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November 16, 2023

November 16, 2023

In Focus This Week

(Editor’s Note: electionlineWeekly will not publish next Thursday, Nov. 23. Enjoy the gobble.)

Today’s Election Administration Landscape
Findings from the Reed College Elections & Voting Information Center’s 2023 Survey of Local Election Officials

By Paul Gronke, PhD | Paul Manson, PhD

As regular electionline Weekly readers know, the administration of elections in the United States is a decentralized system with a complex set of diverse institutional arrangements that vary across states and sub-state jurisdictions.

Nearly 8,000 officials spread across 50 states and the District of Columbia hold many titles. They are selected by many different methods, and have varying degrees of autonomy from their states (and their counties in the instance of villages, cities, etc., who conduct elections in Michigan, Wisconsin, and New England states). And, of course, they operate in very different political, demographic, and geographical environments.

In the face of this diversity, there are common features, predicable challenges, and a shared professional commitment that connects officials from the smallest Midwestern or New England township to densely populated urban and sprawling metropolitan suburban areas.

Since 2018, the Elections & Voting Information Center (EVIC) at Reed College has created and continuously evolved its often quoted and highly anticipated annual Survey of Local Election Officials (LEOs). And today, after the dust begins to settle on Election Day 2023 and election officials throughout the country shift focus to the 2024 primaries and presidential election, our team is proud to share our 2023 LEO Survey results and report.

In response to feedback from the elections community, researchers, and others working in the democracy space, we learned that a major challenge faced by almost all offices is summed up by one term: resiliency. In this turbulent time of rapid change, competitive elections, and increased public scrutiny, how have these offices adapted and performed?

Key takeaways from the 2023 LEO Survey include:

  • Job satisfaction remains high. LEOs say that “integrity”, “service”, and “community” come to mind when they think about what they like about their jobs. When asked what they don’t like about their jobs, “misinformation”, “politics”, and “stress” are at the top of their minds.
  • Peak elections workload forces most officials to stretch to their limits, or go beyond them. On a percentage basis, the increased workload during “peak” election season is truly extraordinary – from 50% to 535% higher hours worked during elections as compared to the rest of the year. This is dependent on the size of the jurisdiction.
  • Turnover is twice as high as found in prior LEO surveys. However, loss of institutional knowledge may be tempered by lateral movement. For example, the average LEO in the largest-sized (>100,000) jurisdictional category has been in their current position for only 5 years, but has 16 years of experience in elections. We need to know not just about when LEOs depart, but we need to know about who replaces a LEO when they depart.
  • Staffing and hiring continue to be a challenge for many election offices. Barriers to hiring include job classifications that have fallen out of sync with the skill sets currently needed to administer elections as well as non-competitive pay. LEOs are divided as to whether the political environment is a barrier.
  • Misinformation is a concern among most LEOs. LEOs in smaller jurisdictions rely primarily on face-to-face communication to counter misinformation, while LEOs in larger jurisdictions rely on a broad suite of communications channels that includes social media, websites, email, etc.

Please visit our 2023 LEO Survey results page on the EVIC website where you will find our report on the high-level survey findings. And for those of you who may be academic researchers or other data geeks (and we mean that in a good way!), you will find the following 2023 resources available to download and comb through, including the 2023 web-based instrument, crosstabs, and codebooks, as well as the codebooks, crosstabs, and questionnaires from our 2018-2022 studies.

The 2023 LEO Survey was conducted during the off-year (although there is no true “off-year” for election officials) by EVIC in collaboration with SSRS, our skilled survey administration partner and designer of the infographics used in our 2023 report.

The EVIC LEO Surveys also collect metrics to monitor the environment in which these public servants serve, their attitudes toward their work, and the situations and circumstances in which they find themselves. Since the 2020 election, the EVIC team has examined LEO perception of threats and harassment inside and outside of their workplace and the effects of this situation over time.

The 2023 LEO Survey was generously supported by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Election Data and Science Lab (MEDSL) with additional survey communications support from the Election Trust Initiative to enable us to produce such high-quality infographics.The inaugural LEO Survey of 2018 through the 2022 Survey was funded by our collaborative partner on those efforts – Democracy Fund – without whose support this idea would not have become a reality. In addition to our current and past survey funders and their respective team members (way too many to name), we’d like to recognize our external team at SSRS and our current internal EVIC team: Jay Lee (Reed’ 19), Michelle Shafer, Simon Ahn (Reed ‘24) and Abby Durant (Reed ‘24), for their extremely valuable contributions to the success of this effort.

And last – but most importantly – we thank election officials all over the country in almost every state, for taking the time to thoughtfully respond to our survey and help us in sharing results.

If you are an academic researcher who would like to work with our data, a leader of a national, regional, or state association of election officials interested in having a presentation on the 2023 LEO Survey at your next meeting, or a member of the media interested in writing about the 2023 Survey, please contact EVIC Senior Program Manager Michelle Shafer via email (shaferm@reed.edu).

New from Bipartisan Policy Center

Envisioning a Cohesive Federal Elections Strategy

Grace Gordon, Rachel Orey
The Bipartisan Policy Center

Over the past few decades, the federal government has acted to protect elections from malign foreign actors, standardized voter registration processes, supported the transition to more secure and reliable voting technology, and established the first federal agency solely devoted to election administration. Federal election security grants, though often unpredictable and insufficient, helped fill crucial resource gaps within election offices.

While federal involvement in elections has increased in recent decades—to the benefit of election security and access—there is no unilateral framework for the federal government’s current or future role in U.S. elections. The scope and mission of each agency, commission, committee, and department are highly fragmented. The result is that the sum of all the independent and often isolated parts fails to function as a cohesive whole.

Legislators and other federal policymakers face an opportunity to affirm the resilience of U.S. election infrastructure for future generations by determining whether to continue the trend of increased federal involvement, break the trend and decrease federal involvement, or strive to maintain the current level of federal involvement.

The Bipartisan Policy Center’s latest report, Options for U.S. Federal Involvement in Elections, lays out three options for federal involvement in elections and describes the security, accessibility, and trust trade-offs of each option.

The incentive structure of the federal government today emphasizes compliance over innovation, making the creation of proactive, forward-thinking policy a challenge. The ideal role for the federal government in elections is a responsive, collaborative, intentional, and strategic one that centers the needs of state and local election offices.

As federal policymakers consider the best way to support elections in the lead-up and aftermath of the 2024 presidential election, intentionality is key. The goal, regardless of party affiliation, is safe, secure, accessible election infrastructure. While every option for federal involvement comes with trade-offs, a lack of coordination and direction serves no one.

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electionline Temporary Schedule Changes

As we move into the holiday season and countdown to 2024, we’ve got a few temporary changes to our schedule. These changes will mostly affect the Daily News.

