In Focus This Week
Election Trust Initiative launches
Grantmaking organization is partnership of 4 nonprofit foundations
By M. Mindy Moretti
Philanthropy and nonprofit organizations have played a crucial role in an area that is often overlooked in the election ecosystem: that of research and development.
And now four nonprofit foundations are joining forces as The Election Trust Initiative to provide funding to “strengthen the nonpartisan evidence, organizations, and systems that help local and state officials operate secure, transparent, accurate and convenient elections.”
The Election Initiative Trust is a nonpartisan grant-making subsidiary of The Pew Charitable Trusts with founding partners that include The Klarman Family Foundation, the Peter G. Peterson Foundation and the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation. Each partner has made an initial five-year $25 million commitment.
“The Initiative is a grant-making organization that is a partnership across four nonprofit foundations that have come together around a shared, long-time commitment to strengthen the field that supports election administration in the United States,” explained Ashley Quarcoo, executive director of the Initiative.
Quarcoo noted that the elections field is under a lot of stress right now and has endured unprecedented pressures in recent years. She noted that elections officials have had to move mountains to deliver elections under extraordinary conditions.
“We think that there is an important role philanthropy can play to support nonpartisan organizations that are supporting the elections community in their work,” Quarcoo said.
Given the current environment surrounding private funding for elections, Quarcoo stressed that no grants are made to state or local elections offices or officials.
In advance of launching the Initiative, Quarcoo said the foundation partners have been doing a lot of listening to the field, a lot of engagement with officials, policymakers and nonprofits that lead them to learn what are the needs in the field and where the Initiative may add value.
Some of those areas are around strengthening and supporting the workforce, building the research, helping to support the dissemination of best practices and strengthening the peer-to-peer networks to find resources.
Grants are offered by invitation only and so far some of the organizations the Initiative have supported include: The Election Integrity Partnership, The Elections Group, MIT’s Election Data and Science Lab, The National Association for Media Literacy Education, The National Conference of State Legislatures and the R Street Institute.
“Now more than ever it is important that election professionals are supported. We need to establish steady funding streams for the actual conduct of elections–but just as important is the support necessary to build out research, to provide tools to increase efficiencies and efficacy, to keep the field current with training and information,” said Tammy Patrick, chief executive officer for Programs, The Election Center. “This is where philanthropy shines. Until and unless all levels of government decide to fully fund our elections and the professionals doing the job, we will remain reliant on other support. Thankfully, there are organizations and individuals who are stepping forward, stepping up.”
Editor’s Note: Electionline.org is a current project of The Election Center and a past project of The Pew Charitable Trusts. Electionline has also received funding from the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation.
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Election News This Week
Past Their Capacity: An independent report on what happened in Maricopa County, Arizona during the November 2022 election concluded that ballot printers were not able to handle the thickness and length of the county’s ballots which caused the printers to fail at vote centers across the county. “The combined effect of the heavy paper, longer ballot, and intermittent burst of print demand pushed the printers to perform at the very edge of or past their capability,” retired Arizona Supreme Court Justice Ruth McGregor, hired by the county to conduct the review, wrote in her report. In the report, McGregor recommended that the county either replace some of its printers or make other changes, such as changing the ballot paper thickness or changing and increasing testing. According to Votebeat, McGregor briefed the supervisors in an executive session just prior to the report’s release. In an initial response to the report, County Supervisors Chairman Clint Hickman said the county should replace its equipment. “We’ll make changes to best serve voters, starting with replacing some equipment,” he wrote in a news release. McGregor found that it was the factors combined for the first time — the county switching from 80 to 100-pound paper between the 2020 and 2022 elections, and then switching from 19 to 20 inch ballots between the 2022 primary and general elections — that caused the problems on Election Day. McGregor also found that the county’s testing was not robust enough to catch the problem, which didn’t show up during early voting because the county doesn’t tabulate ballots on-site during early voting.
More Equipment News: New voting equipment is the horizon for voters in a number of locations including Shasta County, California. The county board of supervisors voted unanimously to allow the clerk’s office to move forward with negotiations and an agreement with Hart InterCivic for new equipment and services. Even though the county will move to hand counting, state and federal law and the secretary of state have indicated all counties must have some equipment to scan and serialize each ballot and equipment to print ballots. “This is essentially inventing a new way of counting ballots kind of from the ground up,” Shasta County Clerk Cathy Darling Allen said. “We have a lot of help. The secretary of state is working very diligently on draft regulations which will go through the regulatory process.” Three different vote-counting machines were tested during last month’s local elections in New Hampshire and all handled the complicated town meeting ballots just fine, according to reports from election workers. More tests are set during May elections as the state decides how to replace its aging AccuVote machines. Bergen County, New Jersey will borrow $15 million to replace its 30-year-old voting machines in time for the June 6 primary election. The Bergen County Board of County Commissioners approved a bond ordinance that will pay for 1,200 ballot marking devices and 650 tabulators from Dominion. Georgia legislators approved half the money needed to replace heavy voting equipment across the state, along with additional funding for a quicker voter check-in process and election investigators. The most expensive elections purchase in the state budget was $2 million for new power supply devices that connect to voting machines in precincts across the state. The Richmond, Virginia electoral board recently supported the purchase of new equipment which General Registrar Keith Balmer likened to upgrading your PlayStation. “What that means is that this machine is faster. It means that it will process the ballots faster and that we will be able to report our results faster, so that’s going to be very exciting,” Balmer said.
Staffing Issues: Issues around staffing continue to plague elections offices in parts of the country. NBC News has an in-depth look at what happened in Buckingham County, Virginia that left the elections office without any staff, the electoral board with only two current members and residents on both sides of the aisle expressing frustrations with the county’s ability to conduct upcoming elections. Ongoing concerns about the staffing of the elections office in Cascade County, Montana has concerned citizens forming an Election Protection Committee. “We’re a citizen group that is devoted to monitoring the continued actions of Sandra Merchant. At this point I think we know it’s a dire threat to our democracy,” Jasmine Taylor, a member of the Election Protection Committee said. And changes to elections laws have forced Wareham, Massachusetts Town Clerk Michele Bissonnette to step down. Bissonnette told the local CBS affiliate that she doesn’t have enough funding or staff to effectively execute the new VOTES Act. “I’ve always loved this job as town clerk, and lately, because of the changes and with the unfunded mandates they’re making, I don’t enjoy this job anymore, and when your elevator reaches your top floor, get off,” said Bissonnette.
