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April 14, 2022

April 14, 2022

In Focus This Week

7 Considerations for Talking to Your Constituents About Elections

By Amanda Zoch, Ph.D., Project Manager, Elections & Redistricting
National Conference of State Legislatures

This article was originally published in the National Conference of State Legislatures’ election administration newsletter, The Canvass, on April 4. Although the piece is directed at state legislators, many of the suggestions for managing mis- and disinformation may be helpful for election officials, as well.

Election administration, once the behind-the-scenes work of democracy, has taken center stage in the public sphere. Voters are no longer focused on just their own ballots, but on the entire election system—following and entering national debates about voting machines, poll watchers, voter registration list maintenance and more.

Add the spread of election misinformation, disinformation and malinformation, known as MDM, to this heightened public attention, and the average voter can easily become confused about what’s what.

If you’re a legislator, you can help.

Whether you’re a social media Luddite or a TikTok pro, all lawmakers are influencers. And as community leaders with firsthand experience running in elections, you are well positioned to explain how your state’s elections work and to combat any MDM that corrodes trust in that system. “Legislators are respected in their communities,” says Tennessee Rep. Johnny Shaw (D), “so they need to use that role to instill confidence.” Believe it or not, what you say, write, post or tweet can guide public perception on the accuracy and security of elections.

Of course, explaining elections and addressing MDM are not easy tasks. Elections are complex; MDM is pervasive. But as Carly Koppes, county clerk and recorder of Weld County, Colo., explains, “Putting in the effort to help someone understand the truth can also make them an advocate for your local elections.” A single hard conversation could have long-lasting benefits.

NCSL does not have all the answers, but here are seven points to consider when talking to—and preparing to talk to—your constituents about elections.

1 — Do Your Homework
Election officials frequently encounter what Charles Stewart III, an MIT political science professor and director of the MIT Election Data + Science Lab, calls “how-hard-can-it-be-ism”: How hard can it be to count votes? How hard can it be to conduct an audit? How hard can it be to process absentee ballots?

What these questions assume is that running an election is simple—but that’s simply not true. Whether your state uses all-mail elections or prioritizes in-person voting, elections are complex, and that’s often a good thing, especially when it comes to security.

Before you can explain the ins and outs of your state’s elections system to constituents, you’ll want to take your elections knowledge from the 100 level to 200-plus. One of the best ways to do that is to tour your local elections office(s). You’ll learn from the experts how your state’s elections are managed and get the information you need to respond to constituents’ questions. Plus, you’ll strengthen your relationship with your local election officials—and that can pay off down the road when crafting election legislation.

2 — Be an Advocate for Your State’s Elections
You might not love everything about your state’s elections system, but that doesn’t mean it’s fatally flawed. Every state has mechanisms in place to ensure security and accuracy, and highlighting those features in your state can create a powerful defense against MDM.

Recent research has found that MDM spreads faster in online environments than the truth. One way to mitigate that is through “pre-bunking,” preempting MDM by correcting (or “debunking”) false claims in advance. The rumor control guide from the U.S. Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) offers examples for pre-bunking election MDM.

Sometimes constituents raise concerns about how another state runs elections. Kim Wyman, CISA’S senior election security advisor and former Washington secretary of state, cautions against the “Our state’s elections are good, but I’m not so sure about others” attitude—such narratives sow doubt in elections more broadly.

Tennessee Secretary of State Tre Hargett handles such comparative questions by emphasizing federalism: “Other states have all adopted the policies that work for them, and they’re working just as hard as we are to follow their law and to count every vote accurately.”

3 — Amplify Other Experts
Having all the answers is hard; fortunately, you don’t need to. Election officials and their websites are readily available resources that can answer many constituent questions.

In 2019, the National Association of Secretaries of State launched a public information campaign to promote election officials as trusted sources of information. Sharing voter information directly from your state and local election offices and using the campaign’s hashtag, #TrustedInfo2022, on social media can help voters go directly to election officials, rather than to your office (or worse, purveyors of MDM), when they have questions about polling place locations, how to request an absentee ballot and more. (The TrustedInfo2022 Supporter Toolkit offers sample social media content.)

Supporting local election officials and poll workers can also build confidence in elections and those who run them. “These election judges are your neighbors, your community members,” Koppes says, “and they’re taking time out of their lives to contribute to our living and breathing government.”

4 — Chose Your Words Thoughtfully
With 50 states, Washington, D.C., and five territories each running elections with varying terminology, it’s no surprise that voters often get confused. “Advance ballots,” “mail ballots,” “by-mail ballots,” “mail-in ballots,” “vote-by-mail ballots”—all are phrases used to refer to absentee ballots, for example. (See NCSL’s note on terminology in Voting Outside the Polling Place.) When talking about elections, try to be consistent with what your state’s election offices use—making terminology consistent between state law and everyday practice could be good too.

Beyond consistency, the words you use matter. For example, Tammy Smith, the administrator of elections in Wilson County, Tenn., urges legislators to say “remove from the voter rolls” rather than “purge” when referring to voter registration list maintenance. After all, keeping voter registration rolls accurate and current is an important part of an efficient and secure election; the negative connotation of “purge” can cast doubt on a routine process.

It can also be alienating to use technical jargon that voters might not understand, and thus might not trust. “Bring it down to the fifth-grade level,” Koppes says.

5 — Chose Your Tone Thoughtfully
Tennessee Rep. Tim Rudd (R) puts it plainly: “Don’t mock people.” Even if a constituent’s concerns strike you as ridiculous, ridicule won’t be a productive response. “Listen to them, let them get it out, and then see what you can work on together,” he says.

Sometimes, constituents might not know what your state’s laws are—that you do in fact prohibit voting machines from being connected to the internet, for example. Koppes encourages legislators and others to “show people the laws.” That way, they don’t need to just take your word, and doing so might establish common ground on which you can have a calm conversation based on the facts in your state.

6 — Encourage Constituents to Get Involved
People can learn a lot about how elections are run and what safeguards are built into the process by serving as poll workers. So when constituents reach out to you seeking information during election season, urge them to sign up. Being a poll worker is a great way to learn the nuts and bolts of elections—plus, poll workers get paid, and in some states, attorneys, realtors and accountants can receive continuing education credit.

What about people who want to be poll watchers? “Encourage people who want to be poll watchers to be poll workers,” says Tennessee local election official Smith. After all, election officials often struggle to recruit enough poll workers, and our elections can’t run—polls can’t open, ballots can’t be counted, voter questions can’t be answered—without them. Plus, poll workers undergo specialized training and can become spokespeople for how elections really work.

7 — Decide When to Engage and When to Abstain
The phone calls, emails, tweets and Facebook messages you receive about elections might seem like a never-ending game of whack-a-mole, and it’s just not possible to respond to every single one. Instead, consider when it will be most meaningful to respond. That concerned constituent who lingers after your town hall? Yes, definitely. That Twitter user with six followers? Probably not.

Having a litmus test for what’s worth your time and effort can help you manage multiple priorities, but it can also help squash the spread of MDM. “You don’t want to amplify the small things,” as Hargett says, so responding to a troll—even with a smart debunk—might be counterproductive.

In short, addressing election MDM is not easy, and legislators will need to find the style, stories and substance that work best for them and their constituents.

Want more information? Tune In

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.


