In Focus This Week
Poll workers on the frontlines of democracy
De-escalation tools available from a number of sources
By M. Mindy Moretti
Now concerns are growing that poll workers, the front line of democracy, could face increased harassment or pressure from angry or frustrated voters and a battalion of poll watchers being recruited to find election irregularities.
“State and local election officials face challenges every day related to cybersecurity, physical threats and harassment, and increasingly rampant mis- and disinformation, all of which make their job harder than ever before. These security challenges are interrelated and cannot be viewed in isolation, as the proliferation of false or misleading narratives about elections is a key contributing factor to our current heightened threat environment,” said former Washington Secretary of State Kim Wyman who now serves CISA’s Senior Election Security Lead.
Wyman said election officials across the country have reported challenges in recruiting and retaining poll workers for the fall elections.
“While some of this is certainly due to poll workers leaving service for traditional reasons, like retirement, election officials have shared concerns with us that the hostility and threats directed at election officials are a related cause for the shrinking staffing pool. We will continue to stand in support of the election community,” Wyman said. “There are a number of resources for officials on CISA.gov, including on enhancing the physical security of election sites and their personnel.”
The Bridging Divides Initiative at Princeton University is a is a non-partisan research initiative that tracks and mitigates political violence in the United States. BDI has produced a series of de-escalation tools for poll workers. De-escalation is a violence mitigation tool applicable in many different settings
According to Theo Sitther, De-escalation Project Lead at BDI, election officials are increasingly looking for mitigation tools and resources for poll workers in case they encounter disruptions during the election period. In turn, organizations focused on supporting the election process are increasingly interested in providing de-escalation training to poll workers and volunteers.
“We created the de-escalation guidance as a quick reference guide that poll workers can use to prepare for the midterm elections,” explained Sitther, “We work with all these organizations to ensure that the resources we produce are accessible to a bipartisan audience.”
BDI consulted with and worked in partnership with organizations specializing in election administration. Additionally, they relied on pre-existing relationships with organizations that provide de-escalation training. For example, DC Peace Team, Nonviolent Peaceforce, and the Crime and Justice Institute are three of their close partners collaborating with BDI to produce de-escalation resources.
“We also consulted various partners who work more directly in the election space, including former election workers,” Sitther said. “We could share very real, lived experiences from the past year via our ongoing conversations with current officials. Many of them pointed us to different state resources we used to supplement and enrich our de-escalation guides.”
Moving forward, BDI is producing a state-by-state directory of organizations regularly providing de-escalation and bystander intervention training.
“Essentially, this directory will serve as a local listing of places to learn and receive experiential learning,” Sitther said. “With these resources, we hope to provide election workers at the local, state, and national levels with information on how to access de-escalation training in their home state or virtually.”
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Election News This Week
Primary Updates: Marylanders put down their crab mallets and headed to the polls for the Old Line State’s midsummer primary this week. While early voting turnout was light, more than 400,000 residents requested mail ballots. This is great, except it presented an issue in Maryland because Maryland is the only state that requires local elections officials to wait until 10 am Thursday after the primary to begin processing and counting mail ballots. The General Assembly attempted to change the law, but it was vetoed by Republican Gov. Larry Hogan. “We’re used to, in most contests, knowing who the winner is when we go to bed,” Nikki Baines Charlson, deputy administrator at the Maryland State Board of Elections, told The Washington Post. “This election is different,” she said. “We’ve never had half a million people request a mail-in ballot.” While the results for some races were clear Tuesday night, it will be days, if not weeks before results are final. As for primary day itself, turnout was light but there were some issues. A lack of election judges—some attributed to the midsummer primary—meant that some polling places in the state opened late on Tuesday. Some voters complained about over-aggressive campaign workers at polling places. A polling place that serves Baltimore’s Sandtown-Winchester neighborhood had to be moved to Harlem Park due to vandalism at the original location. Howard County Election Director Guy Mickley said turnout for in-person voting seemed lower than in previous years, likely prompted by the ease of mail-in voting, which has been an option to any voter for any reason since 2020. Voters in Carroll County said they voted in-person because they had concerns about mail voting. “Things have been very slow everywhere I’ve gone today,” said Baltimore City Elections Director Jones. “It has been slow in talking to other directors around the state. It has been very slow, even during early voting, it has been real slow.” The paramedics were called to one city polling place for a voter overcome by the heat. Primary election results from all of Baltimore City’s 296 precincts are online Wednesday evening after a dozen misplaced thumb drives caused a delay in the release of the tally. In other thumb drive news, Calvert County’s effort to be first in the state with election results hit a snag late Tuesday night with the discovery that a thumb-drive containing the tallies for one precinct was locked in a building that was no longer accessible until Wednesday, when the drive was retrieved. The Director of the Baltimore County Board of Elections told Fox 45 despite testing everything they still had issues. Some of the concerns included election judges not showing up or needing assistance setting up polling places. One precinct didn’t have the “I voted” stickers and at another there were technology issues. In Harford County, first-time voter MacKenzie Tacka, voting in Tuesday’s primary election, told The Baltimore Sun, it wasn’t as bad as she expected. “I feel really adult now,” she said. “I feel like I finally got to do something for my country.” Despite initially feeling intimidated, she said everyone at her polling location, C. Milton Wright High School in Bel Air, was nice and helpful.
