In Focus This Week
Communicating in the Age of Disinformation
Strategies for Election Offices
By Michelle Ciulla Lipkin, executive director
National Association for Media Literacy Education
Elections are complex and communicating about them to constituents in a digestible and easy way can be difficult. Add disinformation campaigns and conspiracy theories and you’ll find conversations are fraught with tension and frustration for all involved. Communicating with your constituents about election facts and highlighting your role as trusted source for election information is vital but tricky when false information is prevalent and spreads quickly. It can be hard to figure out where to even start when a constituent approaches you with falsehoods to share.
A good place to start is by determining if you are communicating with someone who is misinformed versus someone who is uninformed. Identifying the difference will impact how you communicate with them. Consider these factors when determining if someone is misinformed or uninformed.
A misinformed person might say, “I saw it on TV with my own eyes so I know it’s true.” An uninformed person might say, “I saw it on TV. Is it true?” While the variation might seem small, it is a vastly different approach. An uninformed person is looking for answers. A misinformed person is determined to be right.
When communicating with uninformed people, listen and answer their questions. Point them in the direction of more information and resources. When communicating with misinformed people, remember facts do not counter a person’s belief. (See my previous article from July 28, 2022 Understanding Why People Believe Conspiracy Theories for more information.)
Instead, try these tactics:
- Empathize with the amount of information that is available for consumption and acknowledge that they have come to you for information. Here’s an example of what you might say:
“There’s so much information out there about elections. It can certainly be difficult to decipher where to find the most reliable information. I am glad you contacted us.”
- Offer to give them more information. Don’t assume they want it. Here’s an example of what you might say:
“Would it be helpful to you if I explained how we work to keep elections safe and secure in our state? I’d be happy to share information and resources with you.”
- Be clear on how much time you are willing to spend on these conversations; know that you won’t change their minds. Here’s an example of what you might say:
“I appreciate your call and am glad you reached out to us. It is clear that there is nothing I can say that could give you confidence in the work we do. I am sorry about that because we all care very deeply for our democracy and keeping elections safe and secure. If you do ever want to learn more, please reach out or utilize the resources on our website. Thank you.”
When talking with constituents who believe false information, it is tempting to want to respond to every specific concern. However, it’s impossible to address every single issue separately. The best strategy is to address patterns of disinformation, rather than specific incidents. If not, you will be spending all your time debunking falsehoods. By now, we can anticipate some patterns of false narratives about elections. For example, we know we are going to see:
- False information about how to vote
- False information about election integrity
- False information about safety at polling places
- False information about election results
Be prepared with general talking points about where to find accurate and reliable information. For example, let’s say you see this on your social media feed:
Did you see this video? It’s a van leaving the largest voting location with uncounted ballots.
Rather than debunking that specific claim, be ready with a response that covers the type of false information they are spreading. For example:
Images and videos of the election process are often taken out of context and misunderstood. Check with your election officials for reliable information.
Here’s another example of something you might see on your social media feeds:
Did you see this article? Election officials are stealing the election right from under our noses.
Here’s a potential response:
We are Americans who care deeply about democracy. We work every day to keep our elections safe and secure. Check with us for reliable information about elections.
Also, be prepared with talking points to interrupt the flow of false information online. For example:
We are seeing a lot of false information on this thread. Please visit us at XXX for reliable information about elections.
We appreciate your concerns about keeping our elections safe and secure. That’s the work we do every day. Visit us at xxx for the most up to date information.
In your communication, don’t repeat false information. Direct people to the facts. And remember, do not try to change people’s minds. Rather, be prepared with accurate information about how your office keeps elections safe and secure. Your office is the source of reliable information about elections. This is a message that needs repeating, over and over again.
This is the third and final (for now) in a series of articles about media literacy.
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Election News This Week
Primary Updates: Voters on Guam headed to the polls on Saturday for their primary. The primary election went “as smooth as it could get” from the perspective of Guam Election Commission executive director Maria Pangelinan. “I have a permanent staff that are very seasoned. Our temporary staff we started picking them up in June so they did a fantastic job,” said Pangelinan. Some voters however were turned away from long-time polling sites on after being told they were in the wrong place because they participated in motor voter registration. Voters much vote where they live, not receive mail and that caused problems for some. “We were experiencing a lot of that. I want to say at least 12 people,” said David Sumagaysay, leader for Precinct 2A for Asan-Maina, on the primary election night. About 237 ballots were cast in that precinct, roughly half of the registered voters. Barry Flores, 67, said he lives in Talo’fo’fo, but he prefers to vote in Hagåtña, so he has not updated his registration. “It’s a good location because not a lot of people come to Hagåtña, so I like it,” said Flores. By law, voters should be registered in the village where they reside. He said voting the day of the primary, instead of early voting, is part of his election routine. “I’m so accustomed to doing it this way,” he said. Another issue GEC officials saw as a challenge was early voting offered this election. “Because of this new early voting situation there may be cases where some of the early ballots were put in the wrong precinct box,” Camacho said. While tabulators did not dismiss the ballots, GEC legal counsel Vincent Camacho said the report would need to be reconciled so the ballots tabulated are equal to votes by precinct. The concerns were tabled to allow officials to zero out the tabulation machines as precincts began rolling in.
