In Focus This Week
Understanding Why People Believe Conspiracy Theories
A Brief Media Literacy Lesson
By Michelle Ciulla Lipkin, executive director
National Association for Media Literacy Education
Think about this:
Those are astounding numbers! No wonder so many of us are having trouble navigating the firehouse of information coming at us 24/7. Sometimes it can feel like we are just barely keeping our head above water. With the amount of information available, it can be hard to decipher what information is credible. It also makes us more perceptible to falling for false information, even conspiracy theories.
Over the last several years, we have seen a growth in the spread of conspiracy theories. Conspiracy theories used to have a place on the fringe of society, but they have become mainstream and are having real impact on our world. For many of us, falling for a conspiracy theory can seem almost ridiculous. However, they are powerful and can be appealing for those looking for ways to make sense out of situations that are complicated and unsettling.
Let’s look at why people embrace conspiracy theories. Using The News Literacy Project resource as a guide, here are 5 reasons why conspiracy theories work.
1) Conspiracy theories are compelling. These theories are often far more interesting and exciting than the actual narrative. As human beings we love stories and conspiracy theories can be fascinating stories that easily hook people who are looking for an alternate explanation of an outcome or situation they wish were different. (Say, like an election result.)
2) Conspiracy theories provide simplified explanations of complex issues. Social issues are complicated and often very hard to wrap our heads around. False and captivating narratives can simplify a situation and provide someone or something to blame for the problem.
3) Conspiracy believers utilize motivated reasoning. Those that believe conspiracy theories only seek out information that confirms their beliefs. Also referred to as identity protective cognition, this is the tendency of individuals to unconsciously dismiss evidence that does not reflect their beliefs. Conspiracy theories play on this tendency.
4) Conspiracy theories activate our cognitive biases. Conspiracy theories take advantage of common errors in the way we think. For example, our brains look for and perceive patterns that don’t necessarily exist. This is referred to as illusory pattern perception. This is especially true when things don’t turn out the way we want them to. Humans also tend to believe we have a better understanding of the world than we do. This is defined as illusion of explanatory depth.
5) Conspiracy theories provide people with a sense of belonging. Humans long for community and we are devoted to our group. Many conspiracy theory communities provide individuals with connection and purpose, especially those that don’t have that connection and purpose elsewhere in their lives. The closer one is connected to their group the more likely they are to believe in what the group believes. With the increased use of social media platforms for communication, it is easier than ever to find a group of like-minded individuals.
Reviewing these reasons, one may be able to better understand why people find conspiracy theories appealing. We’re constantly processing information every moment of every day, and we look for patterns to make sense of it all.
When it comes to politics, elections, and our democracy, you can add intense loyalty, strong emotions, and political manipulation to the mix. Blend in an isolating pandemic and social media filter bubbles and you have the recipe for conspiracy theories.
So, the next time you come across someone who believes a conspiracy theory remind yourself that, while you may find it somewhat absurd, there are reasons for their belief. Understanding what those reasons are can lead to a more empathetic, productive conversation which is better for us all.
This is the second in a series of articles about media literacy.
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Election News This Week
Good Cop: While vote-by-mail and early voting grabbed many of the headlines around Massachusetts’ new VOTES Act, another provision of the new law could have a major impact on voting rights. Under the VOTES Act, the secretary of the commonwealth must prepare posters explaining voting rights and procedures for jail officials to “display in prominent locations” inside their facilities, as well as written forms to distribute to everyone inside who may be eligible to vote. The law also directs jails to “ensure the receipt, private voting, where possible, and return of mail ballots” for incarcerated people and prohibits jail staff from opening and inspecting any completed mail ballots “unless it is to investigate reasonable suspicion of a prohibited activity.” It also requires sheriffs to track the number of people incarcerated in their jails who sought to vote, any complaints related to voting issues and the outcome of those requests. “I think this bill does an excellent job reaching into those who have been forgotten in voting and it gives them the ability to have their voices be heard,” Corey “Al-Ameen” Patterson, a formerly incarcerated person and advocate for the new law, told Bolts.
