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May 25, 2023

May 25, 2023

In Focus This Week

U.S. Election Assistance Commission announces Clearie winners
24 election offices across the country recognized for excellence in election admin

This week, the U.S. Election Assistance Commission (EAC) announced the 24 winners of the Clearinghouse Awards, recognizing best practices in election administration. Also known as the “Clearies,” the awards program celebrates the hard work of election offices across the country for programs that took place during the 2022 midterms. Awardees include jurisdictions of varying sizes, from states with 6.5 million registered voters to counties with about 80,000 registered voters.

“The spotlight on U.S. elections has never been brighter, and the EAC is pleased to honor the work of these offices to make elections more secure, technologically advanced, and accessible to voters,” said EAC Chairwoman Christy McCormick, Vice Chair Ben Hovland, Commissioner Donald Palmer, and Commissioner Thomas Hicks in a joint statement. “Especially as election administrators prepare for the 2024 presidential election, we encourage them to review the great work of these Clearie Award-winning jurisdictions for ideas they may want to replicate in their communities. This includes best practices to recruit and train poll workers, which we recognize has been challenging for many election offices nationwide.”

The Clearies play an essential role in fulfilling the EAC’s mission to serve as a clearinghouse for election administration information under the Help America Vote Act. Submissions were judged on innovation, sustainability, outreach, cost-effectiveness, replicability, and the generation of positive results. This year’s award categories and winners include:

  • Improving Accessibility for Voters with Disabilities
    • Dubuque County Auditor’s Office (IA) – Strategic Partnership with Dubuque County Disabilities Council
    • Franklin County Board of Elections (OH) – Voting with Ease: Increased Accessibility in the Early Vote Center
  • Outstanding Innovations in Elections – Large Jurisdictions
    • Duval County Supervisor of Elections Office (FL) – Innovative Strategies in Voter Education Messaging and Poll Worker Recruitment
    • Hamilton County Board of Elections (OH) – Behind the Ballot Tours
    • Hillsborough County Supervisor of Elections (FL) – Election Night Unofficial Results Application
    • Palm Beach County Supervisor of Elections (FL) – Promoting Effectualness by Minimizing Lines and Wait Times: First County in the Country to Use the No Wait Inside Appointment System for Elections
    • South Carolina Election Commission – “South Carolina Election Response Guide” – Crisis Communication for Election Officials
    • St. Louis County Board of Elections (MO) – Love Your Ballot Educational Campaign
  • Outstanding Innovations in Elections – Small/Medium Jurisdictions
    • Brevard County Supervisor of Elections (FL) – SigView
    • Douglas County Clerk/Elections (KS) – RFID Technology in Election Management
    • Durham County Board of Elections (NC) – BOE Poll Count and Audit Application
    • Paulding County Board of Elections and Voter Registration (GA) – Voter Education Guide
  • Best Practices in Recruiting, Retaining, and Training Poll Workers
    • Charleston County Board of Elections and Voter Registration (SC) – Partnerships at the Polls
    • Columbia County Supervisor of Elections (FL) – Bubble It In!
    • Guam Election Commission – A Win-Win for the Guam Election Commission and the University of Guam – Poll Workers
    • Martin County Supervisor of Elections (FL) – Sensitivity Training for Elections Worker!
  • Creative and Original “I Voted” Stickers
    • City of Traverse City Clerk’s Office – Multi-year voting sticker design contests
    • Louisiana Department of State – Louisiana State of Mind
    • South Carolina Election Commission – South Carolina’s Iconic “I Voted” Sticker Redesign

In addition to the Clearie winners, 16 election offices were recognized with Clearie Honorable Mention awards.

Winners were selected by independent panels of current and former election officials, EAC Commissioners, and members of the EAC’s advisory boards. Judges were not eligible to score any entries from their own jurisdictions.

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Election News This Week

Life imitating art: In the penultimate episode of “Succession” on May 14, a secondary storyline posited what would happen if ballots were burned in a fire before they could be counted. The following day during local elections in Hull, Massachusetts, a six-alarm fire blocked traffic to Hull High School, the town’s only polling location for an hour and a half. Hull officials made the last-minute decision to extend voting by two hours to accommodate those who wished to vote, and retroactively asked Plymouth County Superior Court to authorize the extension and permit the counting of ballots cast during that time. However, on Wednesday night, the town was told the votes would not be counted and “the court’s decision also calls into question the validity of the election due to the unfortunate disruption of the voting,” the clerk’s website reads. “The town is reviewing the decision and determining the next steps.” According to Hull Town Clerk Lori West‘s petition to the court, she and town attorney James Lampke consulted with the elections division at the secretary of state’s office before they decided to keep the polls open for two hours beyond the scheduled closing time. Efforts to reach a judge for an emergency order afterhours on Monday were unsuccessful, the petition says.  The town told residents about the extension using an emergency phone system some residents were signed up for, as well as robocalls, social media and Hull Community Cable. West said the candidates, most of whom were at the polls throughout the day, were notified of the decision and were “receptive and understanding.” “Everyone involved in the process stepped up to the plate to do the right thing and make the best of an unusual situation,” Lampke said. Judge Brian Glenny said there was no way to ensure that the town’s efforts to broadcast the information reached every citizen who intended to vote. He also said police officers managing traffic around the fire did not know immediately that the polling hours were being extended. Those officers told people they were not be able to vote, and there is no way to know if those people found out later they could return to the polls.

Equipment Update: Claiming that a non-binding resolution overrides state law Senate Majority Leader Sonny Borrelli declared that Arizona counties are barred from using machines to count ballots — an assertion that was quickly shot down by elections officials, the state’s attorney general and county leaders. “Senate Concurrent Resolution 1037, which expresses a desire to restrict the use of certain electronic voting machines, is non-binding and does not have the force of law,” Secretary of State Adrian Fontes said in a statement on Twitter. “If those requirements or certification process were to be changed, it would require a regular bill to be passed by the legislature and signed by the governor—which is not the case for this non-binding resolution. We defer to the AG’s office on all other legal questions.”  Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger announced that voting equipment across the state will undergo security “health checks” ahead of the 2024 election season. Voting touchscreens, ballot scanners, and election management systems will be tested to ensure they’re operating correctly and haven’t been tampered with. Election equipment made headlines in several states and counties this week. In Will County, Illinois, the county board approved up to $7.8 million to purchase new equipment before the 2024 primaries. The Jasper County, Indiana county commission agreed to include funds in the 2024 budget to purchase new voting equipment. The Michigan Board of State Canvassers approved certifying an upgrade to the voting machines used across most of the state. Washoe County, Nevada will spend $12.6 million for a technological overhaul of the county’s election system. “The voting system is something we’ve heard very loudly about, and that’s something we’re going to completely modernize,” said Abbe  Yacoben, Washoe County chief financial officer. “Our software is antiquated.” Servers and other hardware will also be part of the upgrade. And election workers in Mercer County, West Virginia began learning how to use new voting machines and other equipment in advance of rolling them out publicly in May 2024.

