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January 18, 2024

January 18, 2024

In Focus This Week

Guide Helps Election Officials Handle Intense Job Stress

The Carter Center

Being an election official is hard. Not only is there a never-ending stream of deadlines, but there also is a constant crush of complaints and criticism that sometimes escalates to stalking or death threats.

As the United States enters another presidential election year, election workers’ jobs will only get more difficult. The Carter Center has created a resource guide to help them cope.

“I was talking to people at an election officials conference a couple of years ago, and when I would casually ask them how they’re doing, some of them would just start crying,” said Avery Davis-Roberts, a former associate director in the Center’s Democracy Program. “They were telling me all the things they had been experiencing since the 2020 election, all of the threats they’d been enduring and the impacts of that experience on their lives, on the lives of their children, their parents, their spouses. These are just people doing a job that they thought was going to be one thing — administering elections — and now it’s also requiring that they withstand this onslaught.”

Bill Gates is a member of the Board of Supervisors of Maricopa County, Arizona, which has 2.5 million voters. One of the board’s duties is election supervision. After the 2020 presidential election, Gates endured so much harassment that his family went into hiding and he experienced post-traumatic stress disorder. He credits his wife for persuading him to seek treatment after he lost control of his emotions in public.

“That was the worst moment, and that’s when my recovery started,” he said.

The help he received allowed Gates to serve through the chaotic 2022 Arizona gubernatorial election.

“That was a challenging time, but I felt I was in a really great position for it,” he said. “When we’re struggling with trauma and the effects of the trauma, we need to get help.”

Without help, the job and the abuse can seem impossible to endure.

“Tragically, I’m just one of many who have gone through this over the past three years,” Gates said. “It’s driving people from the profession, which I think is sad.”

Indeed, a 2023 survey by the independent Brennan Center for Justice reveals a high turnover rate among election officials. Eleven percent of current officials surveyed said they are very or somewhat likely to leave their posts before this year’s election. If they do, that means close to 2,000 officials will have left the profession between the 2020 and 2024 elections, the Brennan Center reported.

Although her jurisdiction in bucolic Defiance County, Ohio, is much smaller than Gates’ (just 26,000 voters), Tonya Wichman almost became one of those casualties. Her office recently administered four elections in 10 months. Two full-time officers and four part-time clerks handled all the voter registrations, changes of address, candidate filings, electronic ballot programming, petition filings, absentee and overseas ballots, provisional ballots, early voting, poll worker recruiting and training, Election Day operations, and vote counting and tabulation — four times over.

“It was kind of overwhelming,” Wichman said. “Our poll workers are tired.”

On top of that, she and her crew had to deal with shadowy people trying to intimidate them, and a perpetually angry voter who on Election Day questioned the integrity of the voting process, made threats, and brought election workers (including Wichman’s mother) to tears. A dispirited Wichman wrote a resignation letter, which the board refused to accept.

“I took (the abuse) really personally,” she said. “We work so hard to make sure it’s right that I did take it personally. And everybody’s like, ‘Just ignore that.’ Well, I can’t, because I really believe in what I do.”

Stories like these are why The Carter Center created Taking Care of Yourself to Serve Others: A Well-being Resource Guide for Election Officials.

The guide, co-developed by the Center’s Democracy and Mental Health programs, lists signs and impacts of trauma, outlines techniques for promoting resiliency and recovery, provides links to mental health support services, and offers security tips and toolkits.

“Stress takes a tremendous toll on a person’s physical and mental well-being,” said Eve Byrd, Mental Health Program director. “We developed this guide to direct election officials to resources that may help them navigate the unique challenges that come with serving at the front lines of democracy.”

Wichman shared the resource guide with her staff and with the president of the Ohio Election Officials Association, who distributed it across the state.

“The biggest thing about this guide is the fact that The Carter Center saw there was a problem, that someone was acknowledging the stress that election officials go through,” Wichman said.

Davis-Roberts advised election workers to practice self-care and take pride in the important work they do.

“While we’re in this period of hyperpolarization, we just have to take care of ourselves and each other,” she said.

Clearie Nominations Open

Nominations for 2023 EAC Clearinghouse Awards Open
Deadline to submit is March 1

This week, the U.S. Election Assistance Commission (EAC) opened its submission window for the eighth annual national Clearinghouse Awards, also known as “The Clearies.” This innovative award program publicly recognizes the hard work of election offices across the country and their invaluable role in the foundation of our election infrastructure. Submissions are judged on their innovation, sustainability, outreach, cost-effectiveness, replicability, and positive impact. Any program used in an election could be submitted for consideration.

EAC Chairwoman Christy McCormick, Vice Chair Ben Hovland, Commissioner Donald Palmer, and Commissioner Thomas Hicks highlighted the significance of the awards in a joint statement:

“Election officials and their staff work tirelessly year-round to navigate the ever-changing landscape of elections, and we would like to continue to recognize these unsung heroes through the Clearies. Their hard work and dedication are instrumental in ensuring that all eligible American voters have a smooth and positive voting experience on Election Day. Through the Clearies, the EAC celebrates the commitment shown by election officials as they address the critical challenges in election administration, including security concerns, accessibility needs, and more. This year’s Clearies will serve as a reminder of the critical role that election officials play in the nation’s electoral process.”

Historically, the Clearies have played a pivotal role in advancing the EAC’s mission as the primary source for election administration best practices, and core to that mission is the opportunity to spotlight deserving programs regardless of jurisdiction, size, or project scope.

All entries must be received by March 1, 2024 with the honorees announced later in the spring. Please visit www.eac.gov/clearies to view all of the submission guidelines. All entries and accompanying materials must be submitted through the EAC’s online form.

The 2023 Clearies Award categories are:

  • Outstanding Use of HAVA Grants in Elections Modernization
  • Outstanding Election Official State Association Program
  • Outstanding Innovation in Election Cybersecurity and Technology
  • Improving Accessibility for Voters with Disabilities
  • Outstanding Innovations in Elections
  • Best Practices in Recruiting, Retaining, and Training Poll Workers
  • (NEW) Distinguished Voter Education and Communications Initiatives
  • Creative and Original “I Voted” Stickers

More information on the 2022 Clearies winners can be found at www.eac.gov/clearies. Please send any questions to the EAC at clearinghouse@eac.gov.

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CEIR Welcomes New Research Director

Center for Election Innovation & Research Welcomes Christopher Mann as New Research Director

The Center for Election Innovation & Research (CEIR) is thrilled to announce that Christopher Mann PhD is joining our team as our new Research Director. Chris brings a wealth of knowledge and experience from a rich career spanning three decades in research on election administration and policy.

Chris has served as an Associate Professor of Political Science at Skidmore College, Director of the Academy of Applied Politics at the LSU Manship School of Mass Communication, and Assistant Professor of Political Science at the University of Miami. He earned his PhD in Political Science from Yale University. His research, focused on election administration, election policy, and voting behavior, has been published in leading peer-reviewed academic journals.

Prior to his academic career, he led civic organizations, worked as a research consultant, and served as a legislative aide to Congress. He has served on several advisory boards, including the MIT Election Data and Science Lab, Pew’s Voter Registration Modernization Working Group, and the Election Performance Index Advisory Group. Most recently, Chris was the Senior Research Officer for the Wellspring Philanthropic Fund.

Beyond elections and voting, Chris is the founder of Geography of Hope, a scholarship program that enables low-income urban teens to engage in summer outdoor education programs.

As Research Director, Chris will lead CEIR’s growing program of research initiatives, including matters pertaining to voter registration, voter access, election integrity and security, and election policy. He 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.

Chris’s appointment at CEIR is a testament to his lifelong dedication to enhancing democratic processes and civic participation. We are proud to welcome him to the team.

