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July 20, 2023

July 20, 2023

In Focus This Week

Software collaborative launched
Collaborative designed for election offices to share resources, best practices, and technology

U.S. Digital Response (USDR) today announced the launch of the Election Software Collaborative, a new partnership created to help election offices access low-cost, secure, and user-friendly software that relieves administrative burden. Through the Collaborative, election offices will also gain access to a community of election offices across the country to share and learn best practices.

The Collaborative’s Election Administration Platform simplifies critical tasks like election worker management, tracking campaign finance records, organizing candidate information, running an election help desk, and monitoring voting wait times. New features and products are built continuously based on Collaborative member requests, and new members can be onboarded to the Platform in a matter of weeks.

“I was in search of a poll worker management program for many years, but all of the products I reviewed were “one size fits all” databases – making it very difficult to customize to both Arizona and Mohave County needs,” shared Allen P. Tempert, Elections Director of Mohave County, AZ. “Fortunately, I learned about U.S. Digital Response. I was told that a platform would be customized to meet Mohave County’s needs using the newest technology available, and the product would remain customizable for as long as I chose to use it. Wow! Flexibility at its best. That’s the advantage of working with a collaborative such as USDR, where they draw from experts from all over the country to bring each customer a personalized product and experience. I’m extremely pleased that I joined the USDR collaborative.”

USDR is a nonpartisan nonprofit and the Election Software Collaborative’s facilitator and technical implementation partner. Since 2020, USDR has partnered with more than 50 local and state election offices to build software to make voting accessible and efficient. Along the way, they have learned about the unprecedented challenges facing election officials today, from record-high turnouts, implementing new voting methods, to addressing security risks – all in an environment of unstable funding. The Election Administration Platform, built using established digital tools like Airtable, Twilio, and SendGrid, gives election offices more customization over features and control over managing data.

“The mission of the Election Software Collaborative is to ensure every election office across the country has modern tools available to run efficient and trustworthy elections,” said Hillary Hartley, Chief Executive Officer of USDR. “We are honored to be a trusted partner helping election officials spend less time on repetitive tasks, enabling them to make progress on critical priorities.”

Dozens of election offices across the country have contributed to the creation, and use, of the system since 2020. Leading up to the official launch of the Collaborative, a diverse group of election offices, including Mohave County, AZ, Chaffee County, CO, Delaware County, PA, and Erie County, PA, have already joined the collaborative. Election offices interested in the Election Software Collaborative and Election Administration Platform can visit https://usdr.link/request-help to request more information or a demo. Membership in the Collaborative starts at $2,500 per year, with higher fees for larger jurisdictions.

About U.S. Digital Response
U.S. Digital Response is a nonpartisan nonprofit that helps governments and organizations respond quickly and efficiently to support the critical needs of the public. Founded in 2020, USDR connects governments with technology, resources, and support, leaving them better equipped to deliver services and support to millions of people nationwide. To date, USDR has built a dedicated community of over 8,000 volunteers driven to serve in a time of need and has partnered with over 400 government and nonprofit partners on more than 400 projects.

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The Journal of Election Administration Research and Practice bi-annual journal developed in partnership between the National Association of Election Officials (The Election Center) and Auburn University Election Administration Initiative designed to address the concerns of the practice, policy, research, vendor, and advocacy communities involved in the administration of elections in the US and abroad. The third edition (Volume 2, Issue 1) was recently published. Each week we’ll feature the abstract of a submission in the current edition. Submissions to the Journal are open and currently on any topic, although the editorial team is considering a special issue for later this year or early next year on a specific topic.

How A Renewed Code of Ethics Can Strengthen the Election Administration Profession

Derek Tisler, Ruby Edlin, and Daniel I. Weiner,
The Brennan Center for Justice

Although election officials have successfully managed recent election cycles amidst significant challenges, they have faced a relentless onslaught of attacks fueled by false perceptions about their work. As part of a multifaceted response to these attacks, election officials should elevate the ethical principles that guide their work to safeguard democracy. This can be achieved through the adoption of an expanded code of ethics that seeks to foster professional identity, express shared values, and promote accountability. A profession’s code of ethics establishes a foundation for expected behavior, enabling officials to navigate complex challenges while aligning with their values. Equally important, a code of ethics communicates shared values to the public, enhancing credibility and facilitating explanation of difficult decisions. For this effort to have success, election officials themselves must drive the effort, with the Election Center playing a pivotal role in leading and supporting this vital work. Read the full paper here.