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Election News This Week

U.S. Postal Service News: In an interview with The Washington Post this week, Post Master General Louis DeJoy said that the U.S. Postal Service would work to expedite ballots during the 2022 election cycle. From the article: Let’s talk about voting by mail. Will the Postal Service commit to using the same “extraordinary measures” — dedicated ballot-expediting procedures — in the 2022 midterm elections that it used in elections in 2020 and in 2021?: The answer is yes. It has never been in question. It’s like you tie your shoes when you walk out the door and then you see a judge who says, ‘You must tie your shoes in the future.’ It was kind of a ridiculous accusation. And listen, that’s not me. That was the organization that was here before. Now I may have aligned the network, had more meetings, done a little more stuff. And when you look at all the changes I’m making, I’m one person. I didn’t bring in outside consultants. This is internal postal genetics. So we always use the extraordinary measures. We don’t need a judge to tell us, we don’t need a nonprofit to tell us. We use our best efforts to make sure every ballot that we get our hands on will get delivered. We have done it. It shows in the results. So we’ll continue to do that.” The Biden budget wants to give the Postal Service $5 billion for mail-in voting to make ballots postage free, reduce certain election-related costs and more. Do you want that money? Do you need that money? “We are interested in, to the extent that the states can standardize and use first-class mail and so on and so forth, I think it creates more reliability. We’re the most consistent thing in voting by mail. Everybody else changes rules every year. We’ve been pretty stable in that regard. But we don’t advocate for anything in that regard. This is the nation’s policy.”

Election Funding: During a speech at a TED conference this week, Center for Tech and Civic Life (CTCL)’s Tianna Epps-Johnson said the new U.S. Alliance for Election Excellence would send $80 million in the next five years to election departments across the United States in need of basic funding for equipment replacement and other resources. “The United States election infrastructure is crumbling,” Epps-Johnson said. “Election officials who serve millions of voters lack the basic technology they need to reliably do their work. It either doesn’t exist or it’s shockingly outdated.” The proposed $80 million will not include funds from Mark Zuckerberg and Priscilla Chan. The U.S. Alliance for Election Excellence is a nonpartisan collaborative bringing together election officials, designers and technology experts to support U.S. elections. It is led by the Center for Tech and Civic Life, and its partners include the Center for Civic Design, the Center for Secure and Modern Elections, the Elections Group, Hasso Plattner Institute of Design at Stanford University, the Prototyping Systems Lab at the University of California at Davis and U.S. Digital Response. Its funding comes through the Audacious Project, a TED initiative that brings together social entrepreneurs with private donors. The alliance was one of five such initiatives debuted Monday at TED 2022.

Thank Election Heroes Day: April 12 was “Thank Election Heroes Day”, a national effort to, well, say thank you to elections officials! Advocacy groups such as the League of Women Voters and Common Cause stopped by elections offices throughout the country to say thank you to elections staff. In Camden, Maine the local chapter of the LWV stopped by the town clerk’s office with flowers and small gifts. In Montgomery County, Maryland, bouquets of flowers in Mason jars filled a table with a poster-sized thank-you card as Kool & the Gang’s “Celebration” blared from a portable speaker Tuesday in the parking lot of the Montgomery County Board of Elections. Nancy Soreng, co-president of the League of Women Voters of Maryland, led a cheer: “Election heroes! We love you!” Common Cause New Mexico participated in the day as well by sending thank you notes to elections officials.  “These officials are no longer just running elections,” Monet Silva, associate director of Common Cause New Mexico said. “They are myth busters, contending with disinformation, standing up for fairness and democracy on the frontlines.” members of 603 Forward came to the Manchester, Vermont City Clerk’s office to give thank you cards and baked goods to election workers. “Election workers are heroes in our communities,” said Matt Mooshian, Claremont City Councilor and 603 Forward Advocacy and Engagement Director. “We are showing our support because of the increasing threats and dangerous rhetoric against the elected officials and volunteers who tirelessly facilitate the bedrock of our democracy: free and fair elections. The hostility posed by right-wing activists who promote election fraud conspiracy theories does not represent how the overwhelming majority of people in communities across our state feel about our elections. We are grateful for the hard work of our election officials and volunteers!”

Early Voting Update: Following a second place finish at the Wood Memorial, trainer Chad Brown is still trying to determine which Triple Crown race 3-year-old Early Voting will participate in. “We haven’t made a decision yet,” Brown said April 13. “I want to see how he does this week and how the field comes into shape with any defections and get more of a feel for the horse. How the pace comes together will play a big part. It’s a tough decision. He took a big jump in his last start, which was only his third lifetime, so an extra two weeks is appealing (for the May 21 Preakness). But if you are among the top dozen choices for the Derby, which I believe he is, it’s hard to pass up.” Brown told BloodHorse that he plans to work Early Voting, giving him two full weeks off since the Wood, which the colt led for the majority of the race only to lose by a neck in the end. We’ll definitely keep you posted.

Personnel News: Bob Giles is retiring as the New Jersey director of elections. Scott Konopasek has resigned as the general registrar in Fairfax County, Virginia, former election manager Eric Spicer will fill the role through June 2023. Krista Terry is the sole finalist for the Stephens County, Georgia elections supervisor position. Mesa County Clerk Tina Peters will be on the ballot to run for Colorado secretary of state. Genesee County, Michgan Clerk John Gleason, was arrested and arraigned on a felony charge related to interfering with a witness in connection with actions he took after an investigation was opened into a marriage he performed. Lacey Todd is the new Midland, Michigan city clerk. David Dietrich, a member of the electoral board in the city of Hampton, Virginia has resigned. Jeffrey Powell has announced his candidacy for the North Dakota secretary of state position. Pointe Coupee Parish, Louisiana Registrar of Voter Shanik Olinde was recently named the 2022-2023 president of the Louisiana Registrar of Voters Association. Washoe County, Nevada Registrar of Voters Deanna Spikula is on leave for an undetermined amount of time.

In Memoriam: David Abernethy, a Hickory lawyer and longtime member of the Catawba County, North Carolina Board of Elections, died last week. He was 67 years old. Abernethy died at Catawba Valley Medical Center after a brief illness, according to his obituary. He served two terms as a Republican member of the board, the first from 1989 to 1998 and the second from 2018 until his death. Abernethy was chairman of the board in the early 1990s and from 2018 to 2019. “He was a great team player,” Amanda Duncan, Catawba County Board of Elections director, said. His other professional activities included service as a District Court judge and work as a patent attorney and as a staff attorney for Catawba County Social Services, according to his obituary.

Legislative Updates

Federal Legislation: A group of U.S. House of Representatives Democrats proposed legislation requiring employers give their workers paid time off to vote, following failed attempts by Congress to pass major voting rights legislation earlier this year. The “Time Off to Vote Act” would close gaps in state laws, U.S. Representative Nikema Williams of Georgia said in a statement, citing the long lines at polling places seen in her state and others during previous elections. The new narrow bill would “ensure no worker has to sacrifice their wages or jeopardize their job security to exercise their sacred right to vote,” Democratic Representative Andy Levin, a co-sponsor, said in a statement.


Alabama: Alabama lawmakers voted to ban election offices from accepting donations and grants from private organizations to help fund voting operations, including voter registration, education and outreach. If signed into law, Alabama would be the latest state to ban such donations— a movement at least partly fueled by conservatives’ suspicion about donations by Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg in 2020. The Alabama Senate approved the bill on a 25-7 vote with Republicans in support and Democrats opposed. The bill now goes to Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey for her consideration. The bill would make it a misdemeanor for a public official to accept donations, grants and donated services from an individual or a nongovernmental entity to help fund election-related expenses or voter education, voter outreach, or voter registration programs.