Election News This Week

Nation’s First Primary: While Iowa Republicans caucused in bitter temperatures this week, elections officials in New Hampshire continued preparations for the “First in the Nation” primary on Jan. 23. While always “one to watch” this year’s primary will feature the added pressure of counting thousands of write-ins because of a campaign mounted by supporters of President Joseph Biden who does not appear on the ballot. “When it comes to counting the ballots, the instructions that we are giving the moderators and the poll workers generally, is that what is important when you’re counting that vote is can you determine the voter’s intent?” New Hampshire Secretary of State David Scanlan said. More write-in votes than usual are expected on Jan. 23, but Scanlan said that he still believes that results will be announced on election night. Officials in several towns were still looking for enough poll workers as late as this week. In Keene, the city is more than doubling its roster of election volunteers, from 70 to 150 people. “We reached out to the Chamber of Commerce, various large businesses downtown that often allow their employees to do a day for civic service,” Keene City Clerk Patricia Little said of her recruitment efforts. According to New Hampshire Public Radio, along with the unknowns surrounding write-in votes, New Hampshire election officials are also preparing for any possible complications surrounding the state’s new affidavit ballot law. The primary will mark the first statewide election where voters who register at the polls for the first time without valid identification will use special, marked ballots. If they don’t return proof of eligibility to the Secretary of State’s office within seven days, their votes could be removed from the final tally. In addition to prepping for new laws and write-ins, local elections officials are doing other routine election prep like testing voting equipment. “It is my honor” to help run elections, said Guilford Town Clerk Danielle LaFond. “It can be a long day, but it’s a fun day.”

Early Voting News: While early voting may be old news in some jurisdictions, it’s still new news in places like Michigan and Connecticut where recent changes have brought about its introduction. In Michigan elections officials are busy preparing for the February 27 Presidential Primary which will feature in-person early voting for everyone for the first time. Officials are still awaiting e-poll books and training. “Our first time ever, we’re still waiting on equipment from the state of Michigan, our poll box that we need to utilize and figure out on our own first and how we’re supposed to utilize them,” said Isabella County Clerk Minde Lux Lux. And clerks still need to go through training. “We have to be trained and then we have to train those that are going to be working the nine-day early voting,” said Lux. But they will be ready. “We’re going to be setting up there Feb. 1 and we’ll be there until the end of February. So, all of our equipment ballots, everything will be there,” said Lux. In Sterling Heights, an elections forum for residents is being planned. Kent County still needs more than 100 poll workers to pull off primary day and early voting. Ann Arbor has a new early voting plan. Berrien County received a grant for $490K to help them establish early voting. Most early voters in Muskegon County will vote at the county’s administrative office. In Caseville, city hall will serve as the early voting location. Early voting begins Feb. 17.

Ranked Choice Voting News: Connecticut Attorney General William Tong has issued a formal opinion that ranked-choice voting at the state level would not be supported by Connecticut’s constitution. “Connecticut cannot implement it in violation of the state constitution,” Tong wrote in his formal opinion. “Our state has never used ranked-choice voting; our constitution does not mention it; and I found no evidence that the framers of our constitution intended to authorize it.” State Representative Josh Elliott (D- Hamden) has asked the state’s lawmakers to consider ranked-choice voting for presidential primaries and municipal elections since 2017. He said Tong’s decision was disappointing, but not directly related to what he wants — the decision referenced constitutional offices like governor and secretary of the state, not municipal or national elections. “Because we’re starting with the allowance of getting rank choice voting, getting the foot in the door, this gives people the opportunity to see what rank choice voting is,” Eliott said. “And then if it is determined that later down the line that people really liked rank choice, and they want to see it implemented for other elections, then we can look towards changing the constitution.” Elliott said this session, he’s focused on passing legislation to convene a task force or working group to determine the feasibility of ranked-choice in Connecticut. He said the state constitution could be amended in the future to allow ranked-choice — but that would be a ways away. In Alaska, a group seeking to overturn Alaska’s voting system on Jan. 12 submitted signatures to the Alaska Division of Elections, a necessary step in their effort to put the repeal question on the 2024 ballot. The embattled opponents of ranked-choice voting — recently fined over $94,000 by Alaska’s campaign regulatory commission — are seeking to use a ballot measure to overturn the state’s open primaries and ranked-choice general elections. The system was approved via a ballot measure by Alaska voters in 2020, and first used in 2022. It is now up to the Division of Elections and the lieutenant governor’s office to count the signatures and verify they fulfill the state’s requirements to certify the question and place it on the 2024 ballot. In an initial count completed Friday morning, election workers tallied 41,895 signatures.

Personnel News: Steven Frid has been fired as the executive director of the U.S. Election Assistance Commission. Carlos Ayala has resigned from the Maryland State Board of Elections after being arrested in connection with the attack on the Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021. Ryan Herndon is no longer the election supervisor in Monroe County, Indiana. Congratulations to Lorain County Board of Elections Director Paul Adams who was elected president of the Ohio Association of Election Officials.

New Research and Reports

Ranked Choice Voting: Ranked choice voting has measurable positive impacts for voters and candidates of color, a new FairVote report finds. The report examines 448 ranked choice voting elections across 20 years and finds that: 1) Candidates of color benefit from the RCV counting process, gaining more support as lower-performing candidates are eliminated; and 2) RCV allows several candidates of color to run in the same race without “splitting the vote.”  The report also includes case studies about historic candidates elected in RCV races, including majority-people of color city councils in New York City, Salt Lake City, Minneapolis, and St. Paul, and the first Alaska Native elected to Congress. Its findings build on research and election data showing that candidates of color are more likely to win RCV contests, and several previous surveys showing high support for RCV among Black and Latino voters. “As ranked choice voting grows across the country, it is delivering on its promises of representation,”  said Deb Otis, FairVote’s Director of Research and Policy and co-author of the report. “Candidates of color are running and winning in RCV elections. Candidates are building majority coalitions through positive campaigning, and consolidating – rather than splitting – the power of their community. Voters of color are taking advantage of the opportunity to rank, and don’t feel forced to vote for the ‘lesser of two evils.’” The report also includes two additional case studies: One covers Alaska Native Mary Peltola’s election to Congress and the behavior of Alaska Native voters in that RCV contest. The other covers the impact of “cross-endorsements” – candidates encouraging voters to rank them first and a specific opponent second – in a Harlem city council district. The full report – whose first edition was published in 2021 – is available here.

Youth Vote: As the 2024 election cycle ramps up, a new report examines specific barriers that young voters face, what states can do to support young voters, and how each state’s election policies impact this important demographic. The report, A Silenced Generation: How the Power of the Youth Vote Collides with Barriers to Voting authored by Movement Advancement Project (MAP) and released in partnership with The Civics Center, creates a framework for evaluating states’ policy climate for youth voting. The report also details policy solutions to remove obstacles that impact youth voter turnout. Analysis in the report finds that nearly one in ten young voters live in a state with a low Youth Democracy Score. Included in the report is a foreword by Laura W. Brill, Executive Director of The Civics Center. “Young voters are a formidable voting demographic and engaging them now is vital to creating a new generation of active, lifetime voters. However young voters face a range of obstacles in registering to vote and casting their ballot,” said Brian Hinkle, Senior Voting Policy Researcher at MAP.  An estimated 53 million voters under 30 will be eligible to vote this year, including an estimated 8 million young people who have become newly eligible to vote since the 2022 midterm elections. That young people are less likely to vote isn’t surprising considering the core obstacles they face, which are detailed in the report. The lack of voting experience creates an information gap about where, when, and how to register and vote.

  • Moving frequently creates challenges for registration and voting.
  • Fewer resources and unpredictable work schedules make it hard to get to the polls to vote.
  • Targeted efforts by lawmakers to suppress turnout and disenfranchise young voters.

Included in the report is a series of policy recommendations for how states can remove barriers and engage young voters. Lawmakers can take concrete steps to streamline voter registration and improve access to the ballot, including in the following areas:

  • Voter pre-registration: Twenty states and D.C. allow pre-registration at age 16, so long as the person will be 18 when they cast their vote. An additional four states allow pre-registration at age 17. Research shows that pre-registration results in higher voter turnout among young voters and is growing in popularity. From 2014 to 2020, the number of pre-registered young people more than doubled to nearly 1 million young voters.
  • Election Day voter registration: Allowing voters to register the same day that they cast their vote is a fail-safe, especially for young voters and others who move more frequently and may face challenges with registration as a result. Only 22 states allow voters to register on the same day they vote.
  • Voter ID and allowing student IDs: Most states ask voters to show some form of ID to vote. However, young people are less likely to have a driver’s license, the most common form of ID, and may only have a student ID. Nine states explicitly do not allow a student ID to be used for voting, including several states with the most restrictive photo ID laws. Restrictive photo ID laws are particularly harmful to young people of color.
  • Vote by mail: In 36 states, voters can request an absentee ballot without having to provide a reason. This makes voter participation easier for young voters, among other voters who may not be able to make it to a polling place. In states with the most restrictive mail voting policies, youth turnout is as much as 15 percentage points lower.
  • Early voting availability: Young voters often work unpredictable schedules at hourly jobs where they may be forced to choose between wages and voting. Early voting increases the opportunities to vote, and youth voters are among the populations who benefit. In 2022, more than half of young voters cast their ballots before Election Day. While most states offer some form of in-person early voting, the length of availability varies widely.

