In Focus This Week
The kids are alright
An occasional look at youth voter education and outreach
M. Mindy Moretti
Earlier this year, California hit a unique milestone — one million 16-and 17-year-olds pre-registered to vote.
As of March 6, that number was 1,012,196 to be exact, meaning California has more young people pre-registered to vote more than 10 states and the District of Columbia have current registered voters.
While experts and advocates haven’t always been bullish on the youth voter turnout, recent elections have proven that young people are turning out in greater numbers than ever before. In 2022, according to CIRCLE, the youth voter turnout was the second-highest in the last three decades.
Getting those young people ready to do their civic duty can take of a variety of formats. The CIRCLE Growing Voters Report, released in the summer of 2022, provided a framework for how institutions and communities can prepare young people to become active and informed voters.
State and local elections officials have found their own ways to get young people registered and involved. We’ll be taking a look at some of those officials and their programs throughout the year. If you’ve found a unique or successful way to grow America’s electorate, let us know.
This year, the Rhode Island Secretary of State’s Office has launched the Civic Teacher of the Year award. The award will honor one outstanding teacher who has demonstrated a commitment to and expertise in teaching civics or American government, with special consideration given to teachers who employ innovative teaching practices and experiential learning opportunities for their students. Nominations can be made by a current student, teaching colleague, or administrator.
“As a former history and civics teacher myself, I know how critically important it is to educate our students on both our history and how to participate in our democracy,” said Secretary of State Gregg M. Amore. “I am excited to honor the outstanding professionals who do this work and to hear from their students and colleagues about their successes.”
Amore recently took those educator skills to a classroom in Middletown where he spoke to AP U.S. History and AP Government students. According to local media reports Amore touched on a variety of civics-related topics including voting rights and voting-related amendments to the Constitution.
“I think that when you’re taking a history class you usually get a really sequential view of history. Seeing all of the examples of voter suppression in one discussion was interesting, to get a big scope of view to see how it has changed and how it still needs to be improved today,” senior Collin Klampert told The Newport Daily News.
In DeKalb County, Georgia, a “Voting 101” pilot program recently debuted at Chamblee Charter High School on “Adulting Day”.
The program was hosted by Sen. Sally Harrell, who represents Georgia’s 40th District, in collaboration with Rep. Karen Lupton of Georgia’s 83rd District and the Dekalb County Voter Registration and Elections Office.
The program instructed students how to register to vote, research candidates on the ballot, apply for and submit absentee ballots, and how to vote early [versus voting] on Election Day. The goal of the course was to “demystify and clarify the voting process for new voters and ultimately increase the number of young voters participating in our elections.” Students also got hands-on experience with the voting equipment.
“When my kids became first-time voters, they found it to be a little intimidating and they had lots of questions,” Harrell told The Champion. “This program will take some of the mystery out of the process and create greater confidence in our youngest voters.”
Youth voter registration drives are always a popular avenue for elections officials. Iowa Secretary of State Paul Pate has made them a cornerstone of his administration. March 22 is Iowa High School Voter Registration Day — a day when Pate calls on all Iowa high schools to conduct voter registration drives.
“Citizen participation in elections is paramount to our republic and registering to vote is one of the most important steps an individual can take to get involved and make their voice heard. During my tenure, I’ve recruited Iowans young and old to register to vote, and my office takes a special focus on encouraging young people to register to vote,” Pate said.
Iowa law allows 17-year-olds to register to vote and there are currently more than 3,400 already registered. They can also participate in primary elections as long as they turn 18 prior to or on the day of the general election. Iowa law requires high schools to conduct two voter registration drives every school year.
“With initiatives like the Carrie Chapman Catt Award and Iowa High School Voter Registration Day, we’ve been able to show students informed voting can be fun,” Pate said. “In 2018 I worked hard to change Iowa law so individuals who were 17 years-old could register and participate in primaries and caucuses as long as they would be 18 by or on Election Day. A record number of Iowans are registered to vote, and schools across the state have stepped up in a big way the past few years to get students registered.”
The Carrie Chapman Award competition began in 2019. Every school in Iowa that signs up and registers at least 90 percent of their eligible students to vote will receive the Carrie Chapman Catt Award, named after the Iowan who was a national leader in the women’s suffrage movement. Schools that register 50% and 70% of their eligible students will also receive statewide recognition.
More and more localities are relying on young people to serve as poll workers or to help out in the polling places on Election Day and during early voting.
This week, the Illinois General Assembly if voting on a bill that would allow college students to receive academic credit for serving as election judges. Under the bill, Illinois universities and community colleges will be required to submit policies for awarding an academic credit or non-credit alternative to the Illinois Board of Higher Education and Community College Board by June 30, 2024.
“I know the county clerks association and various county clerks were very excited about this bill,” Rep. Daniel Didech (D-Buffalo Grove) told WAND. “There was initially some opposition from the community colleges and universities. As amended, we’ve addressed their opposition.”
House Bill 995 passed on a 100-12 vote and now heads to the Senate for consideration.
And of course there are the ever-popular “I Voted” sticker contests. Just this week, two Michigan counties announced new “I Voted” sticker competitions for local students.
“I think by talking about the ‘I Voted’ sticker and the importance that people have with this sticker, and the importance it is to exercise one’s right to vote, I think students will start to understand and hopefully will start to develop the habit of voting,” Ingham County Clerk Barb Byrum told WKAR.
As we previously reported, the Tennessee Secretary of State’s Office hosts an essay contest, which launched in 2016, and focuses on civic education. In 2020, the essay contest specifically focused on poll workers.
“We need to begin recruiting the next generation of poll officials, and the pandemic accelerated this need. This year’s contest was an effort to jumpstart our efforts to recruit younger Tennesseans and to encourage them to serve their communities as poll officials,” Hargett said at the time. “Serving as a poll official provided an unmatched opportunity for students to see our electoral process in action and assist their community in running a safe and secure election.”
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Election News This Week
2023 Elections: Local elections were held this week from sunny Florida to snowy New Hampshire. In Florida, Palm Beach County Supervisor of Elections Wendy Sartory Link said things went smoothly, although turnout was low. Seventeen of the county’s 39 municipalities held elections. According to the supervisor of elections office, 12.38% of the county’s more than 193,000 eligible voters cast a ballot this election cycle. In comparison, during the municipal election in the spring of 2022, 18.8% of voters cast a ballot by mail or in person. It’s a little lower than what we had previously,” Sartory Link said. “Vote by mail is a little lower than it has been in the past.” Sartory Link attributes the overall lower turnout to a lower mail ballot turnout. That lower mail ballot turnout may be the result of a new Florida law which required all mail voters to re-register to automatically get a mail ballot. Despite the lower voter turnout, Sartory Link said she’s thankful there were no hiccups, and that the process was smooth and safe. “I was worried about some of the cities where I had heard some really contentious races, but when I was out today, everyone was behaving well,” Sartory Link said. “The candidates, the representatives of the candidates, were good-natured. I saw no issues.” Municipal elections were also held in Broward County. The election turnout was “very, very low, and unfortunately it was expected,” said Ivan Castro, spokesman for Broward County’s Supervisor of Elections. The lower expectations arose from a new state requirement that voters reapply for mail ballots, a process that many apparently overlooked. Officials agreed it played a role in depressing turnout. “I think it does, it absolutely does for sure,” said Broward County Mayor Lamar Fisher at the Broward County Supervisor of Elections office in Lauderhill, where he served as a member of the Canvassing Board. “Every two years you have to apply for the absentee mail-in ballot, and people are going to forget and they are just not going to vote.” Weather wreaked havoc on Town Meeting Day in New Hampshire with more than 70 towns postponing their local elections due to a nor’easter. A new law allowed towns to postpone their elections for up to two weeks. However, despite many towns postponing, the show did go on in others. Some polling places were without power and in Henniker, Town Moderator Cordell Johnston had to post a sign that said: “Please do NOT insert your ballot if it is WET, hand it to the clerk or moderator.” It was a precaution informed by a past election day with heavy precipitation, when a wet ballot jammed a machine mid-election. In Kingston, the local police department offered to drive voters to the polls and poll workers told WMUR that several voters did take them up on the offer.