Election News This Week

Ranked Choice Voting News: The Arlington County, Virginia board of elections has opted not to implement ranked choice voting for its general election in November after giving the system a test run during June primary elections. Although media reports of voter experiences with ranked choice were generally positive, the board cited voter confusion in its decision not to move forward in November. However, several board members said they still want to pursue ranked-choice voting in future elections. “While I know we’ve heard some people ask that we commit to it now and for every election thereafter, I don’t think that’s the proper thing to do at this point,” said Board Chair Christian Dorsey. From an election administration standpoint, Arlington’s experiment with ranked-choice voting is widely seen as a success, with no major glitches or technological problems. “It went as well as we could have expected it to go,” Arlington Registrar Gretchen Reinemeyer told the Virginia Mercury. Meanwhile, across the Potomac in the District of Columbia, this week the DC Board of Elections heard from proponents of a ballot measure that if approved by the voters, would implement open primaries and ranked choice voting. While many witnesses spoke for/against the concept of ranked choice voting, the board is tasked with deciding whether the proposal is eligible to be placed on the ballot for next year’s election. The elections board does not weigh in on the merits of proposed ballot initiatives, but it is required to assess whether or not they would violate existing restrictions on what residents can place on the ballot. Initiatives can’t violate the U.S. Constitution, enshrine discrimination in law, or force the D.C. Council to appropriate funds. If it gives the initiative the go-ahead, proponents will then have to collect signatures from 5% of registered voters in the city within a six-month period to get it on the ballot. But even if it is approved, opponents can still challenge the decision in court. City officials in Salem, Massachusetts are exploring the idea of ranked choice voting. During a meeting on the topic recently, much of the discussion was couched in a historical context with some noting the present election system in the city was established in 1836. Winona County, Wisconsin is also considering making the switch to ranked choice. In Pennsylvania, Rep. Christopher Rabb, D-Philadelphia, has recently introduced several pieces of election-related legislation — one of which would institute ranked choice voting at the municipal level. In Alaska, which successfully rolled out ranked choice voting in 2022 after a voter-approved ballot measure, the group that championed Alaska’s ranked-choice voting reform filed a complaint against several individuals and entities that are leading an effort to repeal Alaska’s new election laws, alleging that they violated multiple campaign finance rules and obscured the source of their funding in the process. The complaint alleges that opponents of ranked-choice voting founded a church called the Ranked Choice Education Association that could have allowed donors to gain tax advantages for their contributions while skirting disclosure requirements.

Election Office Updates: Commissioners in Richland County, Ohio allocated up to $66,000 in capital improvement dollars to pay for security remodeling and new furniture for the board of elections office in the Longview Building. The work includes new counters with a revised layout and security Plexiglas, new furniture arranged with better sight lines to the public area and a security door into the work area. The Adams County, Pennsylvania Elections and Voter Registration office is moving to a new home after outgrowing its current space. Plans are moving forward for a new 17,000-square foot building that will house the Tuscarawas County, Ohio board of elections. Construction is underway on a $29 million, 53,000-square-foot elections center in Pinal County, Arizona. The Macon-Bibb County, Georgia elections office is moving to a new home in the Macon Mall. The Frederick County, Virginia’s office of elections is moving to a new location with more room for a central absentee precinct and early in-person voting location. The Ohio secretary of state’s office is on the move. Phase one of a makeover at the Maricopa County, Arizona Ballot Tabulation Center, known as the BTC, in downtown Phoenix is underway. The Medina County, Ohio Board of Elections has renewed its current lease for another five years. Ionia County, Michigan is using a former bank building as a new early voting center. The Brown County, Texas elections office is undergoing a renovation. The Union County, North Carolina board of elections celebrated the completion of building expansion project that includes both renovations to the previous office space as well as a new, more secure location to store voting equipment. The Washington County, Tennessee election commission has moved to a new location. A new 600,000-square-foot building that will serve at Fulton County, Georgia’s new elections warehouse is set to open. The Pueblo County, Colorado clerk and recorder’s office has new, roomier digs. During recent heavy rainfall, water seeped along the floor into parts of four different rooms at the Pittsburg County, Oklahoma Election Board. Board Secretary Tonya Barnes said water seeped into her office and the office of Assistant Election Board Secretary Carla Morris, along with a supply room and equipment room. “We can’t work like this,” said Barnes. “I mean we can, but …” The offices flooded in 2015 and 2019 as well. In other flooding news, the Vermont Secretary of State’s office was impacted by the recent devastating flooding.  The Denver, Colorado Clerk and Recorder’s office was sprayed with gunfire during an incident that occurred following the NBA championship. “There were so many bullet holes, it was too many to count,” said Clerk and Recorder Paul Lopez. Although the incident was not related to the recent rise in threats against elections officials, Lopez said “It was too close for comfort.”

