In Focus This Week
The Election Science and Election Administration Research Frontier
A Small Update from the Big Easy
Since 2014, researchers working in election science and election administration have been organizing a “conference within a conference” (CwC) at the Southern Political Science Association (SPSA) meeting each year. The CwC format allows scholars to organize thematic panels and roundtable discussions. This provides a supportive and collaborative setting to share new research and to help grow the field.
This year’s conference took place in New Orleans in January and had eight panels, 33 papers, and one roundtable. It showed the growth and vitality in this critical research area.
Seo-Young Silvia Kim (Sogang University) and Yimeng Li (Florida State University) organized the CwC. Silvia and Yimeng are both recent PhDs from Catech, who worked with R. Michael Alvarez, who continues to develop and place superb scholars. They are all co-authors, along with Nicholas Adams-Cohen, of a recent book titled Securing Elections: How Data-Driven Monitoring Can Improve Our Democracy.
The CwC at SPSA functions in many ways as a complement to the summer Election Science, Reform, and Administration (ESRA) conference, being held on May 16-17 in Los Angeles. ESRA is increasingly becoming the “public face” of election science research. The CwC is open to anyone who pays the SPSA conference fee – and the conference has benefitted from participation by practitioners and other stakeholders outside of academia who have included: Natalie Adona (Nevada County, CA), Heather Creek, PhD (Democracy Fund), Kammi Foote (U.S. Election Assistance Program), Michelle Shafer (EVIC and Magenta Sage Strategies), and David Stafford (CISA and formerly Escambia County, FL).
The SPSA retains the trappings of a traditional academic conference, full of complex equations and UTC (unreadable tables of coefficients). It’s important to keep this space for many scholars whose primary focus needs to be on producing academic research publications and who may be unfamiliar with public engagement.
On the other hand, the Election Administration CwC provides a valuable lens into where political scientists are focusing their research lenses. Thanks to Mindy Moretti and electionline for generously allowing us to share some of this important work with this broader readership who may be interested in the cutting edge of political science research.
Silvia and Yimeng did a fantastic job and we ended up with nine panels over a day and a half. The full program for the CwC is available here: https://tinyurl.com/spsa-cwc-2024 and we encourage folks to review those topics to get an overview of the event.
The rest of this article focuses on what we think are three panels and papers that will be of interest to electionline readers, but there are many others that we could have written about.
Policing the Vote: A Comparative Case Study of Election Integrity Units in Florida and Ohio. Amanda Clark, Monica A. Bustinza, and Nicholas Martinez.
This paper provided a first look at two “election integrity” units which were created after the 2020 election, exploring the legal framework that established the units, how these oversight boards were constituted, and how the units have operated. What was most interesting about this research is what the team could not find about these agencies – getting basic information on things like budgets and staffing proved to be quite difficult. The authors closed with a provocative question: what does it mean to create an organization with a mission that may be unattainable – finding lots of fraud that may not exist – and what do these kinds of organizations do with their time and resources? As those who study organizations know, these entities rarely chose to stop existing and instead look to pivot to ensure ongoing survival!
This will be an intriguing project to follow as the team collects more information and tracks these units through 2024.
A fascinating and creative paper that explores the voter registration challenges faced by individuals lacking a permanent address. The research was motivated by a feature of the North Carolina law where anyone who registers by mail needs to be able to receive a second mailing that serves to confirm their voter registration. The researchers geocoded known shelter addresses in Wake County, NC, and were able to compare registration success in the general population and among those whose application came from a shelter. The results were stark–registration success exceeded 80% overall, but was around 20% from the shelter.
This paper has obvious implications for any election official who is interested in helping eligible citizens from a vulnerable segment of the population successfully register. In light of the challenges of houselessness in America, this is a pressing area for research and practice!
What is especially impressive is that the project was started by Elena when she was a junior in Michael’s undergraduate Election Science course, and Elena is now working toward her BA at Florida.
Voter Files, List Maintenance, and Measurement in Elections Data and Surveys
The third featured research findings come from a full panel – CwC Panel #3 – and it shows how much information is contained in voter registration files and how creative scholars can use their research skills to answer policy questions.
Moved Out, Moved On: Assessing the Effectiveness of Voter Registration List Maintenance by Stephen Pettigrew and Charles Stewart III examined the ebbs and flows of voter registration files, and what changes in the files really matter. The paper is a great resource for reporters and other media actors, to help them understand the ins and outs of registration file maintenance and avoid reporting on misleading comparisons.
Switchers or New Registrants? Analyzing Trends in Vote Method Usage by Bernard Fraga and Silvia Kim builds upon their MEDSL funded research that uses historical voter file data to help understand changing levels of Election Day, early in-person, and voting by mail in a number of states, and whether or not changes are driven by new voters or voters who change their method of voting. The outcome of this research would be valuable to election administrators who are trying to predict usage rates and allocate resources.
Using Voter Registration Files to Sample and Contact Voters by Lonna Atkeson, Yimeng Li, and other researchers at the LeRoy Collins Institute, Florida State University. This paper is focused on the survey research community, and compares the accuracy of using voter registration files vs. other methods for conducting an online survey. Using data from surveys they conducted in Florida in 2020 and 2022, they show how different data sources can miss different categories of voters, and how statistical sampling weights can adjust for these differences.
Readers are encouraged to review the program and reach out to any scholars whose work appeals to you, both to learn what they are doing now and what kinds of questions they may be interested in investigating in the future.
