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August 25, 2022

August 25, 2022

In Focus This Week

The Elections Group launches its Communications Resource Desk ahead of  2022 General Election

By The Elections Group

Free service provides direct and customizable communications support and resources for election officials

Election officials are incredibly busy. They are accustomed to wearing several hats, including everything from administering safe and secure elections in an evolving landscape to addressing legislative changes. With the rise of mis- and dis-information, election officials – already low on both time and resources in many cases – are now being asked to be communications professionals and public information officers to effectively respond to growing communications needs.

In response to this increased responsibility placed on election officials throughout the country, we launched our Communications Resource Desk to help election offices tackle this newest challenge. For jurisdictions that may not have the capacity or ability to hire a dedicated communications professional – or for offices that are otherwise limited in their communications resources – the Communications Resource Desk aims to provide direct assistance to equip election professionals with the tools necessary to effectively respond to the demand for increased public communication.

The Elections Group team works as the “communications back office” in collaboration with election officials to develop high-level communication tools necessary for effective storytelling. The communications resources created as a part of this collaboration provide direct support, in real-time, to state and local election officials, but also build a pathway toward a sustainable, long-lasting, positive impact within the election administration community nationwide.

The work completed as a part of this project will help inform the types of readymade communications tools and templates that are available for download in the future. Additionally, the support and resources provided foster positive community relationships, and reiterate the safety and security of election infrastructure and processes.

Working with the Communications Resource Desk is a simple and quick process – designed with election officials’ busy schedules in mind.

  1. Step 1 – Interested state and local election officials should visit www.electionsgroup.com/communications-resource-desk and click “Request Assistance” to be taken directly to our intake form.
  2. Step 2 – Once our team receives a request, we schedule a meeting to discuss the initial request, learn more about the office, and discuss communications support needs.
  3. Step 3 – Following the initial conversation, our team develops an initial draft or design concepts depending on the type and scope of the project.
  4. Step 4 – Our team will then finalize designs and concepts based on any feedback provided from the office, and will send final versions of the products created along with suggested use instructions as needed.

The defining feature that makes the Communications Resource Desk unique is that services, resources and support are designed specifically for election officials by election officials. We have a team of former election officials and election communications professionals who are ready to assist. Resources include informational posters, infographics, public-facing handouts and palm cards, as well as scripts and presentation materials for community and stakeholder engagement.

Those who are simply looking for inspiration – or need some help getting started but don’t want or need direct support – can download any of our readymade templates that are easy to edit. Additionally, our communications team has been engaging directly with state and local election offices to address specific communication needs and collaborate with election offices to create customized materials. Election officials who are interested in taking advantage of any of these free resources are encouraged to visit www.electionsgroup.com/communications-resource-desk.

The Elections Group is a nonpartisan consulting firm that partners with state and local election officials to support new program implementation or improve existing processes.

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Election News This Week

Primary Updates: Three more states completed their primary voting this week—Florida, New York and Oklahoma—and while who was on the ballot certainly made a lot of news, the administration of these three primaries was relatively quiet. There were some scattered issues in The Sunshine State, but overall, Florida, once the butt of elections jokes, pulled off a relatively smooth primary, even with new laws in place. “We are again the example for the nation on having results and having results timely, which increases confidence – which is our goal,” Florida Secretary of State Cord Byrd said. One Duvall County polling place opened about 45 minutes late when a poll worker was unable to access the voting equipment. Several polling places in Alachua County reported running lot or out of ballots on Tuesday. In Orange County, many people who chose to vote-by-mail dropped their ballots off at drop-off locations instead of using the Postal Service. Results reporting was delayed in Columbia County due to a database system issue. The biggest issue coming out of New York was low turnout. Due to an ongoing battle over redistricting, like Ohio, New York was forced to hold two primary elections. Some voters did complain about confusion over redistricting, but overall, it was a relatively quiet day in The Empire State.

Recount News: In Connecticut, a House candidate said he plans to take the city of Bridgeport to court over the handling of the recount in his race. “I personally felt aggrieved by the actions of the election officials, whose jobs were to conduct a free and fair election,” Candidate Marcus Brown said. In Kansas, where advocates had paid for a recount of a ballot amendment on abortion, and nine of the state’s 105 counties recounted their ballots with the results remaining the same. Johnson County, the most populous in Kansas, faced the biggest recounting challenge because it had the most ballots. It pulled in workers from different departments to help. The sorting process took so long that the actual counting didn’t begin until Thursday afternoon. “This is almost like doing an Ironman triathlon and having to add on another marathon at the end,” said Fred Sherman, the county’s Election Commissioner. “So it is quite a gargantuan process.” In Kentucky, Secretary of State Michael Adams again spoke out about unnecessary recounts and the impact they could have on the commonwealth. “There’s real harm to the taxpayers with these frivolous recounts, even if the petitioners pony up some money to help cover it,” he said. “There’s still a misuse of government resources in those situations. What we also want to avoid is these recounts dragging on and on and disrupting the ability of our clerks to prepare for November.” In Maryland, the Montgomery County Board of Elections completed a hand recount of the county executive office in which the final vote tally was slightly altered, but the original winner was certified as the final winner. In Michigan, Ingham County has ordered Meridian Township to conduct a recount of a marijuana-related ballot proposal. “Recounts are a mechanism in state election law that allows a voter to verify the results by requesting a hand retally of the votes cast in an election,” Ingham County Clerk Barb Byrum stated. “I will ensure that this recount is conducted in a smooth and timely fashion and that every ballot is counted and recorded under the methods prescribed by the law.”

Poll Worker News: Several national organizations are once again stepping up in 2022 to help local elections officials recruit poll workers. This week the National Association of State Election Directors (NASED) and the National Association of Secretaries of State (NASS) announced that they are renewing their collaboration with the American Bar Association to recruit ABA members to serve as poll workers. “We’re calling on lawyers and law students to step up this November to serve as poll workers,” said ABA President Deborah Enix-Ross. “Every day lawyers work to protect the rule of law and the Constitution, so it makes sense that they would be essential for us to have a free and fair election.”  As part of the initiative, NASS, NASED and ABA have created a video encouraging lawyers and law students to become poll workers. Additionally, Power to the Polls has relaunched for the 2022 general election and recently announced the recruitment of more than 50,000 potential poll workers. “Recruiting 50,000 new potential poll workers is a huge milestone in this effort – and we’re looking forward to signing up the next 50,000, so every person who wants to cast their ballot this election can do so,” said Jane Slusser, Program Manager at Power the Polls. “Thanks to the energy and commitment from all of our partners as well as Americans excited to help their communities this election season, we are well on the way toward ensuring a safe and accessible election – but we can’t stop now. With fewer than 80 days until the general election, we need all hands on deck to help recruit a new generation of poll workers who will power elections to come.”

