In Focus This Week
Can information campaigns restore public trust?
By Dr. Thad Kousser
University of California San Diego
This is a story about trust – and partnership.
As every election official knows, election administration offices have limited amounts of staff time and limited financial resources, so they need to make careful decisions. Academic researchers often want to help, but too often, they don’t know what questions are truly important to election administrators. As researcher myself, together with four colleagues (Jennifer Gaudette and Seth Hill at UC San Diego, Mackenzie Lockhart at Yale, and Mindy Romero of the USC Center for Inclusive Democracy), I set out to learn what issues were most pressing for election officials, and see if there were ways we could use our research skills to help.
For years, election officials have worked to explain to the public the protections that safeguard the integrity of elections. Since 2020, when a longtime trickle of unsubstantiated claims of fraud became a flood, this trust-building work has become even more important. Many officials have created informational videos to increase trust in elections. Are these videos effective?
After discussions with election officials in Texas, Georgia, Colorado, and Los Angeles County, our academic team designed a set of national, state, and county surveys to test the impact of public information videos. We went in the field two weeks after the 2022 midterms, showing survey respondents examples of the actual videos that election officials produced.
Our sample, drawn to reflect the eligible voter population, looked like this:
- 3,038 Americans nationwide, plus over samples of
- 1,467 Texas eligible voters
- 1,224 Georgia eligible voters
- 1,379 Colorado eligible voters
- 1,230 Los Angeles County eligible voters
Our findings were reassuring.
- Informational videos from election officials are effective at increasing trust in elections. Respondents in our national survey who watched videos from Virginia or Arizona election officials became more trusting in the accuracy and integrity of elections in other states. In each of our state and county surveys, we found that at least one of the two videos we showed explaining elections in that state increased respondents’ trust in their own state’s elections.
- The increase in trust did not vary by party. Republicans and independents were no less responsive to the public information messages than Democrats.
Going National: Are election trust videos worth the effort?
Secretaries of state, county registrars, and other officials use television advertisements and social media campaigns to explain who administers elections and the steps they take to protect elections integrity and deliver accurate vote counts. To test whether Americans have solidified views on trust in elections – or whether official informational messages can change their perspectives and increase trust – we designed and carried out survey experiments. These experiments randomly assign survey respondents to the “treatment” of watching one of these videos on election integrity or the “control” of viewing a commercial on a totally unrelated topic. We then ask them about their trust in elections in their own state and in other states, as well as their beliefs about the prevalence of fraud. If respondents randomly placed into the treatment groups report more trust in elections than those in the control group, we knew we could confidently conclude that the videos influenced them.
In our Yankelovich Survey with a national sample, we tested the effectiveness of two videos. One, the “Democracy Defended” ad from Virginia, introduces elections clerks from across the state in order to put a human face on those protecting the vote. The second, “Phil in the Blanks” from Maricopa County in Arizona, provides an in-depth description of the procedures and practices that safeguard election integrity there. We compared trust among those who watched these videos to a control group viewing an ad featuring Jake from State Farm.
Watching a one of the videos from election officials increases the percentage of Americans who report that they trust how elections are run in other states by 2.5 percentage points and who trust that election officials do not commit fraud by 2.9 percentage points. These results are “statistically significant,” – that is, they are so large that they would not be produced by random chance alone in 95 out of 100 cases.
State and County Surveys Results
In each state or county, using similar methods, we found that least one election video tested caused an increase in trust, and these effects were considerably stronger than the effects we saw in our national experiment:
- In Texas, watching “SOS 101: Voting Systems in Texas,” in which Secretary of State John Scott explained how voting systems work in Texas, increased the percentage of respondents who reported that they trusted their own state’s elections “some” or “a lot” by thirteen percentage points, the largest impact of any of the videos that we tested.
- In Georgia, watching Secure the Vote: Voting System, a video explaining how voting in person on Election Day works, increased the percentage of Georgia respondents who reported that they trusted their own state’s elections “some” or “a lot” by 7.7 percentage points.
- In Colorado, viewing a fact-based video from the Denver Elections Division providing information on how risk-limiting audits work increased the percentage of Colorado respondents who reported that they trusted their own state’s elections “some” or “a lot” by 4.6 percentage points.
- In Los Angeles County, watching video produced by the office of Registrar Dean Logan explaining that his office is the official source for factual and unbiased information about the election increased the percentage of Los Angeles County respondents who reported that they trusted their own state’s elections “some” or “a lot” by 7.5 percentage points.
- Interestingly, not everything worked. We did not observe a significant increase in trust among those who watched a bipartisan video of the current and former Secretaries of State of Colorado agreeing that Colorado elections are safe, an appearance on Fox news by a Texas official, or a video produced by our research team based on Instagram posts from the LA Registrar’s office about how to cast your vote (which simply rotated them with music in the background).
Taken together, these findings provide rigorous evidence that public information campaigns can be effective at restoring trust in American elections. And these videos were no less effective at increasing trust among Republicans than they were among independents and Democrats, both in the national survey and in our state and county surveys – Americans of all partisan stripes are open to learning more about election protections and, learning more can increase their levels of trust. As the 2024 presidential contest approaches, a robust public information campaign could play a significant role in restoring faith in American elections.
There is much more to learn about. How sticky are these effects – that is, how long do these increases in trust last? What are the best ways to get these messages to voters? Are there any other messengers, such as poll workers, faith leaders, elected leaders, or celebrities whose communications could strengthen (or undermine) election trust? And what’s the connection between increasing election trust and decreasing harassment of (and increasing appreciation of) election workers?
For academics and election administrators alike, partnerships aren’t always easy. But by working together, and with academics listening carefully to administrators to determine how best to use research skills, we can yield insights that administrators can put to work to address the toughest problems facing America’s elections.
Looking forward, our team hopes to continue its work. We believe our research-practice partnership provides a model for ways that researchers can serve election administrators. The Yankelovich Center for Social Science Research at UC San Diego, which I co-direct, aims to supports more research-practice partnerships, especially those that can support election administrators and others working to strengthen democratic institutions. After all, there are 6,000 counties in the United States (not even counting the hundreds of municipalities in nine states that administer their own elections). There’s a lot of work to be done.
Support for this project was provided by the MIT Election Data and Science Lab’s “Evolving Election Administration Landscape” grant program. Please contact Co-Director Thad Kousser (firstname.lastname@example.org) with any questions you have about this study or interest in a future research-practice partnership. Learn more on the Center’s website.
A research brief detailing the survey experiments that we conducted to test the impact of the videos can be read here and a full report on the national Yankelovich Center Survey of trust after the 2022 midterms is available here.