Any review of the CwC in New Orleans, however, would not be complete without a shout out to Derek Willis, now at the Philip Merrill School of Journalism, University of Maryland. Many may know Derek from his time at ProPublica and his working as founder of Open Elections.
Derek has many friends, one of whom operates the renowned Nolita Bakery in New Orleans. Our final afternoon of panels were enlivened by a wonderful King Cake, and rumor has it that Silvia even found the baby!
If you are interested in attending or sharing at the CwC during the next Southern Political Science Association meeting, it will be held in San Juan, Puerto Rico next year!
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Election News This Week
Michigan Early Voting: Early voting kicked off in Michigan for the very first time this week. At presstime, nearly 20,000 Michiganders, including Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson, had taken advantage of the new system. Secretary Benson says she was proud to cast her vote along with over 6,500 voters statewide who chose to participate in Michigan’s first day of early voting. Benson said, “All across the state, thousands of clerks and election workers ensured the historic day was a success.”While some elections officials did express concerns about the costs associated with early voting, there were no reports of problems through Feb. 21. “As election officials, our priority number one is the accuracy and integrity of the system itself,” Ottawa County Clerk Justin Roebuck said. “Sometimes, when you inject a lot of changes into a system, that can be really challenging.” Despite the heavy lift, Roebuck said he’s “confident that we’re there” after weeks of training election workers and prepping for the shift. He views early voting as a good thing for election security and for boosting the confidence of voters who want to vote before Election Day, but also want to “actually watch the ballot go through.” In Delta County, not only was early voting new, but so was the equipment. Four election workers were onsite to help voters through the early voting process. Election workers said by the end of the day, only one voter from Precinct 1 had come in to vote, 14 from Precinct 2 and out of Delta County’s more than 32,000 registered voters, only 43 have taken advantage of early voting since it started this past Saturday. “It’s a learning experience for all of us,” Election Worker George Kulik said. “It’s more electronic now, because of everything we have to do that’s connected into the state through the laptops and printing the ballots and everything,” Kulik said. “So, it’s a little bit more involved than what it used to be.” In Ann Arbor, Mayor Christopher Taylor had the honor of casting the first ballot at city hall as voting began at 8 a.m. Saturday, Feb. 17, with Mayor Pro Tem Travis Radina right behind him. “It was super easy,” Taylor said after going through a new “ballot on demand” process where a ballot is freshly printed for each voter based on their precinct and political party. Governor Gretchen Whitmer, bearing boxes of pastries, dropped by an early voting center in Lansing to thank election workers and to call attention to the state’s early voting law.
Postal Service Updates from the EAC: The U.S. Postal Service now requires all customers using their change of address service to provide proof of identity. Given the widespread use of National Change of Address data to inform voter file list maintenance, the U.S. Election Assistance Commission has produced a memo that provides best practices to keep voters’ address information current. According to the EAC, while most voters will still be able to use the USPS’ change of address service, those unable to provide identity verification will no longer be eligible. Consider the following additional best practices to keep voters’ address information current: Utilize all available sources to update voter addresses allowable by law; Provide your local post office(s) with voter registration forms; Remind voters about address updates in voter-facing materials; Include information about the need for address updates in voter mailings or other communication; Utilize the USPS’ Address Correction Service (ACS); and Regularly review incoming data to check for unexpected changes.
News From Votebeat: Votebeat will soon be adding Wisconsin to its coverage area, with the hiring of a new local reporter there. This is a critical time to cover voting in Wisconsin — a pivotal 2024 swing state that conspiracy theorists and hyper-partisans have affixed a target to. That kind of environment calls for Votebeat’s specialized journalism, aimed at helping people understand elections so they can participate in strengthening them. The new hire is thanks to supporters such as The Joyce Foundation, Moriah Fund, and Square One Foundation. “Votebeat is no stranger to Wisconsin, having mobilized two reporters there in 2020 to cover election issues in partnership with Wisconsin Watch during our pop-up experiment in covering elections in a whole new way,” said Chad Lorenz, editor-in-chief of Votebeat.
Personnel News: Kelly Wong has been appointed to the San Francisco, California elections commission. State Rep. Alina Garcia has announced her candidacy for Miami-Dade County, Florida supervisor of elections. Terry Thompson is the new Cascade County, Montana elections administrator. Manatee County, Florida District 1 Commissioner James Satcher is one of two candidates who has submitted an application to be appointed the county’s supervisor of elections, the other candidate seeking the post is Scott Farrington, who has served 11 years as chief of staff and No. 2 elections official in the supervisor’s office. Jordan Huber is the new acting deputy director of elections in Greene County, Ohio.
In Memoriam: John “Johnny” Horace Taylor, longtime Rutherford County, Tennessee Election Commission member, died Feb. 16. He was 77. Taylor had served as chairman of the Election Commission as a Democratic Party appointed member prior to the Republican Party emerging as the new majority of elected officials in the Tennessee General Assembly following the 2008 election. He had respect from fellow officials from both parties, including election administrator Alan Farley, a Republican who had support from Taylor to serve in the full-time job to oversee county elections. “Johnny Taylor was a good man,” Farley said. “He cared about voters.” Farley recalled serving as a Republican-appointed election commissioner in 1991 to 2002 when Taylor was chairman. “I always found him to look out for what was best for the electoral process and not what could gain an advantage for a political party,” said Farley, adding that Taylor served on the Election Commission for more than 30 years until 2019. “He was the longest serving chairman in the Election Commission history from what I’ve been able to find.”