Sticker News: Congratulations to Dakota Tseng, a recently graduated senior from New Roots Charter School in Tompkins County, New York for winning the county’s 2023 “I Voted” sticker contest. Tseng’s design featuring a cat in a field of flowers will be printed on 30,000 “I Voted” stickers by the Board of Elections and distributed to Tompkins County voters in the 2023 general election. Tseng said, “As a recently graduated senior, I love to participate in democracy. I hope my sticker design will inspire others to engage as well!” Eight sticker designs were considered by the Tompkins County Public, submitted by eight students from local schools. Over 2,100 votes were cast for the top sticker design.  Republican Elections Commissioner Alanna Congdon said, “Kudos to Dakota and all of the young people who submitted designs – they were fantastic and great expressions of our local artistic talent. We had excellent turnout for this election – I wish we could say that about all elections! I hope that having a new and exciting sticker available only to voters in Tompkins County will encourage more people to show up to the polls this November.”  Democratic Elections Commissioner Stephen Dewitt said, “Congratulations, Dakota. Your design will be printed on tens of thousands of stickers to be distributed this November. I hope that we were able to inspire young people to be more civically engaged with elections and the political process. It’s great to see so many people engaging with this contest by voting for their favorite design.” Voters in Jefferson County, Colorado will be treated to a new “I Voted” sticker this election cycle as well. The sticker reflects the county’s sunsets over the foothills and features “I Voted” in both English and in Spanish. “The ‘I Voted’ sticker has always been a symbol of hope and excitement about using our voice to effect political change,” Jeffco Clerk and Recorder Amanda Gonzalez said. “I’m excited to have some Jeffco-specific flair in this year’s sticker and to feature both English and Spanish text, which is more inclusive — just like Jeffco aims to be.”

Personnel News: Carol Finch Rudd is retiring as the Washington County, Florida supervisor of elections after 27 years on the job. Jefferson County, Tennessee Deputy Administrator of Elections Tim Collins has retired. Lynn Kelly has resigned as the Harvard, Massachusetts town clerk. Deborah Scroggin has been hired to oversee the Portland, Oregon elections office. Heider Garcia has joined the U.S. Election Assistance Commission as a senior subject matter expert. Stephen Waluk has resigned as the Newport, Rhode Island elections administrator, Carlos Alaan will serve as the interim director.  Ohio Secretary of State Frank LaRose has officially announced his candidacy for the U.S. Senate. Malinda Hodge has resigned from the Chatham County, Georgia board of elections. Members of the boards of elections in Carteret, Guilford, Transylvania, and Wake counties were sworn in this week. Congratulations to Chief Deputy Clerk for Garfield County Elections Edna Place  and Jack Twite, deputy of elections for Douglas County for receiving an award for Election Excellence at the Colorado County Clerks Association. Congratulations to Alachua County, Florida Supervisor of Elections Kim Barton who was recently recognized by the League of Women Voters of Florida.

Legislative Updates

Federal Legislation: On a party-line vote, the U.S. Committee on House Administration passed a bill that would enact strict new voting laws for states, such as requiring copies of IDs for voting by mail, and set penalties for states that allow voting by noncitizens in local elections. The 224-page bill, H.R. 4563, was approved 8-4, and contains provisions similar to those passed in many Republican-led states since the 2020 election. While the overhaul has a chance of passage in the Republican-controlled House, it’s likely to die in the Senate, where Democrats hold a slim majority. During the markup, Democrats unsuccessfully offered more than a dozen amendments that would lengthen early voting to two weeks, expand access to voting by mail and require reporting of digital ads to the Federal Election Commission, among other election-related measures. The bill also requires that every two years, states send the federal Election Assistance Commission a report that lists inactive voters and registered voters who voted in at least one of the prior two consecutive general elections. The bill would also bar states from using federal funds to partner with a nongovernmental organization in voter registration drives or voter mobilization, “including registering voters or providing any person with voter registration materials, absentee or vote-by-mail ballot applications, voting instructions, or candidate-related information, on the property or website of the agency.” Under the bill, states that allow noncitizens to participate in local elections would need to have a separate voter roll for noncitizens who are registered and there would be a 30% reduction in federal payments to any state or local jurisdictions that permit voting by noncitizens. Those states would also be barred from receiving any federal funding to implement certain election administration activities. The bill would also require a district court to notify the chief election official of the state and the state attorney general if an individual is turned away from serving on a jury because they are not a citizen.

Congressional Democrats said they plan to introduce a bill again to set national voting standards in response to state legislatures passing strict voting laws. The bill, known in a previous Congress as the Freedom to Vote Act, would establish national standards for early voting, mail-in ballots and protection of poll workers and volunteers from harassment. It provides funds for states to purchase updated voter machines and cybersecurity updates, among other initiatives. The bill also would require super political action committees to disclose their donors and tackles gerrymandering by establishing criteria for nonpartisan congressional redistricting.

Kenai Peninsula Borough, Alaska: The Kenai Peninsula Borough Assembly is considering putting a measure on an upcoming ballot that would move municipal elections to the same day as state elections. Municipal elections traditionally take place the first Tuesday of October, while state and national elections take place the first Tuesday in November. Kenai Assembly Member Richard Derkevorkian introduced a resolution that represents a first step toward changing that: an advisory vote. “It would be placed on the ballot, and would ask the public if they’re interested in moving the regular municipal elections to align with the state election,” Derkevorkian explained. “This advisory vote takes no action. If it were to pass, the hope would be that the assembly would abide by the public’s wishes.” The goal, he said, would be to change the election dates by 2024. And he said the point of the advisory vote is to gauge interest before diving into the labor-intensive process of changing the election date.