November 23 & 24 — There will be no Daily News on both days and the Weekly will not publish on the 23rd.

Fridays in December — The Daily News will post by 10am on Fridays in December (Dec. 8, 15, 22 and 29).

December 25 — The Daily News will not publish.

December 26-29 — The Daily News will post by 10 am all this week.

January 1, 2024 — The Daily News will not publish.

Election News This Week

Election Office Threat: Elections offices in California, Georgia, Nevada, Oregon and Washington were sent suspicious letters—including some containing fentanyl late last week. Four of the letters contained fentanyl, the FBI and U.S. Postal Inspection Service reported in a statement to elections officials Nov. 9. “Law enforcement is working diligently to intercept any additional letters before they are delivered,” the statement said. The mailings delayed the counting of ballots in some jurisdictions. The Pierce County auditor’s office in Tacoma, Washington, released images of the letter it received, showing it had been postmarked in Portland, Oregon, and read in part, “End elections now.”  In Seattle, King County Elections Director Julie Wise said that letter appeared to be the same one her office got — and that it was “very similar” to one King County received during the August primary, which also contained fentanyl. Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger said officials were sending the overdose-reversal drug naloxone to the office as a precaution. “This is domestic terrorism, and it needs to be condemned by anyone that holds elected office and anyone that wants to hold elective office anywhere in America,” said Raffensperger. Washington Secretary of State Steve Hobbs called the incidents in his state “acts of terrorism to threaten our elections.” White House spokeswoman Olivia Dalton said the Biden administration was aware of the investigation: “We are grateful for the election and poll workers who served this week to ensure the security of our democratic processes.” The Kansas secretary of state’s office received a letter Tuesday containing what Secretary Scott Schwab called “a suspicious substance.” Officials evacuated the building for the rest of the day. “With recent events, we take such things as a suspicious substance very serious,” Schwab said in a text to The Associated Press. “Our team is trained if they see something, say something.” Elections officials throughout the country are preparing for suspicious mail. In Utah, officials are looking at providing Narcan to ballot processing centers and asking county election clerks to wear gloves when opening mail. Citrus County, Florida Supervisor of Elections Maureen Baird said her office is ready for anything.  “We have partnered with county officials to have masks, gloves and Narcan available,” Baird said. “In the past, we have had to take precautions with mail when Anthrax scares were an issue. The idea is to always be proactive. Citrus County is ready and well into the preparations for the 2024 elections,” Baird said. Lee County, Florida Supervisor of Elections Tommy Doyle instituted some new policies, all in an effort to keep his employees safe while opening mail. For the foreseeable future, Doyle is requiring gloves and masks to handle all mail coming into this office. “I think every supervisor in Florida is taking steps to be cautious about opening our mail,” Doyle noted. The San Benito County, California Elections Department is collaborating with the Offices of the County Administration, Emergency Services, and Sherriff the elections staff are implementing precautionary steps to ensure the safety and well-being of employees. In Shasta County, California, the elections department sealed all their mail last week before proceeding to process it after receiving guidance from the FBI and the U.S. Postal Inspection Service.

Mis-/Disinformation: Meta, the parent company for Facebook and Instagram, will allow political ads on its platforms to question the outcome of the 2020 US presidential election, part of a rollback in election-related content moderation among major social media platforms over the past year ahead of the 2024 US presidential contest. The policy means that Meta will be able to directly profit from political ads that boost false claims about the legitimacy of the 2020 election. While the company will allow political advertisements to claim that past elections, including the 2020 presidential race, were rigged, it will prohibit those that “call into question the legitimacy of an upcoming or ongoing election.” Meta says the policy allowing 2020 election denialism in political ads was part of an August 2022 announcement about its approach to last year’s midterm elections, when the company said it would prohibit ads targeting users in the United States, Brazil, Israel and Italy that discourage people from voting, call into question the legitimacy of an upcoming or ongoing election or prematurely claim an election victory. The same month, Meta told The Washington Post that it would not remove posts from political candidates or regular users that claim voter fraud or that the 2020 election was rigged.  Meta’s broader electoral misinformation policy continues to prohibit content that could interfere with people’s ability to participate in voting or the census, such as false claims about the timing of an election, according to the company.

Sticker News: Congratulations to El Paso County, Texas 11th-grader Denisse I. Villalobos-Estrada for winning this year’s “I Voted” sticker contest. This was the third time El Paso has conducted an “I Voted” sticker contest. Villalobos-Estrada’s first-place design will make its debut during the 2024 electoral season, where it will be available at all early voting locations and election day vote centers. In a statement, El Paso County Elections Administrator Lisa Wise said, “The El Paso County Elections Department was excited to continue working with high school students and encouraging their participation in the electoral process.” The contest, which was open to all high school students in El Paso County, was judged by Anne Hussmann Mitchell, Founder and Owner of So El Paso; Claudia S. Preza, Assistant Curator for El Paso Museum of Art; and Tino Ortega, a local artist and muralist. Congratulations as well to fifth-grader Zachary Rodriguez who won the Stanly County, North Carolina “I Voted” sticker contest. His sticker featuring North Carolina with a flag received 176 votes, with 18 coming on Election Day Tuesday and 158 cast in early voting. “We were excited to see several future voters and a couple of the student sticker designers vote during our open house, as well as the community participation during ‘early voting’ on Facebook,” Elections Director Kimberly Blackwelder said. “Thank you to all the teachers and school administrators who supported and participated in the event. In the future we hope to expand school participation and student voting.”  Blackwelder said Rodriguez will be presented with a certificate and his class will receive a pizza party.

2024 Elections Calendar: With this week’s announcement that the New Hampshire Presidential Preference Primary will take place on Jan. 23, 2024, the 2024 elections calendar is set — maybe. We’ve got our calendar up-to-date as far as we know, but if you see an incorrect or missing election date, please let us know.

Personnel News: Kecia Brown is the new supervisor of elections for Carlton County, Georgia. Andrew Marine has resigned as the chair of the Aiken County, South Carolina board of elections. Jody Davis is out as the White County, Georgia supervisor of elections. Eric Finch is stepping down as the Greene County, Pennsylvania elections director after just four weeks on the job.

Technology/Security Updates

DHS Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency Releases Roadmap for Artificial Intelligence
Roadmap will guide CISA’s efforts to manage the risks and harness the opportunities posed by AI

The Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) released its first Roadmap for Artificial Intelligence (AI), adding to the significant DHS and broader whole-of-government effort to ensure the secure development and implementation of artificial intelligence capabilities. DHS plays a critical role in ensuring AI safety and security nationwide.