Arizona: The House voted to delay the effective date for legislation signed last month requiring voters to provide evidence of their citizenship, which has already prompted two lawsuits amid fears by voting-rights advocates that it could cancel the registrations of thousands of people. If approved by the Senate and Republican Gov. Doug Ducey, the citizenship requirement would take effect after the 2022 election, a concession demanded by a Republican lawmaker who provided the final vote to pass the bill out of the Senate. As it stands now, that requirement and others in a bill signed March 30 will take effect 90 days after the legislative session ends, which is likely to fall between the primary and general election. The update also would make a technical change that appears aimed at addressing concerns that the bill could potentially require hundreds of thousands of people who registered before 2005 to provide proof of their citizenship.

Colorado: The House State, Civic, Military, & Veterans Affairs Committee advanced a bill to add protections for elections workers after hearing disturbing testimony about escalating threats that have prompted many to quit or take security training so they feel safe in their public-service work. State and local elections officials told the Committee that their workers, from municipal front-office staff to county clerks to the state’s highest-ranking elections officials, have experienced an escalation of threats since the 2020 presidential election. The threats — delivered by email, phone, or by the posting on social media of home addresses of workers and their family members — have left some local authorities confronting staff shortages ahead of Colorado’s June primaries and the November midterms. Crafted with the input of prosecutors and the Colorado County Clerks Association, the bill would allow elections workers to have their personal information, such as home addresses, redacted from public records that could be accessed by others. It also creates a misdemeanor crime for anyone using personal information to threaten or influence elections workers, punishable by a fine of up to $1,000 or a jail term up to 364 days, or both. Threatening or intimidating election officials while they are working or retaliating them because of their work would be punishable by a fine of up to $750 or 120 days in jail, or both. The committee advanced the legislation for consideration by the full House on an 8-2 bipartisan vote.

Gov. Jared Polis has signed a state bill that helps solidify the voting rights of a select minority facing a litany of rebuilding challenges. Polis signed SB22-152 into law. It allows Marshall Fire victims who are already registered as Colorado voters, and who are planning to return to their currently uninhabitable properties, to use those addresses to vote. “This law offers voters displaced by the fire the peace of mind that they will still be able to easily cast their ballot in their communities,” said Rep. Tracey Bernett, D-Louisville. According to the new law, the address that displaced victims use for vehicle registration, as well as for tax purposes, does not need to match the address used for voting purposes. This applies to both renters and homeowners.  When it comes to what this law will do in regard to future disasters and the resulting victims, it extends identical protections for Colorado’s voters displaced by natural disasters that include fires, floods and tornadoes.

Connecticut: Gov. Ned Lamont signed a bill late last week that expands the use of absentee ballot voting in Connecticut. Effective immediately, House Bill 5262 redefines a “sickness” as an acceptable reason for absentee voting. In addition to a personal voter’s illness, it would now apply to a voter taking care of someone else’s health, such as an ill relative. “This slight change better aligns our state laws with that allowed under the constitution,” Lamont said in a statement. “We should be doing everything we can to encourage qualified voters to cast a ballot, and this is a responsible step forward in that direction.”

District of Columbia: According to The Washington Post, Councilmember Charles Allen (D-Ward Six), who chairs the committee that has oversight of the city’s elections, a bill proposing mobile voting will not be moving forward. The bill had support from eight members of the 13-person Council and groups like the D.C.branch of the NAACP. “Council member Allen is not planning to move forward with a hearing on mobile voting legislation,” Allen’s deputy chief of staff, Erik Salmi, told The Cybersecurity 202. “He has heard from numerous elections and cybersecurity experts, as well as residents, with serious concerns” about mobile voting bills, Salmi said when asked about the bill, which was proposed by council member Brooke Pinto (D-Ward 2).

Kentucky: A bill aimed at strengthening the voting process in Kentucky was vetoed by Gov. Andy Beshear. Beshear said Senate Bill 216 reduces transparency by requiring campaign finance reports from candidates. “Without quarterly reports, candidates will be able to draft bills and serve on interim legislative committees, while receiving donations in secret,” Beshear said.. The measure passed with bipartisan support. The Legislature voted to overturn Beshear’s veto. “I am grateful to the General Assembly for overriding the Governor’s veto of Senate Bill 216. This new law expands our post-election audit process; places our voting machines under video surveillance during non-voting hours of election periods; and accomplishes full transition to paper ballots during my term of office. These common-sense reforms will improve not only our election process, but also public confidence in our elections,” Secretary of State Michael Adams said.

Beshear did sign House Bill 564 into law. The new law expands early voting in and guarantees protections for poll workers. Adams said this law added the clarity needed to ensure all polling places are open at least 8 hours for early voting including a Saturday. The bill also makes it a felony under Kentucky law to threaten election workers.

Maine: Individuals who threaten or intimidate Maine election workers could face criminal charges under a proposal sent to Gov. Janet Mills for consideration. The legislation, which was approved by the state Senate, will make it a misdemeanor for anyone to interfere “by force, violence, intimidation or any physical act” with a state, county or local election official in the performance of their duty. The House of Representatives previously approved the measure. The bill’s primary sponsor, Rep. Bruce White, D-Waterville, said he filed the measure in response to an “alarming increase in the number of death threats and violence made against election workers and officials across the country – including here in our home state.” The legislation is also backed by Secretary of State Shenna Bellows, who has also cited a rise in documented threats against the election officials throughout the country. Originally, the legislation called for making it a felony to interfere with the election officials, but lawmakers scaled it back to a misdemeanor charge during committee hearings on the bill. A fiscal note attached to the bill estimated that the changes won’t require additional funding from the state but could increase the amount of money from fines if people are charged with violating the proposed law.

Nebraska: A clean-up bill that would make numerous changes to election law in Nebraska was amended to become an omnibus election measure and advanced to select file April 6. LB843, as introduced by Sen. Tom Brewer of Gordon, would make several minor changes to current law. Among other provisions, the bill would: prohibit electioneering within 200 feet of a ballot drop box; establish a deadline of 8 p.m. Central time or 7 p.m. Mountain time on Election Day for receipt of mail-in ballots; allow voters who cannot sign their name to use either a symbol or a signature stamp; allow county election commissioners to appoint certain election officials who live outside of the county if that county conducts elections exclusively by mail; require non-governmental organizations distributing voter registration forms or early ballot application forms to use those prescribed by the Nebraska secretary of state; allow an election commissioner or county clerk to remove a voter from the voter registry if they receive information from the state Department of Motor Vehicles that the voter has moved out of state; and establish procedures for removing a voter from a county’s early ballot request list.

New Hampshire: House lawmakers heard public testimony on a bill that would create trackable ballots for voters who don’t bring proper identification or other documents to the polls, allowing their votes to be erased from vote tallies if they don’t later provide proof of their eligibility to cast a ballot. Republicans in the Senate passed SB 418 in March, contending it would tamp down on unverified voters participating in New Hampshire elections, despite any evidence of widespread participation by residents of other states casting ballots in the state. Opponents say the measure would sow confusion into the process and potentially violates the state constitution. Under the plan, voters who don’t have proper identification would cast a newly created affidavit ballot, which would be numbered and traceable by election officials. Voters would then have 10 days to mail necessary documentation to the Secretary of State’s office to prove their eligibility, or their ballots would be scrapped and the final results amended. Under current state law, voters who don’t have proper identification to prove their citizenship, identity and age may cast a ballot if they sign an affidavit swearing to their eligibility to vote in New Hampshire, with potential legal penalties and fines for fraudulent submissions. The House Election Law committee slimmed down the legislation that would create a provisional ballot in New Hampshire’s election system. Now, a small number of ballots will be targeted. The concern over military voters remains an issue. Democrats said they could not support the bill because the review time for provisional ballots could mean those overseas votes don’t arrive by election day.