Additional recommendations in the report address policies that include online voter registration, automatic voter registration, increasing polling locations, paid time off to vote, and recruiting young voters as poll workers, among other policies. The full list of policy recommendations is available in the report.

Legislative Updates

Alabama: Three new bills dealing with absentee ballots have been drafted by Alabama lawmakers for the upcoming legislative session. HB 23, filed by Rep. Kenyatté Hassell, D-Montgomery, would remove the list of reasons for voting by absentee ballot. Currently, voters must check their reason for voting absentee on the absentee ballot application, then again on the absentee ballot. SB 1, introduced by state Sen. Garlan Gudger, R-Cullman, will make it illegal for individuals to pay or be paid for assisting others in completing absentee ballots and absentee ballot applications. Meanwhile, Rep. Adline Clarke, D- Mobile, filed HB 12, a bill designed to allow a disabled voter to designate an individual to deliver the voter’s application for an absentee ballot to the absentee election manager.

Alaska: The Alaska House Judiciary Committee voted to advance a bill that would repeal ranked choice voting and open primaries. The bill was first proposed last year by Homer Republican Rep. Sarah Vance to undo changes to Alaska’s voting laws, which were instituted through a 2020 ballot measure narrowly approved by Alaska voters. The committee voted to advance the bill in a 5-2 vote, with all five Republicans in favor and the committee’s two Democrats opposed. The measure heads next to the House Finance Committee. The bill has yet to be considered in the Senate and is likely to face headwinds there, where members of the majority have said they oppose efforts to repeal the voting method. Opponents of the changes adopted through the 2020 ballot measure say the new voting laws disadvantage conservative Republicans. Proponents of the new system say it leads to electing politicians who appeal to a wider swath of voters and are more willing to work across party lines. The original bill brought by Vance would have repealed ranked choice voting and open primaries. Vance proposed an amendment Wednesday — adopted in a 5-2 vote along party lines — to repeal the campaign reporting requirements, as well.

Georgia: House Speaker Jon Burns says House Republican leaders will push to eliminate QR codes from the paper ballots voting machines spit out to voters after they cast their ballots and they’ll consider strengthening the powers of the State Election Board, potentially at the expense of the secretary of state. The General Assembly passed legislation in 2019 providing for a paper backup to electronic ballots, a move aimed at giving Georgians more confidence their votes are being recorded accurately. But some voters have complained that the QR codes are confusing and impose a barrier on transparency. The other potential change to election laws would shift investigations of voter complaints of election fraud from the secretary of state’s office to the State Election Board. Burns said such a move would help make the board more independent.

A Republican-sponsored bill introduced would empower the State Election Board to investigate Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger, a response to the board’s decision last month not to open an inquiry. The measure would also remove Raffensperger, a Republican, as a nonvoting member of the State Election Board and require him to cooperate with investigations. The legislation, Senate Bill 358, comes after the board deadlocked on whether to pursue complaints by conservative activists who blame Raffensperger for human errors in Fulton County’s manual audit of the 2020 election. The problems, including over 3,000 double-counted and misallocated votes, didn’t change the overall outcome of the statewide audit, which confirmed Democrat Joe Biden’s win over Republican Donald Trump. “It is time for the secretary of state to be held reasonably accountable, like all other elected officials,” said Senate Ethics Chairman Max Burns, a Republican from Sylvania whose committee handles election bills.

Hawaii: State legislators announced plans to reintroduce a bill calling for full public financing of elections in Hawai‘i. Senate Judiciary Committee Chair Karl Rhoads held an educational panel at the Hawaii Capitol to speak about his intention to bring the bill back to the Legislature during the upcoming session. The panel included moderator Colin Moore of the University of Hawai‘i Economic Research Organization, House sponsor Rep. Jeanne Kapela, Maui County Council member Keani Rawlins-Fernandez and Common Cause HI Program Director Camron Hurt. Senate Bill 1543 was introduced in 2023 to establish a comprehensive system of public financing for all candidates seeking election to state and county public offices. The final version of the bill stated in part “the common belief is that the current campaign finance system used in Hawai‘i (and most other states) unfairly favors a small handful of wealthy donors who use their donations to buy access to candidates and elected officials.

Indiana: House Republicans want to identify more people who might not be eligible to vote with legislation considered by a House committee. The bill, HB 1264, takes aim at cleaning up voter rolls in multiple ways. It allows the state to compare information from credit agencies against voter registration records, in an effort to find out if someone has moved. Brad King, Republican co-director of the Indiana Election Division, said that credit bureau data will be the most accurate info possible. “In my belief, in my heart of hearts, Indiana’s elections are secure,” King said. “But there is always room for improvement.”

Sen. Gary Byrne (R-Byrneville) has filed a bill to prohibit public transportation agencies from offering free or reduced-fare rides on election days. For the past two years, the AARP of Indiana has sponsored free Election Day rides on public transit in Indianapolis, Gary, Fort Wayne and Evansville. Byrne told Axios the bill is about fairness for Hoosiers, like those who live in rural areas, who don’t have access to public transportation. “The rural parts of those counties can’t get a free ride,” he said. Byrne said early voting and vote by mail give people who may struggle to reach the polls on Election Day other opportunities to vote.

Kansas: Senate Bill 343 bans county election officials from sending out advance voting ballot applications to voters unless the application has already been requested by the voter. Sen. Mike Thompson said the bill was needed because an election official in Johnson County had sent out many unrequested advance ballot applications. He said $75,000 worth of ballots had been printed in what was an “unnecessary expenditure.” He also introduced a bill requiring more voter identity verification for advanced voting. The bill would require that a voter identity verification form be attached with advance ballots.

Louisiana: The Louisiana House Appropriations Committee moved in favor of a bill that would fund a change in the state’s primary election process if legislators pass the measure during the current special session. The House Appropriations Committee is required by the Louisiana Constitution to fund elections and in following their legal requirement they moved in favor of providing the necessary funding for the elections – should the issue get the necessary votes for passage. The committee fulfilled its state constitutional requirement and Rep. Marcelle moved in favor of the bill asking that the author, Rep. McFarland, clarify in the language in the event that legislators reject the measure it is clearly stated that the money is not tangled in legislative red tape as this was another notable point of ambiguity in the bill.

Missouri: Missouri Senate President Pro Tem Caleb Rowden, R-Columbia, wants to add ‘private residences’ to places that a person could be charged for making terroristic threats. The recent swatting situation on January 7 involving the home of Missouri Secretary of State Jay Ashcroft pushed Rowden to file the legislation. Rowden’s legislation would also make it a Class D felony if a swatting call results in death, injury, or property damage.The bill has recently been introduced in the Senate and could be considered by a Senate committee soon. “I’ve had issues of, you know, folks coming to my house during elections,” Rowden said. “It’s not fun and I don’t care if you’re, you know, far right or far left or somewhere in between, that’s not how we should be doing things. Hopefully we can get something done.”

Nebraska: Legislative Bill 1390 would provide new protections for Nebraska election officials and workers by enhancing penalties for those who may threaten, harass, or manipulate those tasked with conducting elections ­– including via artificial intelligence tools. The bill, introduced today by State Sen. Eliot Bostar of Lincoln and co-sponsored by State Sens. Justin Wayne of Omaha and Carolyn Bosn of Lincoln, addresses these threats by: Extending the penalties currently in place for manipulating deputy registrars for elections to include threats and harassment of all election officials and workers; Creating new penalties for “doxxing” election officials – sharing their personal information and address online and without their consent to encourage their harassment; and Creating new penalties for using artificial intelligence, or AI, to create fake videos or audio depicting an election official with the intent of sharing misinformation about an election.

New Hampshire: Lawmakers recently heard testimony on a bipartisan bill intended to improve civics education by helping high school students register to vote. The bill, HB 1014, would require high schools to develop programs to assist students in the voter registration process. State Rep. Mark Paige, D-Exeter, introduced the measure after hearing from constituents who commented on the close relationship between civic engagement and voting. Voter registration efforts, he said, vary across state high schools. Paige believes the bill’s goal to improve participation among young people bolsters existing aims of state civic education and government requirements passed in the last legislative session. “A goal of our civics curriculum is to ensure students leave our schools and enter the world prepared to be engaged citizens as participants in the electoral process, and this bill helps make good on that promise,” said Paige. “Young people want to be engaged, hold elective officials accountable, and determine their future; if we can better position schools to help them do that with measures like this, we should not hesitate.”