Bad Cop: The Associated Press had a piece this week about the outsized role some conspiracy-promoting sheriffs have in elections. Elected sheriffs in Kansas, Michigan and Wisconsin have tasked deputies with investigating alleged election fraud. They have also accused state elections officials of violating election laws. “We’ve been educating ourselves about elections,” Johnson County, Kansas Sheriff Calvin Hayden told a gathering in Las Vegas recently. “I’ve sent my detectives through — I’ve got a cyber guy. I sent him through to start evaluating what’s going on with the machines.” “The danger of anyone embracing a conspiracy theory is the loss of confidence in election results,” said Chris Harvey, the former state elections director in Georgia. “It’s an added danger if it’s law enforcement. Their job is to enforce laws and maintain order. If they are seen as not having confidence in what’s going on, it’s just going to further trickle down into society.”
Not Helpful: Two Michigan clerks were forced to issue a joint statement this week after TV stations mistakenly published random election data for a test run before the upcoming primary. According to MLive, Kent County Clerk Lisa Posthumus Lyons and Ottawa County Clerk Justin Roebuck said that no one from their offices were involved in the tests that resulted in the erroneous data that appeared online. “Our teams have received calls and messages this morning concerning election results data that has been posted on local media sites,” the statement reads. “We want to be very clear that results posted on these sites were not provided by official election administrators, nor were our offices involved in any way.” At least two Michigan television stations published the data sent out by the Associated Press to the news outlets to test election systems over the weekend, Roebuck told MLive/The Grand Rapids Press about the error. The Ottawa County clerk said he was inundated with calls and text messages starting early Monday morning from people who were concerned after they saw what they thought were early election results published online. Roebuck said misinformation can damage public confidence in the county’s elections systems. He said Michigan voters can rest assured that the county elections systems have thorough checks and balances in place to ensure that official election results are certified and accurate.
Sign of the Times: Staffing shortages have force the Monroe County, Florida supervisor of elections to close one of her offices to the public just weeks before the Florida primary. According to Supervisor of Elections Joyce Griffin, the Marathon branch of the supervisor’s office has lost three employees in recent months to moves and retirements and no one has applied to fill the jobs. “I just don’t know what to say,” Griffin told Keys Weekly. “It breaks my heart to close that office, especially at this time of year, but I have done everything I possibly can and I cannot find anybody to work.” Griffin plans to reach out to past poll workers to see if any are interested in working for the office through November’s general election, but recognizes this is only a short-term solution. “I’m not the only one suffering from this, but you would think someone in Marathon would love to have a county job,” she said. Though the office previously functioned as a drop-off site for absentee and vote-by-mail ballots, Griffin said a legal requirement to account for ballots from a “secure ballot intake station” on the Supervisor of Elections’ computer system on a daily basis precludes her from extending the drop-off service while the office is closed. The Marathon office will remain closed until it becomes an early voting site from Aug. 8-20. Anyone looking for a job in the Florida Keys should reach out to Joyce!
This and That: According to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, bearing long lists of voters’ names, a determined group of Republicans is asking local election boards to cancel thousands of Georgia voter registrations, using a new power bestowed by the state’s voting law. Common Cause Indiana and the League of Women Voters of Greater Lafayette filed an administrative complaint with the Indiana Election Division July 21 alleging the Tippecanoe County Board of Elections and Registration is violating state and federal voter registration laws. The New Mexico Attorney General’s Office is looking into a recent Otero County Commission vote to eliminate ballot drop boxes and halt the use of vote-tabulation machines. Tens of thousands of people serving punishments for felony convictions in North Carolina but who aren’t behind bars can now register to vote and cast ballots following an appeals court ruling. Ohio Secretary of State Frank LaRose recently returned from an elections observation trip to Nigeria. A Dane County, Wisconsin task force is recommending increasing security for clerks they say are facing growing threats in the wake of false claims of widespread voter fraud during the 2020 election, along with improving security at facilities used to store voting equipment.
Personnel News: Michael Susek has submitted his resignation as Luzerne County, Pennsylvania election director. Renee’ Kolen has announced her retirement from the Curry County, Oregon clerk’s office after 30 years as clerk. Jill Ozuna is the new Montgomery County, Iowa auditor. Joshua Vallieres has been sworn in as the new North Adams, Massachusetts clerk.