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Election News This Week
Early Voting Update: Early voting is underway everywhere that it’s permitted including several localities in Michigan for the first time. While places haven’t seen the turnout levels that they would during a presidential year numbers are still relatively brisk nationwide. An analysis by the Plain Dealer found that early voting in Ohio was on track to exceed the number of people who voted early in August. In Michigan 12 jurisdictions volunteered to pilot the state’s new early, in-person voting process before it becomes mandatory statewide in 2024. Pilot clerks are sharing information with each other, which Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson’s office will digest to improve the statewide rollout. Pilots are ranging from nine days in places like East Grand Rapids and Ludington to three days in Westland. “I have not been able to vote in a precinct in person in a long time, because I am always busy on Election Day,” said Lansing voter Robin Stites, 44. “So, it’s kind of a nice option to have to be able to actually come in and put my ballot through the tabulator.” In Virginia, where state Republicans have done an about face on early voting and are actually encouraging their voters to get to the polls early, turnout appears to be up. Data from the Virginia Public Access Project shows more Republican voters could be taking advantage of the state’s early voting window compared to past elections. The share of early in-person votes so far cast early between Democrats and Republicans is a narrower gap than years past. Early voting for local elections in New York is also seeing stronger turnout than in years past. Dustin Czarny, the Democratic commissioner for Onondaga County, said it can be “hard to really judge” statistics on the uptake of early voting since it has only been available since 2019. “Anytime you have more people using a tool than you had in the past, comparatively, that’s a good thing,” he said. It’s first election under new administrative rules, Harris County, Texas is seeing a large early voting turnout. More than 54,400 in-person ballots were cast within the first four days of early voting. There have also been a hodgepodge of random issues. In Kootenai County, Idaho, a battle for limited parking spaces for electioneers resulted in a car accident in the elections office parking lot. “I would’ve never thought that would happen,” said County Clerk Jennifer Locke. Police were also called when two campaigners got into a disagreement about filming. Locke said she received feedback from community members and other county officials on ways to reduce tensions outside the election office while early voting continues. “We all worked together at the county to figure out a solution, but obviously we still have to respect the freedom to gather and freedom of speech,” Locke said. “It’s a balance.” In Adams County, Colorado a construction vehicle took out a drop box in Aurora. The box was located in front of a church and County Clerk and Recorder Josh Zygielbaum said his office would have staff onsite to collect ballots during the Souls to the Polls event since the drop box will not be replaced before the election. The Board of Elections and Sheriff’s Department in Hamilton County, Ohio have once again had to re-route traffic headed to the county’s early voting site to allow for an easier flow of traffic. An early voting site in Travis County, Texas had to be temporarily closed due to flooding in the area. In Williamson County, Texas, a poll worker had to be hospitalized for a medical emergency that may have stemmed from a confrontation with a poll watcher. Other poll workers intervened quickly and began life-saving measures, which first responders continued once on the scene and the affected poll worker was taken to the hospital and is recovering.
Senate Testimony: Elections officials testified before the U.S. Senate Rules and Administration Committee this week about the threats and intimidation they are facing and that is forcing many to leave their jobs. Senators stressed the bipartisan nature of the issue and witnesses – which included state officials from Arizona, Pennsylvania and Nebraska and the Rutherford County, Tennessee, administrator of elections. Democratic and Republican election workers have been the targets of “threats and abusive conduct,” Rules Committee Chair Amy Klobuchar, a Minnesota Democrat, said. Congress must “continue the federal funding and to make clear this is a bipartisan, nonpartisan piece of the work that we do,” Klobuchar said. Pennsylvania Secretary of the Commonwealth Al Schmidt, a Republican and the state’s highest ranking election official, described a vicious cycle. Experienced elections officials’ resignations left less experienced workers in charge. “They’re more likely to make errors and make errors in an environment where everything is perceived as being intentional and malicious and seeking to change the outcome of the election,” he said. Schmidt said the difficulty in retaining election workers and recruiting new ones is “one of the biggest challenges” in running elections. J. Alan Farley, who oversees a county election commission in Rutherford County, Tennessee, said his workers have not experienced physical threats and the issue has not affected his office’s recruitment efforts.But, Farley said, county elections officials in Tennessee did face cybersecurity challenges and could use federal funding to address them, he said. “Many counties in the state of Tennessee do not have adequate funding for county IT departments,” he said.
Election Monitoring: Six nonprofit, nonpartisan voter advocacy groups sent a letter to Secretary of State Shirley Weber requesting that she take action because they have “grave” concerns about Shasta County’s upcoming Nov. 7 special election. The nonprofit groups are asking that Weber’s office, among other things, monitor the election to make sure the county is following the law and give Shasta County Registrar of Voters Cathy Darling Allen any help she requests. The letter also was sent to Gov. Gavin Newsom, Attorney General Rob Bonta, Shasta County’s five supervisors and Darling Allen. “Our requests are based on the following grave concerns, which we believe call for urgent, decisive, and sustained response from your office, not the least because of the rapid approach of a special election in Shasta County on November 7, 2023, and the presidential primary election on March 5, 2024,” the letter in part states. In an email to the Record Searchlight, Darling Allen stated: “I appreciate that there are many advocates across the state watching what’s happening here in Shasta and speaking up to defend the voters of Shasta County and the process. As I have said many times, I believe that is the job of my staff and I: to defend the voters and ensure their voices are heard. I believe that AB969 is lawful and that it applies here. I intend to follow the law in conducting November’s election, which means using our voting system to tabulate the results and performing the legally required manual tally audit.” Weber sent her own letter to Shasta County officials saying the county must comply with must comply with new legislation that bars the hand-counting of ballots. Weber said her office “stands ready to take any actions necessary to ensure that Shasta County conducts all elections in accordance with state law.”
Congratulations: Congratulations to the town of Glastonbury, Connecticut for being one of the winners of the 2022 Democracy Cup for high voter turnout. Connecticut’s Democracy Cup is given to towns in four population categories that have the highest voter turnout during state and federal elections. Glastonbury, Deep River, Mansfield, and Stamford won this year’s battle, earning the right to have their names etched on the cup a la Lord Stanley’s Cup. Secretary of State Stephanie Thomas visited Glastonbury and presented Town Clerk Michelle Krampitz, Democratic Registrar of Voters Charlie Murray, and Republican Registrar of Voters Lisbeth Becker with a big, silver cup in the large-town category for the 2022 election year. It’s the third year Glastonbury has taken the top spot, winning in 2014 and 2020 as well. With a population of 35,061, Glastonbury’s voter turnout was 66.82 percent. Becker said she was surprised that the town had won again. “The turnout was less than what it was four years earlier if you’re comparing midterm elections,” Becker said. “It came on the heels of when we won in 2020. There was almost an 89-percent turnout. Where were all those people who were here in 2020? But we’re always very happy, and we enjoy the recognition. It’s a tribute to our poll workers and community, that they have a strong civic desire to participate in local affairs, and state and federal elections.” Deep River won the cup in the small-town category, Mansfield won in the mid-size category, and Stamford won in the city category. “I spend much of my time every day thinking about how to foster turnout,” Thomas said. “And the answer is complex. A lot of attention is given to policy, but it takes more than that to convince people to go out and cast a ballot. It takes the hard work and care of election administrators who simply have to make things work — from working through a global pandemic to ensuring that lists are maintained and that voters are educated about how to cast a ballot.”