Arizona: House Bill 2876, sponsored by Buckeye Republican Rep. Michael Carbone, would basically ban the state’s no-excuse early voting system, with exceptions only for the elderly, disabled and for people who must be out of their precinct on Election Day. The bill, dubbed the “Free, Fair and Transparent Elections Act,” would also ban voting centers, a polling place model that Maricopa and Pima counties both use in which there are fewer voting locations, but anyone within the county can vote at any of them. Yavapai County, one of the most Republican counties in Arizona, was the first to use voting centers. The act would force a return to a precinct model in which there are more voting locations, but each voter would only have the opportunity to cast their vote at their designated precinct location. Those who try to vote at an incorrect polling location would not have their ballot counted. The proposal would also cut down the time for signature curing on early ballots to two days instead of five, and allow 12 days to canvass the votes following the election instead of 20. The bill passed out of the committee by a vote of 5-4 along party lines, with Republicans voting in favor. It heads next to the full House of Representatives for consideration.
Senate Republicans want tighter specifications on how electronic ballot tabulators are tested prior to elections, but the proposed legislation itself falls short on specifics. The proposal would require public testing of all electronic ballot tabulators no more than 25 days prior to the start of early voting, with a 48-hour notice to the public before the testing begins. The Secretary of State would be required to give all candidates on the ballot and their political parties notice of the testing as well, to give them the option to observe. Following the testing, the machines would be sealed until the start of early voting, and anyone who breaks the seal and tampers with the machine or reprograms it, and does not perform another test, would be guilty of a felony. Sen. Wendy Rogers, the chair of the Senate Elections Committee, said that Senate Bill 1288 legislation would “ameliorate some concerns of voters” and provide consequences for anyone who tampers with the tabulators.
Idaho: Idahoans could receive a state-issued voter guide for primary and general elections under a new bill headed to the Idaho Senate. Senate Bill 1273, brought by Idaho Secretary of State Phil McGrane, would require the Idaho secretary of state to prepare and distribute voter guides before primary and general elections. The bill would expand upon and replace a voters pamphlet already mailed to Idahoans. Many Western states, where many new Idaho residents are often moving from, have state-issued voter guides, McGrane said. An Idaho guide, he said, would provide crucial information to voters in need. Voters headed to the polls often know their vote for president, McGrane said. But not necessarily for races further down the ballot, he said. “A common thing I hear from voters is they’ll request an absentee ballot not because they want to vote absentee, but they just want to get the ballot in advance so they can go do their research,” McGrane said. The Idaho Senate State Affairs Committee voted unanimously Friday to advance the bill to the full Senate. To become law, the bill would also need to clear the full Idaho House and be reviewed by Gov. Brad Little. A similar bill McGrane sought last year passed the Idaho Senate, but did not advance in the House. Under the bill, Idaho’s new voter guide would have “uniform information about issues, measures, and candidates to be voted on.” Candidates could also submit a photo, a statement and campaign contact information.
One year after modifying voter registration requirements, the Idaho Legislature is taking steps to revise its requirements for Idahoans to obtain no-fee identification cards. In a 62-7 vote, the House of Representatives passed House Bill 532, which would remove the six month waiting period for individuals to qualify for a no-fee identification card through the Idaho Department of Transportation. The bill addresses issues that arose from two laws last year. The bill sponsor, Rep. Brandon Mitchell, R-Moscow, said the legislation would fix those situations that sponsors did not initially consider when they first passed the bill. “Let’s say we’ve got grandma moving in from Montana, and grandma had a driver’s license in Montana but cannot drive anymore, so she’s moving in with family,” he said during the floor debate. “Well because she had a Montana driver’s license within the last six months, she does not qualify for the free ID. What this does is simply remove that six months so that she will qualify for the free ID.” The bill is now headed to the Idaho Senate for consideration.
Kansas: Under a bill studied by the Senate Federal and State Affairs Committee, the Legislature would have to pass and a governor sign a bill appropriating HAVA funding for election-related activities. Sen. Mike Thompson, a Shawnee Republican and the Senate committee chairman, introduced Senate Bill 367. He said he relied on allegations raised by Opportunity Solutions Project, a conservative Florida think tank. The organization has previously sought passage in Kansas of laws to restrict voting and curtail welfare benefits. The current Senate bill would forbid Kansas election officers from accepting millions of dollars in financial assistance from the federal government for elections without consent of the Legislature and a governor. The secretary of state’s office raised questions about the legislation and argued there was no clear purpose for the bill. Loud Light Civic Action, which has sought to improve Kansas’ compliance with federal voting laws, opposed the bill based on a belief it was inspired by misguided conspiracy theorists. Clay Barker, general counsel to the secretary of state, said Schwab was neutral on the bill. He said purpose of the legislation wasn’t apparent despite testimony by Opportunity Solutions Project.He said the bill targeted election officials in Kansas, but not governors or county commissioners with budgetary roles in management of elections. He said the secretary of state’s office routinely provided House and Senate committees with information about deployment of federal HAVA funding.