Election Management Guides: The U.S. Election Assistance Commission (EAC) has released the second edition of the Election Management Guidelines (EMG) to assist local and state election officials in administering elections. This updated version covers 19 chapters on topics such as accessibility, voting system certification, system security, audits, ballot building, absentee voting, and recounts. Using input from local and state election officials and other stakeholders, the EMG serves as a resource for new and experienced election officials, regardless of their jurisdiction size or resources. The EAC recognizes that the election administration landscape has changed since the previous EMG was released over 15 years ago, necessitating this update. With the designation of elections as critical infrastructure in 2017, physical security, cybersecurity, and continuity of operations during a disaster have become essential components of national security. State election laws and regulations, election technologies, and best practices are constantly evolving to meet the needs of resilient and secure election systems. There also has been an influx of new election officials, as many others have entered retirement. The EMG was updated to address these issues and more. “With preparations for the 2024 presidential election underway, the Election Management Guidelines represents an excellent addition to the EAC’s growing library of election administration resources to support these efforts,” said EAC Chairwoman Christy McCormick, Vice Chair Ben Hovland, Commissioner Donald Palmer, and Commissioner Thomas Hicks in a joint statement. “Election officials must have a wide range of knowledge and serve many roles in addition to administering elections — from IT specialist and communications expert to ballot security manager. The EMG provides guidance on various election processes and topics election officials may encounter during their tenure, no matter how long they have served.” The second edition of the EMG includes additions to the original topics and incorporates references to many of the EAC’s latest Clearinghouse resources. One significant change is the addition of a chapter dedicated to Post-Election Audits due to the increased public attention on audit types and procedures. Conversely, the former Technology in Elections chapter was eliminated, so relevant technologies are discussed throughout the updated EMG. New election officials and office staff members can use the EMG as an introduction to unfamiliar aspects of election administration. Experienced officials may use the EMG as a helpful reference to find ways to update or improve their procedures. Similarly, the EAC offers a 26-part series of Quick Start Guides with best practices and practical tips, especially for new hires in election offices. The second edition of the EMG, the Quick Start Guides, and other EAC resources can be found at eac.gov, with specific election official resources available at eac.gov/election-officials.
Vote at Home Scorecard: The National Vote at Home Institute (NVAHI) issued their first-ever national scorecard highlighting how “Vote at Home friendly” all 50 states and the District of Columbia are in providing citizens access to, use of, and confidence in mailed-out paper ballots. Based on 15 criteria that highlight three main principles (access, trust, and security), the scorecard is designed to focus on policy and budget decisions made by state legislatures, and to avoid implicit judgements that can’t be quantified. It scores the most significant steps and potential obstacles in facilitating a mail ballot’s journey from election officials to voters and back again. States score well for adopting inclusive policies that increase access to and use of mailed-out ballots. For example, “local option” laws that allow the Vote at Home model in specific circumstances; or “permanent absentee,” allowing voters to choose to automatically receive their mailed-out ballot for at least four years of future elections. Other indicators include the availability of ballot tracking technology to notify voters when their ballots are dispatched, received, and counted; and “notify and cure” policies that give voters time to correct mistakes or update their signatures. Scores are based on state policies and practices as of March 15, 2023. “This is the most focused and comprehensive scorecard of its kind, with criteria that provide a clear guide to boosting mail ballot use,” says Barbara Smith Warner, NVAHI Executive Director. Eight states — California, Colorado, Hawaii, Nevada, Oregon, Utah, Vermont, and Washington — and Washington, D.C. employ such “Vote at Home” election systems, and all rank high on the scorecard. Still, none received a perfect score of 65. In contrast, all of the ten lowest-scoring states have “excuse required” laws that mandate voters to provide a narrowly defined specific reason to vote by mail. “The rankings reflect which states are closest to the best-designed Vote at Home election systems, and which still have a long way to travel.” Smith Warner says. “The evidence is clear and compelling that when all eligible registered voters are mailed their ballot, it strengthens our democracy by increasing participation across all demographics,” Smith Warner noted. NVAHI intends for its scorecard to provide a roadmap for state legislators, election officials, and citizens interested in moving their states closer to adopting full vote at home election systems. The criteria were selected and weighted to help policymakers identify and implement best practices for voting by mail, regardless of size, population or geography of each state.
Personnel News: Longtime Farmington, Minnesota Clerk Cindy Mueller is retiring. Former Secretary of State Kathy Boockvar is joining the University of Pittsburgh as a visiting scholar and adjunct professor. Cache County Clerk/Auditor Jess Bradfield is reconsidering his resignation. The contract for Lindsey Taylor, Buckingham County, Virginia director of elections and general registrar will not be renewed. Former state Sen. Rosalyn Dance has been appointed vice chair of the Virginia Board of Elections by. Brian Beute, a former private school teacher, has announced his candidacy for Seminole County, Florida election supervisor. Keith Ingram, the current director of the Texas Elections Division, will now serve in a newly-created position to develop and manage an interstate voter registration crosscheck program. Christina Adkins is the new acting director of the Texas Elections Division. Rosemary Blizzard is the new executive director of the Ranked Choice Voting Resource Center. Louisiana Public Service Commissioner Mike Francis has announced his candidacy for secretary of state. The Texas Senate has confirmed Jane Nelson as secretary of state.
Arkansas: The committee on State Agencies and Governmental Affairs passed House Bill 1513 by Rep. Austin McCollum, R-Bentonville, in a voice vote with audible dissent from at least one lawmaker. The bill moves to the full House for further consideration. Under the bill, the “election integrity unit” would be required to track all alleged violations, complaints and investigations related to election integrity in a database. The secretary of state and the State Board of Election Commissioners would have secure access to the database. The unit also would oversee the attorney general’s “election law violations hotline.” The group would have to respond to notifications and complaints regarding alleged violations of voter registration and election laws and refer notifications and complaints to the State Board of Election Commissioners for investigation. The integrity unit also could receive sworn statements and issue subpoenas to compel the production of records and other documents. Under the bill, the attorney general would be required to appoint a director of the unit. The attorney general also would be permitted to appoint other staff, including assistants, non-sworn investigators, professional staff and clerical staff.