Sticker News: When Genesee County, New York Board of Elections organizers announced the I Voted sticker contest earlier this year, they hoped for not only more awareness about the election process but also some cool artwork submissions from area students. The results did not disappoint. This inaugural event reaped several sticker scenarios, with the Grand Prize going to Elijah Webster of Pavilion Central School for a Portrait of Women’s Suffrage Leaders Susan B. Anthony and Elizabeth Cady Stanton. “It is wonderful to involve our Genesee County students in our electoral process,” Democratic Election Commissioner Lorie Longhany said in a press release Friday. “It will be exciting to see the student’s graphic designs in print
and used in our outreach and distributed to voters during early voting and on election day. As an artist and part-time art instructor, I was so pleased with all the designs.”

Personnel News: Sarasota County Supervisor of Elections Ron Turner has been sworn in as the president of the Florida Supervisors of Elections.  Heidi Blunt is the new Superior, Michigan city clerk. Melissa Blazier has been appointed the new Collier County, Florida supervisor of elections. Christy Benge is the new Potter County, Texas elections administrator. Tina Marie Leonesio in the new North Adams, Massachusetts city clerk. Former Virginia elections commissioner Chris Piper named the new executive director of the Virginia Public Access Project.

In Memoriam: Susan Powers Olesen, the former Burnsville, Minnesota city clerk has died. She was 79. According to the Sun This Week, elections, which were only a part of her job, were sacred, a source of both pride and stress for the former city clerk, who became a state leader in her field. Olesen managed local, state and federal elections in Burnsville with “undisputed authority,” recalled retired Deputy City Manager Tom Hansen in an online remembrance. It earned her the nickname “Little General” from Greg Konat, a former city manager, Hansen wrote. “By the time they were done, she’d be totally exhausted,” said Craig Ebeling, another retired Burnsville city manager. “She just sweat blood over the elections,” Ebeling said. “She was so committed to making sure that they were correctly done and totally and scrupulously fair. Almost to her detriment, she would just fret over them so much and be so concerned and worked with the judges so extensively. Those election judges became her personal friends, because they served for years and years.” Olesen began her career in Burnsville in 1977, serving as a bookkeeper/receptionist, parcel records specialist and deputy city clerk before working her final 16 years as city clerk. Olesen was president of the Municipal Clerks and Finance Officers Association of Minnesota in 1999 and 2000.

Former Jersey City, New Jersey Clerk Robert Byrne has died. He was 63. His 31-year tenure as city clerk spanned six mayors and three acting mayors, nine mayoral elections, and several runoffs – few without drama. Byrne was named city clerk in 1989, at age 29, after working as an aide to Mayor Anthony.  He replaced Helen Kozma, who was retiring. He had begun working in the city clerk’s office in 1982 and had moved over to Cucci’s staff after his election in 1985. “For anyone that dealt with Jersey City over the last 30 years, they would have encountered Robert Byrne and every single one of them would have left with a positive and memorable experience,” Jersey City Mayor Steven Fulop said.  For me, I have countless examples as he embraced me when I was an outside councilman first elected and taught me about government, he swore me in at midnight when I was first elected mayor of Jersey City, he was a self-designated counsel in my personal life as he lectured me countless times about the importance of family over politics, and he officiated my wedding at City Hall with Jaclyn.”

Legislative Updates

Federal Legislation: Senators Alex Padilla (D-California), Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.), Mark Warner (D-Va.), Peter Welch (D-Vt.), Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio), Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), Tina Smith (D-Minn.), Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.), and Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) introduced legislation to support the recruitment and retention of election workers. This legislation is led in the House of Representatives by U.S. Representative Joe Morelle (D-N.Y.), Ranking Member of the Committee on House Administration. The Support our Election Workers Act requires the Election Assistance Commission to distribute grants to states to provide increased pay for election workers, including people serving as poll workers and election officials. The legislation also requires states seeking grants to describe their plans to use such funds to retain qualified election workers and to recruit new election workers. The legislation is endorsed by the Campaign Legal Center, Common Cause, Network Lobby for Catholic Social Justice, End Citizens United/Let America Vote Action Fund, Transparency International U.S., American Federation of Teachers, Pax Christi USA, and Sojourners. “Our election workers are on the frontlines of our democracy, ensuring Americans can access the ballot box. But over the past few years, election officials and poll workers have faced a barrage of threats and intimidation and we’re now facing a serious worker shortage,” said Senator Klobuchar. “Our legislation would take steps to strengthen our support for election workers to make sure we’re able to recruit and retain these essential public servants for future elections.”

Alabama: Lawmakers advanced a bill that would make it a crime to help a non-family member request, fill out or return an absentee ballot. The Senate Governmental Affairs committee voted 5-2 — in a vote that fell along party lines — to advance the House-passed bill to the full Alabama Senate. The Republican sponsor of the bill said the change is needed to combat voter fraud, but opponents called it an attempt to make it harder for people to vote. The bill by Republican Rep. Jamie Kiel of Russellville would make it a misdemeanor in most cases for a person to order, request, collect, prefill or return an absentee ballot other than their own. It would become a felony to pay someone, or receive payment, for absentee ballot assistance.  “The purpose of the bill is very simple. It’s to make sure the balloting process, the election process in Alabama, is as secure as possible,” Kiel said. He argued absentee voting is less secure than in-person voting. “Most of the cases where there is voter fraud across the country are in early voting.”  The bill allows an exemption for family members to help other family members up to the “second degree of kinship” including parents, grandparents, siblings, aunts and uncles — provided they are not paid to do so. The bill also says there is an affirmative defense if the voter being helped is blind, disabled or unable to read or write, also provided there is no payment involved.