This and That: An unsigned letter suggesting members of Alabama’s Boards of Registrars would “sick out” en-mass prior to the upcoming 2022 general election in November was sent to various state officials in late July, according to local media. A performance review of Fulton County Georgia’s elections management won’t be completed until after this year’s election, an attorney for the secretary of state’s office told the State Election Board on Monday and therefore any potential takeover of the county elections will not happen until 2023.  The Guam Election Commission has received the money needed to pay for this Saturday’s primary election, according to Executive Director Maria Pangelinan, and poll workers should expect to be paid on time. Following a primary where problems popped up at polling places citywide, Chicago election officials are preparing to shrink the number of voting precincts by nearly 40% and are squeezing the cuts in just months before the contentious midterm election in November. The Vigo County, Indiana clerk’s office has lost 12 employees this year, three within the last two weeks, and many have cited poor pay as the reason.  Election monitors have been appointed to oversee the primary elections in three New Hampshire communities that all had issues with ballot counting in 2020. The results of the 2022 primary election in Vermont have now been certified. King County, Washington has received the Eagles Award from the National Association of Election Officials for adopting many virtual processes for election administration, a move spurred by the pandemic. Wyoming’s election was officially certified this week.

Personnel News: Alexandria Stephens has stepped down as the Richland County, South Carolina director of the board of voter registration and elections. Nicole Robtoy is the new St. Albans, Vermont city clerk/treasurer. Tom Hunt has been appointed the new Anoka County, Minnesota elections manager. Lori Augino has been named the new president of government relations for Democracy Live. Gilda Galvis has resigned as the Leyden, Massachusetts clerk. Richland County, South Carolina elections precinct coordinator Lakeisha Diggs has resigned. Richland County, South Carolina elections deputy director Terry Graham initially resigned this week, but was persuaded to stay onboard through 2022. Becky Rosenlund is the new deputy election commissioner in Hall County, Nebraska.

Election Security Updates

Tabletop the Vote: Last week, CISA and election security partners held the fifth annual Tabletop the Vote exercise. The exercise, which was not in response to any specific or credible threat, took place August 17 – 19.  It included a range of hypothetical scenarios affecting election operations, giving participants the opportunity to share practices around cyber and physical incident planning, preparedness, identification, response, and recovery.

Following the exercise, CISA Director Jen Easterly, and members of the Election Infrastructure Government Coordinating Council Executive Committee, including U.S. Election Assistance Commission Chairman Thomas Hicks, NASS President and New Jersey Secretary of State Tahesha Way, NASED President and Administrator of the Wisconsin Elections Commission Meagan Wolfe, and Escambia County (Florida) Supervisor of Elections David Stafford issued the following joint statement:

“The nation’s election officials face a range of challenges, including cyber and physical risks to their infrastructure, and false election information that weaken voters’ trust in the process.  In the face of this dynamic environment, the election community works closely together to ensure the American people can be confident in the security and resilience of the 2022 elections. “This week’s exercise was just one of the many examples of the year-round coordination taking place among the federal government, state and local election officials, and the private sector to prepare for the 2022 general election. In addition to Tabletop the Vote, many jurisdictions and states have also held exercises throughout the year.

“All 50 states, the District of Columbia, the territories, and thousands of local jurisdictions share and receive threat information through multiple channels, including the Election Infrastructure Information Sharing and Analysis Center (EI-ISAC).  Rigorous safeguards are in place to ensure the cyber and physical security of election equipment, and procedures and protocols are continuously improved to further identify, respond to, and recover from potential incidents.

“We remain committed to election security and to supporting election officials, government and industry partners, and others who serve on the front lines of our democracy.”

The fifth annual Tabletop the Vote included participants from the federal government, including CISA, the U.S. Election Assistance Commission, U.S. Department of Homeland Security, U.S. Department of Defense, Office of the Director of National Intelligence, U.S. Department of Justice, National Security Agency, National Guard Bureau, Federal Bureau of Investigation, U.S. Postal Service Office of Inspector General and U.S. Postal Inspection Service. State and local officials from across the country also participated, as well as more than a dozen election security industry partners. Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas delivered opening remarks on Wednesday and CISA Director Jen Easterly addressed participants virtually on Friday.

CISA has a number of resources and tools for election officials available on its website.

Legislative Updates

Anchorage, Alaska: The Anchorage Assembly is set to consider whether to ask voters if city law should be changed to turn the municipal clerk’s position into an elected office, a ballot proposition championed by Mayor Dave Bronson. The municipal clerk manages the city’s elections, is in charge of administering Assembly meetings and records and oversees business licensing. Under current city law, the Assembly selects the municipal clerk, a nonpartisan position serving at the pleasure of the Assembly. Bronson introduced the proposal late last year, following an acrimonious debate and public testimony over changes to the city’s election laws that the Assembly passed. The mayor said that if the municipal clerk became an elected official, public trust and accountability would increase. Bronson’s ordinance, if approved by the Assembly, would send his suggestion to change the city’s charter to Anchorage voters for approval or rejection. In advance of the scheduled vote, Assembly leadership released a statement opposing the ordinance, saying the switch could impact the clerk’s office negatively, potentially diminishing the ethics, expertise and efficiency of the clerk’s office and add a layer of political pressure to the municipal clerk’s position. To pass the ordinance and send the proposal to voters, eight of the 12 Assembly members would need to vote in favor of it. If that happens, then voters would cast their ballots to decided whether the clerk should become an elected official in an upcoming election. The Assembly killed the proposal on a 9-3 vote.

San Clemente, California: Councilmember Steve Knoblock’s attempt for the city to persuade the California State Legislature to improve election security was voted down, 3-2, by the San Clemente City Council. Knoblock and Councilmember Laura Ferguson voted in favor of passing the resolution that meant to “enhance the confidence of the voting public in election outcomes” through adding a series of measures to the California Election Code, such as voter identification requirements. The failed resolution claimed that the use of ballot drop boxes “creates a higher level of risk for voter fraud”—a similar refrain commonly used by staunch supporters of former President Donald Trump to back his unfounded claims of mass voter fraud. It went on to implore legislators to adopt five measures to “restore and maintain” the public’s faith in the election process such as requiring voters to provide a valid form of photo identification or submit an affidavit of proof that they are the person on the registration rolls. The other measures recommended included the removal of inactive voters from voter rolls prior to the immediate next election, prohibiting unsupervised ballot drop boxes, enhancing the chain of custody process for vote by mail, and performing post-election audits.