District of Columbia: The U.S. Committee on House Administration passed 224-page bill, H.R. 4563, that takes aim at the District of Columbia, which is home to more than 700,000 residents. Because of its status as a district, D.C. has one House member who has no voting status in Congress, similar to Puerto Rico and four other U.S. territories. The bill would set voting laws for D.C., overriding any laws passed by the Council. For example, the bill would require voter IDs for someone to vote in D.C., which is currently not a requirement in D.C. elections, and would prohibit the city from using ranked choice voting. The bill also includes mandatory audits and requires the District to conduct an audit within 30 days after each election. The bill also would repeal an amendment passed by the D.C. Council in 2022 to allow noncitizens to vote in local elections.  “Yesterday’s markup demonstrated the Republican commitment to meddling in local D.C. affairs and making voting as difficult as possible for D.C. residents,” said Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton, DC’s nonvoting member of Congress. “It is ironic that Republicans in Congress, who do not represent D.C., are abusing their undemocratic power over D.C. in an attempt to make voting more difficult in a jurisdiction that is already denied voting representation in Congress. While I will work to defeat their bill, the markup was the latest form of the wide-ranging anti-home rule attacks D.C. continues to suffer at the hands of Republicans in Congress.”

Louisiana: An override attempt of a bill to require a supplemental voter canvass faltered in the House, coming just one vote shy of a two-thirds majority. House Bill 646, sponsored by Rep. Les Farnum, R-Sulphur, failed 69-30. Secretary of State Kyle Ardoin, who was the biggest cheerleader for the Farnum bill, expressed his disappointment in the outcome. “I am disappointed that the legislature was not able to override the governor’s misguided and highly partisan veto of HB 646,” Ardoin said in a press release. “ …I call upon the next Secretary of State to pursue this legislation under a pro-election integrity governor next year.”


Michigan: Gov. Gretchen Whitmer signed a bipartisan package of bills into law to expand voter rights by allowing early voting and early tabulation of absentee ballots across Michigan. The legislation, which resulted from the voter-approved Proposal 2, establishes a website for voters to track when their ballots are received and counted, and requires at least nine days of early voting before each statewide and federal election. Voters can also now fix clerical errors on their ballots and use U.S. passports, tribal photo ID cards, military ID cards or student ID cards to identify themselves when they show up to cast ballots. Proposal 2 asked whether Michigan should expand opportunities to vote, including through absentee and early voting. The measure requires state-funded absentee ballot drop boxes, as well as postage for absentee ballots and applications, and allows voters to join a permanent list to receive absentee ballots for every election. Under the new law, each municipality in Michigan is required to have at least one secure drop box for absentee ballots or at least one drop box for every 15,000 registered voters in municipalities with more than that many registered voters. “This was a thoughtful, bipartisan effort and I’m grateful to the leaders in both chambers for getting this done,” said Jocelyn Benson, Michigan’s secretary of state. “We are ready to work with Michigan’s clerks to implement these new laws in time for next year’s elections.”

South Dakota: A variety of changes to South Dakota’s election rules received final clearance Tuesday, despite two opponents speaking against some of them. The Legislature’s Rules Review Committee voted 4-1 in favor of the package from the state Board of Elections. The rules will take effect 20 days after they are filed with the South Dakota Secretary of State office.



Wisconsin: Republican lawmakers have introduced a bill that would require watermarks on absentee ballots, but election clerks say the measure could create more problems while solving none. The measure, written by Rep. Scott Allen, R-Waukesha, and Sen. Romaine Quinn, R-Cameron, would require absentee ballots that are mailed to voters to “contain a watermark that identifies the ballot as an official absentee ballot.” “To help curb public distrust in absentee ballots, it is certainly worth the additional cost to make our absentee ballots secure and restore trust in our election process,” Allen said. Diane Coenen, the clerk for the City of Oconomowoc and the chairwoman of the Wisconsin Municipal Clerks Association, said the organization does not support the bill. “We do not see a problem that needs to be fixed, nor do we see anything substantive that a watermark will fix,” Coenen said. “The legislation, to us, is really addressing what we see as mistrust in some peoples’ minds.”

Legal Updates

Arizona: Mohave County Superior Court Judge Lee Jantzen turned down a bid by Abe Hamadeh for a new trial to contest his loss in the attorney general’s race. In his order, Jantzen said he has been working on a “minute entry,” a type of court order, and hoped to have it done prior to Friday afternoon. “But a weekend fire in the court’s home and some emergencies added to my calendar have prevented completion of that minute entry,” the judge wrote. The order comes more than six months after Jantzen threw out Hamadeh’s original challenge of the election results. “The bottom line is, you just haven’t proven your case,” the judge said in December in ruling from the bench after a half-day trial. “There isn’t enough information — I don’t think even slight information — the election was done illegally or incorrectly.”

