In Focus This Week
It’s 2023, but many eyes are on 2024
Putting professional development and planning front and center
By The Elections Group
It’s only the beginning of 2023, yet many election officials already have their eyes set on 2024.
Like the Philadelphia Eagles and Kansas City Chiefs, whose Super Bowl-bound performances this year were the culmination of years of training and preparation for every player, election officials’ path to success are made possible only through a persistent commitment to addressing fundamentals and achieving excellence.
With limited time and resources, election officials focus on what they can do to improve. With dozens of state association and national conferences slated for the spring and summer, there are four areas of particular importance in preparation for the elections super bowl in ‘24.
Election Safety and Security
The 2022 election cycle allowed many election officials to let out a collective sigh of relief, new and evolving safety and security risks continue to demand focus and attention. Cybersecurity and physical security – both for individuals and for offices – are top of mind. The Elections Group has several guides, including Election Security in a Time of Disturbance and Running Elections Without Fear: Ensuring Election Personnel Safety, that can be presented . The Committee for Safe and Secure Elections also has resources and materials for presentations and tabletop exercises.
Telling Your Story: Communications
The public’s desire for election information has changed over time, and as the official source of election information, election officials work to meet them where they are. With some effort, officials are growing their communications capacity. There’s no better way to learn than by doing, so consider scheduling a workshop, table-top exercise or similar activity to get participants engaged. The Elections Group can also assist in developing helpful communications tools. You can contact us directly or simply download any of our free resources in our Communications Resource Desk.
Documenting and sharing election procedures and best practices assures voters and other stakeholders that the most up-to-date and thorough procedures are being followed. Investing time in documenting procedures can increase transparency and make training and onboarding new workers easier. Areas of focus can include signature verification, ballot proofing and replication, logic and accuracy testing, audits and inbound mail ballot processing – just to name a few.
Teaming Up and Collaborating
The last several years have proven that election officials are stronger together. State association meetings and similar gatherings are excellent opportunities to build coalitions to combine resources and maximize reach. Guided conversations on building stronger partnerships are a great method for meeting this need. To get everyone a headstart on this, we produced case studies and implementation guides to help you get started on “accelerating excellence” in your office. We are also hosting a virtual conversation at noon on Feb. 7 with North Carolina election officials to learn about how they set up a collaborative program, supported by the state, to improve processes and procedures.
When planning a conference or seeking a professional development opportunity, The Elections Group aims to be your partner. Our team provides presentations on a range of topics and can offer suggestions on other organizations and presenters who can do the same.
We’re always here to help, so don’t hesitate to reach out to us at email@example.com. We look forward to seeing how our professional community continues to grow and adapt.
The Elections Group is a nonpartisan elections administration consulting firm.
Announcing the 2023 Election Science, Reform, and Administration Conference
The 7th Annual Summer Conference on Election Science, Reform, and Administration (ESRA) will be held in-person from Wednesday, May 31st to Friday, June 2nd at the University of Georgia in Athens, GA. Registration, the call for papers, and more information is available at: https://esra-conference.org/.
Each summer, the Election Science, Reform, and Administration Conference (ESRA) brings together election officials and scholars to discuss pressing topics related to U.S. elections, providing a forum for collaboration and exchange that can stimulate policy evaluation and innovation. The conference invites participation from scholars in political science, public administration, law, computer science, statistics, and other fields who are working to develop rigorous empirical approaches to the study of how laws, technology, and administrative procedures affect the quality of elections in the United States. Unlike traditional academic conferences, however, ESRA seeks to facilitate a shared space between academics and election professionals in order to encourage the practical application of scholarly research.
This year, the ESRA conference will be hosted by the University of Georgia, and will take place in-person in Athens, GA, from Wednesday, May 31st through Friday, June 2nd. For the first time, the conference also has its very own website, where interested readers can find information on this year’s conference as well as events from past years.
The program committee for this year’s conference is proud to announce that we are currently accepting paper and poster proposals for the 2023 conference. The submission period for proposals goes live today, February 2, and will close on March 1, 2023. More information about the call for proposals, as well as the submission form, can be found at https://esra-conference.org/2023-call-papers. Registration for the 2023 conference is also open; interested readers can register to attend at https://esra-conference.org/register-2023-conference.
Further details about the conference will be posted at the conference website: https://esra-conference.org/. We look forward to reading your proposals and to seeing many of you in Georgia!
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Election News This Week
Threats to Democracy: NPR’s Investigations team is looking into the unprecedented number of threats against election workers and officials in the past few years. If you have been targeted by threats, felt unsafe doing your job, or know people who have, they want to hear from you. From NPR: :Sharing your experience by filling out the survey below will help us understand the scope of the problem, and whether law enforcement and other officials are being responsive to election workers when threats are reported. We may reach out to you to find out more about your experience, and ask if you’d be willing to do an interview. We will not share or publish any identifiable information about you without your permission.”
Beyond Objectivity: Leonard Downie Jr., Weil Family Professor of Journalism and Andrew Heyward, Research Professor, ASU Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication recently released a new playbook strengthening and transforming journalism. Many forces have eroded public trust in journalism over the years. Additionally, the traditional standard of “objectivity” has lost its relevance for a new generation of journalists and news consumers. This report and accompanying “playbook” offer actionable guidelines to help news organizations restore a belief in the value of fair, fact-based reporting — trustworthy news. The authors provide a fresh vision for how to replace outmoded “objectivity” with a more relevant articulation of journalistic standards. Additionally, Downie recently penned an op-ed for his former paper, The Washington Post, about the changing standard of traditional objectivity. “Objectivity” is defined by most dictionaries as expressing or using facts without distortion by personal beliefs, bias, feelings or prejudice. Journalistic objectivity has been generally understood to mean much the same thing. But increasingly, reporters, editors and media critics argue that the concept of journalistic objectivity is a distortion of reality. Downie concludes his op-ed by saying: “One essential value for all Americans is the survival of democratic institutions, which are under attack on multiple fronts. Trustworthy journalism by a new generation of journalists and newsroom leaders can ensure that the news media continues to do its part to protect democracy.” While not technically, “election news,” the relationship between state and local elections officials and the news media is now more important than ever and this provides some interesting reading about the future—and we’ll have more on that next week.
Pushing Back: Florida election supervisors are objecting to a provision in an election law passed last year that if enacted would require voters to include some form of personal identification information when submitting their vote-by-mail ballot. The supervisors say the idea will create additional costs and logistical challenges. A work group was commissioned by Mark Earley, the president of the Florida Supervisors of Elections. It was chaired by Pasco County Supervisor of Elections Brian Corley and included 13 other supervisors of elections from across Florida. The group viewed the situation as “unnecessary and lacking adequate feasibility for implementation,” according to a report released in January. It added that the provisions to include an extra envelope “would result in delays that will rankle the respective election stakeholders, to include voters, the public, media and candidates.” “Unanimously, Florida Supervisors of Elections view this legislative proposal as unnecessary and lacking adequate feasibility for implementation,” they wrote in their report. Earley — the Leon County supervisor of elections and current president of the Florida Supervisors of Elections Association — told NPR that local officials watched Texas closely last year and are concerned about rolling out similar requirements in a state where significantly more people vote by mail. Now that the report has been submitted to legislative leaders, it’s not clear at this point if the Legislature will address the issue in the upcoming session that begins in March.
Personnel News: Mary Feagler was recently elected Goshen County, Wyoming clerk after serving in the office for years. Janine Eveler is retiring after 18 years as the Cobb County, Georgia elections director. Molly Woon has been named the director of elections for Oregon. James Sanderson will no longer serve on the Georgetown County, South Carolina Board of Elections and Voter Registration. Hartford, Wisconsin City Clerk Lori Hetzel is retiring. Frank Piccari and John R. Seltzer have been appointed to the Lawrence County, Pennsylvania board of elections. Don Blevins Jr. has retired as the Fayette County, Kentucky clerk. Susan Lamb has been sworn in as the new Fayette County, Kentucky clerk. Leah Valenti has been appointed the new supervisor of elections for Charlotte County, Florida. Anne Norton, Elections Operations/Systems Manager, will be promoted to serve as the new Director of Elections for Berks County, Pennsylvania. Kristie Richter will be the new Jackson County, Kansas clerk. Chris Hardenbrook is the new Grosse Pointe, Michigan clerk. East Lansing, Michigan City Clerk Jennifer Shuster has resigned. Spokane County, Washington Auditor Vicky Dalton has announced that she will retire when her term ends in 2026.