Sticker News: Congratulations to artist Hollis Callas for winning San Francisco’s inaugural “I Voted” sticker contest. Between August and September, over 650 designs were submitted to replace the typical firetruck-red “I Voted!” stickers that are handed out to voters on election day. Entries were discussed by a panel of city officials and voted on by residents between Oct. 10 and Oct. 17. With over 3,000 votes out of nearly 10,000, Callas was announced as the contest’s winner. Her design incorporates several classic San Francisco motifs, including the Golden Gate Bridge, Sutro Tower, California poppies, a sea lion and the city’s iconic wild parrots. “I just feel so honored,” Callas said. “There’s this validation of people really appreciating my work, and that doesn’t happen on a day-to-day basis.” Callas, who works independently as a designer and illustrator, said she decided to participate in the contest after receiving an email about it that was sent out to everyone registered to vote in the city. She spent a week designing her sticker and sent in her application as soon as the contest officially opened. Her design was inspired by the natural beauty of San Francisco, she said, where she’s lived for eight years. “It’s one of the most beautiful places, and part of that is this mix of urban landscape and city and community, but also the natural beauty,” Callas said. “We have so much natural beauty surrounding us. That really inspires the artwork in my illustrations.”
Personnel News: Tara Graf is the new assistant director of elections and registration in Porter County, Indiana. Ian Ridgeway has resigned as the deputy director of the Miami County, Ohio board of elections. Congratulations to Wendy Imbody of Marion County for being named Ohio’s poll worker of the year.
New Jersey: A bill to allow fully electronic voting for blind voters passed the New Jersey Assembly earlier this year by a wide margin, but it still hasn’t received even a hearing in the state Senate. Advocates are hopeful it may pass in the Legislature’s end-of-year session. the state Assembly voted 69-3 in February to allow ballots to be returned electronically by voters with applicable disabilities. A companion bill, S-3302, was introduced in the state Senate a year ago but has seen no movement since then. Disability Rights New Jersey has been lobbying for the change and found a receptive ear in Assembly Majority Leader Louis Greenwald, a South Jersey Democrat. “I was saddened to learn that New Jersey’s vote by mail system stops halfway in providing an accessible mail-in ballot to voters with visual and dexterity impairments, since it requires them to print and sign their ballot,” Greenwald said in a statement. “I felt I had to do something about this issue. The bill passed with strong bipartisan support in the Assembly, and I’m thrilled to have the governor’s support on it. Ensuring that every New Jerseyan, regardless of disability, has the ability to vote privately and independently, whether in person or by mail, is common-sense and the right thing to do.” State Sen. Fred Madden, a sponsor of the Senate version, said the bill is a “priority” that he’ll work to get approved “during the lame duck period before the end of the year.”
Ohio: Sen. Niraj Antani (R-Miamisburg), proposed a bill this week that would ban the use of ballot boxes at boards of election throughout the state. Drop boxes were formally legalized in Ohio in a 2022 election reform law that, among other things, regulated that there could only be one dropbox per county that must be under 24/7 surveillance. Antani, a second-term state senator who represents the bulk of Dayton in the 6th Senate District, said in a press release that the formal legalization of drop boxes was a “disastrous policy.” “I strongly opposed drop boxes then, as I do now, and so I’m seeking to undo this. Drop boxes will lead to severely illegal ballot harvesting, it makes our elections less secure and it leaves lots and lots of ballots in an unsecured receptacle that could be tampered with,” Antani said in an interview with the Dayton Daily News. “I think this will fill our elections with election integrity and so it’s something we have to do.” Montgomery County Board of Elections Director Jeff Rezabek disagreed with Antani’s claims. “We have not seen any of that in Montgomery County and I’m generally not aware that it’s an issue throughout the state of Ohio,” Rezabek said, noting that Ohioans are freely able to request drop box surveillance recordings, which are public record.
Wisconsin: Assaulting a Wisconsin election official could get you 18 months in prison under a bipartisan bill circulated that would also prohibit the public from accessing clerks’ phone numbers or addresses through records requests. The proposal, which comes as local clerks across the country report increased harassment since the 2020 presidential election, would also provide election officials who report fraud or irregularities with whistleblower protections. It would also raise the penalty for sharing election officials’ addresses or phone numbers on social media with the intent of harassing, intimidating or threatening them. “Individuals operating in the capacity of an election official should feel safe while conducting their duties in the State of Wisconsin,” bill authors Reps. Joy Goeben, R-Hobart; Donna Rozar, R-Marshfield; and Sylvia Ortiz-Velez, D-Milwaukee, said in a memo to legislators seeking cosponsors for the bill. Under the bill, physically attacking election officials would be raised from a misdemeanor to a Class I felony, subjecting offenders to up to 18 months in prison and two years of extended supervision. The penalty for publicizing election officials’ phone numbers, addresses or other personally identifiable information would be raised from a fine to a misdemeanor if the person knows releasing that information would lead to officials receiving threats or physical harm. The bill would also prohibit employment discrimination against local officials who lawfully report activity that they believe constitutes election fraud or some other irregularity.
This week, lawmakers discussed a bill that would allow clerks to start processing absentee ballots a day before Election Day, though the measure contains other provisions Democrats oppose. Election officials would not start counting the votes early under the “Monday processing” bill, but perform certain tasks like ensuring the voter is not ineligible due to a felony conviction and checking that the envelope contains information like a witness signature. Clerks also want to run ballots through voting equipment early, though an amendment to the bill would eliminate that option. Clerks noted that running ballots through the machines doesn’t mean the votes are counted early, just that tallies can be compiled more quickly after 8 p.m. on election night if ballots have already been fed into the tabulators, which sometimes experienced jams. Legislators from both sides of the aisle agree that the bill could reduce voter confusion that results from large amounts of ballots being processed late and added to the returns, sometimes changing which candidate is in the lead compared with earlier partial tallies. It’s not yet clear whether the bill will reach the finish line in its current form. Evers supports the idea of Monday processing, saying it “would help a lot.” No Democrats are currently signed onto the proposal. They have criticized the bill for containing other provisions beyond the Monday processing piece, including a requirement that the Wisconsin Elections Commission verify voters’ citizenship status with state Department of Transportation records.
Wyoming: The Joint Corporations, Elections and Political Subdivisions Committee unanimously passed proposed legislation that would add a lower-level charge for election intimidation. Current law only classifies voter intimidation as a felony. The proposed bill would create a misdemeanor offense for election intimidation against an election official or an elector. Voter intimidation is now only a felony charge in Wyoming, which some have argued discourages county attorneys from prosecuting the violation. The bill also narrows what’s considered felony voter intimidation to only include performed or attempted acts of intimidation. Previously, threats of intimidation were also included under the felony umbrella. Aggravated election intimidation could include inducing or attempting to induce fear in an election official or elector by use of force, violence, harm or loss. Soliciting the contribution of money, other items of value or election assistance to the campaign of any candidate, candidate’s committee, political action committee or sponsors of a ballot proposition by use of threats of physical violence are also acts that would qualify for prosecution of this felony. If found guilty of aggravated election intimidation, a person could receive up to five years in prison and up to $10,000 in fines. The misdemeanor charge for election intimidation contains almost identical language but would be limited to events where only verbal threats were made. This charge would carry a sentence of up to six months in jail and $1,000 in fines.
