In Focus This week
Two years later, elections officials still facing ‘unprecedented’ situations
From paper shortages to rising costs elections officials grappling with another new normal
By M. Mindy Moretti
No one expects a global pandemic. No one expects a paper shortage. No one expects $5+ for a gallon of gas. No one expects the Spanish Inquisition.
But in the past few years, that’s just what elections officials have been faced with. After an “unprecedented” 2020 which basically saw the entire election administration paradigm shift, this year elections officials are grappling with rising costs, paper shortages and a portion of the electorate that is, at best, skeptical of the democratic process.
“…[T]his year’s federal election presents a new challenge: the supply chain backlog that has and will continue to affect paper supplies across the country,” testified Louisiana Secretary of State Kyle Ardoin before the Senate Rules & Administration Committee at a hearing on May 19. “Let me be clear: This is a crisis that demands immediate attention and bipartisan action. IT is not an exaggeration to say that if this situation is not handled, it could lead to a serious erosion in the confidence in our elections.”
Wake County, North Carolina is one of the fastest growing counties in the country. It currently makes up 11% of registered voters in the state. The county is also a 100% pre-printed paper ballot county so there is always a lot of paper in the county elections’ storage areas.
However this year, there’s even more than normal, because like most elections officials, Gary Sims, executive director of the Wake County board of elections, is a planner and he was ready for 2022’s unknown unknown.
“We have always kept 1-2 elections worth of paper stock in our arsenal by pre-ordering paper to hold for the printer,” said Gary Sims, director of elections in Wake County. “With the unknown variable of a 2nd Primary, we had pre-ordered 2.5 elections worth of paper stock before warning signs went off about a paper shortage. Once we started hearing about paper shortages, we ordered enough to fully cover us through the November 2022 General as well.
Democracy Fund’s Tammy Patrick recently presented a PowerPoint presentation at the State Certification Testing of Voting Systems National Conference with a Checklist for Paper Supply Shortages.
Patrick stressed that unless you have the paper supply in-hand, simply having it on order is not enough.
“I have heard some say this doesn’t apply to them—that they got their orders in really early,” Patrick said in her presentation. “I am here to say that unless you have the product you need in hand, you need to verify!”
The Bipartisan Policy Center recently released Preparing for Ballot Paper Shortages in 2022 and 2024. The report outlines three challenges for election administration created by the global paper shortage: supply, timing, and cost. Within each category, the task force offers actionable recommendations for election officials and policymakers on how to administer secure elections amid supply chain disruptions both in 2022 and future elections.
The U.S. Election Assistance Commission has provided a Supply Chain Considerations for Election Officials document that includes resources to specifically address the paper supply chain issues.
Vote-by-mail Colorado has its primary on June 28 and Boulder County Clerk Molly Fitzpatrick said the county was fortunately able to avoid any paper shortages due to planning ahead.
“We were able to secure all paper products needed for this election,” Fitzpatrick said. “However, we were asked by our print vendor earlier than usual (in December) for our estimated quantities needed (for the June primary) because they wanted to order earlier than usual to ensure they had enough for us. Our print vendor has asked us for our estimated quantities earlier than usual for the November election.”
Cathy Darling Allen, the Shasta County, California clerk/registrar of voters echoed Fitzpatrick’s comments about earlier planning for November is a necessity this year.
“We have already been contacted by our ballot and envelope printer regarding supply chain issues, and so we are confident that we will be able to print and mail ballots for November’s election,” Darling Allen said. “However, because of these issues, we have done that many months in advance of a normal election – so the vendors are asking their customers (us local election officials) to place orders earlier than normal.”
The Impacts of Inflation
According to Fitzpatrick in Colorado, they have yet needed to make any budget accommodations to account for rising costs, but she said that it is something they are actively looking at and keeping an eye on.
Shasta County, California’s Darling Allen said she’s still in a wait-and-see pattern with rising costs. She noted that invoices for the June primary are still coming in so any adjustments her office may need to make for November are yet to be determined.
She did note that labor expenses—salaries and healthcare—have gone up and that obviously affects the bottom line.
One cost that has gone up in Shasta County is the cost of dealing with a portion of the electorate that is distrustful of the system.
“We are also experiencing a dramatic increase in observation and PRAs [public records requests] that we have not carefully analyzed yet, but we know there are financial impacts to diverting staff to attend to observers instead of performing their regular election duties,” Darling said. “Same is true for the exponential increase in PRAs regarding the November 2020 election.”
In Wake County, Sims said that it’s not just the elections division that has had to make adjustments for rising costs, but all county departments.
“The county did as a whole, not just elections,” Sims said. “Contract amendments have had to been made to accommodate fuel surcharges. This language has also been added to the FY’23 contracts for surcharges based on official resources such as the Energy Information Administration.”
Sims noted that the paper shortage doesn’t just affect ballots. Even with online voter registration and e-poll books there is A LOT of paper used in an elections office.
“Costs have gone up for pretty much most services. We print paper pollbooks. Our delivery service for Early Voting and Election Day sites has forced service fee increases. Even the paper stock used to mail voter cards have gone up,” Sims said. “On top of all of this, contractors and vendors have had staff shortages. We have in some cases had to resort to having to split orders between vendors just to make sure at least one has time to make the deliveries with unknown supply chain delays.”
Ultimately though, regardless of shortages and rising costs, officials are confident the 2022 election will run smoothly and be fair and secure. Like 2020, it might just take some thinking outside of the box, which elections officials are pretty great at doing.
“As with any county election office no matter how large or small your jurisdiction, failure is not an option. With delays on shipping and product delivery, you may want to seek out alternate vendors beyond who you normally order with.” Sims said, adding that elections officials should consider partnering with other county departments for resource sharing.”
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Four more states finish primary voting
Voters in ME, NV, ND & SC hit the polls and mailboxes this week
By M. Mindy Moretti
The theme of light voter turnout continued with four primaries this week in Maine, Nevada, North Dakota and South Carolina. While not historically low, turn was lower than it had been in 2018 in many places.
On a positive note, low voter turnout also means fewer problems at the polls and on election night Tuesday was no different although there were some isolated issues. Also, there were no reports of blurry barcodes this week.
Here’s a look at what did and didn’t happen on Tuesday.