Youth Voter Turnout: CIRCLE recently released its final estimates of youth voter turnout nationally and for 39 states in 2022. These estimates are based on voter file data aggregated by Catalist, as opposed to our earlier, exit-poll based estimates from immediately after the 2022 election. Our key data and findings:
- National Youth Turnout: 23% – That’s lower than in the historic 2018 cycle (28%) which broke records for turnout, but much higher than in 2014, when only 13% of youth voted.
- Top Turnout States: Michigan had the highest youth turnout in the country (37%), with Minnesota, Maine, Oregon, and Colorado also above 30%.
- Lowest Turnout States: Oklahoma, Alabama, Indiana, West Virginia, and Tennessee all had youth turnout at or below 15%.
- Election Policies Matter: Many of the states with the highest youth turnout have policies like automatic and same-day registration that make it easier for young people to register and vote. Many of the states with lower turnout do not have these policies in place or have restrictions like voter ID laws.
- Four States Surpassed 2018: Michigan, Pennsylvania, New York, and Arkansas were the only states to have a higher youth turnout in 2022 than in 2018. In those first three states, Democrats won competitive statewide races for governor and/or U.S. Senate.
- Upward Trend Since 2014: All but one state for which we have data (Louisiana) had higher youth turnout in 2022 than in 2014, suggesting a broad trend of increased youth voting over the past decade.
Personnel News: Devin Rhoads has been hired to serve as Snyder County, Pennsylvania’s director of elections. Travis Alexander is the new Richland County, South Carolina board of elections director. Missouri Secretary of State Jay Ashcroft has officially announced his candidacy for governor. Laura Kent Donahue was reappointed to the Illinois State Board of Elections. Shirley Schult is retiring as the Billerica, Massachusetts clerk after 50 years on the job. Melissa Thurman is the new Los Altos, California city clerk. Louisiana Secretary of State Kyle Ardoin has announced that he will not seek re-election. Longtime Muskegon County, Michigan Clerk Nancy Waters has submitted her resignation. Louisiana House Speaker Clay Schexnayder said Wednesday that he will run for secretary of state.
In Memoriam: Vera Craig, Florida’s oldest poll worker, has died. She was 101. According to the Naples News, the retired Sarasota school principal’s secretary started working the polls for Lee County Elections in 2002. “There was a need for it, and I was available,” she told The News-Press in April 2022. “It’s something that I enjoy doing.” From that point on, Craig worked every single election at the Lee County Elections Office in Fort Myers — or wherever else they needed her — even during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic. She usually served as a precinct deputy greeting people at the door outside the polling room, but she also checked voter registration and helped people with voting machines. “I’ve done everything,” Craig said last year. “I really have.” In an emailed statement, Lee County election supervisor Tommy Doyle said he and his staff were saddened to hear about Craig’s death. “She was our county’s and the state’s oldest poll worker at 101,” Doyle said. “Vera brought positive energy and a joyful disposition to every election. She will be greatly missed by all of us at Lee Elections.” Doyle said he emailed every elections supervisor in the state to confirm Craig’s unique status in Florida. He couldn’t find any poll worker who was 100 — Craig’s age at the time — or older. “They said they had voters that were 100,” he said, “but no poll workers.” Craig last worked an election in August 2022 for the Lee County primaries, according to Gaby Aguirre, a communications specialist for the Lee County Elections Office.
Arizona: Gov. Katie Hobbs (D) has vetoed three elections-related bills. The bills include HB2415 would have removed voters from the Active Early Voting List if they fail to cast a ballot for a single election cycle, cutting the timeframe in half. Hobbs also vetoed HB2322, which sought to regulate signature verification for early ballots, and SB1074, which addressed tabulation equipment. Majority Republicans passed two of the vetoed election bills with party-line votes, but the signature verification bill picked up 16 Democratic votes in the House.
Hobbs also vetoed a bill that would have banned ranked choice voting. House Bill 2552 sought to outlaw ranked-choice voting in Arizona, despite the fact that it isn’t used anywhere in the Grand Canyon State. The measure was a priority for the legislature’s far-right Arizona Freedom Caucus, whose members oppose an effort by voter organizations to put the voting style on the 2024 ballot. Critics accused lawmakers of attempting to preserve the current highly partisan voting environment they succeed in by tying the hands of Arizonans who might, in the future, seek to experiment with different voting methods. In her veto letter, Hobbs pointed out that ranked-choice is used successfully in other states, and called the bill an unnecessary effort, given that it doesn’t yet exist in Arizona. But the voting method may yet be banned in Arizona: Republican lawmakers have already approved legislation amending the state constitution to bar any attempt to implement ranked-choice voting anywhere in the state, even at the local level. Voters will decide the measure’s fate in 2024.
Colorado: Lawmakers are looking to improve automatic voter registration on tribal lands and require faster upload of ballot cure data, among other provisions, in an election-related measure introduced at the Colorado Legislature. Senate Bill 23-276 was drafted in coordination with stakeholders including the secretary of state’s office and county clerks. One provision of the bill would work to improve voter access on tribal lands by expanding the state’s automatic voter registration system to include lists provided by tribal councils. It would be the first program of its type in the country. Right now, eligible voters are automatically registered to vote when they interact with the DMV. Additionally, there would be more places to vote in person on tribal lands, both before and on Election Day. “We have, I would say, one of the best election systems in the country. It’s proven to be very accessible. It’s proven to be very secure. But obviously we can always make improvements, and so just about every year I introduce a bill to make those small improvements,” Senate President Steve Fenberg, a Boulder Democrat, told reporters. In the 2022 general election, there were 688 active voters living on Southern Ute tribal land in La Plata County and 1,162 active voters living on Ute Mountain Ute tribal land in Montezuma County, according to the secretary of state’s office. The bill also aims to increase access for other potentially underrepresented voters by increasing the number of drop boxes and voting centers on college campuses.