Secretary of State Chuck Gray suggested the committee draft legislation to create a 30-day durational residency requirement in an effort to further secure Wyoming’s elections. Sen. Eric Barlow, R-Gillette, proposed an amendment to allow people who have lived in Wyoming for less than 30 days to vote for president and vice president in the state to “take any ambiguity out.” Barlow’s amendment was approved by a vote of 6-5. The committee then approved the bill draft for consideration during the upcoming budget session by a vote of 11-2.
Connecticut: Superior Court Judge William Clark has ordered a new Democratic mayoral primary in Bridgeport to be held after the Nov. 7 general election is completed. The decision comes after surveillance videos showed a woman stuffing what appeared to be absentee ballots into an outdoor ballot box days before the original primary. Clark determined the allegations of possible malfeasance warrant throwing out the results of the Sept. 12 primary, which incumbent Bridgeport Mayor Joe Ganim won by 251 votes out of 8,173 cast. Absentee ballots secured his margin of victory. “The volume of ballots so mishandled is such that it calls the result of the primary election into serious doubt and leaves the court unable to determine the legitimate result of the primary,” Clark wrote in his ruling, adding that the videos “are shocking to the court and should be shocking to all the parties.” The new primary date has not been set yet. Under Connecticut law, voters using a collection box must drop off their completed ballots themselves, or designate certain family members, police, local election officials or a caregiver to do it for them. Lawyers for city officials questioned the accuracy and relevance of the plaintiff’s review of the video and argued in a joint legal brief that the video does not prove any illegality. They also noted repeatedly that “not one voter” testified about their ballot being mishandled. The State Elections Enforcement Commission is currently investigating the allegations of ballot-stuffing, as well as other complaints of possible election improprieties surrounding the same primary.
Georgia: U.S. District Judge Steve Jones ruled that some of Georgia’s congressional, state Senate and state House districts were drawn in a racially discriminatory manner and ordered state lawmakers to draw an additional Black-majority congressional district. Jones, in a 516-page order, also said the state must draw two new Black-majority districts in Georgia’s 56-member state Senate and five new Black-majority districts in its 180-member state House. Jones ordered Georgia’s Republican-controlled General Assembly and GOP governor to take action before Dec. 8, saying he wouldn’t permit 2024 elections to go forward under the current maps. That would require a special session, as lawmakers aren’t scheduled to meet again until January. If the state fails to enact remedial plans by his deadline that provide Black voters the opportunity to elect their favored candidates, Jones said the court will draw or adopt its own maps. “After conducting a thorough and sifting review of the evidence in this case, the Court finds that the State of Georgia violated the Voting Rights Act when it enacted its congressional and legislative maps,” Jones wrote. “The Court commends Georgia for the great strides that it has made to increase the political opportunities of Black voters in the 58 years since the passage of the Voting Rights Act of 1965. Despite these great gains, the Court determines that in certain areas of the State, the political process is not equally open to Black voters.” The judge sought to dispel concerns about the Dec. 8 deadline he set for the new maps, writing that he is “confident that the General Assembly can accomplish its task” by then.
A civil bench trial began last week to determine whether True the Vote violated the federal Voting Rights Act by intimidating voters in Georgia. Fair Fight filed suit nearly three years ago claiming True the Vote unlawfully “launched a massive, multifaceted campaign” of voter intimidation and suppression in an attempt to disqualify voters in Georgia based on questionable addresses. True the Vote challenged more than 360,000 voters’ eligibility in the state. To aid its efforts, True the Vote recruited volunteers to serve as “citizen watchdogs” and monitor voters as they returned their ballots and offered a $1 million reward fund to “incentivize” individuals to report instances of “election malfeasance.” “The obvious effect of this million-dollar bounty will be to encourage Defendants’ supporters to generate even more baseless accusations of voter fraud — an effort that is likely to subject Georgia voters, and particularly Georgians of color, to harassment, particularly if they appeared on Defendants’ erroneous and unsubstantiated lists of purportedly ineligible voters,” Fair Fight wrote in its original complaint. County election boards ultimately rejected the vast majority of the challenges, which relied on spreadsheets that listed voters who had submitted change-of-address forms with the U.S. Postal Service. But challenges caused harm to who wanted their mail forwarded, but remained Georgia voters with full voting rights, including members of the military, students and relocated workers, Fair Fight attorney Uzoma Nkwonta told the court.
Mississippi: Hinds County District 4 Supervisor Vern Gavin’s election dispute was heard in court this week. Judge Barry Ford ruled in favor of Wanda Evers, dismissing Gavin’s claims of a poorly run, unfair election. Gavin alleged poll workers of violating Mississippi Election Code during the August 28 Democratic runoff against Evers. Gavin also claimed that Evers did not meet residency requirements. “I am grateful that the judge saw my defense, and he ruled on what was right and not on what was wrong,” said Evers. In the meantime, Gavin is weighing his options. “I would like to express my appreciation for the Judge’s time, and his consideration of our case. I will get back with my legal team, and we will make a further determination as to where we go next,” he said.
Missouri: Secretary of State Jay Ashcroft wrote ballot titles for six proposals to restore abortion rights that were “replete with politically partisan language,” a Missouri appeals court unanimously ruled Tuesday. In an expedited decision issued a day after hearing arguments, a three-judge panel of the Western District Court of Appeals upheld, with only minor revisions, the revised ballot titles written by Cole County Circuit Judge Jon Beetem. Ashcroft issued a statement that he would appeal the decision to the Missouri Supreme Court, a process likely to take several weeks. The ongoing court battle narrows the time for gathering signatures to put the proposal on the 2024 ballot. Backers must secure more than 170,000 signatures from registered voters by early May. A key error in Ashcroft’s ballot titles, states the opinion signed by Judge Thomas Chapman, was its single-minded focus on how it would impact the legality of abortion. The proposed constitutional amendments, he wrote, cover all aspects of reproductive health care. “The absence of any reference to a right to reproductive health care beyond abortion in the summary statements is misleading,” Chapman wrote. There was little to be saved from Ashcroft’s summaries, he wrote. “The secretary’s summary statements do not fairly describe the purposes and probable effects of the initiatives,” he wrote. “The secretary’s summary statements are replete with politically partisan language.”