A Little Help: The Wisconsin Elections Commission voted to create a new office within the agency aimed at responding to misinformation, complaints and requests for records that have skyrocketed since former President Donald Trump began spreading false claims about Wisconsin’s elections. Commissioners voted 6-0 to ask state lawmakers to approve the proposal to create an Elections Inspector General program, which would cost about $1.3 million in the next two-year state budget and include 10 full-time staff members. Commission administrator Meagan Wolfe said the state commission needs more resources to respond to inquiries from the public that have ballooned since the 2020 election, when the commission became a target of Trump and supporters who believed his false claims of widespread voter fraud. “This office would not be about dwelling in the past or giving credence to claims that threaten the credibility of Wisconsin’s accurate and secure elections,” Wolfe said. In the proposal, WEC staff said “warding off attempts of electoral manipulation — both real and perceived — remains the highest priority of the WEC. It must be in order to instill public confidence in Wisconsin’s elections system and to ensure election integrity.”
Language Access: For the first, elections materials at the New Hampshire secretary of state’s office will be available in Spanish, French, Mandarin in addition to English. Information on voter registration, what type of identification to bring to the polls and how to fill out a ballot can now be found in Spanish, French and Mandarin on the secretary of state’s website. Official ballots are still only available in English. Secretary of State Dave Scanlan said requests from language advocates and an increasingly diverse population spurred the office to translate its voter materials. There was an effort this past legislative session to require the Secretary of State’s office to do so, but it did not move forward in the legislature. Unlike other states or jurisdictions, New Hampshire has not been federally required to provide election information in other languages, and state election officials have in the past resisted efforts to publish multilingual voter information in the absence of a federal mandate. Eva Castillo, who leads the New Hampshire Alliance of Immigrants and Refugees told NHPR, with New Hampshire’s first-in-the-nation primary status consistently under discussion, voter information available in more than just English is important. “We need to really become a microcosm of what the rest of the country is, regardless of how many numbers we have. We have to make voting accessible for every single voting citizen in the state,” she said. Scanlan said that he hadn’t thought of that as a reason to make the case to keep the state’s first-in-the-nation status but “it does reflect growth of minority populations that may need assistance in voting. We want to treat voters as equally as possible in the state.” The secretary of state’s office says these materials will be available at the polls, and they will survey local election officials after the midterms to hear how it went with voters. Scanlan said other languages could be added in the future.
Personnel News: Congratulations to El Paso County, Colorado Clerk and Recorder Chuck Broerman for receiving the Guardian of Democracy Award from the Colorado County Clerks Association. Sarah Bek has been named the new Petoskey, Michigan city clerk. Richard Johnson Jr. has retired after 45 years with the Aiken, South Carolina municipal election commission. Yvonne Ramon is retiring after 14 years as the Hidalgo County, Texas elections administrator. Congratulations to Defiance County, Ohio Board of Elections Director Tonya Wichman will be designated as a certified elections/registration administrator (CERA). Elizabeth Canfield will be the new Snyder County, Pennsylvania director of elections. Gaby Hernandez is the new Riverbank, California city clerk. Congratulations to Grand Traverse County Clerk Elizabeth Hundley for being named the 2022 county clerk of the year by the Michigan Association of County Clerks. Sharon Gregg is the new Oconee County, Georgia director of elections. Wyoming Secretary of State Ed Buchanan is expected to step down shortly, an interim has not been named.
California: California lawmakers voted to let government workers hide their home addresses from public records if they fear for their safety, a response to the country’s continuously polarizing politics and pandemic policies that have fueled an increase in violent threats against some public employees. The Legislature voted to expand the state law even more to include all employees of a federal, state or local government agency — most notably election workers and code enforcement officers, who have both reported an increase in violent threats in recent years. The bill would let those workers use a substitute address on public records, including the voter registration file. “It’s probably another manifestation of polarization,” said state Sen. Josh Newman, a Democrat from Fullerton and the bill’s author. “Nobody really envisioned a time where you would have to protect so many public workers.” The bill now heads to Gov. Gavin Newsom, who must decide by the end of September whether to sign the bill into law. It would not apply to state lawmakers or other elected officials, according to Newman’s office.