Indiana: Lawmakers gave final approval to a Republican-backed proposal that would require voters to submit more identification information to obtain mail-in ballots, rejecting arguments that the tougher rules would make voting more difficult for many people. Indiana House members voted 64-30 along party lines in favor of the bill previously endorsed by the Senate. The vote sends the bill to Republican Gov. Eric Holcomb for his consideration. The bill which would require Indiana voters submitting a paper application for a mail ballot to include a photocopy of a government-issued identification card or at least two ID numbers, such as their 10-digit driver’s license or the last four digits of their Social Security number. The changes would take effect July 1 and be required for mail-in ballots cast in this fall’s city and town elections around the state. Democratic Rep. Tonya Pfaff of Terre Haute said she believed it was “unnecessary to make it more difficult” for older voters and those in the military to cast ballots by mail. “It won’t make elections safer and only serves to hamper democracy,” Pfaff said.
Maine: Rep. John Andrews is proposing two companion bills: LD 696 and LD 1307. These bills would make the attorney general, secretary of state, state treasurer, and state auditor an elected office, like the governor, in Maine. Andrews said it would provide more accountability for people in those positions of power. Maine is the only state whose Legislature elects its attorney general and treasurer, and only one of three states that elect the secretary of state in the same way. Emily Cook is the communications director for Maine Secretary of State Shenna Bellows and said the secretary of state’s office is not taking a position on this bill. “If the Legislature chooses to make that change, our elections division stands ready to run an election. We’re pretty good at that,” Cook said.
Maryland: Maryland will begin processing mail-in ballots during elections eight business days before the start of early voting, though some smaller jurisdictions can get a waiver. The state’s primary will be moved from April to the second Tuesday in May in 2024.
The Senate voted on a major piece of gun legislation that now heads to the desk of Gov. Wes Moore (D) for his signature. The 31-16 vote on Senate Bill 1, if signed into law, would prohibit the open carry of guns in Maryland and restrict where firearms can be carried to prohibit specific locations such as preschools, stadiums, government buildings and polling places. The bill included several amendments added in the House of Delegates. One amendment approved Monday clarifies that those exempted from the wear and carry permit law includes security guards, correctional officers and employees of an armored car company.
Massachusetts: Lawmakers heard a bill that would restore voting rights to those currently incarcerated on felony charges. Advocates before the Election Law Committee argued that restoring voting rights to those serving time for felony convictions would be an extension of criminal justice reform. Senator Liz Miranda and Representative Erika Uyterhoeven are the lawmakers behind the bill. The constitutional amendment which took away voting rights to those serving time for felony convictions was added 23 years ago after a statewide ballot question was approved.
Minnesota: A bill making it a misdemeanor to knowingly spread false information with the intent to impede or prevent people from voting is likely to face a legal challenge if it becomes law. The provision is part of a large elections bill, the Democracy for the People Act, (HF3/SF3), moving through the Legislature to strengthen and protect voting rights. The bill enacts automatic voter registration; allows 16- and 17-year-olds to pre-register to vote and protects voters, election officials and volunteers from intimidation and harassment. But the provision that James V. F. Dickey has in his sights would make it a gross misdemeanor — punishable by up to a year in jail and a $3,000 fine — to intentionally spread false information within 60 days of an election about the “time, place or manner of holding an election,” restrictions on voter eligibility and threats to physical safety associated with voting. “I can almost guarantee that there will be a challenge to it,” said Dickey, senior trial and appellate counsel at the Upper Midwest Law Center, a conservative public interest law firm. “There’s been a lot of talk about why it’s not a good idea from a constitutional perspective.” Rep. Emma Greenman, DFL-Minneapolis, a national voting rights attorney and chief author of the bill, said the provision would protect voters from intimidation, harassment and anything that would hinder them from voting.
Montana: A bill to extend legal protections to election workers if they are obstructed from doing their jobs narrowly passed the House, after several Republican lawmakers took to the mic to allege recent misdeeds by those officials. Senate Bill 61 clarifies the definitions of “election official” and “election worker” in Montana law to ensure that election administrators, judges and workers are included in the section of law that deals with obstruction of public officials. It would also include election workers in a law that currently prohibits election officials from tampering with voting materials or looking at voters’ ballots. Over the past two years, local election workers in Montana have reported a spike in harassment and threats that mirrored an uptick in similar activities reported elsewhere in the country. The previous Commissioner of Political Practices, Jeff Mangan, had pushed for the legislation after his office received calls from local election officials reporting incidents of harassment after the 2020 election. The bill passed 57-43, with Democrats and less than half the GOP representatives in support. It needs to withstand a final vote in the House before transmitting to the governor’s desk for his approval.
Nebraska: Senators say LB 535, introduced by Sen Julie Slama of Dunbar, will serve as the way to implement voter ID into law. “Voter ID is just common sense,” Slama said. “We see in 35 other states just how simple it is to implement this commonsense election security measure, to prove you are who you say you are before you undertake the most important duty you can as a United States citizen.” The revised bill does not include previously proposed requirements to have a notary sign mail-in ballots or restrictions on who could vote by mail. Instead, it allows any witness to verify a voter’s identity. That means caregivers, significant others, volunteers or even friends could help you to vote by viewing your ID and giving their signature. The Government, Military and Veterans Affairs Committee will be meeting within the next few weeks to settle the language of the bill. Sen. Danielle Conrad of Lincoln, a member of the committee, said she’s encouraged by the other senators’ willingness to accept criticism about earlier proposals. She said they’re working on creating a final version of the bill that is more acceptable to everyone to increase the chances of getting it passed.
