate. But, “I think it’s a fluid situation, and I think there really is a chance that we can move some voting rights legislation,” he said. “So I think it’s important to keep pushing forward legislation that really is commonsense, and just tries to improve the situation of administering elections.”
Alabama: Rep. Well Allen has introduced House Bill 194 which is aimed at removing private funding from election administration. “There’s evidence back in the 2020 election that Mark Zuckerberg spent millions of dollars to quote on quote assist local election officials across the county mostly in left-leaning counties around the country by providing funds and personnel to work in various stages of the election process and that’s just something that we do not need,” says Allen. Secretary of State John Merrill said that while he’s in support of stopping private money from funding elections, he believes this bill as it’s written will stop organizations like the League of Women Voters from helping register people to vote. “We will only support the legislation if the modifications are made that are necessary to ensure that they don’t infringe on the rights of the groups who are trying to participate in the electoral process,” Merrill said.
Arizona: The Arizona Senate approved several revisions to the state’s election laws but three were rejected when majority Republicans failed to muster the needed 16 votes. The three bills that moved forward include: one makes it a felony to help someone from outside Arizona register to vote, another requires the Legislature’s non-partisan legal team to review the manual that guides election workers, and a third requires courts to send monthly reports of people convicted of felonies and who are no longer eligible to vote to election officials. Rejected bills include one that would have required counties that operate vote centers rather that precinct-based voting sites to separate ballots by precinct so a hand-count audit can be performed. Another would have forbade election officials from requiring the use of a certain pens, which was designed to remedy the debunked theory that ink from felt-tipped “sharpies” bled through to the back side of ballots. And a third rejected bill would have expanded the power of the state’s attorney general to allow him to investigate elections issues for federal office, and given him/her nearly unlimited subpoena power.
California: A proposal, contained in Assembly Bill 2808, would prohibit ranked choice voting in state and local elections. The bill’s author, Assemblymember Patrick O’Donnell, D-Long Beach, said in a statement that ranked choice voting “allows an election to be gamed.” “Our democracy and our recent elections may be under heightened stress and scrutiny right now, but our long-established voting system is strong,” Assemblymember O’Donnell said. “We are a model for the world. We must not abandon our voting principles to chase the election flavor of the month.” If passed, the proposal would shift how elections are completed in several areas across the state. Berkeley, Oakland, San Leandro and San Francisco adopted a ranked-voting system in the early 2000s and have used it for more than a decade to elect city officials, according to Fair Vote, an advocate of ranked choice voting. Additionally, Albany, Eureka and Palm Desert were set to begin using a ranked-voting system for local elections starting in November 2022.
Colorado: Sen. Steve Fenberg (D-Boulder) and Senator Sonya Jaquez Lewis (D-Boulder County) introduced legislation that will ensure registered Colorado voters impacted by the Marshall Fire can continue using their home address on their voter registration, even if the home was destroyed or is uninhabitable. Under SB22-152, voters who have been displaced as a result of a natural disaster such as fire, flood, tornado, or other event may still use their previous address as their residence for voter registration purposes while temporarily living at another location. Voters can simply update their voter registration with an alternative mailing address but leave their residential address as is. This bill will codify a standard practice that county election clerks have historically followed for displaced voters. The bill will be heard in the Senate State, Veterans, & Military Affairs committee. “After the devastating Marshall Fire, we realized that law needed to provide voters clear options following displacement from a natural disaster,” said Boulder County Clerk and Recorder Molly Fitzpatrick. “This bill will clarify the process in law and allow residents who have been displaced by this tragedy to vote in their home community, even if they are currently living in a different city and need to for an extended period of time.”
Connecticut: Committee haggling over the definition of “illness” in a 90-year-old section of the state Constitution, led to partisan votes that will send two separate-but-similar voting-right bills to the House and Senate. Sen. Rob Sampson (R-Wolcott) on the Government Administration & Elections Committee, failed in two attempts to amend a Senate bill, then subsequently let a somewhat identical House bill aimed at allowing mail-in voting for the upcoming statewide election, to go to a final committee vote without pursuing amendments. “If this bill passes in the form that is before us without being changed, it will effectively create no-excuse absentee voting without a constitutional amendment,” Sampson said. Democrats spoke very little during the 90-minute meeting, which culminated with 13-6 Democrat-dominated final votes on the bills, which next head to the House and Senate for action. Sampson’s main amendment would have changed general language on illness, or a perceived fear of becoming sick, to become more voter-specific. Sampson’s follow-up amendment would have limited the Secretary of the State’s future abilities to again provide ballot applications to all registered voters. Merrill has testified to the committee that she neither has the budget nor a plan to do that again. The way the bills are written, voters would have to only be concerned about illness in the lingering pandemic to become eligible for an absentee ballot.
Delaware: A weird quirk to Delaware law requires voters to register to vote twice, once for state/federal races and again for some local races. A bill has been introduced to the General Assembly that would require Delaware’s cities and towns to use the state’s voter registration system rather than their own. Only 12 out of Delaware’s 57 municipalities currently use the state Department of Elections database to determine voter eligibility. The rest run their own registration systems, meaning voters are turned away in at least some of the 45 municipalities that require voters to register separately. That’s a big problem during election season, said the bill’s sponsor, Sen. S. Elizabeth ‘Tizzy’ Lockman, a Democrat from Wilmington. “In some of our municipalities there is this divide between registration for elections on the state level and elections on a municipal level,” Lockman said in an interview with Delaware LIVE News. “That has had the impact of disenfranchising voters who are not aware of what is a surprising and somewhat illogical system.” Opponents of the bill say it goes too far and that municipalities should be allowed to decide whether or not they want to use the state’s voter registration system.
Florida: The Senate passed a sweeping elections bill 24-14 that establishes an election crimes investigations unit, bans ranked-choice voting, changes vote-by-mail forms and more. SB 524, which contains several of Gov. Ron DeSantis’ “election integrity” priorities, passed the chamber along a largely partisan vote. Despite bipartisan agreement that the 2020 election was possibly the smoothest in Florida’s recent history, the bill is Republicans’ second measure in two years to tighten Florida’s voting laws. Sponsored by Sen. Travis Hutson, the bill creates the 15-person Office of Election Crimes and Security within the Department of State, which receives and investigates complaints about voter fraud. It also increases the penalties on organizations that violate election registration laws from $1,000 to $50,000, and asks supervisors of elections to annually maintain voter roll lists instead of every two years, another of DeSantis’ requests. A previous version of the bill would have required voters to put the last four digits of their Social Security, driver’s license or state-issued ID card on a voter identification form that is signed to send with vote-by-mail ballots. However, Hutson removed that provision with an amendment. The amendment also adds a fine to organizations if a person collecting voter applications on its behalf changes someone’s party affiliation without consent. The fine is $1,000 per altered application. The Florida House voted final approval to their version of the legislation this wee. The vote was 76-41. Because the Senate had already approved the bill (SB 524), the measure goes to DeSantis to be signed into law.