Is Surveillance Voter Intimidation?: According to published reports, Republican activists in Washington are organizing surveillance at election drop boxes. Signs were posted over the weekend near ballot boxes in several Seattle-area locations, with red letters warning the boxes are “Under Surveillance” and saying that accepting money “for harvesting or depositing ballots” may violate federal law. A scannable code on the signs leads to the King County Republican Party website and a form encouraging people to submit “election incident” reports, including photos and video. Amber Krabach, a GOP activist told the Seattle Times, the signs were placed by volunteers “to act as a deterrent” to anyone getting paid to deliver ballots. “If they are legally dropping ballots into the box, then the sign shouldn’t bother them,” she said. King County Elections Director Julie Wise has asked the King County Sheriff’s office to investigate. “I believe this is a targeted, intentional strategy to intimidate and dissuade voters from using secure ballot drop boxes. My team is not going to stand by and allow any group to seed fear and doubt amongst our residents and voters, especially not when they are simply trying to make their voices heard,” Wise said. King County Prosecutor Dan Satterberg said in a statement issued by King County Elections that Washington law allows voters to drop off ballots for others. “Signs intended to make voters feel like they are being watched and monitored and violating the law by depositing ballots is voter intimidation, period,” Satterberg said.
Deterring Threats to Election Workers: BPC Elections and the Alliance for Securing Democracy released a joint report: Deterring Threats to Election Workers: Recommendations for the Department of Justice Election Threats Task Force. This report aims to improve the DOJ Election Threat Task Force’s effectiveness by urging the DOJ to release a guidance document for local law enforcement, FBI field offices, and others who work on the front lines of elections. The guidance document envisioned by BPC and ASD would discuss federal statutes the DOJ enforces related to election threats, statutes that prohibit the intimidation of election officials, and the department’s commitment to act against those who violate the law. From the report: “If the DOJ is to make a dent in improving election worker safety, it must demonstrate that it is both ready and willing to use its powers to investigate and prosecute election-related threats, while also seeking to collaborate with its partners at every turn. This additional guidance is an acknowledgement of that. And while it will not be a panacea for all the ongoing threats of violence being directed at election workers, it would certainly be a big step in the right direction.”
Machine Delivery: In some jurisdictions, incarcerated individuals deliver voting equipment to and from the polls. In others, paid elections staff do it. It’s not really a newsmaker. Unless it’s in Hinds County, Mississippi where the fight over who will deliver the machines has been gaining steam. The controversy stretches back to at least late 2021 when the county hired one contractor over another to deliver the equipment for a special election. When the company hired to deliver for the special election in 2021 had issues, the county had to bring in another company to complete the job properly. Then there was an issue paying the new vendor. Most recently, County Administrator Kenny Wayne Jones said he wants to bring the delivery of the equipment in-house citing budget concerns. Elections commissioners, though, questioned whether Jones had the authority to take over the service without consulting the board of supervisors. They also questioned whether county workers had the training they needed to do the work. At a meeting of the county board of supervisors this week, heated words were exchanged, but a solution may be in sight. District 2 Supervisor David Archie told Jones not to go to the commissioners again without first getting the board’s approval to do so. “Stay from down at the election commissioners’ office… You have no business down there dealing with any elections. That’s not your job, that’s not your authority,” he said. “Your job is to carry out our wishes here on this board.” Jones said part of his job was to save the county money. No vote was taken by the board regarding moving the deliveries in-house. Jones told WLBT that he would put an item on the agenda for the board to consider at its next meeting later this month. “I’m doing what’s in the best interest of the county,” Jones said, “but at the end of the day, if they want a vote, they will get on in two weeks.” We’ll keep you posted!