New York: Sen. Mark C. Walczyk and Assemblywoman Mary Beth Walsh have teamed up on a bill that would undo the shift of some local elections into even years signed into law by Gov. Kathleen C. Hochul just weeks ago. Under the new law, most elections at the County and municipal levels, outside New York City, are now moved from odd years to even years. Supporters of the legislation say this shift will increase voter turnout. However, those against the effort contend the opposite would occur. With longer ballots, it would take more time to complete a ballot, causing longer wait times. Both Walczyk and Walsh voted against the bill earlier this year.  In a bill introduced in the last week of 2023, Walczyk, R-Watertown, and Walsh, R-Ballston Spa, put forward a plan that would return the elections for local seats like county legislator, town supervisor or council member and some local department supervisor positions to odd years, when they have historically occurred.

South Dakota: Secretary of State Monae L. Johnson announces that the Secretary of State’s Office’s proposed legislative package for 2024 features bills promoting election transparency, election worker protection and clarifying residency. SB 17: An Act to modify the residency requirements for voter registration and declare an emergency. Last year the Legislature amended SDCL 12-4-1 to state that in order to register to vote a person needs to maintain a residence in South Dakota for at least 30 days prior to registering.  The problem is that there is no time frame for when the 30 days is calculated. Is it 30 days immediately prior to registering or is it 30 days in the person’s lifetime?  The proposed amendment places an identifiable and easily calculated 365-day time frame. SB 18: An Act to allow the secretary of state to share information from the statewide voter registration file.  If passed, this would allow the secretary of state to share voter registration information with other states in order to try and identify any voter who, for whatever reason, is registered in more than one jurisdiction. Currently, information is shared but on a limited basis. SB 20: An Act to establish the crime of threatening or intimidating an election official or election worker and declare an emergency. The Senate State Affairs Committee approved the bill 8-0. SB 48:  An Act to provide for the disclosure of a cast vote record and ballot images as a public record and declare an emergency. A cast vote record (CVR) is an electronic record of a voter’s ballot contest selections that is created when the paper ballot is run through a tabulator. A CVR can then be compared to the ballot image to ensure that the tabulating machine read the ballot correctly. Presently there is litigation concerning this issue. This bill would clear up the issue for 2024 and into the future. Only counties who have purchased the required software would be able to produce a cast vote record.

Utah: Republican Rep. Kera Birkeland has proposed a bill that would require Utahns to opt-in to mail-in voting. Starting in 2026, instead of automatically sending ballots to all registered voters, the bill would require citizens to opt-in online or on their ballot during this year’s election. “For everyone who either isn’t returning their ballots, throwing away their ballots or goes to the election polling location to vote, they can just, you know, not check a box and no longer worry about ballots,” Birkeland said. According to Birkeland, this would clean up voter rolls by preventing ballots from going to people who don’t want to vote or would prefer to vote in person. However, Summit County Clerk Eve Furse said most Utahns vote by mail. Almost 94% of people who voted in the General Election in 2022 voted by mail. In 2023 in Summit County, 99% of the votes were by mail.

Another proposal would require that mail-in ballots arrive at the clerk’s office by Election Day.  Right now, they must simply be post-marked on election day. H.B. 214, Election Modifications is sponsored by Rep. Norman K. Thurston, R-Provo. It would modify existing law to say that “for a mailed vote to be valid, the election officer must receive the ballot in the office before the polls close on election day.”

Washington:  Washington lawmakers renewed their push to increase criminal penalties for harassment of election workers. The state House of Representatives, on an 86-11 vote, approved House Bill 1241 to make it a class C felony for a person to threaten election officials with injury through words or conduct. Today, such behavior carries a lesser penalty of a gross misdemeanor. The same bill cleared the House on a 90-7 vote last session but lapsed in the Senate. It is expected to receive a hearing in the Senate in early February. “Our election workers are the heroes of democracy,” said Rep. Mari Leavitt, D-University Place, the bill’s prime sponsor, in a floor speech. In addition to stiffer penalties, the bill allows election officials and family members living with them to enroll in the state’s address confidentiality program. State Rep. Jim Walsh, R-Aberdeen voted against the bill. He said no one in Washington should be harassed but he disagreed with making the crime a felony when the penalty for possession of fentanyl is a gross misdemeanor. It should be a felony, he said.

West Virginia: House Bill 4017, if passed in its current state, would make it a misdemeanor for anyone to “intentionally coerce” or offer payment to another individual in exchange for a voter registration application. It would similarly make it illegal for anyone to offer payment for any name or material entry on any registration form to be inserted wrongfully, destroy a duly made entry, or remove any such registration form. It would also create a penalty of 1-10 years in prison and/or a $10,000 fine for anyone who knowingly casts a vote in person on Election Day after having voted by absentee ballot. HB 4017 was introduced by Del. Josh Holstein (R – Boone, 032) and was sent to the House Judiciary Committee.

House Bill 4016, was also introduced by Del. Holstein. In its current state, it would make it unlawful for any person, including election officials, to mail or deliver in person an absentee ballot application to any voter unless that voter specifically requested it. It would also require absentee ballot applications to be available at county clerk offices and on the Secretary of State’s official website. That bill is also in the House Judiciary Committee.

Wisconsin: Rep. Janel Brandtjen, R-Menomonee Falls, rose on the floor of the Wisconsin State Assembly throughout the afternoon of Jan. 16, calling for recognition from Assembly Speaker Robin Vos, R-Rochester in an attempt to force a vote on impeaching Meagan Wolfe, Wisconsin’s chief elections administrator. She was ruled out of order early in the session, and her subsequent calls were not responded to. The day adjourned with the bang of a gavel, as Brandtjen called out one more time. In a brief interview after Tuesday’s session, Brandtjen told WPR that she plans to continue pushing to bring articles of impeachment against Wolfe to the floor for a vote.

Legal Updates

Arizona: Mohave County Supervisor Ron Gould is asking a judge to allow the hand counting of ballots, saying there is nothing in state law preventing a county from doing so. In a Maricopa County Superior Court filing, an attorney for Gould argues the Election Code says ballots “may be cast, recorded and counted” by vote counting machines. Gould says his constituents are losing faith in elections. “It doesn’t matter why they’re losing faith in the election. My concern is that they’ll quit voting if they lose faith,” Gould said.  The push for hand counts has increased following unproven narratives of election interference. Attorney General Kris Mayes sent Mohave County supervisors a letter in November saying a hand count was illegal.

Colorado: Former Mesa County Clerk Tina Peters isn’t giving up in her attempt to get the federal courts to block her upcoming trial on state criminal charges.eters’ Virginia-based attorney, Robert Cynkar, filed a notice of appeal to the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals in Denver to get it to reverse a ruling earlier this week from U.S. District Judge Nina Wang that removed Mesa County District Attorney Dan Rubinstein as a defendant in a whistleblower lawsuit she filed in federal court last fall.hat suit, which also names Colorado Secretary of State Jena Griswold and U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland, contends that state and federal authorities should not have investigated her nor filed charges based on her free speech rights under the First Amendment, and immunity rights under the Fourteenth Amendment because of her attempts to show election fraud. Peters contends that her actions in making copies of election computer hard drives was part of an effort to show problems during the 2020 presidential and 2021 municipal elections, essentially saying she was acting as a whistleblower.

Georgia: U.S. District Judge J.P. Boulee upheld Georgia’s shortened four-week runoff period mandated by the state’s 2021 voting law, ruling that there wasn’t evidence to prove discrimination against Black voters. Boulee’s decision keeps in place quick runoffs after general elections and fewer early voting days before runoffs. The ruling also maintains a voter registration deadline 29 days before elections, preventing new voters from being able to sign up ahead of runoffs. “Plaintiffs presented evidence that Black voters are more likely to vote early. Plaintiffs did not present any evidence, however, which would show why Black voters would disproportionately struggle to vote during the new early voting period,” Boulee wrote in a 31-page order. “… All of the factors weigh against a discriminatory intent finding.” Before the law was passed, runoffs were held nine weeks after the general election. “This ruling affirms what we have maintained all along — that Georgia’s Election Integrity Act is designed to ensure fair and secure elections for all citizens,” Republican Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger said. “We will continue to stand firm in defending the principles of this legislation.”