Georgia: Republicans introduced a broad elections bill that would enable public ballot inspections, restrict nonprofit funding and empower the GBI to investigate fraud allegations. The legislation would open original paper ballots for public inspection, similar to other government records. Under current law, ballots can only be unsealed by a judge’s order, though digital ballot images are already available.In addition, organizations would be prohibited from giving money directly to county election offices after millions of dollars in grants flowed from a group backed by Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg in 2020. The bill aims to prevent outside funding inequalities between Democratic and Republican areas by requiring donations to first be approved by the State Election Board. The legislation also gives the GBI authority to subpoena election records for fraud investigations. Much of the bill deals with ballot handling, requiring election officials to fill out paperwork when they touch ballots, then use seals for storing ballots. Legislators supporting the idea said it would improve accountability, but county election directors said it would slow ballot counts and results.
Idaho: The Senate State Affairs Committee gave the OK for a possible public hearing for a proposed voter law that would require a valid Idaho driver’s license or state-issued identification card to vote in Idaho elections. The Senate State Affairs Committee voted to introduce the legislation that would eliminate military and student identification cards as acceptable proof. Residents without driver’s licenses would need to get a state-issued identification card to vote. Residents who couldn’t afford a state-issued identification card would get one for free, Souza said. Additionally, the bill would eliminate in 2023 personal affidavits for voting. A personal affidavit allows someone to sign a form under penalty of perjury they are who they say and are eligible to vote. The bill would also require that absentee ballots have a signature and the last four digits of an acceptable identification card. Another requirement is that absentee ballots be returned by mail or hand-delivered to election staff.
A divided House of Representatives voted 37-33 to pass a bill that would prohibit absentee ballot drop boxes used in Ada County and several other parts of the state. Rep. Priscilla Giddings, R-White Bird, is sponsoring House Bill 693. She said the bill is necessary to protect the security of absentee ballots, which she suggested could be vulnerable to arson or theft in a drop box. If passed into law, the bill would make it so “the use of drop-boxes or other similar drop-off locations to collect absentee ballots is prohibited.” This bill contains an emergency clause that would make it effective as soon if it becomes law, should it pass. That means it would apply to the upcoming May 17 primary elections and existing ballot drop boxes would be prohibited. The bill’s opponents said there have been no problems with the security of ballot drop boxes in Idaho and banning the drop boxes would make it harder for voters to vote. The bill will be sent to the Idaho Senate next. To become law, it needs to pass the Idaho Senate and be signed into law by Gov. Brad Little or allowed to become law without his signature.
This week, a new bill that could change Idaho’s voter registration system advanced to the House floor. The bill would require a county clerk to verify electronic voter registration by first class mail, rather than by email, verifying a voter’s address. The second part of the bill requires a voter’s full name that would match with that of their local DMV or social security card. The third part requires more contact information from a voter and lastly, the bill would remove an exemption member of the military half from having their voter registration canceled if they are found not to be a U.S. citizen. Deputy Secretary of State Jason Hancock believes this could clarify whether or not someone resides in their postal address.
Indiana: A proposal to significantly limit mail-in absentee voting in Indiana no longer is included in elections-related legislation headed to the governor’s desk. House Enrolled Act 1116 was preliminarily approved Jan. 31 by the Republican-controlled House with a provision barring many Hoosiers who currently satisfy one of the statutory excuses to qualify for a mail-in absentee ballot from voting by mail if they are capable of casting an in-person ballot at any point during the state’s 28-day early voting period. House Speaker Todd Huston, R-Fishers, said preferring in-person voting over mail-in voting is “the right public policy” for Indiana, and the state makes it as easy as possible by allowing counties to conduct early voting for up to four weeks before Election Day. The Republican-controlled Senate disagreed, however, and promptly deleted the mail-in voting restriction. The final version of the plan requires voters submitting an electronic request for a mail-in ballot to verify their identity using either their driver’s license number or the last four digits of their Social Security number, speeds the deployment of voter verifiable paper audit trails in counties using direct record electronic voting systems, and authorizes the secretary of state to decide how many counties will be subject to a post-election audit, among other provisions. It was approved 95-0 by the House Monday after last week passing the Senate, 35-10.
Kansas: A GOP-dominated state Senate committee approved a bill that would require all mail-in ballots to arrive by 7 p.m. on Election Day, limit the use of ballot drop boxes and give people three fewer days before an election to register to vote. The measure goes next to the full Senate. The Kansas Senate committee’s action was significant because Republicans had struggled to persuade even some GOP lawmakers that giving voters three extra days to mail in ballots was a problem. A House committee last month killed a proposal to end the grace period. The bill would allow voting in advance to begin 23 days before an election, rather than the current 20, something Olson said he proposed to address the concerns of opponents ending the post-Election Day grace period. That prompted him to also shift the voter registration deadline back three days, to 24 days before an election.
Republican lawmakers are advancing a measure to prevent the governor from entering into legal agreements that change state election practices without getting prior approval from the GOP-controlled Legislature or its top leaders. A Senate committee approved a bill in response to an agreement Democratic Gov. Laura Kelly reached in October with voting-rights groups to head off a lawsuit. The agreement allows Kansas residents to register to vote at state agencies that provide social services benefits. The measure goes next to the full Senate. Federal law requires states to allow people to register when they interact with social services agencies. Kelly acknowledged that the state fell out of compliance and began working with voting rights groups in 2019. Some Republicans argue that the Legislature should be involved such agreements because it has the power to write and revise election laws. A law enacted last year prevented the secretary of state from making such agreements without legislative leaders’ approval first. The bill approved by the Senate Federal and State Affairs Committee would require the full Legislature to sign off first on an agreement involving either the governor or secretary of state if lawmakers are in session. If they are out of session, either official would need permission from the Legislature’s top eight leaders.
Kentucky: A bill dealing with the practice known as vote-hauling, as well as one addressing absentee balloting, were both approved by the House Elections, Constitutional Amendments & Intergovernmental Affairs. House Bill 330 would prohibit anyone being paid to drive voters to the polls. The sponsor, Rep. Ed Massey, R-Hebron, says an identical measure introduced in 2020 passed out of the House, but never was never heard in the Senate due to the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. A violator would be guilty of a Class B misdemeanor, punishable by up to 90 days in jail. HB 564, sponsored by Rep. Josh Branscum, R-Russell Springs, keeps many of the provisions enacted in 2020 for absentee voting by mail, removing the requirement that a voter request a mail-in absentee ballot 14 days prior to an election, and moves it to the Thursday before the election, which is the first day of in-person absentee balloting. It also has some additional security requirements, such as not allowing voting machines to be able to connect to the internet, and requiring a secure online connection for the transmittal of unofficial election results, as well as external devices used to upload election results. Both measure, which have emergency clauses, meaning they would become effective signed by the governor, now head to the House floor.
Maine: House Democrats advanced an election-related bill that supporters say would enhance ballot security statewide. The bill passed along party lines, with Rep. Teresa Pierce’s bill to strengthen election integrity receiving the most debate. That bill, L.D. 1799, would tighten current ballot custody rules and expressly prohibit election clerks from turning over voting machines to a third party without authorization from the secretary of state. Secretary of State Shenna Bellows said in an interview after the vote that her office received “numerous petitions” for Arizona-style election audits, highlighting the need to strengthen the system. “This bill ensures that’s prohibited in Maine,” Bellows said. “It prohibits the transfer of ballots or equipment to outside entities that might manipulate or alter or interfere with ballot equipment for partisan reasons. We’ve never seen that happen here in Maine, but we have seen these attempts in other states.”