Nevada: Lawmakers heard more than five hours of at times contentious testimony on a trio of bills related to firearms last week. The joint meeting of the Assembly and Senate Judiciary Committees opened with testimony from Sen. Sandra Jauregui, D-Las Vegas, who recounted her experience surviving the Oct. 1, 2017, mass shooting that left 60 people dead. Assembly Bill 354, which would prohibit a person from possessing a firearm within 100 yards of an entrance to an election site. Exceptions under the proposed legislation include law enforcement officers while exercising their official duties and a private security guard hired by the owner of the property where the election site is located. The bill also aims to clarify provisions of a bill passed during the 2021 legislative session. Assembly Bill 286 bans the sale and possession of firearms that lack serial numbers, and the current bill would revise the definition of “unfinished frame or receiver” referenced in the law. Sen. Jeff Stone, R-Henderson, and other groups raised concerns about whether voting locations would become targets for those wishing to perpetrate violence because the locations would be gun free zones. Other groups raised concerns about those who may accidentally enter a polling place located in a public place, like a grocery store, while in possession of a firearm. Jauregui said an amendment to the bill is currently in the works which would mandate signage for polling places to prevent individuals from accidentally walking into polling places with a firearm.
Senators voted to advance Senate Bill 60 out of the committee on a vote of 4-1. Although the bill would originally have extended the time to count mail-in ballots to nine days after Election Day, up from the current seven, that provision was amended out of the legislation.
Senate Bill 215, which advanced out of the committee on a vote of 3-2, would require any local government that accepted state money to buy voting machines to return those funds if the jurisdiction decides not to use those machines and instead conduct an election by paper ballot.
AB242, which comes from the Joint Interim Standing Committee on Legislative Operations and Elections, would prohibit the use of paper ballots for in-person voting, instead requiring the use of voting machines for in-person voting. Voting machines used in Nevada include the Dominion electronic voting machines used in 15 counties, including Clark and Washoe counties, and mechanical ballot marking devices used in Carson City and Lander County.
Senate Bill 406 would make it a felony for anyone to threaten, intimidate, coerce and use violence against an election official. It would also make it a felony to share personal information about an election worker without their consent. In addition, the bill would also expand the election employees allowed to request their personal records, as well as their families be kept confidential through the Department of Motor Vehicles. The bill was heard in the Committee on Legislative Operations and Elections Tuesday, but no action has since been taken.
New Hampshire: Cities and towns could qualify to use some of the $12 million federal Help America Vote Act grant surplus to replace aging voting machines under a move a House Republican leader is backing — reviving a proposal supported by leading House and Senate Democrats. House Election Laws Committee Chairman Ross Berry, R-Merrimack, proposed Tuesday to graft this proposal onto a Senate-passed bill (SB 70) to create a voter information portal that would permit citizens online to more easily register to vote, update their information or request absentee ballots. The state Senate earlier killed separate legislation (SB 73) to permit the use of Help America Vote Act (HAVA) money for voting machines while Berry’s House committee decided to retain its own legislation on the topic (HB 447) until early in 2024. Berry said he was hoping his gambit could permit both these ideas to become a reality. Senate Election Laws and Municipal Affairs Committee Chairman James Gray, R-Rochester, said the Senate remains dead-set against using HAVA grants so communities could replace their AccuVote machines, the only technology allowed for cities and towns that don’t have paper balloting.
North Dakota: Gov. Doug Burgum vetoed a bill passed by both houses of the North Dakota Legislature to ban approval voting throughout the state. Calling House Bill 1273 an “egregious example of state overreach” that “blatantly infringes on local control,” Burgum wrote in a veto letter that none of the dozen legislative sponsors were from Fargo — the only city in the state that uses approval voting — and that home rule charter regarding voting methods is clearly outlined by law in North Dakota Century Code. The legislation sponsored by Rep. Ben Koppelman, R-West Fargo, would prohibit ranked-choice and approval voting systems throughout North Dakota. An amendment to the bill to grandfather Fargo’s approval voting system failed in the House. Approval voting allows voters to select as many candidates for an office as they like. The Senate passed the bill in a 33-13 vote last week, while the House approved the legislation with a 74-19 vote in February. Both margins clear the two-thirds majority threshold that lawmakers would need to replicate to override Burgum’s veto. “Home rule authority applies only to local elections,” he wrote, adding legislators were demonstrating a lack of respect for local control. The House voted to override the governor’s veto. The override needs a two-thirds vote in each chamber. The House vote was 71 to 17. The state Senate will also take up the veto.
Oregon: A bill that would increase penalties for election worker harassment advanced through the Oregon Senate. Senate Bill 166 (SB 166), was submitted at the request of Secretary of State Shemia Fagan and outlines new guidelines for prosecution. Currently, harassment against election workers is classified as a Class A misdemeanor. SB 166 would make it a Class C felony with a sentence of up to five years behind bars, a fine of $125,000 or both. Election workers in Oregon, including those in Lane County, signed their support of the bill, saying in a written statement, “Election workers across the country have increasingly been subjected to harassment and other hostile behavior… the Oregon Association of County Clerks supports the goals and objectives of the Secretary of State with regard to election worker safety and ballot security.” SB 166 was introduced on the House Floor for a first reading on April 6.
Pennsylvania: State Rep. Scott Conklin (D-Centre County) announced the reintroduction of his ballot pre-canvassing legislation, House Bill 847, which would allow ballots to be pre-canvassed up to seven days before elections. Current Pennsylvania law dictates that absentee and mail-in ballots cannot be pre-canvassed until 7 a.m. on Election Day. “With more and more people voting by mail-in ballot, tabulating ballots and releasing election results is taking county boards of elections much longer,” Conklin said. “In House State Government Committee hearings we heard from numerous experts, including county election officials from both parties, who testified that our state should allow counties to pre-canvass mail and absentee ballots much earlier than the morning of the election.” There has been bipartisan support for the legislation across the Commonwealth. House Bill 847 also plans to increase election security before Election Day, increase transparency for viewing the pre-canvass and actual canvass of ballots, and notify anyone with minor defects to ballots so they can be corrected before Election Day.
Texas: A proposed House Bill would make student identification cards an accepted form of voter ID, which advocates say would make voting more accessible to students. House Bill 75, currently facing discussion in the Elections Committee, would add student IDs issued from a Texas public institution to the list of accepted voter IDs, like a Texas driver’s license.