Maine: In advance of Tuesday’s primary, just over 32,000 absentee ballot requests as of Monday afternoon with about three-fourths returned so far. That is far lower than the competitive 2018 primaries, when 36,000 ballots were requested ahead of time. Primary day voting turnout was also light. After visiting polling stations in southern Maine, Secretary of State Shenna Bellows said turnout appeared to be low, which she attributed to the absence of contested primaries for governor. Bellows expected higher turnout in the northern part of the state because of the 2nd Congressional District Republican primary. “Turnout is very light,” Bellows said while visiting polling places late Tuesday morning. “Of course, we would expect to see turnout lighter in southern Maine than in northern Maine, given there are no top-of-the ticket primaries, but it’s still seemingly remarkably low as of this morning.” Bellows said her office has not received reports of any issues at the polls. While disappointed that more people weren’t voting, she said the low turnout election is a good practice run for newly hired clerks, ahead of the fall elections. “We anticipate that November will be a very high turnout election given that you have two statewide leaders facing off against each other in the gubernatorial (election),” she said. “We have seen some turnover of clerks across the state, so some of our clerks are running an election for the first time. This is a great way for them to go through the entire process step by step before November.” A handful of races had to rely on ranked choice voting for the final result including a school board races and a Waterville-area GOP state senate primary.
Nevada: The biggest news coming out of the Silver State on Tuesday was the Republican nomination for secretary of state. Jim Marchant, a former lawmaker who based his campaign around baseless claims of voter fraud in the 2020 election won the Republican nomination. Marchant, who beat off three other challengers, will face Democrat Francisco Aguilar in November. There were some administration headlines on Tuesday too. A polling place in Washoe County experienced problems with card readers, but voting was not affected, just a bit slower. Also in Washoe County, several voters discovered that their party affiliation had been switched to unaffiliate. amie Rodriguez, government affairs manager for the county, said that the issue stems from Nevada’s automatic voter registration. When you register your car or get a new driver’s license, you now have an automatic voter registration. Rodriguez said if you don’t completely fill out the form, it will default to ‘other’. “For example, if you are a registered Republican, you’ve been a registered Republican, and you think ‘I don’t want to make any updates.’ What we’re finding is people are not clicking that they want to continue to be a Republican,” Rodriguez said. The Registrar of Voters receives what appears to be a blank registration. Rodriguez said, in these instances, mailers are sent asking you to update your political party preference. If you do not check the party affiliation you want and send the mailer back, your party affiliation is not updated. It was smooth sailing in Clark County where Registrar of Voters Joe Gloria aid voters shouldn’t be concerned about voter fraud, and he’s confident in their process to count ballots. Nye County discovered that 11 ballots didn’t feature a candidate’s name for county commissioner. By the time the error was discovered, six of the 11 ballots had been cast.
North Dakota: More than 45,000 North Dakotans cast their ballots in advance of election day this week, but that didn’t stop many from showing up at the polls in The Peace Garden State. A Cass County election worker says the crowds came in waves throughout the day. Long lines at the end of the of the voting day in Cass meant some polls remained open late and therefore delayed the reporting of results. “We’ve been really steady. We’ll get a bunch then we’ll get a little bit of lag then a few more then a little lag. We’ve been open since 7 so we get about doing 200 an hour,” Cass County Election Inspector Ron Anderson said. In Burleigh County, Election Inspector Duane Friedig said voters arrived in small waves. “The turnout has been quite slow. We are hoping for more people to walk through the door,” he said. Voters in Burleigh County were trying out new equipment this election and seemed to like the process. “I voted the automated system for the first time. Very enjoyable. Very easy,” said Msgr. Patrick Schumacher of Bismarck.In the race for secretary of state, where longtime incumbent Secretary of State Al Jaeger chose not to seek re-election, Republican Michael Howe will face Democrat Jeffrey Powell in November.
South Carolina: Legislation approving early in-person voting was approved just weeks before the June 14 primary and more than 100,000 South Carolinians took advantage of it for the first time. Whether or not that lead to a smoother primary day remains to be seen, but things were definitely smooth sailing, albeit hot, in The Palmetto State, even in Richland County which has long had a history of issues on voting days. A polling place in Horry County had to be temporarily evacuated due to the smell of gas. Polls in Anderson County had technical issues at a few polling locations throughout the morning, election director Laura Booth said. “Clerks get very anxious and nervous, letting their nerves get the best of them. When this happens we try to talk them through their issues but we also have polling location technicians we deploy as well,” Booth said in an email to the Independent Mail. A few poll workers had to move around to fill vacancies. “Overall, we struggle with finding dependable people who will work,” she said. In addition to the heat, rain in some areas like Aiken County. “This primary is going a little bit slower,” said Wanda Holloway, poll worker. Tuesday’s rain kept a lot of people away from the polls. Workers say they never experienced a low turnout like this. “Normally, it is a very heavy trafficked precinct,” she said. Although there were no issues with voting, primary election results for Beaufort County were delayed for hours due to a system error that affected six precincts. Board of Voter Registration and Elections Chairman Jean Felix said some voters’ ballots were not changed to their new districts following redistricting. Overall the South Carolina Election Commission reported a roughly 16.8% percent voter turnout for the primary.
Election News This Week
Certifiable: The Otero County Commission did not approve the 2022 primary election canvass at its special meeting Monday, June 13. The decision came after discussions at this and other Otero County Commission meetings where it was established that the Commission does not trust the accuracy of the Dominion Voting Machines. “I do not trust these machines and I want Otero County to have a fair election for everybody,” Otero County Commission Chairwoman Vickie Marquardt said. New Mexico Secretary of State spokesman Alex Curtas said that the Otero County Commission did not follow any current legal protocols. “We are evaluating our next steps on the Otero commission’s vote today regarding the hand counting of ballots, but there is no current legal protocol for such measures outside the post-election audit,” Curtas said. Curtas said there is no indication that the primary as conducted with anything less than the highest standards of election administration. “The commission is doing an extreme disservice to the voters of Otero County and candidates seeking to have their names on the General Election ballot by refusing to certify the results of the 2022 Primary Election and they’ve done this without any indication that the results were in question and over the objections of the Otero County Clerk.” The office of New Mexico Secretary of State Maggie Toulouse Oliver sued the county on Tuesday (see Legal Updates). The Associated Press has an article about how this move by Otero County may affect election certification nationwide in coming elections.
New Journal: The Institute for Election Administration Research & Practice at the National Association of Election Officials (The Election Center), and in partnership with the Auburn University Election Administration Initiative, is pleased to announce the release of the first issue of the new Journal of Election Administration Research & Practice (JEARP). JEARP is an e-journal designed to address the concerns of the practice, policy, research, vendor, and advocacy communities involved in the administration of elections in the US and abroad. It is a peer-reviewed praxis journal that provides greater breadth and depth to questions about the administration of elections and designed to foment informed discussion among the practitioner, policy, vendor, advocate, and research communities. Readers will find pieces on policy and practice, reflections from practitioners, current research with commentary on the research by election officials, and reviews of relevant books and services. Practitioner authors in our inaugural issue take on topics related to critical infrastructure and the elections workforce, policy changes related to voting at home, ethics and the future of public service, and the impact of the experiences from the 2020 election moving forward. Research featured in this issue focuses on postal voting in the 2020 election, electoral management in Canada and public perceptions, and citizen attitudes and the relationship to election administration. We also include reviews of a recent book on voter registration, the role of philanthropy in elections, and the Election Official Legal Defense Network. JEARP editorial team members include Mitchell Brown (Professor, Auburn University), Kathleen Hale (Professor, Auburn University), David Stafford (Supervisor of Elections, Escambia County, FL), Terri Stroud (General Counsel, District of Columbia Board of Elections) and Ryan Williamson (Assistant Professor, Auburn University).