Arizona: A House committee has passed a measure that would require the secretary of state to recuse themselves from running certain portions of an election, if they are also on the ballot. Republican Rachel Jones is the bill’s sponsor. “I think the optics of that of a secretary of state running their own election for governor and then certifying that election was a major concern to some of my constituents, and that is why I put forth this bill,” Jones said. But voting advocates and Democrats don’t see the same concern. They say that no other state has any such requirement, and that this bill is a solution in search of a problem. The bill was ultimately approved 7-3, with one Democrat voting to support it along with the panel’s Republican members.
House Bill 2378 would bar election officers or employees who oversee a significant portion of an election from joining a political action committee. House Majority Leader Leo Biasiucci, R-Lake Havasu City, said the bill was an attempt to ensure election officials don’t influence the outcome of the races they are in charge of. The bill was unanimously approved by all 10 committee members, with Democrats adding the caveat that the bill needed work to pass muster later.
Early ballot signature verification was also targeted. House Bill 2322 would allow observers appointed by each party to be present during signature verification and give them the ability to challenge the decisions of election workers at polling places, voting centers and other counting facilities. Signature verification on early ballots became a tenet of election conspiracies during the 2020 elections, when Republican candidates began casting doubt on the process and advising their base to vote in-person. Allegations that voting by mail, which is used by more than 80% of Arizonans choose, is fraudulent resurfaced after the November midterms, when a significant party discrepancy between mail-in and Election Day voters emerged. All three Democrats voted against the bill, and with the support of the six Republican members, it was passed out of the committee along party lines.
Out of the seven bills that the Senate Elections Committee approved this week, six passed 5-3 along party lines, and just one passed with unanimous support.
Senate Bill 1105, introduced by Sen. Frank Carroll, R-Sun City West, would require early ballots returned to a polling place on Election Day be tabulated on-site at the polling location.
Senate Bill 1135 would require those who received an early voting ballot in the mail but who wanted to turn it in on Election Day to spoil that ballot — the technical term for canceling it — and turn it in at their polling place, at which point they’d be required to show identification and then vote a regular in-person ballot instead.
Senate Bill 1095, would require early ballot envelopes to include a written warning that ballots dropped in a ballot drop box or mailed after the Friday before the election could cause delayed election results.
Senate Bill 1178, allows counties to skip signature verification on ballot envelopes for voters who vote early in-person and who have to show their IDs to obtain a ballot. Marson spoke in favor of the bill, saying it eliminated the redundancy of verifying a voter’s identity twice: Through an ID check and signature verification.
Senate Bill 1180, would prohibit organizations that work to register voters from paying workers per registration form. Bennett said the bill was requested by county officials, and that they hoped it would prevent those organizations from turning in junk forms that county workers must sift through.
Senate Bill 1068, would require that each voting location include one worker from each of the two major political parties. This is a change from the current law that if the workers are members of a political party, they must be equally divided between the two parties.
Senate Bill 1066, would require nongovernmental organizations to include the words “not from a government entity” on election-related mail that resembles official election correspondence.
Arkansas: A Republican-sponsored bill in the Arkansas Legislature would make it illegal to circulate petitions at or near polling places during elections. House Bill 1025 would amend the state law about circulating petitions to limit signature-gathering within 100 feet of the primary entrance to a polling place. The bill is co-sponsored by Rep. David Ray, R-Maumelle, and Sen. Mark Johnson, R-Little Rock. Bonnie Miller, president of the League of Women Voters of Arkansas, said the bill appears to be a remedy in search of a problem. She said there haven’t been any issues around circulating petitions as people are voting. Miller said the 100-foot limit that currently exists is for candidates, to prohibit what’s known as electioneering. She said voters circulating a petition are not the same thing.
California: Republican Assemblymember Bill Essayli’s legislation would overhaul California’s elections and strike the requirement to mail a ballot to every California registered voter while also trying to speed up the vote count. AB 13, which would make Election Day a state holiday, also seeks to end the practice of someone turning in multiple completed mail-in ballots, regardless of whether they live with the people who signed those ballots — an exercise known derisively in conservative circles as “ballot harvesting” that’s legal in California but banned in other states. An AB 13 fact sheet from Essayli’s office states that the public’s trust in government and concerns over election fraud “have been an ever-growing issue across the nation.” To speed up the vote count, AB 13 would shorten the deadline for county registrars to receive mail-in ballots from seven days to three days after Election Day. It also would do away with vote centers — replacements for the traditional network of neighborhood polling places that open before Election Day and can be used by any registered voter to cast a ballot or change their voter registration. Under AB 13, only family members or someone living in the same household would be able to return a filled-out mail-in ballot that’s not theirs. The bill also would bar counties from conducting all-mail-in elections.
Connecticut: Connecticut would explore a ranked-choice voting in congressional races and presidential primaries under a bill proposed last week by a bipartisan pair of state senators. anked-choice has recently gotten some attention in Connecticut. After being sworn in for a second term in office earlier this month, Gov. Ned Lamont suggested the system may “take some of the sting out of politics and bring some of the decency back to public service.” But a bill on the subject has already been filed by an unlikely pair state lawmakers: Sens. Cathy Osten, D-Sprague, and Tony Hwang, R-Fairfield. In an interview Wednesday, Hwang said he believed the system could encourage more voter engagement than the current methodology. “I think ranked-choice voting allows a greater opportunity for different viewpoints to be voiced during the campaign and to engage every vote as a factor even if their candidate didn’t win on the first round, it allows that individual’s vote to have far greater resonance,” he said. Osten said she agreed to co-sponsor the bipartisan bill after speaking with advocates of ranked-choice voting.
Legislation that would create a Connecticut Voting Rights Act. The bill aims to codify in Connecticut elements of the Voting Rights Act of 1965. The bill has been raised during prior sessions but so far failed to gain passage. In the past, the legislation would have prevented communities from adopting additional prerequisites for voting if they impaired the franchise of members of a protected class. The bill would also have authorized the secretary of the state to pursue civil actions for violations of the law and would establish a state database to evaluate. Another provision of the bill would require municipalities to provide language assistance for those who need it in communities where non-English speakers comprise a certain threshold of the voting-aged residents. Last year, the bill cleared the GAE Committee but expired on the Senate calendar due to inaction.
Roswell, Georgia: The Roswell City Council has unanimously agreed to push forward on plans to have the city conduct its own municipal elections. At a special called meeting Jan. 30, the council drew from discussions raised at a Jan. 23 work session and Jan. 24 committee meeting to avoid skyrocketing election costs from Fulton County, which has run municipal elections for years. In 2019 and 2021, Fulton County charged cities $2.96 per registered voter to manage their elections. In December 2022, the county proposed a new fee, $11.48 per voter. The Fulton County Board of Registrations and Elections pushed back against the price hike and negotiated the county charge down to $9.38 per registered voter for this fall’s elections. Roswell is one of several North Fulton County cities pushing to split from the county-run arrangement. The Roswell City Council agreed to have city staff “work on due diligence with sister cities” on conducting municipal elections. The details of the possible intergovernmental agreement are still in the early stages, and Roswell Mayor Kurt Wilson said the council cannot answer all the questions right now.
Idaho: A new bill introduced in the Legislature would prohibit the use of student IDs as an acceptable form of identification for voting in Idaho elections, and it would remove a voter’s ability to sign an affidavit to prove their identity to vote. First-year Rep. Tina Lambert, R-Caldwell, is sponsoring the new three-page bill. Without giving any specific examples of the practice, Lambert said she is worried about students being able to commit voter fraud with their student IDs. In addition to prohibiting student IDs as an acceptable form of identification for voting, Lambert’s bill would also prohibit voters’ ability to sign a personal identification affidavit to prove their identity if they do not have or bring acceptable forms of identification to the polls.