Last month, President Biden issued an Executive Order that directed DHS to promote the adoption of AI safety standards globally, protect U.S. networks and critical infrastructure, reduce the risks that AI can be used to create weapons of mass destruction, combat AI-related intellectual property theft, and help the United States attract and retain skilled talent, among other missions. As part of that effort, CISA’s roadmap outlines five strategic lines of effort for CISA that will drive concrete initiatives and outline CISA’s responsible approach to AI in cybersecurity.

“DHS has a broad leadership role in advancing the responsible use of AI and this cybersecurity roadmap is one important element of our work,” said Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro N. Mayorkas. “The Biden-Harris Administration is committed to building a secure and resilient digital ecosystem that promotes innovation and technological progress. In last month’s Executive Order, the President called on DHS to promote the adoption of AI safety standards globally and help ensure the safe, secure, and responsible use and development of AI. CISA’s roadmap lays out the steps that the agency will take as part of our Department’s broader efforts to both leverage AI and mitigate its risks to our critical infrastructure and cyber defenses.”

“Artificial Intelligence holds immense promise in enhancing our nation’s cybersecurity, but as the most powerful technology of our lifetimes, it also presents enormous risks,” said CISA Director Jen Easterly. “Our Roadmap for AI, focused at the nexus of AI, cyber defense, and critical infrastructure, sets forth an agency-wide plan to promote the beneficial uses of AI to enhance cybersecurity capabilities; ensure AI systems are protected from cyber-based threats; and deter the malicious use of AI capabilities to threaten the critical infrastructure Americans rely on every day.”

As the nation’s cyber defense agency and the national coordinator for critical infrastructure security and resilience, CISA envisions a secure and resilient digital ecosystem for the nation that supports unparalleled innovation and significant enhancement of critical infrastructure services provided to the American public. CISA’s roadmap outlines five lines of effort:

  • Line of Effort 1: Responsibly use AI to support our mission. CISA will use AI-enabled software tools to strengthen cyber defense and support its critical infrastructure mission. CISA’s adoption of AI will ensure responsible, ethical, and safe use—consistent with the Constitution and all applicable laws and policies, including those addressing federal procurement, privacy, civil rights, and civil liberties.
  • Line of Effort 2: Assess and Assure AI systems. CISA will assess and assist secure by design, AI-based software adoption across a diverse array of stakeholders, including federal civilian government agencies; private sector companies; and state, local, tribal, and territorial (SLTT) governments. Assurance will be established through the development of best practices and guidance for secure and resilient AI development and implementation, including the development of recommendations for red-teaming of generative AI.
  • Line of Effort 3: Protect critical infrastructure from malicious use of AI. CISA will assess and recommend mitigation of AI threats facing our nation’s critical infrastructure in partnership with other government agencies and industry partners that develop, test, and evaluate AI tools. As part of this effort, CISA will establish JCDC.AI to catalyze focused collaboration around threats, vulnerabilities, and mitigations related to AI systems.
  • Line of Effort 4: Collaborate and communicate on key AI efforts with the interagency, international partners, and the public. CISA will contribute to DHS-led and interagency efforts, including developing policy approaches for the U.S. government’s overall national strategy on cybersecurity and AI, and supporting a whole-of-DHS approach on AI-based-software policy issues. This also includes coordinating with international partners to advance global AI security best practices and principles.
  • Line of Effort 5: Expand AI expertise in our workforce. CISA will continue to educate our workforce on AI software systems and techniques, and the agency will continue to actively recruit interns, fellows, and future employees with AI expertise. CISA will ensure that internal training reflects—and new recruits understand—the legal, ethical, and policy aspects of AI-based software systems in addition to the technical aspects.

CISA’s mission sits at the intersection of strengthening cybersecurity and protecting critical infrastructure and therefore plays a key role in advancing the Administration’s goal of ensuring that AI is safe, secure, and resilient. CISA will assess possible cyber-related risks to the use of AI and provide guidance to the critical infrastructure sectors that Americans rely on every hour of every day. Additionally, CISA will work to capitalize on AI’s potential to improve U.S. cyber defenses and develop recommendations for the red-teaming of generative AI.

CISA invites stakeholders, partners, and the public to explore the Roadmap for Artificial Intelligence and learn more about our strategic vision for AI technology and cybersecurity. To access the full Roadmap, visit cisa.gov/AI.

To learn more about DHS’s role in ensuring AI safety and security nationwide, visit DHS.gov/AI.

Research Updates

The Democracy Renewal Project: Americans across the political spectrum believe that our democracy is at risk. A growing body of evidence shows that citizens with disparate political perspectives share a sense of frustration and dissatisfaction with our current system. In response, organizations and philanthropists are pursuing innovations to strengthen American democracy. In our inaugural Democracy Renewal Project grantmaking cycle, Public Agenda seeks to support this movement to renew democracy with evidence on how to achieve full access to electoral participation for all citizens while strengthening trust and confidence in elections. While both of these goals are at the foundation of legitimate and sustainable democracy, they are often pursued separately. In the worst cases, bad faith efforts to persuade members of the public that elections are not trustworthy have laid the groundwork for legislative restrictions on ballot access. While it is essential that pro-democracy actors do not capitulate to these narratives, ideally efforts to build access would not provide momentum for disinformation that may accelerate anti-democratic dynamics. Our goal is to support research that addresses both access and trust. We have timed this grantmaking cycle to enable researchers to take advantage of the 2024 election cycle. As a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, Public Agenda does not support any candidate or party. As a matter of mission, Public Agenda does not seek to advance any specific political ideology or policy agenda. We will fund projects that contribute to the health and strength of a pluralistic democracy. Democracy Renewal Project grants are open to researchers affiliated with public or nonprofit U.S. universities. We expect to award 10 or more grants of up to $50,000. The deadline for proposal submissions is January 17, 2024, 11:59 pm ET.

Legislative Updates

Federal Legislation: Reps. Katie Porter (D-California), Nancy Mace (R-S.C.), Kweisi Mfume (D-Maryland.), Byron Donalds (R-Florida), Gerry Connolly (D-Virginia), Brian Fitzpatrick (R-Pennsylvania), Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC) and Juan Ciscomani (R-Arizona) re-introduced the bipartisan Vote by Mail Tracking Act (H.R. 5658) to increase transparency of and confidence in mail-in ballots. Introduced in September 2023, this bipartisan legislation would require that mail-in ballot envelopes: Contain a United States Postal Service (USPS) barcode; Meet USPS design requirements and standards for machinable letters; Include an Official Election mail logo. The bill does not require states to adopt certain mail-in or absentee ballot policies The Vote by Mail Tracking Act was previously introduced in the 117th Congress and was marked up by the House Oversight Committee in November 2022. The bill advanced the committee on a bipartisan basis. The bill has yet to receive any correspondence in the 118th Congress. However, given the bill’s bipartisan support, it could be marked up and receive a floor vote at some point this Congress.