Montana: The Montana Republican Party and the Republican National Committee have asked to intervene in a federal lawsuit filed earlier this month that seeks to block a law passed by the Republican-led legislature this year surrounding additional voting requirements. The two groups say their interests in electing Republicans to state and federal offices could be negatively affected if a judge sides with the Montana Public Interest Research Group and the Montana Federation of Public Employees and blocks changes to the law implemented this year under House Bill 892. Montana law prior to the 2023 session stated that “no person may vote more than once at an election.” The Republican supermajority passed, and Gov. Greg Gianforte signed, Missoula Republican Rep. Lyn Hellegaard’s bill, which adds qualifications to the existing language. Legislators said the purpose of the bill was to clarify double voting in state law. But the two organizations that sued argued in their complaint the law “goes much further, creating vague, overbroad new restrictions that implicate other facets of the franchise.” The law also includes penalties for violations of up to 18 months in prison and fines up to $5,000, which the original lawsuit says are “ridiculous” and could lead to jail time and large fines for people who do not follow what they say are convoluted and unnecessary additions to the voter registration process. MontPIRG and MFPE said the law could subject its members to those penalties and hamper their efforts to get their members registered to vote.
North Carolina: North Carolina laws requiring citizens to reside in the state and within a precinct at least 30 days before an election date to be eligible to vote are unlawful and must be blocked, a union-affiliated retiree group said in a federal lawsuit this week. Lawyers for the North Carolina Alliance for Retired Americans write that the 30-day residency mandate violates the U.S. Constitution and Voting Rights Act and totally denies newcomers to the state the right to vote for no compelling reason. People who currently comply with that residency window can participate in same-day registration at early voting sites up to the Saturday before the election. The lawsuit, if successful, could allow more people to cast ballots in the 2024 elections in the ninth-largest state, which has over 7 million registered voters and is often marked by very close results in races for president and other statewide offices. Lawyers who helped file the lawsuit on Monday on behalf of the alliance against State Board of Elections members and its executive director have represented Democratic interests previously. North Carolina’s constitution sets a one-year state residency requirement to vote in state elections, but that provision was held unconstitutional decades ago and isn’t enforced. A 30-day precinct requirement is still carried out, however, and state law says lying about one’s residency on a registration form is a low-grade felony. The U.S. Voting Rights Act does allow states to set registration deadlines up to 30 days before a presidential election. But the law says no U.S. citizen can be denied the right to vote for president and vice president simply because the person can’t comply with a “durational residency requirement,” the lawsuit says. The state constitution does give legislators the ability to ease residency requirements for presidential elections, but there is no such law currently on the books. “And the U.S. Constitution prohibits such requirements in all elections,” the lawsuit reads, citing the 1st and 14th Amendments.
Wisconsin: Dane County Judge Ann Peacock has ruled that a vote by the Republican-controlled Wisconsin Senate to fire Meagan Wolfe, the state’s nonpartisan elections official, had no legal effect, and lawmakers are barred from ousting her while a lawsuit plays out. Wolfe will continue serving as head of the Wisconsin Elections Commission pending a decision on whether elections commissioners are legally required to appoint someone for the Senate to confirm, Peacock said. Democratic Attorney General Josh Kaul sued to challenge that vote, and in court filings earlier this month, Republican legislative leaders changed course and claimed their vote to fire Wolfe was merely “symbolic” and had no legal effect. They also asked Peacock to order the elections commission to appoint an administrator for the Senate to vote on. The fight over who will run the battleground state’s elections agency has caused instability ahead of the 2024 presidential race for Wisconsin’s more than 1,800 local clerks who actually run elections. Peacock said her order on Friday would maintain the status quo. “I agree with WEC that the public expects stability in its elections system and this injunction will provide stability pending the Court’s final decision,” she wrote.
Opinions This Week
Arizona: Election interference
Florida: Election workers
Kansas: Elections hearings
Kentucky: Secretary of state
Massachusetts: Noncitizen voting
Minnesota: Voting rights
New York: Vote by mail
Tennessee: Voter suppression
Veterans and democracy: Bridging divides and strengthening civic knowledge: The rise of deep political polarization, in tandem with a concerning decline in civics knowledge, poses substantial challenges to American democracy and national security. In this climate, military veterans can play a critical role in fostering an atmosphere of collaboration. Leveraging their unique perspectives, leadership experiences, and steadfast commitment to safeguarding American democracy, veterans are well-positioned to bridge political divides, enhance public awareness of civic duties, and protect election integrity. On November 6, the Strobe Talbott Center for Security, Strategy, and Technology at Brookings will host a two-panel discussion spotlighting veterans’ instrumental role in bettering America’s current civic and political landscape. When: Nov. 6 10am-12pm Eastern: Where: Online and in-person.
Free Speech: What Everyone Needs to Know: Recent years have produced increasing attacks on the idea of free speech and significant doubts about the wisdom of its continued protection. From confusion about the nature of the First Amendment protection of speech, to misconceptions about the Supreme Court’s rulings on the issue, misinformation on free speech is rampant. World renowned legal scholar and free speech advocate Nadine Strossen’s new book, Free Speech: What Everyone Needs to Know, provides a timely and much needed response this confusion. The Cato Institute’s Sphere Education Initiatives is pleased to host Nadine Strossen in the Hayek Auditorium on November 6th from 1–2 pm EDT for a special book release event. Please join us in person or via online streaming video for this important conversation. When: Nov. 6 1pm Eastern. Where: Online and in-person.
Defending Democracy: Authoritarian exploitation of the world’s natural resources — with China and Russia at the forefront — is increasingly an issue of national and global security. It is a threat to the resurging alliance of democracies and the effort to roll back authoritarian actors globally. China’s appetite for natural resources to feed its economic growth has undermined democratic institutions and environmental commitments, leaving local communities across the globe exposed to environmental exploitation and degradation with little political recourse given the involvement of their government in opaque and illicit deals. Similarly, Russia’s war against Ukraine has had severe environmental impacts, and its access to natural resources in Africa, Latin America, and the Middle East help bypass sanctions, and fund its growing network of state-supported private military groups, like the Wagner Group, to prop up unpopular, exploitative regimes that are its allies. Both China and Russia exploit the environment as an instrument of authoritarian political and economic control, such as in Tibet and in Ukraine’s eastern provinces. Simultaneously, there is growing awareness and unified action among the community of democracies to stem the worldwide rise in authoritarianism, and to demonstrate the ability of democracies to better deliver on the issues that matter to citizens globally, like the environment. Against this backdrop, join NDI and Foreign Policy as we highlight the people and policies that have become “game changers” to strengthen democracy and civic activism, protect the environment and natural resources, and help defenders of democracy counter illiberal influences in their own countries. When: Nov. 15, 10 a.m. Eastern. Where: Online
Covering the Risks to Elections on the State and Local Level: Views from the Beat Reporters: The Safeguarding Democracy Project at UCLA promotes research, collaboration, and advocacy under the leadership of UCLA Law Professor Richard L. Hasen; one of the nation’s leading election scholars. The Safeguarding Democracy Project is built upon the premise that tackling issues of the U.S. election integrity must be collaborative: across ideologies, across scholarly disciplines, and as a bridge between theory and practice. Jonathan Lai (Philadelphia Inquirer, Politico), Carrie Levine (Votebeat), Patrick Marley (WaPo), and Yvonne Wingett Sanchez (WaPo). Moderated by Pamela Fessler (retired from NPR). When: November 16, 3pm Eastern. Where: Online.