Signature Checks: The N.C. State Board of Elections has denied a Republican Party request that the board authorize county elections officials to scrutinize signatures on absentee voting documents, citing concerns that the proposal would create unequal standards across counties. “We’ve got an extraordinarily secure absentee ballot process now, and to do this would introduce a level of uncertainty where some voters might be treated different than other voters depending on how they vote,” Chair Damon Circosta said. Challenging the board’s prior guidance discouraging signature matching, the proposal would permit county boards of elections to compare signatures on absentee ballot request forms and return envelopes with the signatures included in voter registration records. The board rejected the request in a 3-2 party-line vote, with three Democrats voting against signature verification and two Republicans voting in favor. After the GOP submitted its request in May, the board held a written public comment period from June 10 to July 5, receiving more than 8,000 responses. Supporters of the request urged the board to strengthen election security before the November elections, when a few hundred votes could be the tipping point in several close races. But voting rights advocates warned the proposal could disenfranchise disabled and elderly voters whose signatures might have changed since they registered to vote.
This and That: The City and Borough of Juneau, Alaska plans to conduct the 2022 municipal election itself, instead of partnering with the Municipality of Anchorage, as was done in the last two elections. Maricopa County, Arizona Sheriff Paul Penzone said his office is pouring substantial resources into election security in an effort to handle concerns from officials. Orange County, California has won the 2022 Esri Special Achievement in GIS Award. The Macon-Bibb County, Georgia board of elections has hired an attorney in its ongoing dispute with Macon mayor over the hiring of a new elections supervisor. A formatting error made before ballots were printed caused a glitch with about 20,000 Winnebago County, Illinois ballots during the primary. Officials in Johnson County, Kansas have expressed concerns of the county sheriff’s ongoing investigation into voter fraud. Washoe County, Nevada will now provide “payment for legal and personal services by outside third-party organizations in situations where employees are unfairly publicly attacked, harassed, or disparaged by members of the public or by political organizations.” Poll worker recruitment for the Aug. 2 primary in Ohio has surpassed the minimum number needed. An expletive-laden letter, filled with a suspicious substance, was sent to the Bucks County, Pennsylvania Board of Elections this week. Postage for an absentee ballot in Davidson County, Tennessee will cost $1 this primary cycle. The Montgomery County, Virginia registrar’s office and central absentee precinct is moving to a town strip mall property that is anchored by a Food Lion grocery store.
Personnel News: Montcalm Township, Michigan Clerk Jessica Shearer has resigned. Kentucky Secretary of State Michael Adams has been reinstated as the chair of the State Board of Elections. The Shelby County, Ohio Board of Elections placed Deputy Director Collin Claywell on probation. Ashley Lunkenheimer has been appointed chairperson of the Delaware County, Pennsylvania board of elections. Richard Colwell has been sworn in as the Yuma County, Arizona recorder. Barbara Galindo has been named the Chicopee, Massachusetts registrar of voters. Terpsehore Tore Maras has qualified as an independent candidate for secretary of state in Ohio. Republican Richard Houskamp has been appointed to the Michigan board of canvassers. LaToya Peele has been named the Bertie County, North Carolina board of elections director.
Election Security Updates
Hearing on the Hill: A panel of election officials, including New Mexico Secretary of State Maggie Toulouse Oliver and Ohio Secretary of State Frank LaRose testified before the House Homeland Security Committee this week. The panel testified that many of the cybersecurity, disinformation and resource challenges election administrators have long faced still present in 2022 with the additional challenge of insider threats posed by actors inside government and threats to elections officials. Cybersecurity measures, staffing challenges, financial resources and stronger relationships with law enforcement were all tossed about during the nearly three-hour hearing, with many speakers noting the strain the threat landscape has placed on election administrators nationwide. LaRose also said that federal agencies like CISA can be speedier in “declassifying what can be declassified.” Toulouse Oliver agreed. “We want to be aware as soon as possible of any potential vulnerabilities. We need that information yesterday, not tomorrow,” she said, noting that over her six years in office, people in the election community are “getting so much better at sharing data with each other.” “The information flow has gotten a lot better,” LaRose said later in the hearing. “They’ve been purposeful about that. There’s a variety of services down to the county level.” Toulouse Oliver and Elizabeth Howard of New York University’s Brennan Center for Law and Justice both said that election officials could benefit from more federal funding, in addition to the cyber and physical security resources provided through CISA. LaRose said more funds are “appreciated,” but often come with restrictions and paperwork grants that make them “less effective.” In a wide-ranging hearing that also touched on election workers’ compensation, bulk mail from third-party groups and the effectiveness of voter ID, the threats posed by misinformation and disinformation remained close to the surface. Some members used their question time to repeat conspiracy theories about the 2020 election. The election officials who testified said they are making efforts to address the conspiracy theories that continue to be fueled by bad information on social media.