Boulder, Colorado: The Boulder city council approved three municipal ballot measures for the November 8th ballot including a measure that would move municipal elections to even numbered years. According to The Daily Camera, the proposal to move city council elections to even-numbered years has sparked its share of controversy. Proponents of the bill have argued it could make voting easier to access for people of color, young voters and other groups who may be less likely to turn out to vote on off years, while opponents have said having local elections on the same years as national elections might distract voters from local issues. The proposal was previously modified because of feedback from the Boulder County Clerk’s office and the bill’s opponents. Now, if the measure passes, municipal elections will change to even-numbered years starting in 2026. The change also enables ranked-choice voting for mayor beginning in 2023. City Council members agreed to change the ordinance language to reflect that the even-year November election date would be the same as for the statewide election, and also to clarify when a mayor’s term ends. The council preliminarily approved the amended measure on a 6-3 vote.

Luzerne County, Pennsylvania: The majority of the Luzerne County Council voted against an ordinance that would have stopped the use of county staff and resources to deliver mail ballot drop boxes to sites approved by the county’s independent citizen election board. Councilman Stephen J. Urban, who proposed the ordinance, had contemplated asking his colleagues to remove the ordinance from the voting agenda so he could tweak the wording. However, he did not make that motion. It does not appear he would have had majority support to delay a decision. Urban said before the meeting he wanted to add wording preventing election board members from holding the county liable if they delivered the boxes on their own. He had said board movement of the mailbox-style boxes would have been allowable because the board ultimately has authority over deciding whether boxes are used. Councilmember Tim McGinley said the ordinance would “infringe” on the authority of the county manager and election board. The county ended up spending more than $130,000 on litigation over the placement of the county district attorney’s race on the ballot last year and ended up with no legal resolution, in part because the county would have had to spend more money on legal fees to advance the matter through adjudication, he said.

Star City, West Virginia: The Monongalia County Commission approved a request to put a measure on the November ballot that would allow voters to decide whether or not they want to move Star City municipal elections even-numbered years. According to Mayor Herman Reid, the reasons for the Town of Star City’s requests for a change in their municipal election calendar were twofold. First, aligning the elections would allow Monongalia County Clerk’s Office to administer it at a cost savings of $5,000. Next, Reid hopes aligning the elections would increase voter participation. If the measure passes, the Town of Star City will make adjustments to the terms of elected officials to align with the 2024 General Election. This would include one year terms that would be up for a vote in 2023 that would later be adjusted in 2024, so the term limits for officials would align with bi-annual elections. The change would allow for a clean transition to prevent complications for the Monongalia County Clerk’s Office.

Caledonia, Wisconsin: The Caledonia Village Board unanimously approved an ordinance to change the village clerk position from an elected office to an appointed office. The ordinance was approved as a charter ordinance, meaning an ordinance that enacts, amends or repeals a previous charter. The charter ordinance does not go into effect for another 60 days after approval, pending potential referenda requests on issues that may arise and potential revisions to the ordinance. Caledonia had been an outlier with having its clerk be elected; the vast majority of other municipalities have their clerks hired.

Legal Updates

Alabama: Former Alabama gubernatorial candidate Lindy Blanchard has asked a court to dismiss her claims in a lawsuit challenging Alabama’s use of electronic vote-counting machines. Blanchard filed the request last week in Montgomery County Circuit Court. It does not state a reason. The motion said the other plaintiffs would proceed with the case and that her withdrawal at this stage would have no negative or prejudicial effect. The remaining plaintiffs in the case are state Rep. Tommy Hanes, a Republican from Jackson County, Dr. David Calderwood of Madison County, and Focus on America, a tax-exempt social welfare organization in DeKalb County. The lawsuit claims that the electronic voting systems used in Alabama are susceptible to tampering and hacking and cannot be trusted to give accurate results. The plaintiffs have asked for a preliminary injunction to block the state from using the electronic ballot-scanning machines in the election on Nov. 8. They asked the court to order a hand count of ballots under a procedure that would include video cameras live-streaming and recording the count. Defendants in the case are Secretary of State John Merrill, who serves as the state’s top election official, and the five members of Alabama’s Electronic Voting Committee, a panel created to inspect and certify the voting machines.

Alaska:  After thousands of by-mail ballots were rejected for the special congressional primary election in June, three civil rights law firms filed a lawsuit, accusing state officials of violating voters’ constitutional rights by failing to implement a process to fix defective ballots. The American Civil Liberties Union of Alaska, Native American Rights Fund, and Perkins Coie filed the complaint in Anchorage Superior Court on behalf of two Alaska voters, the League of Women Voters of Alaska and Arctic Village Council. The complainants noted that 7,468 ballots were rejected from Alaska’s first all by-mail election, or 4.5% of the total votes cast, with a greater proportion of those rejected ballots coming from parts of the state where Alaska Natives make up a majority of the population. The leading cause of rejection was for “improper or sufficient witnessing,” a requirement that was temporarily waived in 2020 by the Alaska Supreme Court during that year’s election due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Voters not signing the envelope or failing to provide a correct identifier were also found to be “common mistakes.” The Municipality of Anchorage has a “ballot curing” process but he state of Alaska doesn’t have ballot curing provisions written in state statute. The plaintiffs argue that without a chance to fix their ballots, Alaskans are being disenfranchised and effectively having their constitutional due process rights violated. The 28-page complaint describes how a statewide system could operate, including informing voters about problems with their ballots ahead of Election Day so they can cast a questioned ballot or telling them to submit an affidavit by mail with missing voter information.

Arizona: Voting advocacy groups sued Arizona to block a new law that could criminalize volunteers or organizations who provide registration or voter assistance to individuals registered to vote outside the state. According to the federal complaint filed last week in Phoenix, Senate Bill 1260 is a vague law that affords officials subjective measures to target volunteers and voting groups who provide mistaken voters a “mechanism for voting.” “The term ‘mechanism for voting’ is not defined, but the statute expressly emphasizes that it is broad enough to include the mere act of ‘forwarding an early ballot’ addressed to the voter,” the 30-page lawsuit states. Plaintiffs Arizona Alliance for Retired Americans, Voto Latino and Priorities USA all provide voting outreach to the public. They claim their volunteers or even a voter’s family member could face Class 5 felony charges for the voting support mishaps. “Consider an Arizona parent who receives an early ballot in the mail for their child who just finished college out of state but is eligible to vote in Arizona,” the groups say in their complaint. “That parent could face felony charges if they forward the student’s early ballot to them if the student at some point registered to vote in their out-of-state college town — even if the student has no intention to, and never actually does, vote in two places.”