Jacksonville, Florida: A new resolution introduced in the Jacksonville City Council meeting this week that would add more early voting sites for the 2024 elections. The goal is to make it easier for voters to come to next year’s big elections, and the sites would be available for both primary and general elections next year. If it’s approved and signed by the mayor, it would add more early voting spots near downtown and in more rural parts of the county. This comes just months after Duval County’s Supervisor of Elections Office was sued for certain areas having twice as many precincts as others. The first election that these polling sites would be used for would be for the 2024 presidential primary elections on March 16.

Michigan: Bills prohibiting the possession of firearms at or within 100 feet of polling places and absentee drop boxes passed out of the Michigan House Nov. 9, the latest in a series of bills aimed at protecting election workers. Rep. Penelope Tsernoglou, D-East Lansing, is a primary sponsor of one of the bills. “Amending our state law here is common sense — and the right thing to do,” she said in a statement. “Michiganders deserve to live in a democracy where their voices are heard and where they can cast their ballots free from intimidation or threats of violence.” Those with concealed pistol licenses are still permitted to carry their firearm when otherwise permitted by state law. Violations of the law can result in a misdemeanor with up to 90 days imprisonment and a $100 fine.

Potter County, Texas: The Potter County Quorum Court recently considered a resolution in favor of bringing back paper ballots due to cost and complexity of electronic voting machines. “I certainly was interested in hearing everybody’s position on it and gave it some careful thought. I asked some questions about it and I think at this point, the court came to the right decision as far as leaving the system the same,” said John Coffee, Potter County Commissioner Precinct Three. “We have a very good system, a very reliable system that works and you can’t justify just throwing that away and going back to paper ballots,” said Potter County Judge Nancy Tanner. Commissioners agreed to keep voting methods the same and believe public education and transparency will help increase confidence in election honesty. “We try to be as transparent as possible while still protecting the secrecy of the ballot. We have poll watchers, we also have state inspectors that come for almost every election on Election Day, they will go to our sites,” said Christy Benge, Potter County elections administrator.

Wisconsin: Rep. Janel Brandtjen’s (R-Menomonee Falls) effort to initiate impeachment proceedings against Wisconsin’s top elections official was rebuffed on the Assembly floor during Nov. 9’s session dedicated to implementing changes — many with bipartisan support — to the state’s election laws. Brandtjen requested unanimous consent to suspend the rules toward the beginning of the session and take up a resolution containing 15 articles of impeachment against Wisconsin Elections Administrator Meagan Wolfe she introduced with four other GOP members of the Assembly in September. Many of the impeachment articles contain accusations that have been debunked or are based on decisions made by the bipartisan panel of commissioners who oversee Wolfe. The motion was out of order, said Speaker Pro Tempore Kevin Petersen, R-Waupaca, who shut down the effort.

A bill that prevents cities and counties from closing too many polling places within a month of an election got its first hearing in a State Senate Committee on Nov. 8. Two Rivers Republican Shae Sortwell said the closure of many polling places in cities, like Green Bay and Milwaukee, during the spring 2020 elections was unacceptable. “They should not have been closing that number of polling locations without some sort of way to make sure people knew it so that people were not disenfranchised so that people are able to exercise their constitutional right to vote,” said Sortwell. Milwaukee Democrat Lena Taylor said the closure of all but five polling locations in Milwaukee suppressed the vote there by 10 percent. “I remember the frustration of the angry residents,” said Taylor. “I’d love for you to hear some of the voicemails that I had.” A companion Assembly bill passed on Nov. 9.

Democratic Gov. Tony Evers plans to sign the current version of a bill to allow clerks to begin processing absentee ballots early, one of several election measures with support from Democrats and clerks that passed in the Republican-controlled Assembly. Lawmakers from both parties have been working to draft legislation in response to clerks’ suggestions to improve the efficiency of running elections — including allowing them to begin processing absentee ballots a day early. Lawmakers agreed the change would prevent voter confusion and conspiracies that result from large amounts of ballots being processed late and added to totals, sometimes changing which candidate is in the lead. The measure passed the Assembly on a voice vote Thursday, with only a few members objecting. While the current version of the bill still needs to be heard in a Senate committee, Evers will sign the bill if it “passes in its current form as amended by the committee and without any poison-pill additions,” the governor’s spokeswoman, Britt Cudaback, said Nov. 9.

Legal Updates

Alabama: A panel of the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals heard arguments this week in whether or not the secretary of state has a duty to grant the request of a nonprofit for an electronic list including the names of all convicted felons who have been purged from voter rolls over a four-year period. In October 2022 U.S. District Court Judge Myron Thompson rdered the “immediate” release of the data but also said he was “concerned” about the secretary’s motivations for denying the request. “The court is hard-pressed to furnish a reason why he would refrain from sending the records to GBM in digital form except to frustrate the aims of the public-inspection provision by making it more difficult and costly for GBM to access the records to which it is entitled,” Thompson wrote. “Use of these alternative methods would further delay provision of the records GBM seeks.” Afterward, the secretary did offer to provide the records for a total cost of $429.17 for “staff time,” but the organization declined and the state appealed.  The secretary argued the National Voter Registration Act requires his office only to “maintain” certain records and make them available for “public inspection” and “where available, photocopying at a reasonable cost.”  “Nothing in the statute requires the secretary to create or provide electronic records to anyone,” the secretary said in an appellate brief. Representing the secretary, Assistant Attorney General Benjamin Seiss told the appellate panel Monday that Thompson’s decision amounts to a “judicial rewrite” of the voter registration law, because it only speaks to two methods of disclosure: public inspection and photocopying. Additional guidance from the Federal Elections Commission and the Alabama Legislature does little to advance the organization’s request, he said.  “State law requires the secretary to make the list of active and inactive voters available to the general public, but it doesn’t require a list of those purged from the voting rolls or those removed due to a disqualifying felony conviction,” he said. “There isn’t an allegation that the secretary failed to provide public inspection or photocopying here, we’re talking about a third method that’s not required under the NVRA.” Although it only provides for public inspection and photocopying, Seiss acknowledged it contains no prohibition against electronic records. The judges seized on another section regarding list maintenance, asking whether the secretary has a duty to disclose purges of convicted felons as part of the “implementation of programs and activities” for maintaining the rolls.  Seiss acknowledged the secretary does and has exercised discretion with whom the felon list is shared, but not with any statutory authority.  “That’s his prerogative,” Seiss said.