Arizona: Gov. Doug Ducey has signed House Bill 2243 into law after vetoing a similar bill in late May. Both bills call on county recorders to compare voter rolls to other databases and sources, like driver’s licenses in other states, death records, and jury questionnaires. According to VoteBeat, In a letter explaining his veto of the original legislation, Ducey pointed to a provision of the bill that required recorders to cancel voter registrations if they received information that the voter wasn’t a qualified elector. He said that provision was vague and could result in “bad actors” falsely asserting someone wasn’t qualified to vote in Arizona. The new version says recorders must “obtain,” rather than “receive and confirm,” information that indicates someone isn’t eligible to vote. That change partly addresses the issue, said Jon Sherman, the litigation director for the Fair Elections Center, because it leaves discretion to the administrators to proactively investigate ineligible voters rather than forcing them to act on outside tips. A spokesman for Ducey said he signed the second bill because the changes addressed his concerns about due process.
New Jersey: An independent legislative panel tasked with recommending revisions to state law plans to explore changes to a provision that bars election challenges due to certain vote-by-mail processing errors. That provision, which states that “no elections shall be held to be invalid due to any irregularity or failure in the preparation or forwarding of any mail-in ballots,” was at the center of an election contest over a 2020 county commissioner race in Atlantic County. Judges in New Jersey interpret election law with deference to voter enfranchisement and ballot access. The broad latitude given to jurists in such cases can, at times, lead to decisions that directly conflict with the letter of the law. “It’s all on the books, but then judges kind of have carte blanche to do what they want,” said Michael Suleiman, the Atlantic County Democratic chairman.
Lincoln County, New Mexico: The Lincoln County Commission declined to vote on a proposed resolution which urged the New Mexico Legislature to review the election process to address public trust in the process. The resolution, Resolution 2023-07, was tabled when Lincoln County Clerk Whitney Whitaker instead urged Commissioners to rewrite the resolution to “support the county clerk.” “I don’t believe this particular resolution as it’s written really identifies or captures the needs of Lincoln County or its concerns,” Whitaker said to Commissioners. Whitaker said passage of the proposed resolution would imply issues with local elections when, she said, “we are very confident in our election process.” The Commission instead agreed to rewrite the resolution with input from Whitaker, with the hopes of creating a document that might be useful in lobbying for changes to New Mexico’s voter laws in the 60-day session in 2023. Resolutions hold no weight of law, instead are statements of position of the governing body.
Arizona: A congressional candidate has filed a lawsuit against Pinal County alleging that officials’ plan to fix the county’s ballot woes would violate statutes and create “chaos and confusion in the upcoming primary election,” according to court documents. Kathleen Winn, a Republican running for a House seat in Arizona’s 6th Congressional District, filed the suit July 11, days after Pinal County elections staff discovered that they had mailed out ballots with errors to an estimated 63,000 voters. In an effort to fix the error, affected voters to cast a supplemental ballot for municipal elections, same as in the previous version of the fix. But now, voters will be able to cast those ballots by mail or at the polls on Election Day. They still would use their original ballots to vote in other contests. Winn’s complaint states that Pinal County elections staff lacks the authority to send out a supplemental ballot. It cites a previous court case from 2020 between a conservative political nonprofit and former Maricopa County Recorder Adrian Fontes. In that case, Fontes had put instructions on voter pamphlets describing how voters should correct mistakes on their ballots. He asked voters to cross out mistakes on their ballots for the November election.