Growing Voters: CIRCLE Growing Voters is a new report and framework that challenges institutions and communities to take an active role in equitably preparing the next general of voters to participate in democracy. The report and framework features exclusive data on the barriers that prevent youth under age 30 from participating in elections, and offers specific recommendations to inform voter engagement work in 2022 and in the future. “The last two elections featured major increases in voter turnout, but we should not be satisfied,” said Kei Kawashima-Ginsberg, Newhouse Director of CIRCLE. “Youth remain underrepresented in the electorate and participation remains highly inequitable, with some young people’s voting rates as much as 40 points higher than others. That leads to some young people’s views being disregarded in our democracy, and points to a failure of institutions whose role it is to prepare young people to sustain our Republic. We have to do better. The CIRCLE Growing Voters report outlines why many current youth voter engagement efforts have been insufficient. It details a shift from short-term voter mobilization to a developmental approach that helps all youth learn about elections. Newly released data based on an exclusive survey of teens (ages 14-17), CIRCLE survey data from the past two national elections, analyses of voter files, and extensive past research on youth civic education and engagement inform the report’s calls to action
This and That: Pima County, Arizona will hold a mock election to test its new voting equipment. Ballot counting continued this week in California. In Colorado, elections officials are using new tools to build trust in elections. Incarcerated residents of the District of Columbia are able to vote, however because DC’s federal prisoners are incarcerated at dozens of federal prisons across the country, getting absentee ballots is proving difficult. Hillsborough County, Florida will conduct an entirely vote-by-mail election this summer for six voters to determine if they want to be annexed into Plant City. State and county election officials are working to prevent a repeat of the November 2020 general election, which saw every in-person voting site overwhelmed despite Hawaii’s otherwise successful first attempt at mail-in ballots. Official statewide voter turnout for last month’s primary election in Idaho was 32.5%. About 45% of all primary votes in New Jersey were cast in advance of election day. More than 10,000 New Mexico voters took advantage of same-day voter registration during the June 7 primary, the first time the state offered same-day voter registration for a statewide election. Debate has rekindled in Somerset County, Pennsylvania over whether political attire is permissible for voters inside polling stations on Election Day. Harris County, Texas is down to two finalists to replace outgoing Elections Administrator Isabel Longoria.
Sticker News: After reviewing nearly 80 submissions, the Loudoun County, Virginia Office of Elections and Voter Registration today announced winners of its first-ever “I Voted” Sticker Contest. The three winning designs will be distributed to voters who cast their ballots at early voting and Election Day polling locations in Loudoun, as well as those who vote by mail for the November 2022 General Election. The entries were judged on the overall aesthetics or eye-catching ability; clarity, strength, and effectiveness of design; and uniqueness of the design in relation to Loudoun County. he competition was narrowed to eight finalists that advanced to an online public vote. The top winner, designed by Torrey McGlenn, features an image of Dulles Airport and a dairy cow and will be distributed to Election Day voters. The word “early” will be added to the design. Julie Beacham’s design, a red, white and blue sticker with the shape of Loudoun County at its center, was selected for early voters. Nicole McGee designed the “I voted by mail” sticker.
Personnel News: Christi Coburn has been appointed to serve as the election supervisor in Elbert County, Colorado for the June 28 primary. Wayne Williams, who was appointed to oversee previous elections, will once again oversee elections in Mesa County, Colorado. Bonner Hitt Williams was appointed as Franklin Parish, Louisiana registrar of voters. Hamden, Connecticut Democratic Registrar of Voters Rose Mentone is retiring. Lushonda Howard has been nominated to replace her. Hays County Elections Administrator Jennifer Doinoff was appointed to Co-Chair the statewide education advisory committee of the Texas Association of Counties County Elections Academy (CEA). Don Millis has been tapped to lead the Wisconsin Elections Commission.
Federal Legislation: Michigan Congressman Andy Levin (D-Oakland County) has introduced the Enhanced Pay for Election Workers Act in the U.S. House. It would provide states with grants to boost pay for poll workers. Levin says those workers play a key role in the infrastructure of democracy. “Election workers must be compensated adequately for their services and sacrifice,” he said. “And until that happens, we’ll have trouble retaining and attracting enough workers to run our elections properly.” Cheryl Rottmann is the city clerk in Madison Heights. She said most of her poll workers are older people, and they’re paid what amounts to minimum wage for an 18-hour day. “This legislation will also enable clerks such as myself to recruit the next generation of poll workers, and create sustainability in staffing elections,” Rottmann said.
Massachusetts: The Massachusetts Senate approved a compromise voting rights bill that would ensure mail-in ballots and early voting become permanent fixtures in future elections. The voting options proved popular in Massachusetts during the 2020 election at the height of the pandemic. The bill — which was approved by a 37-3 vote in the Senate — would also increase ballot access for voters with disabilities and service members overseas. It would also make sure eligible voters who are incarcerated can request a mail ballot and vote and would take steps to modernize the state’s election administration process. The legislation is a compromise version of separate bills approved earlier by House and Senate lawmakers. The final bill does not include any provisions that would let individuals both register and vote on Election Day.
Michigan: State Sen. Sean McCann, D-Kalamazoo, introduced Senate Joint Resolution P on to let 17-year-olds vote in a primary election if they will be 18 and eligible to vote by the date of November’s general election. “We have seen a discouraging pattern of consistently lower turnout among young voters compared to other age brackets across the country,” McCann said in a statement. “… They deserve to have an active role in our political process, and that’s exactly what this legislation is asking for.” The joint resolution would amend the Michigan Constitution – something done only 36 times since 1963 – to give primary election voting rights to those soon-to-be 18-year-olds who are Michigan residents and U.S. citizens. The legislation mirrors a House joint resolution introduced a year ago that has been in committee since February.