Indiana: The House Elections and Apportionment Committee has been assigned over 25 different bills, including House Bill 1225, which has not been heard yet. Authored by Rep. Michael Aylesworth, R-Hebron, the bill pushes for “the interim study committee on elections to study all issues relating to making voting by absentee ballot by mail as secure as in-person voting.” In addition to studying the security of voting, HB 1225 includes language to make training more accessible to poll workers. If passed, poll workers could receive their training online, by video presentation, in person or with a combination of all three. Also addressing absentee voting, House Bill 1334, authored by Wesco, pushes to tighten the requirements for absentee voters. If submitting an absentee voter application, the applicant would have to include the last four digits of their Social Security number as well as either their Indiana driver’s license number, Indiana identification card number for nondrivers, or the identifying number assigned to the applicant’s voter registration record.
Authored by Senate Elections Committee Chair Jon Ford, R-Terre Haute, Senate Bill 262 would create an audit of election systems. If passed, the bill would require the secretary of state to work with a forensic company to conduct an audit of the 2023 municipal election and the 2024 general election in 10 Indiana counties selected at random. This would include elections toward the top of the ballot like the run for Indiana governor and U.S. senator.
St. Joseph County, Indiana: The St. Joseph County Board of Commissioners voted to consolidate the Board of Voter Registration. Those duties are now under the county clerk. There will be less positions, still split across party lines, meaning less taxpayer dollars. St. Joseph County was one of only three in the state that has a separate board of voter registration that is not under the county clerk. “There’s always a concern when anything changes with voter registration, or with the election board or state election laws,” Elizabeth Bennion, director of voter services and education for the League of Women Voters of the South Bend area. A resolution passed this week essentially abolished the Board of Voter Registration. The board of commissioners argued this would save over $200,000 of taxpayer dollars.
Kansas: Legislators are considering a bill that proposes eliminating a three-day grace period for advance mail ballots to be returned and counted. Republicans proposed its elimination before, with the Kansas Senate advancing a bill last year. The most recent proposal would only allow mail ballots to be counted if a county election office receives them by 7 p.m. on Election Day. Currently, ballots returned through the mail are counted if they are postmarked by Election Day and received within three days after polls close. Republican Rep. Pat Proctor, chairman of the committee, said increasing public confidence in elections through the change is a good policy decision. But some lawmakers questioned if ballots would be thrown out for no fault of the voter. Rep. Kenneth Collins, a Republican from Southeast Kansas, said one of his constituents told him she couldn’t mail her ballot until the weekend before Election Day, but she was confident it would be counted because of the grace period. Many opponents of the bill also said the change would disenfranchise specific voters. Some military voters stationed overseas may cast ballots by mail, but sometimes have the ability to vote through email.
Under House Bill 2013, if a candidate for a statewide office doesn’t receive a majority of votes in a general election, a runoff election would be held between the two candidates who garnered the most votes. The legislation would be in effect for candidates running for the positions of governor, lieutenant governor, attorney general, secretary of state, state treasurer and commissioner of insurance. Runoff elections would be held the first Tuesday in December, unless postponed by court order. If passed, the legislation would take effect immediately. Rep. Les Mason, a McPherson Republican and the only person who spoke in favor of the bill during a hearing by the House Elections Committee, said HB2013 would shore up Kansans’ faith in elections. Mason, who asked for the bill to be introduced, said he wanted to open “this can of worms” because of his concerns about recent gubernatorial elections.
During a House Elections Committee hearing, House Bill 2057 was opposed by a slew of election officers and voting rights advocacy groups questioned the need for the legislation. The legislation would impose strict regulations on remote ballot boxes. County election offices with populations of less than 30,000 would be allowed to use only one remote ballot box per election. For county election offices in areas with more than 30,000 people, another box would be granted for each additional group of 30,000. The remote box would have to be under continual observation by an employee or via video, and closed when the election office is closed. The video recording would have to be situated so the faces of people dropping off the ballots into the box would be recorded, and the recording would be kept for a year, available for public record, among other stipulations. Mike Taylor, who spoke on behalf of the Kansas County Commissioners Association, which represents the elected commissioners in all 105 counties, said the organization opposed the legislation on many grounds and felt it would harm voter privacy. “We are opposing this bill because we think it’s going to disenfranchise many, many voters who depend on easy access to those drop boxes,” Taylor said. “We also think it’s going to add a lot of unneeded expense to the counties and taxpayers.”
Maryland: Maryland lawmakers are considering a bill which would require all polling locations to have a curb-side-voting option, aimed at making voting easier for those with disabilities. Anyone with a disability that is recognized under the Americans With Disabilities Act would be allowed to use this option. “Local polling places, they try to be as accessible and inclusive as possible, but things like a threshold at the entrance, or door ways that are too narrow, an access ramp that may be blocked, things of those nature make it difficult,” says Adith Thummalapalli with Salisbury Mayor’s Disability Advisory Committee. “If you think about it, it’s like installing a ramp somewhere. Someone using a wheel chair can use that but so could a mom with a stroller or an elderly person with a walker. Using that same idea if curb side voting is an option I think it would allow more people to share their voice.”
Minnesota: A bill ready for a vote in the Minnesota House would restore voting rights for thousands of Minnesotans with felony convictions currently barred from the ballot box until their sentence is complete. The state’s current policy allows people to vote after they complete time for probation, parole or supervised release. The proposal, which advanced out of the House Ways and Means Committee on Monday, would allow Minnesotans to vote when they leave prison. For supporters of the measure, the issue is simple: If Minnesotans are now longer incarcerated and live and work in communities across the state, they should be able to weigh in on the leaders elected to represent them. They also say it’s an essential part of re-entering society. Republicans on Monday questioned if reforming probation should be the focus of change, not voting rights. “As you walk out the door of prison, I’m not sure that that is exactly the time that most Minnesotans believe it is time to have those rights restored,” said Rep. Jim Nash, R-Waconia. “Being on paper for 40 years — there’s an argument to be made there. But I do believe there is a reason to not have voting rights yet restored until that probation period is met.” The bill advanced on a voice vote, with Republicans voting no. The bill now advances to the House floor, though there isn’t a vote scheduled yet.
Montana: In the Senate State Administration Committee, a pair of bills that would modify Montana elections had hearings this week. Senate Bill 190 would expand the situations where races go to recounts. Under the proposed legislation, races with a margin of .05% or less would to an automatic recount, double the current 0.25% cutoff. The losers of races with a margin between 0.5-1% would be able to request a recount if they post bonds to cover the costs, also double the current margin of 0.25-1%. Senate Bill 189, sponsored by State Sen. Theresa Manzella (R-Hamilton), would require a three-fourths supermajority of legislators in both chambers to allow federal and state special elections be conducted by absentee ballot. Regular federal, state and county elections are not allowed to be done by all absentee ballot, although an exception was made in 2020 due to the pandemic.
Nebraska: An amendment to a proposed voter ID law, one that calls for mail-in voters to see a notary, was among points that drew fire during a public hearing this week that stretched nearly six hours. LB 535 attempts to shape a voter ID law that comes in the wake of a constitutional amendment that voters passed in the November election, requiring Nebraskans to show photo ID before voting. Just before the hearing began, State Sen. Julie Slama of Dunbar presented the committee a revised bill, calling the earlier proposal a placeholder. Many who spoke expressed frustration, as they were unfamiliar with the changes, including that people seeking to mail in ballots see a notary who would sign their return ballot envelope after verifying the voter’s identity. It is now up to the Legislature to hammer out its details. The committee took no action on whether to advance the bill to debate by the full Legislature. “It’s going to go through a lot of morphing,” State Sen. Tom Brewer of Gordon, chair of the committee said.
New Hampshire: Senate Bill 157 would require the office to audit at least two AccuVote machines on Election Day during state primaries and up to eight machines during the general election. The audits would need to be conducted at specific towns and city wards across the state, selected at random, the bill states. They would be carried out in public by people appointed and trained by the secretary of state. For each machine, at least 5 percent of the ballots scanned must be examined, the bill adds. The choices on the ballots must be compared to the results recorded in the machines, and any differences must be documented.