Maine: Kennebec County Superior Court Justice Michaela Murphy has sent back a decision to remove Donald Trump from the state’s presidential primary ballot — a decision based on a reading of a constitutional provision that bars insurrectionists from holding public office. Murphy ordered the secretary of state to issue a new decision on Trump once the U.S. Supreme Court weighs in on a related case. Trump had appealed the ruling by the Democratic secretary of state, Shenna Bellows, urging Maine courts to overturn her decision. Bellows had suspended the effect of her ruling, giving state courts the chance to hear an appeal. In her ruling, Murphy stayed Bellows’ decision and “remands this matter to the Secretary for further proceedings as necessary in light of the United States Supreme Court’s forthcoming decision in Trump v. Anderson [the Colorado case].” Murphy ordered that Bellows’ new ruling, “modifying, withdrawing, or confirming” her initial ruling, come no later than 30 days after the Supreme Court’s decision.

Michigan: Katelyn Jones, 26, formerly of Olivet, Michigan, and now living in Epping, New Hampshire was sentenced to 30 days in federal jail this week for texting threats to a Detroit-area election official after a November 2020 meeting to certify local results in that year’s presidential race. Jones targeted Monica Palmer, the Republican chairwoman of the Wayne County Board of Canvassers, and her family, the FBI said in a court filing. Investigators say Jones sent photos of a dead body and threatened Palmer on Nov. 18, 2020, apparently because she was upset that Palmer and another Republican on the four-member Board of Canvassers initially refused to certify Wayne County’s election results on Nov. 17. The certification is typically a routine step on the way to statewide certification. The two members subsequently certified the totals in favor of Joe Biden after people watching the public meeting on video conference criticized them during a comment period. Jones pleaded guilty to two counts of threats of violence through interstate commerce.

Minnesota: The Minnesota Supreme Court has granted a quicker appeal of a case involving a voting rights restoration law. In an order issued Jan. 16 by Chief Justice Natalie Hudson, the court said it would decide the fate of the law. It permits people with felony convictions to vote as long as they’re not behind bars. Justices scheduled oral arguments for April 1. A conservative group known as the Minnesota Voters Alliance sued over the law’s 2023 enactment, saying the Legislature overstepped its authority. Late last year, a judge ruled against the challenge that could affect eligibility for tens of thousands of voters. The alliance asked to skip straight to the Supreme Court, bypassing the Court of Appeals. In its petition, the group’s attorney said the case needs final resolution by Minnesota’s highest court soon.

New Hampshire: The Republican National Committee (RNC) and the New Hampshire GOP filed a motion on Jan. 17 to intervene in the Democratic National Committee’s (DNC) lawsuit over a voting law in the Granite State. The Republican groups are asking to become parties in the case to defend New Hampshire Senate Bill 418, an election law requiring those who register to vote without a photo ID on election day to send in qualifying documentation within seven days to keep their ballot from being thrown out. The DNC sued New Hampshire officials over the law last month, arguing it will disenfranchise voters in the state — including young people, working families and other key voting groups. The Republican groups argue in their new filing that the relief sought by the DNC would “directly harm the legal rights and interests”of the RNC and NHRSC, as well as their registered members and voters.

Wisconsin: Dane County Circuit Judge Ann Peacock ruled Jan. 12 that the state’s top elections official is legally holding her position and that the commission that appoints her is under no obligation to name a new leader, handing yet another defeat to Republicans who have tried to oust her. The bipartisan Wisconsin Elections Commission deadlocked in June 2023 on a vote to reappoint Meagan Wolfe as the administrator of elections in the presidential battleground state. The three Republican commissioners voted in favor, but the three Democrats abstained to block the nomination from going before the state Senate because that would have then allowed Republicans there to fire her. Actions by the commission require a four vote majority. “I agree with WEC that the public expects stability in its elections system and this injunction will provide stability to protect against any further legally unsupported removal attempts,” Peacock wrote in her Jan. 12 order saying that Wolfe holds her position legally. Peacock, in her Jan. 12 ruling, said Wolfe is legally serving as administrator of the elections commission as a holdover given that the commission deadlocked on whether to reappoint her. The Senate’s vote to remove her had no legal effect, Peacock ruled for the second time, and the commission has no duty to appoint a new leader while Wolfe is serving as a holdover. “I hope this will put an end to attempts by some to target nonpartisan election officials and fabricate reasons to disrupt Wisconsin elections,” Wolfe said in a Jan. 12 statement. “The effort to undermine me was especially cruel given that the defendant legislators themselves admitted in court that I remain the lawful administrator.”

Opinions This Week

National Opinions: 2024 | Voting rights | Civil rights | Election preparation | Cybersecurity | Election security | Ranked choice voting

Alaska: Ranked choice voting

Florida: Civility

Kentucky: Early voting

Maine: Election workers | Secretary of state

Maryland: State Board of Elections

Massachusetts: Vote buying

Montana: Cascade County

Nevada: Election integrity

New Jersey: Voting age

New York: Ballot access

Pennsylvania: Fulton County | Voter registration

Rhode Island: Vote by mail

Tennessee: Ex-felon voting rights

Texas: Voting rights | Polling places

Wyoming: Conspiracy theories

Upcoming Events

iGO Midwinter Conference: The International Association of Government Officials will hold its Midwinter Conference in Savannah, Georgia. The conference will feature educational sessions, workshops, team building and planning sessions. When: Jan. 22-26, 2024. Where: Savannah, Georgia

Communications Workshop, Planning for 2024: The 2024 election cycle is underway, and The Elections Group’s first workshop of the year is designed to prepare your office to communicate effectively no matter the situation. Tune in at noon EST on Tuesday, January 23, on Zoom for our top election-year communications planning tips. When Jan. 23, 12pm Eastern. Where: Online

Sedition Hunters: How January 6th Broke the Justice System: 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. Speakers: Ryan J. Reilly, Author and Justice Reporter for NBC News: Ryan J. Reilly is a Justice reporter for NBC News. Previously, he was the senior justice reporter for HuffPost, where he covered the Justice Department and the FBI for more than a decade. He was 2017 Livingston Award finalist for his reporting on jail deaths, and has appeared on a variety of television programs, including The Situation Room, The Lead with Jake Tapper, Reliable Sources, All In with Chris Hayes, The Rachel Maddow Show, and American Voices with Alicia Mendendez. He lives in Washington, DC. When: Jan. 23, 3pm Eastern. Where: Online

Future of Democracy: Citizens’ Assemblies and Beyond: Join New America’s Political Reform program on January 24th from 12- 1pm EST for a conversation that explores the future of democracy and the innovative models of civic engagement that will shape it. This session will feature practitioners who are at the forefront of efforts to shape and strengthen participation at the local and global level. We’ll hear from Cerenthia McElroy, who is driving the People’s Assemblies in Newark, as well as Marjan Ehsassi, a Future of Democracy Fellow at the Berggruen Institute, and Emma Petty Addams from Mormon Women for Ethical Government, as they discuss their on-the-ground experiences and successes for deepening more equitable, democratic engagement. This event is part of New America’s ongoing efforts to bridge the gap between the public and government and to create more inclusive forms of participation in policymaking, with a focus on historically underserved communities. This session will offer valuable insights into practical, impactful forms of civic engagement. When: Jan. 24, 12pm Eastern. Where: Online

Help America Vote Day 2024: Help America Vote Day is a day of action established by the U.S. Election Assistance Commission to encourage people across the U.S. to get involved in the electoral process by signing up to be a poll worker and an opportunity to share information on how to register and cast a ballot. By encouraging more people to become poll workers in their communities, Help America Vote Day is addressing the critical shortage of poll workers, strengthening our republic, inspiring greater civic engagement and volunteerism, and helping to ensure election offices have the staff they need throughout 2024. Information on ways to register to vote and options to cast a ballot in a voter’s state is also critical as the primary season draws near. Help America Vote Day is a great way to bring attention to the basic election information for a community so voters are ready to cast their ballot. If you’d like to use Help America Vote Day as an opportunity to direct your community to your site as a trusted source of information on voter registration and voting, make sure to use the hashtag #HelpAmericaVote When: Jan. 30. Where: Everywhere

2024 Elections Summit:  The EAC and the University of Maryland will host the 2024 Elections Summit on January 30, which will be held at the University’s campus and live streamed on the EAC’s YouTube Channel During the meeting, election officials and other key stakeholders will join the EAC’s Commissioners for in-depth panel discussions ahead of the 2024 elections on topics such as confidence in elections, election security, accessible voting, challenges for new election officials, and communicating about elections. When: Jan. 30, 10am-5pm Eastern. Where: Online/In-person

What Can We Do to Have a Fair and Safe Election in 2024?: 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. Speakers: Renée DiResta, Technical Research Manager Stanford Internet Observatory; Kate Klonick, Associate Professor ·St. John’s University, School of Law; Charles H. Stewart III, Kenan Sahin Distinguished Professor of Political Science MIT, Political Science; and Kim Wyman Senior Fellow, Elections; former Washington Secretary of State Bipartisan Policy Center. When: Feb. 6, 3pm Eastern. Where: Online

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.