Federal Legislation: House Republicans unveiled election legislation likely to serve as the leading response to concerns about the 2020 elections in a GOP majority, taking aim at “Zuckerbucks” and “ballot harvesting” while promoting preferred election administration in states. Titled the American Confidence in Elections Act, the bill announced by House Administration Committee ranking member Rodney Davis (R-Ill.) is largely crafted around the principle that states have the primary role in elections. The GOP bill establishes a standards board to serve as a best-practices forum, including on mail ballots, signature verification procedures, timely ballot counting and post-election audits. The bill imposes a number of requirements to ensure only eligible American citizens vote, including penalizing states’ ability to receive federal funds for election systems if they allow noncitizen voting in state or local elections. A federal judge last month struck down a New York City law that would have allowed noncitizen residents to vote in city elections, though Republicans have repeatedly pointed to noncitizen voting risks. A section first introduced by Rep. Claudia Tenney (R-N.Y.), co-chair of the Election Integrity Caucus, would prohibit 501(c)3 nonprofit organizations from directly funding election boards.The bill also prohibits states to use funds on election administration for federal offices unless it includes certain restrictions on who can collect ballots. Only postal employees, family members, household members, caregivers and authorized election officials could collect and transmit ballots for others.
Delaware: Gov. John Carney (D) signed two election reform bills, enabling Delawareans to register to vote on election day and to vote by mail. The two bills passed this spring despite firm Republican opposition. Democrats previously introduced a constitutional amendment to allow no-excuse absentee voting in 2019. It passed with bipartisan support that year but failed to garner any Republican votes in following session. Constitutional amendments must pass with a two-thirds majority in two consecutive sessions to become law. Absentee voting rules are defined in Delaware’s constitution. Vote-by-mail supporters argue while both approaches expand voting access in similar ways, voting by mail is a voting methodology, which lawmakers can change.
Sandoval County, New Mexico: County Commissioners passed a resolution last month that seeks to change how the state conducts elections. County commissioners are requesting that the New Mexico Legislature make several changes to current election code to, as the resolution states, “enhance the faith of the public in election outcomes.” The resolution states that there “have been many changes in election laws over the past decade to increase voter participation.” It goes on to say that “some of these changes have increased the risk of election fraud,” though it does not cite any examples or offer evidence of election fraud. The changes proposed in the resolution include requiring voters to show a photo identification to cast a ballot for both in-person and absentee voting. Other changes include prohibiting the use of ballot drop boxes and an “enhanced chain of custody process” for absentee ballots, according to the resolution approved June 22 during a regular meeting of the Sandoval County Board of Commissioners. “New Mexico has long struggled to effectively and efficiently remove inactive voters from the voter rolls,” the resolution states and, based on this claim, commissioners are asking the state to use “data-matching software” to purge voter rolls of anyone who has moved or died.
Pennsylvania: Legislation authored by state Rep. Ryan Warner to ensure voting precincts across the state have enough ballots to accommodate in-person voters has been signed into law. Act 66 of 2022 would require enough ballots to be printed and supplied to each precinct for 50% of all registered voters in that precinct in each party for a primary election, and 100% of all registered voters in that precinct for a general election. Each of these numbers could be reduced by the number of registered voters in an election district that have requested an absentee or mail-in ballot. The law will take effect in 60 days. “Last May, voting precincts in several areas of the state, including Fayette and Westmoreland counties which I represent, actually ran out of ballots for people who showed up to vote in person,” Warner, R-Perryopolis, said. “That is simply unacceptable. This law will ensure it never happens again.”