Juneau, Alaska: By-mail voting is now the default in Juneau, due to a change to local election code made by the Juneau Assembly. The city has used mail-in ballots in local elections for the last three years. The recent code change makes by-mail voting the default “unless otherwise directed by the Assembly.” Five residents spoke against the idea at the meeting. Most were concerned about election fraud. In October 2022, nearly 33% of registered voters participated in the municipal election. Nearly 31% did in 2021, while 43% did in 2020. Voter turnout was 31% in 2019. Assembly member Christine Woll said it’s true the original intent was to increase voter participation. When analyzing the numbers, she said, it’s important to remember that voters are generally more likely to participate in highly contested Assembly races.  “Someone just brought up that this last year, it actually decreased from the year before,” Woll said. “You’ll also remember that the Assembly races were completely uncontested last year.” The ordinance passed in a 5-2 vote.

Arizona: Gov. Katie Hobbs rejected House Bill 2305, which would have ensured that representatives of both major political parties could challenge decisions made by election workers determining whether a signature on an early ballot was valid. In her veto message Hobbs said  HB 2305 “creates unnecessary burdens for election administrators.’’ She also said there are “meaningful privacy concerns for Arizona voters.’’ The measure was amended before it reached Hobbs to prohibit the observers that McGarr’s bill would have allowed from noting, transcribing or disclosing the personal information they see, ranging from dates and places of birth to phone numbers, driver’s license numbers and a mother’s maiden name. But gubernatorial press aide Christian Slater, in explaining the veto, said that wasn’t enough to satisfy Hobbs. “We believe the bill still contains privacy concerns, even after the amendment,’’ he said.

Hobbs also vetoed a measure to force her successors as secretary of state to not perform any duties in that role in a race in which their name is on the ballot. HB 2308 was sponsored by Rep. Rachel Jones, R-Tucson. It sought to bar the secretary of state from personally performing any aspect of operations in an election in which that person is a candidate for office. In her veto message, the governor said the position is elected and that the duties make the secretary of state Arizona’s chief election officer. “There is no reasonable basis to believe that Arizonans should not trust the secretary of state to do their job impartially,’’ Hobbs wrote.

Delaware: The House passed three bills that would make voting easier and more secure in elections in Delaware. Voting is getting a major facelift with basic updates in House Bill 148, like providing essential materials at all polling locations and replacing handwritten tally systems for electronic ballot scanners to count votes. The state is going further to prevent miscounts and fraud by clarifying protocols for creating a duplicate of a ballot so it can be read electronically if the original ballot is unreadable. Election judge teams will also be equal in its amount of Democrats and Republicans; other parties would be included as well.  Representative Baumbach says that efficacy is key to our election process and that the bill creates updates that will improve elections and safeguard against election fraud. Future presidential elections will put more weight in the popular vote than ever before when the Electoral College meets to decide presidential election outcomes, thanks to one of the bills, Senate Bill 57. Representative Baumbach says that the bill will give voters more confidence in presidential elections because Electoral College results will be reflective of each and every vote cast by Delaware residents. Similarly, House Bill 153 would ensure that donations made by campaigns would be formally reported. Political campaigns are currently forced to manually enter all expenditures, which can lead to discrepancies in reports. The bill would increase transparency by having expenditures as a formal category on the campaign finance reporting system. The house bills will be heading to the Senate for consideration while the Senate bill is going to be on the Governor’s desk.

Louisiana: Legislation that would have allowed — but not required — parishes to add early voting locations failed in a House committee, with opponents concerned about its cost and local election staffing. House Bill 538 from Rep. Sam Jenkins, D-Shreveport, includes guidelines that set out the minimum number of early voting locations a parish should have based on its population and area. Lawmakers on the House and Governmental Affairs Committee discussed how population shifts in their parishes show a need for new polling sites, and how some rural parish residents have to cover long distances to reach an early voting location.  Another polling site could only be added as long as parish election officials had the logistical support of the Secretary of State and the accompanying state funding, according to the proposal. It would also only permit an additional early voting site for statewide elections. Although Jenkins said merely approving his bill did not create a cost for the state, a fiscal note attached to his legislation indicated adding 30 more early voting sites would cost the state more than $11 million over four years of implementation. Jenkins said he had amended his bill to call for a minimum of 20 new polling locations, but a fiscal note for that count was not publicly available.

House lawmakers approved a bill that would make voter registration easier for formerly incarcerated people in Louisiana. House Bill 396, sponsored by state Rep. Sam Jenkins, D-Shreveport, cleared the House floor in a 63-34 bipartisan vote without debate. The bill would require the Louisiana Secretary of State to create an application form that formerly incarcerated people can fill out to request their voter registration be reinstated. The state Department of Corrections is supposed to provide the Secretary of State’s Office with a quarterly updated list of people who should have their voter registrations suspended. The Secretary of State is then supposed to disseminate that information to each parish registrar of voters. However, the procedures to reinstate voter registration aren’t entirely clear or well understood among all election officials. The bill next heads to the Senate for consideration.

Maine: A plan to expand ranked choice voting in Maine is moving forward at the State House. As it stands currently, ranked choice voting can only be used in federal elections like congressional races, or in local races in communities like Portland that specifically approved them. Under a bill that passed in committee this week, ranked choice voting would expand to include races for governor, state senator, and state representative. According to Maine’s constitution elected officials must win by pluralities instead of majorities, and this new bill seeks to amend that.


Michigan: Rep. Betsy Coffia, D-Traverse City has introduced House Bill 4569, which would make Michigan the 16th state to allow its citizens to preregister to vote when they turn 16. After preregistering, the voter would be automatically registered to vote when they turn 18. The Secretary of State and Michigan Department of Education would do annual public outreach under the bill. MDE would ensure preregistration materials are available at every public high school, and the SOS would send a postcard to every 16-to-18-year-old with a driver’s license or state ID card who is eligible to preregister but has not done so. “By allowing future voters the option of preregistration, we can direct that newfound enthusiasm towards completing their first steps in democratic participation and hopefully a lifetime of robust civic engagement,” Coffia said. Michigan’s county and municipal clerks associations support the bill.