Arizona: Republican Abe Hamadeh has filed yet another lawsuit contesting his loss in Arizona’s 2022 election. The lawsuit filed in Maricopa County Superior Court alleges that Election Day tabulation issues at voting centers throughout Maricopa County disenfranchised enough voters to change the results of some elections, including Hamadeh’s 280-vote loss to Democratic Attorney General Kris Mayes. An outside investigation led by retired Arizona Supreme Court Justice Ruth McGregor found that the roughly 17,000 ballots were impacted by issues with some printers, which “could not maintain the heat required to consistently print ballots dark enough to be read by the on-site tabulators.” But county election officials said no one was disenfranchised because affected voters were able to place their ballots in a secure box. Those ballots were later counted at the county’s elections headquarters.  Hamadeh’s new lawsuit, filed in conjunction with a group called AZ Voters Rights, claims as many as 20% of potential voters were not able to cast ballots due to the Election Day printer problems. The filing by attorney Ryan Heath includes testimony from four voters who claim they were disenfranchised.  Three of those voters attested that voting centers within a reasonable distance of their homes had extremely long lines due to the printer issues. One of those voters claimed health issues prevented her from waiting in long lines.

Colorado: Former Mesa County Clerk Tina Peters filed a federal lawsuit seeking to ban the government from conducting criminal proceedings against her. The suit alleges investigations into her actions as clerk are unlawful and retaliation against her for “exercising her freedom of speech, freedom of association and her right to petition the government for the redress of grievances.” Much of the complaint centers on the allegations that Peters participated in an illegal scheme to copy the hard drives of her county’s voting equipment months after the 2020 election in order to help outside parties search for voter fraud. She already faces ten state charges, with the case set to go to trial in February. Prosecutors allege that she helped steal the identity of a local man and broke state rules by sneaking an unauthorized observer into a secure update of the voting system software. In the lawsuit, Peters said she was well within her right to take the actions she did, and that she was just complying with her legal obligations to preserve election records.  “Peters lawfully exercised her authority to arrange for a consultant on May 23, 2021, before the upgrade, to make a forensic image of the Mesa County EMS hard drive. A ‘forensic image’ is a bit-by-bit, non-modifiable (read-only) copy of all the digital data stored on a disk drive,” states the complaint.

Florida: Four advocacy groups have gone to an appeals court after a federal judge rejected a lawsuit challenging a Florida requirement for “wet” signatures on voter registration forms. Vote.org, the Florida Alliance for Retired Americans, the Florida NAACP, and Disability Rights Florida filed a notice last week that was a first step in appealing the Oct. 30 ruling by U.S. District Judge Allen Winsor. As is common, the notice did not detail arguments the groups would make at the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. The challenge involves a state requirement that paper voter registration applications include what is known as a “wet” signature — a handwritten signature in ink. The groups contend the requirement violates part of the federal Civil Rights Act barring the rejection of voter-registration applications for reasons “immaterial” to determining whether people are qualified to vote. As an example, the groups said paper applications would be rejected if submitted with electronic signatures. “Florida’s wet signature requirement requires state election officials acting ‘under color of law’ to deny Floridians their right to vote based on the ‘omission’ of a handwritten, wet-ink signature on a voter registration application, which is a ‘record or paper’ relating to ‘registration,’” attorneys for the groups wrote in a July court document. “Because whether a voter provides a signature by pen, e-signature or otherwise provides no insight into a voter’s qualifications to register, rejecting applications due to the wet signature requirement violates the materiality provision (of the Civil Rights Act).” But Winsor, in an 18-page decision dismissing the lawsuit, wrote that the plaintiffs’ “entire premise is that a copied, faxed or otherwise non-original signature is equal in stature to an original, wet signature. But we know this not to be so.” The groups filed the lawsuit in March and named as defendants Secretary of State Cord Byrd and county supervisors of elections. The Republican National Committee and the Republican Party of Pasco County intervened as defendants to support the wet-signature requirement. In a motion to dismiss the case filed in May, attorneys for Byrd and supervisors said the “original” signature requirement dates to 2005 and that it does not violate the Voting Rights Act. Also, the motion said voters can register to vote with digital signatures through the Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles.

Indiana: Munster Police are seeking charges against two individuals in the wake of a verbal altercation Tuesday at the Eads Elementary School polling place. Police are seeking felony charges of bringing a weapon on school grounds against one individual, a two-time failed Republican candidate for Munster Town Council, for his role in the incident. Misdemeanor charges of intimidation are being sought after a second individual for his part in the altercation. Sgt. Thomas Kuhlenschmidt said the charges are the result of the culmination of video from Eads Elementary School cameras, body camera footage and what he heard while on scene as the shift supervisor. Kuhlenschmidt said the polling place had received two complaints from people coming to the polls about a person outside making comments about people being Marxists or communists if they said they were a Democrat.

Iowa: A trial began this week where Kim Taylor, the wife of Woodbury County Supervisor Jeremy Taylor, faces 52 total counts of voter fraud in federal court. If convicted on all counts, she could face more than 200 years in prison. According to the Department of Justice, Kim Taylor failed to translate portions of forms that warned her victims that forging signatures or signing ballots without consent was a crime. They say Kim Taylor convinced members of the Vietnamese community to fill out ballots for their children, and even collected blank ballots and then filled them out casting ballots for her husband, Jeremy Taylor. “She wanted her husband to win by any means necessary,” one prosecutor said. In opening statements, a DOJ lawyer said two witnesses cast ballots only to be told they’d already voted, leading them to question who cast ballots on their behalf. According to the government, that was Kim Taylor. The prosecution also said many of the Vietnamese witnesses will testify they really only wanted to vote for Donald Trump, and they don’t understand the concept of a primary election, giving Kim Taylor an opening to take advantage.

Louisiana: The 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals has given the Louisiana legislature until Jan. 15, 2024, to draw a new congressional map after concluding a lower court correctly ruled that the previous map likely violated the Voting Rights Act by diluting the power of the state’s Black voters. The new order by a three-judge panel tosses out a 2022 ruling by a lower court, which the panel noted was “issued with the urgency of establishing a map for the 2022 elections” and is “no longer necessary.” Still, the panel found that the lower court “did not clearly err in its necessary fact-findings nor commit legal error” in finding the map approved by the state’s Republican-controlled legislature to be a likely violation of Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act. The appeals court panel’s ruling notes that if the state legislature does not pass a new map by mid-January, the lower court should move ahead to a trial in order to finalize a map in time for the 2024 elections. The panel says the court could give “limited additional time” to lawmakers. Any major delays could risk not having a redistricting plan in place by late May, when the state has said it needs a final map to prepare for elections. After the ruling’s release, Louisiana Gov.-elect Jeff Landry, a Republican, said he plans to call a special session as governor.