Kauai, Hawaii: Voters will be asked to decide how much money to spend on elections this fall. A proposal offered by the Kauai Charter Review Commission would avoid the expense of conducting a special election for the sole purpose of naming a new county prosecuting attorney when an early-term vacancy arises. Taxpayers recently spent approximately $450,000 to do just that after former county prosecutor Justin Kollar left the office vacant more than three years before his third term was set to end in 2024. A special primary election was held in December, followed by a special general election in February — requirements baked into the county charter. Now voters will get the chance to decide if the deputy prosecutor in such a situation should simply assume the office of prosecutor until the seat is filled in the next regularly scheduled election. “That’s why we have deputies to back up the person in charge,” said Charter Review Commission Vice Chairman Jan TenBruggencate. “It’s disruptive to have an election in the middle of the year when, if you just wait a few months, there will be one anyway.”
Michigan: The Michigan Board of Canvassers has denied a spot on the fall ballot to a voting rights proposal to make changes to Michigan’s elections, including establishing early voting. Organizers collected enough signatures to qualify for the ballot, according to the state’s Bureau of Elections. But canvassers debated how to handle a challenge to the proposal alleging that the petition form circulated by organizers failed to note which sections of the Michigan Constitution would be impacted if the proposal was placed on the ballot and adopted by voters. The Board of State Canvassers reached an impasse on a motion to adopt the recommendation handed down from the Bureau of Elections to certify the Promote the Vote proposal. The two Republican members of the Board of State Canvassers voted against placing Promote the Vote on this fall’s ballot while the two Democratic members voted in favor of putting it on the ballot. The vote leaves the Promote the Vote proposal off the ballot for now. Promote the Vote immediately vowed to go to court and expressed confidence that the proposal will ultimately secure a spot on the ballot.
Nevada: The Joint Interim Committee on Legislative Operations and Elections voted this week to advance a bill draft request that would require counites to return money allocated for voting machines if the machines go unused because the county is hand-counting ballots. The proposed legislation, which is just entering the draft phase, wouldn’t be retroactive, so any county that chooses not to rely on machines this year wouldn’t have to return money if the legislation is enacted into law next year. “At this moment in time, there would not be a county that would actually fall under having to return the funds to the state,” said Democratic Assemblywoman Brittney Miller, the committee’s chair. While the proposal advanced unanimously, several Republicans warned they wouldn’t vote on the measure during the next legislative session if the bill becomes retroactive.
Wyoming: On a voice vote, the state’s Republican-dominated Joint Committee on Corporations, Elections and Political Subdivisions approved a motion to draft legislation stripping the office’s sole authority to oversee the state’s elections and creating an entity overseen by all five of the state’s top elected officials. “We have a 2024 presidential election coming up. It’s going to be very contentious. And I do have some concern that the most likely person who will be our next chief elections officer, secretary of state, has alleged that there may be nefarious activities at the ballot box in Wyoming, which I don’t agree exists,” Cheyenne Republican Dan Zwonitzer said, introducing the motion. “I think our elections are safe and secure, probably more than any other state’s in the country,” he added. “And so I’m concerned, based on some of the rhetoric and the mailers I saw in regards to our most likely incoming secretary of state, that we may be in a precarious position when it comes to election administration for the next four years.”
The Joint Corporations, Elections and Political Subdivisions Committee also approved drafting separating bills that would establish open or “jungle” primary elections and a pilot program for ranked choice voting elections in Wyoming. Open primary elections would involve the top-four candidates moving forward from the primary election to the general. Ranked choice would be tested in nonpartisan, municipal elections in Wyoming, modeling a program currently being used in Utah. An open primary removes individual party primaries with all political candidates from every party on the same ballot. The top vote-getters move on to the general election. The committee decided that Wyoming’s open primary, if initiated, would emulate the open primary currently used in Alaska.
Federal Litigation: The U.S. Justice Department was sued last week by a government watchdog group seeking public records about the task force the agency set up last year to address mounting threats of violence against election workers and state voting administrators. Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) filed the complaint in U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia. The lawsuit requests details under the Freedom of Information Act about the number of tips the task force has received and how many cases are open or closed. CREW also seeks communication from U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland and Deputy Attorney General Lisa Monaco about the department’s work under its Election Threats Task Force, and the identities of the investigative panel’s members. Lawyers for CREW said they are seeking records to show the public actions the task force has “both taken and failed to take to date.” A Justice Department spokesperson did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Alabama: A Cullman-area woman has filed a lawsuit to obtain electronic voting data from the 2020 general election that she claims has been withheld from public scrutiny by the Cullman County probate judge’s office. The civil suit, filed in Cullman County Circuit Court this week against probate judge Tammy Brown, seeks the release of local Cast Vote Records (CVR) data to the plaintiff, Sheila Haynes, under the Alabama Public Records statute. The complaint accuses the probate office of failing to deliver the data on a request from Haynes earlier this year, having informed her through the county attorney that the electronic information isn’t retained in the regular course of business and thus isn’t subject to the statute. The suit claims that the probate office has “refused” to give Haynes access to the data “in a timely manner,” with the legally-required 22-month window for retaining the information after the Nov. 3, 2020 election set to expire on Sept. 3. In a statement to The Times, Brown said Friday that her office had followed guidance from Alabama Secretary of State John Merrill in addressing Haynes’ request. “We accommodated her request to the extent possible by providing her with public election information,” said Brown. “During the time of her requests, Alabama probate judges, sheriffs, absentee manager and Board of Registrars received information from the Alabama secretary of state notifying each of this specific public record request being made to various county offices throughout the State of Alabama and to only provide per a court order,” the statement continued. “After further review, Cast Vote Records [CVRs] are not public record and cannot be produced per request without a court order which the probate office never received.”