Representative Julie Rogers (D-Kalamazoo) has sponsored a bill let voters request an absentee ballot online. Currently voters can already ask for an absentee ballot online thanks to a 2020 Secretary of State policy. But this legislation would codify that practice into law. “I saw this as a win-win for voters to have easy access to an absentee ballot. I just want to be clear that this is an online application. … It is not voting online,” Rogers said. She said the security measures in her bill mostly reflect what’s currently in place. There are two types of signatures voters would be able to attach to an absentee ballot. One is “manual digital signature,” meaning a picture of their handwritten signature. The other is a digital signature already on file with the Michigan Department of State. To use the “stored digital signature,” a voter would have to verify their identity through providing information like a full ID number, birthday, partial social security number, and eye color.

Minnesota: Minnesota Senate passed a combined State and Local Government budget, as well as an Elections budget bill, according to a news release from Senate Majority Leader Kari Dziedzic (DFL-Minneapolis). The bill now heads to Governor Walz for a signature. The $10 million elections budget, authored by Sen. Jim Carlson (DFL-Eagan) would invest in Minnesota’s elections, strengthen democracy and expand voter access, according to the news release. “The Elections budget will expand voter turnout by making voting easier, it protects election workers from intimidation, and it makes polling places more accessible to voters with disabilities,” Dziedzic said.

Nebraska: The months-long fight over voter ID spilled over onto the floor of the Legislature, with State Sen. Julie Slama staging a one-woman filibuster against the proposal forwarded by the Government and Military Affairs Committee. But Slama failed to persuade the body to back her competing plan. After listening for eight hours, senators advanced the committee bill, 43-1. State Sen. Tom Brewer of Gordon, the committee chairman, said the amendment was the product of weeks of work. He said it aims to carry out the will of Nebraska voters, who overwhelmingly passed the voter ID measure last year, without being so restrictive that it would deny people their right to vote. The amendment spells out what documents would be accepted to prove identity for voting, how ID requirements would be handled for mail-in ballots, how people could get free IDs for voting and when exceptions would be allowed. Under the committee plan, voters would have to start showing ID after April 1 next year. That means the requirement would be in effect for Nebraskans casting early ballots for the 2024 primary election. Voters would be able to use IDs issued by the federal government, state of Nebraska, local governments or Nebraska colleges, as long as they have the person’s name and photo. Expired documents would be accepted. Military and veteran IDs, tribal IDs and patient records with photos kept by nursing homes, assisted living facilities or hospitals also would be accepted. People casting mail-in ballots would have to include the number from their Nebraska driver’s license or state ID card or a copy of an accepted ID document. People who go to the polls without acceptable ID could cast a provisional ballot but would have to show a valid ID to election officials by the Tuesday after the election to have their vote count.

Ohio: The Senate has approved a bill overhauling how county boards collect and maintain voter data. The vote comes one day after the proposal passed committee, and without any of a handful of changes proposed by interested parties. The proposal, known as the DATA Act, grew out of a report commissioned by the America First Policy Institute. The think tank criticized record keeping in numerous jurisdictions, in part, because they updated it too regularly. The DATA Act would create uniform definitions for various voter data and codify specific record-keeping standards.

A proposal in the Senate would allow Ohioans to register to vote on Election Day and force potential voters to register again if they have not voted in four consecutive years. Sen. Paula Hicks-Hudson, D-Toledo, introduced the resolution she says expands voting rights and is an effort to lessen the effects of voting legislation passed by the General Assembly last year. A spokesman for Secretary of State Frank LaRose told The Center Square that LaRose’s office does not think the General Assembly is willing to expand voter registration timing. “We must make the electoral process more accessible,” Hicks-Hudson said. “This legislation will expand voting rights and participation in the electoral process in our state – something we should be protecting at all costs. It also undoes recent legislative efforts to systematically and maliciously shut people out.”

Oregon: Ranked-choice voting could be the new norm for Oregonians, now that the Oregon House has approved a bill that would implement the voting system for statewide and federal elections starting in 2028. House Bill 2004 passed through the Oregon House with a 35-23 bipartisan vote. The measure would allow voters to rank candidates in order of preference for primary and general elections. This only applies to elections with three or more candidates. According to the office of House Speaker Dan Rayfield, the bill would also establish an education campaign to help Oregon voters understand the ranked-choice system. “Ranked choice voting creates a more collegial electoral environment,” Rayfield said in a statement. “It allows all voters to be engaged and excited about election outcomes and encourages good candidates running good campaigns. This is about integrity, it’s about electing people in control with the will of the voters.”

Pennsylvania: Republican state senators Ryan Aument (R-Lancaster) and Frank Farry (R-Bucks) have circulated a co-sponsorship memoranda calling for supporters for legislation that ensures candidates win their primary election by a majority, rather than plurality, of voters. They are calling for a runoff election system to identify a “clear consensus pick.” If no candidate receives at least 50% in a primary election, a second election would be held between the top two candidates. In this runoff (think Georgia Senate primary), the candidate with the most votes would be declared the winner.

In the House, Democratic House members Christopher Rabb (D-Philadelphia), Jared Solomon (D-Philadelphia) and Arvind Venkat (D-Allegheny) are proposing legislation to allow ranked choice voting in the Commonwealth. The trio writes in their co-sponsorship memoranda that “(RCV) encourages candidates to seek the support of the majority of their constituents rather than a polarized base. The less divisive and negative a candidate is, the more likely they will have earned the majority support of the electorate.”

Texas: The House voted this week to force Harris County to eliminate its chief election official and to give state officials more authority over elections there.  On a 81–62 party line vote, House Republicans passed Senate Bill 1750, which will abolish the Harris County elections administrator position — a nonpartisan position appointed by local elected officials — and return all election duties to the county clerk and tax assessor-collector. Failed amendments by Democrats would have changed the new law’s effective date to December, instead of Sept. 1, to give county officials time to conduct the November county and municipal elections and to transfer the duties. Another failed amendment would have given the authority to transfer election duties to the county commissioners. The bill is now on its way to Republican Gov. Greg Abbott’s desk — and could ultimately face Harris County’s opposition in court.  County Attorney Christian D. Menefee in a statement said state legislators are singling out Harris County “to score cheap political points.”  “I want to be clear: this fight is not over,” Menefee said. “We cannot and will not allow the state to illegally target Harris County.”  Harris County Elections Administrator Clifford Tatum said in a statement to Votebeat that when the provision takes effect in September, it’ll be 39 days from the voter registration deadline and 52 days from the first day of early voting for a countywide election that includes the Houston mayoral race. “We fear this time frame would not be adequate for such a substantial change in administration, and that Harris County voters and election workers may be the ones to pay the price,” Tatum said.