A new law that would require county recorders to cancel the voter registration of anyone they have a reason to believe is not a U.S. citizen will be challenged in court.  Attorneys for Arizona Asian American Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander for Equity Coalition say the provision will result in arbitrary investigations of citizens using databases that are not designed to determine voting eligibility.  Under the new law, anyone who does not provide evidence of citizenship within 35 days is referred to the county attorney and attorney general for investigation. A lawyer representing the group says the 35-day window was chosen for political reasons to take effect before the November election. Gov. Doug Ducey vetoed a similar bill earlier this year that would have allowed 90 days for people to respond, saying it was too vague.

Arkansas: Judge Timothy L. Brooks of the U.S. District Court in Fayetteville ruled that Arkansas violated the Voting Rights Act with its six-voter limit for those who help people cast ballots in person, which critics had argued disenfranchised immigrants and people with disabilities. In a 39-page ruling Brooks wrote that Congress had explicitly given voters the choice of whom they wanted to assist them at the polls, as long as it was not their employer or union representative. Arkansas United, a nonprofit group that helps immigrants, including many Latinos who are not proficient in English, filed a lawsuit in 2020 after having to deploy additional employees and volunteers to provide translation services to voters at the polls in order to avoid violating the state law, the group said. It described its work as nonpartisan. State and county election officials have said the law was intended to prevent anyone from gaining undue influence. the secretary of state, the State Board of Election Commissioners and election officials in three counties (Washington, Benton and Sebastian) were named as defendants in the lawsuit challenging the voter-assistance restrictions. It was not immediately clear whether they planned to appeal the ruling.

California: Debra Cleaver has filed a wrongful termination suit against Vote.org in an effort to retake control of the organization she founded and until three years, oversaw. “I’ve devoted my career to protecting our democracy and years of my life to building Vote.org,” Cleaver tells TIME. “While it pains me to bring this suit, our democracy is fragile, and we can’t let a small group of privileged insiders advance themselves at its expense.” The 45-page complaint alleges that Vote.org’s board fired Cleaver in August 2019 because she raised concerns over the board offering a severance package of $40,000 to an employee who voluntarily resigned. According to Cleaver, the board wasn’t authorized to make such a decision, and she said the payout came from the organization’s charitable funds, which, she claims, constituted a misappropriation. In Cleaver’s telling, the Board terminated her as CEO after she threatened to notify state and federal authorities about the severance agreement. Vote.org, however, has a different story; it categorically denies any wrongdoing and says the allegations in Cleaver’s lawsuit are “without merit,” according to a spokesperson for the group who declined to be named. “It’s disappointing that a former leader, who claims to support our work to ensure all eligible Americans can vote, is instead focusing on personal grievances,” the spokesperson tells TIME. The spokesperson claimed that Cleaver was fired not because of her threat to report the severance package, which Vote.org maintains was legal and justified, but because of her erratic and abrasive personal behavior. They added that Cleaver was removed as head of the organization by a unanimous vote of the group’s board “for conduct that was witnessed by multiple individuals and documented.”

Conservative groups that successfully challenged San Francisco’s law allowing noncitizen parents to vote in local school board elections have sued Oakland to remove a similar proposal from the city’s November ballot. The Oakland City Council voted 6-0 on June 21 to place a measure on the ballot that would enable the city to authorize about 13,000 noncitizen parents or guardians of school-age children to vote in elections for the city’s seven school board members. The Oakland ballot measure said noncitizens, including legal residents and undocumented immigrants, make up 14% of Oakland’s population and now lack “representation in key decisions that impact their education and their lives.” The new lawsuit filed in Alameda County Superior Court, said such a law would violate a provision of the California Constitution that declares,  “A United States citizen 18 years of age and resident in this State may vote.” The suit was filed in state Superior Court by James V. Lacy and two organizations he leads, the United States Justice Foundation and the California Public Policy Foundation, with an Oakland resident as an additional plaintiff, the newspaper reported. Lacey won a victory with a similar suit in San Francisco earlier this month that overturned a voter-approved measure to let non-citizens vote in school board races there.

Colorado: Lawsuits in two counties seek to block the use of the voting machines used in those counties and force a hand count of ballots in the November election. One lawsuit was filed in El Paso County District Court by two El Paso voters against the El Paso Board of Commissioners and El Paso County Clerk Chuck Broerman. Another lawsuit was filed in Mesa County District Court by two Mesa voters against the Mesa County Board of Commissioners and the county’s designated election official, Brandi Bantz. The lawsuits, both filed Friday, are nearly identical. They say the Dominion election system used in the counties “is illegal because it systematically deletes records in the normal course of its operation” and “periodic updates of the system delete all records located on the system at the time of the update.” Dominion Voting Systems machines are used in 62 of Colorado’s 64 counties. The plaintiffs’ attorney in both cases is Greenwood Village-based John Case. When asked if similar lawsuits might appear in other Colorado counties, he said, “It’s certainly possible.” But he did not himself have plans to file such additional lawsuits.

Connecticut: Bridgeport Councilman Marcus Brown announced that he will file a motion in state Superior Court to ask for a new election to determine the Democratic Party’s nominee for the state’s 127th House district. Brown blames city election officials who lost track of several ballots. He held a narrow lead, but then lost the race after what he calls a “chaotic” and “unreliable” recount. Hearst Connecticut Media reported that the re-canvas was halted Tuesday when election officials realized they were short at least 9 absentee ballots. This resulted in an hour-long search for the missing votes, which were never found. Candidates may challenge election results in state Superior Court if they believe a mistake was made during the counting process. State law allows judges the power to order new elections if they find the error could have changed the outcome of the race.

Florida: The United States Department of Justice is joining the fight against the state of Florida’s voting restrictions Bill S.B. 90. Last week, the department filed a petition stating Florida Republicans intentionally targeted Black voters when Gov. Ron. DeSantis signed the bill into law in 2021. The bill restricts the availability of absentee ballot drop boxes, increases regulations for third-party voter registration groups, and bans providing food and water to people standing in line to vote. In the filing it states, “Florida asserted interests in preventing voter fraud and restoring voter confidence.” The DOJ along with the NAACP and League of Women Voters claim Florida Republicans intentionally targeted black voters when they came up with this law. S.B. 90 is on hold as the states appeal makes its way through the courts.