To alleviate staffing gaps at polling stations, the House Elections Committee met on Feb. 13 to discuss solutions to broaden the pool of eligible workers to potentially allow participation by active military members, their spouses or dependents and full-time college students who are not registered to vote in a county. House Bill 2616, which was requested for introduction by Kansas Republican National Committeewoman Kim Borchers, prohibits the disqualification of individuals as poll workers due to residency, registered voter status or age. “This is not a silver bullet to make sure that we have all of our polling locations filled,” Borchers told the committee. “But I do believe this is a tool in the toolbox of our hardworking election commissioners and their clerks.” Under the proposed bill, someone does not have to be eligible to vote in Kansas to work as a poll worker. In written neutral testimony, Clay Barker with the Secretary of State’s Office agreed that this bill would help expand the pool of available poll workers. However, Barker said the bill lacks clarity regarding the requirements for U.S. citizenship for military personnel, dependents and students, as well as the process for determining political affiliation to ensure compliance with mandatory staffing partisan balance.
Maryland: Maryland lawmakers are considering legislation to enable authorities to prosecute people who threaten to harm election officials or their immediate family members, as threats are on the rise across the country. The Protecting Election Officials Act of 2024, which has the support of Gov. Wes Moore, would make threatening an election official a misdemeanor punishable by up to three years in prison or a fine of up to $2,500. The measure would prohibit someone from knowingly and willfully making a threat to harm an election official or an immediate family member of an election official, because of the election official’s role in administering the election process. “This has been a phenomenon which has occurred across the country,” said Eric Luedtke, Moore’s chief legislative officer, at a bill hearing Wednesday. “It’s a phenomenon that has targeted election workers, regardless of political affiliation, race, gender, what roles their filling.” Ruie Marie LaVoie, who is vice president of the Maryland Association of Elections Officials and now serves as director of the Baltimore County Board of Elections, testified about her experience being threatened during the 2022 election. She testified before the Senate Education, Energy, and the Environment Committee that the measure would help ensure the safety and security “of those at the forefront of preserving our democratic processes.”
New Hampshire: The affidavit process that permits New Hampshire voters to cast ballots without identification on Election Day would be eliminated under a bill sponsored by Republican Rep. Bob Lynn of Windham. Under this bill, voters would need to be able to show proof at the polls of not simply their identity and domicile status — which can be done with a driver’s license — but also also their citizenship, which would require a birth certificate, naturalization papers, or a passport. Several local election officials said voters don’t always carry such official documents to the polls. “If you want to vote, you provide the documentation,” Lynn, a former chief justice of the New Hampshire Supreme Court, told the House Election Law Committee Tuesday. “You can register on the day of the elections, but if you don’t provide the documentation you don’t vote. Simple as that.” But critics — including several town election officials, the League of Women Voters and other voting rights groups — said the bill, which is identical to a proposal Lynn sponsored last year that failed in the House, wasn’t so simple and would put unnecessary hurdles in front of legitimate voters. “A small minority do not have all the paperwork. Having the affidavits makes it work,” said Hancock Supervisor of the Checklist Katherine Anderson.
Oklahoma: A bill to ban ranked choice voting statewide cleared a House committee last week, prompting pushback from one lawmaker who argues the system would benefit voters and candidates alike. House Bill 3156 by Eric Roberts, R-Oklahoma City, would prohibit ranked-choice voting in statewide and municipal elections. A handful of other states and dozens of municipalities utilize the method, where voters rank candidates by preference, and results are narrowed until one candidate receives a majority of votes. While no municipality in Oklahoma has authorized ranked choice voting, and the state’s current fleet of voting machines cannot accommodate the voting method, Roberts told members of the House Elections and Ethics Committee the bill is necessary to protect the elderly and others from a more complex voting system. He said possible errors could “hide the true intent of the voting public.”
Pennsylvania: Rep. Tim Brennan, D-Bucks, is introducing legislation to prevent firearms at polling places. C-sponsored with Rep. Mary Jo Daley, D-Montgomery, the bill would allow gun owners to keep their weapon stored in their car, but would make it a misdemeanor offense to bring it inside a polling place. Pennsylvania already forbids guns in schools and courthouses. Many polling places are at such locations, and so firearms are already banned at those sites. Currently if a polling place is at a private business, then firearm possession is the decision of the building’s owners. The ban would not apply to law enforcement and active military personnel. The bill would take effect after 60 days. This means if passed even immediately after the House returns on March 18, it would not be in effect for the April 23 primary.
South Dakota: In a 9-3 vote today, the House State Affairs Committee approved a bill aimed at expanding and safeguarding Native American voting rights. Senate Bill 119, which would permit Native American voters to register using their Tribal identification, placing it on par with a state-issued driver’s license. This change is intended to help Native Americans surmount the structural and socioeconomic barriers that have historically limited their participation in elections. “If Native Americans can engage fully in the political system — free from the barriers that currently obstruct them — they can participate in America in a way that is fair and just,” said Samantha Chapman, ACLU of South Dakota advocacy manager. “Passing this bill and signing it into law would remove a significant obstacle to voting for many Native Americans in South Dakota.”
Tarrant County, Texas: Tarrant County will not offer free rides to the polls in this year’s Texas primary elections. A request to fund the program in partnership with Trinity Metro was rejected by commissioners during the Tarrant County Commissioners Court meeting on Wednesday. The vote was 3-2 along party lines, with the two Democrats on the court voting to fund the program. County Judge Tim O’Hare spoke out against the program, which was offered during elections from 2019 through 2023. Although the program was not approved countywide in 2023, it was approved for Fort Worth voters. “I don’t believe it’s the county government’s responsibility to try to get more people out to the polls,” he said. “It’s the responsibility of candidates, it’s the responsibility of political parties, it’s the responsibility of political groups.” The program would have given free rides for Tarrant County residents to voting locations for the March 5 primary election, early voting for the May 28 runoff election and on runoff election day.