Alabama: Alabama Attorney General Steve Marshall has asked a judge to toss out a lawsuit by former gubernatorial candidate Lindy Blanchard and others that claims electronic voting machines in Alabama are inaccurate and subject to manipulation. “Plaintiffs ask this Court to rewrite Alabama’s election laws based on nothing more than speculation and innuendo,” attorneys with Marshall’s office wrote in a motion to dismiss the case filed Wednesday in Montgomery County Circuit Court. Blanchard’s lawsuit asks the court to bar the use of electronic vote-counters used in all 67 Alabama counties and require a hand count of ballots in the general election in November. The lawsuit claims, in part, that the use of the electronic voting machines violates due process because the machines are capable of being connected to the internet and hacked. Lawyers with the AG’s office said the court has no jurisdiction over what they characterized as hypothetical claims. “Plaintiffs do not claim that their ballots will likely be miscounted,” the motion to dismiss says. “They allege only that someone’s ballot might be miscounted, if a voting machine is ever hooked up to the internet and if someone hacks it.”
Arizona: U.S. District Court Judge John Tuchi has heard arguments from both sides in a lawsuit involving election tabulation machines in Arizona. The lawsuit pits two high-profile candidates against each other, Republican candidate for governor Kari Lake and Democrat candidate Katie Hobbs, who is also Secretary of State. Lake, along with Republican Secretary of State candidate Mark Finchem, is suing the Arizona Secretary of State’s office and Maricopa County Board of Supervisors, claiming tabulation machines cannot be trusted and should not be used to count votes. The plaintiffs are asking Tuchi to order the removal of electronic machines from elections so Arizona’s two largest counties employ a hand count instead. Tuchi did not indicate when he will make a decision about the injunction request. He said the plaintiffs have one week to respond to issues raised in the hearing.
California: On behalf of the Southwest Voter Registration Project Malibu-based attorney Kevin Shenkman has sued the city of Cypress for not switching their election system which critics argue violates the California Voting Rights Act and disenfranchises voters of color. Two Cypress residents — Katie Shapiro and Malini Nagpal, who is Asian American — have joined the Southwest Voter Registration Project in their lawsuit against the city. “The Asian American citizens of Cypress whose voting rights are immediately harmed by the City of Cypress’ adherence to an unlawful at-large system of electing its city council are hindered from protecting their own interests,” the complaint filing reads. “Despite an Asian American population of approximately 36.8% in the City of Cypress, according to the 2020 Census, the candidates preferred by Asian American voters lose in elections within Cypress,” the complaint reads. “No Asian American candidate has been elected to the Cypress City Council in over a decade. This consistent pattern reveals a lack of access to the political process.”
Connecticut: For about four hours this week, Stamford’s former town clerk took the stand in the trial of a former city Democratic Party head accused of absentee ballot fraud, in part explaining how such ballots are ordinarily issued. Under questioning, former clerk Donna Loglisci said that in 2015, she gave absentee ballots to John Mallozzi, who was the chairman of the Stamford Democratic City Committee at the time, and two other people even though the ballots were for voters other than them. She admitted that she broke the law by doing so. Under state law, a town clerk is supposed to mail or hand an absentee ballot to the person who applied for it, though there are exceptions for situations like a person being hospitalized. Loglisci is not facing charges. In court, Loglisci said that Mallozzi told her that those voters were unable to get out to vote because of sickness or other reasons. Mallozzi has been charged with 14 counts of second-degree forgery and 14 counts of committing false statements in absentee balloting. Those felony charges are tied to the 2015 city elections. Since his arrest in early 2019, Mallozzi has pleaded not guilty.
Delaware: The Delaware GOP has filed suit against two new election bills recently signed into law by Gov. John Carney. The two bills passed this spring despite firm Republican opposition. Democrats previously introduced a constitutional amendment to allow no-excuse absentee voting in 2019. It passed with bipartisan support that year but failed to garner any Republican votes in following session. Constitutional amendments must pass with a two-thirds majority in two consecutive sessions to become law. Sen. Colin Bonini (R- Dover) contends the vote-by-mail bill was a partisan workaround by Democrats intended to stave off a possible surge in GOP voters this fall. “The Constitution provides you must vote in person on election day unless you qualify under very limited conditions to vote absentee. Mail in voting clearly violates that requirement, as it allows remote voting without declaring or meeting any of those limited conditions,” said Delaware GOP Chair Jane Brady in a statement. “The Delaware Constitution also provides that a period must be provided for new voters to register to vote but requires that the period end 10 days before the election.”