U.S. District Judge John Tuchi imposed sanctions on attorney Alan Dershowitz for his role in Kari Lake’s 2022 lawsuit aiming to ban the use of electronic voting machines in Arizona. Despite playing what Dershowitz described as an extremely limited role in Lake’s suit against the Arizona secretary of state and supervisors of both Maricopa and Pima counties, Tuchi ordered him to pay $12,220 in attorney’s fees to the Maricopa County defendants for breaking Rule 11, a federal law that holds attorneys accountable for making false or misleading allegations. Dershowitz said he intended only to give legal advice to Lake’s team, not to represent her. “In any event, Mr. Dershowitz’s subjective intent is not controlling at this stage,” Tuchi wrote in his Friday morning order. “As the court previously noted, compliance with Rule 11 is largely measured by an objective standard.”

According to Courthouse News Service, U.S. District Judge Dominic Lanza appeared likely to side against the voting rights advocates asking him to order the Arizona Legislature to release nearly 200 internal communications documents the governing body claims are protected by legislative privilege.  Mi Familia Vota and other voting rights advocacy groups subpoenaed the documents as part of a voting rights lawsuit aimed at stopping Arizona’s secretary of state from enforcing two 2021 election laws the plaintiffs say will disproportionately affect people of color. Attorneys for the groups argued in a Monday morning hearing that turning over the documents is likely to prove an intention of racial discrimination by the legislative body. But Lanza did not seem inclined to change his mind from the tentative ruling he issued on July 7, preemptively denying plaintiffs’ motion to release the documents. Lanza wrote in his tentative order that while the subject matter is important and the documents plaintiffs seek are at the heart of it, compelling the Legislature to release the documents might “chill legislative debate and earnest discussion within governmental walls.” And because it already received thousands of other documents in cooperating with the subpoena, plaintiffs should have enough evidence to go off without the extra 196 documents, he said.

Florida: The Florida Rights Restoration Coalition filed a federal lawsuit arguing that “the State of Florida has failed to realize the promise of Amendment 4.” It said the issue is not simply “bureaucratic ineptitude” but a “years’ long campaign of acts and omissions … that have thwarted the aspirations of the citizens of Florida who enacted Amendment 4, and the aspirations of those whose rights it restored.” The lawsuit points to a lack of a central statewide database where people can figure out if they’re eligible to have their voting rights restored. It also cites a backlog in advisory opinions from the Department of State and a lack of proper information provided to former felons by the Department of Corrections and the Commission on Offender Review. The lawsuit names Gov Ron DeSantis as a defendant, along with Florida Secretary of State Cord Byrd, state corrections secretary Ricky Dixon, all supervisors of election and all county clerks and others. Along with the coalition, four individuals are also suing. They argue that they fear voting because of the disorganized rollout of Amendment 4, incorrect information they have been given by county clerks and the arrests pursued by the election crime office created by DeSantis.

Georgia: The Georgia Supreme Court unanimously rejected former President Donald Trump’s bid to disqualify Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis from the 2020 presidential election probe and to quash a special purpose grand jury’s final report that recommends people be indicted. Acting promptly to address Trump’s motion filed late last week, the state’s highest court said the former president’s legal team had failed to present “extraordinary circumstances” that warranted its intervention. As for Willis, Trump “has not presented in his original petition either the facts or the law” necessary to warrant her disqualification, the court said in an unsigned five-page order. Trump’s lawyers asked the state Supreme Court to put a halt to the grand jury proceedings and let their motion be heard. It also sought to prevent Willis from using any evidence obtained by the special grand jury, which heard testimony from almost 75 witnesses. The state Supreme Court said the normal course of action would be for Trump’s legal team to file a petition first before a Fulton Superior Court judge, whose decision could then be appealed. Trump, the order said, cannot turn to the state’s highest court to try and “circumvent the ordinary channels for obtaining the relief he seeks without making some showing that he is being prevented fair access to those ordinary channels.”

U.S. District Judge Steve Jones has refused to dismiss lawsuits alleging Georgia’s congressional and legislative districts illegally discriminate against Black voters. Jones ruled that he could only decide disputes over the facts of the cases and the credibility of the witnesses after a full trial, which he set for September. “Additionally, given the gravity and importance of the right to an equal vote for all American citizens, the court will engage in a thorough and sifting review of the evidence that the parties will present in this case at a trial,” Jones wrote. The orders apply to three cases, one challenging the lines of Georgia’s 14 congressional districts and two challenging the lines of the 56 state Senate and 180 state House districts. All three lawsuits allege that the maps violate the federal voting rights act by weakening the growing electoral strength of Black voters.

Pennsylvania: Philadelphia Common Pleas Court Judge Michael Erdos recently rejected a request from former President Donald J. Trump and his presidential campaign to dismiss a defamation case filed in 2021 by James Savage, a Delaware County voting machine supervisor who accuses Trump of pushing unsubstantiated claims that he tampered with the 2020 election results. Savage said remarks from Trump and his attorney, former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani, and two Delaware County Republican poll watchers made him a target for hatred, ridicule, and physical threats. Erdos based his ruling an October 2022 letter Trump, who was no longer president, sent to the U.S. House Select Committee to Investigate the January 6 Attack on the U.S. Capitol. Trump’s letter included his Delco allegations in a litany of debunked election fraud claims. The judge said he will rule soon on Trump’s claim of immunity in two other instances — his phone-in testimony during a state Senate committee hearing in Gettysburg three weeks after the 2020 election and a tweet from Trump two days later. Trump mentioned the Delco claims in both.