Virginia: After passing the House of Delegates 99-0, legislation that would strip future Virginia governors of their power to handpick the state’s elections commissioner ran into trouble Tuesday in a Senate committee. The bill, which has drawn bipartisan support in the House despite being sponsored by a Republican, is the latest of several attempts to reduce the role of partisan politics in the state’s election bureaucracy. Similar efforts have failed late in previous sessions, and the new complications in the Senate highlight the complexity of trying to get partisanship out of an election system that’s inherently political. Instead of the next governor being able to hire someone to lead the Virginia Department of Elections, the bill under consideration by the Democratic-controlled General Assembly would give that ability to the five-person State Board of Elections. By law, the governor’s party controls that board, but the pending legislation would require a supermajority vote (four of five members) in order to hire and fire elections commissioners. At a committee hearing, Sen. Schuyler VanValkenburg, D-Henrico, asked whether it’s realistic to expect Democrats and Republicans to agree on who should run the elections department given the threats and intimidation directed at election officials from the right. Proponents of the bill have said the elections board, which includes ex-legislators from both parties, has worked in a mostly bipartisan manner and has a real chance of making a “consensus pick” on the next commissioner. “I don’t think it’s far-fetched to think that you could have a 5-0 vote,” said Del. Israel O’Quinn, R-Bristol, the bill’s sponsor.
West Virginia: The Senate Government Organization Committee took a swipe at ranked-choice voting, advancing a bill to prohibit the practice in local government elections. SB 593 is the bill, and says local governments may not use ranked-choice voting for any local, state or federal election. It defines the method at length: “Tabulation proceeds in rounds such that in each round either a candidate or candidates are elected, or the last-place candidate is defeated; votes are transferred from elected or defeated candidates to the voters’ next ranked candidate or candidates in order of preference; and tabulation ends when a candidate receives the majority of votes cast or the number of candidates elected equals the number of offices to be filled.” The committee approved the bill in a voice vote without debate and it goes next to Judiciary.
Senate Bill 622, changes the time period of voting inactivity for removal from voter registration. Currently, a voter can go four years without voting or updating voter information before being considered inactive. This bill moves it to two years. For example, if a voter didn’t vote in one presidential election, they could be ineligible to vote in the next presidential election. The bill is a use it or lose it voting law. If voters don’t vote for more than two years, they get flagged. However, if voters confirm their address or register for a change of address, they will stay registered to vote, and their inactive status will be dropped. Voters can vote in any local, state or federal election or ballot to stay an active voter. Lead sponsor of the bill Sen. Eric Tarr, R-Putnam, said the bill is to make sure voters are not registered to vote in two different precincts and to verify voter eligibility.
Wisconsin: Local clerks may still have to wait until Election Day to begin processing absentee ballots i, despite a bipartisan effort to allow for early canvassing. The state Assembly passed legislation in November that would allow election workers to begin processing absentee ballots the day before an election. But in an interview that aired Sunday, Senate Majority Leader Devin LeMahieu, R-Oostburg, told WISN-TV that the bill is likely dead, saying he doubts the legislation will make it out of a Senate committee. “I think a couple members of the committee have problems with the bill,” LeMaheiu said. The Republican-authored bill would allow municipalities to begin canvassing absentee ballots the day before an election, and require it in communities that use a central location for counting absentee ballots, like Milwaukee. Election workers would not be allowed to tally the ballots during early canvassing. The change has been proposed by both Democrats and Republicans for years. Large cities often take longer to process the large quantity of absentee ballots they receive, sometimes leading to late-night swings in unofficial election results. That fueled former President Donald Trump’s false claims of vote “dumping” in 2020, when the final tally of votes in Democratic cities like Milwaukee weren’t known until the middle of the night.
U.S. Supreme Court: The Supreme Court rejected appeals brought by Trump-allied lawyers who faced legal sanctions for baselessly alleging in court that the 2020 election in Michigan was fraudulently won by President Joe Biden. By rejecting the appeals, the court left in place a June 2023 ruling by the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals that partially upheld the sanctions. Prominent cheerleaders of former President Donald Trump’s efforts to overturn the election including Sidney Powell and Lin Wood were among the nine lawyers who initially faced sanctions for filing the lawsuit. Powell called the group “the Kraken.” The appeals court upheld sanctions against seven of them, including Powell and Wood. The lawyers were ordered to pay legal fees, undertake new legal training and were referred to their respective state bar associations for any disciplinary procedures.
Arizona: The Democratic National Committee is looking to jump into a pair of Arizona election lawsuits, another salvo in the sprawling legal battle over the country’s election procedures ahead of November. The DNC and Arizona Democratic Party, with assistance from the Biden campaign, filed motions to intervene in two lawsuits filed in state court from GOP and third party groups this month, according to filings first shared with POLITICO. The lawsuits target the state’s Election Procedure Manual — which is designed to guide Arizona election officials in conducting and certifying elections. Republicans have challenged the manual several times, with RNC chair Ronna McDaniel arguing earlier this month that the document is “designed to undermine election integrity.”