Georgia: Superior Court Judge Robert McBurney has granted a motion by a Republican candidate for lieutenant governor to disqualify District Attorney Fani Willis from targeting him in her criminal probe into former President Donald Trump and allies’ efforts to overturn the results of the 2020 election. McBurney barred Willis from building a case against Burt Jones, a state senator running for lieutenant governor, after she hosted a fundraiser backing Democratic candidate Charlie Bailey in his runoff against another Democratic challenger who ultimately lost, Kwanza Hall. McBurney said Willis’ taking part in the fundraiser was “harmful” to the integrity of the investigation. “Any decision the district attorney makes about Senator Jones in connection with the grand jury investigation is necessarily infected by it,” the judge wrote, adding that any effort to focus specifically on Jones, even if it were justified, would prompt “entirely reasonable concerns of politically motivated persecution.”
Kansas: The Kansas Court of Appeals has ruled that Secretary of State Scott Schwab violated state open records law when he ordered a software vendor to disable the ability to produce a public record. The decision directed a trial court judge to order Secretary of State Scott Schwab to reverse the software change in the state’s voter registration system so that it can again produce a statewide report on provisional ballots. Voters receive provisional ballots if they don’t appear to be registered, fail to present required identification or try to vote at the wrong polling place. Their ballots are set aside to be reviewed later by local officials, who determine whether they will be counted. Davis Hammet is founder of the voting-rights group Loud Light, which helps voters fix issues that led them to cast provisional ballots so that their votes are counted. It also researches voting-rights issues and lobbies the Legislature. Hammet first sought the information after the 2018 general election, then again repeatedly in 2020. Schwab’s office provided it free of charge until the fall of 2020, when Schwab had the vendor maintaining the voter registration system turn off the feature that produces the reports. “The report feature may have been of no use to the Secretary but it was useful to Hammet and the public,” Judge Stephen Hill wrote for the three-member appeals panel. “And that is the point of open public records.”
Montana: Yellowstone County District Court Judge Michael G. Moses struck down a Republican-backed law preventing anyone who turns 18 before Election Day from getting a ballot before their birthday, finding that it infringes on young Montanans’ right to vote. Moses partially ruled in favor of a coalition of youth groups that challenged the law, along with other election-related legislation, last year. The group includes Montana Youth Action, the Forward Montana Foundation and the Montana Public Interest Research Group. House Bill 506 was passed near the end of the 2021 legislative session, where it got far more attention for a last-minute provision grafted onto the bill, which sought to change the way the state’s congressional redistricting process works. But it also prohibited voters from receiving or turning in a ballot until they reach voting age, even if they will be 18 by Election Day. In defending the new law, Montana Secretary of State Christi Jacobsen had argued HB 506 was necessary “to ensure that only qualified electors were receiving ballots and mailing them in.” Moses noted an earlier form of the legislation would have allowed those voters to submit ballots in advance of their birthdays, but required that election officials wait until they had turned 18 before processing and counting their vote. “The version of HB 506 that the Legislature ultimately passed arbitrarily subjects a subgroup of the electorate to different requirements and irrationally forecloses an avenue of voting available to all others in the electorate,” Moses wrote. He found that the law failed to meet the requirement that it be “narrowly tailored” to its rationale, in order to avoid unnecessarily infringing on a fundamental right.
New Mexico: U.S. District Court Judge James Browning has issued an order preventing New Mexico state prosecutors from pursuing allegations of possible election code violations against the creators of VoteRef.com. The VoteRef.com website provides searchable access to voter registration records by name and street addresses, often indicating when people voted in past elections. The online records do not say for which candidates the people voted or how they voted on initiatives. Party affiliation is listed for voters in some states but not all. New Mexico election regulators contend that the effort violates state restrictions on the purchase and dissemination of voter registration records — and is likely to discourage voter participation because people may opt out if they know that some of their voting information is being made public. New Mexico Secretary of State Maggie Toulouse Oliver, a Democrat, in March referred the matter the attorney general’s office for possible prosecution of the Voter Reference Foundation, which published New Mexico registration records online at the time after obtaining them through an out-of-state business. State law restricts the use of voter registration information to political campaigning and election- or government-related activities. The judge’s order blocks prosecution while the case advances toward trial and said that the Voter Reference Foundation is likely to prevail in its claim as the victim of viewpoint discrimination by election regulators. Browning said New Mexico state law “does not prohibit Voter Reference — or any organization — from posting voter data online.” Following the ruling, the foundation said it would post New Mexico voter rolls online starting this week.