Federal Litigation: Judge Eric Davis imposed a sanction against Fox News after it made “misrepresentations” to the court and potentially withheld evidence. Davis said during a pretrial hearing that Fox News would have to pay for any last-minute additional depositions that Dominion would need to do before the case is set to head to trial next week. Dominion did not immediately make clear if any such depositions were needed. “If there is a deposition that needs to be done, it will be done,” Judge Eric Davis said. “Fox will do everything it needs to make the person available, and it will be at the cost of Fox.” The judge said he would “most likely” appoint a special master to “do an investigation” into whether representations by Fox made to the court as part of the case were “untrue or negligent” — including a certification it had made in December that it had essentially completed its discovery process in accordance with the case. The special master was already involved in the case to oversee the discovery process, but the new investigation will determine “what sanctions could be implemented” against Fox, the judge said — a significant development on the eve of trial. “This is very serious,” Davis said of the issue.
Alabama: Voter fraud charges against Perry County Commission Chairman Albert Turner Jr. have been dismissed. Turner was indicted earlier this year on charges of voting more than once, which is a misdemeanor, and harvesting ballots, a felony. Fourth Judicial Circuit Judge Marvin Wiggins dismissed charges on April 6 following a request by state prosecutors, court records show. The charges were initially brought by former District Attorney Michael Jackson, who lost his reelection bid to Turner’s cousin. Turner was accused of “stuffing” ballot boxes at a Perry County polling place in the May 2022 Democratic primary. He was also accused of mailing a large number of absentee ballots in November’s general election. Turner’s parents were unsuccessfully prosecuted for voter fraud by then-U.S. Attorney Jeff Sessions in the 1985. He was first appointed to the commission in 2000 to serve the remainder of his father’s fourth term of office after his death. He has since won multiple re-elections.
Arizona: Pima County Superior Court Judge Casey McGinley has ruled that Cochise County supervisors who delayed certification of the November midterms will have to pay more than $36,000 in legal fees. Last year, Republican county supervisors Tom Crosby and Peggy Judd initially refused to certify the canvass of the countywide election results, jeopardizing the state certification process and risking the votes of thousands. To defend their refusal, the two cited bogus allegations that the county’s electronic tabulators weren’t properly certified. Both the secretary of state and the Arizona Alliance for Retired Americans, which joined the lawsuit against Crosby and Judd, filed to request reimbursement of their attorneys fees and court costs. McGinley approved part of that request. Secretary of State Adrian Fontes was awarded $13,143, despite petitioning for more than $17,000. The Alliance, which originally filed for more than $34,000 was awarded just over $23,000. McGinley rejected arguments from Crosby and Judd that election lawsuits shouldn’t be subject to attorney fee repayments, and that taxpayers should bear the brunt of the cost, calling their arguments “unavailing.”
The Attorney General filed a motion for a preliminary injunction on the agreement the Cochise County Board of Supervisors approved with their County Recorder in February to make the recorder the interim elections director. The filed motion by Arizona’s head attorney claims that the board’s agreement with its county recorder “has no statutory basis and threatens the right of Cochise County residents to have their elections conducted lawfully and transparently.” “The State has brought this action to prevent and redress those harms,” the motion read. “But the Court cannot un-ring the bell for the County’s voters once Defendants begin implementing the Agreement and exercising (or abdicating) authority thereunder in connection with the upcoming special election … the State respectfully asks the Court to preliminarily enjoin Defendants from implementing the Agreement.” The special election is set to occur on May 16. If granted, the injunction would prevent the board from implementing the agreement to make the Recorder the interim elections director until a final resolution is reached in court.
Colorado: Former Mesa County Clerk Tina Peters was sentenced to public service this week after she was found guilty last month in an obstruction case. Peters was sentenced to 120 hours of public service for recording a separate court proceeding on an iPad. The judge also sentenced her to four months of home detention with electronic monitoring and ordered her to pay $786.35 in restitution. Her attorney, Harvey Steinberg, said Monday that he planned to appeal the entire case. When officers tried to take possession of that iPad at a shop in Grand Junction, she refused to hand it over.
A jury convicted 52-year-old Kirk Wertz of retaliating against an elected official for threatening Colorado Secretary of State Jena Griswold in a phone call to the Democrat’s office. Wertz told Colorado State Patrol troopers investigating the threat that he called the Elections Division of the Colorado Secretary of State’s Office on June 30, two days after the 2022 primary, and told a worker to “tell the secretary that the angel of death is coming for her in the name of Jesus Christ.” District Court Judge Darryl Shockley will sentence Wertz on Monday. Retaliation against an elected official is a Class 6 felony, punishable by up to four years in prison and/or a fine of $100,000. Wertz has been held in the Denver Downtown Detention Center since July 6 on a $2,000 bond, jail records show. At one point, a mental health stay was instituted in the case and later lifted, court records indicate.
Maine: Maine’s Supreme Court has ruled the Secretary of State’s office must re-word a ballot initiative. The 4-1 ruling issued by the Supreme Court is in answer to an appeal of a lower, Superior Court decision over how a citizen initiative should be worded. The initiative would replace Central Maine Power and Versant with a “consumer-owned” power company, Pine Tree Power. In the ruling, the state Supreme Court’s ruling stated the wording was not “understandable to a reasonable voter reading the question for the first time.” When reached for comment, Maine Secretary of State Shenna Bellows’ office said they were still reviewing the decision, but “respect the court’s direction.”
New Jersey: The mailing of vote-by-mail ballots in Morris County could be delayed for at least a week as a slow-moving judge mulls a lawsuit by a candidate for county clerk who was tossed off the ballot. Assignment Judge Stuart Minkowitz set an April 28 hearing date today to decide if Andrew Agliata can be on the ballot as a candidate for county clerk in the GOP primary. Nominating petitions filed by Agliata and his running mate, county commissioner candidate Robert Snyder, were rejected because of issues related to their circulators. Minkowitz set a briefing schedule that ends on April 24, four days before the April 28th hearing. County clerks are required to commence the mailing of vote-by-mail ballots on April 22. The sluggishness of Minkowitz’s schedule stands in sharp contrast to the efficiencies of state administrative law judges who heard legislative petition challenges this year within one business day and then made quick rulings. “I am appealing the decision made by the Morris County Clerk’s office in regards to three objections made against my petition to run for Morris County Clerk on the grounds that the decision was not impartial,” Agliata said in his court filing. Citing the delays, this week Agliata dropped his bid for the clerk’s position.