Georgia: Rudy Giuliani has appealed a $148 million verdict against him won by two former Fulton County election workers.In December a federal jury in Washington, D.C., awarded Ruby Freeman and Shaye Moss the money because Giuliani falsely accused them of fraud in the 2020 election. Guliani denounced the verdict as an “absurdity” and predicted it would be “reversed so quickly it will make your head spin.” This week, he formally appealed to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia. Following the original verdict, Giuliani filed for bankruptcy in New York, listing debts of as much as $500 million and assets of up to $10 million. On Tuesday the judge in that case gave Giuliani permission to appeal the defamation verdict. But the judge ruled that Giuliani cannot pay for the appeal himself, and anyone who pays for the appeal will not have a claim on his assets.
Kansas: A Kansas law that makes it a crime to impersonate an election official unconstitutionally interferes with voter outreach efforts, voting rights groups told the state Supreme Court on this week. Their argument was met with opposition from state officials, who say the law helps curb fraud. Attorneys for both sides sparred in a court hearing over the constitutionality of a key component of Republicans’ efforts to restrict voting rights in the wake of unfounded claims of voter fraud during the 2020 election. The hearing took place on the final day for Kansans to register to vote in the state’s 2024 presidential preference primary election, which is scheduled for March 19. Elizabeth Frost, an attorney arguing for the voting rights groups, asked the court to swiftly block the law or direct a lower court to do so. “Every single day that goes by that the plaintiffs are under this threat is a harm not just to them,” she said, “but to the public.” The law violates the First Amendment of voting rights groups, she said, and is overly vague and broad — making it liable to arbitrary enforcement by the courts and law enforcement. Voting rights groups say the law has caused them to cancel voter registration drives and other outreach activities because their volunteers are scared they could be prosecuted for helping people register to vote. Secretary of State Scott Schwab and Attorney General Kris Kobach are defending the law. Bradley Schlozman, an attorney arguing on their behalf, said the law was meant to crack down on what he described as “nefarious actors” gathering information from voters during the 2020 election and using it to commit identity theft.
Kentucky: An effort to reinstate the voting rights to some people in Kentucky with felony convictions will not be heard in the U.S. Supreme Court. The high court announced this week afternoon that it has denied a petition to review Aleman v. Beshear, receiving criticism from an attorney involved in the case. “Voting is the height of political expression,” said Jon Sherman, litigation director at Fair Elections Center and lead counsel for the plaintiffs in the case. “This decision will allow governors in Kentucky and other states around the country to continue to personally pick and choose whose voting rights are restored based on applicants’ political beliefs or party affiliations.”
New York: The Appellate Division for the Second Judicial Department in New York has ruled that a New York City law that would allow non-citizens to vote in local elections is unconstitutional — marking a win for the Republican elected officials who sued to block it. “We determine that this local law was enacted in violation of the New York State Constitution and Municipal Home Rule Law, and thus, must be declared null and void,” read the ruling from Paul Wooten, an associate justice of the Appellate Division for the Second Judicial Department in New York. The 2022 law has not yet gone into effect, since it faced immediate legal challenges. It sought to let green card holders and other people living in New York City with federal work authorization to vote in local elections for offices including mayor and City Council — applying to some 800,000 new eligible voters in a city of 8.5 million. In a 3-1 ruling, the appellate court agreed that the clause in the state constitution that “every citizen shall be entitled to vote…” refers exclusively to United States citizens. And the court ruled that a provision of state Municipal Home Rule Law requires changes to elections to be passed by voter referendum, rather than a local legislature.
Pennsylvania: The U.S. Third Circuit Court of Appeals heard arguments this week on whether Pennsylvania’s requirement for voters to accurately date mail-in ballots passes muster under federal voting law. The question of whether ballots with a missing or incorrect date should be counted has been a factor in elections since Pennsylvania’s no-excuse absentee voting law took effect in 2020. And the outcome of the case now before the Third Circuit will determine how such ballots are handled in the 2024 presidential election in which Pennsylvania is considered a must-win state. Erie-based U.S. District Judge Susan Paradise Baxter ruled last year that election officials may no longer reject ballots that lack a date or have an incorrect date on the outside of the return envelope. Baxter found that throwing out ballots over the dating requirement violates a federal law against disenfranchising voters with requirements not material to their qualifications to vote. Lawyers for the ACLU, the NAACP, League of Women Voters, and other organizations and for Pennsylvania Secretary of State Al Schmidt argued that the lower court’s decision is correct.
Utah: Dustin Hansen, 31, of Nibley, was charged with one count of willful neglect of duty/corrupt conduct by a poll worker, which is a third-degree felony. Hansen — who was an elections coordinator with the Cache County Clerk/Auditor’s Office — was charged Feb. 16, according to court records. Charging documents say Hansen was responsible for sending a test of vote tabulating machines to the Utah Lieutenant Governor’s Office, which is the body that oversees all elections in the state. Hansen allegedly forged the date of the test, charging documents say. The lieutenant governor’s office suspected the document was forged, and Cache County prosecutors later found that Hansen allegedly, “had used PDF editing software on his work computer to alter the document.” In an emailed statement, interim Cache County Attorney Taylor Sorensen told The Salt Lake Tribune members of his office, “unanimously agreed that the conduct alleged met the elements of the charge under Utah law.” Prosecutors have proposed issuing a summons to Hansen to appear in Logan’s 1st District Court. Hansen does not have an initial appearance date set, and he does not have an attorney listed in court records.