The Senate is set to pass a bill aimed at helping students with disabilities register to vote. House Bill 1594 proposes to do that by including voter registration in a student’s plan of study for those students who are already following an individualized education program. Rep. Mark Paige, an Exeter Democrat and the bill’s prime sponsor, said it uses a framework that is already in place for students with disabilities to ensure voter registration is addressed before graduation. Supporters say the bill is needed because students with disabilities may pursue a separate curriculum from their peers, and could miss civics education and feel unwelcome from participating in civic society.  The bill also has the support of the Disability Rights Center, ABLE NH, and at least one educator. At a hearing this month, 91 people registered in support of the bill and three in opposition. The bill has received bipartisan support in both House and Senate committees. The Senate Education Committee unanimously recommended the bill pass into law and put it on the consent calendar for Thursday, which means it could pass the Senate floor without debate.

New York: As a part of the new budget, the New York State Legislature and Governor Kathy Hochul have passed legislation to mandate polling places on college campuses with 300 or more registered students or at a nearby site proposed by the college. The legislation will also prevent the division of college campuses into multiple voting districts.



Ohio: A new bill introduced would tighten the state’s voter ID rules. Senate Bill 320, sponsored by state Sen. Theresa Gavarone, R-Huron, would require people voting in-person to show a photo ID. Those voting by mail would need to provide the last four digits of their Social Security number and either the number or a photocopy of their Ohio driver’s license or state ID. The bill would also allow Ohioans ages 17 and up to get a free state ID.  A spokesman for Secretary of State Frank LaRose said his team is reviewing the proposal. If passed, Ohio voters would no longer be able to use utility bills, paychecks or other forms of ID currently permitted under state law.

Rep. Ron Ferguson has filed a bill that would help local election authorities cover the costs of two primaries in Ohio. “That cost, actually, would fall on the counties,” Ferguson said. “If we don’t take initiative here at the state level to pay for it. It’s not fair to the counties. So, I’ve actually reached out to the local county commissioners. Spoken to Tony Morelli, J.P. Dutton and Mick Schumacher in Jefferson, Belmont and Monroe counties. I told them that what I am proposing to do is take money from the Ohio Supreme Court budget and reallocate it to this election so that counties aren’t footing the bill.” Across the state, the cost of a proposed August primary is estimated by Secretary of State Frank LaRose at $20 to $25 million. Ferguson said, locally, the costs vary from about $35,000 for Monroe County to $140,000 in Belmont County.

Pennsylvania: Less than a week after its introduction and a month before the primary election, the Republican-controlled state Senate has pushed through legislation eliminating ballot drop boxes. The upper chamber voted 29-20 along party lines to approve the GOP-authored bill requiring voters who don’t return mail-in ballots through the U.S. Postal Service to deliver them to their county elections office instead of depositing them into a drop box. The bill now goes to the House of Representatives. “The ballots are called mail-in ballots — not drop box ballots,” Sen. Cris Dush, R-Jefferson, the bill’s author, said on the Senate floor. First used in the 2020 primary election, ballot drop boxes have faced criticism from legislative Republicans, who accused the Pennsylvania Supreme Court of overstepping its constitutional authority by authorizing their use without approval from the General Assembly. Senate President Pro Tempore Jake Corman, R-Centre, and Senate Majority Leader Kim Ward, R-Westmoreland, argued that the legislation aims to reinstill faith in the electoral process and allow the General Assembly to decide whether to implement ballot drop boxes. “If you want drop boxes, put in legislation for drop boxes — not saying it’s going to pass, but it would be the proper channel,” Ward said.

Legislation intended to allow the state’s election officials to use more sources of information to clear voter rolls of dead people won unanimous approval in the House State Government Committee. The bipartisan bill grants election officials the authority to utilize more official data sources such as the Electronic Registration Information Center, or ERIC, to ensure voter rolls are up to date. Pennsylvania, although a member of ERIC since 2015, has not fully used its resources due to limitations outlined in the state’s election code, said Pennsylvania Department of State Deputy Secretary of Elections and Commission Jonathan Marks. Marks told the committee last week that the state’s election code is very prescriptive about what tools counties can use to removed deceased voters from voting rolls, namely newspaper obituaries and letters issued by county registrars of will. He said the department would welcome the opportunity to more fully utilize ERIC to maintain the accuracy of county voter rolls. It has found that data helpful to pick up changes of address and eliminate duplicate registrations that arise from people relocating to different towns and states, Marks said.

Vermont: The House gave preliminary approval to a bill that increases penalties for criminal threatening, particularly for threats against public officials, election workers and other state and local employees. The bill, S.265, makes it illegal to threaten an individual or group of people in a way that causes reasonable fear of death, serious injury or sexual assault. If the target of the threat is an election worker, holds public office, is a candidate for public office or is a public employee, there is a heightened penalty — up to two years in prison, a $2,000 fine or both.  The fine is also $2,000 if the threat would intimidate the target in a school, at the Statehouse, in a place of worship or at a polling place.  In other instances, the maximum penalty would be one year in prison, a $1,000 fine or both. In all cases, the charge is a misdemeanor.

The House gave initial approval to a Burlington charter change via voice vote. H.744 would establish ranked choice voting for city council elections.  Passed by Burlington voters on Town Meeting Day in 2021, the charter change would resurrect in part the city’s former method of tabulating election results. Under the ranked choice model, voters list their candidates in order of preference. If no candidate gets a majority of first-place votes, the tally factors in second-choice votes (or third, or fourth) until one candidate claims a majority. Rep. Jim Harrison, R-Chittenden, expressed concern that the measure would lessen the uniformity of voting systems around Vermont.  “Some of us have been concerned about consistency through our state in terms of voting laws, and this, it seems to me, goes the opposite direction,” Chittenden said.  But Rep. Laura Sibilia, I-Dover, said the change was good for Burlington’s civic health, because it would elect candidates who were top-of-mind for the highest number of voters.

Virginia: A bill recently signed into law by Governor Glenn Youngkin is changing the commonwealth’s election system. The bill alters how absentee ballots are counted, requiring local election officials to report them by precinct instead of putting them into one centralized precinct. The new rule will be effective as of July 1.