Mississippi: After filing a motion with the state Supreme Court to appeal an Election Day decision in Hinds County that in effect was no decision, Mississippi Votes has decided to no longer pursue the appeal. An attorney with the Mississippi Center for Justice, who filed the notice of appeal for Mississippi Votes, filed a motion Nov. 13 seeking a voluntary dismissal. The organizations were seeking legal relief for voters who were unable to cast ballots in the Nov. 7 gubernatorial election when several precincts in Hinds County ran out of ballots. Other issues arose subsequently, including running out of toner when attempting to print more ballots. The Mississippi Center for Justice, Mississippi Votes and other voting rights organizations filed a lawsuit hoping to extend voting hours to 9 p.m. for four precincts in the county that were most affected by the ballot shortage. Hinds County appointed a special judge, who wrote in his opinion that the motion was granted in part and dismissed in part, and then he cited Mississippi code word for word, saying the polls would stay open until 7 p.m., but added that anyone in line at 7 p.m. would be eligible to vote until 8 p.m. Mississippi code, however, says voters in line at the time polls close can stay and vote, however long it takes. In a similar lawsuit filed by the Mississippi Democratic Party, another judge ruled all polling places in Hinds County would be allowed to stay open until 8 p.m.

South Carolina: John David, one of the candidates for Atlantic Beach mayor, filed a lawsuit with the South Carolina Supreme Court this week. It lists the defendants as the town of Atlantic Beach, Mayor Jake Evans, Josephine Isom, who was his opponent in the race, Councilwoman Jacqueline Gore and the Municipal Election Commission. The lawsuit focuses on an emergency town council meeting that took place on Nov. 10 where leaders voted to dissolve the election commission while in the middle of a recount for the mayoral election. The lawsuit alleges that the emergency meeting was unlawful because it didn’t meet certain requirements. “Here, there was no ‘emergency’ authorizing the Town Council to convene an ‘Emergency Called Meeting’ on Friday, November 10, 2023, because there was no ‘emergencies affecting life, health, safety or the property of the people,’” the lawsuit states. Court documents also show that the town council ignored public notice requirements and no attorney was physically present when the town council went into executive session. Once the decision was made, the lawsuit states that election commission members were not told why they were removed from their positions. “In either event, the true motivation of Defendants Jake Evans, Josephine Isom, and Jacqueline Gore in calling an ‘emergency’ meeting of the Town Council was to disenfranchise the lawful voters of Atlantic Beach because they were disappointed with and disapproved of the results of the November 7, 2023, municipal election,” the lawsuit states. Drew Kurlowski, an associate political science professor at Coastal Carolina University, also pointed out to WMBF News that cities and towns can only remove an individual member from a commission, it can’t remove an entire commission. It’s against state law for a municipality to not have an elections commission unless the county has taken over the election process for the town or city. The Horry County Election Commission tells WMBF News since the county isn’t in charge of the election, it can’t step in, and the South Carolina Election Commission said it can’t either.

Texas: Harris County’s 2022 election results were upheld by a judge, who also threw out all but one remaining lawsuit from Republican candidates against the county, saying in his ruling that there were not enough disputed votes to merit a new election. “The court has found many mistakes and violations of the Election Code by the Harris County Elections Administration Office and other election officials,” wrote Judge David Peeples, a retired judge from San Antonio who presided over the case. “But the court holds that not enough votes were put in doubt to justify voiding the election for the189th District Court and ordering a new one.” Initially, 22 losing Republican candidates filed lawsuits contesting their elections. Two candidates previously dropped their suits and Peeples then dismissed the remaining 15 suits on Tuesday. One lawsuit remains in which Republican Tami Pierce is challenging the results of the 180th criminal state district court race where incumbent Democrat DaSean Jones won. Harris County Attorney Christian D. Menefee said he was “glad the judge confirmed what we’ve all known for a year now.” “These Republican candidates lost the 2022 election,” Menefee said in a statement. “We at the county have moved on. Voters have moved on. I hope the Harris County Republican Party will move on, too.”

The 5th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that Galveston County commissioners violated the U.S. Voting Rights Act by eliminating the only majority-minority district in its latest redistricting process. The Appellate Court affirmed October’s ruling finding the county violated the Voting Rights Act, but the judges said previous precedent essentially tied their hands. Three judges on the panel wrote they were interested in revisiting precedent, which allows claims on behalf of a broad coalition. In this case, that means on behalf of Black and Hispanic voters, said Mark Gaber, the Campaign Legal Center’s senior director for redistricting. The legal center was one of the plaintiffs who sued the county after it passed the maps in 2021. The Justice Department, local branch of NAACP and residents of the redrawn district, among others, also sued. The case went to trial in August in Galveston. While upholding Judge Jeffrey Brown’s ruling in the matter, the circuit court panel called on their fellow judges to vote on whether or not to call a special hearing — in which all 17 of the circuit court judges would meet and consider the case — to revisit precedent on Voting Rights Act cases, Gaber said. Gaber said he wasn’t sure what the full court would decide, but it would be unusual if they did call for a hearing. The 5th Circuit already had a similar hearing, called an en banc hearing, on the same matter in the 1990s, he said. “The whole idea of an en banc hearing is to settle an issue,” Gaber said.

Opinions This Week

National Opinions: Youth vote | Democracy, II | 2024 election | Internet voting | Ballot privacy | Artificial Intelligence

California: Alameda County

Colorado: Boulder County | Ranked choice voting

Florida: 2024 | List maintenance

Georgia: Election lies

Hawaii: Disinformation

Iowa: Local elections

Louisiana: Voting rights

North Carolina: Voter ID | Disenfranchisement

Ohio: Election administration | Cuyahoga County | Democracy

Pennsylvania: Turnout | Democracy

South Carolina: Voting process | Atlantic Beach election commission

Texas: Turnout

Utah: Ranked choice voting, II

Washington: Local election dates

Virginia: Ex-felon voting rights

Wyoming: County clerks

Upcoming Events

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.