Opinions This Week
Colorado: Jail voting
Florida: Clearwater voting system
Utah: Ranked choice voting
Vermont: Town Meetings
Wyoming: Election worker protections
A Real Right to Vote: A Conversation with Rick Hasen: For many Americans, the freedom to vote is unfairly conditioned on where they live, the color of their skin, or how much money they have. Several amendments to the U.S. Constitution have been passed over the decades extending this fundamental freedom to voters of color, women and citizens who are 18 years of age. However, the lack of an overarching amendment guaranteeing the right to vote leaves our democracy vulnerable because the freedom to vote is treated differently depending on where voters live and how courts handle disputes over their rights. In his new book, “A Real Right to Vote,” Law Professor Rick Hasen explains why a constitutional amendment is necessary, and why now is the time to begin a campaign in support of such an amendment. As Professor Hasen explains, enshrining voting rights in the Constitution will benefit all Americans, no matter which side of the political aisle they sit on. In discussion with Campaign Legal Center President Trevor Potter, Professor Hasen will describe his vision for the freedoms an amendment on voting rights would protect, its potential impact on our democracy, and why he believes it’s possible to pass such an amendment, despite a challenging political climate. When: Feb. 29, 3pm Eastern. Where: Online
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
Election Center Special Workshop: The Election Center will hold its April special workshop in Portland, Oregon. Additionally several CERA classes will be held in conjunction with the workshop. When: April 24-28. Where: Portland, Oregon.
ESRA 2024 Conference: The 8th Annual Summer Conference on Election Science, Reform, and Administration (ESRA) will be held in person from May 16-17, 2024 at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles, California. Call for Proposals The 2024 conference Call for Proposals is now open through February 16! Learn more about this year’s conference and submit your proposal here. Registration: Registration to attend the 2024 conference has not yet opened. To hear the news first when it does, please sign up to join our mailing list. When: May 16-17. Where: Los Angeles
Job Postings This Week
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Administrative Specialist II, King County, Washington– This is an amazing opportunity to be engaged in the election process! The Department of Elections – is searching for energetic and resourceful professionals who like to “get stuff done”. The Administrative Specialist II positions in the Election Services Division combine an exciting, fast-paced environment with the opportunity to cultivate talents and apply a variety of skills. The ideal candidate will have a desire to help ensure the democratic process through public service. They will thrive in an innovative environment and will not hesitate to roll up both sleeves, work hard, have fun, and get the job done. King County Elections believes in working in a very agile working environment. Creating a team that delivers now and in the future is very important. There may be various job duties that you could be assigned to including: Provide excellent customer service to internal and external customers in person, via telephone, and via e-mail by processing voter registrations, communicating election program information and explaining election procedures, guidelines and regulations. Perform production-level computer work which includes accurate data entry and retrieving and editing records. Organize and coordinate work activities and assist with providing training and one-on-one instruction to diverse staff. Provide assistance with ballot delivery including proofing Voter’s Pamphlets and ballots. Set up records and file documents in both electronic and paper formats. Review documents for proper format, accuracy, completion, eligibility, and other legal guidelines. Utilize spreadsheets, word documents and reports to track and document performance data. Research and resolve questions from staff, citizens and stakeholders. Document and improve work processes, procedures and instructions. Assist with ballot collection by accompanying a driver to empty ballots from ballot drop boxes and securely transport them back to the Elections office. Salary: $25.59 – $32.58 Hourly. Deadline: Feb. 29. Application: For the complete job listing and to apply, click here.
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.
Chief Electoral Officer, Government of Nunavut, Canada– Applications are invited for the position of Chief Electoral Officer of Nunavut. This is a seven-year, full-time statutory appointment. The Chief Electoral Officer is an Independent Officer of the Legislative Assembly. The office-holder is appointed on the recommendation of the Legislative Assembly, pursuant to the Nunavut Elections Act. The position exercises a range of powers and responsibilities under the Nunavut Elections Act and the Plebiscites Act. Copies of the statutes are available at: www.nunavutlegislation.ca. The Chief Electoral Officer is responsible for the conduct of territorial general elections and by-elections, as well as elections to municipal councils and other bodies. The next territorial general election is scheduled to be held on October 27, 2025. The successful candidate will be an experienced senior manager with proven professional success in managing complex administrative operations. Knowledge of electoral administration and legislation is essential. This position requires a high degree of attention to detail, including the ability to accurately interpret, administer and explain complex statutes and regulations. The successful candidate will possess the ability to communicate clearly and consistently with the general public, stakeholder groups and the news media. Excellent writing skills, including the ability to draft comprehensive annual reports to the Legislative Assembly, are required. Understanding of Inuit societal values, language and culture is a definite asset. The Office of the Chief Electoral Officer (Elections Nunavut) is located in Rankin Inlet, Nunavut. A detailed Position Profile is available from the Office of the Legislative Assembly and may be downloaded from the Legislative Assembly’s website at www.assembly.nu.ca. Salary: $145,094.00 to $207,277.00 per annum. Deadline: March 22. Application: For the complete job listing and to apply, click here.