Wisconsin: Gov. Tony Evers (D) vetoed nine election bills. One bill vetoed by Evers would have given the Legislature’s budget committee the ability to withhold funding and cut jobs from the bipartisan state Elections Commission and other agencies if lawmakers determined they didn’t follow election laws or provided incorrect guidance to local officials. A similar bill Evers vetoed would have allowed the budget committee to block federal funding to the commission if lawmakers opposed how it planned to spend it.  That bill also would have let lawmakers from each political party select attorneys for the commissioners. Now, the commission of three Republicans and three Democrats are given nonpartisan attorneys.  Another bill Evers blocked would have banned election officials from accepting grants from private entities to help them run their elections. That bill also would have put new rules in place for voting at nursing homes during health emergencies. The legislation Evers vetoed would have allowed nursing home workers to assist with voting during a pandemic if special voting deputies could not visit the facilities. The legislation would have required most confined voters to provide a copy of an ID or the number on their state ID or driver’s license. Those who didn’t have an ID could have provided the last four digits of their Social Security number and a signed statement from another U.S. citizen affirming their identity. Other bills vetoed by Evers would have: required the state to conduct checks to ensure those on the voter rolls are United States citizens; required most voters to provide a copy of a photo ID every time they request an absentee ballot (instead of just the first time); and required election officials to label voters as ineligible to vote if the information on the voter rolls did not match their driver’s licenses. Other vetoed bills would have given a legislative committee a greater say in the guidance the Elections Commission gives to local officials and required courts to alert election officials when people called to jury duty reported that they are not U.S. citizens.

Legal Updates

Florida: Lawyers for Gov. Ron DeSantis, Attorney General Ashley Moody, and national Republican groups filed a notice that they will appeal a federal judge’s ruling that parts of a sweeping elections law were intended to discriminate against Black Floridians. Chief U.S. District Judge Mark Walker’s March 31 decision came in a lawsuit challenging a 2021 law imposing new restrictions on mail-in voting and third-party voter registration organizations. DeSantis and Republican legislative leaders quickly slammed the judge’s decision and vowed to appeal the ruling to the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. Speaking to reporters following Walker’s ruling, the governor said the judge’s decision was not unexpected and predicted it would be overturned by the Atlanta-based appeals court. “It was not unforeseen because we typically set our clocks to getting a partisan outcome in that court,” DeSantis said on April 1. “I would not want to be on the receiving end of that appeal if I were a judge, because I think that that’s going to be reversed on appeal. The only question is how quickly it gets reversed on appeal. But it’s not going to be able to withstand appellate scrutiny.”

Georgia: A long-awaited trial that will highlight complaints about voting problems in the 2018 and 2020 elections is began this week. The case has been building for 3 1/2 years since it was filed by Fair Fight Action, a group Democrat Stacey Abrams founded following her loss to Republican Brian Kemp in the 2018 election for governor. Now it will be decided by a judge as both candidates are running again. The lawsuit targets Georgia’s “exact match” voter registration rules and inconsistent absentee ballot cancellation practices, which the plaintiffs say created difficulties that disproportionately affected Black voters. The defendants in the case — Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger and state election officials — say they’ve already defeated many of the claims in earlier court rulings, leaving a narrow and flimsy case. The trial could last about a month and feature dozens of witnesses, including dismayed voters, election officials and preachers. Democratic U.S. Sen. Raphael Warnock is expected to testify by video.

Kansas: Four voter advocacy organizations are asking appeals court judges to block a Kansas election law ahead of the August primary. The League of Women Voters Kansas, Loud Light, Kansas Appleseed and Topeka Independent Living Resource Center are asking the Kansas Court of Appeals for an injunction against provisions in HB 2183 they contend criminalize voter registration drives. Hal Brewster, attorney for the plaintiffs, said the groups have stopped much of their work out of fear of prosecution. “The other night when KU cut down the nets in New Orleans and there was a party like you’ve never seen on Mass Street in Lawrence, Loud Light should have been out there registering voters, and they weren’t,” Brewster said. “They weren’t there because they thought they would get prosecuted. And that is in a county where the DA has said she’s not going to prosecute because it’s unconstitutional.” Secretary of State Scott Schwab and Attorney General Derek Schmidt are the defendants in the case.  The legal challenge focuses on a piece of the bill that criminalizes the impersonation of an election official, including conduct that gives the appearance of being an election official or causes someone to believe that. The Legislature overrode Gov. Laura Kelly’s veto of the bill last session. In addition to the impersonation crime, it contained provisions related to mail ballot postmarks, advance ballot signatures, deadlines, voter registration reports, delivery of advance ballots, electioneering and election office funding. Some of those provisions are being challenged in the lawsuit but are not the subject of the injunction request. Shawnee County District Court Judge Teresa Watson has dismissed the lawsuit.

Louisiana: Judge Kendrick Guidry has ordered a new election for Sulphur City Council District 2. Guidry made the decision after an afternoon of testimony in district court, declaring the March 26 Sulphur City Council race null and void. The new election will be June 4, with early voting May 21 through 28. The council race was marred when some voters were not placed into the correct district after recent redistricting. Calcasieu Registrar of Voters Kim Fontenot took the stand, admitting she made a mistake – 30 people were initially left off the voting list for District 2 and two people voted who should not have. Fontenot was questioned at length about changes in district lines. Attorneys for the winning candidate argued that the affected voters would not make up for the difference in votes but Guidry found the irregularities were substantial and that calling voters turned away and inviting them back was not a suitable remedy.

Maryland: The Maryland Court of Appeals rejected a challenge to a General Assembly-approved map of state legislative districts that multiple lawsuits from Republican politicians and voters contended violated provisions of the state’s constitution. The ruling allows the new districts for electing members of the General Assembly to go into effect for the July 19 primary elections without further delay. The filing deadline for candidates wishing to appear on the ballot is Friday at 9 p.m. The court issued a five-page order and said it will give its reasons later in an opinion. About four hours before the ruling was made public, the lawyers seeking to overturn the new legislative districts appeared before the Court of Appeals to ask that it reject Wilner’s recommendations and strike down the map. A panel of seven judges heard the case, one via video. Elections officials had warned in a legal filing that a Court of Appeals decision throwing out the legislative maps would leave them too little time to implement any changes before the July primary. The State Board of Elections also warned that postponing the primary later than Aug. 16 would endanger plans for the Nov. 8 general election.

Montana: Montana Secretary of State Christi Jacobsen has vowed to fight District Court Judge Michael Moses ruling that temporarily blocked several new election laws passed in 2021. . “We’ve seen record turnover in the jobs of election officials with numerous new election officials trained to run their first election in the coming weeks,” began Jacobsen. “This decision destroys the training that they had just received over the past year to confidently run their upcoming local elections.” Jacobsen blamed big money political groups for attempting to overthrow the will of the Montana people who supported these new election laws. “Montana’s judicial system should not be able to be bought, paying millions of dollars to out of state lawyers to meddle with Montana elections is unacceptable,” she said. “Montana’s election system matters, and we will fight and do everything we can to provide relief to all the parties involved and impacted by this chaotic decision.”

New York: Appellate Division Justice Stephen K. Lindley declined to slow down New York’s primary elections amid a battle over the state’s redistricting plan, but said he would allow a lower court judge to hire an expert to draw up alternative congressional district maps in case the disputed ones ultimately get tossed. The ruling essentially hands the decision about the constitutionality of the redistricting plan over to a higher court, while creating one possible contingency for keeping the elections on schedule.  New York’s primary season was potentially upended last week when Judge Patrick McAllister, a Republican trial judge, declared that new political district maps heavily favoring Democrats had been drawn up illegally. He ordered the Legislature to quickly redraw the district boundaries, or he would appoint a neutral expert to do it for them. That ruling has been put on hold while the state appeals. An appeals court panel has scheduled another hearing for April 20. The case could ultimately be decided by New York’s highest court, the Court of Appeals. The primary has been scheduled for June 28.  In his ruling, Lindley said he would allow McAllister to retain a neutral expert to draw up a new congressional map, if he wishes to do so, to be used if the Legislature’s maps are eventually struck down.