Michigan: House lawmakers unanimously passed a bill that would require regular updates to the public on the status of ballot measure campaigns. The state Senate previously approved the bill with unanimous support in a vote last week. It now heads to Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s desk. The legislation that passed would require the Secretary of State’s Office to post a summary of voter-initiated petitions online within two business days after they are filed. If a petition’s sponsor seeks and obtains approval from the Board of State Canvassers for the petition summary that appears at the top of the signature collection form, the board-approved language would replace the summary from the Secretary of State’s Office. The Board of State Canvassers also determines whether petitions collected enough signatures to introduce an initiative to the Legislature or place a referendum or amendment on the ballot. The bill would require the Secretary of State’s Office to update a petition’s status online at least once every 30 days.
Legislation introduced by Michigan House members would allow communities to implement what’s known as a ranked-choice voting system where voters rank candidates on the ballot by order of their preference. Language in Michigan’s home rule act and the state’s election law currently prevent local governments from implementing the voting method. “These are just technical fixes to allow local officials to be able to do it if they want to,” Rep. Regina Weiss, D-Oak Park, said of the bill package. HB 5645, Weiss’ bill, taken with HB 5644 and HB 5646 would authorize communities to enact the use of ranked-choice voting for city offices. “In a lot of ways (ranked-choice) is more democratic than the traditional voting style,” Weiss said. “And of course it’s optional, so, even if a community elects to have a ranked-choice voting system following legislation, a voter doesn’t have to rank their choice. They can still vote for just one person if they choose to do so, ranked-choice just gives them the option.”
Minnesota: Sen. Mark Koran, R-North Branch is sponsoring Senate File 3333 that would prevent local elections offices from accepting any money from non-government entities. During testimony on the legislation, Koran said, local elections were turned over to the non-government entities. “It’s shocking that so many cities allowed this undue influence in their election process to try to affect the outcome,” Koran told the Senate State Government and Elections Committee. “It’s shocking that a county would willingly give up that type of control to an outside entity.” Koran offered no evidence that the grants awarded to 28 Minnesota counties and cities by the Center for Tech and Civic Life went for anything other than the organizations’ stated goals, which include helping to ensure local election officials “have the staffing, training, and equipment necessary so this November every eligible voter can participate in a safe and timely way and have their vote counted.” According to the Minnesota Post, the bill is unlikely to get through the DFL-controlled House or be signed by DFL Gov. Tim Walz. Yet Secretary of State Steve Simon said even holding a hearing on the bill that airs allegations that go un-rebutted is damaging. “There was zero undue influence. There was zero relinquishing of control. Zero,” Simon said Friday. “Anyone who talked to someone who administered an election would know that.”
Missouri: State Senator Tony Luetkemeyer , introduced senate bill 679 which would require voters to present a photo ID, outlaws electronic voting and restores eligibility for absentee ballots to more secure pre-pandemic standards. If the legislation is approved, touch screen electronic ballot devices will only be allowed to accommodate voters with disabilities. All other voting will be performed with paper ballots. The legislation also eliminates relaxed absentee voting provisions enacted in response to the COVID-19 pandemic and clarifies deadlines for acceptance of absentee ballots.
Nebraska: The Nebraska Secretary of State would be required to inspect all vote counting machines used in the state to ensure that they cannot be accessed remotely under a bill heard March 2 by the Government, Military and Veterans Affairs Committee. LB1121, introduced by Sen. Joni Albrecht of Thurston, would require the Nebraska secretary of state’s office to carry out the inspection and prohibit contracting with a third-party. The bill also would require a representative of the office to be present whenever a ballot counting machine is being serviced. Nebraska Secretary of State Bob Evnen testified in opposition to the bill. He said there was no justification for the proposal and that it would be prohibitively expensive. Vote counting machines are never connected to the internet, Evnen said, and are tested for accuracy both before and after elections.
The Government, Military and Veterans Affairs Committee also heard testimony on LB1123, introduced by Sen. Steve Erdman of Bayard, which would prohibit county election officials from counting ballots until after all polls close in the state on Election Day. The bill would apply to ballots cast in person or received by mail. Douglas County Election Commissioner Brian Kruse testified in opposition to the bill. Ballot counting currently may begin 24 hours before Election Day, he said, and a variety of measures are taken to ensure that no results are released prior to polls closing. Kruse said Douglas County officials spent 11 hours counting ballots the Monday prior to Election Day in 2020 and waiting to do so until after polls close would delay reporting results and burden an already taxed workforce.
New Hampshire: An effort to ban vote-counting machines at the state level is likely headed to defeat at the State House. House Bill 1064 would require the use of hand-marked, durable paper ballots in New Hampshire elections. The legislation was filed by Republican reps, including some who have questioned the results of the 2020 elections. In a unanimous bipartisan vote Wednesday morning, the House Election Law Committee gave the bill a negative recommendation. The bill now heads to the House floor.
New Jersey: Bills to increase poll worker pay and allow elections officials to begin opening and processing mail-in ballots 10 days before Election Day were passed out of a Senate committee. Under S856, early votes may begin to be counted 24 hours after the conclusion of the early voting period, and elections officials can begin opening the inner envelopes and canvassing each mail-in ballot 10 days prior to Election Day. The Senate State Government, Wagering, Tourism & Historic Preservation Committee passed the bill with only one senator voting in opposition. Currently, mail-in ballots cannot begin to be counted until Election Day, and early votes cast during the early voting period can only be counted after the polls close. Supporters said the bill is needed for election results to be available in a timely manner. Some counties had to wait up to eight days for results in the last general election, according to lawmakers. The committee also unanimously passed S1290, a bill to increase poll worker pay from $200 for a 14-hour shift to $300. It would also appropriate $7 million to the Department of State to cover increased costs. Poll worker pay was raised temporarily last year by law and executive order, when counties were having difficulty attracting enough poll workers. This bill would make an increase permanent. The committee also passed a bill to tighten prohibitions against electioneering near polling places and added prohibitions against it within 100 feet of a ballot drop box.
A bill that would allow New Jerseyans to register to vote at their polling place on Election Day was pulled from the Senate government committee’s Thursday meeting agenda by Senate leadership, the panel’s chairman said. It’s not clear why the bill was pulled, though it was likely tabled on the order of Senate President Nicholas Scutari (D-Union). Committee chairs have broad control over their panels’ agendas, but the Senate president has the final say over which bills advance. Sen. James Beach (D-Camden), the government committee’s chair, said he had been prepared to hold a vote on the bill. Existing law requires voters to be registered at least 21 days before an election to cast their ballots on Election Day. The bill would cut that to eight days while also allowing residents to register at their polling place — and then vote — on Election Day. You would also be able to register at your county clerk’s office until 3 p.m the day before an election and vote in that election.
New York: The Assembly is considering legislation that solve a problem created by out of precinct ballots. Under current election law, someone who cast a vote in the wrong Assembly district but was still in the correct state Senate and congressional districts and also voted for statewide offices won’t have any of their choices counted. According to the letter from the election commissioners, this represented the largest portion of disqualified affidavits, which was why they support the bill that would permit the valid votes to still count. “This proposal will improve due process and protect thousands of votes from registered, otherwise-eligible New Yorkers, improving the accuracy of election results and the public trust that all legitimate votes will be counted,” they wrote in the letter. Although the proposed legislation passed the state Senate in 2021 and again this year, it has yet to move in the Assembly.