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.

A Real Right to Vote with Richard L. Hasen & Erwin Chemerinsky: Throughout history, too many Americans have faced needless barriers to voting. Part of the blame falls on the U.S. Constitution, which does not contain an affirmative right to vote. Richard L. Hasen, Director of UCLA Law’s Safeguarding Democracy Project and author of the new book A Real Right to Vote: How a Constitutional Amendment Can Safeguard American Democracy, draws on troubling stories of state attempts to disenfranchise military voters, women, African Americans, students, former felons, Native Americans, and others, arguing that American democracy can and should do better. Joining Hasen is Dean of the UC Berkeley School of Law and leading scholar of the U.S. Constitution, Erwin Chemerinsky. Co-presented with the Safeguarding Democracy Project at UCLA Law. Limited books will be available for purchase. When: Feb. 15, 7:30pm. Where: Los Angeles.

Election Center Special Workshop: The Election Center will hold its February special workshop in Nashville. The workshop will feature presentations of professional practice papers. Additionally several CERA classes will be held in conjunction with the workshop. When: Feb. 21-25. Where: Nashville, Tennessee.

Race and Risk of Election Subversion: 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. Speakers: Matt Barreto, Lecturer in Law UCLA School of Law; Sophia Lin Lakin, Director of the ACLU’s Voting Rights Project ACLU; and Spencer Overton, The Patricia Roberts Harris Research Professorship and Professor of Law George Washington Law. When: April 9, 3pm Eastern. Where: Online and Los Angeles

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.

Advocacy Campaign Strategist, Elections and Government Program, The Brennan Center– The Elections and Government Program is looking to hire an experienced campaign strategist. The Advocacy Campaign Strategist position reports to the DC-based Deputy Director of the Elections and Government Program. Responsibilities: Contribute to planning and execution of advocacy campaigns to achieve Elections and Government Program goals, including: Provide project management, organization, logistical solutions, and administrative support, as needed. Identify tools and methods to increase effectiveness and efficiency of team’s work. Coordinate communications between program staff and internal/external stakeholders. Engage in field advocacy, including: Participate in coalition meetings, convenings, briefings. Develop and maintain productive relationships with election officials, grassroots allies, civic partners, government staff, elected officials, and other outside stakeholders. Identify and create opportunities to advance program goals in the field, as well as to improve the program’s advocacy with learning and perspectives from the field. Conceive and execute advocacy products, such as blog posts, digital media products, public comments, FAQs, and other assets, in collaboration with communications colleagues where appropriate, with focus on broadening and increasing partner engagement with program’s work. Contribute research and writing for policy and empirical research reports that will form the basis of advocacy campaigns. Contribute to program’s media and public education work, including strategy, talking points, and speaking engagements. Help to train new program support staff, including program associates, and serve as their first point of advice on routine matters. Application: For the complete job listing and to apply, click here.

Counsel, Elections and Government Program, The Brennan Center– The fight for a more secure, responsive, and equitable democracy has never been more urgent. The Brennan Center seeks a talented early career attorney to join its team in the Elections and Government Program, working on a range of issues related to defending the security of our elections, breaking down barriers to political participation, restraining campaign finance abuses, countering disinformation, and bolstering the integrity and responsiveness of government. The Brennan Center’s methods include legislative and policy advocacy, legal and empirical research and writing, litigation, media communications, and public education. This is an in-person position based in New York City or Washington, D.C. It will require occasional travel. Responsibilities Include: Assisting with policy advocacy, sometimes through work in coalitions, to change policies and laws at the local, state, and federal levels. Participating in litigation, including research, brief writing, and strategy development, with team members, allied organizations, and/or pro bono law firm counsel. Authoring and otherwise supporting the preparation of written work (including articles, opinion pieces, speeches, reports, policy proposals, and organizational materials), with opportunities for named authorship. Providing research support for reports and policy proposals, including research (legal, social science, and news-based), fact checking, legal cite checking, and proofreading. Representing the Brennan Center in meetings and other interactions with external stakeholders, including government officials, allies, donors, and journalists. Helping to supervise and mentor program associates and legal and undergraduate interns. Taking on special projects and other duties as assigned. Application: For the complete job listing and to apply, click here.

Counsel, Elections and Government Program (Research and Policy), The Brennan Center– The fight for a more secure, responsive, and equitable democracy has never been more urgent. The Brennan Center seeks a talented attorney to join its team in the Elections and Government Program, working primarily on empirical research and policy advocacy around campaign finance and related money in politics issues (for examples of the type of work this position would do, please see here, here, and here), with opportunities to work on a range of other matters that are the focus of the program’s work. The Brennan Center’s methods include legislative and policy advocacy, legal and empirical research and writing, litigation, media communications, and public education. This is an in-person position based in New York City or Washington, D.C. It will require occasional travel. This position will report to the directors of the Elections and Government program, and work under the supervision/in close collaboration with a senior attorney who leads campaign finance research initiatives. Responsibilities Include: Designing and executing empirical research projects involving campaign finance and similar data, in collaboration with social scientists and other researchers. Advocacy, sometimes through work in coalitions, to change policies and laws at the local, state, and federal levels. Authoring and otherwise supporting the preparation of written work (including articles, opinion pieces, speeches, reports, policy proposals, and organizational materials), with opportunities for named authorship. Public speaking and other representation of the Brennan Center in meetings and other interactions with external stakeholders, including government officials, allies, donors, and the media. Legal strategy, research, and writing. Helping to supervise and mentor junior lawyers, program associates, and legal and undergraduate interns. Taking on special projects and other duties as assigned. 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.

Departmental Analyst Trainee-P11 – Disclosure and Compliance Section, Michigan Dept. of State— This position serves as the Disclosure and Filings Analyst within the Disclosure, Filings and Compliance Division within the Bureau of Elections, Michigan Department of State. The Division is responsible for administering the Michigan Campaign Finance Act, Lobbyist Registration Act, Casino Registration Act and Michigan Election Law. The Analyst will support the Division’s functions through research and analysis of disclosure reports, campaign statements and ballot-access filings, with emphasis on working cooperatively to address deficiencies and correct noncompliant filings; developing and updating training materials and user manuals; and providing training to the regulated community. If this position is filled at the trainee level, the duties performed will be in a training capacity. Salary: $47,923 – $77,916. Deadline: Jan. 24. 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 Board of Elections/Voter Registration, Bucks County, Pennsylvania— Are you ready to play a pivotal role in the election processes in Bucks County, the fourth largest county in the State of Pennsylvania? Are you committed to ensuring the efficient and accurate administration of elections while also maintaining the integrity of vital records of 470,992 registered voters? If so, we invite you to consider the role of Director of the Bucks County Board of Elections/Voter Registration. The Board of Elections office is at the heart of our community’s election governance, overseeing critical functions that impact every Bucks County resident. As a member of our team, you will collaborate with a dedicated group of 20 full-time and 40+ seasonal part-time employees, working under the direction of the Board of Elections/Voter Registration Director. Bucks County has an excellent benefits package including medical, vision, dental, and prescription as well as an employer-matched retirement program. Bucks County is a wonderful community to live, work, and play and is uniquely located along the I-95 Corridor. Directs operation of the offices of Board of Elections, Voter Registration, and Voting Machines. This includes planning and conducting elections, voter registration management, and ensuring compliance with election laws and regulations. The Director is responsible for training election staff, overseeing technological security measures to safeguard voting integrity as well as creating an annual budget. Communicates election information to the Board of Elections, County administration, and the public. Addresses any issues or concerns that may arise during the election process. Application: For the complete job listing and to apply, click here.