Opinions This Week

National Opinions: Election deniers | Federal election legislation, II | SCOTUS rulings | Election fraud claims | Ranked choice voting | Disinformation | Voting rights | Voting restrictions

Alabama: Voting rights

Alaska: Ranked choice voting

Arizona: Ballot measures | Voter confidence

Colorado: Primaries

Connecticut: Ranked choice voting

Maine: Primaries

Michigan: Early voting | Internet voting;

Minnesota: Election laws | Voter registration

Nevada: Trust in elections

New Jersey: Voting rights

North Carolina: Election legislation, II

North Dakota: Election litigation

Ohio: Secretary of state | Ballot issues

Oklahoma: Online voter registration | Election legislation | Automatic voter registration

Tennessee: Ex-felon voting rights | Early voting

Texas: Victoria County

Virginia: Early voting, II

Washington: Snohomish County

Upcoming Events

Building Trust in Elections: Lessons from 2022, Best Practices, and Resources for Election Officials: Led by Thessalia Merivaki and Mara Suttmann-Lea, based on their research under the Learning from Elections project, and hosted by the MIT Election Data + Science Lab. This webinar brings together researchers, election officials, and organizations dedicated to supporting the work of election officials for a series of panels reflecting on lessons learned about voter education and outreach during the 2022 midterm election cycle.  Panels will feature an analysis of trust-building practices used by election officials during the election cycle, a discussion with select officials about their experiences using social media for voter outreach, and spotlight resources available for officials to develop, share, and learn from one another’s communication practices. When: July 28, 11am-2pm Eastern. Where: Online

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.

NASED Summer Conference: The National Association of State Election Directors will hold its 2023 summer conference in South Carolina. There will be no virtual option this year.  Where: South Carolina. When: July 25-27.

NCSL Legislative Summit: The National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL) will hold its annual meeting, Legislative Summit, in August. This year’s elections track features election perspectives from across the spectrum, a live recording of the podcast, High Turnout, Wide Margins, a tour of the Marion County Election Board Office, a free precon on election security, accuracy and communications, and a free postcon on redistricting. To register visit NCSL’s Summit 2023 webpage; for the pre- and postcons, contact Katie.King@ncsl.org. When: Aug. 13-17. Where: Indianapolis, Indiana.

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. The conference will include plenary sessions, workshops, the CERA graduation ceremony and an optional tour of the Orange County, Florida supervisor of elections offices. 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.

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.

Chief Deputy Election Commissioner, Sedgwick County, Kansas— As part of the Election office senior leadership team, this position is responsible for overseeing the logistics, ballot creation and results of the Sedgwick County Election office. The position oversees staff to ensure tight timelines are met and each election and election site is staffed, has the proper equipment, and the ballot questions are accurate. Additionally, this positon provides leadership, management and direction relating to federal, state, and local elections in compliance with all applicable laws, regulations, policies, and rules. The Chief Deputy Election Commissioner also oversees outreach and education strategies designed to inform and engage voters. This position works with emotionally charged individuals seeking election information, and must work to resolve situations following all laws, regulations, and department policies. During peak times, the employee in this position has a significant workload, often working more than 40 hours per week. The Chief Deputy Election Commissioner assumes the responsibilities of Election Commissioner when necessary, and represents the Office of the Election Commissioner when requested. Application: For the complete job listing and to apply, click here.

Chief Deputy Registrar of Voters, San Bernardino, California— The San Bernardino County Registrar of Voters seeks a dynamic and innovative administrator who can lead and thrive in a fast-paced environment to manage our elections programs, processes, and team.  The Chief Deputy Registrar of Voters is a forward-thinking individual that assists with guiding the future direction of the department and its processes, taking a hands-on approach to find solutions while working collaboratively with a knowledgeable and dedicated team. The Chief Deputy Registrar of Voters is a key member of the Department’s senior management team, participating in organizational strategic planning and administering election programs. The position serves as a Chief over a division of the Registrar of Voters (ROV) office and has primary responsibility for assisting the ROV in planning, conducting, and certifying all Primary, General, and Special elections. Salary: $85,425.60 – $118,684.80. Application: For the complete job listing and to apply, click here.

Data Analyst, Protect Democracy— VoteShield, a project of Protect Democracy, seeks highly motivated and civic-minded Data Analysts to join our growing team. VoteShield’s goal is to maintain complete and accurate voter data in order to ensure free and fair elections for all qualified voters. As a member of this world-class analysis and engineering team, you will analyze voter registration data, work with election administrators, and grow your technical skills. Ideal candidates will be critical thinkers with a command of data analysis techniques and the ability to distill findings into clear, accessible reports and presentations. We are seeking people who bring an interest in civic data, commitment to non-partisanship, and passion for defending and strengthening our democracy through free and fair elections. We do not expect that any one candidate will have all of the experiences and requirements listed — our current data analysis team comes from a variety of professional backgrounds, including academia and the public and private sectors. We highly encourage you to apply if the job description gets you excited about the role and the work of Protect Democracy & VoteShield. You may work from any location in the United States, and candidates from diverse backgrounds and from across the political and ideological spectrum are strongly encouraged to apply. Application: For the complete job listing and to apply, click here.