Ohio: Overseas absentee ballots could arrive up to 20 days after Ohio’s primary election and still be counted under emergency legislation working its way through General Assembly as chaos over new state legislative maps threatens spring elections. County election officials have raised serious questions about their ability to carry out a successful primary election on May 3, citing the already tight timeline due to the still-unresolved redrawing of state legislative maps. State law already allows a 10-day window after a primary election for the arrival of ballots cast by Ohio overseas voters, typically those serving in the military. The state Senate unanimously approved emergency legislation adding an additional 10 days. The House is expected to approve the measure. The move came after the U.S. Defense Department last week denied by a request by Ohio Elections Chief Frank LaRose to waive the March 19 deadline by which state overseas ballots must be mailed. With the passage of HB 155, ballots can be sent up to 30 days in advance of the election, and citizens will have 20 days, rather than the original 10, to return the ballots to their county boards of election.
Oregon: A bill aimed at shielding Oregon’s election workers from intimidation and threats has now passed both chambers of the legislature, heading to Governor Kate Brown’s desk for a signature. House Bill 4144 allows election workers to keep their home addresses from public disclosure, and makes the crime of harassment against an election worker punishable by a maximum 364 days in prison and a $6,250 fine — upgrading it from a Class B misdemeanor to a Class A misdemeanor. Jackson County Clerk Chris Walker, a nonpartisan elected official, championed HB 4144 after her office became the target of threats. Shortly after the 2020 election, someone painted a message in a nearby parking lot: “vote don’t work” and “next time bullets.” Oregon Secretary of State Shemia Fagan, who oversees the Oregon Elections Division, also became a major advocate for the bill. “The Election Worker Safety Bill is about protecting the people who protect our democracy,” Fagan said,. “Our elections are run by members of the community in all 36 counties across Oregon, hardworking elections professionals who are doing incredibly important work in a very challenging time.”
Washington: Two bills, affecting election ballot return envelopes and the centers where they are cast, could soon become state law. The bills were approved last week ahead of a Friday deadline for the Legislature to advance legislation – passing through the state Senate a week before the session ends. The legislation provides protections for voter information, more information on ballot measures affecting public investments and clarifies administrative rules around voting centers. A proposal that prevents disclosure of some information on envelopes voters use to return their completed ballots passed the Senate Wednesday by a 38-10 vote. The bill would exempt signatures, email addresses and phone numbers from disclosure under public records laws. Original envelopes could still be viewed by the public in person, with the Secretary of State empowered to create rules around the inspection process. The Senate Wednesday unanimously backed a bill that would change the rules for voting centers and ballot drop boxes. The bill also establishes perimeters around voting centers and ballot drop boxes where influencing or interfering with voters would be expressly prohibited. Auditors would also have to designate voting center entrances and post signs about the interference ban.
Wisconsin: Although Republicans in both the Assembly and Senate initially passed bills allowing clerks to start counting absentee ballots early, they declined to take the final step in sending the bill to the desk of Gov. Tony Evers. Senate GOP leaders did not put the bill on the calendar for what is expected to be the body’s final session in 2022. At least one Republican senator said Tuesday it was in response to backlash following the initial passage. On a party-line vote February 22, Senate Republicans passed a bill allowing clerks to start processing absentee ballots one day before an election. Democrats voted against the bill, citing additional language that moved up the deadline for mailing out absentee ballots.
Wyoming: Wyoming voters’ have retained their right to change party affiliation on election day after a bill to restrict the practice died in the Wyoming House of Representatives. Senate File 97 – Change in party affiliation died quietly when it did not receive a first reading vote in the House by the deadline. As in years prior, the Wyoming Republican Party lobbied heavily in support of the bill, but that did not translate to enough support at the Capitol.
House Bill 52 – Timeline to prepare and process absentee ballots is meant to account for that by allowing county clerks to start counting absentee ballots the Thursday or Friday before election day. “Wyoming likes their election results on election night,” Lankford told the Senate Corporations, Elections and Political Subdivisions Committee. When nearly half of the vote is by absentee ballot, Lankford said it’s hard for clerks to process ballots in a timely manner. hould a clerk see the need to get a head start, the bill lays out some stipulations. A clerk must notify the secretary of state’s office. They must also notify each political party, and include details for in-person observation, including date, time and place. However, the bill prohibits any candidate or candidate’s committee chairperson or treasurer from observing. Sen. Cheri Steinmetz (R-Lingle) brought an amendment to allow such individuals to observe, but withdrew it after criticism from several lawmakers. Before passing both chambers, the House adopted an amendment to create a felony penalty for violations of the act, including providing election results to any person before the polls close.
A second bill related to absentee ballots was not successful. Like the crossover voting bill, Senate File 96 – Collection of election ballots-prohibition was sponsored by Sen. Biteman and supported by the state party. It would have put restrictions on how people or groups can help voters deliver completed absentee ballots to county clerks. The bill would specifically prohibit any solicitation, gathering or submission of completed ballots without an accompanying written consent form from the secretary of state. It also created a felony penalty for any violations of such restrictions. Senate File 96 died on Feb. 28 when it did not receive a first reading in the Senate by deadline.
U.S. Supreme Court: The Supreme Court refused to block orders by courts in North Carolina and Pennsylvania that threw out the congressional maps enacted by the states’ Republican legislatures and replaced them with maps drawn by the trial courts. The justices’ rulings mean that the states’ 2022 congressional elections will go ahead using the court-drawn maps. But although the justices declined to intervene now, four justices signaled that they believe the court should soon take up the theory at the center of both cases. Proponents of the theory, known as the “independent state legislature” theory, believe that the Constitution gives state legislatures nearly unfettered authority to write the rules for federal elections, with little or no oversight from state courts. A majority of the Supreme Court has never endorsed that theory, and some election-law experts say that, if adopted, it could effectively strip state courts of their power to protect voting rights under state constitutions.
Arkansas: A federal lawsuit was filed this week challenging Arkansas’ new U.S. House district lines, claiming the new boundaries violate Black voters’ rights and weaken their influence by splitting the Little Rock area among three congressional districts. The lawsuit filed by six residents, including two Black Democratic state lawmakers, said the redistricting plan approved by the majority-Republican Legislature last year violates the Constitution and the federal Voting Rights Act by moving 23,000 predominantly Black voters out of the 2nd District in central Arkansas. Those voters were split between the state’s 1st and 4th congressional districts. Heavily Democratic Pulaski County, which includes the Little Rock area, is currently in the 2nd District. The plan “has placed illegal and unconstitutional barriers to the legitimate and natural growth of the state’s Black population to translate to increased political influence at the federal level,” the lawsuit said. The lawsuit is the second challenging a redistricting plan in Arkansas. A federal judge last month dismissed a suit challenging Arkansas’ new state House districts after the Justice Department declined to intervene in the case. The judge had ruled that private groups couldn’t claim violations of the Voting Rights Act. That decision has been appealed.