Arizona: A voter initiative rolling back Republican-backed election law changes and expanding voting access will not appear on the November ballot, the Arizona Supreme Court ruled. The high court decision upholds a lower court ruling issued hours earlier, in which Maricopa County Superior Court Judge Joseph Mikitish rejected thousands of signatures and said the initiative fell 1,458 signatures short of the 238,000 required to qualify for the ballot. The judge’s Friday ruling reversed his own decision from a day earlier after the Supreme Court asked him to explain how he concluded that the initiative had enough valid signatures to qualify. The Supreme Court’s ruling is the last word in a weeks-long battle between initiative backers and opponents. Critics, led by the Arizona Free Enterprise Club, succeeded in knocking off enough qualifying signatures for the measure to barely fail. Chief Justice Robert Brutinel, in a brief order, simply upheld the revised ruling and kept the initiative off the ballot. When the judge upheld the measure the day before, Brutinel had refused to accept it, saying court was unable to determine exactly how Mikitish came to his determination that backers had collected enough valid signatures for the measure to appear on November’s ballot.
U.S. District Judge John Tuchi dismissed a suit seeking to ban electronic voting machines ahead of the November midterm election, brought by Republican candidates who claim the machines may have security flaws. In the suit, Arizona gubernatorial candidate Kari Lake and secretary of state candidate Mark Finchem claimed an injunction to stop the use of voting machines was necessary since the “voting system does not reliably provide trustworthy and verifiable election results.” Former President Donald Trump — a frequent purveyor of baseless election fraud claims — has endorsed Lake and Finchem in their respective races. Lake and Finchem claimed that voting on paper ballots and hand-counting those votes was the only efficient and secure method for proceeding in November. Tuchi on Friday found the supposed evidence conjectural and not concrete. “Ultimately, even upon drawing all reasonable inferences in plaintiffs’ favor, the court finds that their claimed injuries are indeed too speculative to establish an injury in fact, and therefore standing,” wrote Tuchi. Tuchi wrote that in previous election fraud cases, courts have ruled in favor of the plaintiffs when actual fraud had occurred. In Curling v. Kemp, Georgia voting machines had been hacked and the secretary of state refused to act. Tuchi said the plaintiff’s case is nothing like that case. “Here, as the secretary points out, a long chain of hypothetical contingencies must take place for any harm to occur— (1) the specific voting equipment used in Arizona must have “security failures” that allow a malicious actor to manipulate vote totals; (2) such an actor must actually manipulate an election; (3) Arizona’s specific procedural safeguards must fail to detect the manipulation; and (4) the manipulation must change the outcome of the election,” Tuchi wrote.
Colorado: Mesa County Deputy Clerk Belinda Knisley pled guilty to three misdemeanor charges relating to her role in the breach of Mesa County’s election machines last year. In return for dropping more significant charges against her, Knisley has agreed to assist prosecutors. “There was some specific information she provided to us that was very valuable,” said Mesa County District Attorney Dan Rubinstein as part of his reasoning for the court to accept the plea deal. The judge granted prosecutors’ request to sentence Knisley to two years of unsupervised probation, as long as she continues to cooperate with the investigators building a case against Peters and former Mesa County Elections Manager Sandra Brown. He also ordered her to perform 150 hours of community service. Her conviction will prevent her ever working or volunteering in elections administration again.
A Republican candidate for the Colorado House has filed a complaint against the Boulder County Clerk and Recorder’s Office, arguing that the county has not been adequately monitoring its remote drop boxes. Bill DeOreo said he became concerned about some of the county’s ballot drop boxes when participating in a Boulder County election office tour in June. To monitor the drop boxes, there must be proper lighting and video surveillance. The camera was too far away and poorly lit, and it could not visualize either the face of the user nor what was being inserted in the box, the complaint argues. DeOreo, who is currently representing himself, said he is hopeful a judge will require the county to bring its drop boxes into compliance. In response to a records request submitted by DeOreo, which was included in the complaint he filed, Clerk and Recorder Molly Fitzpatrick defended her office’s practices. “Colorado law requires that all drop boxes be kept under 24-hour video surveillance with adequate lighting and that boxes are emptied by a bipartisan team who maintain a chain of custody log when transporting ballots between drop boxes and our ballot processing center,” she wrote. “I believe we are in compliance with these requirements.”