Local elections officials have expressed concerns about Senate Bill 275 and the impact it may have their ability to secure polling places. Senate Bill 275 is sponsored by Sen. Kim Hammer, R-Benton. It has been referred back to the Senate State Agencies Committee for discussion and possible amendment. The bill as written says any polling site or vote center shall allow any person outside the building and more than 100 feet from the primary entrance used by voters to audibly disseminate information advocating for or against any candidate, issue or measure on the ballot; display signs held in a person’s hand advocating for or against any candidate, issue or measure on a ballot; and display attire advocating for or against any candidate, issue or measure on a ballot. “I could lose all three of my polling sites in Bella Vista,” Kim Dennison, Benton County’s election coordinator, said. “What am I going to do with 15,000 people who want to vote and have no place to go?” Dennison said she has heard from a number of churches that have served as polling locations in Benton County elections and many have expressed concerns about losing control of their property during elections if the proposed legislation passes.
The House Committee on State Agencies and Governmental Affairs passed Senate Bill 250 by Sen. Kim Hammer (R-Benton) on a split voice vote after several hours of debate and testimony that included debunked claims and conspiracies about election integrity. The bill would require counties that opt to get rid of voting machines to bear the costs of paper ballots. SB250 would also require “paper-ballot counties” to use a state-approved machine to perform a preliminary count and declare preliminary, unofficial election results within 24 hours of polls closing.
Connecticut: The Government Administration and Elections Committee advanced three bills intended to implement an early voting system allowed by a constitutional amendment approved overwhelmingly by Connecticut voters last year. The committee approved the policies during a lengthy afternoon meeting. Rep. Matt Blumenthal, a Stamford Democrat who co-chairs the panel, said proponents hoped to put the proposal before both the House and Senate in time to have an early voting option in place for this year’s election. Although the proposals are functionally similar, they do contain differences: two bills would create a 14-day early voting window while one would open polls for 10 days. All three bills would require a four-day window for special election voting but only two of them would also require the same window for referendum votes. The bills provide for the polls to be open on weekend days prior to Election Day and generally open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. However, each proposal sets aside two days during which polling locations would offer early and later hours. The proposals allow municipalities to operate one central polling location during early voting days rather than open every location normally available on Election Day. However, they also allow larger towns to offer additional polling places if those locations are approved by the Office of the Secretary of the State.
Delaware: Legislation to amend the Delaware Constitution in relation to absentee voting has been introduced in the General Assembly. Senate Bill 3 is the first leg of a constitutional amendment that would eliminate the limitations on when an individual may vote absentee and authorizes the General Assembly to enact general laws providing the circumstances, rules, and procedures for absentee voting in this State. SB 3 is in response to the Delaware Supreme Court decision last year and would require all absentee ballots to include an oath or affirmation that the qualified voter’s vote is free from improper influence. This would be in lieu of the oath or affirmation required under Section 3 of Article 5 of the Delaware Constitution. This would be in lieu of the oath or affirmation required under Section 3 of Article 5 of the Delaware Constitution. Amending the Delaware Constitution requires not only the passing of the changes in this Act, but also passage of the same changes after the next general election by the next General Assembly. This Act requires a greater than majority vote for passage because § 1 of Article XVI of the Delaware Constitution requires the affirmative vote of two-thirds of the members elected to each house of the General Assembly to amend the Delaware Constitution.
Georgia: The General Assembly declined to vote on eliminating runoffs, an idea that had the support of 58% of Georgia voters who participated in a statewide poll by The Atlanta Journal-Constitution in January. A bill that would have ended general election runoffs as long as a candidate wins at least 45% support received a committee hearing, but it wasn’t considered for a vote. Other ideas for eliminating runoffs also went nowhere, such as creating a system called ranked-choice voting, in which voters’ second-choice candidates would be considered. Runoffs cost taxpayers across Georgia an estimated $75 million in 2020, according to a study by Kennesaw State University professors. Metro Atlanta’s four core counties estimated that last year’s U.S. Senate runoff cost them a combined $10 million or more. Several legislators have said they prefer sticking with Georgia’s current system that requires runoffs.
The House State and Local Government Subcommittee advanced legislation that prohibits local government officials from directly receiving donations from outside organizations to administer elections. If the bill passes, all private donations would have to be funneled to local election administrations through the secretary of state’s office and the State Election Board. The bill also makes it a felony carrying up to a year in jail and a $10,000 fine if someone violates the law by applying for private grants or receiving donations for election operations. The legislation also requires local governments to return any money they receive from non-governmental organizations that came in since the passage of the GOP’s 2021 election law overhaul that attempted to limit outside funding after millions poured into Georgia elections in 2020 to deal with the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Honolulu, Hawaii: The Honolulu City Council passed a bill that would ban guns from sensitive places, like schools and hospitals, and the mayor appears poised to sign it. Bill 57 would ban carrying firearms in 13 places: city-, state-, and federally owned buildings, hospitals, schools and child care facilities, parks, homeless and domestic violence shelters, “places frequented by children,” like the aquarium, polling places, public transportation, businesses serving alcohol, large public gathering, like protests, concerts and marijuana dispensaries. The bill would also require that anyone carrying a gun who interacts with a police officer tell the officer and present their license. If Mayor Rick Blangiardi signs the bill, it would take effect May 1, a council press release said. The mayor has 10 business days to sign. Blangiardi intends to sign the bill, according to his spokesperson Ian Scheuring, but he could not say when.
Idaho: The Republican-controlled Senate voted to eliminate student IDs as an acceptable form of identification to vote in Idaho elections. If passed into law, House Bill 124 would remove a student ID issued by an Idaho high school, college, university or technical school from the list of forms of identification that are accepted at the polls. If the bill passes, the only acceptable forms of identification accepted at Idaho polling places would be: An Idaho driver’s license or an identification card issued by the Idaho Transportation Department.; A U.S. passport or a photo ID card issued by an agency of the U.S. government; A tribal photo identification card; or A license to carry concealed weapons, or an enhanced license to carry concealed weapons.
The House State Affairs Committee held a resolution, subject to call of the chairman, that would ask voters to amend the Idaho Constitution and make it harder to get an initiative or referendum on the ballot. The resolution comes after a similar piece of legislation in 2021, Senate Bill 1110, was struck down as unconstitutional by the Idaho Supreme Court. That law would have increased the number of legislative districts needed to qualify an initiative to all 35 districts, rather than 18 districts as currently required. SJR 101 would ask voters if they want to amend the Idaho Constitution to require signatures from 6% of registered voters in all 35 legislative districts to place an initiative or referendum on the ballot. It passed the Senate in a 27-8 vote and is sponsored by Sen. Doug Okuniewicz, R-Hayden.
The House killed a bill that would have placed strict restrictions on who could vote using absentee ballots or even request an absentee ballot. The House voted 30-40 to kill House Bill 205, which would have prohibited Idahoans from voting by absentee ballot for convenience. Instead, if the bill had passed, Idahoans would have needed to meet one of a handful conditions to vote by absentee ballot, including serving in the U.S. armed forces, illness, disability or hospitalization, serving a religious mission, staying a second home they own or having to work or attend university classes. In November’s general election, 129,210 of the 599,493 votes cast were cast by absentee ballot, representing about 21% of all votes.