New York: The New York City Law Department has filed a notice that it will appeal the ruling of a Staten Island judge who ruled the city’s new noncitizen voting law violates the state constitution and state election law. There had been growing concern among advocates over whether the city would join them in appealing Richmond County State Supreme Court Justice Ralph Porzio’s ruling. The deadline to file a notice of appeal is Wednesday. Those advocates, who had joined the lawsuit on behalf of individuals who would gain voting rights, had already vowed to appeal are included in the claim. “This appeal continues the city’s commitment to vigorously defend the law,” a city Law Department spokesperson said in a statement. “The City’s decision to appeal this matter reaffirms the need and importance of protecting the right to vote in municipal elections for close to one million New Yorkers,” said Fulvia Vargas-De León, associate counsel for LatinoJustice. She said her group intends to fight for its clients’ rights to participate in the democratic process “and to support the law’s constitutionality.”
Pennsylvania: Republicans have sued again in an attempt to throw out Pennsylvania’s broad mail-in voting law, even as the state’s highest court considers a separate lawsuit aimed at wiping out a law that lost favor with Republicans following former President Donald Trump’s baseless claims about election fraud. It is the latest fight over voting laws in a political battleground state. The lawsuit comes barely two months before voters can send in mail-in ballots in the fall election featuring high-profile contests for governor and the U.S. Senate. The suit, filed in the Commonwealth Court by 14 state Republican lawmakers, contends that the court must invalidate the law because of a provision written into it that says it is “void” if any of its requirements are struck down in court. The lawsuit says the “non-severability” provision was triggered in a May 20 decision by a panel of the 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals concerning mail-in ballots in a Lehigh County judicial race in November. The ballots in question lacked handwritten dates on the return envelopes, as required in the law. In the decision, the panel found that a handwritten date has no bearing on a voter’s eligibility and said it would violate voters’ civil rights to throw out their ballots in that election simply because they lacked a handwritten date. The panel pointed out that ballots with incorrect dates had been counted. An appeal by the Republican candidate in the race is pending in the U.S. Supreme Court.
Washington: A candidate for Clark County auditor has filed a lawsuit against current Auditor Greg Kimsey over the inclusion of nonpartisan races with two or fewer candidates on the August primary ballot. Brett Simpson announced he filed the suit in Clark County Superior Court against Kimsey, Clark County Elections Supervisor Cathie Garber, and the county as a whole. The suit intends to prevent the county from counting votes in the primary election for the auditor’s race, which features both Simpson and Kimsey. Simpson argues that because there are only two candidates for the election and the position is nonpartisan, it should not be on the ballot per state law. The auditor’s office went from a partisan to nonpartisan position earlier this year after county voters approved an amendment to the Clark County Charter. The change also affects other elected officials in county government, like the assessor and treasurer. The lawsuit cites communication between Kimsey and a registered voter who asked about the inclusion of several races for county-level elected positions featuring two or fewer candidates on the primary ballot. Those included the county assessor, auditor, clerk, prosecuting attorney and treasurer. The suit cites state law which states “(n)o primary may be held for any single position in any nonpartisan office if, after the last day allowed for candidates to withdraw, there are no more than two candidates filed for the position.” The lawsuit requests that votes cast in the primary election for the auditor’s race be disregarded. The suit does not pertain to other county-level races with two or fewer candidates.