Illinois: Chicago mayoral candidate Willie Wilson filed a lawsuit Monday against the Chicago Board of Elections. The lawsuit, filed in federal court, is seeking an injunction to stop the board from eliminating 121 neighborhood polling places. “For them to do this here is moving time back to the Jim Crow days,” Wilson said. “We filed this lawsuit because it’s violating people’s civil rights.” The Chicago Board of Election Commissioners decided this summer to eliminate 779 voter precincts, which will actually shut down 121 separate polling places, said a board spokesman. That’s because a half-dozen or more precincts have typically been sharing a single voting location. Wilson said the closures violate the Voting Rights Act of 1965. He said he’s worried most about senior citizens — the age group most likely to vote — not knowing where to vote. “They live off a fixed income. For them to move the poll, let’s say a mile away or five or six blocks, has been unfair to our number one voters, alright. In the whole city of Chicago, and Cook County, state of Illinois and around this country. I think it’s wrong,” Wilson said. A spokesman for the elections board said increasing numbers now vote by mail or vote early at locations in all 50 wards and downtown, reducing the volume of those casting ballots on election day itself.
Kansas: District Court Judge James Vano has dismissed a lawsuit filed by two Olathe residents that asked for preservation of Johnson County’s 2020 election data in order to aid in Sheriff Calvin Hayden’s ongoing investigation into local elections. The suit, filed without an attorney by Katie Roberts and Hannah Mingucci Aug. 4, sought a temporary injunction that would prevent county election officials from destroying ballots, computer equipment and other records after September 4. The two plaintiffs said they spoke for many others in their skepticism about the 2020 election results. Their suit, which they said was filed independently of Sheriff Hayden, did not ask that anything be done with the records, only that they be preserved. Vano concluded Roberts and Mingucci did not have standing to sue, noting they did not have sufficient claim of harm or injury if the records were destroyed.
Kentucky: Campbell Circuit Judge Daniel Zalla certified the winner of a Republican primary in a state Senate seat and dismissed allegations that election equipment was improperly sealed, following a hand recount that showed no change in the vote totals of the top two finishers. Zalla dismissed ballot integrity allegations in the recount petition of Jessica Neal, who posted a $57,368 bond to initiate the Aug. 10 hand recount of ballots in her loss to Shelley “Funke” Frommeyer. The report that recount chairman Jack Porter submitted to the court indicated there was no change in the vote totals for each candidate, with Frommeyer receiving 4,094 votes and Neal receiving 3,787. Despite the outcome of the recount, Neal had filed a motion to set those results aside due to alleged ballot integrity concerns, citing that only a portion of voting machines containing ballots from Campbell County had yellow security seals at the top of the equipment. She also claimed Porter did not enforce recount procedures uniformly. Zalla dismissed Neal’s concerns and concurred with testimony from Campbell County Clerk Jim Leursen that yellow seals at the top of the machines were optional and not required by state law, as the required blue seals at the bottom of the machines — where the ballots are actually contained — were all properly secured. Zalla’s order stated that while Neal had “offered some conjecture about ballot security,” she had “not offered even the slightest amount of evidence concerning such ballot security, ballot tampering, ballot handling re: negligence/fraud, compromise of the chain of custody of the voting machines and ballots, voting tapes, or flawed recount procedures.”
Massachusetts: The justices of the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court “discern no merit” to the arguments that Republican Party officials made earlier this summer in a rejected attempt to block parts of the state’s new vote-by-mail and early voting law, the court said in an explanation of its ruling this week. Republican Party Chairman James Lyons and a handful of Republican candidates or party officials filed a lawsuit in June seeking to overturn the so-called VOTES Act, which made voting-by-mail and early voting permanent in Massachusetts. The plaintiffs argued before the SJC in early July that the law, which codified pandemic-era policies that proved popular with voters, violated the allowances for absentee voting contained in Article 105 of the state Constitution and that Secretary of State William Galvin should have been blocked from sending mail-in ballot applications out. The court quickly ruled in favor of Galvin on all claims on July 11 but said time pressures meant that a detailed reasoning for its decision to allow mail-in voting to proceed would have to follow in due time. As of Friday, about 250,000 people had requested, filled out and returned mail-in ballots for the Sept. 6 state primaries, Galvin’s office said. Lyons and the GOP pointed to part of the Massachusetts Constitution that explicitly allows for absentee voting for three reasons. “We disagree,” Justice Scott Kafker wrote for the court in a 61-page opinion released this week. “Voting is a fundamental right, and nothing in art. 45, as amended by art. 105, or in other parts of the Constitution cited by the plaintiffs, prohibits the Legislature, which has plenary constitutional powers, including broad powers to regulate the process of elections and even broader powers with respect to primaries, from enhancing voting opportunities. This is particularly true with respect to the universal early voting provisions in the VOTES act, which, in stark contrast to the narrow and discrete absentee-voting provisions of art. 45, enhance voting opportunities equally for all voters.”