Election day could soon be a day off for Idaho’s K-12 students. House bill 209 would allow schools to take the day off or have a virtual school day. as more Idaho schools continue to serve as polling locations. The sponsor of the bill says this is being done in an effort to keep students safe, during elections as more people head to their local school polling places. The bill’s statement of purpose says it’s to provide students safety and adequate polling locations on election days. The concern is that during election days people are typically present on school grounds that are not typically there during school hours. The sponsor of the bill says this addresses the need for more polling locations and the need to keep students safe. Secretary of State, Phil McGrane says it would support the high number of in-person voters.
Illinois: The Illinois House approved a plan allowing college students to receive academic credit for serving as election judges. Lawmakers hope this proposal could help election authorities address the constant shortage of election judges across the state. Rep. Daniel Didech (D-Buffalo Grove) said his bill can also create more opportunities for young people to get hands-on experience in the democratic process. Illinois universities and community colleges will be required to submit policies for awarding an academic credit or non-credit alternative to the Illinois Board of Higher Education and Community College Board by June 30, 2024. Under this plan, election judges would not be paid if they receive the academic credit. House Bill 995 passed on a 100-12 vote. The proposal now heads to the Senate for consideration.
Kentucky: Senate Majority Floor Leader Damon Thayer said he wouldn’t push the controversial Senate Bill 50 during the 2023 legislative session, meaning the bill won’t pass this year. “I still feel strongly voters deserve more information, and this is one way to get it to them,” Thayer said of the bill that would make it the standard for all municipal elections to be partisan. House Bill 50 — a companion bill filed by Rep. Matt Lockett (R-Nicholasville) — was scheduled for a committee vote in the House Committee on Elections but didn’t come up for a vote. With only five days left in the legislative session before the veto period — there are two regular days after — HB50 faces an uphill battle. “I don’t have any idea,” said Rep. John Hodgson (R-Fisherville), HB50’s co-sponsor, on if the bill would move or not. Leaders across Northern Kentucky have voiced opposition to both bills.
Maryland: Democratic Del. Dalya Attar introduced a bill aimed at changing the date of Maryland’s 2024 primary from April 23 to April 16 to avoid a conflict with Passover. However, Attar submitted an amendment to the bill that would change the suggested new date to May 14 because the April 16 date meant early voting would have coincided with Ramadan. “April 16th would mean that early voting would fall on Ramadan, and I did not want the date to conflict with Ramadan either and restrict people from voting,” Attar wrote in an email to The Baltimore Sun. Attar said it was a constituent who drew her attention to the potential conflict. The amendment passed in a subcommittee of the Rules and Executive Nominations Committee. Maryland law calls for primary elections to take place on the fourth Tuesday in April of a presidential election year. Rather than submit an entirely new bill, Attar said, she packaged the change in the form of an amendment in “an effort to ensure expediency and efficiency.” “I look forward to the amendment becoming law and the primary date next year being on May 14, 2024,” she said.
House and Senate lawmakers have approved nearly identical bills ahead of elections next year to speed counting of mail ballots and make it easier for voters to correct ballots that weren’t filled out properly. If the bills become law, a local election board would be required to begin canvassing absentee ballots — preparing them to be counted — eight business days before the first day of early voting. Boards would not tabulate any ballot totals until Election Day. Jurisdictions with few mail voters could be exempted from the requirement. The bill would alter current law that requires local election boards to void a ballot if the envelope has not been signed and the voter did not correct it within 10 days of the election. Instead, a local election board would be required to review each ballot envelope shortly after it is received to check for signatures. If an omission is found, the board must alert the voter and give them a chance to cure, or correct, their ballot.
Michigan: State Sen. Joe Bellino Jr., R-Monroe, introduced a bill aimed at warning people about the penalties for attempting to vote more than once in an election. Senate Bill 151 is a reintroduction of SB 302 of 2021, which was passed in 2022 by both chambers with bipartisan support but vetoed by the governor. SB 151 would require individuals registering to vote to confirm they understand it is a felony to vote or attempt to vote more than once at the same election, in either the same or another voting precinct. “This reform received widespread support last year from both Michigan county and municipal clerks, who actually run our elections,” Bellino said. “It is designed to protect elections through awareness of the law and does nothing to prevent or hinder someone from legally voting.” SB 151 has been referred to the Senate Elections and Ethics Committee for consideration.
Mississippi: HB 1310 has passed in the Legislature allowing persons to be removed from the voter rolls if they do not participate or update their voter registration within a four-year period, or two consecutive general federal elections. Prior to being cut or removed from the rolls, an individual will receive a notice in the mail that they are being considered for “inactive status.” Being made inactive will prevent an individual from voting on a regular ballot in an upcoming election, and that person would be required to present an affidavit ballot to be counted for the election should they go vote. If a voter does not vote in an election via affidavit within two years, they will effectively be removed from the voter rolls. On the Senate floor, Senator Jeff Tate (R) defended the bill, saying they have had increased reports of deceased individuals’ names showing up on voter rolls. He said that led to concerns over voter fraud.
A bill that would have allowed for Mississippi to finally implement online voter registration died in the Senate Elections Committee without a debate or vote.
New Hampshire: In a party-line vote, the House Election Law Committee narrowly recommended passage of a bill by Swanzey Democratic Rep. Barry Faulkner to expand the criteria for voting by absentee ballot. The 10-9 decision came despite opposition to the measure from the Secretary of State’s Office. Faulkner’s House Bill 586 would allow people to vote absentee if they lack convenient and affordable transportation or are concerned their health or safety would be endangered by traveling to or being at a polling place. Existing allowable reasons for voting absentee in New Hampshire include absence from the voter’s city or town, a religious observance, disability or illness, and employment commitments (including caregiving) during the entire time the polls are open. N.H. Secretary of State David Scanlan said his office opposes HB 586 because in their estimation it would run counter to a New Hampshire constitutional provision. “Our state Constitution specifically says you can obtain an absentee ballot for one of two reasons — being absent or due to a disability,” Scanlan said. “Anything outside of that doesn’t meet the Constitution’s requirement.
New Mexico: The House of Representatives approved amendments made by the Senate to a bill expanding the state Election Code on a 42-25 vote. This is the final step for the bill before it goes to the governor’s desk. HB 4 would expand automatic voter registration, restore convicted felons’ right to vote upon release from prison, create a voluntary permanent absentee voter list, and enact the Native American Voting Rights Act to the state Election Code. One of the Senate amendments to the bill is a definition of incarceration. “‘Correctional facility’ means a jail, prison or other detention facility that is used for the confinement of an adult, whether operated by the state or a political subdivision of the state or a private contractor on behalf of the state or a political subdivision of the state,” the bill states.
The House floor approved a bill on a 62-1 vote to make it a fourth degree felony to intimidate election workers such as poll workers and county clerks and other election employees. The bill would expand the state’s election code to include the penalties. There was no debate on the bill. SB 43 passed the Senate unanimously. “SB 43 amends the election code to make intimidation of an election official a felony. The bill maintains intimidation against the aforementioned parties constitutes a fourth degree felony. The bill has the effect of expanding the scope of existing statute,” Rep. Janelle Anyanonu, D-Albuquerque, said while presenting the bill. The bill now goes to Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham’s desk for signing.