New Hampshire: Gov. Chris Sununu signed a bill last week to require New Hampshire voting machines to alert voters when their ballots include “overvotes,” allowing for corrections. It’s one election law that’s inspired rare agreement between political advocates according to the New Hampshire Bulleting on the left and right. Under the state’s current system for machine-counted ballots, if a voter marks their ballot in such a way that a machine thinks they may have voted for more candidates than allowed, the vote in that race does not count. Overvoting is not uncommon. The bill requires the machines to be programmed to return any ballot deemed to be an overvote to the voter. The voter would then have the opportunity to amend the ballot to make clear the candidate or candidates they wanted. The bill requires election officials to tell the voter to deposit the ballot into a separate box; all ballots in that box would then be hand counted by election officials once the polls had closed.
New Jersey: The Assembly Judiciary Committee today advanced a package of election reform bills spearheaded by Assembly Speaker Craig Coughlin (D-Woodbridge); the seven bills in the package previously cleared the Assembly State and Local Government Committee last month. Bills include: A3817, which would require early and absentee votes to be counted by election district rather than municipality, shorten the deadline for curing absentee ballots, and allow voters to apply for mail-in ballots and update their voter registration online, among other changes; Another bill would allow Boards of Elections to begin processing and counting mail-in ballots five days before election day, which could speed up the release of unofficial election results. The bill would also require mail-in ballots postmarked by election day to arrive within three days of Election Day, instead of six days as is the case under current law.
King County, Washington: The King County Council is expected to vote on a plan that would move county elections to even-numbered years, a change aimed at increasing overall voter turnout. Supporters say the shift could boost participation, particularly among underrepresented groups, such as young people and communities of color. The proposal, from Democratic Council Chair Claudia Balducci, would amend King County’s charter so that elections for County offices happen at the same time as state and national elections, which typically see higher participation. Since 2010, voter turnout in King County has averaged 77% in even-numbered years and just 47% in odd-numbered years. City and other local elections, many of which are currently held in odd-numbered years, would not be impacted by the change.
Alaska: The Alaska Supreme Court reversed a lower court ruling that would have delayed the certification of U.S. House primary election results until visually impaired voters were given “a full and fair opportunity to vote independently, secretly and privately.” The state appealed the Superior Court’s decision to the Alaska Supreme Court soon after the lower court ruled in favor of a request from the Alaska State Commission for Human Rights to ensure visually impaired voters are given adequate voting access. “Where the Division has — and continues — to discriminate and effectively disenfranchise a population of voters on the basis of their disability, the law requires that it must be ordered to cease such a practice immediately, without regard to the ‘cascading’ consequences,” attorneys for the Alaska State Commission for Human Rights wrote in their filing to the Supreme Court. The commission did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the Supreme Court decision. Attorneys for the state argued that that delaying the certification of election results would have far-reaching consequences on the election. It would require delaying the special general election, currently scheduled on Aug. 16, to a later date, meaning Alaska’s lone U.S. House seat would remain vacant for a longer period. It would also force that election — the state’s first under ranked choice voting — to be held entirely by mail. An explanation for the Supreme Court’s decision “will follow at a later date,” according to the court’s order, issued late Saturday morning.
Arkansas: Republican state House candidate Jody Harris filed a lawsuit to throw out the primary results that show her losing by seven votes. The race in House District 25 took place in three counties: Crawford, Franklin and Washington. The lawsuit disputes the count by the Crawford County Election Commission. The case was filed in Franklin County, citing Arkansas Code 7-5-801(b). The law says an election contest of a district office may be brought in any county in the district. Certified results in all three counties together show Puryear winning 2,211 votes to Harris’ 2,204 in the May 24 primary. The suit disputes the counting of absentee ballots in Crawford County. By law, the suit contends, absentee ballots should have been counted first but weren’t counted until other results were in and until a pro-Harris poll-watcher demanded it. Then they were mishandled while being counted, according to the suit. Those absentee ballots made the difference in the race, the suit contends. The suit asks the court to void the House 25 race results but doesn’t seek specific relief beyond that. What happens if the election is declared void is up to the court now, a spokesman for the Arkansas Secretary of State’s office said Tuesday. The lawsuit notes that the Election Commission’s chairman is Bill Coleman, brother of Rep. Bruce Coleman, R-Mountainburg, who didn’t seek reelection in the district and who declared his support of Puryear. Bruce Coleman donated $1,000 to Puryear’s campaign, finance records show.
Florida: The Fifth Circuit State Attorney’s Office completed its investigation into voter fraud in Lake County during the 2020 general election. The investigation began after Gainesville-based database researcher Mark Glaeser cross-checked Florida voter lists against the FDLE’s public Florida Sexual Offenders database. Through his research, he found that six registered sex offenders in Lake County cast ballots. Ultimately, office decided it would not file charges. “In all of the instances where sex offenders voted, each appear to have been encouraged to vote by various mailings and misinformation,” Jonathan Olson, the office’s division supervisor and an assistant state attorney, wrote in a statement. “Each were given voter registration cards which would lead one to believe they could legally vote in the election. The evidence fails to show willful actions on a part of these individuals. Therefore, the State is unable to file charges.”
A federal appeals court will hear arguments in September in a battle about the constitutionality of a 2021 Florida elections law. Arguments are scheduled during the week of Sept. 12 in Miami, according to a notice issued Friday by the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. Attorneys for the state, county elections supervisors and national Republican organizations went to the appeals court in April after Chief U.S. District Judge Mark Walker ruled that the law was unconstitutionally intended to discriminate against Black voters. The appeals court last month put Walker’s ruling on hold while the underlying appeal moves forward. That decision cleared the way for the controversial law to be in place for this year’s elections.
Michigan: Judge Mark Goldsmith has rejected Perry Johnson’s request to halt ballot printing so the disqualified gubernatorial candidate could argue why he should be included on the August primary ballot. Johnson was disqualified after a review of bureau of elections found nearly 9,400 of this 23,000 signature he submitted were fraudulent. He needed 15,000 in order to appear on the August primary ballot. Goldsmith rebuffed each part of Johnson’s argument, writing the candidate had more than enough time to challenge the decisions, and failed to cast reasonable doubt on the bureau’s approach to checking for falsified signatures. “The BOE staff employed eminently reasonable procedures to give Johnson’s petition a fair and particularized review while operating on a tight timeline to advance important and compelling state interests,” Goldsmith wrote in the order. Ballot printing is already underway for Oakland County, the state second-most populous, said director of elections Joe Rozell. He said being forced to reprint ballots would’ve been impossible as their printer “did not have enough paper on hand to reprint of a county our size.” If Johnson’s request had succeeded, Oakland County Clerk Lisa Brown, a Democrat, said the county would have failed to meet requirements under the law and state constitution. Ballots must be given to local clerks by June 18.