Election Services Representative, Fort Orange Press— The Election Services Representative is an onsite position at our Albany, NY facility. It acts as a liaison between clients and internal Fort Orange Press teams (i.e., Estimating, Sales, Prepress, Production, Shipping, etc.). The primary focus is gathering election details, and artwork from numerous clients across the United States while coordinating all aspects of day-to-day processes to ensure a successful election cycle. The ideal candidate will have excellent communication skills and thrive in a high-pressure environment. Providing timely solutions for clients’ ever-evolving needs while building/maintaining quality relationships. Identifying new business opportunities within assigned accounts. This role is a brand ambassador to both current and prospective clients and requires an energetic personality, the ability to multitask, manage multiple clients and elections at the same time and serves as the internal client advocate. Salary: $23– $32 per hour.  Application: For the complete job listing and to apply, click here.

Election Support Specialist, Los Angeles, California— Choose your preferred work location from multiple cities within Los Angeles County! Are you passionate about civic duty? Then we’ve got the job for you! Adecco is hiring immediately for Election Support Specialists with a local client in the Los Angeles area. Election Support Specialists do essential jobs with one of our premier clients, with rates starting at $24.00/hr., plus available overtime. As an Election Support Specialist, you will be the key player in ensuring smooth elections by expertly setting up and tearing down booths and swiftly troubleshooting technical issues. Salary: $24/hr. Application: For the complete job listing and to apply, click here.

Elections Candidate Coordinator, Buncombe County, North Carolina– Buncombe County Election Services is hiring for a Candidate Coordinator position that will be responsible for campaign finance duties, assisting candidates with candidate filing and petitions, and providing support to the department’s front desk and finance division when needed. The goal of the Candidate Coordinator position is to be an informational resource and point of contact for potential candidates and currently elected officials. This includes auditing campaign finance reports, creating campaign finance and filing materials, training staff in candidate filing, and assisting candidates and treasurers with compiling campaign finance reports. The Candidate Coordinator will also provide the general public with valuable information regarding campaign contributions and expenditures allowing them to make informed voting decisions with knowledge of campaign fundraising and spending. Salary: Hiring Range: $23.38 – $27.31. Deadline: March 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 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 Technician II, Pima County, Arizona— Participates in the supervision and training of elections personnel and the administration of elections activity. Duties/Responsibilities: Supervises and participates in activities involved in inventory control, ordering, receipt, delivery, and storage of election equipment and supplies; Researches election laws and regulations and prepares reports regarding impact on County election procedures; Supervises the preparation of the ballot order; Participates in preparing forms; Receives and files nomination forms; Assists in generating signature requirements necessary for the candidate or proposition to be placed on the ballot; Supervises and coordinates requisite training of election office and warehouse personnel; Coordinates the transportation and delivery of voting machines, supplies and equipment to polling places; Makes minor adjustments to voting machines to ensure functionality and operability prior to use by the public; Demonstrates voting machine operation and explains voting procedures to the public and elections workers; Participates in updating precinct and district maps; Assists State and local agencies in administering election activities; Participates in coordinating elections activities with other government agencies or departments; Assists in the training of subordinate and volunteer staff. Salary: Hiring Range: $19.14 – $22.49/hr. Application: For the complete job listing and to apply, click here.

Elections Technology Specialist, McLennan County, Texas— Under supervision of the Elections Administrator, the Elections Technology Specialist performs complex and technical duties related to activities in overseeing the County’s voting equipment by creating each election’s ballot using ballot origination software, programing and testing the County’s voting equipment with each elections ballot, processing and scanning returned mail-in ballots with the Ballot Board, and maintaining the County’s voting equipment after each election. Salary: $20.61 – $31.71/hr. Application: For the complete job listing and to apply, click here.

Precinct Manager, North Charleston, South Carolina— Are you passionate about democracy and civic engagement? Join us as a Precinct Manager at the Board of Elections and play a pivotal role in ensuring smooth and efficient elections! Welcome to the Board of Voter Registration and Elections, where we are not just an agency, but a dynamic force committed to excellence in democracy. As an award-winning organization, we pride ourselves on our relentless pursuit of improvement to better serve the voters in our community. A major way this is done is through the recruitment and management of those who serve as poll managers. At the heart of our mission is an unyielding dedication to organizing elections with precision, fairness, and strict adherence to the law. Salary: $64,209 – $84,146. Application: For the complete job listing and to apply, click here.

Program Officer, Hewlett Foundation— The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, based in Menlo Park, California, seeks a collaborative and outcomes-driven Program Officer for its U.S Democracy Program. As a key member of the U.S. Democracy Program, the Program Officer will engage in grantmaking within the program’s Strategy for Trustworthy Elections; will partner effectively and build and maintain strong relationships with grantees; and will monitor progress and engage in strategic planning for this strategy. The Program Officer will also be deeply engaged in national conversations regarding the future of U.S. democracy and will prioritize building and nurturing networks of practitioners and funders of elections systems. The Program Officer role works closely with a dedicated and dynamic team of colleagues to advance the program’s overall goals while focusing on grantmaking to support a well-administered, fair, accessible, and safe election. They will provide thought leadership around innovative ways that grantmaking and associated grantmaking efforts can build trust in elections. Additionally, they will monitor progress for purposes of ongoing strategy development, and a potential strategy refresh.  Successful candidates will exhibit a passion for the team’s vision of: a durable, inclusive liberal democracy that accounts for cultural and racial difference; and deep collaboration and learning. They will bring a keen understanding of election systems and best practices for their improvement.  The U.S. Democracy Program is nonpartisan and supports organizations across the ideological spectrum, including academic researchers, advocacy groups, think tanks, media platforms, infrastructure providers and civic leadership organizations who share our goals. We partner actively with other foundations in this field. Interested applicants can learn more about the U.S. Democracy Program’s strategy here. Salary: $195K-$223K. Deadline: Jan. 31. Application: For the complete job listing and to apply, click here.

Registrar of Voters, San Bernardino County, California– The Registrar of Voters will foster an environment that promotes civic participation and ensures transparent and fair elections. They will design and implement voter education programs tailored to the needs of County residents. This position requires a deep understanding of the County’s diverse demographics, its unique challenges, and the ability to implement strategies that promote voter engagement, education, and participation. The Registrar will oversee voter registration efforts, ensuring that registration processes are accessible, efficient, and in compliance with state and federal regulations. They will work closely with local community organizations, schools, and governmental entities to create outreach initiatives and workshops to increase countywide engagement. Engaging with the community is at the heart of this role. Building and maintaining strong relationships with various stakeholders, including community leaders, advocacy groups, and residents, is paramount. Organizing town hall meetings, forums, and public discussions will be essential to address concerns, gather feedback, and disseminate essential information related to voting procedures, ballot measures, and electoral reforms. By actively listening to the community’s needs and concerns, they will play a pivotal role in shaping policies and initiatives that resonate with the diverse population of San Bernardino County. This position offers a unique opportunity for development and growth within the realm of civic engagement and electoral processes. As the landscape of voting rights, technologies, and methodologies continues to evolve, staying abreast of emerging trends, best practices, and legislative changes is essential. Participating in training programs, conferences, and workshops will enhance the knowledge base, skill set, and capacity to navigate the complexities associated with administering elections in the County. Salary Range: $153,504 – $218,004 DOE/DOQ. Deadline: Feb. 29.  Application: For the complete job listing and to apply, click here.

Senior Director, Climate and Democracy, Alta Futures— Alta Futures seeks an outstanding Senior Director, Climate & Democracy to help establish and grow two of its three strategic grantmaking pillars. Alta Futures is a new family impact platform that provides grants, networking, and customized support to people and projects that shape more positive futures for our community, our country, and our climate. With its focus on the three pillars of community, country, and climate, Alta Futures works to ensure great ideas get transformed into collective action by: Supporting local leaders and organizations that are generating opportunities for Chicagoans to prosper. Investing in structural improvements and cultural strategies that improve the United States’ ability to govern for all. Accelerating ideas and solutions that lead to a greener planet by reducing emissions on a trajectory to meet global goals. The Senior Director, Climate & Democracy will lead all grantmaking and investment activities within the climate area and democracy area. This includes establishing a strategy built on research and advisor input as well as sourcing and recommending grantees. The Senior Director will also serve as a partner to the Executive Director and the Chair for establishing and maintaining organization-wide strategy and culture. This includes serving as an entrepreneurial partner for strategy development and new ideas being explored. Alta Futures began building its team in late 2023 and is poised to take the next step in fulfilling its impact investing ambitions in 2024. As a small team, principals and staff work closely together with the broader family office to build the overall organization, establish strategy, and manage investments. Salary Range: $225,000 – $275,000. Application: For the complete job listing and to apply, click here.