North Dakota: U.S. District Judge Peter Welte shot down the North Dakota secretary of state’s attempt for summary judgment in a case regarding the redrawing of legislative districts involving two Indian tribes. This case arises from whether certain redistricting changes violated Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act. Welte ruled that defendant Michael Howe, the secretary of state in North Dakota, failed to prove his argument under existing case law. The state constitution requires that district boundaries be redrawn after the census. After the government released its 2020 census, a special session of the North Dakota Legislative Assembly was convened to start the redistricting process. It passed House Bill 1504, and it was signed by Governor Doug Burgum on Nov. 11, 2021. Welte based much of his ruling on Thornburg v. Gingles, the United States Supreme Court case. It identified three preconditions, also known as the Gingles factors, that must be initially satisfied to proceed with a Section 2 voter dilution claim.
Virginia: A discretionary process being used by Virginia Gov. Glenn Youngkin to decide which felons can get their voting rights back is unconstitutional and could lead to decisions based on an applicant’s political affiliations or views, a lawsuit filed Thursday argued. Youngkin’s administration recently confirmed it had shifted away from an at least partly automatic rights restoration system used by his predecessors. The current process conditions the right to vote “on the exercise of unfettered official discretion and arbitrary decision-making,” in violation of the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, the lawsuit argued. “Officials with absolute authority to selectively enfranchise U.S. citizens with felony convictions may grant or deny voting rights restoration applications for pretextual reasons or no reason, while secretly basing their decision on information — or informed speculation — on the applicant’s political affiliations or views,” says the lawsuit, filed in federal court in Richmond. The lawsuit was filed by the Washington-based Fair Elections Center on behalf of Gregory Williams, a convicted felon who has completed his sentence and has a restoration application pending, and Nolef Turns, a Richmond-based nonprofit that advocates for people with felony convictions.
Opinions This Week
National Opinions: Fox News, II | Voting age | 14th Amendment
Arizona: Ranked choice voting
California: Shasta County
Florida: Election legislation
Indiana: Election legislation | Voter obstacles
Iowa: List maintenance
Massachusetts: Vote by mail
Montana: Top-two primary
North Dakota: Election legislation
Ohio: Youth vote
Pennsylvania: Ballot curing
Texas: Online voter registration | Campus polling places
Virginia: Ex-felon voter registration | Buckingham County
U.S. Election Assistance Commission Standards Board Annual Meeting: This meeting is in-person and open to the public. This meeting is to conduct an annual review the VVSG 2.0 Requirements and implementation, review the status of the EAC’s e-poll book pilot program, discuss ongoing EAC programs, and address election official security and mental health concerns. This meeting will include a question and answer discussion between board members and EAC staff. Board members will also review FACA Board membership guidelines and policies with EAC Acting General Counsel and receive a general update about the EAC programing. The Board will also elect nine members to the Executive Board Committee. Background: On February 10, 2021 the U.S. Election Assistance Commission (EAC) announced the adoption of the Voluntary Voting System Guidelines (VVSG) 2.0, the fifth iteration of national level voting system standards. The Federal Election Commission published the first two sets of federal standards in 1990 and 2002. The EAC then adopted Version 1.0 of the VVSG on December 13, 2005. In an effort to update and improve version 1.0 of the VVSG, on March 31, 2015, the EAC commissioners unanimously approved VVSG 1.1. HAVA designates a 110-member Standards Board to assist EAC in carrying out its mandates under the law. The board consists of 55 state election officials selected by their respective chief state election official, and 55 local election officials selected through a process supervised by the chief state election official. When: April 18-19. Where: Phoenix, AZ.
Disinformation Nation: How Partisan Politicians Distort History: Misinformation is on the rise. From cable news to social media, we’re very aware that what we’re hearing or reading could be wrong. And it seems our skepticism of the right’s version of current events should extend to our history as well. A new book, Myth America: Historians Take On the Biggest Legends and Lies About Our Past, dispels many of the myths being pushed about our country’s past. In a collection of 20 essays from top historians, edited by Kevin Kruse and Julian Zelizer, this important text shows how those on the right have used revisionist history to fan the flames of politicization and unravel the seams of democracy. Join us for a live virtual conversation on Thursday, April 20, at 6 p.m. ET with historians featured in the book, Yale University law and political science professor Akhil Reed Amar, Emory University African American Studies professor Carol Anderson, and Northwestern University associate professor Kathleen Belew, as well as editors and Princeton professors Kevin Kruse and Julian Zelizer. Where: Online. When: April 20 at 6 pm Eastern.
2023 EAC Board of Advisors Annual Meeting: This meeting is to conduct an annual review the VVSG 2.0 Requirements and implementation, review the status of the EAC’s e-poll book pilot program, discuss ongoing EAC programs, and address election official security and mental health concerns. This meeting will include a question and answer discussion between board members and EAC staff. Board members will also review FACA Board membership guidelines and policies with EAC Acting General Counsel and receive a general update about the EAC programing. The Board will also elect three members to Executive Officer positions and consider amendments to the Bylaws. Background: On February 10, 2021 the U.S. Election Assistance Commission (EAC) announced the adoption of the Voluntary Voting System Guidelines (VVSG) 2.0, the fifth iteration of national level voting system standards. The Federal Election Commission published the first two sets of federal standards in 1990 and 2002. The EAC then adopted Version 1.0 of the VVSG on December 13, 2005. In an effort to update and improve version 1.0 of the VVSG, on March 31, 2015, the EAC commissioners unanimously approved VVSG 1.1. Where: Washington, DC. When: April 25-26.
U.S. Election Assistance Commission Public Meeting: Please join the U.S. Election Assistance Commission (EAC) for a public discussion about serving military and UOCAVA voters. Where: Online. When: April 26 at 1pm Eastern.