Also approved this was a bill that would let the secretary of state intervene in local elections. It would grant the state the authority to investigate election “irregularities” after complaints are filed and the authority to order the removal of a county election administrator or to file a petition to remove a county officer overseeing elections, such as a clerk, if “a recurring pattern of problems” isn’t resolved. The secretary’s current role in elections is only to guide and assist counties, with no oversight powers.  Senate Bill 1933 was originally written to apply to all counties but was amended on the House floor to impact only Harris County, by the House sponsor of the measure, Rep. Tom Oliverson, R-Cypress. The House’s changes to the bill now have to receive approval from the Senate this week.

Th House of Representatives gave crucial approval to a Republican-backed effort rooted in conspiracy theories that would remove the state from a national coalition that helps prevent voter fraud. Senate Bill 1070, authored by state Sen. Bryan Hughes, was approved by the House on a 85-61 vote. The bill would allow Texas to withdraw from the Electronic Registration Information Center, also known as ERIC, a multistate program used for checking duplicate voter registrations and cleaning voter rolls. The bill is now headed back to the Senate for approval of changes proposed by Rep. John Bucy, D-Austin, that would add requirements to comply with federal and state privacy guidelines if an alternative system is contracted by the state. Rep. Chris Turner, D-Grand Prairie, spoke against the bill and said it was concerning to see the Texas Legislature take such action based on a conspiracy theory.  “That’s why I don’t understand why we have this bill before us, particularly when we know the data shows that ERIC has helped Texas identify duplicate registrations, and that’s exactly what we should be trying to do,” Turner said.

This week, the Senate got closer to raising the penalty for voting illegally from a misdemeanor to a felony, as well as making it easier to convict a voter without proving they intended to cast an illegal ballot. Known as House Bill 1243, it was approved by the Senate on a 19–11 vote without debate. The proposal initially only raised the penalty of illegally casting a ballot from a misdemeanor to a felony. State Sen. Bryan Hughes, R-Mineola, however, added language this week saying anyone who votes or attempts to vote in an election in which “the person knows of a particular circumstance that makes the person not eligible to vote” could be prosecuted.  The addition by Hughes means the bill must now go back to the House, where it faces an uncertain path. Another piece of legislation, Senate Bill 2, contained the same language Hughes has now inserted into this bill. SB 2 died in the House after it did not meet a key deadline. The law currently requires prosecutors to prove the person intended to cast an illegal ballot, a high hurdle. The change would eliminate that intent requirement and leave someone vulnerable to prosecution for an innocent misunderstanding. That means, for example, that a person who knows they have been convicted of a felony but doesn’t realize that makes them ineligible to vote, or a person who knows they are not a U.S. citizen but does not know that makes them ineligible to cast a ballot, could be prosecuted if the bill becomes law. A person found guilty would face up to 20 years in prison and more than $10,000 in fines.

Republicans once again chose not to give online voter registration bills a hearing this year, making this the fourth legislative session in a row without a debate on the matter. Every session, Texas lawmakers file bills to create the online system, but committee chairs in both the House and Senate have not chosen to hold hearings on these bills since 2015. This year, lawmakers have offered 10 such bills.

Legal Updates

Federal Litigation: Robert Zeidman, a software expert who won a contest that MyPillow CEO Mike Lindell created for people to try to disprove his election fraud claims has asked a federal court to make Lindell pay him the money after Lindell has refused.  Lindell promised to pay $5 million to anyone who could disprove his data that he claimed had proven widespread voter fraud occurred during the 2020 presidential election. A private arbitration panel found last month that a report submitted by Zeidman debunked Lindell’s claims and ordered Lindell to pay him the $5 million within 30 days of the ruling. Lindell filed a motion in state court in Minnesota to try to get the panel’s ruling tossed out and have the award vacated, arguing that the panel exceeded its powers in issuing the ruling.  Zeidman responded by filing a petition in federal court in Minnesota to get Lindell to pay him $5 million plus 10 percent interest per year until it is paid, in accordance with state law.

Arizona: Maricopa County Superior Court Judge Peter Thompson has affirmed — again — Democratic Gov. Katie Hobbs’ win in November and rejected Republican Kari Lake’s claims that improper signature verification and misconduct affected the outcome. The ruling comes after Thompson heard three days of testimony and argument in his Mesa courtroom May 17-19. That proceeding, an unusual second trial in Lake’s legal challenge to her November loss to Hobbs, was limited to a single claim about signature verification. Lake’s legal team argued it could prove signatures were examined in a matter of seconds, so short a timeframe it did not count as verification under state law. Thompson disagreed. “Accepting that argument would require the court to re-write not only the (Election Procedures Manual) but Arizona law to insert a minimum time for signature. In a statement, Maricopa County Board of Supervisors Chairman Clint Hickman, a Republican, critiqued Lake’s false claims and her effort to “discard the valid votes of hundreds of thousands of Arizona voters.” “When ‘bombshells’ and ‘smoking guns’ are not backed up by facts, they fail in court,” he said. “This is justice, and this is what happened today in Kari Lake’s election contest.” While Lake considers whether to appeal, she may also face the prospect of additional fines. Thompson’s ruling set an expedited schedule for this week for defense lawyers to request Lake to cover their costs, if they make such an ask.

Maricopa County Attorney’s Office has filed a motion against Kari Lake and her legal team, asking for sanctions and attorney fees for the rejected election lawsuit. Maricopa County Attorney Rachel Mitchell said in court paperwork her office would request the sanctions because Lake and her team “repeatedly made demonstrably false statements to this Court” and claimed the former TV news anchor brought weak arguments and claims to the trial. In the filing, Maricopa County attorneys allege Lake’s claim regarding signature verification had “several demonstrably false statements intended to confuse the Court and expand the remand proceedings.” She alleged Maricopa County officials failed to perform any higher level signature verifications on ballots that had been flagged by lower level screeners for any inconsistency. Lake’s team also claimed 8,000 ballots were improperly rejected and not counted during the general election, but their evidence contradicted their original claim. “Yet again, Lake and her counsel presented uncertainty as certainty despite the plain text of her primary documents,” a portion of the ruling read.