Tennessee: Judge James Butler has ruled that the Shelby County Election Commission will not be required to open additional early voting sites during Holy Week. Butler also declined to restrain the Election Commission from implementing a resolution opening just its downtown location on the first two days of early voting, which begins April 13, then five other sites (the Agricenter, Arlington Safe Room, Baker Community Center, Dave Wells Community Center and Glenview Community Center) on the fourth day of early voting. No other sites will be open until April 18, 2022, for the May 2022 primaries. “The question is, do I disrupt the entire Shelby County election based on what I’ve heard at this point?” Butler asked. “And the court is not prepared to do that.” Butler determined that he had heard insufficient proof to determine that the Election Commission had violated the Tennessee Open Meetings Act or the Tennessee Constitution.

Wisconsin: The state Supreme Court heard oral arguments this week in the case that will likely determine whether drop boxes will be in place for the fall election. At issue is whether the Wisconsin Elections Commission can distribute guidance around policies like drop boxes without going through a more-robust rulemaking process that involves legislative oversight, and whether pandemic-era guidance that the WEC provided is consistent with existing state law. “I think that [WEC guidances] have the force of law, not by requiring clerks to do this, because WEC didn’t require them to do drop boxes, but WEC authorized them to do drop boxes,” said Rick Esenberg, the lawyer for the plaintiffs challenging the WEC drop box guidance. Also before the court was the question of who can return an absentee ballot. During the pandemic, the WEC rejected a proposal by Esenberg’s Wisconsin Institute for Law and Liberty that would have limited who can return an absentee ballot to only the voter that cast that ballot. Esenberg argued in court Wednesday that state law requires voters to cast the ballot themselves — whether by feeding the voting machine with their ballot on election day or returning an absentee ballot in the mail. Disability advocates say however, this will overtly disenfranchise a group of voters. “They suggest that every voter is able to mail their own ballot, place it in the mailbox or return it to their clerk if they try hard enough — that is offensive and it is false,” said Barbara Beckert of Disability Rights Wisconsin in a news conference after the oral arguments. “[Some voters] may

Opinions This Week

National Opinions: Election workers | Voter suppression, II | Voting rights | Election officials | Felon voting | Ballot counting; 2020

Arizona: Secretary of state | Election fraud | Attorney general

California: Ranked choice voting

Colorado: Election fraud

Florida: Ex-felon voting rights

Indiana: Election security | Voter confidence

Maine: Election workers

New York: Disqualified ballots

North Carolina: Ex-felon voting rights | Ranked choice voting

Ohio: Redistricting | Secretary of state

Pennsylvania: Ballot processing | Private funding | Free & open elections | Drop boxes | Youth vote

Texas: Vote by mail | Ranked choice voting

West Virginia: Joe Manchin | Election security

Wyoming: Park County | Ballot counting

Upcoming Events

Best Practices for Election Audits: Properly administered election audits are one of the most important tools states can use to improve voter confidence and election security. In 2020, however, state legislatures in multiple states used audits for the opposite goal of undermining the public’s faith in elections and the electoral results themselves. Join us on April 14, as representatives from the Brennan Center for Justice and the R Street Institute discuss the audits that followed the last election cycle and explore options to strengthen oversight of our elections going forward. This virtual panel discussion is hosted by Wayne Law’s Voting Rights and Election Law Society and the Levin Center at Wayne Law. When: April 14, 12:15pm Eastern. Where: Online.

2022 EAC Standards Board Annual Meeting: The U.S. Election Assistance Commission (EAC) Standards Board will hold their 2022 Annual Meeting primarily to discuss next steps regarding the VVSG 2.0 Requirements and implementation, the status of the EAC’s e-poll book pilot program, and supply chain issues affecting the 2022 midterm elections. This meeting will include a question-and-answer discussion between board members and EAC staff. Board members will also review FACA Board membership guidelines and policies with EAC Acting General Counsel and receive a general update about the EAC programming. The Board will also elect two new members to the Executive Board Committee. When: April 14, 1:30pm Eastern. Where: Online.

Beyond Winner-Take-All: Possibilities for Proportional Voting in the United States: At a time when many are rightly concerned about the health of American democracy, scholars and reformers are evaluating proposals to make democracy more functional and representative. One such proposal is to move beyond the winner-take-all electoral system used at the federal and state levels in the United States to enable adoption of proportional voting systems. What would be the impact of proportional voting in the United States, and what will it take to enact it?  Join panelists Rob Richie, President and CEO of FairVote, Rebecca Chavez-Houck, Community Engagement Consultant and Former Utah State Legislator, and Danielle Allen, James Bryant Conant University Professor at Harvard University in discussion. Archon Fung, Winthrop Laflin McCormack Professor of Citizenship and Self-Government at Harvard Kennedy School, Director of the Ash Center’s Democratic Governance Programs, will moderate. When: April 19, 4pm Eastern. 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 mmoretti@electionline.org.  Job postings must be received by 5pm on Wednesday in order to appear in the Thursday newsletter. Listings will run for three weeks or till the deadline listed in the posting.

Associate Director, Elections & Voting, Democracy Fund— Democracy Fund champions leaders and organizations that defend democracy and challenge our political system to be more open and just. We believe that experimentation, learning, and adaptation are key to the health and resilience of any system, whether it is our organization or the American political system. As grantmakers, we focus on listening and serving our grantees, who are visionaries and our collaborators. Voting is the single most significant way Americans exercise political power. The Elections & Voting Program works to ensure that all Americans, especially those who have been historically underrepresented at the polls, have the opportunity to fully participate in the democratic process and freely vote for the candidates and issues representing their communities. The Associate Director will help lead and strengthen the Elections & Voting Program’s work to create a more equitable and accessible election system and empower communities to defend voting rights when they are threatened. The Associate Director will also help coordinate this work with Democracy Fund’s other programs, with other foundations, and with election field leaders and organizations. Reporting to the Elections & Voting Program Director, the Associate Director will help manage a growing team of staff and projects across the program, with a particular focus on strengthening our grantmaking processes, internal communications, and team operations. The successful candidate will be a systems thinker and builder who can drive impact while cultivating the internal organization needed to achieve our goals. We are looking for a connector with a demonstrated track record of managing people and creating opportunities for growth, learning, and collaboration. This role will work with the Program Director and Elections & Voting team members to develop the next phase of our strategies, support learning and team growth, and contribute to shaping Democracy Fund’s strategy and position in the field. This position also supports the work of Democracy Fund Voice, a 501(c)(4) social welfare organization. Salary: Range begins at $149,040. Application: For the complete job listing and to apply, click here.

Communications Specialist, The U.S. Election Assistance Commission— The employee and supervisor collaborate to develop the approach, timelines and general framework for projects and, within these parameters, the employee independently plans and carries out the work involved in developing, maintaining, and managing media communication, coordinating with others as appropriate, interpreting and applying policy, determining the content and format for media communication, and consulting with the supervisor on questionable content or issues. The Director of Communications assigns special projects and assignments, defining the nature of the assignment, objectives to be achieved, and resources available. The employee independently resolves most problems that arise, keeping the Director informed on unusual, sensitive or controversial matters. Completed work is reviewed for achievement of objectives and consistency with governing laws, regulations, policies, and the EAC strategic plan. Salary: $74,950 – $95,824. 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.