The top Senate and House Democratic leadership proposed no-excuse absentee voting. Secretary of State David Scanlan opposed the bill (SB 220), maintaining it would require a change in the state constitution to allow any voter to receive an absentee ballot for any reason. Current law limits absentee ballots to disabled individuals or those unable to make it to the polls on Election Day because of work requirements, care for a dependent or for religious reasons. All 10 Senate Democrats signed onto this bill, as did House Democratic Leader Matt Wilhelm of Manchester.
New Mexico: A bill that would prohibit firearms at polling places during elections with exceptions for police officers cleared its first hurdle at the Legislature this week. A Senate panel voted 6-3 along party lines, with Republicans in opposition, to advance the bill from Democratic Senate Majority Leader Peter Wirth of Santa Fe. A second committee endorsement could send the bill to a full Senate vote. New Mexico already prohibits guns on school grounds, where many election polls are located. But firearms can be carried at many other polling locations, openly or with a concealed-handgun permit. Under the proposed changes, New Mexico would join at least 12 other states that prohibit guns and weapons at polling places, including neighboring Texas and Arizona. Wirth said he heard concerns from constituents in his district about firearms at polls during the 2022 election cycle, including one person who decided to stop working at the polls because people were bringing guns with them to vote.
North Dakota: House Bill 1314 would prohibit drop boxes as lawful places of deposit for absentee and mail ballots. But county auditors reminded the House Political Subdivisions Committee, how inconsistent the postal service is saying relying solely on USPS to deliver their ballots, would create more issues. Many local election officials who argued against the bill pointed out how frequently these drop boxes are used, not just for election ballots. “While intended only for ballots, we continue to receive tax payments, court documents and many other types of documents dropped off during the year. Voters have expressed their gratitude for the availability, and even use it during normal courthouse hours as its more convenient,” said Erica Johnsrud, the McKenzie County auditor and treasurer.
Oklahoma: Oklahoma lawmakers have introduced more than 90 election and voting bills ahead of the upcoming legislative session. About one-fifth of these proposals are shell bills titled “Oklahoma Elections Reform Act of 2023.” Lawmakers will be tasked with adding more substantive language before the bills are considered. Legislative committees will begin taking up bills after Feb. 6, when the session begins. Bills face a March 2 deadline to advance out committee in their chamber of origin. Republicans have introduced at least 80 election-related bills. Approximately a dozen measures propose additional requirements or restrictions, including eliminating no-excuse absentee voting and forbidding the State Election Board from joining multistate voter-list maintenance organizations. Another category of proposals seeks to exempt the state from following federal election laws in non-federal elections and mandate state officials to report any election or voting-related contact from the U.S. Department of Justice. Two bills seek to increase pay and strengthen legal protections for precinct officials. Senate Bill 290 by Warren Hamilton, R-McCurtain, would increase daily compensation for clerks and judges from $100 to $200 per day. Inspectors, who act as the lead official at their precinct, would receive $225 per day, up from $110. Senate Bill 481 by Dave Rader, R-Tulsa, would classify intimidating or threatening an election official as a felony offense.
Pennsylvania: Pennsylvania county commissioners are outlining a handful of policy goals they want state lawmakers to tackle in the next year. Commissioners are pushing for pre-canvassing rules that would let election workers process mail-in ballots before elections. They also want to make the state’s mail-in ballot application deadline earlier. Voters are allowed to hand in their application as late as one week before an in-person election is held. County workers have said that makes it virtually impossible for latecomers to receive their ballots in time to have them counted. “[We] need clear rules that enable consistent implementation [of elections] across the Commonwealth,” said Joe Kantz, who chairs Snyder County’s Board of Commissioners. “Reforms are needed to resolve ambiguities.” Despite bipartisan urging, state lawmakers have failed to agree to either of those changes since Act 77 – the state’s most recent election law update – was implemented four years ago.
State Sen. Lisa Boscola wants to make sure there are plenty of election ballot drop boxes, provide money for counties to operate them, and make it legal for family members to drop off voters’ ballots. The ideas are part of a seven-bill election reform package that Boscola, a Northampton County Democrat, says she will introduce in Harrisburg. Specifically, her proposals would: Set a minimum number of drop boxes that counties must provide, create a grant program to give counties money to operate a suitable number of drop boxes, and permit an immediate family member, member of the same household or caregiver to put a ballot in a drop box. Allow voters to fix mail-in ballot discrepancies, including problems with their signature, and provide election officials with FBI training to enhance their ability to verify signatures. Eliminate the need for a secrecy envelope for a mail ballot. Change the term “permanent” in state law when used to refer to mailing lists for absentee and mail-in ballots to “annual.”
South Dakota: Senate Majority Leader Casey Crabtree and House Majority Leader Will Mortensen said South Dakota has strong election laws already in place, but lawmakers have worked with county auditors about finding ways to improve the system. “No one in the state likes things done to them, but they are willing to make progress if you are doing things with them,” Mortensen said. “Our auditors are honest and capable folks. They know what they are doing in administering our elections.” Crabtree and Mortensen said Republicans would be introducing a series of bills regarding secure ballot tabulation machines, a post-election audit process, distance requirements and poll watchers’ rights, ban on unmonitored drop boxes, ban on ballot harvesting activities and attempts to clean up the state’s voter rolls. Crabtree said election dates are important and that’s why there is no time to wait to make changes. Senate Bill 82, regarding a set distance for poll watchers, passed the Senate State Affairs committee 8-0 and moved to the full Senate. Another bill, SB 160 would authorize a post-election audit in South Dakota. SB 160 requires a post-election audit to take place within 15 days after an election. The audit will happen in 5% of the precincts in the county by hand counting all votes cast in two statewide contests and comparing the results of the hand count to the results for those precincts at the county canvass.
The Senate State Affairs Committee has advanced a bill prohibiting ranked choice voting. Senate Bill 55 would ban ranked voting in any South Dakota election. Ranked choice voting allows voters to rank candidates in order of their preference, rather than voting for a single candidate. Republican Sen. John Wiik is the bill’s sponsor. He say the bill “protects our Republic and the process we take to elect our leaders.” Democratic Sen. Reynold Nesiba said the bill is not needed. “I have no idea why this bill is necessary, it’s banning some that’s not happening,” Nesiba said. The bill passed the Senate State Affairs Committee 7 to 1. It next heads to the full Senate.
Utah: Lawmakers are considering a bill that would require post-election audits. “HB 269 sets process in place for us to be able to go forward and audit every general election and every primary election that is associated with the general elections,” said Rep. Mike Schultz who introduced the legislation. If passed into law, the Office of the Legislative Auditor General would have to conduct an audit of elections every other year. Election officials all over the state approve of the bill, Davis County Clerk Brian McKenzie said. “We believe strongly that our elections are safe and secure,” he said. “We believe that our elections have integrity. Do we believe our elections are 100% perfect? No, of course not. We are constantly looking for ways to improve our systems or processes.” Members of the House Government Operations Standing Committee unanimously voted in favor of the election audit bill, and it will next be voted on by the state’s full House of Representatives.
Vermont: Gov. Phil Scott announced that he’s signed a new bill into law related to elections. The bill is H.42, “An act relating to temporary alternative procedures for annual municipal meetings and electronic meetings of public bodies.” He released a statement after its signing: “I’m signing this bill at the request of Vermont municipalities who value an extension to pandemic-era flexibilities. … However, I have concerns with the removal of the disclosure of per pupil costs from Vermonters when voting. Voters deserve this transparency, and I see no defensible reason why we should extend its omission from ballots.”
Wisconsin: Voters could sign up to receive a text message when their absentee ballots are received under a proposal being circulated in the Legislature. The bill, co-authored by Rep. David Steffen, R-Green Bay, would not be mandatory. Instead, voters would opt into the service as a way of solidifying confidence in the absentee voting system, Steffen said. “Unfortunately, there’s still some people who have some reservations about voting absentee,” Steffen told Wisconsin Public Radio. “And by adding this form of confirmation … I think there’s gonna be more people who will be open to the idea of voting absentee, and that’s my goal.” Currently, voters can check on the status of their absentee ballot applications and ballots by visiting the state’s MyVote Wisconsin website, which is run by the Wisconsin Elections Commission. If passed, Steffen’s plan would let voters provide their cell phone numbers to receive a text confirmation when their ballot applications or ballots are scanned by their clerk. This new program would fit into the existing MyVote system, Steffen said, while offering voters a more convenient way of checking on their absentee ballots.