New Hampshire: A conservative constitutional lawyer has sued Gov. Chris Sununu and legislative leaders, asserting the state has no authority to use electronic ballot-counting machines at polling places. Daniel Richard of Auburn also sued his hometown and Town Administrator Daniel Goonan for refusing to let him cast a vote by paper ballot and have it hand-counted. In a motion filed Wednesday, Richard asked a Rockingham County Superior Court judge to issue an injunction to stop towns from using the machines for the Sept. 13 primary. He asked to be allowed to make an in-court argument on the topic before voters go to the polls. A Rockingham County Superior Court judge has agreed to hear arguments on Richard’s suit Sept. 9, four days before the primary. The six-count suit asks the court to either outlaw the machines or, at the very least, permit anyone to cast a paper ballot and have it counted by hand in any city or town. Michael Garrity, communications director for Attorney General John Formella, said the state has received Richard’s lawsuit. “At this point, what I can tell you is that we are reviewing the filed complaint,” Garrity said in a statement.
New Jersey: Superior Court Judge Robert Lougy said this week that a lawsuit filed by the Republican National Committee to force the Mercer County board of elections to provide copies of ballot cure letters within 72-hours will be heard October 4. Republicans allege that Mercer County was in violation of the state’s Ballot Cure Act after they refused to respond to public document requests for the 2021 general election and the 2022 primary. The relatively new law permits voters to remediate their vote-by-mail ballots if they were rejected for a technical deficiency, such as a signature that does not match one on file. A court hearing had initially been set for September 27, but Mercer County Counsel Paul Adezio asked for more time.
Ohio: Retired Ohio Supreme Court Justice Terrence O’Donnell determined that conservative podcaster Terpsehore “Tore” Maras should be tossed from Ohio’s fall ballot, where she is seeking to become the state elections chief. O’Donnell made his determination against Maras on Friday, a day after an hours long protest hearing on challenges to dozens of the signatures that had qualified her for the ballot last month, as well her decision to become an independent after failing to make the ballot as a Republican. O’Donnell determined that 18 of 35 challenged signatures were invalid, enough to take Maras below the 5,000 required. O’Donnell’s recommendation goes back to Republican Secretary of State Frank LaRose’s office for a final ruling. O’Donnell had been selected to hear the case because LaRose is Maras’ would-be opponent, a LaRose spokesperson said. A LaRose deputy has been handling decision related to her candidacy for the same reason. Maras vowed to appeal, if the recommendation is upheld.
Texas: A Hidalgo County jury acquitted former Edinburg Mayor Richard Molina of several voter fraud charges stemming from the 2017 election that brought him to power, according to local reports. Local news outlets reported Molina was acquitted of 12 counts, including one count of engaging in organized voter fraud and 11 counts of illegal voting. His high-profile arrest by the state’s election fraud unit in 2019 was announced by Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton as part of what Paxton described as “an organized illegal voting scheme” in the November 2017 municipal election. The case was prosecuted by the Hidalgo County District Attorney’s Office, which did not immediately respond to a request for comment. According to a 2019 news release from the attorney general’s office, Molina was accused of directing voters to change their addresses to places where they did not live — including an apartment complex owned by Molina — so they could vote for him. Molina won the election by 1,240 votes, unseating then-incumbent Mayor Richard Garcia in the South Texas town.
Wisconsin: U.S. District Judge James D. Peterson has ruled that Wisconsin voters with disabilities can get help with returning their ballots. Peterson issued his order ahead of the November 2022 election saying that voters who have difficulty returning their own ballot can choose someone to do so for them. The order comes after the state Supreme Court in July issued a ruling that outlawed absentee ballot drop boxes and said that voters must return their own absentee ballot in person to a clerk’s office or other designated site. The decision did not explicitly address voter assistance for returning ballots by mail, but Wisconsin Elections Commission Administrator Meagan Wolfe subsequently pointed to a state law that says a voter must mail their own ballot. Peterson cited the federal Voting Rights Act. Federal law generally takes precedence over state laws under the U.S. Constitution’s supremacy clause. “Voters shouldn’t have to choose between exercising their federal rights and complying with state law,” Peterson wrote in the final ruling in a lawsuit filed by four people in Wisconsin with disabilities. Peterson’s order gives the elections commission until Sept. 9 to notify all of the state’s more than 1,800 municipal clerks of the rights disabled voters have to receive assistance under the Voting Rights Act. “This is a victory for voting rights in Wisconsin, and I think it sends a clear message across the country that federal law protects voters with disabilities,” said Scott Thompson, attorney for the plaintiffs.