EAC Virtual Meeting on E-poll Book Pilot Program Report: On Friday, November 17, the U.S. Election Assistance Commission (EAC) will host a virtual public meeting on the 2023 EAC Voluntary Electronic Poll Book Pilot Program Report. The event, which will be live streamed on the EAC’s YouTube channel, will review report findings and discuss testing and certification programs for electronic poll books or “e-poll books.” Registration for this event is not required. During the meeting, the EAC Commissioners will moderate panels to discuss the pilot program, the certification and testing of e-poll books, and the impact of these programs on state and local jurisdictions. Panelists include pilot participants, e-poll book developers, Voting System Test Laboratories (VSTLs), and state and local election administrators. The Commissioners will also hear a presentation from Jay Phelps, Director of the EAC’s Election Supporting Technology Evaluation Program (ESTEP), on the pilot report. When: November 17, 2pm Eastern. Where: Online

Structural Election Reform: What is Happening in the States?: A bipartisan bill recently introduced in the Wisconsin legislature would enact final-five voting for state elections. Next year’s mayoral election in Burlington, Vermont, will be conducted using ranked-choice voting. And Idaho citizens may be voting in 2024 on a ballot initiative to consider opening its partisan primaries. Various states, counties, and municipalities are enacting systemic election reforms, aiming to improve governance by altering the incentives of candidates running for elected office. These reforms include preferential voting (e.g., ranked-choice voting), open primaries, jungle primaries and runoff elections, proportional representation, and nonpartisan redistricting. Where are these reforms occurring, and what concerns are prompting these changes? Join AEI’s Kevin R. Kosar and a panel of experts for a discussion on how efforts to enact systemic election reforms might shape the future of American politics. When: Dec. 4, 10am Eastern. Where: Online

Philanthropy for Voter Engagement: The 2024 election is just around the corner and foundations across the country are exploring ways to support their communities to participate in the upcoming election. Nonprofit VOTE is releasing the second edition of the Philanthropy for Voter Engagement Toolkit that includes tips, best practices, and case studies for foundations exploring voter engagement. This webinar hosted by United Philanthropy Forum will feature this new toolkit and panelists who will help demystify, offer specific examples, and answer questions about ways private and community foundations can support and bolster voter engagement in their communities. Featuring: Matthew L. Evans, United Philanthropy Forum; Brian Miller and Angie Jean-Marie, Nonprofit VOTE; Tryphena Clarke, Ruth Mott Foundation; and Deborah Schachter, New Hampshire Charitable Foundation Whether your mission is healthier environments, improving social determinants of health, or increased investment in arts education, foundations have a role to play to build a more inclusive and equitable democracy. Join us to explore strategies and tactics for achieving our shared goals of healthier, thriving, and equitable communities through engaged voters who reflect said communities. When: Dec. 4 1pm Eastern. Where: Online

EAC Technical Guidelines Development Committee Annual Meeting: The U.S. Election Assistance Commission (EAC) Technical Guidelines Development Committee (TGDC) will hold its annual meeting on December 5, 2023, at the National Cybersecurity Center of Excellence in Rockville, Maryland. This meeting will be held in person and live streamed. Registration is required to attend in person, and attendees must be registered no later than November 20, 2023. A registration link and a live stream link will be added to this page. The TGDC is composed of 14 members appointed jointly by EAC and the director of NIST. Members will discuss program updates for EAC Testing and Certification and the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) Voting Program. The meeting will also include the status of the Voluntary Electronic Poll Book Pilot Program, the annual review of the Voluntary Voting System Guidelines (VVSG), lab testing strategies, and more. When: Dec. 5, 8:30am Eastern. Where: Online and Rockville, Md.

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

electionlineWeekly publishes election administration job postings each week as a free service to our readers. To have your job listed in the newsletter, please send a copy of the job description, including a web link to mmoretti@electionline.org.  Job postings must be received by 5pm on Wednesday in order to appear in the Thursday newsletter. Listings will run for three weeks or till the deadline listed in the posting.

Administrative Law Specialist 13-15, Elections Regulatory Section, Michigan Dept. of State — This position serves as an Administrative Law Specialist in the Regulatory Section to assist and advise the supervisor, State Elections Director, Department of State Executive Office, Bureau of Elections staff, county and local clerk community and other interested parties on Michigan Election Law, Michigan Campaign Finance Act, Michigan Lobby Registration Act and other legal issues involving the Bureau of Elections. This position will review, draft, and analyze legislation and administrative rules impacting the Bureau of Elections and draft implementation requirements to be provided to staff. The incumbent will also review records for compliance with existing laws and provide necessary changes. Salary: $64,480 – $121,347. Deadline: Nov. 27. Application: For the complete job listing and to apply, click here.

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.

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.

Deputy Director, Miami County, Ohio— The Miami County Board of Elections is looking to fill the position of Deputy Director. The position of Deputy Director, under the direction of the Director, is responsible for overseeing, directing and managing the Board of Elections staff; conducting fair and impartial elections; managing operational procedures; devising, recommending and adhering to the annual budget; implementing changes required by the Ohio Secretary of State, federal legislation, and Ohio Revised Code, implementing policies of the Board of Elections, and reporting to the Ohio Secretary of State. Application: For the complete job listing and to apply, click here.

Director of Elections, Greene County Georgia— The Greene County Board of Commissioners is looking for a Director of Elections who is a competent, effective, and experienced manager with elections experience to join their team. Under supervision of the County Manager, with oversight from the Greene County Board of Elections & Registration, the Director oversees the operations and staff of the Elections & Registration Department that serve the registered voters and citizens of Greene County. While the department is funded by the Greene County Government, a 3-member citizen board comprised of one member each appointed by the county Democratic and Republican parties, and the Chairman appointed by the Board of Commissioners is responsible for conducting all county, state and federal elections that are held in Greene County as well as serve as an election resource for municipalities within the county. As such, the Board shall have jurisdiction over the performance of primaries, elections and the registration of electors and may provide guidance, policy and direction to the Director of Elections. However, the Director is responsible to run the day-to-day operations of the election office and its employees. Application: For the complete 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 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.

Election Operations Specialist, Clark County, Nevada— The Clark County Election Department is seeking qualified candidates to apply for the Election Operations Specialist position. This position coordinates and manage all aspects  supervises the Call Center. As a member of our team, you will provide support in various task within the Mail Ballot and Registration Division. Recruits election board officers and absentee ballot processors through a variety of media and techniques; notifies, schedules and coordinates the work of election board officers, ballot processors and/or precinct workers. Develops and implements training materials for election board staff; schedules and coordinates the training of part-time staff by County or contract personnel; obtains and coordinates the use of training facilities. Maintains records regarding election board officer and absentee ballot processor activities to ensure that such workers are paid in a timely manner. Processes requests for absentee ballots; determines eligibility for such ballots and forward appropriate materials to the requestor. Oversees the receipt and counting of direct and absentee ballots; supervises and reviews the accuracy and performance of workers and maintains appropriate evaluation records. Researches and assembles varied files and databases and prepares reports; creates forms and newsletters and specialized election documents; coordinates efforts to retain an adequate and experienced part-time work force. Coordinates activities with local City Clerk’s offices during City or special elections. Inventories materials and supplies; orders and maintains an inventory of appropriate supplies; prepares basic budget figures for election operations. Provides factual information to the public, election workers and voters, in person or over the telephone. 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 precincts and training sites or to deliver ballot materials and supplies. Salary: $23.37 – $36.27 Hourly. Deadline: Nov. 21. Application: For the complete job listing and to apply, click here.