Georgia: On Aug. 8, the Macon-Bibb County Board of Elections and Chairman Mike Kaplan filed a civil action against Mayor Lester Miller and all the county commissioners. The board contends that they alone have the responsibility to select an elections supervisor candidate who must be approved by the mayor and commission to be hired. The mayor’s committee would have excluded the politically independent, at-large chair Kaplan and two other members of the board of elections, according to the court filing. “Defendants’ proposed selection committee not only violates the separation of powers enshrined in… the charter, it also threatens to undermine the public’s trust in anybody who is appointed as elections supervisor, as that person would be the product of an inherently partisan and unlawful process,” stated the complaint. “By appointing two Democrats and two Republicans to the selection committee, Mayor Miller, a Republican, has essentially made himself the tie-breaker and ensured that nobody will be recommended for the elections supervisor role who he and his political faction do not approve of,” the complaint further states. The election board is asking a judge to compel the mayor and commission to abide by the charter, deem the mayor’s selection committee as illegal and declare that county elected officials may only approve an elections supervisor who was selected by them. They also are asking the court to dismantle Miller’s committee, which has never met, and pay their attorney fees.

U.S. District Judge J.P. Boulee has declined to block a section of a Georgia election law that bans handing out food and water to voters waiting in line. The provision is part of a sweeping elections overhaul passed by Georgia lawmakers last year. Voting rights groups, who have filed a lawsuit challenging multiple parts of the law, argued that the provision infringes their free speech rights and should be immediately blocked while the case is pending. The 74-page order means that the provision will remain in effect for the closely watched November general election.  The state had argued that the provision was necessary to protect against conditions at polling places that could raise worries over potential illegal campaigning or vote buying. State lawyers also argued it was too close to the upcoming election to make changes. Boulee said the voting rights groups may ultimately prevail on part of their challenge, but he agreed with the state that it’s too close to the election to block any part of the provision. He noted that requiring different rules for the general election than those in place for the primaries earlier this year could cause confusion for election workers. Boulee said that voting rights groups had failed to show that prohibiting the distribution of food and drinks within 150 feet (45 meters) of a polling place violates their constitutional rights. But he said that another part of the provision that bars people from offering food and drink within 25 feet (7.6 meters) of any person in line is probably unconstitutional because that zone is tied to the location of voters and could stretch thousands of feet from the polling place.

Kansas: One of the requestors of the recount of the Kansas abortion amendment has sued the secretary of state’s office. Mark Gietzen, who along with election denier Melissa Leavitt raised enough money to force a recount in nine counties has sued Secretary of State Scott Schwalb demanding a hand recount of every race in the Aug. 2 primary election, including a second recount of Sedgwick County’s abortion rights vote and a “revote” in counties that use electronic voting machines to mark ballots. In the lawsuit, Gietzen, who is representing himself, uses a programming error in a small race in Cherokee County and a missed deadline in Sedgwick County to push unproven theories about hackers using malicious computer viruses to flip votes in the Aug. 2 election. Ballots were already recounted by hand in four of the state’s most densely populated counties — Johnson, Sedgwick, Shawnee and Douglas, which all rejected the ballot by a wide margin — and four smaller counties where the amendment failed. Those counties were Crawford, Harvey, Jefferson and Lyon. Fewer than 70 votes changed — a minuscule fraction of the total vote count — and no evidence of fraud or large scale error was uncovered. Schwab said the recount “proves once and for all that there is no systemic election fraud in our state’s election process.”

Michigan: A judge dismissed a civil suit filed by a radio personality and state senate candidate who accused more than a dozen Antrim County officials of violating his civil rights and sought up to $1 million in damages, court records show. Judge George J. Mertz signed the order in 13th Circuit Court earlier this month, dismissing the case with prejudice and granting a motion filed by attorney Haider Kazim on behalf of the defendants, who comprised a majority of the county’s elected officials. Randy Bishop, a Helena Township resident and conservative radio host claimed Clerk Sheryl Guy and others violated his civil rights by intentionally deleting ballot information from polling machines, an accusation she vehemently denies. “This lawsuit never even should have been filed,” Guy said.

Mississippi: The U.S. Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals has affirmed a lower court ruling allowing a provision of the 1890 Mississippi Constitution designed to keep Blacks from voting to remain in place. The provision places a lifetime ban on voting in most instances on people convicted of certain felonies — crimes that the framers of the 1890 state Constitution said Black Mississippians were more prone to commit. The framers did not disenfranchise people convicted of murder or rape, for instance, but did strip voting rights of people convicted of several “lesser crimes,” which the writers of the Constitution falsely believed would be committed by Black Americans. The “per curiam” or unsigned opinion of the 5th Circuit said because of actions taken by the Legislature in the 1950s and 1960s allowing voters a chance to amend the constitutional provision, among other things adding murder and rape as disenfranchising crimes, the provision no longer has a racist taint. “Plaintiffs have not demonstrated that Section 241 as it currently stands was motivated by discriminatory intent or that any other approach to demonstrating the provision’s unconstitutionality is viable,” the majority said. The majority opinion also cited the Legislature taking up the issue in the 1980s and opting not to change it. The provision was defended on behalf of the state by the office of Attorney General Lynn Fitch.

Missouri: The Missouri NAACP and League of Women Voters sued to stop a new voter photo identification law that they claim will also limit voter engagement work.  Lawyers for the groups asked a local judge to block contested sections of the law from taking effect Aug. 28, weeks before the Nov. 8 election.  The law primarily requires voters to show photo identification to cast a regular ballot. People without a government-issued photo ID can cast provisional ballots that will be counted if they return later that day with a photo ID or if election officials verify their signatures.  A lesser known provision in the measure bans payment for anyone who works to help register voters and requires those volunteers to be registered Missouri voters themselves. Anyone who helps register more than 10 voters would need to sign up with the Secretary of State’s Office. The plaintiffs alleged that the law limits free speech by restricting voter engagement. “Missouri’s new law would make it more difficult for civil rights groups to register voters, criminalize some efforts to encourage lawfully registered voters to cast ballots, and needlessly prevent some registered voters from voting,” Missouri NAACAP general counsel Janette McCarthy Wallace said in a statement. “Put simply, the law would suppress votes and disenfranchise voters.”

North Carolina:  North Carolina’s highest court opened the door to nullifying a voter ID mandate approved by citizens in 2018 because the lawmakers who put it on the ballot were elected from districts tainted by illegal racial bias. However, the North Carolina Supreme Court stopped short of striking down the voter ID requirement and another constitutional amendment that limited income tax rates, ruling that a lower court must gather more evidence on the measures before tossing them out. Voter identification is not currently required in North Carolina, because it’s held up in separate litigation regarding state voter laws. Friday’s ruling doesn’t alter that situation. The long-awaited ruling, decided 4-3 by the court’s Democratic majority, is a victory for the state NAACP, which sued Republican legislative leaders. It undoes a state appeals court ruling that upheld the amendments, and it sends the case back to Wake County Superior Court Judge Bryan Collins, who previously struck down the amendments. Writing for the majority, Associate Justice Anita Earls noted that “what makes this case so unique is that the General Assembly, acting with the knowledge that 28 of its districts were unconstitutionally racially gerrymandered and that more than two-thirds of all legislative districts needed to be redrawn to achieve compliance with the Equal Protection Clause, chose to initiate the process of amending the state constitution.” However, the opinion said that before taking a step as serious as undoing constitutional amendments approved by voters, the trial court must gather more evidence on whether leaving the amendments in place would allow improperly elected legislators to escape accountability, further exclude voters from the democratic process or amount to continued discrimination. In a dissent, Associate Justice Phil Berger Jr. wrote that the ruling by the court’s Democratic majority “unilaterally reassigns constitutional duties and declares that the will of the judges is superior to the will of the people of North Carolina.”