New York: New York counties could be given the option of establishing vote centers where any eligible county voter can cast their ballot on Election Day. State Sen. Rachel May, a Syracuse Democrat, introduced the legislation. The bill would allow local election boards to designate countywide vote centers for the day of a primary or general election. The concept is not new to New York or other states. In New York, counties already use vote centers during the nine-day early voting period before an election. With the addition of electronic poll books and ballot on-demand printers, polling places can be set up in central locations for all voters in a county. “Overseen by bipartisan elections commissioners and poll workers,” May wrote in her justification for the bill, “this system functions well across the state during the early voting period.” “This legislation will give county election officials the flexibility they need to establish one or more such centers during elections,” she said. “Just like the established polling places during early voting, these vote centers will allow voters from anywhere within a county to use polling places with such a designation to cast their ballot.” May’s bill has been referred to the Senate Elections Committee for review.
Oklahoma: The House approved a bill that would decouple Oklahoma elections from federal ones should federal election laws substantially change. Rep. Denise Crosswhite Hader, R-Piedmont, described House Bill 1415 as a trigger bill that would only take effect should federal election laws change in a way that conflicts with state laws. If that happened, Oklahoma elections would be held separately, and federal laws would be followed only during federal elections. The bill would establish that the Oklahoma attorney general with concurrence of the secretary of the State Election Board would confirm if a trigger has taken place. If or when the action is needed, a committee is to be established within two weeks and make a determination on time, place and manner of election dates for the state within 60 days. The Committee would be made up of four members each appointed by the House and Senate, as well as the state’s attorney general, the chair of the District Attorneys Council, and the governor or a designee. HB 1415, presented Tuesday, passed the House with a vote of 77-20. It now moves to the state Senate where it is authored by Sen. Dave Rader, R-Tulsa.
The Senate unanimously approved Senate Bill 426, which was authored by Sen. George Burns, R-Pollard. The bill gives county election board secretaries authorization to use global positioning system (GPS) technology to ensure a voter is assigned to the correct precinct. If SB 426 becomes law, county election boards would be able to use GPS to determine voters’ precincts beginning this November. SB 426 now moves to the House of Representatives for further review. Rep. Rick West, R- Heavener will carry the measure in the House.
The Senate approved a bill to increase compensation for poll workers in Oklahoma. Senate Bill 290 would increase pay for election inspectors from $110 to $225 and pay for judges and clerks would double from $100 to $200. SB 290 now moves to the House of Representatives for further consideration. There is an emergency clause on the bill, so it would take effect as soon as it receives the governor’s signature.
Oregon: Oregonians in prison for felony convictions would regain the right to vote beginning in 2026 under a proposal that won preliminary approval from a legislative panel Thursday. Senate Bill 579 passed out of the Senate Judiciary Committee on a 3-2 vote, with Democrats in favor and Republicans opposed. It now heads to the budget-writing Joint Ways and Means Committee, where lawmakers will decide whether expanding voting rights to about 12,000 incarcerated people is worth a $750,000 cost. People convicted of felonies lose their right to vote while serving their sentences in almost every state. In Oregon and 21 other states, those individuals regain their voting rights upon release from prison. People in county jails who haven’t been convicted and sentenced or who are serving time for minor crimes or misdemeanors still can vote. The measure would require the state to let people in prison begin registering to vote and casting ballots on June 1, 2026. An amendment approved by the committee postponed the measure’s effective date to give the Secretary of State’s Office, the Department of Corrections and cities and counties more time to prepare for mailing ballots.
South Dakota: At least 10 elections-related bills are headed for Gov. Kristi Noem’s desk. Among the changes for upcoming elections are a creating post-election audit, a 30-day residency requirement for voter registration, public testing of tabulating equipment within 10 days of an election, allowing school boards to change term lengths to help joint elections as well as bans to absentee ballot drop boxes, ranked-choice voting and a penalty for public funds being used to influence an outcome of an election. Other bills clarify or update current law regarding the Secretary of State’s office requiring maintenance of voter rolls and the list of candidates.
Senate Bill 160, which creates a post-election audit following the state canvassing of a primary or general election, passed the House 68-0 and the Senate 34-1. County auditors will be required to conduct a post-election audit in 5% of precincts in the county by manually counting all votes cast in two contests and comparing the results of the manual count to the results for those precincts at the county canvass.
Senate Bill 139 requires a person to have lived in the state for at least 30 days before registering to vote. It passed the Senate 29-4 and the House 68-2 and awaits Noem’s signature or veto. To qualify as a resident in South Dakota a person only needs to spend one night. Under this bill, a person must maintain a residence in South Dakota for at least 30 days prior to registering to vote.
Texas: The Senate gave initial approval, on a 19–12 vote, to legislation that would raise the penalty for voting illegally from a misdemeanor to a felony, a priority for Texas Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick and other conservative lawmakers who have worked to remake the state’s voting laws since the 2020 election, despite the lack of evidence of widespread voter fraud in Texas. If Senate Bill 2 becomes law, a person found guilty of the crime could face up to 20 years in prison and more than $10,000 in fines. The debate between Democratic lawmakers and Sen. Bryan Hughes, R-Mineola, the bill’s author, focused heavily on what constitutes illegal voting. Lawmakers disagreed over whether, under the bill, a person who mistakenly votes illegally could be prosecuted. Democrats pointed to examples such as a person who knows they have been convicted of a felony but doesn’t realize that makes them ineligible to vote or a person who knows they are not a U.S. citizen but does not know that makes them ineligible.
Federal Litigation: U.S. District Judge Victor Marrero has ruled that conservative activists Jacob Wohl and Jack Burkman violated multiple federal and state civil rights laws when they robocalled Black voters as part of a voter suppression scheme in 2020. In a 111-page opinion, Marrero said Wohl and Burkman used thousands of robocalls in Ohio, Michigan, New York, Pennsylvania and Illinois to spread false and misleading information about mail-in voting in a “calculated” effort to “deter Black voters by exploiting fears and stereotypes.” “The Court recognizes that the free exchange of ideas on issues of public concern and the ability to engage in robust political discussion constitute the foundations of a democratic society,” Marrero wrote. But, he added, evidence showed “that the neighborhoods that Defendants targeted were not accidental or random” and a reasonable jury would conclude the two men wanted to “deny the right to vote specifically to Black voters.” Burkman and Wohl had pleaded guilty in October to a single count each of felony telecommunications fraud over the robocalls. They were sentenced in November to two years probation, six months of electronic monitoring and 500 hours of community service in a voter registration drive. Marrero wrote this week that Wohl and Burkman’s actions also violated the Voting Rights Act, the Civil Rights Act and the Ku Klux Klan Act, which enforces citizens’ right to vote under the 14th Amendment.