Colorado: Mesa County Clerk Tina Peters and Deputy Clerk Belinda Knisley have been indicted by a grand jury. Peters faces 10 counts, including seven felony charges and three misdemeanors. The felony charges include attempting to influence a public servant, identity theft, criminal impersonation and conspiracy to commit criminal impersonation. The misdemeanors include first-degree official misconduct, violation of duty and failure to comply with the requirements of the secretary of state. Knisley has been indicted on six counts, including attempt to influence a public servant, conspiracy to commit criminal impersonation, violation of duty and failure to comply with the requirements of the secretary of state. The pair is accused of helping an unauthorized person make copies of sensitive voting-machine hard drives and attend an annual software update. Information from the machines and secure passwords were later shared with election conspiracy theorists online. Shortly after the data was leaked, Peters appeared at an event put on by MyPillow CEO Mike Lindell, one of the leading promoters of the conspiracy theory that the 2020 election was rigged.
A coalition of civil and voting rights organizations invoked the 19th-century Ku Klux Klan Act in a lawsuit filed this week seeking to stop a group of supporters of the former president from going door-to-door in Colorado in a search for already-debunked voter fraud. The suit against the U.S. Election Integrity Plan alleges that the group’s activities include photographing voters’ homes and “door-to-door voter intimidation” in areas where a high number of minorities live. The group was founded after Trump lost the 2020 election to Democrat Joe Biden and made false claims of mass voter fraud. The lawsuit was filed in U.S. District Court for the District of Colorado on behalf of the state chapter of the NAACP, the League of Women Voters and Mi Familia Vota. The lawsuit relies in part on the KKK Act, which was passed after the Civil War to prevent white vigilantes from using violence and terror to stop Black people from voting.
New York: New York: Justice David Cohen of New York State Supreme Court in Manhattan said Smartmatic can continue its $2.7 billion defamation lawsuit claiming that Fox News Network, Rudolph Giuliani and others falsely accused the electronic voting systems maker of helping rig the 2020 U.S. presidential election to favor Democrat Joe Biden. Cohen ejected bids by Rupert Murdoch’s Fox Corp., anchor Maria Bartiromo and former anchor Lou Dobbs to dismiss Smartmatic’s claims against them. Cohen also said Smartmatic can pursue some claims against Giuliani. He dismissed all claims against Fox host Jeanine Pirro and Sidney Powell. Without ruling on the merits, Cohen found a “substantial basis” for the claim that Fox News “turned a blind eye to a litany of outrageous claims about [Smartmatic], unprecedented in the history of American elections, so inherently improbable that it evinced a reckless disregard for the truth.” In a 61-page decision, Cohen said Giuliani’s “barrage” of criticism, including that Smartmatic fixed elections in Venezuela and was up to its “old tricks” on election night, justified letting some claims against him proceed.
Acting State Supreme Court Justice Patrick McAllister said that the state should hold its 2022 elections for Congress and state senate using new legislative district lines that are being challenged by a Republican lawsuit. McAllister refused to dismiss the case today and ordered government officials to turn over relevant records by March 12. Lawyers representing New York Democratic leaders tried to stop the case from moving forward, claiming the 14 GOP plaintiffs from across the state didn’t have standing to file the lawsuit. The judge, acknowledging that the case could continue for the next month, said the new district lines should be used for New York’s upcoming primary election on June 28.
North Carolina: The North Carolina Supreme Court has agreed to accelerate appeals in a photo voter identification lawsuit by hearing the case without waiting for the Court of Appeals to deliberate first. In an order last week, the justices granted the request of lawyers for minority voters who successfully sued at the trial-court level to bypass arguments at the intermediate-level appeals court. In September, a divided panel of three trial judges threw out the state’s latest photo ID law, which was approved by the General Assembly in late 2018, weeks after a photo ID mandate was added to the state constitution. Still, the panel’s majority declared the implementing law unconstitutional, in part because the justices said it intentionally discriminated against Black voters. The attorneys for the minority voters asked the Supreme Court to take the case now because it addresses substantial legal issues. They also argued that it would help to avoid any delays in the legislature fashioning a voter ID law that complies with the constitution, which it would do if the justices uphold the trial court order. The state Supreme Court didn’t say in the order when oral arguments would be held, but the group providing lawyers for the plaintiffs said in a news release that it expects them this summer.
Pennsylvania: Oral arguments were heard before the Pennsylvania Supreme Court over Act 77, the commonwealth’s vote-by-mail law, this week. Lawyers for the Gov. Tom Wolf administration argued on behalf of Act 77, which was approved by a GOP-controlled Legislature in 2019. Act 77 was declared unconstitutional in a 3-2 January decision by the state’s Commonwealth Court, as it ruled on two challenges to the law. The opinion, written by Judge Mary Hannah Leavitt, cited two cases both more than 100 years old to argue that the state constitution mandated that voters have to show up in person to vote to bar a handful of excuses enumerated in the constitution. Attorneys for Wolf and the national Democratic Party argued that changing circumstances and constitutional wording meant that the high court should break with the lower court’s ruling and uphold the law. If the high court were to go along with the lower court, attorney Seth Waxman added, “there is going to be at minimum mass confusion” from the hundreds of thousands of voters who have come to regularly vote with mail-in ballots.
Two Republicans have petitioned the Luzerne County court of common pleas to fill a seat on the county board of elections that has remained vacant since the last Republican board members term expired at the end of 2021. The county charter states that council must fill vacancies on county boards within 60 days. If council fails to do so, any citizen may petition the court to make the appointment within 30 days. The court is not required to appoint one of the people who applied to fill the seat, though in this case the appointee must be a Republican. The county charter stipulates that the five-member election board consists of two members of each of the major political parties, who then appoint a fifth member, of any political affiliation, to serve as chairperson. The unusual court filings stem from an indecisive vote at council’s Feb. 22 meeting. It requires six votes on the 11-member council to win appointment to a county board seat. Last week, just nine council members voted.
Texas: U.S. Attorney Ashley C. Hoff of the Western District of Texas announced that the United States has reached an agreement with the Travis County Clerk’s Office to ensure that the county provides accessible polling places to voters with disabilities. The agreement resolves the United States’ investigation into Travis County’s compliance with Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act (“ADA”), which prohibits discrimination on the basis of disability by a state or local government in any of its programs or services. Under the terms of the agreement, the county will use an evaluation form for each current and prospective polling place based on ADA architectural standards. The agreement requires the county to either relocate voting to new, accessible facilities, or to use temporary measures such as portable ramps, signs, traffic cones, and doorbells to ensure accessibility on Election Day. In addition, Travis County will train its poll workers and other elections staff on the requirements of the ADA and how to use temporary measures to ensure each polling place is accessible during elections. Travis County is working collaboratively with the United States to make all polling places accessible and has already taken steps since the 2020 Primary Election to ensure polling place accessibility.
The Harris County Republican Party has filed a lawsuit against county Election Administrator Isabel Longoria. The lawsuit, which lists Longoria by name, claims she interfered with the Republican chair supervision of the primary election by “failing to abide the county chair’s appointment of Presiding Judges and alternate judges” and interfered with “the county chair’s supervision by electing to treat a 10,000 vote discrepancy in the county as a matter ‘for further investigation rather than providing the county chairs and the presiding judges the underlying data suggesting that Defendant could not get those votes counted before a court-imposed deadline.” “This is completely disingenuous behavior by what’s supposed to be the chief elections officer of the third largest county,” said Republican State Senator Paul Bettencourt. “That should never happen. It can’t be tolerated.” In addition, the lawsuit accuses Longoria of interfering by “failing to follow the county chairs suggestion for staging the counting station.” The lawsuit states the Republican Party is asking for over $100,000, but not more than $250,000, and non-monetary relief. Longoria is Harris County’s first-ever election administrator. Two elected officials, the county clerk and tax assessor ran elections before 2020 when Longoria’s office was created, and she was appointed.