Wyoming: Elections would be subject to post-election audits and early voting windows would be shortened under a bill advanced by a legislative committee. Senate File 153, titled “Election Security,” would reduce early voting to 28 days from the current 45 for domestic applicants. Overseas applicants and military would still have 45 days to vote early or with an absentee ballot. On post-election audits, state law doesn’t require them, but there’s an outstanding directive to require them by former Secretary of State Ed Buchanan. Pressure to require audits has increased in the wake of the 2020 presidential election, which former President Donald Trump and his supporters have maintained was tainted by widespread fraud. If SF 153 passes, Wyoming would still have the 12th longest early voting period in the country. Mary Lankford, a representative from the Wyoming County Clerks Association, said the average length of early voting offered by U.S. states is 23 days. It passed unanimously out of the Senate Corporations, Elections and Political Subdivisions Committee.
Arizona: U.S. District Judge Michael Liburdi preliminarily declined to block members of the group Clean Elections USA from gathering within sight of ballot drop boxes following complaints that armed and masked members intimidated potential voters during the 2022 election. The Arizona Alliance for Retired Americans and Voto Latino filed a joint lawsuit against Clean Elections USA in October after Arizonans in multiple cities complained of masked, sometimes armed men in tactical gear and bulletproof vests intimidating voters by recording them and taking photos of their cars and license plates. The Arizona League of Women Voters filed a similar suit against Clean Elections USA and another group called Lions of Liberty two days later. The court consolidated the cases on Oct. 31. The Arizona Alliance for Retired Americans and Voto Latino were later dismissed from the case along with Lions of Liberty and other individual defendants, leaving only the League of Women Voters against Clean Elections USA and Jennings. Liburdi granted the league a two-week temporary restraining order on Nov. 1, telling the defendants they couldn’t be within 75 feet of a drop box or entrance to a building containing a drop box, follow individuals delivering ballots to the drop box, speak to voters within 75 feet of a drop box unless first spoken to, or openly carry firearms or wear visible body armor within 250 feet of a drop box. Liburdi also ordered Clean Elections to post to its website and Jennings’ Twitter page a statement clarifying that submitting multiple ballots at a time isn’t always illegal. Nearly three months later, Liburdi decided during a morning status conference to deny the League of Women Voters’ motion for a preliminary injunction. “I view that as an extraordinary remedy,” Liburdi told the league’s attorney Orion Danjuma. “Particularly where we have First Amendment speech rights, assembly rights.” Liburdi said he would need to ensure that Clean Elections’ presence at ballot drop boxes poses a real danger to voters before making that decision and that the league is free to file another temporary restraining order for now.
Florida: Circuit Judge Jenifer Harris is considering whether to dismiss a voter fraud case against an Orange County man, one of 20 statewide brought by Gov. Ron DeSantis’ office overseeing election crimes. Peter Washington, 59, is charged with illegally casting a ballot in the 2020 election despite being cleared to vote by officials in Tallahassee. The Office of Statewide Prosecution, which can only charge defendants accused of crimes committed in two or more judicial circuits, is pursuing the case, but attorney Roger Weeden said in court Tuesday they have no authority to do so. Prosecutor Robert Finkbeiner argued the alleged crime happened in Orange and Leon counties, but Weeden countered that Washington has no ties to Leon other than having submitted a voter application later accepted by the Florida Secretary of State in Tallahassee. Harris didn’t rule on Weeden’s motion to dismiss the case, giving him and Finkbeiner until Friday to provide supplements to their arguments before deciding.
Georgia: U.S. District Judge Steve Jones is considering whether True the Vote’s effort to challenge 364,000 voters before Georgia’s U.S. Senate runoffs in early 2021 went too far. During a hearing this week, he questioned whether sweeping challenges to the eligibility of hundreds of thousands of Georgia voters amounted to voter intimidation by Texas-based True the Vote, a conservative organization that has promoted unproven claims of election fraud. But an attorney for True the Vote responded that Georgia laws allow residents to cast doubt on individuals who might have moved away, and the group didn’t confront or discourage anyone from casting a ballot. County election officials threw out almost all the challenges, but the lawsuit alleges that mass challenges amounted to a violation of the Voting Rights Act’s protections against voter intimidation and coercion. The case was brought by several voters and Fair Fight Action, the voting rights group founded by Democrat Stacey Abrams. Jones asked whether True the Vote was responsible for using the voter challenge law in such a broad way that it affected eligible voters, in some cases forcing them to prove their residency before they could cast a ballot. “The argument being made of these challenges being reckless does cause some concern,” Jones said. “… I have a concern that if you challenge someone so close to an election, there could be an intimidating factor.”
Indiana: A new settlement agreement in a federal lawsuit in Indiana should make voting easier for voters with print disabilities. The state has agreed to acquire a new remote accessible ballot marking tool. It will allow voters to access and mark their ballots digitally with their own assistive technology. Then, they can submit it via email. “Print disabled people deserve equity in voting rights. By ensuring an accessible electronic means for voting absentee, this settlement agreement provides many of Indiana’s blind and print disabled voters an accessible means to exercise our voting rights, privately and independently,” said Dee Ann Hart, a member of the Board of Directors of the American Council of the Blind of Indiana and its Advocacy and Awareness Committee Chair. The tool will be available to voters in time for the May 2023 primary election. According to Indiana Disability Rights, the court has granted two preliminary striking down Indiana’s rule that absentee voters who could not independently mark their own ballot may vote absentee by mail only by appointment with a “traveling board” of elections officials. A legislative amendment removing that requirement is being sought.
Kansas: During oral arguments this week, Kansas Supreme Court justice raised concerns about the “chilling” effect a 2021 law could have on League of Women Voters volunteers and others who participate in voter registration drives. Part of the legislation makes it a crime to engage in conduct that would cause someone to believe you are an election worker. In response, multiple nonprofits suspended or limited efforts to educate and assist prospective voters. The League of Women Voters joined with Loud Light, Kansas Appleseed and the Topeka Independent Living Resource Council in challenging provisions of the law. A district court judge and court of appeals panel dismissed the case on the grounds that those organizations couldn’t demonstrate how the law impairs their operations. Justice Melissa Standridge said the appeals court made a mistake. Standridge sparred with Bradley Schlozman, who defended the law on behalf of the state. “This case presents a completely manufactured controversy in which for inexplicable reasons, plaintiffs are asking the court to interpret the statute in the most unreasonable manner possible in order to expose themselves to criminal liability,” Schlozman said. “The statute does not support the interpretation that they have advanced.” Schlozman’s argument was that no reasonable person would believe a volunteer at a voter registration drive was an election worker, especially if that volunteer disabused anyone of the wrong idea. But multiple justices, including Standridge, Evelyn Wilson and Caleb Stegall, pointed to the absence of language in the law that would define a “reasonable person.” They appeared sympathetic to the plaintiffs’ argument that someone will mistake a volunteer for an election worker.
New Jersey: According to the New Jersey Globe, Superior Court Judge David Bauman aggressively interrogated Deputy Attorney General Dominic Giova on the legalities of new vote counts 85 days after the election. Bauman questioned why Giova submitted a hearsay statement attributed to the vice president of Election Systems & Software (ES&S), Monmouth County’s election machine supplier, without obtaining a certification of the statement. According to Giova, the programming error that caused the election tally mishap was acknowledged by an ES&S official to the Monmouth County Board of Elections chairman. “That’s classic hearsay. And you’re offering that as a reason to believe in the court of law. If this were a trial and you offered that statement that admitted that statement into evidence, somebody would stand up and object on hearsay grounds. And that objection, hypothetically, would probably be sustained,” Bauman said. “It has to be competent and credibly competent.” Bauman chastised Giova for not citing the legal authority of county election officials to seek a recount – something that the attorney general’s office had initially declined to do, and then being overruled by their client.