Arkansas: A Franklin County judge has dismissed a lawsuit seeking to throw out the results in a House primary race due to alleged wrongdoing with absentee ballots in Crawford County. The judge found the suit wasn’t filed in the correct jurisdiction. An attorney for Jody Harris asked for the suit to be transferred to Crawford County, but the judge denied the request. Harris’ attorney plans to appeal the case to the state supreme court. Harris was leading the race late in the night while ballots were still being counted, according to the lawsuit. The commissioners had decided to count the absentee ballots last. Arkansas law requires that absentee ballots be counted before the polls close. Rep. Bruce Coleman was seen talking to Bill Coleman outside the door of the central count location at this time, according to the lawsuit. Bill Coleman indicated the election commission would pack up for the day and count the absentee ballots later, according to the lawsuit. A poll watcher insisted that the commission count the absentee ballots that night. Coleman and the commission relented, left the count center and went to another building. When they returned, Coleman said the commission had found thirteen absentee ballots that had been cast and not counted.
Florida: Disputing that the Legislature acted in “bad faith,” attorneys for the state, elections supervisors and national Republican groups urged a federal appeals court this week to overturn a ruling that said a 2021 elections law was unconstitutionally intended to discriminate against Black Floridians. In two briefs, the attorneys took aim at a March 31 ruling by Chief U.S. District Judge Mark Walker, who backed voting-rights groups in a challenge to parts of the law and wrote that Florida “has repeatedly, recently, and persistently acted to deny Black Floridians access to the franchise.” Lawyers for Secretary of State Cord Byrd, Attorney General Ashley Moody and county elections supervisors said in a 67-page brief Monday that Walker “got it wrong” and that the measure (SB 90) is a “facially neutral and common-sense election law.” “The record shows the Florida Legislature attempting to balance integrity with access to improve voter confidence, provide clear rules, and address issues before they affected Florida’s election,” the brief filed at the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals said. A panel of the Atlanta-based appeals court is scheduled to hear arguments Sept. 15 in the case. After Walker found parts of the law unconstitutional, the appeals court in May issued a stay of his ruling – effectively allowing the law to be in effect during this year’s elections.
Georgia: Voting organizations argued in federal court this week that Georgia’s ban on handing out snacks and water to fatigued voters should be blocked, telling a judge they have a free-speech right to encourage participation in elections. Meanwhile, defenders of the law passed last year said it protects voters from attempts to influence their decisions in the moments before they cast their ballots, especially after food trucks parked outside polling places during the 2020 presidential election and U.S. Senate runoffs. U.S. District Judge J.P. Boulee questioned whether the goal of voting organizations was truly nonpartisan. An email presented in court showed the group Vote.org describing the food trucks as “our last chance to reach Georgians before they vote.” “Are they helping someone because they’re thirsty, or because they want to determine control of the U.S. Senate?” Boulee asked. Under the law, no one can distribute food and drinks to a voter who is in line, within 25 feet of a line or within 150 feet of the outer edge of a polling place. Food and water could be distributed outside those boundaries, and poll workers are allowed to set up self-service water receptacles. At one point, Boulee asked whether giving out filet mignon to voters would go too far, a point that an attorney for the plaintiffs agreed with. Distributing steaks would send a different message to voters than giving them pretzels and peanuts, said the attorney, Davin Rosborough. The plaintiffs are seeking an injunction that would invalidate the restrictions on handing out food and drinks during this November’s elections. Boulee could rule in the coming weeks.
Kansas: Voting rights groups are appealing the dismissal of a lawsuit challenging a 2021 election law they fear will impact voter registration efforts and suppress voters. The Kansas Court of Appeals declined last month to block the law, which criminalizes impersonation of an election official, among other things. The court ruled the plaintiffs lacked the standing to challenge the unconstitutionality of this law because they did not demonstrate their work was harmed by this provision. But voting rights groups say they have paused voter registration work for the past year because of the law. In deciding to appeal the decision, the groups argued someone would need to be “arrested, charged, tried, convicted, and sentenced to prison” before they could challenge the law under the appeals court majority opinion. “Kansas voters rely on the league for important election information every year and currently the league in Kansas has paused all in-person voter registration activities, even ahead of our August primary elections,” said Jacqueline Lightcap, co-president of the League of Women Voters of Kansas. “In a critical election year, we need the court to strike down the law and make it clear that volunteer organizations can register voters without the threat of criminal or civil penalties.” The League of Women Voters of Kansas is joined by Loud Light, Kansas Appleseed Center for Law and Justice, and the Topeka Independent Living Resource Center in the appeal. The lawsuit filed by the same groups last year challenged other elements of the bill as well, including limitations on who can deliver an advanced mail ballot and signature verification.