Virginia: The Democratic activist behind the legal effort to force new Virginia House elections this year told a federal appeals court the state challenged his lawsuit on procedural grounds because they didn’t deny the merits of his argument. But the Virginia attorney general’s office disputed that assertion Tuesday when the case went before the Richmond-based 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. “Our position is that the 2021 election was perfectly constitutional and no remedy for any constitutional violation was required,” Virginia Solicitor General Andrew Ferguson said. Paul Goldman, the former chairman of the Virginia Democratic Party, sued the state in June 2021 arguing last year’s House of Delegates elections were held under unconstitutional districts. Goldman’s lawsuit seeks to have all 100 state delegates serve one-year terms and require another round of elections under the redrawn districts that have been updated with new census data to reflect the population shifts over the last decade. Then-Attorney General Mark Herring aimed to have the case dismissed in district court last year, but a judge agreed Goldman could bring his lawsuit forward against individual members of the State Board of Elections and Virginia’s Election Commissioner. The state appealed that decision, arguing Goldman did not have legal standing to sue the election officials. This week a three-judge panel of the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals heard Goldman and Ferguson debate the merits of the case and the issue of whether Goldman had the standing to bring a lawsuit forward.
Opinions This Week
National Opinions: Protection for election workers | U.S. Supreme Court | Election security Automatic voter registration
Alabama: Voting rights
Arizona: Future elections | Election integrity
Florida: Voter suppression
Idaho: Election legislation
Louisiana: Election administration
Maine: Federal election legislation
Minnesota: Election legislation
New Mexico: Election integrity
Ohio: Secretary of state
Tennessee: Voting rights
Texas: SB1; Vote by mail | Turnout
Virginia: Voting rights | Election officials
Defending Our Constitution and Elections: A Bipartisan Conversation with Rep. Liz Cheney: A bipartisan group of Wyoming citizens are hosting Nick Penniman, CEO and Founder of the nonprofit group Issue One, and Wyoming’s U.S. Representative Liz Cheney, for a bipartisan and civil conversation on defending our constitution and protecting elections. The event will be held in the Jackson Hole Center for the Arts Auditorium on March 22 at 7:00 P.M. Livestream the event. Paul Hansen, Common Ground columnist for the Jackson Hole News&Guide, and Paul Vogelheim, past chair of the Teton County Board of County Commissioners, will be co-moderators of the discussion. Issue One is America’s leading crosspartisan group dedicated to protecting our elections and bringing Republicans, Democrats, and independents together in the effort to fix our broken political system. U.S. Representative Liz Cheney has served as Wyoming’s lone voice in the U.S. House of Representatives since 2016. She has become well known nationally for her courageous defense of our democracy. When: March 22, 7pm. Where: Online.
Social Media’s Free Speech Problem: The problem of misinformation on social media has ballooned over the last few years, especially in relation to elections. The result has been further polarization of our already divided country. There has been a boisterous debate about the de-platforming of former president Donald Trump, but how else are social media companies able to combat those deliberately spreading false information? How do we control this false speech while protecting the First Amendment — and our democracy? Join us for a live discussion with one of the country’s leading experts on election law, Richard L. Hasen, author of the upcoming book Cheap Speech: How Disinformation Poisons Our Politics — and How to Cure It, for a look into how social media companies can solve this problem without shutting down the essential free flow of ideas and opinions. When: March 24, 6pm. Where: Online
Election Accuracy: Going on the Offensive: Local and state election officials in the United States — who run the most accurate and secure voting process in the world — are finding that facts are not a sufficient defense of their election outcomes. Despite the rigorous steps that protect voter registration, ballot distribution, election systems and vote counting, conspiracy theories are undermining the public’s trust in this most basic act of a democracy. To combat this problem, experts from around the nation analyze the problem to provide actionable steps so election administrators can go on the offense to manage communications before, during and after an election. Hosted by the Humphrey School of Public Affairs at the University of Minnesota. 9am to 12:30pm Central. Where: Online. When: April 22.
IGO Annual Conference: Join the International Association of Government Officials for their 5th Annual Conference this summer. Check back here for more details and how to register. When: June 17-24. Where: Indian Wells, California.
NASS Summer Conference: Join the National Association of Secretaries of State for their Annual Conference this summer. Check back here for more details and how to register. When: July 7-10. Where: Baton Rouge, Louisiana.
NASED Summer Conference: Twice a year, NASED members gather to discuss the latest developments in election administration. Members of the public are welcome to attend at the non-member registration rate. When: July 18-21. Where: Madison, Wisconsin.
Election Center Annual Conference: Join the National Association of Election Officials (The Election Center) for their 37th Annual Conference this summer. When: August 20-24. Where: Denver.
Job Postings This Week
electionlineWeekly publishes election administration job postings each week as a free service to our readers. To have your job listed in the newsletter, please send a copy of the job description, including a web link to email@example.com. Job postings must be received by 5pm on Wednesday in order to appear in the Thursday newsletter. Listings will run for three weeks or till the deadline listed in the posting.
Account Management Specialist, EI-ISAC— The EI-ISAC is looking for an ambitious teammate who is passionate about making a difference in the realm of cybersecurity for (SLTT) election offices. The ideal candidate will be comfortable building relationships with the election community to support and advance the mission of “confidence in a connected world.” What You’ll Do: Support the development and execution of the EI-ISAC strategy and mission; Assist election officials to determine security needs and how they integrate with election technology; Facilitate communications between election officials and IT professionals; Provide exceptional service to all members and be able to explain the concepts and services that can protect their technology via email, phone calls, and WebEx meetings/conferences; Ensure ongoing customer satisfaction and retention; Assist with the scheduling and running of member meetings and webinars; Responsible for the onboarding process of new members; Research, record, track, and report on member prospects and qualified leads to the team and management; Assist with data cleanup, reporting, and any ongoing projects; Update metrics for EI-ISAC reports and presentations; Represent the EI-ISAC in a professional and courteous manner; and Other tasks and responsibilities as assigned. Application: For the complete job listing and to apply, click here.
Deputy Director, Registration & Elections, Decatur County, Georgia— The purpose of this classification is to assist in the planning, directing, and oversight of operations and staff involved in voter registration and elections processes for the County, conducting elections, and ensuring compliance with local, state and federal election and voter registration laws, rules, and regulations. Salary: $74,961 – $116,190. Application: For the complete job listing and to apply, click here.
Development and Communications Specialist, Election Reformers— This part-time specialist, reporting to the Executive Director based in Newton, MA, will help us guide our messaging about complicated (but important) reforms, draft communications, and develop ERN’s member strategy to support engagement and fundraising. The specialist will assist in development and communications. Key responsibilities will include: Helping to define the organization’s communications strategy and to guide regular content and messaging updates; Drafting external communications, email newsletters, website updates, background outreach to journalists, and occasional press releases; Providing input on overall social media strategy and on specific messages; Developing ERN’s member strategy to support engagement and fundraising; Participating in discussions regarding strategy and overall organizational planning; Providing input on ERN reports, op-eds and other publications. Application: For the complete job listing and to apply, click here.