Elections Administrator, Pinellas County, Florida— We are seeking an Election Administrator who is passionate about public service and upholds the highest standards of integrity. The successful candidate should have an extensive knowledge of election laws, as this individual would lead and coordinate functions of the election process, including reviewing, interpreting, and implementing government codes, legislation, policies, and procedures in federal, state, county, and local elections. In addition to leading over complex projects, this supervisory role demands an articulate communicator and resilient team player adept at managing a dynamic and collaborative environment. An eagerness to learn and adapt to new ideas is key, as innovation and flexibility are cornerstones of our operations. Strong leadership qualities and a commitment to our mission are essential, backed by a solid work ethic and exceptional organizational skills. Candidates should possess a detail-oriented mindset, excellent time management abilities, and the capacity to work harmoniously with our team. Open-mindedness and adaptability are vital, as our processes are continually evolving. The ideal candidate will preferably hold a Certified Election and Registration Administration (CERA) certification, be a Certified Florida Elections Professional (FCEP), or possess a Juris Doctor (JD) or MBA. However, we place the highest value on an individual’s drive and ability to fulfill the role’s requirements. We are committed to equipping our team for success, offering robust resources and training for professional growth. Salary: $100,000 – $120,000. Deadline: Dec. 1. 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.

Elections and Registration Specialist, Virginia Department of Elections— The Department of Elections promotes and supports accurate, fair, open and secure elections for the citizens of the Commonwealth. Elect ensures the proper administration of election laws, campaign finance disclosure compliance, and voter registration processes in the state by promulgating rules, regulations, issuing instructions, and providing information to local Electoral Boards and general registrars. The Department of Elections envisions a highly modern, efficient and professional electoral process that is trustworthy and accountable at all levels and engages Virginia’s diverse citizenry in the most fundamental right in a democratic society: the right to vote. Salary: Up to $63,000/year. Deadline: Nov. 24. Application: For the complete job listing and to apply, click here.

Elections Supervisor, White County, Georgia— White County is seeking qualified candidates for the position of Elections Supervisor. This position is responsible for supervising county elections and voter registration processes. This position is responsible for supervising county elections and voter registration processes. Directs the preparations for and administration of county elections, primaries, and voter registration functions. Develops the department budget; monitors and controls expenditures to ensure budgetary compliance. Provides staff support for the Board of Elections and Registration; coordinates board member training; provides support for board meetings. Directs the recruitment, selection, training, assignment, and supervision of poll workers; develops and implements the poll worker pay plan. Supervises and assists with all logic and accuracy testing of election equipment in compliance with state law. Reviews all directives, advisories, memoranda, correspondence, and materials issued by the Secretary of State and the State Board of Elections; advises the Board of Elections and Registration and county leadership regarding compliance. Establishes and maintains the department website to meet state requirements for public notices and to provide the public with election information. Performs related duties. Application: For the complete job listing and to apply, click here.

GIS Manager II, South Carolina Election Commission— The GIS Manager II will be responsible for the following: Develop and manage the GIS programs for the agency and serve as staff expert on GIS matters. Develop goals and implement long range plans, policies, and procedures to guide GIS operations. Develop, implement, and maintain standard operating procedures for unit operations. Design, construct, and maintain large databases. Using GIS technology, generate proposed plans, tables, analytic reports, and quality maps. Provide statistical support, demographic research analysis, and technical assistance to county voter registration and election offices. Assist counties on the development, and maintenance of the voter registration and election management street addressing system. Produce election district, voting precinct and other various maps for the county voter registration and election offices. Develop registered voter databases of conflicting voter assignments. Develop interactive web-based mapping applications. Develop guidance and procedures for the assignment of voters after the redistricting process. Work with legislative staff on the creation and modification of voting precincts as well as the drafting and tracking of legislation as it relates to voting precincts and election districts. Utilizing effective written and oral communication skills, create reports and presentations to successfully communicate technical findings to non-technical audiences. Collaborate with other state and local government GIS officials to assist the county voter registration and elections offices perform their official duties and accomplish program objectives. Salary: $54,974- $101,712. Deadline: Nov. 21. Application: For the complete job listing and to apply, click here.

GovTech Sales, Democracy Live — Leading elections technology provider hiring regional sales representative. Exciting, fast growing election modernization technology firm is looking for an energetic sales-focused individual who enjoys traveling, while helping to modernize voting in America. Experience in GovTech sales preferred. Willingness to travel 2-3 weeks a month. Application: Apply@democracylive.com

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.

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.

Senior Election Subject Matter Expert, U.S. Election Assistance Commission— The incumbent will provide expert guidance regarding election administration that touches all facets of the agency to serve EAC stakeholders. The agency is filling multiple positions with this vacancy. The incumbent is responsible for creating EAC clearinghouse material to assist Election Officials, Voters, and other stakeholders with best practices, white papers, tools, data, training materials, instructions, and any additional information that would be helpful to election administrators to assist with the administration of elections. The incumbent will provide expert guidance regarding election administration that touches all facets of the agency to serve EAC stakeholders. The agency is filling multiple positions with this vacancy. Preparing and implementing programs and resources for election officials and voters. Updating and maintaining current Clearinghouse resources for election officials. Creating professional presentations, brochures, and training materials on all facets of election administration. Creating professional infographics using election-related data. Researching, collecting, and analyzing election data and presenting findings in reports, best practices, and white papers. Writing election-related blogs and other publications regarding election administration. Making recommendations for reorganizing the EAC website to better serve its stakeholders regarding its Clearinghouse function. Researching and analyzing trends and identifying solutions for election-related challenges. Working closely with the Chief Subject Matter Expert for programs and program directors to produce timelines for execution of work product and the expeditious issuance of reports, guidance to states, best practices, and other documents, including factoring in timelines to accommodate review and comment of various draft documents. Recommends actions to alleviate conflicts within the timeline. Assists with work quality related to all agency Clearinghouse functions. Recommending action to ensure coordination and integration of program activities of each division, including meetings and activities of EAC advisory boards. Serving as the Project Manager for outsourced election work product as needed. Serving as a team member on ad hoc teams convened to provide quick responses to special projects and studies that may cut across organizational lines, disciplines, and functions. Team participation is vital to effectively accomplish unit assignments. Successful participation in both routine and special assignments requires flexibility, effective interactive skills, and willingness to cooperate to enhance team accomplishments. Ensuring documents meet EAC standards and improve the agency Clearinghouse function. Identify areas that require improvement, establish working groups to assist with gaps. Provide feedback on election-related work quality, including editing and guidance to staff to improve the overall quality of work. Serving as the Project Manager for outsourced election work product as needed. Working with external stakeholders as needed. Reviewing Grant funding trends and preparing an analysis of how the funds are being spent on innovative ways to assist stakeholders with ideas. Performing other related duties as assigned. Salary: $94,199 – $155,700. Deadline: Nov. 22. 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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