Michigan: Donald Wilson, a resident of Holland, as filed a lawsuit, claiming that all voting machines in the state should be replaced with paper ballots for the upcoming August 2, 2022 primary election. Wilson alleges the state failed “to provide safe and just elections” due to the use of “unaccredited” electronic voting machines. The Court of Claims suit is asking for an injunction so that “none of the voting machines in the state” can be used “for another election” and should be replaced with paper ballots beginning with the August primary. Wilson also seeks an order that requires Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson and Elections Director Jonathan Bratter to “preserve all Nov. 3, 2020, general election” documents as well as provide him with correspondence relating to the certification of the electronic voting machines. Wilson claims that he submitted a Freedom of Information Act request in December concerning the certification of the 2020 election and he paid the state’s required 50% deposit that totaled nearly $660. However, Wilson claims the SOS office has not filled the request.
Nevada: A Republican candidate for Nevada governor who refuses to accept his primary election defeat has filed a lawsuit that claims the race was rigged based on an apparent “analysis” by a self-described “expert mathematician.” “Let w be the candidate’s aggregate percentage,” reads gubernatorial hopeful Joey Gilbert’s lengthy lawsuit, which was filed late Friday afternoon in Carson City. “Then: w = zx + (1-z)y = (x+py)/(1+p), where p is the proportion of Mail-in to Election Day ballots in the precinct.” That equation is just one of the many algorithms and graphs crammed into more than 100 pages of exhibits filed with the lawsuit that Gilbert, a Reno attorney and first-time political candidate, says is proof of an “unfair election” in Nevada with “predetermined results.” For the lawsuit, Gilbert, who embraced claims of a “stolen” 2020 election on the campaign trail, hired a group of mathematicians to offer their “expert opinions” on Nevada’s primary election results. Those experts include a Harvard-educated consultant and a retired Texas A&M University math professor. But their opinions, according to their declarations, centered primarily on a 37-page analysis prepared by Edward Solomon, who has no math degree.
Ohio: A candidate for Republican State Central Committee is suing to stop the Aug. 2 primary election, arguing that people should only be allowed to vote in that election under the same party under which they voted in May. Brian Ames filed a complaint with the Ohio Supreme Court on July 8, two days after early in-person voting began for the Aug. 2 primary. The complaint asserts that Ames has the “clear legal right to face election by the same voters he would have faced in the May 3 election.” Ames is asking Ohio Secretary of State Frank LaRose to direct boards of elections to challenge voters who request a ballot other than the one they voted in May. He said if the court rules in his favor, he will also ask the court to order a new primary election. “I’m getting phone calls saying that I was going to ruin everything,” Ames said. “I said I think it’s pretty much ruined already.” A separate primary for state elections isn’t normal, but delays in drawing new district maps for these some pushed the primary out of May and into August.
Pennsylvania: Erie County Judge Marshall Piccinini has ruled that the Erie postmaster wrongly accused of backdating mail-in ballots in the 2020 presidential election can continue his legal effort to clear his name and collect damages in court. The postmaster, Robert Weisenbach, can proceed with his libel lawsuit against Project Veritas, the conservative activist news organization that reported the unproven claims against him in November 2020 — claims that drew Erie into the national frenzy over the results of the presidential race and Donald Trump’s attempt to overturn his defeat. Piccinini has ruled against the preliminary objections of Project Veritas and the other two defendants, allowing Weisenbach’s suit to advance to the next stage, the evidence-gathering process known as a discovery, which includes depositions. Piccinini ruled against Project Veritas; its founder, James O’Keefe; and Richard Hopkins, the now former postal employee who was the source of the claims against Weisenbach.
Utah: Fourth District Court Judge Derek Pullan dismissed a civil lawsuit last week filed by two “moms” seeking to make public normally secure voting records as part of a wide-ranging effort to prove various election fraud claims. Jennifer Orten, of Draper, and Sophie Anderson, of Salt Lake City, brought the lawsuit after multiple records requests across various Utah counties were denied. Pullan pulled the plug on the women’s lawsuit—they sued Utah, Juab and Millard counties in March—after hearing arguments during a motion to dismiss hearing Wednesday. The hearing was spurred by Lt. Gov. Deidre Henderson’s office, which filed a motion to dismiss in May. Chad Shattuck, an attorney representing the plaintiffs, attempted to convince the judge the ladies’ efforts were part of the Constitution’s checks and balances tradition, whereby the public is the sovereign and government officials the servants. Pullan called the attorney’s argument “extraordinary.” “You assert on behalf of two voters the right to see ballot images of every other voter? That’s extraordinary,” the judge said.