Wisconsin: Four Wisconsin voters with significant physical disabilities are asking a federal judge to ensure their absentee ballots may be returned to election clerks by caretakers in upcoming elections after a state Supreme Court ruling banned such practices. The voters, who are each unable to move their arms or legs or have severely limited mobility, argue the court ruling violates the U.S. Constitution, the Americans with Disabilities Act, the Voting Rights Act and the Civil Rights Act. “Without ballot-return assistance, many voters with disabilities, including Plaintiffs, would be unable to access Wisconsin’s absentee-voting program, rendering this statutorily provided method of voting unavailable to qualified voters with disabilities, even while it would remain available to other Wisconsin voters,” the lawsuit alleges. The lawsuit is brought by Law Forward, a voting rights-focused legal firm. The plaintiffs are asking a judge to allow them to have caretakers return ballots to clerks’ offices, citing a statement Wisconsin Elections Commission administrator Meagan Wolfe made earlier this month, when she interpreted the state Supreme Court’s ruling to mean voters must return their own ballots.
Wyoming: The Wyoming Attorney General’s office has filed a motion seeking to dismiss a suit challenging a new state law that requires voters to present ID at the polls. The motion requesting dismissal argues that plaintiff Tim Newcomb, an attorney who has expertise in the Wyoming Constitution, has not been harmed by the law and therefore lacks standing to bring the challenge. “Put simply, Newcomb fails to allege any fact that indicate a genuine interest in this case,” the state’s memorandum says. “Newcomb has not alleged that he has or will suffer any harm.” The law, which requires voters to show ID at the polls, was passed in the 2021 legislative session and has been in effect for roughly a year. The upcoming midterm elections will be the first major elections in Wyoming where voters will have to bring identification. The state’s voters have long had to show a photo ID when registering, a provision the lawsuit does not challenge. The lawsuit, brought by Newcomb and his attorney Charles Pelkey, a former Democratic state lawmaker, alleges the statute is inconvenient and unnecessary. “(The voter ID law) trammels the constitutional right essential to suffrage both in passage and operation,” the suit states. This suit represents one of the first attempts to legally challenge the voter ID law on the basis of the state’s constitution.
Opinions This Week
National Opinions: Faith in elections | Election confidence | Native American voting rights | Voting rights | Drop boxes, II | Voters with disabilities | Election fraud | Political violence |Election deniers | Misinformation
Alaska: Ranked choice voting
Arizona: Secretary of state race
California: Noncitizen voting
Illinois: Primary reform
Kansas: Voting rights
Kentucky: Election integrity
Massachusetts: Voting laws
New Jersey: Same day registration
Wisconsin: Voter mistakes
Political Violence Prevention: Updated Threat Assessment & Mapping: Join Over Zero, the Trusted Elections Fund, the Democracy Funders Network, and More in Common for a virtual session on Thursday, August 11, from 2:00pm to 3:30pm ET, focused on trends, risks, and opportunities related to preventing political violence in the US in 2022 and beyond. It will feature a brief update on new trends and relevant research on risks of political violence, an update and deeper dive into Over Zero’s landscape mapping for the violence prevention field, and opportunities to connect with a wide range of experts, practitioners and funders. This session will bring together a wide variety of experts, practitioners and funders, and will build on the scenario planning and other planning exercises many groups have been a part of in 2022. When: August 11. Where: Online.
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.
Arizona Deputy Coordinator, U.S. Elections, The Carter Center— The Democracy Program at The Carter Center works globally to support and strengthen participatory democracy, consistent with human rights. Beginning in 2020, The Carter Center began efforts to support elections in the United States. There are multiple key aspects to this project: establishing nonpartisan observation efforts, tracking disinformation and dangerous speech, contributing to electoral reform, and promoting candidate codes of conduct. The Carter Center is advancing nonpartisan observation efforts in two key states: Arizona and Michigan. These states were selected following 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 nonpartisan observation is to provide credible and transparent information on the conduct of elections in each state through public reports. The Deputy Coordinator will execute the citizen observation plan and develop partnerships with community-based organizations. They will report directly to the US Elections Coordinator in [Michigan/Arizona] and to the US Elections team in Atlanta. 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.