Mississippi: A June 2020 ruling on a petition filed contesting the City of Greenville’s Dec. 9, 2019, municipal elections in Wards 1 and 6 has been affirmed by the Mississippi Supreme Court. “After taking into consideration all of the testimony, petitions, responses, and affidavits, the circuit court granted Brock’s and Wilson’s motions for summary judgment. We affirm,” Justice J. Ishee wrote. Oliver Johnson, who lost to then Ward 1 incumbent Al Brock by nine votes, and Chauncy Wright, to then Ward 6 incumbent James Wilson by 88 votes, consolidated their petitions filed in Washington County Circuit, which claimed multiple voting irregularities. Both parties conducted an examination of the ballot boxes on Dec. 17, 2019 according to court documents. Johnson then filed his petition to contest the election in Ward 1 on Dec. 27, 2019 and Wright filed his election contest on Dec. 30, 2019. Court documents state Johnson and Wright both “made similar claims of alleged voting irregularities, including but not being limited to, procedural violations of election officials of dealing with affidavit ballots, distance limitations, improper poll watcher actions.” After a May 2020 hearing at which the parties were allowed to offer testimony, the circuit court concluded that “Johnson and Wright had failed to provide proof to establish that any of the conduct complained of caused their election losses and that to conclude otherwise would be sheer speculation.” Based on what Justice Ishee stated further, Johnson and Wright needed to exhibit sufficient evidence to establish the essential element of their election contest claim that the alleged voting improprieties that occurred during the election impacted the number of votes each of them received.
New Mexico: Secretary of State Maggie Toulouse Oliver asked the state Supreme Court to order the Republican-led commission of rural Otero County to certify primary election results after it refused to do so over distrust of Dominion vote-tallying machines. Toulouse Oliver’s request came a day after the three-member Otero County commission, in its role as a county canvassing board, voted unanimously against certifying the results of the June 7 primary without raising specific concerns about discrepancies. Under state law, county canvass boards can call on a voting precinct board to address specific discrepancies, but no discrepancies were identified on Monday by the Otero commission. “The post-election canvassing process is a key component of how we maintain our high levels of election integrity in New Mexico and the Otero County Commission is flaunting that process by appeasing unfounded conspiracy theories and potentially nullifying the votes of every Otero County voter who participated in the primary,” Toulouse Oliver said in a statement. She accused the commission of willful violations of the state election code. Otero County Commissioner Vickie Marquardt laughed at the suggestion that a court might intervene in the election dispute. “And so then what? They’re going to send us to the pokey?” she said. Late Wednesday, the Supreme Court ordered the county commission to comply with state law and certify the election. The commission has until Friday to meet and certify the election or presumably face a contempt of court charge. Commissioner Couy Griffin told NM Political Report that he plans to “hold the line.” “What the state is trying to do to us by leveraging us, and taking control, essentially, of our commission board through the courts, I believe, is very unconstitutional and it’s an absolute disgrace.” Toulouse Oliver said the state is already in “uncharted waters” after the commission refused to follow state law, but that she is not sure what would happen if the commission does not follow the court’s order. “At this point, the presumption, of course, is that the board of canvas, aka, the county commission will convene to certify by the deadline,” Toulouse said. “I have no doubt that their attorney is advising them of their mandatory, non-discriminate, non-discretionary duty and the supreme court order. If they don’t, to be very frank, I don’t know what will happen.”
New York: An intermediate level court rejected a lawsuit filed by the League of Women Voters to consolidate New York’s party primaries to a single Aug. 23 date. The legal challenge to the duel primaries was filed last month by the good-government organization against the state Board of Elections after New York’s top court tossed out the state lawmaker-drawn district lines for the U.S. House seats in New York as well as the state Senate. Because of the looming primary, a lower court moved the vote for those races to August, severing them from the already scheduled June 28 for the races unaffected by the redistricting ruling. The League of Women Voters had argued the two primaries would be a costly burden for taxpayers and local elections officials. But the state Board of Elections argued the case would make the elections even more expensive given the ballots had already been printed, and staffing already planned. A five-judge panel ultimately agreed the legal challenge was filed too late. “Such delay was entirely avoidable and undertaken without any reasonable explanation,” the court found. The state Court of Appeals rejected an appeal of the lower court’s ruling. The Court of Appeals did not give a reason for denying an appeal.
Ohio: The Geauga County Board of Elections has sued the county commission over whether or not it must pay for critical logistical and design issues the board says have still not been resolved. In the filing to Geauga County Common Pleas Court Judge Carolyn Paschke, the BOE claims commissioners failed to account for several critical aspects of the administration of elections in the design of the new county building on Ravenwood Drive. The BOE believes is a complicated and unfit layout for early voting and other election business, and has inadequate storage space for “100 DS-200 voting machines, 40 Express Vote machines, 372 privacy booths, 79 ballot boxes and a very large supply of tables, A-frame signs, cabinets, cones, poles and pole bases, flags, carts, work lights, yard signs, among other equipment and supplies necessary to conduct a county-wide election.” Additionally, the BOE is requesting the court force payment for a chemical fire suppressant system that would not damage the board’s voting machines in case of an emergency.
Pennsylvania: The U.S. Supreme Court cleared the way Lehigh County to count mail-in ballots that do not comply with a state law requiring voters to write the date on the ballot’s envelope. Although the case arose from a single local judicial race, it raised broader issues about how federal voting-rights protections apply when voters fail to meet state clerical requirements — a conflict that may crop up again in this year’s midterm elections. In an unsigned and unexplained order, the justices rejected an emergency appeal from a Republican candidate who currently holds a narrow lead in a 2021 race for a judgeship on a Lehigh County trial court. The candidate, David Ritter, wanted the justices to block the local board of elections from counting ballots that were received by Election Day but arrived in undated envelopes. Justice Samuel Alito dissented from the ruling, in a five-page opinion that was joined by Justices Clarence Thomas and Neil Gorsuch. He urged the court to take up the case on the merits and fast-track it for an argument in October so that it can resolve the issue before the November elections.
Lehigh Valley state Senate primary finally has a winner, now that a mail-in ballot lawsuit is settled. Tara Zrinski conceded to Nick Miller in the Democratic primary race for the 14th District. Only 40 votes separated them. Zrinski conceded after it became clear a lawsuit to count 260 improperly submitted mail-in ballots would not save her campaign. “Today we secured a huge victory for the voters of Lehigh and Northampton County. While the results of the May election will not be affected by this settlement, these new measures will help protect future elections from being called into question due to uncounted ballots, and help ensure voters understand what they need to do to comply with the law. This settlement does not solve all of the issues with Pennsylvania’s voting laws. However, we believe this is a huge step in the right direction and hopefully the General Assembly will use the recent voter lawsuits as the impetus for major voting reform in Harrisburg,” Attorney Matthew Mobilio said. The federal lawsuit had said mail-in ballots mailed in without the secrecy envelope and those not received by Election Day in the May primary election should be counted immediately. The suit was filed on behalf of nine voters, who the suit says are among the more than 260 voters in the 14th Senate District whose ballots were deemed invalid for those reasons. The settlement means the primary election results will be certified, without the 260 improper mail-in ballots.