An Arizona group that monitored ballot drop boxes for signs of fraud during the midterm elections has settled a lawsuit and agreed to “publicly condemn intimidation of any kind in connection with the exercise of the right to vote,” according to a statement from the League of Women Voters of Arizona, which had filed the suit. The organization last October sued the group formerly known as Clean Elections USA and its founder, Melody Jennings, alleging the tactics of the group and its allies amounted to illegal voter intimidation. “This litigation has been essential to protect the voters of Arizona, who have the right to cast their ballots free from intimidation, threats or coercion,” Pinny Sheoran, president of the League of Women Voters of Arizona, said in the group’s statement. The settlement comes after a federal judge in November issued a temporary restraining order, directing those working with Jennings’ group to stay at least 75 feet away from ballot drop boxes and correct false statements they’ve made about Arizona election law. The ruling, by U.S. District Judge Michael Liburdi, also prevented activists from photographing or videotaping voters to spread untrue allegations of electoral fraud.

California: The woman behind the ballot recount of the San Luis Obispo County Board of Supervisors District 2 race refused to pay her full bill — so the county’s top elections official sued for the remaining balance. As the person who requested the recount, San Miguel resident Darcia Stebbens is required by state law to pay for the full cost: $53,346, in this case. Stebbens still owes the county $4,448. Before she pays it, however, she’s asked the county for an invoice showing line-item costs for the recount. SLO County Clerk-Recorder Elaina Cano provided Stebbens with a list of staff hours spent on the recount, as well as a list of materials used and their costs. Stebbens said the list was not sufficient. On May 1, Cano filed suit against Stebbens in small claims court for the remaining balance.

Florida: Voting-rights groups want a full federal appeals court to take up a fight about whether a 2021 Florida elections law made changes that discriminated against Black voters. Attorneys for the Florida NAACP and Florida Rising Together filed a 41-page petition last week asking the full 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals to hear a challenge to the law. The request came after a divided panel of the Atlanta-based appeals court last month overturned much of a district judge’s ruling against the law. The petition contended that errors “permeate” the three-judge panel’s decision, including that the majority did not properly consider evidence in the case. “The stakes could not be higher: This case concerns whether the country’s third-largest state conducts free and fair elections uninhibited by what the district court found to be racially motivated voting restrictions,” the petition said. While Florida had a relatively smooth 2020 election, Republican lawmakers argued the changes were necessary to make the state’s elections more secure. Opponents, however, argued the changes were targeted, at least in part, at Black voters, who overwhelmingly support Democratic candidates. The law imposed new restrictions on mail-in voting and voter-registration groups and prohibited people from giving snacks and drinks to voters waiting in line to cast ballots. Chief U.S. District Judge Mark Walker in March 2022 issued a 288-page decision that blocked parts of the law. “In sum, this court concludes that to the extent promoting voter confidence or preventing fraud may have motivated the Legislature in part, this court finds that the Legislature passed SB 90 with the intent to restructure Florida’s election system in ways that favor the Republican Party over the Democratic Party,” Walker, who is based in Tallahassee, wrote. “This court further finds that, to advance the Legislature’s main goal of favoring Republicans over Democrats, the Legislature enacted some of SB 90’s provisions with the intent to target Black voters because of their propensity to favor Democratic candidates.” But last month’s 2-1 decision by the appeals-court panel said Walker’s decision “does not withstand examination.” “The district court relied on fatally flawed statistical analyses, out-of-context statements by individual legislators, and legal premises that do not follow our precedents,” appeals-court Chief Judge William Pryor wrote in a 79-page decision joined by Judge Britt Grant. “On the contrary, examining the record reveals that the finding of intentional discrimination rests on hardly any evidence.” But Judge Jill Pryor, in a dissenting opinion, wrote that Walker, in a “thorough and well-reasoned order, committed no reversible error.”

Within hours of Gov. Ron DeSantis signing into law a new package of sweeping election system changes, advocacy organizations filed two federal lawsuits challenging it. “Senate Bill 7050 is yet another assault on democracy and attempt to muzzle Floridians,” said Cecile Scoon, president of the League of Women Voters of Florida, in a press release. Her organization, represented by the government watchdog group Campaign Legal Center, filed the first lawsuit on Wednesday. “Third-party voter registration organizations play a critical role in ensuring that every eligible Floridian has an opportunity to vote, especially Black and brown Floridians,” said Abha Khanna, a partner at Elias Law Group, in a press release. “SB 7050 threatens to disrupt and discourage these organizations from helping marginalized Floridians register to vote.” Khanna’s Democratic law firm is representing the plaintiffs in the second lawsuit: the Florida NAACP, Equal Ground Education Fund, Voters of Tomorrow Action, Disability Rights Florida, Alianza for Progress, Alianza Center, UnidosUS and the Florida Alliance for Retired Americans. Both lawsuits, filed in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Florida, allege the law is unconstitutional, in violation of the First Amendment and Fourteenth Amendment.

Michigan: James Holkeboer, a Kent County election worker accused of putting a thumb drive into a poll book during last August’s primaries has filed an appeal. Holkeboer is now facing charges of falsifying records and using a computer to commit a crime. Both are felonies. Attorneys for Holkeboer are asking the appeals court to grant an application for leave to appeal. Their argument claims the trial court errored by interpreting MCL 168.932 “to proscribe copying election records where the statute does not use the term ‘copy’ or any of its synonyms,” Holkeboer’s attorneys wrote. His attorneys also argue that the trial court should have dismissed count 2, which is using a computer to commit an offense.  Kent County Prosecutor Christopher Becker filed an answer in opposition to the application.  “Notably, when asked how he would react to another poll worker taking files in the same manner, Defendant explained that ‘if he saw someone from his party do it, he…really wouldn’t question what they were doing,'” Becker wrote.

Minnesota: In an opinion released Wednesday, the Minnesota Supreme Court sided with the Minnesota Voters Alliance on one of the organization’s challenges to how absentee ballots are counted but denied the other issues that were raised. The ruling comes after the state’s appellate court denied the Voters Alliance’s lawsuit altogether in August. While the state’s high court mostly dismissed the Voters Alliance’s challenge, the court did agree with one point: a rule implemented by Secretary of State Mark Ritchie pertaining to how absentee ballot signatures are reviewed partially conflicts with Minnesota law. The portion of the rule at issue allowed for any ballot board member to review absentee ballot signatures if the identification number on the application and ballot envelope doesn’t match. However, state law says only election judges are able to do that review. While election judges can be ballot board members, not all ballot board members are election judges. Therefore, the Minnesota Supreme Court determined the rule is invalid and election judges have to conduct that review. However, the ruling doesn’t change when ballot signatures are reviewed or provide any new reason for ballots to be not accepted.