Joint Election Officials Liaison Conference (JELOC): The Election Center will hold the annual JELOC once again in Arlington, Virginia. Among the courses offered in conjunction with the conference will be Renewal Course 37. In addition to Election Center committee meetings, the convening will include briefings from many of the federal agencies that work with state and local elections officials—the U.S. EAC, FVAP, DOJ, CISA, FBI and the Council of State Governments. Additionally there will be briefings from NCSL, NASS, NASED, and NACo. Congressional staff have also been invited to provide remarks. When: January 10-14, 2024. Where: Arlington, Virginia.
NASED Winter Conference: The National Association of State Election Directors will hold its annual winter conference in February 2024. More details to come. When: February 8-10, 2024. Where: Washington, DC.
NASS Winter Conference: The National Association of Secretaries of State will hold its annual winter conference in February 2024. More details to come. When: February 7-10, 2024. Where: Washington, DC.
Job Postings This Week
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Assistant Registrar of Voters, Ventura County, California— Under general direction of the County Clerk-Recorder and Registrar of Voters, the Assistant Registrar of Voters plans, organizes, administers, supervises and directs the activities of the Elections Division of the County Clerk and Recorder’s office; and performs related work as required. The ideal candidate is a dedicated public servant who possesses solid administrative leadership skills, the highest integrity, and a strong work ethic that includes accountability for oneself and others. A well-qualified candidate will have in-depth knowledge of and experience in implementing federal, state, and local election laws, regulations, codes, guidelines, and procedures. Additionally, they should possess strong analytical and budgetary skills that are applicable to work in a California public agency. Other qualities needed to be a successful candidate include: detail-oriented, customer-service focused, striving for efficiency and continuous improvement. Salary: $104,708 – $146,606. Application: For the complete job listing and to apply, click here.
Chief Deputy Clerk, Lane County, Oregon— Are you ready to play a pivotal role in shaping the democratic processes of Lane County? Are you committed to ensuring the efficient and accurate administration of elections while also maintaining the integrity of vital records that affect the lives of our residents? If so, we invite you to consider the Chief Deputy Clerk position within our County Clerk’s office. The County Clerk’s office is at the heart of our community’s governance, overseeing critical functions that impact every Lane County resident. As a member of our team, you’ll collaborate with a dedicated group of 15 full-time staff, working under the direction of the County Clerk. As the Chief Deputy Clerk, you will directly supervise a team of 5, while closely collaborating with the Clerk Program Supervisor who manages the remaining 7 staff members. Elections Division: Our Elections Division is responsible for conducting all Federal, State, County, school, and special district elections in Lane County, encompassing elections for all cities within our jurisdiction. Your role will involve administering voter registration and outreach programs, managing the master voter file, processing voted ballots, and ensuring the accuracy of test ballots, official ballots, and voter information materials. Additionally, you’ll oversee the processing of local initiative petitions, the maintenance of district boundaries and drop site locations, and the operation of voting equipment. You’ll also play a crucial role in recruiting and training temporary election workers. Salary: $79,476.80 – $116,812.80 Application: For the complete listing and to apply, click here.
City Secretary, Denton, Texas— Denton, Texas (pop. 151,000) is a unique community located at the northern tip of a high-growth area known as “The Golden Triangle” (formed by Denton, Fort Worth and Dallas). Denton is a dynamic community, serving as the county seat and a major city in Denton County. Under the direction of the Chief of Staff, the City Secretary is responsible for the oversight and administration of the City Secretary’s Office. This position serves as the Chief Election Official, coordinating all campaign reporting requirements, overseeing municipal general, special, and bond elections with the Denton County Election Administrators, and administering all aspects of the duties in accordance with Federal and State laws. The City Secretary oversees a staff of three full-time and one part-time employee. The combined overall FY2023-2024 budget for the City Manager’s Office and the City Secretary’s Office is $3.3 million. Salary: $85,260.- $136,416. Deadline: Nov. 13. Application: For the complete job listing and to apply, click here.
Clerk-Recorder Division Manager, Ventura County, California— Under general direction of the Assistant County Clerk and Recorder, the Clerk Recorder Division Manager plans, organizes, administers, supervises and directs the activities of the County Clerk and Recorder Division of the County Clerk and Recorder’s office which includes the main office at the Government Center in Ventura and satellite East County office in Thousand Oaks; and performs related work as required. The ideal candidate is a dedicated public servant who possesses solid administrative leadership skills, the highest integrity, and a strong work ethic that includes accountability for oneself and others. A well-qualified candidate will have thorough knowledge of and experience in implementing federal, state, and local statutes, regulations, and guidelines applicable to a public agency’s operations. Additionally, they should possess strong analytical and budgetary skills that are applicable to contribute to the management team of a California public agency. Other qualities needed to be a successful candidate include detail-oriented, customer-service focused, striving for efficiency and continuous improvement. Salary: $82,275 – $132,491. Application: For the complete job listing and to apply, click here.
Communications Officer, Union County, North Carolina— The Communications Officer, under limited supervision and with a high level of collaboration, administers outreach and communications activities on a countywide basis for the Union County Board of Elections office. Must demonstrate initiative, good judgment, nonpartisanship, and the ability to express thoughts clearly and simply. Employee must also exercise considerable tact and courtesy in frequent contact with candidates, elected officials, staff, media, other governmental departments, and the general public. Salary: $57,749 – $89,511. Application: For the complete job listing and to apply, click here.
Customer Support Manager, Hart InterCivic— The full-time Customer Support Consultant role is an on-site position located in the Austin, Texas Metropolitan Area. The role’s primary responsibility is to support Hart’s commitment to extraordinary service by ensuring customer satisfaction through prompt issue resolution and effective communication. The successful candidate will be responsible for resolving customer questions and issues and will collaborate with related teams to assist with technical issues, provide training, and maintain customer records. 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.
Director of Purchasing, Chicago Board of Elections— The Director of Purchasing is an administrative position at the Board responsible for managing all duties related to preparation and processing of procurement contracts for the Board. Responsibilities: Implement purchasing policies and recommend procedures for staff; Work with user departments and warehouse to coordinate planning and purchasing strategies, including assisting Divisions with contract management and renewal; Schedule all purchasing activities to ensure timely procurement and delivery of sufficient supplies for effective administration of the Board; Coordinate the preparation of RFQs, RFPs, IFBs and other procurement methods to solicit competitive proposals and bids from qualified vendors; Prepare legal notices for publication as required for purchasing in coordination with the Board’s Director of Public Information, Legal Department and Administration; Analyze and evaluate bid specifications, tests reports and other relevant data; Oversee the evaluation of proposals and bids to determine the most responsive, responsible and qualified bidder; Participate in negotiating contract terms, cost and conditions; Promote and monitor MBE/WBE participation; Prepare purchasing and financial reports as requested by the Executive Director and the Board, including bid award recommendations and providing such reports to the Commissioners during their public Board meetings; Prepare annual and quarterly reports on procurement; Coordinate reports and vouchers for the Board and related agencies; Supervise employees in the Purchasing Department; and Other duties as assigned by the Executive Director. Salary: $100,000 – $105,000. Application: For the complete job listing and to apply, click here.