Texas: Federal and state law require that ballots be kept secure for 22 months after an election to allow for recounts and challenges — a timeframe Texas counties have had set in place for decades. Last week, Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton released a legal opinion stating that anyone may request access to cast ballots as soon as the day after an election. According to Votebeat, the opinion from Paxton doesn’t carry the force of law, but experts say it will almost certainly serve as the basis for a lawsuit by activists. The opinion has already impacted election administrators across the state, who told Votebeat that they’ve seen an onslaught of requests since Paxton released it. Paxton’s office sought input from the secretary of state’s office prior to issuing the decision, which was requested by legislators. The secretary of state’s office recommended keeping the current waiting period.  “The voted ballots are the core of the election process and the prohibition on disturbing the ballots (except in limited circumstances as permitted by the Election Code) preserves the integrity of the election itself,” wrote Adam Bitter, general counsel for the office, in a letter obtained by Votebeat through a public records request. “Handling of the voted ballots themselves opens up the possibility of accidental or intentional damage or misplacement that could call into question the election after the fact.”  Paxton’s office did not respond to specific questions about why he disagreed with Bitter’s conclusion, nor did he respond to requests for comment.

South Dakota: Earlier this month, U.S. District Judge Roberto Lange ordered the Lyman County Commission to form an election plan for November that does not violate the Lower Brule Sioux Tribe’s voting rights. Four days later the county commission approved an amended ordinance that gives the tribe a chance to elect two of its preferred candidates to the county commission, but not until 2024. Three of the five county commissioners voting on that plan are up for reelection this year. Lyman County filed notice of its intent to appeal the judge’s order to the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals and asked the federal judge for an emergency stay of the Aug. 11 order pending appeal. The judge said no. The county has said in briefs and in testimony that it does not have time to make changes before November. In its Aug. 18 response to the judge’s order, the county noted it sent ballots to the printer the day before, the same day the county notified the court that it intends to appeal. Lange replied that there isn’t anything to appeal at this point, because the court has not yet taken the issue out of the county’s hands and fashioned its own remedy. Judge Lange set a hearing on the matter for Aug. 23.

Wisconsin: The U.S. Department of Justice intervened on behalf of several Wisconsin voters with disabilities suing to protect their ability to receive assistance when returning an absentee ballot. In a statement of interest submitted to the federal court hearing the case, the DOJ said that no matter what state law says, voters with disabilities must be allowed to have assistance because of provisions in the Voting Rights Act and the Americans with Disabilities Act. “Voters with disabilities are entitled to an equal opportunity to participate in absentee voting programs and must be provided reasonable modifications when necessary to avoid discrimination,” DOJ stated. “The rights conferred by Section 208 of the Voting Rights Act and Title II of the ADA are rights squarely guaranteed, regardless of whether state laws or provisions otherwise limit such assistance.” In response to the federal lawsuit, the Wisconsin Department of Justice, which is representing the WEC, said it agrees with the voters that federal law protects absentee ballot return assistance and therefore there isn’t a controversy so the case should be dismissed. In the filing, the DOJ stated that Section 208 of the Voting Rights Act (VRA) and Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) protect the right to get assistance whether for in-person or absentee voting. “Accordingly, all voters — whether they choose to vote absentee or not — who require assistance due to disability are entitled to Section 208’s protection, and ‘a state cannot restrict this federally guaranteed right’ by ‘defining terms [such as ‘vote’] more restrictively than as federally defined,’” DOJ wrote. “Any distinction that state law may make between in-person voting and absentee voting … therefore is irrelevant to the conclusion that Section 208’s federally guaranteed right applies to absentee voters.” DOJ also wrote that a provision in state law which requires municipal clerks to “make reasonable efforts to comply with requests for voting accommodations made by individuals with disabilities whenever feasible,” isn’t enough. DOJ argues that this leaves voting access up to the subjective decisions of clerks over what counts as “reasonable” and “feasible” when the protections of the Voting Rights Act are much broader.

Opinions This Week

National Opinions: Data breaches | Get out the Vote | Election deniers | Kansas recount | Tech platforms | Election workers | Voter registration

California: Election myths

Colorado: Secretary of state

Connecticut: Poll workers | Election controversy

Florida: Vote fraud | Ex-felon voting rights

Illinois: Vote by mail

Iowa: Poll workers

Florida: Election lies | Voter fraud arrests

Guam; Early voting

Maine: Voter ID

Maryland: Ballot counting

Massachusetts: Secretary of state race

Missouri: Election deniers

New York: New York City Board of Elections | Turnout

North Carolina: Election integrity

Ohio: Election security

Pennsylvania: Accessibility | Butler County | Election legislation

South Carolina: Election deniers

Tennessee: Election fraud

Texas: Threats to elations workers, II

Utah: Salt Lake County

Virginia; Ranked choice voting

Washington: Election system

West Virginia: Election integrity

Upcoming Events

Moore v. Harper, the Independent State Legislature Theory, and Potential Threats to American Democracy: The Safeguarding Democracy Project at UCLA promotes research, collaboration, and advocacy under the leadership of UCLA Law Professor Richard L. Hasen; one of the nation’s leading election scholars. The Safeguarding Democracy Project is built upon the premise that tackling issues of the U.S. election integrity must be collaborative: across ideologies, across scholarly disciplines, and as a bridge between theory and practice. Moderated by Richard L. Hasen, featured speakers include: Vikram D. Amar, Derek T. Miller, Richard H. Pildes, Carolyn Shapiro and Franit Tolson. When: August 25, 3pm Pacific. Where: Online.