Special Data Assistant, Pennsylvania Dept. of State– The Department of State is seeking a strong technical data analyst to join our election team as a special data assistant to the Deputy Secretary for Elections. This senior role will work closely with the Secretary of the Commonwealth, the Governor’s Office, and our chief of election technology to provide accurate and useful data analyses for the upcoming election as well as ensure safe and secure election administration in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. Apply today to embark upon a professional career opportunity like no other! Within this role, you will be responsible for performing data analysis work involving conducting extensive data research and analyzing and reporting the results. This position develops and executes complex queries, ensuring results are complete and accurate. An important aspect of this work involves responsibility for direct interaction with high level administrative officials and decision makers within the Governor’s Office and administration to represent the Secretary’s interests and programs. You will provide advisory and consultative professional work to/for the Secretary on a variety of highly complex and sensitive election matters. Serve as a business strategy leader and an intermediary in advising the Secretary and the Governor’s Office on specific problems around elections, in collaboration with the Election’s Bureau. You will develop and execute complex queries, ensuring results are complete and accurate. Develop dashboards and reports at the request of senior department officials and/or at the request of the Governor’s Office, ensuring that information is complete and accurate. Identify problems and solutions, and research and recommend action(s) to the Secretary. This work is conducted in connection with the department’s Elections Bureau and analysis is focused on elections data. This position will have a high-level role in assisting to ensure Pennsylvania’s 2024 election results are accurate. This is extremely important as the national spotlight will include Pennsylvania. Candidates must possess strong structured query language (SQL) background and experience in creating and validating data queries. Salary: $110,240 – $163,893 Annually. Deadline: Jan. 21. Application: For the complete job listing and to apply, click here.

Temporary Elections Staff Attorney, Public Rights Project— Public Rights Project (PRP) is a public interest legal nonprofit, headquartered in Oakland, with a remote team based throughout the United States. Our mission is to close the gap between the promise of our laws and the lived reality of our most vulnerable communities. Since 2017, we have been working at the intersection of community organizing and state and local government enforcement to build a scalable, equitable community-based enforcement model to protect civil rights and advance economic justice. In the run-up to the 2024 presidential election, PRP is launching its Elections Hub to stand with progressive state and local governments, especially local elections officials, as they fight to protect the voting rights of their residents and secure safe and fair elections. PRP is building a rapid response litigation hub to support up to 200 election officials across 12 or more states. The goal of the hub is to provide training, technical assistance, and legal backup to election administrators to enable them to respond to election threats quickly and effectively. Public Rights Project seeks to hire a Temporary Staff Attorney to join the new Elections Hub. The Temporary Staff Attorney will staff PRP’s in-house efforts to represent and advise state, local, and tribal governments and elected officials in support of election administration and the expansion of voting rights.  Although this position does not incorporate formal supervisory responsibilities, the Temporary Staff Attorney will sometimes lead case teams and may review the work of other attorneys, alongside more independent work or work as a contributor to other case teams. This position reports to the Senior Staff Attorney and 2024 Election Hub Program  Manager. This position will also work closely with the Chief Programs Officer and the Legal Director. Application: For the complete job listing and to apply, click here.

Training and Education Coordinator, Pima County, Arizona— Researches, coordinates and develops materials for use in training staff and educating clients on procedures, rules, regulations, forms, requirements and equipment for area of assignment; Assists management in the identification of training needs for staff and education for clients; Collects, compiles, prepares, updates and assembles training and presentation materials and manuals; Designs new training and education materials and/or updates materials on a regular basis; Conducts initial training/orientation for newly hired staff to increase understanding of procedures and position responsibilities; Delivers training to classes and individuals through lectures, demonstrations, exercises and workshops; Conducts continuing education to comply with changes in federal, state and local regulations, policies and procedures, and to resolve specific performance deficiencies; Coordinates and investigates compliance with federal, state and/or local policies, laws and regulations and conducts quality control audits and reports on findings; Participates in the review of productivity levels for activities and staff, analyzes problem areas, identifies training needs and recommends solutions to management; Assesses implementation of policies and/or procedures and makes recommendations to management regarding changes and/or supplemental training; Provides additional training as needed, under management direction; Serves as the technical advisor for interpreting federal, state, and County policies, laws, rules and/or regulations governing are of assignment; Compiles statistical data and prepares reports for area of assignment for presentation to management and the Board of Supervisors. Develops and evaluates student surveys/assessments on training/education provided; Coordinates and maintains training/education materials, audio-visual equipment, laptops, tablets and supplies utilized for training and education; Maintains manual and computer based documentation on training and/or education conducted, competency checklists and assessment files. Salary: Hiring Range: $54,863 – $65,836. Application: For the complete job listing and to apply, click here.

Training Manager, Charleston County, South Carolina— Are you passionate about democracy and coaching people to their fullest potential? Join us as a Training Manager at the Board of Elections and play a pivotal role in ensuring smooth and efficient elections! Welcome to the Board of Voter Registration and Elections, where we are not just an agency, but a dynamic force committed to excellence in democracy. As an award-winning organization, we pride ourselves on our relentless pursuit of improvement to better serve the voters in our community. A major way this is done is through the training of those who serve as poll managers. At the heart of our mission is an unyielding dedication to organizing elections with precision, fairness, and strict adherence to the law. Responsibilities include: Comprehensive training development, training coordination, community engagement, year-round training program, performance tracking, new hire training, continuous improvement, collaboration with precinct manager.  Salary: $64,209 – $84,146. 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.

Voter Outreach & Communications Coordinator, Minneapolis, Minnesota– Minneapolis Elections & Voter Services is a division of the Office of the City Clerk whose purpose is to support access to local government. We administer local, state, and federal elections for Minneapolis voters. Our estimated population is 430,000 with about 244,000 registered voters. Behind Hennepin, Ramsey, and Dakota County, we are the fourth largest voting jurisdiction in the state. We work to conduct elections with integrity, accuracy, and accessibility, empower civic participation across generations, and lead in election administration through innovation and collaboration. There is currently 1 (one) Voter Outreach & Communications Coordinator (Intermittent Program Assistant) vacancy. The Voter Outreach & Communications Coordinator supervises and supports the daily operations of the Voter Outreach and Communication Program. They will form partnerships in communities throughout Minneapolis that will foster and promote voting and civic participation with a primary focus on college students and minority communities but also include voters living with disabilities, voters with non-traditional addresses, and non-English speaking communities. Intermittent work schedules may range from zero to forty (0 to 40) hours per week, depending on the election cycle and needs. Hours will fluctuate and will include some evening and weekend hours. Salary: $30.06 – $38.67 Hourly. Deadline: Jan. 28. Application: For the complete job listing and to apply, click here.

Voter Registration Administrator, Denver, Colorado– The Office of the Clerk and Recorder serves Denver residents through 3 divisions: the Records and Public Trustee Division, the Elections Division and Administration, and is involved in state and local law and rulemaking for all of the functions under its purview. Through these functions, our office is part of some of the most important parts of Denverite’s lives: getting married, owning property, and having a say in their government. The City and County of Denver’s Election Division is seeking an accomplished elections professional to serve as the Voter Registration Administrator and provide administrative and strategic direction for the functional area of voter registration. Some of the key roles and responsibilities as the Voter Registration Administrator are: Act as the technical expert in all aspects of the City and County of Denver’s voter registration, list maintenance, petition, and voting processes; Serve as the County Administrator for Colorado’s Statewide Voter Registration System (“SCORE”), including establishing and implementing processes and procedures; Act as the primary point of contact with the Colorado Department of State on issues related to voter registration and SCORE; Supervise and lead work within the functional area of voter registration, oversee quality assurance measures, and evaluate employee performance within the voter registration team; Ensure agency compliance with local, state, and federal election laws, rules, and regulations, including establishing controls to ensure compliance; Train and supervise election judges in voter registration and the voting site hotlineDevelop and implement long-range and short-term planning for voter registration projects; Coordinate with local, state, and national partners to continually develop best practices and continuous improvement initiatives; Handle sensitive and confidential issues, complaints, and inquiries, including processing public records requests of Denver’s voter registration information. Salary: $65,523 – $86,818. Deadline: Jan. 25. Application: For the complete job listing and to apply, click here.


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