Early Voting Assistant Manager, Fairfax County, Virginia— Serves as the assistant manager for all early voting operations in Fairfax County, the largest voting jurisdiction in Virginia and one of the 30 largest voting jurisdictions in the United States. Under the supervision of the Deputy Registrar for Early Voting, plays a pivotal role in ensuring the smooth and efficient operations of the early voting process in Fairfax County, including preparing and supervising 16 early voting sites that are each open for 10 to 45 days before election day. The ideal candidate will bring a blend of administrative acumen, supervisory experience, and an understanding of election procedures and policies. Your days will be diverse, ranging from hands-on management of voting supplies and equipment to resolving voter inquiries with professionalism and grace. Your leadership will help create a supportive and efficient environment where staff can focus on providing an accessible and straightforward early voting experience for all Fairfax County residents. This opportunity is perfect for an individual who thrives in a fast-paced, dynamic work environment and is dedicated to upholding the integrity and smooth operation of the early voting process in Virginia. With your commitment, expertise, and diligent work, you will become an indispensable member of our Early Voting division, contributing significantly to the democratic process, and making a positive impact in the community. Salary: $52,220 – $87,034. Deadline: Nov. 3. Application: For the complete job listing and to apply, click here.
Early Voting Specialist, Ottawa County, Michigan— Under the direction of the County Clerk, Chief Deputy County Clerk and Elections Supervisor, coordinates and administers all early voting operations held within the county. Ensures substantive and procedural compliance with all federal, state, and local statutes and regulations governing elections. Coordinates and manages the staging of early voting sites, develops and manages the communication plan, assists with the development and administration of the budget for early voting, and aids with the management of nine early days of voting and post-election reconciliation duties. Provides technical support for all cities and townships within Ottawa County. Performs a variety of functions required to ensure fair, free, accurate and cost-effective elections. This is a full-time benefited position working out of Fillmore complex in West Olive, Michigan. Travel to other County locations as needed. Salary: $27.82 – $36.18 Hourly. Application: For the complete job listing and to apply, click here.
Elections Compliance Officer, Pima County, Arizona— Are you an experienced professional specializing in elections? The Pima County Elections Department is looking for you! Join our team and bring your expertise to the forefront of our mission. Your background in city, county, state, or federal agencies, coupled with your in-depth knowledge of election processes, will make you an invaluable asset. Be a part of our dedicated team, shaping policies, and ensuring the integrity of our electoral system while making a lasting impact on our community. If you’re ready for a rewarding challenge, apply today! (Work assignments may vary depending on the department’s needs and will be communicated to the applicant or incumbent by the supervisor) Independently plans, coordinates, monitors and participates in administrative and operational activities required to maintain compliance with state and federal election regulations; Verifies department director and staff operate within full compliance regarding any and all applicable legal regulations and timelines; Maintains a listing of legally required deadlines for the unit via a cyclical timeline; Manages campaign finance, including correspondence for late filings and violations; ensures candidate filing compliance, including challenges; Ensures federal and state voting equipment compliance; Responds to public records requests; Assures separation of duty compliance required by Pima County; Completes periodic compliance audits and provides findings with recommendations to the Director and Deputy Director; Prepares requisite drafts of new procedures or processes for preclearance by regulatory agencies in compliance with state or federal laws or other regulatory requirements; Coordinates the compilation and submission of required reports to regulatory agencies; Ensures Department compliance with all poll worker regulations; Determines Department compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) with respect to facilities utilized in the elections process; Assists with grant requests; Develops and maintains public feedback tracking systems to capture voter complaints and concerns, allocate them to the appropriate division for resolution and record actions taken to rectify issues identified. Salary: $57,607 – $63,367. Application: For the complete job listing and to apply, click here.
Elections Equipment/Operations Analyst, Jackson County, North Carolina— This position performs intermediate skilled technical and operational support work assisting the Director with planning, directing, coordinating, and supervising the elections process. Duties and Responsibilities: Assists in Implementing changing election laws, coordinating elections, and supervising activities of the office. Oversees set up of One-Stop voting sites and network. Sets up all E-poll books according to polling place. Assists in machine logic and accuracy. Administers Campaign Reporting schedule. Provides requested information such as registration analysis, voting analysis, lists of precinct officials, precinct locations, precinct political committees, and campaign reports to the various candidates, campaign committees, party chairs, news media, and the general public. Provides requested information regarding the North Carolina Campaign Reporting Act to prospective candidates, candidates, elected officials, media, and the general public, provides and notices of required reports to Candidates. Assists with audits submitted campaign reports, reviews, and verifies records to ensure that required information is provided and correct. Assists with polling sites database. Prepares campaign reports for public viewing. Assists with planning for and coordinating all early voting site, including the set up and close out of all sites. Assists in training of one-stop workers. Assists in canvassing the returns of all elections. Explains policies, laws, rules, regulations, and procedures to the public and other inquiring parties. Assists with voter registration verification procedures. Assists in ADA compliance and Campaign zones at polling places. Assists in processing and verifying petitions. Assists in preparing and conducting elections. Assists with state reporting requirements. Interacts with elected officials, candidates, the North Carolina Campaign Reporting Office, the general public, and the media. Performs other related job duties as assigned. Salary: $40,694. Application: For the complete job listing and to apply, click here.
Elections Operation Manager, Pima County, Arizona— Pima County Elections Department is actively seeking a highly qualified candidate with a unique blend of skills and experience to join our team as an Elections Operations Manager. The ideal candidate brings extensive expertise in voting equipment and e-poll books, ensuring the seamless functioning of critical election infrastructure. Your familiarity with online inventory systems will be instrumental in maintaining accurate and efficient inventory management. Additionally, your proven ability to collaborate with political parties and high-ranking officials sets you apart. Your past interactions with these stakeholders have showcased your exceptional communication and diplomacy skills, essential in the realm of elections. If you’re ready to leverage your expertise and contribute to the democratic process, we encourage you to apply. Join us in shaping the future of elections, where your skills and experience will make a significant impact. This classification is in the unclassified service and is exempt from the Pima County Merit System Rules. Duties/Responsibilities: (Work assignments may vary depending on the department’s needs and will be communicated to the applicant or incumbent by the supervisor.) Develops program goals, objectives, policies, and procedures, and establishes short- and long-range program performance plans subject to management review; Manages and administers program activities and evaluates program effectiveness and success; Manages the activities of professional staff and evaluates their performance; Develops, negotiates, monitors, and administers contracts, intergovernmental agreements, and/or financial and service agreements for the program managed; Monitors program contract compliance and takes corrective action as required; Performs as a program representative within the community, delivers informational news releases, serves as a program contact person, and participates in community awareness activities; Develops and maintains effective working relationships and coordinates program activities with other County departments, public and private agencies, organizations and groups to promote the program and its goals; Analyzes local, state and federal legislation and ensures program compliance with applicable regulations and policies; Directs organizational and management studies for the purpose of identifying problems and alternative solutions to the problems; Develops, writes and administers the program’s annual budget, prepares program-related financial forecasts, and identifies funding sources to support program activities; Reviews and analyzes routine and special reports detailing the status and/or success of the program, prepares recommendations, and/or initiates corrective action; Evaluates management problems and makes decisions regarding the proper course of action; May make recommendations to the Board of Supervisors regarding program objectives; May direct the preparation and submission of proposals and grant applications; May access or maintain specialized databases containing program-specific information to review information or generate reports. Salary: $57,607 – $63,367. Application: For the complete job listing and to apply, click here.