Engaging Students for an Informed Democracy: The Role of K-12 Schools: Young people want to learn about elections in school and, when they do, they’re more likely to vote, engage in their communities, and become engaged and informed members of our self-governing society. Despite the extraordinary efforts of many educators, civic education too often is insufficient and inequitable. We can change that. Join us for a research presentation and panel, co-hosted by CIRCLE and iCivics, on how K-12 schools can play a role in preparing young people for participation in our nation’s constitutional democracy. The civic education experts at CIRCLE will share major findings and recommendations from the CIRCLE Growing Voters report about teens’ civic learning experiences — or lack thereof — and the role of schools in a paradigm-shifting framework for supporting young people’s civic development. In conversation with educators, students, teacher trainers, and other education leaders, we’ll discuss what these findings mean for multiple stakeholders in the K-12 schools ecosystem and the practical steps they can take to ensure each and every student, especially those from disadvantaged or marginalized communities, receives a high-quality civic education during this school year and into the future. When: August 31, 3pm Eastern. Where: Online.

Special From the Frontlines:  The United States Supreme Court and American Democracy: View of Three Journalists:The Safeguarding Democracy Project promotes research, collaboration, and advocacy under the leadership of UCLA Law Professor Richard L. Hasen; one of the nation’s leading election scholars. The Safeguarding Democracy Project is built upon the premise that tackling issues of the U.S. election integrity must be collaborative: across ideologies, across scholarly disciplines, and as a bridge between theory and practice. Moderated by Richard L. Hasen and featuring Joan Biskupic, Adam Liptak and Dahlia Lithwick. When: September 20, 12pm Pacific. Where: Online.

Job Postings This Week

electionlineWeekly publishes election administration job postings each week as a free service to our readers. To have your job listed in the newsletter, please send a copy of the job description, including a web link to mmoretti@electionline.org.  Job postings must be received by 5pm on Wednesday in order to appear in the Thursday newsletter. Listings will run for three weeks or till the deadline listed in the posting.

Administrator, Maryland State Board of Elections— The Administrator position in the Election Reform and Management Division assists the Director and Deputy Director implementing, managing and supporting various projects related to the election process and improving election administration in Maryland. The duties will include on-going compliance with the Help America Vote Act, Uniformed and Overseas Citizens Absentee Voting Act, Military and Overseas Voter Empowerment Act, and other federal election laws and any federal funds awarded to the State under these laws. This position will develop and oversee the statewide training and education program for elections officials and judges, including development and issuance of a statewide Elections Judges’ Manual, training curriculum, and an online training system/module. Application: For the complete job listing and to apply, click here.

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.

Certification and Training Manager, Washington Secretary of State’s Office— The Program Manager for Certification & Training manages the provision of professional certification and training to state election administrators and canvassing board members in 39 Washington counties. The Certification and Training Program Manager reports to the Elections Director and is a member of the Elections Management Team that advises the Elections Director on direction and policy. The Program Manager is responsible for the administration of the Certification and Training Program of the Elections Division by providing strategic analysis, planning, and management of a program that includes four major functions. There functions are: 1) professional certification and training of local and state election administrators and county canvassing board members; 2) review of county election operations and procedures; 3) the election clearinghouse; and 4) testing of all vote tabulation equipment used in each county during state primary and general elections. The Program Manager makes collaborative strategic judgments and decisions balancing competing program demands or priorities for resources; develops, modifies, and implements division policy; formulates long-range strategic plans and projects, and makes division-wide strategic decisions with the Elections Management Team. Integrates division and office policies and continuously reviews the program for compliance with division and office policies and strategic objectives. Application: For the complete job listing and to apply, click here.

Chief Information Officer, Illinois State Board of Elections— Functions as Chief Information Officer (CIO) of the SBE Information Technology Systems.  Responsibilities encompass full range of information services; application design and development, system administration, data administration, operations, production control, and data communications. In conjunction with the Board, Executive Director, and Executive staff, the CIO determines the role of information systems in achieving Board goals.  Defines goals in terms of statutory obligations to be met, problems to be solved, and/or opportunities that can be realized through the application of computerized information systems.    Prepares and submits budget based projections of hardware, software, staff and other resource needs to adequately provide for existing systems, as well as support of new project initiatives.   Advises Executive Staff in matters relating to information technology.  Develops presentations and reports for the Board and Administrative Staff.  In conjunction with Executive Staff, evaluates system performance to determine appropriate enhancements. Salary: $7,885 – $13,237 Monthly. Application: For the complete job listing and to apply, click here.

Civic Information Quality Assurance Associate, The Center for Tech and Civic Life— The Center for Tech and Civic Life’s (CTCL) Civic Info programs help organize the country’s civic information and answer voters’ most pressing questions like, “What’s on my ballot?”, “Who represents me?”, and “What are the responsibilities of my elected officials?” for federal, state, and local levels of government. Our north star is that access to such civic information allows communities to develop lifelong civic engagement habits, resulting in governments that are more reflective of their communities. These communities include voters who are newly eligible, have limited English proficiency, live with disabilities, or are from communities that are impacted by the digital divide or historical disenfranchisement due to race. The Quality Assurance Associate will collaborate with our Research Team work to ensure the completeness and accuracy of our data. 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 Elections Director, Davie County, North Carolina— Performs administrative work with the registration, voting and election activities for the County. Must be willing to perform job duties during pandemics, natural disasters and unexpected  events during planned elections and election schedules. This position is required to work extended hours and weekends during planned elections and election schedules. Regular, predictable, full attendance is an essential function of the job. Essential job functions: Performs administrative duties for the Director and Board Members and serves as a resource person to staff and the public, as needed; Assists with the supervision of Elections part-time staff and one stop workers in the performance of their daily responsibilities; Assist the Director with annual budgets and grants received; Assists the Elections Director in the interview and selection process of new employees, one stop and precinct workers and training new employees on office procedures and applications; Assists with ensuring proper and efficient conduct of primary and general elections held in Davie County; Maintenance of geo codes/street index, to include all annexations and changes, to insure accuracy for each address; Performs related duties as required. Salary: Minimum hiring range: $33,587. 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.

Early Voting Coordinator, Wake County, North Carolina— re you looking to be more involved in your community? Are you ready to be a part of democracy in the making? If so, get ready to roll up your sleeves and become a part of history! Wake County Board of Elections is currently seeking an Early Voting Coordinator to join our dynamic and talented Early Voting Team. The Early Voting Coordinator plays a critical role in the management and logistical planning of Early Voting. This includes communicating, scheduling election service vendors and managing voting site support operations to include the physically demanding work of setting up Early Voting sites. What will you do as an Early Voting Coordinator? Plan and organize all Early Voting operations; Assist with development of Early Voting expansion budget items and analyze budget impacts of new election laws and state directives and incorporate the changes into Early Voting site procedures; Work with Town Clerks, Municipal Administrators, Facility Directors, Special Event Coordinators and Superintendents to secure use of facilities for Early Voting; Manage Early Voting facilities, including scheduling, communication, support, logistics, database management and site setups; Develop Early Voting ballot order and determine the distribution of ballots each Early Voting facility will receive; Update and maintain the Early Voting blog and Early Voting page of the Wake County Board of Elections website; Manage the Early Voting support Help Line; Post-election reconciliation duties to include provisional management, presentations to the Board and assisting with record retention. Salary: Hiring Range: $20.81 – $28.10. Application: For the complete job listing and to apply, click here.