Montana: Judge Brenda Gilbert sided with the Great Falls Public Library Board in appointing an elections monitor for the upcoming mill levy election. Gilbert appointed the board’s choice for monitor, Lynn DeRoche, who worked in the Elections Office for more than 16 years under former Clerk and Recorder Rina Moore and under current Clerk Sandra Merchant for about the first month of her term. Gilbert said she chose DeRoche in the interest of time, as the respondent’s proposed monitor candidates had not been consulted prior. These suggested persons included Clerks and Recorders from Ravalli County, Regina Plettenberg, and Flathead County, Debbie Pierson, among others. “This will require Ms. DeRoche and Ms. Merchant to put any past differences aside and put their efforts toward – the fair and efficient election moving forward,” Gilbert said. The decision comes in the wake of problems with Merchant’s handling of the May 2 local school board and flood district elections. For example, some voters received two absentee ballots, ballots would not fit properly in the return envelope and the polling location opened an hour late, with voters not able to submit ballots before going to work in the morning.

Opinions This Week

National Opinions: Voting rights | Election deniers | Democracy | Automatic voter registration | Voter registration | Poll workers | Paper ballots

Alabama: Voting rights

Arizona: Election equipment

Georgia: Accessibility

Idaho: Ranked choice voting

Illinois: Poll workers

Maine: Vote-by-mail

Minnesota: Ranked choice voting

New Jersey: Jersey City clerk

New York: Absentee voting | Voter participation

North Carolina: Voter ID | Election funding | ERIC

Ohio: Special election, II | Secretary of state | Youth vote

Pennsylvania: Primaries | Vote-by-mail | Turnout

Texas: Vote centers | Election legislation

Virginia: ERIC, II | Ranked choice voting | Buckingham County

Washington: Election legislation

Wisconsin: Wisconsin Election Commission

Upcoming Events

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

Voting Technology, Certification and Standards: As voting technology gets more sophisticated, so do the standards against which they’re tested. The Voluntary Voting System Guidelines (VVSG) are a set of specifications and requirements designed to test basic functionality, accuracy, accessibility and security capabilities. Tune in for the final installment of NCSL’s four-part webinar series, How U.S. Elections Are Run, to learn more about the newest iteration of these standards, VVSG 2.0: What it is, why it’s important and what options legislators can consider for keeping their state’s voting technology as secure and accurate as possible with EAC Commissioner Donald Palmer. When: June 6, 3pm Eastern. Where: Online.

VVSG Public Comment Period: The U.S. Election Assistance Commission (EAC) is seeking public comments as a key component of its annual review of the Voluntary Voting System Guidelines (VVSG). The public comment period will last for 90 days. This will allow all stakeholders to provide comments concerning the current iteration of the VVSG, presently version 2.0, to the EAC. These public comments will be posted on the EAC website. Substantive comments will be reviewed and considered for inclusion in an annual report detailing proposed changes to the VVSG 2.0. Deadline: June 7, 5pm.

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 mmoretti@electionline.org.  Job postings must be received by 5pm on Wednesday in order to appear in the Thursday newsletter. Listings will run for three weeks or till the deadline listed in the posting.

Administrative Specialist III (Ballot Collection Lead), King County Elections— King County Department of Elections is searching for an energetic and resourceful professional to serve as Ballot Collection Lead for the Elections Services Division. Under the direction of the Ballot Collection & Logistics Supervisor, this position will provide logistical support for ballot collection, fleet, and warehouse tasks and lead processes, projects, and temporary staff.  With nearly 80 ballot drop box locations throughout King County, this is a work group that continues to grow and evolve.  This is a great opportunity for a detail-oriented person with warehouse/receiving, data entry, and strong interpersonal skills.  The Ballot Collection Lead position combines an exciting, fast-paced environment with the opportunity to cultivate talents and apply a variety of skills. The ideal candidate will thrive in an innovative, fast-paced environment and will not hesitate to roll up both sleeves, work hard, have fun, and get the job done. Salary: $27.09 – $34.47 Hourly. Deadline: May 30. 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 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.

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.

Deputy Director- Communications & Support Services, DeKalb County, Georgia— The following duties are normal for this classification. 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. Manages, directs, and evaluates assigned staff; oversees employee work schedules to ensure adequate coverage and control; 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 County administrators and elected officials; and trains staff in operations, policies, and procedures. Organizes, prioritizes, and assigns work; prioritizes and schedules work activities in order 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 County administrators and elected officials; and assists with the revision of procedure manuals as appropriate. Directs functions and activities of the department; directs voter registration programs, voter education and outreach programs; administers elections; recruits and trains poll workers; and oversees storage, maintenance, preparation, and testing of election equipment. Directs voter registration activities; reviews and approves staffing levels during high volume and peak registration periods; monitors work activities to ensure timely processing of applications and maintenance of voter registration rolls; and conducts voter education seminars and training for citizens. Conducts elections; supervises departmental personnel to ensure that all elections are conducted in accordance with state and federal laws and regulations; determines locations and schedule for early voting; organizes equipment and staff deployment levels for early and election day voting; reviews training packets; monitors early voting traffic and election task lists; approves ballot layouts; and implements changes in procedures to resolve issues. Plans, directs, trains, and supervises voter outreach activities; processing absentee ballots; receives/files nomination papers, candidate statements and initiative petitions; maintains the voter file; advises individuals/groups on procedures for filing initiatives, referendums and recall petitions; and files/audits campaign financial statements. Coordinates the daily operation of the department’s computer systems; supervises data entry of affidavits of registration; maintains election district information; prepares and maintains precinct maps; creating and consolidates precincts, including the operation of customized computer aided drafting applications; supervises election night ballot tabulating. Plans, directs and supervises employees engaged in securing polling places and precinct officers; training precinct officers; orders and delivers precinct supplies and materials; operating collection centers; conducting official canvass of election returns; operates mailing and computerized mail addressing equipment; mails sample ballots and election information to voters; and receives, inventorying and storing election supplies Assists in developing and implementing long- and short-term plans, goals, and objectives for the department; evaluates effectiveness and efficiency of department activities; reviews and revises policies, procedures, plans and programs; and researches, assesses, and makes recommendations regarding strategies to meet current and future election and voter registration needs. Interprets, applies, and ensures compliance with all applicable codes, laws, rules, regulations, standards, policies and procedures; initiates any actions necessary to correct deviations or violations; maintains a comprehensive, current knowledge of applicable laws/regulations and pending legislation that may impact department operations; and maintains an awareness of new products, methods, trends and advances in the profession. Assists in developing, implementing, and administering department budget; monitors expenditures for adherence to established budgetary parameters; and prepares and submits financial documentation. Oversees equipment and supplies for the department; determines voting equipment needs for each precinct for elections; monitors the packing and preparation of voting equipment and supplies; reviews and approves supply and equipment requisitions; develops equipment specifications; obtains price quotes from vendors; prepares and updates policies and procedures for equipment storage; and manages the maintenance of all related records. Completes data entry and filing; enters new voter registration information; verifies accuracy and completeness of voter information; conducts research of state records; mails out letters to retrieve missing information and documentation; updates existing records in statewide registration base; files new, updates existing, and pulls deleted cards as appropriate; scans and indexes registration and absentee applications; and files records and correspondence after processing. Oversees the creation of print and online content to publicize and promote department programs, facilities, events, or objectives; researches and verifies information; reviews, approves, or produces newsletters, calendars, brochures, and flyers; monitors, approves, and creates content for social media and department website; and writes or edits official department announcements, emails blasts, press releases, letters, or posts. Directs the design, planning and implementation of training programs aligned with department objectives and strategies; oversees community outreach programs and events; plans, organizes, and oversees special events, facility tours, educational programs; oversees the selection of locations, dates; reviews activities and materials prepared by staff or vendors; recruits and supervises event volunteers; and coordinates set-up, staffing, and implementation of program/event plans. Represents department to media, other departments, municipalities, candidates and state officials; answers questions and provides information; coordinates work activities; reviews status of work; resolves problems; responds to media requests; gives interviews and official comments; and produces short television segments for DeKalb County TV. Salary range: $81,077 – $125,670. 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.