Director of Elections, Cumberland County, North Carolina— The Elections Director works under the administrative direction of the County Board of Elections and Executive Director of the State Board of Election. The Elections Director performs professional, managerial, and administrative work for the Board of Elections and carries out all duties or responsibilities as assigned by Chapter 163 of the General Statutes of the State of North Carolina and as delegated by members of the County Board in accordance with the laws of the State of North Carolina, GS 163-35 (d) and 163-33. Reports to the Chairman of the Cumberland County Board of Elections. Salary: $78,784.40 – $132,425.23. 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 Director, Montgomery County, Maryland– The Board of Elections for Montgomery County is seeking an innovative leader with demonstrated management experience and political acumen. It is crucial that the Election Director have excellent interpersonal skills and the ability to work effectively with a large and diverse community and employee population and a complex hierarchy. The Elections Director, will plan, coordinate and direct staff activities in all functions related to the conduct of voter registration and election administration. This is a senior-level management position with management responsibility for planning, developing, implementing, and evaluating policies and programs related to the electoral process, including the allocation of major financial and technical resources necessary to conduct election activities. The Elections Director reports to the County Board of Elections, which operates under the overall supervision of the State Board of Elections. In addition, as a merit system County employee under state law, the Elections Director also reports to the County’s Chief Administrative Officer for operational purposes. Candidates should anticipate extended work hours and be able to manage staff and schedules in an occasionally stressful environment. Salary: Salary range – $107,000 to $190,042. 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.
Elections Services Manager, Douglas County, Colorado– The Election Services Manager is responsible for the management and coordination of elections administrative operations, voter registration, mapping for voting districts and precincts, addressing library, and support for mail ballot processing as directed by the leadership team. The objective of this position is to perform a variety of functions and diverse leadership roles on a routine basis, including performance management for a team of Election Specialists. This is a highly visible position requiring exceptional leadership, organizational, and communication skills. The Election Services Manager is responsible for oversight of responsibilities within the elections office and Voter Service and Polling Centers, coaching and supervision of staff; creation and enforcement of policies, procedures, and state and federal statutes and regulations; creation and execution of strategic and tactical plans for operating successful elections; coordination of election functions with entities participating in a County election or conducting their own election; managing key vendor relationships and election assets. Coordinates with and assists other Clerk & Recorder Divisions as needed. Salary: $60,789 – 91,184. 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 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 Specialist, Pierce County, Washington— As an Elections Specialist, you will have the ability to immediately contribute to the team’s success. You will be guided through the process with coaching-focused managerial support, a team that wants you to be successful in your role, and an organizational culture that encourages continuous learning and professional development. Core Daily Responsibilities: Coordinates and participates in the activities of a specialty in the Elections Division; determines work schedules and methods to expediting work-flow; issues instructions; and monitors work for accuracy and compliance to procedures and policies in specialty area assigned. Coordinates, organizes, and documents all legal aspects of an assigned specialty required to hold elections. Performs quality control work including proofreading, grammar, and spelling. Designs and produces reports. Coordinates and oversees the preparation and distribution of election supplies to the voting centers. Salary: $31.42 – $39.73 Hourly. Application: For the complete job listing and to apply, click here.
Elections Technician or Election Specialist, Larimar County, Colorado— The Larimer County Clerk & Recorder Elections division offers an outstanding opportunity for an exciting career in the ever-changing, always engaging field of Election Administration – where the foundation of government begins for our citizens! We are seeking skilled Elections Technicians/Elections Specialists to join our highly respected team. We serve a population of more than 300,000 citizens, of which more than 250,000 are registered voters. We embrace innovative processes and have a shown reputation for integrity. If you are a self-motivated, positive teammate who thrives in a fast-paced professional environment – we want to hear from you! The successful candidate will be dedicated, assertive, and possess outstanding interpersonal and problem-solving skills. The Elections Technician/Elections Specialist position provides support to and/or oversight for certain processes. Salary: $22.13-$29.22/hr. Deadline: March 20. 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.
Grant and Contract Specialist, Washington Secretary of State’s Office— This position will report to the deputy director of elections and is responsible for assisting the deputy in the management of administering federal grant funds, including Help America Vote Act (HAVA) grant funds. It also plays a key role in the elections division by performing research analysis and managing retention of grant records with regard to HAVA grants. This position belongs to the “HAVA Elections Security Grant” project and is tentatively scheduled to last through 12/20/2024. Tasks include: Makes recommendations based on analysis of funding needs for grant applications; Establishes grant guidelines; Issues notice of grant openings; Processes grant payments. Reviews and determines eligibility against grant application criteria; Establishes program income codes in a manner that will track required reporting requirements; Reviews draft contracts and contract amendments for completeness and compliance with procedures; Applies consistent interpretation of laws, rules, policies and procedures; Communicates effectively with county departments and staff to facilitate and ensure adherence to policies and procedures; Evaluates budget and fiscal system performance, making adjustments as necessary; Coordinates the establishment of fiscal goals, audits of financial documents and the preparation and maintenance of fiscal reports; Prepares related applications for funding; Develops internal controls to ensure that all known expenses are accounted for; Prepares and develops budgets for the various program income codes; Works with staff responsible for carrying out grant duties to ensure that funding is available, allowable and allocable to the federal grant; Assists counties in applying for grant applications; Provides technical assistance to counties when necessary; Monitors grant progress with each county auditor on each grant; Tracks grant agreements to ensure compliance with scope of work, period of performance and funding levels; Monitors budgets and related fiscal reports to ensure grant audit compliance, adherence to county, state and federal regulations, allowable costs, adequate budgetary constraints/controls maintenance, timely report submission, and compliance with generally accepted accounting practices and procedures; Possesses knowledge with Office of Management and Budget (OMB) circulars, the Help America Vote Act and other laws passed by congress concerning grants management; Develops contractual language for grant agreements; Prepares for Inspector General Audits; Reads and analyzes awarding agency audit findings and make adjustments when necessary; Tracks and analyzes expenditures against budgeted or allotted forecasts and make adjustments when necessary; Review all contracts for adherence with contract terms and conditions; Tracks grant balances and take proper action when grants expire; Complies with proper internal controls in accordance with the Uniform Administrative Requirements; Tracks all equipment purchased with HAVA funds; Prepares and maintains financial report to the federal awarding agency; Prepares and provides status of accounts, both actual and projected, along with analysis and recommendations relative to activity costs and revenues; Coordinates visits by federal and/or State auditors; Monitors activity related to the grant; Reviews processes and procedures to ensure that adequate internal controls are in place; Develops internal controls to protect against fraud, waste and abuse when necessary; Prepares and provides status of grants, both actual and projected, along with analysis and recommendations relative to activity costs and revenues; Processes A-19 reimbursement requests in a timely manner; Works closely with Payroll to ensure that employees charging time to federal grants are in compliance with OMB circulars; Develops a means to track expenditures against appropriate awards. Salary: $3,446 – $4,627 Monthly. Application: For the complete job listing and to apply, click here.