Pennsylvania: The U.S. Supreme Court declined to hear a case against the Delaware County Board of Elections that originated with the 2020 election. The court announced it would not hear the case of Gregory Stenstrom and Leah Hoopes v. the Delaware County Board of Elections. “The decision by the U.S. Supreme Court to not hear the case was entirely expected,” Delaware County Solicitor William F. Martin said. “Every month, hundreds of parties file motions seeking their cases to be heard by the Supreme Court. Only a few, raising significant legal and public policy issues, are selected. There was no possibility this case was going to be heard. The county had been so confident that we formally advised the court that we would not be filing a legal response to the request.”
Opinions This Week
National Opinions: Voter ID | Faith in elections | Electoral reform
Alaska: Ranked choice voting | Vote by mail
Arizona: Cochise County | Ballot signatures
California: Vote by mail
Connecticut: Early voting, II | Election reform
Georgia: Grand jury report
Indiana: St. Joseph County
Kentucky: Election reform, II
Maine: Voter ID
Maryland: Ranked choice voting | Elderly voters
Michigan: Election worker security
Nevada: Election modernization
Oregon: Voting rights
Pennsylvania: Voter ID
Texas: Election legislation
Washington: Election security
West Virginia: Turnout
Wisconsin: Voting rights
U.S. Election Assistance Commission Public Roundtable: Please join the U.S. Election Assistance Commission (EAC) for a public roundtable discussion in the Agency’s hearing room. This discussion will focus on poll worker recruitment, training, and programs. The event will be held in-person and live-streamed on the EAC’s YouTube Channel. If you plan to attend in-person, register here. When: Feb. 8, Time 1pm to 3pm. Where: Online and 633 3rd Street NW Washington, DC.
Elijah E. Cummings Democracy and Freedom Festival 2023: Join the SNF Agora Institute for the third annual Elijah E. Cummings Democracy and Freedom Festival—a free event bringing together scholars and practitioners from across the country to join with the Johns Hopkins and Baltimore communities as we grapple with some of the most urgent challenges facing democracy, model civic engagement across divides, and celebrate democratic resilience and opportunity. Through this year’s theme, “cities and citizenship,” we will be exploring questions about the challenges cities face at the frontlines of democracy and the innovations they are making to strengthen local engagement. The festival also includes an art installation by Globe Collection and Press, music by DJ Mebaa, and a dinner hosted by The People’s Supper. When: Feb. 8. Where: Baltimore, Md.
NASS Winter Conference: Attendee registration for this event will open in December 2022 The cost to attend is $500 early/ $600 late (after January 24, 2023) for Secretaries of State, State Government Staff, NASS Corporate Affiliates and Federal Government Staff. The cost for Non-Profit Organizations to attend is $750 per person early/ $850 late (proof of valid non-profit status required). The cost for Corporate Non-Members to attend is $1300 per person early/ $1400 late. Registration for this event will close on Monday, February 6, 2023, or when registration capacity is fulfilled. On-site registration WILL NOT be available for this event. All event attendees are subject to the event anti-harassment policy and conference waiver of liability. There is no virtual option to attend. Press registration for this event will open on January 18, 2023 Further details and instructions will be posted on January 18. There is no cost for the press to attend. Virtual attendance will not be available. Where: Washington, DC. When: Feb. 15-18, 2023.
NASED Winter Conference: Save the date and check back for more details. When: Feb. 15-18. Where: Washington, DC.
EAC Local Leadership Council Meeting: The EAC’s Local Leadership Council (LLC) will host a virtual meeting on February 21, 2023, that will be live streamed on the EAC’s YouTube Channel. During the meeting, the EAC’s LLC members will examine the council’s organizational structure and consider the adoption of the initial committee Bylaws. The LLC Bylaws establish the guidelines for the conduct of the council members, meetings, and subcommittees. The Bylaws cover several topics, including the process for calling and conducting meetings, the establishment of committees, the structure of the Executive Committee, the makeup of Regional Committees, and the process of holding elections. As leaders and officials who work firsthand to administer elections at the local level, the LLC provides recommendations and direct feedback to the EAC on a range of topics such as voter registration, voting system user practices, ballot administration (programming, printing, and logistics), processing, accounting, canvassing, chain of custody, certifying results, and auditing. The EAC appoints two members from each state to the 100-member LLC after soliciting nominations from each state’s election official professional association. Members of this advisory board, which was established in June 2021, must be serving or have previously served in a leadership role in a state election official professional association when appointed. The LLC currently comprises 88 appointed members. When Feb. 21. Where: Online.
Election Center Special Workshop: Courses offered include: Course 7 (Enhancing Voter Participation); Course 8 (Implementing New Programs); and Renewal Course 13 (Legislatures, Decision-making, & the Public Policy Process). Workshops will include blocks on communications, design, access, security, logistics and planning, and vote by mail. There will also be a visit to the Los Angeles County Registrar-Recorder/County Clerk facilities. When: Feb. 22-26. Where: Pasadena California.
EAC Clearie Submission Deadline: Each year, the U.S. Election Assistance Commission (EAC) invites submissions for its national Clearinghouse Awards, or Clearies for short. Under the Help America Vote Act of 2002 (HAVA), the EAC is charged with serving as a clearinghouse for election administration information. By celebrating innovative efforts from state and local election offices, the Clearies helps the EAC to fulfill this important mission. Entries for the 2022 awards must be received by Tuesday, February 28, 2023. Jurisdictions of all sizes are encouraged to submit their work. Please use the EAC’s online submission form to submit your entry and any supporting material. Questions can be sent to the EAC at firstname.lastname@example.org. The 2022 Clearies winners will be announced in spring of 2023. When: Feb. 28
Election Center Special Workshop: Courses offered will include: Course 9 (History III – 1965 to Present), Course 10 (Constitutional Law of Elections, renewal) and Course 15 (Training in Elections: Reaching All Levels). When: April 27-30. Where: Houston.
Job Postings This Week
electionlineWeekly publishes election administration job postings each week as a free service to our readers. To have your job listed in the newsletter, please send a copy of the job description, including a web link to email@example.com. Job postings must be received by 5pm on Wednesday in order to appear in the Thursday newsletter. Listings will run for three weeks or till the deadline listed in the posting.
Assistant County Clerk-Recorder, Nevada County, California— Under administrative oversight you can be assisting with planning, organizing, directing and leading the activities of the County Clerk-Recorder’s office! The Assistant Clerk-Recorder will provide highly sophisticated staff assistance to the Clerk-Recorder! This management classification position serves at the will of the County Clerk-Recorder, and acts on her behalf in her absence and provides full line and functional management responsibility for the department’s Recorder and Election divisions. This position is distinguished from the County Clerk-Recorder in that the latter is an elected position and has overall responsibility for all functions of the department. Salary range: $111,810 – $136,500. 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.
Board of Elections Training Specialist, Wake County, North Carolina— Are you looking to get involved in your community? Do you want to make a difference? Are you passionate about learning? If so, get ready to roll up your sleeves and become part of something bigger! The Wake County Board of Elections is currently seeking an experienced Instructional Designer/Training Specialist to join our dynamic and driven Training Team. The ideal candidate will be a strong communicator who thrives in a fast paced, ever changing work environment. They will have a clear understanding of the commonly accepted instructional design models, what it takes to be a behind the scenes designer, have a strong visual sense and excellent project management skills. What will you do as a Board of Elections Training Specialist? Develop training materials, including classroom presentations, manuals, workbooks, training videos and online training modules to facilitate comprehensive training for Early Voting and Election Day Officials Review, evaluate and modify existing and proposed programs and recommend changes Create schedules, design layouts for training facilities and adjusts room layouts as necessary between in-person classes. Train and manage instructors and assistants for in-person training classes. Serve as instructor for some online webinars and in-person classes. Collaborate with team members to gain knowledge of work processes, identify training needs and establish plans to address the needs through training solutions. Identify innovative training tools and methods to enhance the training program. Monitor and assess election law changes and incorporate the changes into polling place procedures. Develop and design election forms, precinct official website, newsletters, assessments and other communications. Develop high level design documents, storyboards, audio narration scripts, status reporting, QA and testing plans. Assists with Early Voting site setups and call center support. Assists with Election Day call center support and post-election processes. Portfolios will be required by all applicants who are selected to move forward in the recruitment process. Application: For the complete job listing and to apply, click here.