Deputy Counsel, Minnesota Secretary of State’s Office— As the Deputy General Counsel, you will provide legal advice to the Office of the Minnesota Secretary of State (OSS) as well as information to our county and municipal Election partners, Business Services partners, and the general public. This position serves as the subject matter expert on: data practices compliance; legislation review and rulemaking; advising on applicable federal and state statutes, case law, and administrative rules and practices. This position will work closely with the General Counsel, Deputy Secretary of State, OSS’s division directors, and the Attorney General’s office. Responsibilities include: Provide legal analysis and advice with respect to the application of Minnesota statutes and rules to fact situations and hypothetical questions. Provide on an agency wide basis, legal advice regarding OSS compliance with the Minnesota Government Data Practices Act and other applicable privacy laws. Assist in executing all legal and regulatory aspects of rulemaking. Provide legal review of legislation and assist in fiscal note coordination as required by the legislature. Salary: $80,137 – $118,848. Deadline: July 31. 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.

Director of Elections and Voter Registration, Spartanburg County, South Carolina— Performs difficult professional and administrative work directing the registration, voting and election activities for the County. Work is performed under the general supervision of the Board of Voter Registration, Spartanburg Election Commission. Supervision is exercised over subordinate personnel.  Plans, directs, coordinates and supervises the elections process held in Spartanburg County; Plans, directs, coordinates, supervises staff including training and evaluating the work of department personnel, including selection of new employees; Performs related supervisory functions such as authorizing transfers, promotions and terminations; Maintains a pool of 450-600 certified Poll Managers; Maintains access and use of sites in County for voting precincts; Directs necessary maintenance and care of electronic voting machines; Coordinates outreach voter registration; Directs voter registration, changes, deletions, etc. to keep voter rolls accurate; Oversees maintenance of official maps for all precincts and districts; Directs maintenance of street index file including additions, annexations and changes;  Liaises with State Research and Statistical Services on mapping issues; Plans and directs pre-election voter registration drives and activates setup and operation of Geographic Information System when available; and Performs related tasks as required. Salary: $75,000 – $85,000. Application: For the complete job listing and to apply, click here.

Election Specialist, Mesa County, Colorado — As an employee in the Election Division, duties focus on a variety of work related to elections office goals, including voter registration applications, additions, changes, cancellations, and party affiliation in voter registrations. Workload, focused within the election office during an election cycle, including working with other staff to complete voter registration data entry, processing voters, and assisting the voting process of the ACP program and military/overseas voters, operation and maintenance of the election equipment, maintenance of the Address Library, voter cancelations using SCORE, and bulk print mailings. Other duties may include coordinating and organization of supplies for office and polling location in preparation for an election. Assist with election judge recruitment, assisting with scheduling and judge training. Performs daily data entry of voter registration forms, as needed. Overall, working as a team, individuals will gravitate towards and excel at certain tasks but every team member should have a solid understanding of all the tasks, which ensures redundancy and collaboration. Salary: $19.07-$21.45/hour. Deadline: July 26. Application: For the complete job listing and to apply, click here.

Elections Technician or Specialist, Larimer County, Colorado— Are you a self-motivated, positive teammate who thrives in a fast-paced, professional environment? The Larimer County Clerk & Recorder Elections division offers an outstanding opportunity for an exciting career in the field of Election Administration – where the foundation of government begins for our citizens! We are seeking skilled Elections Technicians/Elections Specialists to join our highly respected team. This position provides support and oversight for certain election-related processes. Successful candidates will be dedicated and confident, possess excellent interpersonal and problem-solving skills, and be available to work evenings, weekends, and some holidays during elections cycles. We serve a population of more than 300,000 citizens, more than 250,000 of which are registered voters. We embrace innovative processes and have a shown reputation for integrity. Join our team, apply today! Salary: $22.69 – $29.95 Hourly. Deadline: July 23. Application: For the complete job listing and to apply, click here.

IT Coordinator, St. Johns County, Florida— The IT Coordinator is a critical role in the organization responsible for overseeing the technology operations of the Supervisor of Elections office operating in a Microsoft Windows environment. This includes managing the IT staff, ensuring the security and integrity of the organization’s data and systems, and identifying and implementing new technologies to improve efficiency and productivity. The IT Coordinator manages core network operations, reports to senior management, and collaborates with other department heads to align Information Technology strategies to maximize organizational operations. Responsible for ensuring the smooth operation of the Supervisor of Elections office and systems while identifying and implementing new technologies to improve efficiency and productivity. Salary: $80,000 – $92,500 a year. Application: For the complete job listing and to apply, click here.