U.S. District Court Senior Judge William J. Martínez refused to dismiss a defamation lawsuit brought by a former Dominion Voting Systems executive against an Oklahoma podcaster who spread unproven statements about election-rigging in the wake of the 2020 presidential race. Eric Coomer, the former director of product security and strategy for voting technology supplier Dominion, sued Clayton Thomas “Clay” Clark and his “Thrivetime Show” podcast for promoting the rumor that Coomer allegedly confessed to ensuring former President Donald Trump would not win reelection. Those assertions of “treasonous behavior” resulted in death threats against Coomer. Martínez denied the defendants’ motion to dismiss the lawsuit. Clark and Thrivetime argued they had “every reason to believe” the dubious allegations about Coomer, and the lawsuit could not survive because it stemmed from their protected First Amendment activity. But the judge found “no real dispute” that some of the defendants’ comments about Coomer amounted to defamation. “Plaintiff has presented evidence that Defendants, for a period of at least a year, repeatedly accused Dr. Coomer (or amplified others’ accusations) of the crimes of election fraud and treason, that they did so in reckless disregard of the truth, and that they persisted in these accusations even after a point in time when they reasonably should have known of the death threats Plaintiff had received,” Martínez wrote in a March 7 order.
Arizona: Failed gubernatorial candidate Kari Lake and her lawyers “continue to malign and erode the foundations upon which our great state stands” through their court case contesting the November 2022 election results, Secretary of State Adrian Fontes told the Arizona Supreme Court this week in a filing asking the court to reject Lake’s legal challenge seeking to overturn her election loss. The would-be governor’s election challenge was first dismissed in December, after a two-day trial during which she failed to provide evidence backing up her claims that Maricopa County elections officials rigged things against her. After an appellate court last month upheld that dismissal, Lake followed through on a pledge to take the case to the state Supreme Court. On March 13, the defendants in the case — Fontes, Governor Katie Hobbs and Maricopa County — filed biting responses to Lake’s petition asking the Supreme Court to take up her election contest case. All three asked the high court to reject Lake’s suit. “Those who invoke our Courts must do so in good faith,” Craig Morgan, an attorney for Fontes, wrote in his response to the Supreme Court. “We cannot allow a disgruntled vocal minority to weaponize our Courts, sow unfounded distrust in our election processes, malign our public servants, and undermine our democracy – all for the purpose of trying to overturn the People’s will and topple an election.”
Georgia: U.S. District Judge Steve Jones is allowing a lawsuit alleging that mass voter eligibility challenges in Georgia infringed on voting rights to move toward trial. Jones wrote in an 87-page order that he won’t grant summary judgment to either party in the case, Fair Fight Action, a voting rights group, or True the Vote, a Texas-based organization that contested more than 300,000 voter registrations before runoffs for the U.S. Senate in early 2021. A trial is needed to decide whether allegations that True the Vote’s efforts to disqualify voters amounted to voter intimidation in violation of the Voting Rights Act, Jones said in his order. County election boards threw out almost all the voter challenges.
Louisiana: New Orleans Mayor LaToya Cantrell has filed a lawsuit in an attempt to block the recall effort against her from going to a vote. The lawsuit was filed early this week in both Baton Rouge and New Orleans. In the suit, lawyers for Mayor Cantrell say the agreement reached by the Louisiana Secretary of State and organizers with the recall effort on active voters in the parish is void, questioning the legality of the agreement. The Secretary of State’s Office agreed that the voter threshold would be 25,000 lower than it was. Prior to the threshold being lower, Orleans Parish had 249,876 total voters. With the lower threshold, that leaves the number at 224,876, leaving the recall to need roughly 45,000 signatures to get the petition to a vote. The suit also questioned Judge Jennifer Medley’s approval of the settlement after reports showed Medley may have signed the recall petition herself. Cantrell and her lawyers are asking for the recall petition to be declared null and void, according to the lawsuit. This comes after organizers say they have compiled enough signatures to put the recall on a ballot for residents to decide. The Orleans Parish Registrar of Voters is currently counting the number of signatures collected by recall organizers.
North Carolina: The North Carolina Supreme Court is revisiting a case surrounding voter ID requirements. During this week’s voter ID arguments, four of the court’s five Republicans defended the ability of justices to rehear the matter or expressed skepticism about rulings from a three-judge panel that held a trial on the law or the previous edition of the Supreme Court. Democrats and their allies say this week’s hearings happened solely on the partisan makeup of the court. A chief issue on appeal is whether the judges who struck it down relied too heavily on a 2013 voter ID law and a decision three years later by a federal appeals court that struck it down on the basis of racial bias. “Voter ID is a solution in search of a problem. Reversing this case would have a detrimental impact on North Carolinians’ access to the ballot box, especially minority, poor, and elderly voters,” said NC Democratic Party Chair Anderson Clayton. Attorneys for the minority voters who challenged the 2018 law have said the trial judges were able to consider the history surrounding the 2013 law as part of the broader circumstances in determining whether legislators acted in part with discriminatory intent. Peter Patterson, an attorney for the GOP legislators, said the courts wrongly presumed the 2018 law was tainted as well. The evidence affirmed the law was constitutional by providing more ID options and offering the ability for people to cast ballots even if they lack an ID by filling out a form. Patterson also pointed out the measure had support from some Democrats, including a Black senator.
Vermont: Republicans are again suing the City of Winooski for allowing noncitizen residents to vote in local elections, weeks after the Vermont Supreme Court struck down an earlier challenge to the practice in Montpelier. The new complaint, filed by the Vermont GOP, the Republican National Committee and two city residents, takes aim more narrowly at school elections. Because local districts use funds from state education coffers, the plaintiffs’ legal theory goes, school board and budget votes should be treated as state elections, which the Vermont Constitution restricts to citizens. In 2021, following local votes and state lawmakers’ approval, Winooski and Montpelier joined a small number of municipalities nationwide in extending voting rights to noncitizens. Voters in Burlington passed a similar measure on Tuesday that would take effect if state lawmakers sign off. The cities’ charter changes are not identical. While Winooski and Burlington included school elections in their expanded voter eligibility, Montpelier did not. The RNC and the Vermont GOP sued both Winooski and Montpelier in 2021, seeking to have their charter changes struck down. In January, the Vermont Supreme Court rejected the bid in the Montpelier case, reasoning that “there is still a difference between municipal government and state government.” In their decision, the justices wrote that an election involving noncitizen voters could run afoul of the state constitution if it was merely “municipal in name.” The retooled complaint against Winooski contends that local school elections are such an example.
Opinions This Week
National Opinions: ERIC, II | Voting rights, II, III, IV | Disinformation
Arizona: Election legislation
Connecticut: Early voting | Election funding
Florida: ERIC | Election laws | Voter fraud
Georgia: Election workers
Indiana: Campus polling place
Kansas: Election legislation
Louisiana: NOLA recall, II, III
Maine: Voter ID
Maryland: Recall elections
Minnesota: Election legislation
Missouri: Conspiracy theories
Nebraska: Voter ID
New Hampshire: Election security
New Jersey: Monmouth County
New Mexico: Election legislation | Open primaries
North Carolina: Voter ID litigation
Oregon: Ranked choice voting
Pennsylvania: Equitable voting
South Dakota: Absentee voting
Texas: College voters |ERIC
Wisconsin: Election integrity proposals
Wyoming: Crossover voting, II
Making Congress Work in a Divided Nation: Congressional committees are essential to a functioning legislative process, but experts agree they aren’t being used to their full potential. The media paints a picture of a legislative body paralyzed by partisanship, and political scientists agree that our representatives are passing fewer bills. After the chaos that embroiled the current House over the race for speaker, is it any wonder that many Americans have lost faith in the effectiveness of their elected representatives? The Brennan Center is thrilled to host a panel discussion about making Congress work with former Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R-IL), political correspondent Daniel Strauss, and Brennan Center Elections and Government Program research fellow Dr. Maya Kornberg. Kinzinger is no stranger to calling out Congress for allowing partisanship to breed dysfunction, particularly as one of the two Republicans on the House January 6 committee. Strauss is a staff writer at the New Republic and has covered both Washington politics and political campaigns across the country. Kornberg is the author of the new book, Inside Congressional Committees: Function and Dysfunction in the Legislative Process, which examines the legislative process beyond polarized voting patterns. Join us for an important and timely in-person conversation in Washington, DC, on Wednesday, March 22, at 6:30 p.m. The event will be moderated by Mike Spahn, a partner at Precision, one of the country’s leading strategic marketing agencies. The panel will address questions including what the committee system teaches us about bipartisan collaboration, what must be done to bring Congress into the digital age, and how to make Congress more representative of the country as a whole. When: March 22, 6:30pm Eastern. Where: Washington, DC.