Director of Civic Information, Center for Tech and Civic Life— The Center for Tech and Civic Life’s Director of Civic Information will lead a department of approximately 18 team members. The Director of Civic Information is a member of the leadership team and reports to the Executive Director. Responsibilities include: Set strategic priorities, including short- and long-term goals for CTCL’s civic information programs, with input from key stakeholders. Ensure that the Civic Information team’s direction is aligned with CTCL’s values and strategic plan. Stay curious and informed about the civic engagement ecosystem. Maintain and grow strategic, collaborative partnerships. Ensure that civic information program deliverables are executed in a timely, accurate manner, and that the civic information team has the structure, systems, and tools necessary to do its best work. Continue to create a department that attracts and retains a team of high performers from diverse backgrounds, including through new hire recruitment and development of existing staff to meet their full potential. Work with the leadership team and board members to support the Executive Director in ensuring all aspects of CTCL’s continued excellence. Support the Executive Director in fundraising activity, especially toward acquiring funding for civic information programming. Maximize organizational impact through development and management of the department’s annual budget. Salary: $100K-$120K. Deadline: July 31. 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.
Election System Support Specialist, Georgia Secretary of State’s Office — Under general supervision, the Elections System Support Specialist I provides assistance to the Elections Systems Manager by assisting counties and other Division staff members with system related technical support and troubleshooting. This position will also assist with system testing and any other system matters delegated from the Elections System Manager. Salary: $55K. Deadline: Aug. 3. 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.
Elections Technician/Elections Specialist DOQ, Larimer County, Colorado— Larimer County is increasingly aware of the need to attract and retain the best people for our workforce, and 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 solid reputation for integrity. If you are a self-motivated, positive team player who thrives in a fast-paced professional environment – we want to hear from you! The successful candidate will be dedicated, assertive and possess exceptional interpersonal and problem-solving skills. The process of Election Administration is project driven and very detail oriented. The Elections Technician/Elections Specialist position provides support to and/or oversight for certain processes. Deadline: August 7. Application: For the complete job listing and to apply, click here,
Executive Director, Peoria County, Illinois— The Executive Director is responsible for all aspects of the administration of the Election Commission. Duties include the application of all statutory requirements in maintaining the permanent registry of voters and in the planning, organizing and conducting of local, state and federal elections in the County of Peoria. The Executive Director is the liaison to the community, other government agencies and members of the press for the Board of Election Commissioners. Deadline: August 5. 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.
Michigan Deputy Coordinator, U.S. Elections, The Carter Center— The Democracy Program at The Carter Center works globally to support and strengthen participatory democracy, consistent with human rights. Beginning in 2020, The Carter Center began efforts to support elections in the United States. There are multiple key aspects to this project: establishing nonpartisan observation efforts, tracking disinformation and dangerous speech, contributing to electoral reform, and promoting candidate codes of conduct. The Carter Center is advancing nonpartisan observation efforts in two key states: Arizona and Michigan. These states were selected following assessments completed on multiple states. Nonpartisan observation efforts implemented and/or supported by The Carter Center will differ from existing partisan pollwatchers and election-protection groups. The goal of nonpartisan observation is to provide credible and transparent information on the conduct of elections in each state through public reports. The Deputy Coordinator will execute the citizen observation plan and develop partnerships with community-based organizations. They will report directly to the US Elections Coordinator in [Michigan/Arizona] and to the US Elections team in Atlanta. Application: For the complete job listing and to apply, click here.
Research Manager, Data Analysis, CEIR— Under the direction of the Research Director, the Research Manager will be responsible for CEIR’s data-driven research initiatives and supervise one or more research team members. These initiatives include matters pertaining to voter registration, voter access, election integrity and security, and election administration. As an integral member of the highly collaborative research team, the Research Manager will develop and conduct surveys and studies, analyze data, and contribute to research reports and other written materials for CEIR’s diverse audience of election officials, policymakers, the media, and key stakeholders. Salary: $75K-$95K. Deadline: August 31. 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.
Senior Research Associate, Data Analysis, CEIR— The Senior 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 Senior 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. Salary: $65K-$80K. Deadline: August 31. Application: For the complete job listing and to apply, click here.
Senior Research Associate, Policy, CEIR— The Senior 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 Senior Research Associate will support CEIR’s mission primarily by conducting policy research related to our initiatives and drafting reports and other written materials for CEIR’s diverse audience of election officials, policymakers, the media, and key stakeholders. The Senior Research Associate will also help the research team develop surveys and studies and assist with data analysis. Salary: $65K-$80K. Deadline: August 31. 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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