Rhode Island: The commissioner of education has agreed to create a civics task force as part of an agreement to end a federal lawsuit brought by students across the state. The federal lawsuit, filed by 14 students nearly four years ago, argued that the state had violated their rights under the U.S. Constitution by failing to provide them with an adequate civics education. Although the suit was ultimately unsuccessful in federal court, the plaintiffs achieved similar results by working with the state Department of Education. Education Commissioner Angélica Infante-Green announced the creation of a civics readiness task force that will study whether to add a half-credit course in civics in grades eight and high school, encourage students to have respectful conversations on difficult topics, provide instruction on voter registration, and add a seal of civics readiness to the high-school diploma. Although both parties disagreed on the constitutional issues raised by the lawsuit, they never differed on the value of offering a rich civics education to all students.
Texas: The Texas Supreme Court issued a ruling on the term “solicit” as it pertains to the state’s new election code. In Senate Bill 1 passed last August, a new Texas election code provision states that it is a civil and felony crime for public and elected officials to “solicit” voters to request a mail-in ballot if the voter did not request it, punishable by six months in prison and fines up to $10,000. The U.S. Fifth Circuit of Appeals sent a series of questions to the Texas Supreme Court ahead of issuing its final ruling on the case. Of three main issues, one raised several questions pertaining to the definition of “solicit.” The questions arose after the plaintiff, Harris County Elections Administrator Isabel Longoria, argued the vagueness of the term. In one argument, Longoria’s attorneys requested that the term “solicit” be tethered only to vote-by-mail applications sent to those ineligible voters. State justices rejected that request. “The statute does not prohibit solicitation merely of those ineligible to vote by mail. Its text leaves no doubt that the prohibition extends more broadly to the larger universe of persons who ‘did not request an application,’” the opinion read. In a second request, Longoria’s team argued that “solicitation” in its broad definition could include terms that are less forceful in nature, including “encourage” or “request. While justices refrained from defining “solicit,” stating they were not requested to, they agreed with Paxton that “solicit” is not limited to demands that a person submit an application to vote by mail, but includes statements such as “please fill out this application to vote by mail.” But justices did find that telling potential voters they have the opportunity to apply for mail-in ballots does not constitute solicitation. “The Legislature intended to distinguish between merely informing Texans of the option to vote by mail and soliciting them to submit an application to vote by mail when they have not requested one,” the opinion read. “Without expressing an opinion as to any particular statement plaintiffs may wish to make, we conclude that (the law) does not include broad statements such as telling potential voters that they have the opportunity to apply for mail-in ballots.”
Virginia: U.S. District Judge David Novak agreed to an accelerated schedule for a new lawsuit that seeks to force members of Virginia’s Republican-controlled House of Delegates to face unscheduled elections this fall. House elections in 2021 were supposed to be the first held under constitutionally required redistricting based on the 2020 census. But because census results were delayed by the COVID-19 pandemic, the state held elections under old legislative boundaries. A lawsuit filed by a Democratic Party activist a year ago was dismissed last week by a three-judge panel that found Goldman did not have standing as a voter or a potential candidate to file the lawsuit. Days later, Jeff Thomas, an author who has written extensively about Virginia government and politics, filed a similar lawsuit. Thomas alleges that the 2021 House elections were invalid and asks the court to order new elections this year under the updated districts. WRIC-TV reports that during a hearing, Novak ordered an expedited schedule for Thomas’ lawsuit and criticized former Attorney General Mark Herring’s office for delaying the earlier lawsuit with appeals before the issue of Goldman’s standing was decided. “It is really just not appropriate, the way they handled this case,” Novak said of Herring’s office.
Arizona: The Maricopa County Elections Department launched a new elections website June 13, seven weeks away from the upcoming Arizona primary election. To combat future misinformation, the new website will be a streamlined location to find important election and voter registration information, officials said. “Not only does [the website] provide voters clear pathways to prepare for upcoming elections, it also provides answers to frequently asked questions and allows residents to easily access critical voter registration and elections information,” Maricopa County Recorder Stephen Richer said in a press release. The overall goal of this new website is to provide transparency for voters with easy navigation and access to critical election information.
Opinions This Week
National Opinions: Vote by mail | Democracy | Election lies | Election rules | Election integrity
California: Voter education | Nonvoters | Ballot counting
Colorado: Mesa County
Florida: Wakulla County
Georgia: Voter suppression | Polling places
Idaho: Crossover voters
Indiana: Secretary of state race, II | Election priorities
Massachusetts: Election legislation, II
Michigan: Election lies
Missouri: Felon voting
Montana: Same day registration
Nevada: Ranked choice voting
New Mexico: Otero County
New York: Voting rights, II | Democracy | Early voting
North Carolina: Election security | Polling places
Oklahoma: Election security
Pennsylvania: Democracy | Election legislation| Ballot counting | 2024
Tennessee: Voter suppression, II
Virginia: Ex-felon voting rights
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.
ESRA 2022: We are delighted to welcome you to the 6th Annual Election Science, Research, and Administration Conference. The conference will commence on Wednesday, July 27 and will run through Friday 29 at the UNC Charlotte Marriott Hotel and Conference Center. Where: Charlotte, North Carolina. When: July 27-29.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org. Job postings must be received by 5pm on Wednesday in order to appear in the Thursday newsletter. Listings will run for three weeks or till the deadline listed in the posting.
Administrative Services Manager, Decatur County, Georgia— Supervises, directs, and evaluates assigned staff; develops and oversees employee work schedules to ensure adequate coverage and control; compiles and reviews timesheets; approves/processes employee concerns and problems and counsels or disciplines as appropriate; assists with or completes employee performance appraisals; directs work; acts as a liaison between employees and management; and trains staff in operations, policies, and procedures. Salary: $67,182 – $104,133. Application: For the complete job listing and to apply, click here.
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.