Opinions This Week
Arizona: Election fraud
California: Poll workers
Colorado: Election security
Massachusetts: Vote by mail
Oklahoma: Poll workers
South Carolina: Voting laws
Texas: Poll workers
Virginia: Get out the vote
West Virginia: Election security
Wisconsin: Drop boxes
Wyoming: Access to election records
Future of California Elections: We are thrilled to bring back the annual Future of California Elections (FoCE) Network Conference in 2022! The FoCE Conference brings together elections officials, election reform advocates, researchers, organizers, and other stakeholders to discuss key topics in voting and elections, build relationships, and together begin to imagine a future for our elections that better serves all voters. Our theme this year, “Democracy for All: What’s Next for Building Equity in California’s Elections?” seeks to help us think together about the state of our democracy and elections in California, and build upon the momentum and innovations we are driving in leading secure, accessible democracy nationally. We may be leading the way in California, but there is still much work to be done – and we’re bringing together leading thinkers and advocates across the spectrum of elections stakeholders to discuss, inspire, innovate, and envision elections and a democracy that is more inclusive of all Californians. This year, the FoCE Conference is being held adjacent to the California Association of County Elections Officials (CACEO) conference to provide a streamlined experience to individuals who wish to attend both events. You can attend either in-person or choose to view selected sessions as a virtual attendee, as we want to ensure the greatest possible accessibility of the event. When: July 25. Where: Burbank.
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, NC. 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 email@example.com. Job postings must be received by 5pm on Wednesday in order to appear in the Thursday newsletter. Listings will run for three weeks or till the deadline listed in the posting.
City & County Clerk, Broomfield, Colorado— As the City and County Clerk you will be required to perform the following job duties: Plan, direct, organize, implement, and coordinate all programs and activities associated with City Clerk, Recording, Elections, and Motor Vehicle divisions. Create strategic plans, assemble staff resources, and delegate tasks to assigned staff members. Communicate official plans, policies, and procedures to staff, civic organizations, and the general public through various means of communication. Effectively communicate and work with City Council members. Review proposed ordinances and regulations, plans, and technical reports related to departmental activities for content, accuracy, and feasibility; present ordinance changes, reports, and studies. Salary: $110,240-$149,136. Deadline: July 25. Application: For the complete job listing and to apply, click here.
Communications Specialist, The U.S. Election Assistance Commission— The employee and supervisor collaborate to develop the approach, timelines and general framework for projects and, within these parameters, the employee independently plans and carries out the work involved in developing, maintaining, and managing media communication, coordinating with others as appropriate, interpreting and applying policy, determining the content and format for media communication, and consulting with the supervisor on questionable content or issues. The Director of Communications assigns special projects and assignments, defining the nature of the assignment, objectives to be achieved, and resources available. The employee independently resolves most problems that arise, keeping the Director informed on unusual, sensitive or controversial matters. Completed work is reviewed for achievement of objectives and consistency with governing laws, regulations, policies, and the EAC strategic plan. Salary: $74,950 – $95,824. Application: For the complete job listing and to apply, click here.
Deputy County Clerk, Boone County, Missouri— The Boone County (MO) Clerk’s Office seeks a deputy county clerk in its elections division. With general supervision, this clerk processes new and revised voter registrations, provides information to the public on candidates, ballot issues and other election information, determines ballot styles for walk-in absentee voters, verifies petitions, and performs related election duties. Salary: $15.45-$16.41/hr. Application: For the complete job listing and to apply, click here.