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
State Certification Testing of Election Systems National Conference: This year’s State Certification Testing of Election Systems National Conference (SCTESNC), hosted by Pro V&V, Inc., will be held at Huntsville Marriott at the U.S. Space and Rocket Center. The purpose of the conference is to share ideas and solutions for ensuring voting and election system reliability, transparency, and integrity through better testing of systems. The 2023 conference will feature a panel discussion on risk-limiting audits by leading national experts in the field. The primary goal of the conference is to provide a venue for practitioners and academics to share best practices for voting system testing and management, to explore more efficient and effective methods for testing and implementing voting and election systems, and to identify common challenges and potential mitigation to those challenges. Additionally, the conference is meant to be a vehicle to improve the flow of information between the federal, state, county, and municipality testing entities. This is a working conference with expectations that all attendees prepare a paper, presentation, panel discussion, or other activity to share ideas and innovations in the testing of voting and election systems. First-time attendees may waive the paper presentation requirements. This year, in lieu of an overarching theme, the conference organizers invite those attending to submit proposed topic presentations on any issue of importance related to the certification and testing of election systems. Attendance is open for all individuals engaged in the testing and certification of voting and election systems for government jurisdictions. When: June 12-13. Where: Huntsville, Alabama
NASS 2023 Summer Conference: The National Association of Secretaries of State will hold its summer conference in Washington, D.C. Registration will be open in May. Check back for more details. When: July 9-12. Where: Washington, DC.
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.
Election Center National Conference: The National Association of Election Officials (The Election Center) will hold its 38th Annual Conference in Orlando, Florida in late August. In addition to the conference, CERA courses and renewal courses will be offered. Check back for more information. When: Aug. 26-30. Where: Orlando, Florida
Job Postings This Week
electionlineWeekly publishes election administration job postings each week as a free service to our readers. To have your job listed in the newsletter, please send a copy of the job description, including a web link to firstname.lastname@example.org. Job postings must be received by 5pm on Wednesday in order to appear in the Thursday newsletter. Listings will run for three weeks or till the deadline listed in the posting.
Administrative Specialist III (Elections Specialist Scan Lead), King County Elections— The Department of Elections is searching for an energetic and resourceful professional who likes to get stuff done. The Administrative Specialist III in the Elections Department combines an exciting 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. This position will lead processes, projects, and people within the Scan work area of Ballot Processing. This will include leading, coaching, mentoring, and training temporary and regular staff. Leads may also provide assistance and/or participate in long-term cross-training in multiple work areas to meet organizational agile efforts. This is a great opportunity for a person with strong communication and interpersonal skills. King County Elections (KCE) manages voter registration and elections for more than 1.4 million voters in King County and is the largest vote-by-mail county in the United States. KCE’s mission is to conduct accessible, secure, and accurate elections. As a leader in providing inclusive elections, KCE is focused on three key priorities – (1) continue to test and implement a customized approach to engaging voters and support citizens in exercising their democratic rights, (2) follow-up on audit recommendations, including pro-actively assessing and managing risk, and, and (3) define and build a respectful work environment based on professionalism and collaboration. KCE believes that democracy works best when all voices are heard, and proactively work to remove barriers to ensure all voters can meaningfully participate in our elections. Deadline: April 19. Salary: $27.09 – $34.47 Hourly. Application: For the complete job listing and to apply, click here.
Administrative Specialist III (Customer Service Lead), King County Elections— King County’s Department of Elections is searching for an energetic and resourceful Customer Service Lead who likes to get stuff done. This position combines an exciting 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. This position will lead processes, projects, and people within the Customer Service work area of Voter Services. The person who fills this role will lead our team in providing year-round customer service to internal and external customers communicating election program information and explaining election procedures, guidelines and regulations. This is a great opportunity for a customer service-oriented person with strong communication and interpersonal skills. King County Elections (KCE) manages voter registration and elections for more than 1.4 million voters in King County and is the largest vote-by-mail county in the United States. KCE’s mission is to conduct accessible, secure, and accurate elections. As a leader in providing inclusive elections, KCE is focused on three key priorities – (1) continue to test and implement a customized approach to engaging voters and support citizens in exercising their democratic rights, (2) follow-up on audit recommendations, including pro-actively assessing and managing risk, and, and (3) define and build a respectful work environment based on professionalism and collaboration. KCE believes that democracy works best when all voices are heard, and proactively work to remove barriers to ensure all voters can meaningfully participate in our elections. Deadline: April 18. Salary: $27.09 – $34.47 Hourly. Application: For the complete job listing and to apply, click here.
Administrative Specialist II (Elections Specialist – Chinese), King County Elections— This is an amazing opportunity to be engaged in the election process! This benefits-eligible Term-Limited Temporary (TLT) position is anticipated to last until December 2024. A Special Duty Assignment may be considered for King County Career Service employees who have passed their initial probationary period. The Department of Elections – is searching for energetic and resourceful professionals who like to “get stuff done”. The Administrative Specialist II positions in the Voter Services Department combines an exciting, fast-paced environment with the opportunity to cultivate talents and apply a variety of skills. The ideal candidate will have a desire to help ensure the democratic process through public service. They will thrive in an innovative environment and will not hesitate to roll up both sleeves, work hard, have fun, and get the job done. King County Elections (KCE) manages voter registrations and elections for more than 1.4 million voters in King County, the largest vote-by-mail county in the United States. KCE’s mission is to conduct accessible, secure, and accurate elections. As a leader in providing inclusive elections, KCE is focused on three key priorities – (1) actively identifying and working to remove barriers to voting at both the individual and community level, (2) strengthening relationships with community and governmental partners, and (3) creating a culture of professional growth and development, openness and inclusion. Salary: $24.59 – $31.30 Hourly. Application: For the complete job listing and to apply, click here.
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.
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 adjust 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; and Portfolios will be required by all applicants who are selected to move forward in the recruitment process. Salary: $27.10 – $28.10. Application: For the complete 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.