Two Wisconsin judges dismissed a pair of lawsuits contesting subpoenas issued last year by former state Supreme Court Justice Michael Gableman as part of the now-closed GOP review of the state’s 2020 election. Both cases related to subpoenas that were withdrawn Friday by Assembly Speaker Robin Vos, who earlier this month fired Gableman and closed the Office of Special Counsel that has cost Wisconsin taxpayers more than $1 million and has failed to provide any evidence to support some Republicans’ claims of widespread fraud in the presidential election. In a brief order, Waukesha County Circuit Judge Ralph Ramirez dismissed a case brought by Gableman after officials in Wisconsin’s five largest cities refused to sit for private, in-person meetings with him as part of the review. Dane County Circuit Judge Rhonda Lanford dismissed a separate lawsuit brought by Democratic Attorney General Josh Kaul challenging Gableman’s authority to demand a similar meeting with Wisconsin Elections Commission administrator Meagan Wolfe. Kaul had argued that demanding private interviews is illegal.
Opinions This Week
Arizona: Election lawsuits
Maryland: Ranked choice voting
Michigan: Ranked choice voting
Minnesota: Voting system
Nevada: Ranked choice voting
New Mexico: Election workers
New York: Election system
North Carolina: Poll watchers
Utah: County clerk
West Virginia: Secretary of state
Wisconsin: Election administration
Wyoming: Future of elections
College Student Poll Worker Recruitment: In 2020, thousands of college students answered the call to serve as poll workers. This year, local election officials around the country still need more poll workers, especially tech-savvy, multi-lingual young people. Join ALL IN and the Students Learn Students Vote Coalition (SLSV) for a 30-minute webinar to learn about ideas and strategies to recruit college students at your institution to serve as poll workers, which are often paid positions, and additional benefits from establishing and maintaining a relationship with your local election officials. When: 4pm Eastern Sept. 13. Where: Online
National Voter Registration Day: National Voter Registration Day is a nonpartisan civic holiday celebrating our democracy. First observed in 2012, it has quickly gained momentum ever since. Nearly 4.7 million voters have registered to vote on the holiday to date. Celebrated every September, National Voter Registration Day involves volunteers and organizations from all over the country hitting the streets in a single day of coordinated field, technology and media efforts. National Voter Registration Day seeks to create broad awareness of voter registration opportunities to reach tens of thousands of voters who may not register otherwise. According to U.S. Census data from 2020, as many as 1 in 4 eligible Americans are not registered to vote. Every year, millions of Americans find themselves unable to vote because they miss a registration deadline, don’t update their registration, or aren’t sure how to register. National Voter Registration Day wants to make sure everyone has the opportunity to vote. The holiday has been endorsed by the National Association of Secretaries of State (NASS), the National Association of State Election Directors (NASED), the U.S. Election Assistance Commission (EAC), and the National Association of Election Officials (The Election Center). When: September 20
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.
Vote Early Day: Vote Early Day is a nonpartisan movement of media companies, businesses, nonprofits, election administrators, and creatives working to ensure all Americans have the tools to vote early. This holiday is a tentpole moment for partners of all stripes to engage with voters and urge them to cast their ballots. Created in 2020, Vote Early Day has brought thousands of national and local partners together in celebration and activation to increase the number of people voting early. This collaborative, open-source model—similar to Giving Tuesday and National Voter Registration Day—ensures that millions more Americans take advantage of their options to vote early through on the ground activations, get-out-the-vote pushes, national communications on traditional and social media, and efforts to create a new culture around voting. Vote Early Day plays a unique role in the push to get voters to cast their ballot. We are a trusted, nonpartisan holiday with supporters on both sides of the aisle. We provide a central moment for a wide range of partners (many non- traditional to the civic space) to engage with voters and urge them to vote early. Our collaboration of thousands of diverse partners allows us to engage in places beyond where voters are used to seeing election messages. This allows us to break through the noise and meet voters where they are. When: October 28
Job Postings This Week
electionlineWeekly publishes election administration job postings each week as a free service to our readers. To have your job listed in the newsletter, please send a copy of the job description, including a web link to firstname.lastname@example.org. Job postings must be received by 5pm on Wednesday in order to appear in the Thursday newsletter. Listings will run for three weeks or till the deadline listed in the posting.
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.
Assistant Director, Butler County, Pennsylvania— To supervise and direct the operational processes relating to voter registration, voting and elections, ensuring that voters’ rights are protected and votes are recorded and counted accurately. Assists the Director in implementing the day to day functions of the Elections Department. The incumbent supervises the non-exempt staff and answers voter and candidate questions or selects proper course of action to resolve problems. Assists Director in evaluating new technologies for election process. Consults with others regarding clarification of the Pennsylvania Election Code. Refers complex issues requiring clarification of the Pennsylvania Election Code or the Pennsylvania Constitution to the Director of Elections. A Bachelor’s Degree in a related field and/or equivalent work experience is required. Significant experience in Computer Science course work or equivalent is required. Prior work experience involving the electoral process is desirable, as is supervisory experience. Must be knowledgeable of State and County voting laws, regulations, procedures, and requirements. Computer, telephone and customer service skills are necessary. Salary: $45,129.18-$63,180.85. 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.