Communication Specialist III, King County, Washington— This position reports to the Communications Lead for the Department of Elections. The person who fills this role will play an integral role in providing accurate and reliable information to King County voters through a variety of mediums. As misinformation surrounding elections has grown, it has become more important than ever for Elections to communicate proactively, regularly, and reliably with our voters. This position will work with a team of highly qualified election professionals and will often be tasked with translating complex technical processes into information that can be delivered on a variety of platforms and easily understood by a variety of audiences. This position will work closely with the Language Services and Community Engagement team to ensure all information is delivered in Chinese, Korean, Spanish, and Vietnamese in a culturally appropriate way. Application: For the complete job listing and to apply, click here
Communications Manager, Sarasota County, Florida— The Sarasota County Supervisor of Elections is recruiting for a Communications Manager to join the elections team. This is a highly collaborative position primarily responsible for the development and implementation of communications campaigns, creation and execution of election-related information and coordination of public records requests and records maintenance for the Supervisor of Elections office. This position reports to the Communications Director and helps develop and manage internal and external communications that represent the SOE’s mission and goals. Work involves independent planning and execution of projects and responsibilities. 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.
County Clerk, Lane County, Oregon— Lane County is seeking a proven leader with experience in elections and real property records. The County Clerk leads a dedicated team that performs their work with accuracy and integrity. The successful candidate is someone who demonstrates a passion to serve the community, high level of attention to detail, and strong communication skills while interacting with the public, elected officials, and outside agencies. The County Clerk is responsible for planning, organizing, and conducting all regular and special elections, voter registration, property tax appeals, permanent real property records, marriage licensing, domestic partnership registrations, and archived records management while ensuring compliance with all applicable Federal, State, and Local laws. Additional duties include preparing, reviewing and analyzing data, working with a staff of 14 full-time employees, budget and financial management, and managing technology solutions that support County Clerk operations. Salary: $82,971 – $122,033. Application: For the complete job listing and to apply, click here.
Director of Elections & Voter Services, Minneapolis–Minneapolis, Minnesota (2020 pop. 429,954) is a diverse, progressive city and the heart of cultural and economic activity in the Upper Midwest. Minneapolis-Saint Paul International Airport is located 12 miles from downtown Minneapolis, offering non-stop service to destinations in 18 countries and easily accessible via light-rail transit line. With over 16 colleges and universities in the Twin Cities Metropolitan area, Minneapolis residents are highly educated, informed, and involved in civics. The Director of Ele ctions and Voter Services is one of the three division directors in the City Clerk’s Department. The Director oversees citywide elections and ensures the constitutional voting rights of all qualified electors in the city. Additionally, the Director provides leadership, management, and directions relating to federal, state, and local elections in compliance with all applicable laws, regulations, policies, and rules. The Director also oversees outreach and education strategies designed to inform and engage voters. The position reports to the City Clerk and oversees 10 full-time positions. Salary: $116,667.20 – $138,301.28. Deadline: June 30. 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 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.
Elections Business Intelligence Specialist, Tennessee Secretary of State— Summary: Assist in planning and coordinating the computer functions and responsibilities for the Elections Division which includes, but is not limited to: data processing, integrating the statewide voter registration system with county voter registration systems, improve election reporting capabilities; analyzing and resolving technical software issues (25%) for the Division of Elections and 95 county election commission offices, which includes, but is not limited to cybersecurity practices; reviewing and researching regulations, legislation, government codes, and directives relevant to the technical elections operation; including serving as the liaison to the Office of the Comptroller of the Treasury, Local Government; and performing other duties as assigned. This position is responsible for the accuracy and timely compliance and security of voter registration data, ballot review and approval, producing and analyzing election-related state and federal reports, maintaining and assist in updating elections mobile app. Application: For the complete job listing and to apply, click here.
Elections Manager, Cochise County, Arizona— Under limited supervision by the Director of Elections, performs professional and administrative work of a high level in the management of election administration work in planning, organizing and directing strategic and daily goals and objectives, operations and activities of the Elections Department. Performs other related work as assigned. Assists the Director of Elections in the administration and supervision of all County, special, primary and general elections with state and local jurisdictions; Manages program requirements through appropriate delegation and work supervision, organization and assignment of task duties including warehouse organization and inventory, delivery and return of election supplies to polling places, poll workers, election boards, training and pay, website, and submitting meeting agenda items; Assists with ballot creation process including proofreading all ballot styles, sending ballot proofs to candidates and jurisdictions, and creating and reviewing ballot orders; Assures accuracy of election materials and maintains chain of custody of ballots, forms, equipment, and materials; Programs, tests, and maintains all voting equipment, following Federal, State, and local requirements; Recruits, coordinates, trains, manages, supervises, and terminates seasonal or temporary staff in consultation with the Director; Develops and presents poll worker education and curriculum for online and in-person training; Assists with ballot tabulation duties including coordinating, hiring, and training the Early Boards to receive, count and prepare early ballots for tabulation, assists with oversight of receiving Boards on Election night to receive and tabulate the polling place ballots, assists with Hand Count Boards as part of the election audition process and completes necessary reports related to canvass of election and post-election audits; Assists with election night reporting, including preparing the necessary data uploads into the State’s reporting system; Assists with oversite of the departmental budget and administers office financial tasks including but not limited to, inputting requisitions, tracking expenditures and budget reconciliation, lease agreements, paying invoices, overseeing and maintains inventory for equipment and supplies and assists with annual budget preparation; Delivers effective, accurate, secure, cost-effective customer service relative to areas of responsibility. Application: For the complete job listing and to apply, click here.
Elections Program Engagement Manager, US Digital Response— USDR is seeking an Engagement Manager to be an early hire for our growing Elections program. As an early hire, we are looking for someone who is excited to influence the shape and structure of the program, particularly the way we build relationships with government partners. USDR partners often reach out with a complex problem knowing that USDR teams will work collaboratively to meet their needs. The Engagement Manager will be responsible for working with new and existing partners and shaping USDR projects in this space, while engaging the elections team and volunteer network to deliver on our partners’ needs. You’ll work with multiple levels of government and non-governmental organizations, interfacing with elections office stakeholders, individual engineers, support personnel, and everyone in between. You would be a good fit for this role if you’re an elections expert, a project or program manager with delivery experience, or a technologist with experience in supporting government partners. In this position, you will: Build and maintain strong, credible relationships with government partners and key stakeholders in the elections ecosystem; Create and maintain the process and infrastructure for maintaining relationships with existing partners, including building a community space for these partners; Explore new opportunities to provide impact and support to new and existing elections partners; Collaborate with government partners and USDR technologists to translate partner feedback into new features and impactful projects; Manage a portfolio of complex projects and initiatives in our Elections Program, including Poll Worker Management; and Represent USDR and the values of our Volunteer Oath in your work. Application: For the complete job listing and to apply, click here.