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.
ERSA 2023 Conference: The 7th Annual Summer Conference on Election Science, Reform, and Administration (ESRA) will be held in person from Wednesday, May 31 to Friday, June 2, at the University of Georgia in Athens, Georgia. Details about this year’s conference program are forthcoming. When: May 31-June 2. Where: Atlanta
NACo Annual Conference: The National Association of Counties (NACo) Annual Conference & Expo is the largest meeting of county elected and appointed officials from across the country. Participants from counties of all sizes come together to shape NACo’s federal policy agenda, share proven practices and strengthen knowledge networks to help improve residents’ lives and the efficiency of county government. When: July 21-24. Where: Travis County, Texas.
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 Manager-Poll Worker Department, Palm Beach County, Florida— The Palm Beach County Supervisor of Elections is looking for an experienced Assistant Poll Worker Department Manager. In this role, you will oversee the planning and the completion of various projects, administrative functions, operations, and specialized tasks in the Poll Worker Department. The work involves knowledge and application of departmental operations, planning, assigning responsibilities, monitoring election worker classes, maintaining records, evaluating performance, and the ability to review work for accuracy. This position requires initiative and sound independent judgement in the application of office policies, election laws, and procedures. Must be personable and maintain effective working relationships with colleagues, associates, and the general public. All work is performed under the guidance of the Supervisor of Elections. The ideal candidate will have an excellent work ethic, including consistent performance, reliability, and attendance. The desire and ability to work well in a fast-paced collaborative environment with a smile are essential to the position. Application: For the complete job listing and to apply, click here.
Associate Director, Political Science, MIT Election Data and Science Lab— To serve in a leadership role by working with the faculty director to develop and implement an expanded strategic vision of MEDSL and to manage operations and administration of the lab’s activities. Will bear primary responsibility for ensuring that the lab’s activities are responsive to the most pressing needs of election administrators throughout the United States and for maintaining robust lines of communication with election officials and allied research institutions. MEDSL is dedicated to the creation of knowledge, insights, and data necessary to increase understanding and guide improvement of elections as they are conducted in the United States. Required: bachelor’s degree; five years’ direct experience working in election administration or election science (which may have been acquired through work as a state or local administrator, leader of a nonprofit organization, or academic researcher); tactical and strategic approach to responsibilities; excellent problem-solving, organizational, project management, and written and verbal communication and presentation skills; organizational and cultural awareness; diplomacy and good judgment; initiative; interest in contributing to the progress of scientific research by facilitating the work of others; discretion and judgment with confidential information/issues; and proficiency with Microsoft Word, Excel, and PowerPoint. Must be able to achieve big picture results while paying attention to detail; follow through and achieve objectives in a timely manner; keep teams, projects, and deliverables on track; coordinate multiple tasks, set priorities, deliver results, and meet deadlines; exert influence, negotiate, and work across boundaries; and work independently and collaboratively. Preferred: graduate degree in law, political science, public policy, public administration, management, or related field. Application: For the complete job listing and to apply, click here.
Chief Deputy Registrar of Voters, San Bernardino, California— The San Bernardino County Registrar of Voters seeks a dynamic and innovative administrator who can lead and thrive in a fast-paced environment to manage our elections programs, processes, and team. The Chief Deputy Registrar of Voters is a forward-thinking individual that assists with guiding the future direction of the department and its processes, taking a hands-on approach to find solutions while working collaboratively with a knowledgeable and dedicated team. The Chief Deputy Registrar of Voters is a key member of the Department’s senior management team, participating in organizational strategic planning and administering election programs. The position serves as a Chief over a division of the Registrar of Voters (ROV) office and has primary responsibility for assisting the ROV in planning, conducting, and certifying all Primary, General, and Special elections. Salary: $85,425.60 – $118,684.80. 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 Director, NonproftVote— Are you a seasoned communications professional concerned about the state of our democracy? Do you believe in the power of nonprofits and nonpartisan voter engagement? If so, we have an opportunity to put your skills to work in a mission-driven environment to foster a more engaged and inclusive democracy. Nonprofit VOTE equips our nation’s nonprofits with nonpartisan tools and resources to help the communities they serve participate in voting and democracy. In doing so, we seek to close participation gaps among populations underrepresented in the political process. Additionally, Nonprofit VOTE manages the collaborative work of National Voter Registration Day, a single day of coordinated ﬁeld, technology, and media strategies to raise awareness of voter registration opportunities and help hundreds of thousands of Americans register to vote. Working within a small, collaborative, and flexible team, your role as Communications Director will be to lead the communications of both Nonprofit VOTE and National Voter Registration Day. Our communications seek to weave a narrative around successful voter engagement efforts, highlighting key partners and traditionally underrepresented communities, while distributing practical advice and tools on how nonprofits can more effectively engage their communities. Salary: $75,000 and $90,000. 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 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.
Election Certification & Training Program Manager, Washington Secretary of State’s Office— The Elections Certification & Training Program Manager reports to the Deputy Director of Elections and is responsible for managing the Certification and Training team. Certification and Training is a mission critical program established and required by RCW 29A.04.530, 29A.04.560, 29A.04.590. The Certification and Training Manager develops and manages program objectives and priorities, in collaboration with external stakeholders including independently elected auditors and election officials. Additionally, the Program Manager makes collaborative strategic judgments and decisions balancing competing program demands or priorities for resources; develops, modifies, and implements division policy; formulates long-range strategic plans and projects . The Certification and Training Manager also integrates division and office policies and reviews the program for compliance with policies and strategic objectives. The position is responsible for four mission critical functions: Professional certification and training of local and state election administrators and county canvassing board members. Review of county election operations and procedures. Testing of all vote tabulation equipment used in each county during state primary and general elections. The election clearinghouse and publication program. The Program Manager also manages the process for adopting state rules and is the Election Division’s liaison with the USPS. Salary: $83,000 – $93,000. Application: For the complete job application and to apply, click here.