Chief Deputy Registrar, Lexington, Virginia— The City of Lexington is accepting applications for the non-exempt full-time position of Chief Deputy Registrar. This is an appointed, at-will position that serves a term not to exceed the term of the current Registrar. (Code of Va. §24.2-112) The Chief Deputy Registrar “shall have the same limitations and qualifications and fulfill the same requirements as the General Registrar…” (Ibid.) The Chief Deputy Registrar must be able to assume the duties and responsibilities of the General Registrar in the Registrar’s absence. The position requires knowledge of, or the ability to quickly obtain, knowledge of: elections, election law, security practices, government, finance, training, and related technologies. The successful applicant will be required to undergo a criminal background check, DMV motor vehicle record check, and drug screening. Salary: $22.86–$24.09/hr. 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.
Communications Manager, King County, Washington— This is an amazing opportunity to be engaged in the election process! King County’s Department of Elections is seeking an innovative and effective Communications Manager to lead the department’s communications team. The Department of Elections is searching for an energetic and resourceful professional who likes to get stuff done. The Communications Manager position offers an opportunity to craft a communications strategy and cultivate the talents of a diverse team to communicate proactively, regularly, and reliably with the voters of King County. The ideal candidate will thrive in an innovative, fast-paced environment, will possess strong strategic perspective and pollical savvy, and will not hesitate to roll up their sleeves, have fun, and get the job done. This position reports to the Chief of Staff for the Department of Elections. The person who fills this role will oversee all elements of the department’s communication efforts and serve as a key advisor to both the Director of Elections and Chief of Staff. The position will play a central role in key transformational efforts for the department such as implementing ranked choice voting and lead cross-departmental efforts such as developing a comprehensive campaign to combat misinformation about elections. The Communications Manager will also serve as a representative to the media and the public on behalf of the department, including live and recorded interviews, presentations, and other requests. Salary: $114,167.25 – $144,713.92. Deadline: Feb. 13. Application: For the complete job listing and to apply, click here.
Compliance Specialist 2, Oregon Secretary of State’s Office— In this role, you will help the public comply with Oregon campaign finance laws and rules. You will also help investigate possible violations of Oregon election laws and rules. This is accomplished in part by, but not limited to: Teaching filers how to submit filings on ORESTAR (Oregon Elections System for Tracking And Reporting); Explaining election laws and rules to the public and to filers; Reviewing filings for legal sufficiency; Conducting investigations into possible election law violations; Making recommendations about the outcome of investigations; Issuing civil penalties for non-compliance; and Answering the public’s questions about registering to vote and voting. Application: For the complete job listing and to apply, click here.
Departmental Training Coordinator, DeKalb County, Georgia— The purpose of this classification is to develop, coordinate, deliver, and evaluate departmental training programs and learning solutions. The following duties are normal for this position. The omission of specific statements of the duties does not exclude them from the classification if the work is similar, related, or a logical assignment for this classification. Other duties may be required and assigned. Develops training programs for departmental employees; creates new and/or modifies existing courses and course materials; researches industry changes; and prepares activities and course assignments. Conducts training and facilitates in-house training programs for employees based on current trends and best practices. Assists employees in meeting certification and recertification requirements for mandated licensure and submits documents for license renewals. Coordinates training logistics to include training room, schedules, attendance tracking, passwords, supplies and set up; and selects or develops teaching aids including training handbooks, tutorials or quick reference guides . Administers and grades course assignments and exams; and tracks and analyzes learning curriculum effectiveness through various evaluations techniques including evaluation of individual performances. Maintains and prepares training and compliance records and prepares related documentation and reports; enters course exam grades; prepares training certificates; and updates compliance databases. Assists with internal departmental communications by preparing newsletters, promotional materials for training programs, flyers for departmental events, or related communications. Communicates with department management, supervisors, other employees, subject matter experts, schools, community groups, volunteers, the public, and other individuals as needed to coordinate work activities, review status of work, exchange information, or resolve problems. Maintains current knowledge of departmental business functions and operations to develop training programs and solutions for improving employee knowledge and performance within business units; and research training industry standards and best practices and applies new technologies. Salary: $52,815 – $81,862. 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.
Digital and Multimedia Specialist, Issue One— The Digital and Multimedia Specialist (DMS) will play an integral role in expanding Issue One’s reach by producing and promoting multimedia content (including in-house video), managing and growing Issue One’s social media footprint, including Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, TikTok, and Instagram, running Issue One’s fundraising and action email list. The DMS will be proficient at video production and help Issue One reach new and larger audiences through video messaging, social media, and digital storytelling. The individual will also support key functions of the communications team, working closely with the communications director, senior communications manager, and communications specialist. The ideal candidate will possess a strong understanding of digital and multimedia strategies and tools needed to reach wider audiences and grow the organization’s brand in a competitive digital climate. Salary: $58K-$70K. 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.
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.
Elections Specialist-Ballot Processing, Pierce County, Washington— This is a great opportunity to play a critical role in this nation’s elections and democracy. Whether it is Election Day or another day of the year, we are working to continuously improve the voter experience and the conduct of elections. As a dedicated civil servant with experience in elections and supervising large teams, we are looking for an Elections Specialist for ballot processing. You will have the opportunity to be in the center of the action in Washington’s second-largest county. You will work with other specialists and management to develop a ballot processing schedule, and then schedule staff. You will also help with voter registration tasks when needed. We are looking for someone is comfortable and excels at leading and directing a large team of Seasonal elections workers ensuring accuracy in ballot processing and time-sensitive tasks. Someone who is customer service focused yet is deadline driven. Someone who values teamwork, is adaptable, learns new systems quickly, and who can communicate across all levels of the organization, with our customers and party observers. Multi-taskers with excellent written communication will be successful in this role. As an Elections Specialist, you will have the ability to immediately contribute to the team’s success. You will be guided through the process with coaching-focused managerial support, a team that wants you to be successful in your role, and an organizational culture that encourages continuous learning and professional development. Salary: $33.62 – $42.52 Hourly. Application: For the complete job listing and to apply, click here.
Executive Director, Ranked Choice Voting Resource Center— The primary responsibilities of this position are to set and reinforce the mission and vision of the organization, define its strategic direction and implement strategic plans for the organization’s development, make executive decisions that drive organizational growth, and build and manage relationships including stakeholders and potential donors. The Executive Director works with the Board to set goals for the organization, governs over organizational activities and relationships, guides the organization’s culture, and directs communication to support the mission of the organization. The ideal candidate will define the organization’s priorities and direction, oversee staff recruitment and retention, and work systematically to meet organizational goals. He or she should be a self-starter with the ability to work independently and with a team. This is a full-time remote position with in-person meetings and travel as needed. Application: For the complete job listing and to apply, click here.
Executive Director, National Vote at Home Institute — The Vote at Home Executive Director shall be responsible for managing all aspects of the organizations’ operations. These major responsibilities include the following: Strategy. Recommending, implementing, and effectively executing all VAH policies and key strategies and programs as approved by one or both boards. Budget. Fundraising and budget administration, to ensure Vote at Home’s financial sustainability and the effective and efficient expenditure of available funds. Management. The hiring, supervision, and performance management of all staff, contractors, and contracts to promote diversity and equity, ensure a collaborative and productive workplace, and comply fully with all applicable federal, state, and local laws. Partnerships. The creation of collaborative partnership relationships with other key organizations and individuals to help promote and amplify VAH’s work. Communication. The effective communication, in a wide variety of public and private forums, of Vote at Home’s vision, mission, key strategies, and core messages. Salary: $120K-$160K. 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.
IT Specialist, Leon County, Florida— This full-time employee will provide support for a wide variety of technology needs, primarily specializing in computer hardware. Duties include deploying computer images, providing support for desktop computers, and assisting with security and protection of elections technology and infrastructure. The role is ideal for a dynamic, self-motivated IT professional who is focused on providing outstanding internal customer service and innovations across project teams. Success in this position requires experience with Windows desktops and applications, and installing and maintaining peripheral hardware such as printers, scanners, and bar code readers. Experience in multimedia and video production and editing is desired, but not required. Must be able to deliver work on-time under pressure and maintain flexible hours including on-call shifts and overtime during elections. Occasional out-of-town travel may be required for training. Work is sometimes physically demanding and requires reliable personal transportation, an insurable driving record, and a security clearance. Application: For the complete job listing and to apply, click here.