Elections Specialist, Mesa County, Colorado— As an employee in the Election Division, duties focus on a variety of work related to elections office goals, including voter registration applications, additions, changes, cancellations, and party affiliation in voter registrations. Workload, focused within the election office during an election cycle, including working with other staff to complete voter registration data entry, processing voters, and assisting the voting process of the ACP program and military/overseas voters, operation and maintenance of the election equipment, maintenance of the Address Library, voter cancelations using SCORE, and bulk print mailings. Other duties may include coordinating and organization of supplies for office and polling location in preparation for an election. Assist with election judge recruitment, assisting with scheduling and judge training. Performs daily data entry of voter registration forms, as needed. Overall, working as a team, individuals will gravitate towards and excel at certain tasks but every team member should have a solid understanding of all the tasks, which ensures redundancy and collaboration. Salary: $18.51 – $20.83 Hourly. 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.
Elections Technician or Elections Specialist DOQ, Larimer county, Colorado— The Larimer County Clerk & Recorder Elections division offers an outstanding opportunity for an exciting career in the always engaging field of Election Administration – where the foundation of government begins for our citizens! We are seeking skilled Elections Technicians/Elections Specialists to join our highly respected team. We serve a population of more than 300,000 citizens, of which more than 250,000 are registered voters. We embrace innovative processes and have a shown reputation for integrity. If you are a self-motivated, positive teammate who thrives in a fast-paced professional environment – we want to hear from you! The successful candidate will be dedicated, assertive, and possess outstanding interpersonal and problem-solving skills. The Elections Technician/Elections Specialist position provides support to and/or oversight for certain processes. Deadline: June 26. 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 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
Finance Coordinator, Sarasota County, Florida— The Finance Coordinator is a professional, administrative position mainly responsible for the oversight and management of the Sarasota County Supervisor of Elections budget and finance activities. Work involves independent planning and execution of projects and responsibilities; demands long hours during election cycles. Application: For the complete job listing and to apply, click here.
Information Services Specialist, Illinois State Board of Elections— Under the general supervision of the Chief Information Officer and Deputy Chief Information Officer and the day-to-day supervision of the Information Services Team Leads, independently and as a project team member, develops, maintains, and enhances the State Board of Elections’ Information Systems. Establishes application development task schedules, testing plans and implementation schedules; Performs technical analysis, design, and programming according to SBE standards; Coordinates development, testing and implementation with end-users, technical consultants and IT Staff according to SBE standards. Consults with end-users to determine application goals, requirements, cost, architecture, and impact to existing systems; Provides Level 1 technical support for Agency end-users as well as end-users of other agency-developed systems. Through continuing self-study and/or formal coursework, acquires knowledge of advanced information systems concepts and techniques, productivity tools, election law, and Board policy as they affect Board Information Systems. Performs other duties as required or assigned which are reasonably within the scope of the duties enumerated above. 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.
LAN Administrator, King County Elections— King County Department of Elections (KCE) is searching for an energetic and resourceful professional who likes to “get stuff done.” The LAN Administrator – Journey position in the Elections Department combines an exciting environment with the opportunity to cultivate talents and apply a variety of skills. The ideal candidate will thrive in an innovative, fast-paced environment and will not hesitate to roll up both sleeves, work hard, have fun, and get the job done. This position is responsible for the build and support of laptops, desktops, and all other Elections auxiliary technology equipment. Duties include providing workstation provisioning, imaging, and support for Office 365. This position will also resolve software and hardware problems for end users locally and remotely; maintain end user hardware and software and the inventory of such; and be primary back-up for account setup, administration and management. This position reports to the Information Technology Division Director. 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.
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.
Senior Software Engineer, Ballotpedia— Ballotpedia seeks a full-time, 100% remote Senior Software Engineer to join its Tech team. Our Senior Software Engineer will provide technical leadership to a group of web developers and data engineers and will be able to advise on best practices, champion code quality, assist in the professional development of team members, and scope out new opportunities for the organization. At a high level, you will develop a holistic view of Ballotpedia’s architecture, infrastructure and software design and develop the ability to guide the team accordingly. Reporting to the Director of Technology Operations and in collaboration with organization leadership, you will help define requirements and inform priorities around software development at the organization across many products. As a Senior Software Engineer, you will also implement these software solutions and contribute your own code to further Ballotpedia’s mission of making high-quality political data and unbiased encyclopedic content available to the American public. This is a full-stack role that may include various aspects of development, design, programming, architecture, testing, and tooling. This role also includes higher-level decision-making related to technology used at the company, as well as leadership of the other web developers. Salary: $100,000-$120,000. Application: For the complete job listing and to apply, click here.
Training Coordinator, Sarasota County, Florida— This position is primarily responsible for curriculum development and training of election poll workers. Additional responsibilities include assisting in the selection of and communication with poll workers; procuring polling locations, including ensuring their suitability and accessibility, and developing and training other elections staff. 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 Supervisor (Republican), Lucas County, Ohio— Reports to the Directors. Voter Services Supervisor is charged with managing and evaluating staff in accordance with the standards established by the Lucas County Board of Elections including training of said staff (shared responsibility with Democrat). Responsible for the accurate and timely data entry of all registration information including, but not limited to, new registrations, address changes, deletions, corrections and name changes in the voter registration system (both local and state); Responsible for supervision of all absentee by mail operations including but not limited to, processing absentee applications and assembling/mailing absentee ballot packets to voters as prescribed by law; Responsible for processing of all returned absentee ballots; Responsible for supervising inspection and counting all absentee ballots; Responsible for preparing absentee ballots for tabulation and the balancing of said tabulation as prescribed by law. Assisting in the processing and reviewing of the validity and sufficiency of all candidates, initiative and referendum petitions; Responsible for adhering to all statutory deadlines regarding campaign finance, registration, absentee voting and local options; Responsible for maintaining the supervision of the switchboard operations; Responsible for administrating the processing of the NCOA and Duplicate Lists; Responsible for maintaining confidentiality and business integrity. Responsible for providing the Directors with periodic written status reports regarding work processed and still outstanding in a format established by the Directors; Responsible for ensuring that a sufficient number of staff are logged into the phone queues at all times. Performs all other duties as assigned, by the Directors, the Board of elections, and/or as prescribed by law. Responsible for daily supervision of operations within the absentee department by mail and in person voting. Application: For the complete job listing and to apply, click here.
Web Developer, Ballotpedia— Ballotpedia is seeking a full-time, senior full-stack Web Developer to join our organization. This is a remote position. Ballotpedia’s Tech team supports the rest of the staff in making high-quality political data and unbiased encyclopedic content available to the American public by improving many aspects of Ballotpedia’s web presence and the behind-the-scenes tools used by staff. This is a full-stack role that may include various aspects of engineering, development, design, programming, architecture, testing, and tooling. We are looking for someone with at least two years of career experience in full-stack web development who can demonstrate abilities across the stack. Salary: $65,000-$85,000. Application: For the complete job listing and to apply, click here.
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