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.

Operations Associate, NASED— This position is part-time and fully remote, but the candidate must live in the United States. Travel to support NASED’s Winter and Summer conferences is required (approximately 10 days per year). This position reports to NASED’s Executive Director. This role does not supervise any staff. A part-time (approximately 20 hours per week), fully remote, Operations Associate for a small nonpartisan, nonprofit membership association. Reporting to the Executive Director, this new role will support all the organization’s operational needs. The responsibilities of this position will include, but are not limited to, the following: Help update and maintain website content; Help maintain NASED’s social media presence, including developing content and creating basic graphics; Work with NASED’s controller on monthly financial reports and with the auditor and accountant on annual reports and filings; Monitor and assist with responses to inquiries sent to NASED’s shared inboxes; Maintain organization distribution lists; Assist with scheduling Board and Committee meetings; Assist with conference planning, including developing the conference website via the conference management platform, creating and proofing materials, planning activities, and budgeting; Support the execution of two national conferences per year; Create and send annual invoices to organization members and Corporate Affiliate members; Other duties and special projects as assigned. Application: For the complete job listing and to apply, click here.

Policy Analyst, Bipartisan Policy Center— BPC is currently seeking a Policy Analyst to support the work of the Elections Project, which is housed within BPC’s Democracy Program. Election integrity is at risk as polarization intensifies and public trust falters. BPC Elections develops innovative, bipartisan policy solutions to the most pressing challenges in election administration. Our work is guided by the idea that election policy must be resilient to shifting political winds and crafted with the input of election officials. Our overarching goal is to foster public trust in democratic institutions by strengthening election infrastructure at the state and federal level. The Policy Analyst will play a central role in the development and implementation of the Election Project’s research and advocacy priorities. This analyst role is new; it will include existing priorities of the Elections Project and will be focused on a new effort focused on recruitment, retention, and training within the election administration workforce. The Policy Analyst must be well-versed in election administration and with strong policy research, writing, and oral communication skills. Specifically, the Policy Analyst will have the following responsibilities: Substantively support BPC Elections’ research efforts. Independently draft blogs, explainers, and sections of white papers, reports, and other written deliverables as assigned on an array of election administration topics (with focus on recruitment, retention, and training). Candidates should have a strong independent work ethic and feel comfortable conducting research and writing with minimal supervision. Assist in development of internal and external meeting agendas. Participate in project engagement with stakeholders, fellows, project principals, and task force members. Work with the development team to ensure that all development related collateral is accurate, well drafted and timely. Assist with donor maintenance as assigned. Assist in management of project interns. Assist in administrative tasks, such as scheduling meetings, maintaining listservs, and organizing in-person meetings. Application: For the complete job listing and to apply, click here.

Policy Specialist, National Conference of State Legislatures—NCSL’s Redistricting and Elections program is looking for a dynamic and flexible Policy Specialist with professional experience in policy analysis, preferably with state legislatures and elections policy, including election administration, redistricting, campaign finance and other related policy areas. The ideal candidate will have knowledge of elections policy, legislative processes, and a keen ability to analyze legislation and spot legislative trends. The Policy Specialist will conduct legislative research; provide services to support state legislatures, write reports and articles; plan and conduct meetings, and other responsibilities as needed. This position will have direct contact with legislators, legislative staff, and other officials outside of NCSL, including virtual and in-person discussions, and meetings. Work will be performed independently or as a member of a team, and this position may supervise one intern. Demonstrated ability to operate in an objective, politically neutral manner is a must. Salary: $67,681 annually. Application: For the complete 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.

Voting System Specialist, Idaho Secretary of State’s Office — This position plays a critical role within the Elections Division in helping the office ensure elections equipment used in Idaho’s elections is accurate, efficient, accessible, and secure. The position oversees the testing for certification of voting systems used to design, process, and tabulate ballots and report election results in Idaho. This position reports to the Elections Division Director. Travel may be required. The position provides guidance and advice to counties on the security and technical standards of voting systems certified for use pursuant to I.C. 34-2409. The ideal candidate for this position must adhere to high ethical standards and is comfortable working in a highly scrutinized and technical environment. The incumbent is expected to have strong communication skills that will bridge the highly technical aspects of the position to the operational at the county level. Additionally, the person in the position will present the data and test results to the public and the media. Salary: $25.00 – $29.00 Hourly. Deadline: June 5. 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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