Language Access Coordinator (Russian and Somali), King County Elections — The Department of Elections is searching for energetic and resourceful professionals who like to “get stuff done”. The Language Access and Outreach Coordinator position in the Elections Department combines an exciting, fast paced environment with the opportunity to cultivate talents and apply a variety of skills. The ideal candidate will thrive in an innovative, fast-paced environment and will not hesitate to roll up both sleeves, work hard, have fun, and get the job done. The Language Services and Community Engagement Program is recruiting Language Access and Outreach Coordinators who will support the program for the Russian and Somali languages. This position provides bilingual assistance, translation, and community outreach support. These individuals must be able to read, write, understand, and speak Russian or Somali at the language proficiency testing level used by the Department. In addition, as part of the community engagement program, they will participate in voter registration and voter education activities with community partners and provide support to out Voter Education Fund partners. Individuals in this position will provide language access assistance to our communications team and administrative support to other election work groups as needed. Salary: $33.63 – $42.62 Hourly. Application: For the complete job listing and to apply, click here.
Oregon Votes Technical Trainer (Operations & Policy Analyst 3), Oregon Secretary of State’s Office— In this position you will lead technical training and support work for the Oregon Votes system, new voter registration system for Oregon that is currently in development. This work will involve the creation and maintenance of training materials, performing training for county election administrators, and collecting input from users to inform future development. This role will require significant independent self-led work and will provide the opportunity to build and maintain a training program to ensure Oregon election administrators and voters have access to a modern and secure voter registration system. Deadline: Feb. 14. Application: For the complete job listing and to apply, click here.
Program Associate (remote within the US), 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 officials in state and local governments who are working hard to make sure ballots are counted and voices are heard. At a time when election officials are facing unprecedented challenges and scrutiny, they need support in order to administer secure and inclusive elections and build trust among the public. As Program Associate at CTCL, you will help to develop a program to assess, recognize, and celebrate outstanding performance by election departments nationwide. As part of your work, you’ll collaborate with internal and external partners, including election officials and subject matter experts. You’ll report to a Program Manager in the Government Services department. Deadline: Feb. 13. Salary: $53,500. Application: For the complete job listing and to apply, click here.
Program Director, National Voter Registration Day — We are seeking a Program Director to leverage and coordinate the efforts of our broader staff team to ensure the success of National Voter Registration Day, a single day of coordinated ﬁeld, technology, and media strategies to raise awareness of voter registration opportunities and help more Americans register to vote. Held every September, over 5 million people have registered to vote as part of the holiday’s 10-year history, a success we seek to build on. To do this we need a well-organized and entrepreneurial Program Director with strong people skills and a passion for civic engagement and democracy. Application: For the complete job listing and to apply, click here.
Senior Specialist-Voter Services, Johnson County, Kansas— The Senior Election Specialist – Voter Services will take a lead role on the voter services team within the Election Office. This position will oversee the office’s use of the statewide voter registration system and support other employees in their work within this vital system. This will require attention to detail and the ability to define a series of tasks to complete work within the system in an efficient and accurate manner for temporary employees. This position will also research and perform all geography changes within the statewide voter registration system to accommodate annexations made by cities as well as district boundary changes made by state and local governing bodies. The Senior Election Specialist – Voter Services will also participate in the programming of elections to include laying out paper ballots and designing the screens and audio for use on the ballot marking devices. This position will also receive and file all candidate paperwork including declarations of candidacy and required campaign finance disclosures. This position also actively mentors, coaches and collaborates with employees to enhance the county mission and vision keeping in mind the common goal of leaving our community better than we found it. Application: For the complete job listing and to apply, click here.
Vote by Mail Manager, Palm Beach County, Florida— The Vote-by-Mail Manager is responsible for all aspects of vote-by-mail administration and operations, including but not limited to the Budgets, Staffing, Training Procedure Manuals, Database Management, Quality Control, Canvassing, Supervised Voting, SBIS administration, Inventory, Maintenance, and Testing. Responsibilities include: Departments operational calendar with timeline of election cycle tasks; Forecasting and updating departments annual operating budget; Staffing and training of vote-by-mail operational staff; Staff training and process manuals; Quality control of vote-by-mail database; and Update and maintain inventory, equipment, and software. Application: For the complete job listing and to apply, click here.
Vote by Mail Specialist, Leon County, Florida— This full-time employee co-leads the Vote-by-Mail effort during election time, and provides critical administrative support to the Voter Services team year-round. Duties include training small groups of seasonal election staff, operating commercial mail equipment, recommending policy and process improvements for the Vote-by-Mail project area, and assuring compliance with all known legal requirements. This role is ideal for a dynamic, self-starter with a meticulous eye for detail, a knack for solving intricate puzzles, and a passion for project management. Success in this position requires proficient computer capabilities to handle large workloads on time-constricted schedules, excellent leadership skills, and the ability to seek out information and manage complex projects. Experience working with Florida Statutes in a professional environment is desired, but not required. Work is performed under the direction of the Voter Services Director, generally in an office environment. Must be able to work under pressure with composure, excel in a team environment, maintain flexible hours, be able to lift up to thirty pounds, and possess an insurable driver’s license. Some overtime and out-of-town travel may be required. 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.
Warehouse Supervisor, DeKalb County, Georgia— The following duties are normal for this position. The omission of specific statements of the duties does not exclude them from the classification if the work is similar, related, or a logical assignment for this classification. Other duties may be required and assigned. Supervises, directs, and evaluates assigned staff; develops and oversees employee work schedules to ensure adequate coverage and control; compiles and reviews timesheets; approves/processes employee concerns and problems and counsels or disciplines as appropriate; assists with or completes employee performance appraisals; directs work; acts as a liaison between employees and management; and trains staff in operations, policies, and procedures. Prioritizes and schedules work activities to meet objectives; ensures that subordinates have the proper resources needed to complete the assigned work; monitors status of work in progress and inspects completed work; consults with assigned staff to assist with complex/problem situations and provide technical expertise; provides progress and activity reports to management; and assists with the revision of procedure manuals as appropriate. Supervises warehouse operations and facilities; safeguards warehouse operations and contents; establishes and monitors security procedures and protocols; implements production, productivity, quality, and customer service standards; plans warehouse layout, product flow, and product handling systems; identifies trends; evaluates and recommends new equipment; and analyzes process workflow, space requirements, and equipment layout; and implements improvements. Researches, purchases, and inventories commodities, equipment, and other supplies; conducts physical counts of inventory items; records issuing and usage; verifies and refines or updates required bid specifications; and maintains related records and documentation. Oversees the administrative process through process assessments, measurements, and process mapping for better efficiency; formulates process documentation; organizes periodic and random cycle counts; formulates and monitors various administrative reports; populates database with stocking levels and other information for proper report generation and order tracking; performs regular maintenance on various inventory report statuses to keep system clean and updated; and reviews various system-generates reports for overall key performance drivers. Manages the issuing, maintenance, servicing, and receiving of various types of equipment and supplies from the supply room. Organizes and directs physical inventory counts; manages vending equipment acquisition, implementation, and orders replenishment items; and manages office product inventory for assigned department and emergency response procedures, non-stocked inventory, and expendable inventory items. Receives and reviews various documentation, including attendance records, overdue equipment reports, operational budgets, equipment status reports, stock transfer reports and about-to-reorder reports, and physical inventory reports; reviews, completes, processes, forwards or retains as appropriate; prepares or completes various forms, reports, correspondence, and other documentation, including inventory measures reports, open purchase order reports, performance evaluations, and performance measurements; compiles data for further processing or for use in preparation of department reports; and maintains computerized and/or hardcopy records. Facilitate all logistics related to the elections operation of voting sites, including moving equipment, furnishings, supplies, and materials; conduct pre-election testing and post-election equipment audits. Serve as site manager for VRE warehouse space; oversee the department’s inventory of voting site supplies, tables, chairs, signs, voting machines, and equipment. Attend and participate in mandatory ongoing training, including certifications and annual training. Salary Range: $42,937 – $66,552. Application: For the complete job listing and to apply, click here.
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