Director of Registration and Elections, Fulton County, Georgia— The County is seeking a Director of Registration and Elections (DRE). This position serves as the chief executive responsible for developing goals, objectives, policies, and procedures relating to voter registration and elections in Fulton County. The DRE also prepares, presents, and manages the department’s approved annual budget. The DRE leads programs and services that ensure safe, free, and accessible voter registration and elections in the County. The DRE ensures accurate collection and maintenance of voter registration data and administers the county elections and associated services, which includes but is not limited to absentee balloting, voter registration, voter education and outreach. The Director collects information and validates candidates for elective office, ensures the availability of training for poll workers, and directs efforts to educate voters on elections in the county. The DRE performs other duties, including preservation, storage, preparation, testing and maintenance of departmental election equipment. Furthermore, the director oversees election district boundaries, and administers the selection of polling places in the county. Salary: $175K-$195K. 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 Processing Supervisor, San Diego California— Election Processing Supervisors organize, direct, and supervise the activities of sections within the Registrar of Voters’ – Voters Services Divisions. Position responsibilities include but are not limited to: planning, scheduling and coordinating activities related to vote-by-mail ballots, sample ballots, election mail pick-up, voter records and registration, training, election equipment and warehouse; providing lead work in special projects and assignments; providing interpretations and ensuring proper implementation of Federal, State and local laws regulating elections. 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.
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 Services Manager, Contra Costa County, California— Our office is vital to our democracy and our community, and we love to help our residents. Our leadership values employee development and engagement, promotes open and transparent communication, prepares us to be a high-performing organization, and recognizes the contributions of others. We connect with the community, listen to them, and provide a critical service that people rely on. The incumbent will report directly to the Assistant Registrar, work in collaboration with the Clerk-Recorder-Registrar and executive management team, and interact with leaders in other county departments, state officials, and vendors to carry out essential functions. self-starter. You need to see the overall picture and be able to plan, organize, and prioritize tasks using tact, initiative, prudence, and independent judgment. A team player. You will be expected to bring balance to the team, foster trust, and instill confidence in your direct reports and the department as a whole. Customer Focused. You should provide a high level of customer service and strive to improve the voter’s experience and services to County residents. Accountable. You should take responsibility for your own work and the work of your division, assuring projects are completed within established timelines. Flexible. You will need to work well under pressure and be adaptable to changing priorities while balancing multiple projects. At times, this can be a high-stress job and the successful candidate must be able to cope and respond appropriately. A collaborative leader. You will collaborate with multiple units that have interconnected work products to help achieve division goals and should be willing to step in and help other units when needed. Knowledgeable. You should be experienced in election law, the election process, procedures, timelines, and administration. 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.
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.
Senior Clerk Recorder Technician, Nevada County, California— Nevada County seeks a Senior Clerk-Recorder Technician to manage the databases and processes that register voters, conduct elections and preserve the County’s Official Records. The incumbent works in collaboration with the Registrar of Voters and executive management team, leaders in other county departments, state officials, and vendors to carry out essential functions. The Senior Clerk-Recorder Technician also manages up to 8 temporary election workers that assist in maintaining voter registration data. This position requires candidates to maintain professional working relationships with county staff, outside stakeholders, and the public. 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.
Systems Administrator, Sarasota County, Florida— The Systems Administrator is an Information Technology professional responsible for the coordination, implementation, planning, investigating and serving as the liaison for all facets of data processing, to include any election related tasks. Key Responsibilities: Provides expertise on hardware and software, considering costs and capabilities. Installs new software and hardware, including network operating system, as assigned. Adds new systems to network and ensure all required documentation. Ensures account setup, maintenance, and removal; provides user support. Assists to administer/maintain networked servers. Ensures timely systems backups and maintains logs. Protects data and performs and tests backup processes. Maintain password, trustee and viral security. Maintain network policy and maintenance controls, including network security. Troubleshooting, including maintenance and repair of computer equipment. Assists with ballot preparation, processing and tabulation. Performs equipment tests to include election and computer equipment as needed or assigned. Responsible for network design. Participates in the review and revision of security and emergency procedures and the maintenance of the information system disaster recovery plan. Maintains system software licenses and supervise all software installations. Salary: $40,996-$87,630. 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.
Voting Rights Expert, The Carter Center— The Carter Center is seeking a highly qualified voting rights analyst to work on the Center’s US election advisory team under the guidance of the Democracy Program staff. The voting rights expert will assess and analyze key issues affecting women, the disabled, and disenfranchised groups in the United States. The voting rights expert will contribute to public and private statements concerning the electoral process and provide an impartial assessment of elections as well as detailed recommendations for ways to improve the program’s inclusiveness, credibility, and transparency as it relates to voting access of historically disenfranchised peoples. A minimum of seven (7) years of experience in democracy and/or elections is required, in addition to a degree in political science or another relevant field. 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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