Consultant: Election Expert, Electoral Assessment in Michigan, North Dakota, New Mexico, California, Virginia, Montana, Mississippi, The Carter Center— The Democracy Program at The Carter Center works globally to support democratic elections and strengthen participatory democracy, consistent with human rights. The overarching objective is to enhance democratic governance and increase effective political participation for all, especially groups that have been historically disadvantaged or that face political, cultural, or socioeconomic barriers. This includes women, racial and ethnic minorities, indigenous persons, persons with disabilities, youth, elderly people, and other marginalized groups. This consultant position will support the U.S. Election Project within the Democracy Program including a team of Carter Center staff and consultants, to conduct a short-term assessment of election related issues in Michigan, North Dakota, New Mexico, California, Virginia, Montana, or Mississippi focusing on the electoral/political environment and the landscape for non-partisan election observation. The State Assessment consultant will largely be tasked with collecting information to assess whether the presence of the Democracy Program at The Carter Center would be useful, advisable, and feasible. Application: For the complete job listing and to apply, click here.
Contract Sales Professional, Vidaloop— We’re looking for a contract sales professional, experienced in elections, to join our team’s effort to increase accessibility and security for UOCAVA voters and voters with disabilities. We are a young but experienced company looking to expand our footprint in the remote accessible ballot marking field. This is the perfect position for a retired professional or somebody with an established set of contacts looking for part time work. Responsibilities: Prospect, develop and grow relationships with states, counties and municipalities for contracts and pilot implementations; Attend a few election conferences (this can be negotiated); Track and report all sales activities; and Collaborate with our team to prospect new business and assist in developing an operational team to meet and exceed customers expectations. Application: For more information 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.
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.
Election Services Manager, Contra Costa County, California— Contra Costa County has more than 700,000 registered voters and a population of 1.1 million. Located in the San Francisco Bay Area, Contra Costa County offers a great salary and benefits in addition to a collaborative and fast-paced work environment. Our office is vital to our democracy and our community, and we love to help our residents. Our leadership values employee development and engagement, promotes open and transparent communication, prepares us to be a high-performing organization, and recognizes the contributions of others. We connect with the community, listen to them, and provide a critical service that people rely on. We are looking to fill one (1) Elections Services Manager to help support our mission. The incumbent will report directly to the Assistant Registrar, work in collaboration with the Clerk-Recorder-Registrar and executive management team, and interact with leaders in other county departments, state officials, and vendors to carry out essential functions. Salary: $99,084.96 – $120,438.48. Deadline: April 25. Application: For the complete job listing and to apply, click here.
Elections Technician-Voter Services, Jefferson County, Colorado— The Elections Technician is responsible for supporting the operations and functions of Jefferson County’s elections. As the front office representative, the Elections Technician acts as the first line of communication between the Elections Division and the public. The Elections Technician performs a variety of general office support and exceptional customer service by telephone, email, and in-person and works to process incoming and outgoing voter correspondence, account for deliveries, manage inventory, order supplies, and provide general clerical support. The Elections Technician also assists office visitors with questions about registering to vote, curing their ballot, and becoming a confidential voter. This position administers processes and procedures for election programs including data entry for voter registrations. During election periods, this role issues absentee ballots, follows election security and chain-of-custody protocols, and welcomes visitors, election watchers, and election workers. This position also oversees and manages the work of temporary election workers performing activities in support of the election. Deadline: April 21. Application: For the complete job listing and to apply, click here.
Information Technology Specialist, Iowa Secretary of State’s Office — The Elections Division of the Office of Secretary of State is hiring an Election Technology Specialist (ETS). This position reports to the Director of Elections. The Elections Technology Specialist will be focused on providing technical support related to elections technology to the Elections Division and County Election Officials. The role will answer calls and emails for issues facing county auditors and their staff with the statewide voter registration and election management system (I-Voters), including set-up of elections, registrations, moving voters, merging voter files, running election registers and e-pollbooks, setting up precincts, and running related reports. Additionally, this position answers questions from county auditors about elections administration over telephone and email. This includes assisting with the new I-Voters and new website implementations and document known-user problems for issue isolation and escalation. They will troubleshoot problems with I-Voters and e-pollbook applications to ensure procedures are being appropriately followed and assist with testing application functionality to determine whether issues are program related or user problems. Furthermore, the person will provide insight to election software updates based on user feedback; format data coming out of applications to aid with meaningful analysis of information; maintain relationships with county auditors and election staff to ensure open line of communication between system users and administrators. The role provides documentation to timely topics for upcoming elections or processes required to be completed in I-Voters and reports issues that pertain to enhancements of I-Voters. Finally, the position will be working with data and shape files for redistricting and re-precincting, including data interchange and ingress/egress issues. Create forms or instructions, possibly including videos for counties to be able to better use I-Voters. Salary: $55,952 – $85,176. Deadline: April 25. Application: For the complete 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, 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. 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. Application: For the complete job listing and to apply, click here.
Senior Campaign Manager, 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 people in state and local governments who are working hard to make sure accurate election information is published, ballots are counted, and voices are heard. As CTCL Senior Campaign Manager, your goal is to support local elections offices across the country in advocating for adequate and reliable funding at the federal, state and local levels. You will implement CTCL’s nonpartisan advocacy strategy to support elections officials in administering inclusive and secure elections. You will execute tactics to support a range of key audiences including election officials, elected officials, allied organizations, and other CTCL supporters. Working closely with other members of the department, you will manage persuasion campaigns at all levels of government, and support the skills-development of key audiences to build power. You’ll report to the Advocacy Director and work in collaboration with other members of the CTCL team. This is a new position in a new department, so there’s room for you to help shape what the role looks like. 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.
Technology Division Leader, Boulder County, Colorado— The Boulder County Clerk and Recorder’s Office is seeking to hire a Data Analyst. The Data Analyst will play a critical role in helping our office provide excellent service to Boulder County residents by collecting, analyzing, and reporting on data to support effective decision making and operations. This position will work closely with other team members to maximize efficiency and accuracy throughout the elections process. The ideal candidate will be team-oriented and will have the ability to build effective working relationships with others. Application: For the complete job listing and to apply, click here.
Warehouse Supervisor, Decatur 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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