Deputy Director, Pinal County, Arizona— Looking for an opportunity to make a difference and make significant contributions to our elections department? Pinal County is seeking a Deputy Director to support and assist our Elections Director with all aspects of elections activities. We are seeking a dedicated individual who is passionate about the democratic process and ensuring integrity and efficiency of election administration. Consider Pinal County, one of the fastest growing counties in the country who invests in every one of it’s 2000 employees. Assist the Director of Elections with the overall planning, organizing, staffing, logistics, and operational activities of the Elections Department. Perform work in collaboration with the Recorder’s Office and other key stakeholders to ensure compliance with all federal and state laws, rules, regulations, and intergovernmental agreements relating to elections. Supervise the activities of staff, volunteers and temporary workers. Oversee and respond to public inquiries regarding elections processes and compliance. Salary: $81,979.00 – $131,166.00 Annually. Deadline: Sept. 15. 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.
Director of Elections & Chief Registrar, Butler County, Pennsylvania— Seeking a Director of Elections & Chief Registrar with great communication, leadership and organizational skills. Employee reports directly to the Board of Commissioners. Employee is responsible for the overall planning, organization, direction, management, coordination, and oversight of the County voter registration and election processes in accordance with the County Code, the policies of the Board of Commissioners and/or Board of Elections and Federal, State and Local laws and regulations. Working knowledge and familiarity of PA Election laws, laws pertaining to Conduct of Election and Voter Registration and supervisory experience a plus. Must have a minimum of three years’ experience and/or training in the election/voter registration process, course work with an emphasis in business a plus. Application: For the complete job listing and to apply, click here.
Division Director, Illinois State Board of Elections— Subject to Executive Director approval; oversees the administration of human resource programs including, but not limited to, compensation, payroll, benefits, and leave; disciplinary matters; disputes and investigations; performance and talent management; productivity, recognition, and morale; occupational health and safety; and training and development. Serves as the Board’s subject matter expert relating to personnel and human resource matters. Identifies staffing and recruiting needs; develops and executes best practices for hiring and talent management. Conducts research and analysis of Board trends including review of reports and metrics from human resource information systems. Recommends, implements, and ensures compliance with agency policies and procedures including, but not limited to, hiring, disciplinary actions, employee grievances, compensation plan, and employee performance evaluations. Creates and oversees human resource practices, programs, and objectives that provide for an employee-oriented culture that emphasizes collaboration, innovation, creativity, and knowledge transfer within a diverse team. Oversees the day-to-day administrative aspects of the Board’s personnel programs; accuracy of bi-monthly payrolls; benefits; quarterly and annual EEO/AA reporting; and, employee transaction documentation. Facilitates professional development, training, and certification activities for staff; development and maintenance of agency-wide training programs for on-boarding, staff development, and knowledge transfer. Responsible for the administration and oversight over all disciplinary matters; including: investigation of complaints; conducting witness interviews; documentation gathering; drafting and submittal of investigation findings to Executive Staff; advising Division Directors and Executive Staff on disciplinary matters; and, drafting of formal disciplinary reprimands in accordance with policy. Has administrative oversight of the Chief Fiscal Officer regarding budgetary and fiscal matters under the purview of the Division of Administrative Services. Supervises and evaluates subordinate staff; facilitates knowledge transfers and cross trainings; performs other duties as required or assigned which are reasonably within the scope of the duties enumerated above. Salary: $6,023.00 – $12,374.00 Monthly. 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.
Elections Specialist Trainee, Illinois State Board of Elections— Under direct supervision of Voting and Registration Systems (VRS) personnel, during a training period of up to 12 months in order to qualify for the target title position of an Election Specialist I, provides assistance in the operations of the division’s activities and programs; assists with data analysis to ensure accuracy; assists with voting system testing. Acquires skills needed to provide election system support to election jurisdictions and/or vendors and to navigate the Illinois Voter Registration System (IVRS). Assists with setting up IVRS accounts and provides support with IVRS training that is provided to the election jurisdictions. Acquires skills in order to answer questions from election authorities, vendors, and the general public pertaining to the IVRS database, voting systems, pretesting, public testing, and referenda. Assists with the testing of vote tabulation equipment, including voting system approval testing and SBE Special Testing. Assists with the collection of information pertaining to voting systems, including, but not limited to, systems in use in the state of Illinois, pre-election testing, and post-election auditing. Provides assistance with testing new views, troubleshooting, and resolving issues within IVRS. Utilizes knowledge and skills from working environment in order to complete all projects. Assists with updating and revising division documents, gains skills and knowledge of election-related opinions, statute, and legislation pertaining to division responsibilities. Assists with monitoring of public viewing stations, including the processing of viewer information and ensuring that viewers use proper procedures. Develops knowledge in order to answer questions and concerns from election authorities and the general public on a variety of election-related topics. Performs other duties as required or assigned which are reasonably within the scope of the duties enumerated above. Salary: $2,760.00 – $2,917.00 Monthly. Deadline: Sept. 13. 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.
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.
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) 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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