Election Director, Ohio Secretary of State’s Office— The Ohio Secretary of State Elections Division is recruiting for a Director of the Elections Division. The Director of the Elections Division (often called the Elections Director) oversees a team responsible for one of the Office’s two main functions: the oversight of local, state, and federal elections. The director serves as the Office’s primary liaison to Ohio’s 88 county boards of elections and, under the general direction of the Chief of Staff, leads the strategic planning and daily management of the division, including the following duties: Supervises division employees, including the enforcement of workplace policies, periodic review of performance, and recommendations for compensation and promotion; Oversees the issuance of advisories and directives that inform boards of changes to state election laws and sets uniform standards and policies by which elections are conducted; Develops and executes a detailed plan to manage the division’s work product in support of all timelines and deadlines associated with the annual elections calendar; Helps to develop and administer the division’s operational budget to ensure adequate levels of statewide support for the Office’s objectives; Provides daily support to boards of elections, including troubleshooting and training, as well as assistance as needed with administrative functions such as voting operations, poll worker recruitment, records processing and retention, post-election auditing, budgeting, legal compliance, and all other expectations established in the Secretary of State’s Election Official Manual; Reviews feedback from the Office’s regional operations teams and provides follow-up and support as needed; Determines the forms of ballots, poll books, voter instruction notices, and other forms relevant to the administration of elections; Oversees the collection, organization and review of statewide initiative and referendum petitions; Coordinates the meetings and direction of the Ohio Board of Voting Machine Examiners and the Ohio Ballot Board; Assists in the development and implementation of election-related public policy; Supports the Office’s legal staff in fulfilling public records requests, addressing litigation, and supporting law enforcement inquiries; Frequently briefs the Secretary of State and Chief of Staff on all relevant developments impacting the administration of elections in Ohio; Advises on vendor and consultant contracts; Assists the Office’s Information Technology team with election data retention and analysis efforts, including maintenance of voter registration records, investigations of fraud and irregularities, and publication of election statistics; Communicates with advocacy groups and election officials seeking guidance on the Office’s directives, advisories, or strategic policy initiatives; Represents the Secretary of State as needed in meetings, hearings, conferences, and other functions related to election administration; Seeks opportunities to strengthen the influence and visibility of the Office with election officials, advocacy groups, and influencers; Assists with the development of the Office’s communication content to intergovernmental contacts and third-party stakeholders; Manages the logistical planning and execution of the Office’s statewide Election Night Reporting operation, which includes the collection, tracking, tabulation, and reporting of election data from boards of elections to an official website for public consumption; Assists the Office’s legal staff in ensuring compliance with applicable rules, disclosures, and filings relating to lobbying and ethics laws; Collaborates with the Office’s External Affairs, Business Services, and Public Integrity divisions to support their respective objectives, including the development of public voter awareness campaigns, informational publications, website content, and other communications content; and Otherwise supports the Secretary of State and the Office of the Secretary of State in complying with all statutory obligations set forth under Ohio Revised Code Section 3501.05, “Election duties of secretary of state.” Salary: $125K-$140K. Application: For the complete job listing and to apply, click here.
Election Review Specialist, Washington Secretary of State’s Office— This Program Specialist 4 reports to the Certification and Training Program Manager and is responsible for overseeing the County Review Program which reviews the policies and procedures of Washington County Election Departments roughly every 5 years for compliance with state and federal election law. This collaborative process is intended to support local election officials, share best practices and is one of the reasons Washington State Election Administration is ranked highest in the nation. Salary: $57,324 – $77,028. 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, Missouri Association of County Clerks and Election Officials— The Missouri Association of County Clerks and Election Authorities (MACCEA) is a professional association of county clerks and election authorities from Missouri’s 116 counties and election authority jurisdictions. MACCEA’s Executive Board is comprised of elected county clerks and appointed election directors whose full-time jobs are to manage county offices, conduct high profile elections, and work in the challenging environment of county government administration. The Board is a volunteer position and officers are elected by the association membership with additional members appointed by the Board President. The Executive Director position, established in 2022, will help the Board better support our membership in their roles as county clerks and election authorities, as well as support the association’s vision, mission, and goals. MACCEA seeks a contract Executive Director with diverse non-profit management, governance, conference planning, and communications experience. The Executive Director reports to the 12-member MACCEA Executive Board. Duties and association management are delegated to the Executive Director by the MACCEA Bylaws and under the direction of the Executive Board. Salary Range: $55,000 – $65,000. 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.
Legal Intern, Illinois State Board of Elections— The State Board of Elections’ Legal Division is seeking a legal intern to assist in the creation of the State Officers Electoral Board (SOEB) decision database. The candidate will be responsible for reviewing objections and related decisions to create a public research database of Board decisions. The Internship will require legal research and writing skills consistent with serving as agency counsel. Responsibilities include updating, reviewing and creating reference/training materials focused on election law. Application: For the complete internship listing and to apply, click here.
Program Officer, The Election Trust Initiative – The program officer is part of a small project team that works to advance evidence-based and nonpartisan solutions that improve the accessibility, integrity, and trustworthiness of the U.S. election administration system. This position will work with the team and our partners to develop strategies to strengthen the field of election administration, identify and vet grantees, provide business planning and capacity building support to key organizations in the field, develop metrics to assess and monitor the portfolio’s progress in attaining its objectives, and coordinate strategies with allied philanthropic partners also investing in the elections sector. This work will involve building relationships with elections officials, researchers, policymakers, non-profit organizations, donors, and other key stakeholders. The position is based in Washington, D.C., though remote candidates will be considered, and it is eligible for up to 60% telework if working from the DC office. The position will report to the executive director of the Election Trust Initiative. The Election Trust Initiative, LLC is a non-partisan grant-making organization providing support to nonpartisan research, resources, and organizations that help election officials strengthen election administration. Launched in 2023, the Initiative’s founding partners are the Pew Charitable Trusts, the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, and the Klarman Family Foundation. Election Trust Initiative operates as a subsidiary of the Pew Charitable Trusts, a section 501(c)(3) public charity. 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.
State Election Director, North Dakota Secretary of State’s Office— The Office of Secretary of State is seeking an election administration professional to join our team as Election Director. The successful candidate will have demonstrated success in election administration, be able to work in a fast-paced environment, balance a variety of responsibilities, and lead a team of 3-4 election staff. The Office of the Secretary of State team is made up of over 30 staff members who work diligently to support elections and ease of business in North Dakota. The Election Director will work closely with the Secretary of State leadership team to guide strategy for the agency and direct election administration and processes. The position will be responsible for implementing election best practices and training for the State of North Dakota, working closely with North Dakota’s 53 counties, to ensure uniform election procedures and processes. This position also leads voter education and awareness efforts to inform North Dakota voters about voting rights and processes. Hiring Salary: $6,400 – $8,100 per month. Application: For the complete job listing and to apply, click here.
System Administrator, Sarasota County, Florida— The Systems Administrator is an Information Technology professional responsible for the coordination, implementation, planning, investigating and serving as the liaison for all facets of data processing, to include any election related tasks. Salary: $40,996 – $87,630. Application: For the complete job listing and to apply, click here.
Systems Integration Specialist, Oregon Secretary of State’s Office— In this position you will serve as the system integration expert and ensure that the new Oregon voter registration system (Oregon Votes) properly interacts with hardware and software systems used by the Agency and counties. This is accomplished in part by, but not limited to: Integration, system support, reporting, and analysis and policy recommendation. Application: For the complete job listing and to apply, click here.
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