Legal and Electoral Dispute Resolution Expert, The Carter Center— The Democracy Program at The Carter Center works globally to support and strengthen participatory democracy, consistent with human rights. Beginning in 2020, The Carter Center began efforts to support elections in the United States. There are multiple key aspects to this project: establishing nonpartisan observation efforts, bolstering the electoral dispute resolution process, tracking disinformation and dangerous speech, contributing to electoral reform, and promoting a set of candidate principles for trusted elections. The Carter Center’s proposed electoral dispute resolution program aims to bolster public awareness of existing mechanisms to resolve electoral challenges as a means of building confidence in the process and encouraging peaceful acceptance of results. It also seeks to identify and propose meaningful reforms to strengthen those mechanisms and make them more coherent. Ahead of the 2024 election cycle, The Carter Center is proposing a four-pronged program of work that to increase the transparency, accessibility, timeliness and accountability of electoral dispute resolution mechanisms and thereby bolster public trust in the electoral process. The program will seek to both raise awareness of existing mechanisms for electoral dispute resolution and provide recommendations for their improvement. This position will also serve as our legal expert and will work closely with other members of the US Electoral expert team to assess the extent to which the US legislation, state legislation, and their implementation complies with international election standards. The legal analyst is expected to understand the legal framework of elections in the United States, generally, brief staff on election-related legal issues, and meet with relevant stakeholders as requested. Salary: Commensurate with experience Length of Assignment: Through August 31, 2023, with possibility of extension or contract renewal. Application: For the complete job listing and to apply, click here.

Network Manager, Rhode Island Secretary of State’s Office— The Network Manager will manage, maintain, document, and operate the Department of State’s (Department) network. Additionally, the Network Manager will configure, update, secure, and install network equipment with the Department’s infrastructure as well as work with other members of the eGov and IT Division to ensure secure reliable service to staff and the public. The Network Manager performs various duties including, but not limited to: Install, secure, maintain, troubleshoot, and repair LAN and WAN network hardware, software, systems, and cabling; Work with Department staff to assist them in understanding and utilizing network services and resources; Build and maintain network log infrastructure and support critical response initiatives; Manage, monitor, document, and expand the network infrastructure; Resolve desktop and networking problems; Assist staff with maintaining voice, data, and wireless communications; Develop and implement policies related to secure hardware and software; Optimize and maintain network security through the proper design, implementation and maintenance of network devices, appliances, and other systems; Plan and implement new network installations and upgrades; Maintain an orderly networking office and equipment storage area; Participate in Disaster Recovery and Business Continuity planning, drill, and implementation activities; and Perform other duties as required. Salary: $73,416 – $83,126. Application: For the complete job listing and to apply, click here.

Registration & Elections Supervisor, DeKalb County, Georgia— The following duties are normal for this position. The omission of specific statements of the duties does not exclude them from the classification if the work is similar, related, or a logical assignment for this classification. Other duties may be required and assigned. Supervises, directs, and evaluates assigned staff; develops and oversees employee work schedules to ensure adequate coverage and control; compiles and reviews timesheets; approves/processes employee concerns and problems and counsels or disciplines as appropriate; assists with or completes employee performance appraisals; directs work; acts as a liaison between employees and management; and trains staff in operations, policies, and procedures. 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 ; and assists with the revision of procedure manuals as appropriate. Conducts elections; supervises personnel to ensure that all elections are conducted in accordance with state and federal laws and regulations; secures early voting locations and recommends schedule; appoints site managers and determines staffing requirements for early and election day voting; works with polling locations and County Information Technology staff to ensure technology capabilities; develops and reviews training for compliance with election laws; monitors early voting traffic; recommends changes in procedures to resolve issues; conducts election night precinct check in, election audit and preparation of precinct statistics; monitors election tasks lists; monitors election software programming; and oversees financial filings process. Implements, monitors and maintains registration functions and processes; reviews registration functions and processes such as felon registrations, duplicate voters, citizenship verification, jury summons questionnaires, provisional voting, election night precinct check in and election audit; monitors and ensures compliance with established protocols and procedures; and updates protocols and procedures as needed. Prepares and completes a variety of registration, production and election reports; compiles and/or tracks various administrative and/or statistical data; generates and prepares data; submits all mandated reports to local, state and federal regulatory agencies or others as required; and maintains related records. Maintains training and procedure manuals; and develops, updates, and revises manuals for all procedures involving voter registration and election functions. 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 and implementing department budget; review. Salary: $54,927 – $88,433. Application: For the complete job listing and to apply, click here.

Training Program Coordinator, Charleston County, South Carolina— This position is responsible for the recruiting, coordinating, and training of Election Day poll managers on the policies, procedures, and SC State law regarding the administering of fair, honest, and accurate elections within the polling places on Election Day and during early voting. This position will also train all temporary Early Voting staff. This position will be responsible for developing all instruction manuals and materials. This position reports directly to the Deputy Director of Election Operations. Salary: $53,248 – $69,784. Application: For the complete job listing and to apply, click here.


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