Election Expert, The Elections Group— The Elections Group is seeking to grow its team of election professionals. You will work closely in supporting state and local election officials as they enhance or implement new programs and adapt procedures as necessary in a dynamic operating environment. Our team of election experts works quickly to provide guidance, resources and direct support in all areas of election administration, including security, audits, communications and operational support. This is an opportunity to be part of a collaborative and professional group of team members who are passionate about elections and serving the people who run them at every level of government. Our work model includes remote work with some travel required and competitive compensation. We will be hiring full, part-time and contract positions over the next several months. Application: For the complete job listing and to apply, click here.

Election Hardware Manager, Dallas County, Texas— Manages the lifecycle of election hardware by developing and maintaining processes, policies, systems and measurements. Manages the election hardware inventory; ensures quality control by assigning and deploying equipment; recommends, implements, and utilizes automation and tools to monitor and report on inventory; records and manages licenses, service agreements, and warranties for election hardware and related software/firmware; reviews, analyzes, and evaluates election hardware operations. Establishes and maintains an inventory of election related assets to include but not limited to ballot marking devices, ballot counters, electronic poll books, mobile networking equipment, computers/laptops, mobile devices, tablets, and related software and peripherals. Plans, monitors, and enforces the usage, tracking, and health of election hardware and software. Plans, monitors, and enforces configuration of election hardware to include installed software, security configuration, and election specific programming/configurations. Provides regular reports and analysis on asset usage and related costs. Documents and provides guidance and training on the usage, tracking, and maintenance of election hardware and related peripherals and software in coordination with vendors and election staff. Manages, trains and guides the work of staff in preparing, deploying, and supporting election hardware. Performs other duties as assigned. Salary: $5094.59- $6355.07. Application: For the complete job listing and to apply, click here.

Election Security Intelligence Analyst, Illinois State Board of Elections— Under administrative direction, serves as a team member identifying computer system vulnerabilities in partnership with the Illinois State Board of Elections and Department of Innovation and Technology for local election authorities and other state election partners. Identifies vulnerabilities and provides technical analysis and remediation recommendations for those affected computer systems, including forensic analysis for investigations, monitoring and reporting. Provides technical support to the Cyber Security Information Sharing Program Manager and Cyber Navigator Program Manager of the Illinois State Board of Elections Cyber Navigator Program in coordination with the Department of Innovation and Technology Security Operations Center.  Develops and recommends measures to safeguard systems before and after they are compromised.  Conducts monthly Tech Talks on election security and relevant cyber threats for local election authorities and their IT and security staff.  Develop annual cyber security training for local election authorities. Develops publications, guides, and other election security related resources for statewide distribution. Participates in the development of incident response plans, continuity of operation plans, and tabletop exercise training.  Serves on-call for emergency situations and Election Day.  Travel to attend training sessions, conferences, meetings, etc. is required. Serves as a team member identifying computer system vulnerabilities; reviews existing computer systems of local election authorities monitored by DoIT for security violations.  Document incidents as appropriate.  Perform analysis of systems for any weaknesses, technical flaws or vulnerabilities.  Identifies vulnerabilities and provides remediation recommendations for those affected computer systems, including forensic analysis for investigations, monitoring and reporting. Coordinates with regionally assigned cyber navigators to assist local election authorities information technology staff/vendor mitigate incidents or provide technical support. Monitors network traffic by utilizing intrusion detection devices and other technologies. Monitors activities such as automated notification of security breaches and automated or manual examination of logs, controls, procedures, and data.  Salary: $5,667 – $6,000 Monthly. Application: For the complete job listing and to apply, click here.

Election Specialist Lead, Thurston County, Washington — As a Lead Election Specialist, you will assist in the preparation and operation of County elections by coordinating or assisting with all ballot processing, hiring and training of extra help workers, and coordinating voter registration and education programs. There will be significant public contact, requiring effective communication and professional services to customers. Other responsibilities in this role would include, but are not limited to, the following: Assist the Division Manager in supervising and providing direction and training to assigned staff and employees. Assist with the review and approval of leave requests for extra help employees and monitors workloads and task distribution providing feed back to the Division Manager. In charge of communication with all districts and candidates to ensure all elected and appointed officials have taken their oath of office and that the oath of office is on file. Coordinate with other county departments for the set up and running of extra large voting center in high volume elections, ensuring that all statutory laws are being followed. Process and provide public record requests for voter data and election data. Communicate with customers in person, by phone, and through written correspondence to provide information regarding voter registration, election dates, ballots, laws, and procedures. Implement changes required by federal and state law within areas of responsibility and documents changes in policies and procedures. Salary: $3,819 – $5,079 Monthly. Application: For the complete job listing and to apply, click here.

Election Supervisor, Pinal County, Arizona — As an Elections Supervisor in Pinal County Arizona you will be an important part of a team that is committed to a singular goal: Administering Free, Fair and Secure Elections. This position requires someone that can exercise initiative, independent judgment and decision making in accordance with Pinal County policies as well as State and Federal Election laws. You will work with the Elections Director to manage full time staff as well as hire and train Elections poll workers. You must be highly ethical, organized and committed. Come work for Pinal County Elections where YOU can make a difference. Salary: $49,647 – $76,953. Application: For the complete job listing and to apply, click here.

Elections Manager, Washington County, Oregon— The Elections Manager is responsible for preparing and executing all elections within Washington County, the second largest county in Oregon. The Elections Manager will work with a staff of nine (9) and an annual budget of $3 million to serve approximately 400,000 registered voters. They will provide management and oversight to multiple activities, including overlapping elections; hiring and leading supervisory, professional, technical, and clerical staff; as well as, managing personnel issues such as discipline, staffing and recruitment. Salary: $100,348.20 – $128,019.96. Deadline: April 24. Application: For the complete job listing and to apply, click here.

Elections Supervisor, Dallas County, Texas— Assists with managing the administration and operation of an election program area, to include program planning, supervising the work of others, establishing goals and objectives, developing schedules, priorities and standards for achieving goals, and coordinating and evaluating program activities. Assists management by planning, organizing, delegating and overseeing the daily operations of one or more areas of responsibility associated with the election process. Oversees the election program area to ensure staffing coverage is adequate, and productivity standards are met and are effective develops and implements goals and objectives, performance measures and techniques to evaluate programmatic activities reviews correspondence and reports from local, state and or federal agencies analyzes statistical data and prepares and maintains related reports. Researches and maintains comprehensive knowledge and understanding of applicable laws, policies and procedures to effectively communicate with staff, and acts as liaison and departmental representative to elected officials, political representatives, candidates, judges, contracting customers, vendors, general public, and or other county, state and federal representatives to resolve problems, answer questions, provide assistance and modify policies/procedures. Hires and trains supervisory and support staff, evaluates performance and initiates disciplinary actions coordinates and monitors scheduling, productivity and workloads. Assists in budget preparation and maintains related data and reports. Performs other duties as assigned. Application: For the complete job listing and to apply, click here.