Elections Outreach and Education Specialist, Pierce County, Washington— The Pierce County Auditor’s Office is seeking an experienced Elections Outreach and Education Specialist to dramatically increase voter awareness and turnout. This newly tailored position has the unique opportunity to establish and implement an outreach and education program. Your engagement and drive will connect you to a variety of communities throughout Pierce County. You will register people to vote and provide diverse and equity-focused education on voting, elections and other election-specific laws, rules, and deadlines. You will coordinate events and develop partnerships to engage with key parts of the County’s nearly one million residents. This includes devising ways to communicate with the County’s approximately 550,000 registered voters, including overseas voters, voters living with disabilities, voters with non-traditional addresses, diverse language communities, and other populations. There will be a particular focus on students. Your work also includes serving on the County’s Accessibility Awareness Committee and coordinating the County’s Jail Voting program. Partners in your effort include non-partisan community groups, library systems, and the Washington State Secretary of State’s Office. Internal teams will support your efforts for information awareness, publications, and social media. Increasing voter awareness and turning the tide of low voter turnout will be the focus here! This is a hybrid position that—after a three-month in-office training period—includes working remotely, working in the office during times of elections, and working in the community for presentations and events. Evening and weekend work will be needed as we strive to meet our diverse community where our communities live, work and play. Salary: $33.62 – $42.52 Hourly. Deadline: Nov. 17. Application: For the complete job listing and to apply, click here.
Field Operations Coordinator, Clark County, Nevada— The Clark County Election Department is seeking qualified candidates to apply for the Field Operations Coordinator position. As a member of our team, you will provide specialized office support, training, and recruiting to aid poll workers, part time hourly, and permanent employees in assisting with the election process. The ideal candidate will be responsible for work related to our front-line support to poll workers and provide clerical support to operational and project-based initiatives. The candidate will be a part of the Training & Recruiting Division and report to the Election Program Supervisor and Manager Election Administration. Coordinates and monitors volunteer field registrars; provides lead direction, training and work review to office support staff. Organizes and assigns work, sets priorities, and follows-up to ensure coordination and completion of assigned work. Prepares training materials and conducts training sessions. Schedules and arranges location for training sessions; registers individuals for training classes. Reviews and processes paperwork completed by volunteer field registrar applicants. Collects and reviews background checks; determines eligibility of volunteers; certifies field registrars. Maintains records regarding field registrars and voter registrations. Monitors the accuracy and performance of field registrars and office support staff; follows through to ensure that acceptable performance standards are met and statutes adhered to. Processes and reviews voter registration to ensure accuracy and completeness; resolves all discrepancies. Facilitates various outreach programs to register voters. Coordinates systematic removal of ineligible voter names from the registration polls. Inventories materials and supplies; orders and maintains an inventory of appropriate supplies; ensures levels of supplies are maintained for field registrars and at various outside agencies and satellite locations; arranges for the repair of equipment . Interprets policies, rules, regulations and statutes; provides information to the public and volunteers regarding the election process, in person and over the telephone. Researches and assembles varied files and databases and prepares reports; uses a computer to develop and manage databases and/or spreadsheet files and to develop special report formats. Provides a variety of general office support for field operations, which necessitates the use of standard office equipment; performs required election night duties. Types correspondence, reports, forms, and specialized documents from drafts, notes, or brief instructions using a computer; proofreads and checks typed and other materials for accuracy, completeness, and compliance with departmental policies and regulations using a computer. Contributes to the efficiency and effectiveness of the unit’s service to its customers by offering suggestions and directing or participating as an active member of a work team. Uses a variety of standard office equipment, including a computer, in the course of the work. Drives a personal or County motor vehicle to various locations to conduct training, or to pickup and/or deliver materials and supplies. Salary: $21.69 – $33.58 Hourly. Deadline: Nov. 7. Application: For the complete job listing and to apply, click here.
Legal Compliance Officer, Ventura County, California— Under administrative direction of the County Clerk-Recorder & Registrar of Voters, this position is responsible for coordinating, planning, and administering regulatory compliance for the County Clerk/Recorder and Elections divisions. It also ensures agency-wide observance of pertinent state law. Additionally, the CCR Legal Compliance Officer serves as legislative analyst to monitor, interpret, and apply legislation, and supervises related functions as assigned. Salary: $133,224 – $186,534. Application: For the complete job listing and to apply, click here.
Registrar of Voters, Riverside County, California— The County of Riverside is seeking a highly experienced elections executive to serve as the Registrar of Voters. This position is located in Riverside. The Director position is appointed by the Board of Supervisors and serves under direction of the County Executive Officer. The incumbent has the primary responsibility for conducting Primary, General, and Special Elections within the County of Riverside, and directing the operations of a department with more than forty dedicated and hard-working permanent employees, and more than nine hundred temporary employees, which are a critical component of the services provided each election. This responsibility includes the successful execution of all components of the County’s election management process, including: registration of voters, poll worker coordination and training, polling place establishment aligned with any accessibility requirements, ballot creation, voting system security, ballot processing and tallying, the certification of election returns to the Secretary of State, and the provision of candidate services such as candidate filing. Furthermore, this position has the sole responsibility for ensuring that election processes are in full compliance with County, State, and federal legal requirements. Salary: $143,167 – $253,177. Deadline: Nov. 9. Application: For the complete job listing and to apply, click here.
Research Director, CEIR— CEIR seeks a qualified Research Director to join our team. The Research Director will report to the Executive Director and lead CEIR’s research initiatives. These initiatives include, but are not limited to, matters pertaining to voter registration, voter access, election integrity and security, and election policy, generally. The Research Director will set goals aligned with CEIR’s mission and provide the research team with strategic direction on how to reach those goals, all while ensuring the rigor, integrity, and quality of all research activities. This is an excellent opportunity for an experienced and highly motivated individual who wants to join a growing nonprofit that seeks to make a substantial, positive, nonpartisan impact on elections and American democracy. The Research Director role is a full-time job. CEIR supports hybrid work at its office in Washington, DC. However, we will consider outstanding candidates across the United States that wish to work remotely. CEIR’s office hours are 9am-5pm ET, and the Research Director is expected to be available during that time regardless of location. Salary Range: $110,000-160,000.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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