Election Information Environment Specialist, The Carter Center— The Democracy Program at The Carter Center works globally to support democratic elections and strengthen participatory democracy, consistent with human rights. Beginning in 2020, The Carter Center began efforts to support good elections in the U.S. There are multiple key aspects to this project, contributing to electoral reform, promoting candidate codes of conduct and establishing nonpartisan observation efforts. The Carter Center is seeking a highly qualified Electoral Information Environment Specialist to work on the Center’s US election advisory team under the guidance of the Democracy Program staff. The Electoral Information Environment Specialist will assess and analyze key issues affecting women, the disabled, and disenfranchised groups in the United States. The Electoral Information Environment Specialist will contribute to public and private statements concerning the electoral information environment. 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.

Finance and Operations Manager, The Carter Center— The Finance and Operations Manager support The Carter Center’s nonpartisan Observation efforts by managing the finance and operations in both states. They will report directly to the US Nonpartisan Observation Coordinators in Michigan and Arizona and to the US Elections team in Atlanta. Application: For the complete job listing and to apply, click here.

Government Affairs Director, National Vote at Home Institute— The National Vote at Home Institute (NVAHI) is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit nonpartisan organization dedicated to expanding the use of mailed-out ballots in local, state, and federal elections across the U.S. Through our education, research, and advocacy efforts with state and local election officials, policymakers, and partners, NVAHI works to expand this secure, convenient, and voter-supported method of voting and works to ensure state and local election officials have the tools, training and support they need to conduct successful, transparent, accurate and secure mail ballot elections.  The Government Affairs Director serves as an integral leader for the organization, working with the Executive Director, Board, and staff shaping and executing the strategic priorities for NVAHI. This position routinely interacts with key stakeholder groups, national leaders, state and local elections officials, research professionals/institutions, funders, and partners. This position reports to the NVAHI Executive Director and is responsible for all election official engagement efforts on behalf of NVAHI. 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.

Program Associate, Center for Tech and Civic Life— When you think about elections, you might think about popular candidates, “I voted” stickers, and all sorts of paperwork and deadlines. But behind the scenes are thousands of election administrators in state and local governments who are working hard to make sure ballots are counted and voices are heard. U.S. election officials want to administer elections where every eligible voter can easily and securely cast their vote, but they often need support to achieve these outcomes. To serve every community and make democracy work, election departments need a new set of values and standards for excellence. As Program Associate, you will help build a new set of standards that make explicit what high performance looks like in U.S. election administration. Think Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification, but for local election departments. This is big, bold work at the forefront of election administration, so an entrepreneurial spirit will help you succeed. To build the standards and support their rollout, you’ll collaborate closely with internal teammates as well as external partners, including state and local election officials. You’ll report to the Program Manager in the Government Services department. If you care about democracy, if you believe in the importance of public service, and if you love to exceed expectations, this is the job for you. Application: For the complete job listing and to apply, click here.

Public Records Coordinator, Wake County, North Carolina— Do you want to be a part of democracy in action? Wake County Board of Elections wants you! If you enjoy working in a fast-paced rewarding environment, then come work in a place where your team values you. The Board of Elections Public Records Coordinator plays a critical role, providing management and oversight of administrative communications for the Board of Elections to facilitate accurate and timely election information to Wake County’s diverse population.  What will you do as a Board of Elections Public Records Coordinator? Communications planning of all election-related events including Early Voting, Election Day, Board Meetings and media events; Assists with Board Meeting management to include preparing and posting public minutes; Composes election notices, news releases and public informational flyers; Coordinates and works directly with the Wake County Communications and Legal Teams to provide uniform and consistent programs; Assists with business operation functions and activities including budget development and purchasing; Supervises 2 permanent Wake County Employees and up to 3 Seasonal Agency Temporary Workers; Monitors the Next Request Public Records software for the department; Oversees the redaction of forms and documents as requested through public records requests and ensures compliance with North Carolina General Statute and North Carolina Board of Elections directives; Management of up to 870 annual social media posts through Facebook, Twitter, and other social media platforms; Collaborates cross-divisionally with teams to lead and advance informative social media posts, website updates and building processes that unify communication efforts; Defines and drives implementation of administrative operations and public communication; Manages the oversight of the departmental website pages and ensures coordination with Wake County Communications standards; Handles the execution of tickets generated from email inquiries by formulating responses and establishing staff ownership for implementing resolutions. Salary hiring range: $57,623 – $77,794. Application: For the complete job listing and to apply, click here.

Publications and Clearinghouse Program Specialist – Certification and Training Program, Washington Secretary of State’s Office. — The certification and training program oversees, directs, and advises County Auditors in interpretations of federal and state election law and the correct administration of voter registration and elections throughout the state. The certification and training program reviews county practices for adherence to election law and best practices, provides essential tools for election administrators through official communications and training, and acts as liaisons for the Office of the Secretary of State. This position reports to the certification and training program manager and is responsible for overseeing, reviewing and advising county auditors on the federal and state elections laws and the administration of voter registration. Serves as the lead program specialist in the Elections Publications and Clearinghouse Program. Salary: $57,324-$77028.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 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.

(Senior) Training Associate, Center for Tech and Civic Life— As the CTCL Government Services (Senior) Training Associate, you will develop and deliver training courses and easy-to-use tools that advance the tech and communication capabilities of election officials. Project coordination – Oversee multi-course training series and other major projects by setting goals, creating project plans, coordinating coworkers and partners, and monitoring progress. Continuous improvement – Suggest, hone, and evaluate new approaches to instructional design, such as alternative training formats, materials, or participant engagement practices. 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.

Technology Associate, Center for Tech and Civic Life— When you think about elections, you might think about popular candidates, “I voted” stickers, and all sorts of paperwork and deadlines. But behind the scenes are thousands of election administrators in state and local governments who are working hard to make sure ballots are counted and voices are heard. To serve every community and make democracy work, election administrators need 21st-century tools and training. You can help them get it! As a CTCL Technology Associate, you will implement streamlined, digital learning experiences that advance the tech and communication skills of America’s election administrators. The Technology Associate will work with the Government Services team and report to the Senior Program Manager. 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.


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