Executive Director, Elections, The Pew Charitable Trusts— The Executive Director will guide the efforts of several interested philanthropic funders, which aim to advance evidence-based and nonpartisan solutions that improve the access to, integrity of, and trustworthiness of the U.S. election administration system. This position will lead a team of 3-4 staff to drive transformative investments, and will be accountable for developing investment recommendations, allocating resources to sourcing and due diligence, supporting fundraising, and providing leadership to drive progress and performance. The ideal candidate will have significant and distinguished work experience relevant to election administration and U.S. democracy, managing senior-level professional staff, and working with executive leadership, boards, or donors. This senior role requires a proven track record of leadership and accomplishment in designing and implementing programs aimed at solving complex and dynamic problems. The individual in this role must understand best, promising, and emerging practices and innovations in the field of election administration, and have well-honed political, strategic and analytical skills. The Executive Director must be flexible and results-oriented, with exceptional interpersonal, relationship-building and communication skills, and experience translating concepts into action, with a proven record of success in developing and implementing innovative strategies and solutions with the engagement of a broad set of stakeholders. This position will report to the Executive Vice President and Chief Program Officer. The position has a set time frame that could be extended based on the success of the program, funding sources, and board decisions on continued support. Application: For the complete job listing and to apply, click here.

Executive Director, National Association of State Election Officials— The Election Center Board of Directors is inviting highly qualified professionals to apply for the Executive Director position. Tim Mattice, who has successfully served the Election Center for 16 years, is retiring in December 2022. The Election Center Board of Directors invites you to apply to be the next Executive Director for the Election Center – The National Association of Election Officials. The new Executive Director will be the leader of the oldest and most respected organization formed exclusively for election and voter registration officials. This is an opportunity to lead the organization into the future focusing on the strategic plan, providing service and education to members, and helping to preserve democracy. 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.

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.

Initiative Internship Program, Arizona Secretary of State’s Office—The Arizona Secretary of State’s Office is offering a paid Initiative Internship Program working with the Elections Division for 6 weeks (June 27 to August 8, 2022), for students who want to learn about election administration and support the initiative review process leading up to the 2022 election. An intern with the Elections Division, will learn about the application of state law through the initiative process. Interns will contribute to the team by assisting with the processing of initiative petitions. There will be in-person as well as remote processing requirements, and an intern must be available for both. Students or recent graduates interested in public service and witnessing democracy in action are encouraged to apply. Application: For the complete job listing and to apply, click here.

Information Technology Security Analyst, Illinois State Board of Elections— The IT Security Analyst reports directly to the Manager of Cyber Operations and Infrastructure. Supports the administration, implementation, review, and improvement of endpoint, network, hardware, application, and data security practices. Implements, supports and monitors the agency’s information security applications, including email security, web security, endpoint security software, firewalls, intrusion prevention applications, data loss prevention, etc. Monitors system dashboards and logs for threat indicators. Analyzes data and performs necessary incident response procedures. Conducts network, system and application vulnerability assessments. Analyzes agency threat surface and makes recommendations to management to harden agency systems. Evaluates agency processes and implements and/or makes recommendations to enhance security. Reviews information received concerning threat events from end users, supervisory personnel, other federal, state, county and local agencies and governmental entities involved in the exchange of data with the State Board of Elections (SBE), external entities such as the Multi-State Information Sharing and Analysis Center (MS-ISAC), Elections Infrastructure Information Sharing and Analysis Center (EI-ISAC), trusted cybersecurity vendors, law enforcement agencies, and public information sources. Consults with SBE staff on security issues. Provides a high level of customer service to agency staff, state, county, and local election officials. Ensures service desk queues and incidents are handled in an appropriate and timely manner. Salary: $6,264 – $8,917 Monthly. 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.

Multistate Project Manager, Election Reformers Network— The specialist will assist our Vice President of Programs in building and maintaining relationships with state-level stakeholders. Key responsibilities will include: Preparing analysis of state election administration structures and laws, and of political landscape for reform; Self-directed communication and coalition-building with election officials, nonprofit organizations, and other actors from across the ideological spectrum; Tracking and maintaining relationships across multiple states; Clearly communicating and distilling complicated information to interested audiences; Scheduling remote conference calls and video calls across multiple time zones; Providing input on ERN reports, op-eds and other publications. This role offers a great opportunity to be a part of the solution to the country’s pressing democracy challenges. 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. The specialist will work remotely, most likely on a half-time basis, though the time frame is open to discussion. The specialist will report to the Executive Director (based in Newton, MA) and Vice President of Programs (based in Santa Fe, New Mexico). 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.

Research Associate, Data Analysis, CEIR— The Research Associate will work under the direction of the Research Director and in collaboration with other colleagues to support CEIR’s research initiatives. These initiatives include matters pertaining to voter registration, voter access, election integrity and security, and election administration policy. As an integral member of the research team, the Research Associate will support CEIR’s mission by developing and conducting surveys and studies, analyzing data, and contributing to research reports and other written materials for CEIR’s diverse audience of election officials, policymakers, the media, and key stakeholders. Primary responsibilities: Collect and clean data, analyze data using statistical software, visualize findings, and develop presentations on results for internal and external audiences; Brief members of the leadership and research teams on research results, including through graphs, charts, and other data visualization tools; Synthesize findings and help draft reports, issue briefs, and other written products for publication; As a member of the research team, help assess where CEIR’s work can have the biggest impact, identify growth opportunities, and develop research proposals; Assist with all research activities, including project design, data collection and analysis, and dissemination of findings; Develop deep expertise on issues relevant to CEIR’s mission, including policies affecting election administration and voter access; Monitor trends, research, and publications in the election space to inform CEIR’s research portfolio; Promote a team culture of high performance and continuous improvement that values learning, quality, collaboration, positivity, and transparency; Maintain effective communication with team members and participate in regular team meetings. Application: For the complete job listing and to apply, click here.

Senior Programmer Analyst, Clark County, Nevada— This position provides project and program leadership to professional and technical staff; performs applications systems design, modification and programming of a routine to complex nature in support of County administrative and business services for multiple computer platform applications. Provides lead direction, training and work review to a programming project team; organized and assigns work, sets priorities, and follows-up and controls project status to ensure coordination and completion of assigned work. Provides input into selection, evaluation, disciplinary and other personnel matters. Gathers and analyzes information regarding customer systems and requirements and develops or modifies automated systems to fulfill these needs. Conducts feasibility studies and develops system, time, equipment and cost requirements. Using computer generated techniques, simulates hardware and software problems, tests and evaluates alternative solutions, and recommends and implements appropriate applications design. Develops program logic and processing steps; codes programs in varied languages. Plans and develops test data to validate new or modified programs; designs input and output forms and documents. Troubleshoots hardware and software problems, as needed, for customers, other agencies and information systems personnel. Writes program documentation and customer procedures and instructions and assists user departments and staff in implementing new or modified programs and applications; tracks and evaluates project and systems progress. Writes utility programs to support and validate adopted systems and programs. Confers with customer department staff regarding assigned functional program areas. Maintains records and prepares periodic and special reports of work performed. Maintains current knowledge of technology and new computer customer applications. Contributes to the efficiency and effectiveness of the unit’s service to its customers by offering suggestions and directing or participating as an active member of a work team. Uses standard office equipment in the course of the work; may drive a personal or County motor vehicle or be able to arrange for appropriate transportation in order to travel between various job sites depending upon departments and/or projects assigned. This is an open and continuous recruitment, scheduling dates will vary depending on when the application was received and reviewed by Human Resources. This examination will establish an Open Competitive Eligibility list to fill current and/or future vacancies that may occur within the next six (6) months or may be extended as needed by Human Resources. Human Resources reserves the right to call only the most qualified applicants to the selection process. Salary: $32.07 – $49.74 Hourly. Application: For the complete job listing and to apply, click here.

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 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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