Impartial Election Administration Legal Consultant, Election Reformers— This short-term position, reporting to the Executive Director based in Newton, MA, will provide legal analysis and advice to advance ERN’s impartial election administration program. The attorney will work with our small but dedicated team to identify and analyze target states and jurisdictions for reform, and will devise strategies to implement new structures and legal guardrails. This role offers a great opportunity to be a part of the solution to the country’s pressing democracy challenges and to pioneer an important but neglected area of election reform. ERN is committed to developing election solutions that can gain support from a wide range of political perspectives; for that reason it is essential that the candidate be open-minded, non-dogmatic, and skilled at understanding and working with a wide range of people and perspectives. Application: For the complete job listing and to apply, click here.
Language Access Manager, New York City Campaign Finance Board— The New York City Campaign Finance Board (CFB), a nonpartisan, independent agency that enhances the role of New York City residents in elections, seeks a Language Access Manager to expand the accessibility of its educational resources and materials. This new role will act as the lead project manager for the agency’s translation services and processes, working closely with external vendors and internal staff to increase the agency’s language coverage to include all 10 citywide languages (Spanish, Chinese, Russian, Bengali, Haitian Creole, Korean, Arabic, Urdu, French, and Polish) as well as additional translations required under the Voting Rights Act (Hindi and Punjabi). Reporting to the Associate Director of Production, this role supports translations for a variety of projects, including the official NYC Voter Guide available online at www.voting.nyc and mailed to 5 million voters citywide. They will also provide critical support for a forthcoming campaign to raise awareness of a new law that gives over 800,000 immigrant New Yorkers the right to vote in local elections starting in 2023. They are expected to supervise at least one full-time staff member and external translation service providers. This is an exciting opportunity for someone with strong project management skills who wants to help make local government more accessible and responsive to the needs of immigrant communities in New York City. Salary: $65,000 – $85,000. 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.
Nonpartisan Elections Observer, The Carter Center— The Carter Center is guided by a fundamental commitment to promote human rights, alleviate human suffering, enhance freedom and democracy, and improve health conditions. The Center seeks a highly qualified, motivated and energetic consultant to the Center’s US Elections Project. The Democracy Program at The Carter Center works globally to support democratic elections and strengthen participatory democracy, consistent with human rights. Beginning in 2020, The Carter Center began efforts to support good elections in the U.S. There are multiple key aspects to this project, contributing to electoral reform, promoting candidate codes of conduct, tracking disinformation and dangerous speech, and establishing nonpartisan observation efforts. The Carter Center plans to advance possible nonpartisan observation efforts in two key states: Arizona and Michigan. These states were selected following state assessments completed on multiple states. Nonpartisan observation efforts implemented and/or supported by The Carter Center will differ from existing partisan poll watchers and election protection groups. The goal of this observation is to provide credible and transparent information on the conduct of election in each state through public reports. The Carter Center is seeking Observation Coordinators to lead efforts in Arizona and Michigan to establish and support nonpartisan observation efforts. Working with Carter Center staff and consultants, the Observer Coordinators will work to meet with new and existing stakeholders to build an observation effort and determine the best possibility for nonpartisan observation in each state. The work will be conducted in two Phases. In Phase I, the Coordinators will focus on partnership and network building. The second phase will focus more deeply on the logistics of observer deployment and project implementation based on the plans and partnerships developed in Phase I. Start date: As soon as possible, with potential travel around the state. Location: Michigan or Arizona. Length of assignment: This project is in two phases. Phase 1 will be for 3 months with possibility of extension into Phase 2 which will last up to 9 months. Application: For the complete job listing and to apply, click here.
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.
Program Manager, California Voter Foundation— CVF seeks an experienced and accomplished part time program manager who is passionate about voting rights and advocacy, election reform, support for election officials, and nonpartisan expertise. This position will be instrumental in supporting the day to day operations of CVF, managing communications, and supporting important programmatic initiatives. Candidates must be eager to work in a fast-paced, collaborative environment and be able to balance and prioritize competing demands. This is a remote, part-time position, with the potential to transition to a full-time position, who reports to the president of CVF. Responsibilities: Manage communications and outreach with a network of diverse leaders and stakeholders from all sectors across many time zones; Coordinate projects and research related to election funding, curtailing mis- and disinformation and legal and law enforcement protections for election officials; Support grant writing and research fundraising opportunities; Write news releases, social media posts, meeting agendas, and meeting notes; Respond to emails in a timely and professional manner; Help manage CVF social media accounts: Twitter and Facebook; Schedule meetings and plan webinar events; Attend webinars and monitor election news and events; and Support other CVF projects as needed. 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.
Voter Education & Outreach Specialist, Washington Secretary of State’s Office— This position reports to the Voting Information Services Manager of the Elections Division and works collaboratively to provide outreach and educational services. This position leads onsite customer service to candidates during annual peaks, voters’ pamphlet training for internal staff, organization of printed materials for proofing, fulfillment of outreach materials to stakeholders, and coordinates the printing and distribution of the state Voters’ Pamphlet. The passage of new legislation (ESHB 2421) increases the business needs to be met by the Secretary of State’s Office. Each May and June, the office must preview and process candidate’s statements to be printed in local county primary pamphlets as well as the processing necessary July through October for the state general election pamphlet. The Voting Information Services (VIS) team promotes accessible, fair, and accurate elections. Through educational programs and service excellence, we help eligible Washington residents register to vote, file for office, and cast an informed ballot. VIS exercises visionary leadership to publish the state Voters’ Pamphlet. The team provides voters and candidates with essential tools and training, digestible data and auditing reports, outreach programs and publications. VIS also advises County Auditors in interpretations of federal and state election law to uphold the integrity of election administration throughout the state. These objectives are accomplished through official communications, collaboration with stakeholders, and educational publications including the state Voters’ Pamphlet. The VIS program also acts as liaison for the Office of the Secretary of State. Salary: $55,524 – $74,604. Application: For the complete job listing and to apply, click here.
Voter Services Manager, Charleston County, South Carolina— This is a managerial position that provides supervision in the daily operation and management of the front of the office, in-person absentee voting, and candidate filing. Supervises both permanent and temporary employees during in-person absentee voting for elections. Responsible for management of each satellite absentee location, as well as hiring/training absentee poll workers. Supervises the daily operations of the In-Person Absentee Voting division and oversees the work production and quantity and quality of work completed. Supervises election planning and scheduling and develops and implements policies and procedures. Supervises, trains, and evaluates the in-person absentee voting specialists and temporary staff. Performs supervisory responsibility including work assignments, working hours, and training. Evaluates performance of staff. Coordinates Satellite Voting Unit use in municipal, statewide, and special elections. Supervises the selection of in-person absentee voting sites and prepares correspondence sent to each potential location. Supervises the preparation of supplies and materials for each in-person absentee voting site. Supervises the selection of in-person absentee voting poll workers and off-site managers. Corresponds with in-person absentee voting poll workers. Develops and maintains training materials for in-person absentee voting poll workers. Manages the daily digital imaging of voter applications, boxing, storage, and archiving of in-person absentee voting records in accordance with statutory requirements. Supervises the preparation and execution of daily statistical reports during the in-person absentee voting period. Tracks statistical data for each election. Prepares materials responsive to open records requests related to in-person absentee voting. Research and resolve questions, problems, or inquiries from staff, citizens, and stakeholders. Provides oversight for candidate filing, petition management, and any inquiries of potential candidates. Oversees failsafe voting on Election Day at our office. Salary: $48,722 – $66,276 Annually, Deadline: May 1. Application: For the complete job listing and to apply, click here.
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