City Clerk, Palos Verdes Estates, California– The City of Palos Verdes Estates is a 4.75 square mile city in southern California, offering beautiful ocean and hillside views, urban forest, and recreational opportunities. With approximately 13,500 residents, the City is known for being a planned community with tranquil neighborhoods and is the oldest of four cities on the Palos Verdes Peninsula. Residents enjoy magnificent views of the Los Angeles Basin and Pacific Ocean, low density, rural character, preserved open space, low crime, and excellent schools. The Office of the City Clerk is responsible for coordination and preparation of City Council meeting agendas and back-up materials, maintenance of the Municipal Code, and election administration, along with publishing legal notices, ordinances, and resolutions, as required by law. The City Clerk also receives, and processes subpoenas, prepares, and coordinates responses to public records requests, prepares and certifies Certificates of Residency (pensioners), and administers the Oath of Office. The City is seeking a collaborative, organized, and highly motivated individual to serve as the next City Clerk. The ideal candidate will bring record-keeping experience, problem solving capabilities, and a proven track record of exercising confidentiality. An honest, ethical, and technically savvy team builder who is cooperative and flexible is essential. The incoming City Clerk should be adaptable and politically astute, promoting a culture of transparency and integrity. Salary: $99,756 to $125,028. Deadline: March 24. Application: For the complete job listing and to apply, click here.
City Clerk, San Mateo, California– The City of San Mateo (pop. 105,661) is the largest municipality in San Mateo County, located on the San Francisco Bay Peninsula. This culturally and economically diverse community offers an extraordinary quality of life characterized by safe neighborhoods, quality city services and assets, friendly people, and an ideal location. The City’s increasingly vibrant and walkable downtown area continues to attract a wide array of small-to-medium-sized businesses, some of which, according to community members, include many of the best dining options in the Bay Area. The municipality has benefitted from a steady history of leadership, with just five city managers over the last 30 years and three city attorneys over the last 36 years. The current City Clerk is retiring from her position after twelve years and the City is focused on hiring a qualified candidate that is outgoing, reliable, and professional with an adaptive, solution-based work ethic. The incoming City Clerk must have excellent interpersonal skills, with the ability to remain politically astute without being politically aligned. A kind, uplifting, and approachable candidate will be successful in this role. The ideal candidate will value the community and possess high emotional intelligence as an ambassador of the City and liaison to the public. The nature of this position requires an individual who is creative, discerning, and constantly striving to improve. Salary: $195,288 to $215,306. Deadline: March 3. 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.
Deputy Director, Swain County, North Carolina– The Swain County Board of Elections is now hiring for its Deputy Director of Elections position. An employee in this position performs clerical functions, voter registration procedures, and other election-related tasks in the daily operations of the Swain County Board of Elections, as may be assigned by the Director or Chair/members of the Board of Elections. This position is open until filled. Desirable Experience and Training: 1. Graduation from high school/GED or higher. 2. Considerable experience in one of the following fields: elections, public administration, clerical work involving public contact, or another field related to this position. OR 1. An equivalent combination of education and experience. Located in the heart of the Great Smoky Mountains, Swain County is an excellent place to live and work and is a popular destination for tourists across the Southeast. It contains nearly half of America’s most-visited national park and is home to the Nantahala Outdoor Center, Fontana Lake, and the vibrant communities of Bryson City and Cherokee. Apply to join us today! Salary: $38,850 – $51,445 per year. 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.
Director of Campaign Finance & Elections, Vermont Secretary of State’s Office– The Vermont Secretary of State’s Office seeks a professional and dynamic Director to lead our small yet mighty Vermont Elections Division team and help continue the consistent record of excellence in election administration that this team has established. The Elections Performance Index conducted by MIT has ranked Vermont in the top states in the nation for statewide election administration. In recent years, the Division has implemented significant changes in election policy to increase access to elections for Vermonters, including automatic voter registration, election day registration, online voter registration, expanded early voting, online accessible ballot marking, and, most recently, the mailing of ballots to all active registered voters for General Elections. While these advancements have been positive for Vermonters, it has added complexity for the Elections team and election officials across the state. Simultaneously, the profile of elections has shifted dramatically with increased emphasis on cybersecurity, disinformation, technology, and data. As a result, elections have been under the microscope like never before with increased attention from the public and the press. The Director will advise the Secretary of State, lead an experienced team, and will be expected to bring a vision, new ideas, and new solutions to meet the challenges of a rapidly evolving profile of election administration. The Elections Division engages in continual improvement processes and requires that all staff contribute to policy and operations development. If you thrive in a fast-paced environment driven by immutable deadlines with multiple demands, have a commitment to excellence, and desire to ensure voting remains the cornerstone of democracy this is the right opportunity for you. Salary: Hourly Rate: $44.59 – $57.33. Deadline: Feb. 28. Application: For the complete job listing and to apply, click here.
Election Protection Hotline Specialist, Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law– Are you passionate about safeguarding democratic processes? Join us as an Election Protection Hotline Specialist! This pivotal role involves collaborating with hundreds of legal volunteers to address voter concerns reported to the 866-OUR-VOTE hotline. As part of our dynamic hotline infrastructure team, you’ll be at the forefront of managing day-to-day operations. Expect a fast-paced environment, multitasking, and a commitment to early mornings, evenings, and weekends. Embrace the opportunity to learn and employ cutting-edge technology. The Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law stands at the forefront of national racial justice legal advocacy. Established in 1963 at the behest of President John F. Kennedy, our organization employs legal advocacy to champion racial justice. We strive, within and beyond the courtrooms, to ensure that Black individuals and people of color have a resounding voice, equal opportunities, and the power to materialize the promises of our democracy. 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 Training Coordinator, Denton County, Texas– The Elections Training Coordinator performs professional level work organizing, managing, developing and implementing training for all Denton County Elections Administration (DCEA) employees, temporary staff, and election workers. Employee is responsible for assessing the training needs within the DCEA and implementing a curriculum to meet those needs. Employee is responsible for coordinating, managing, implementing and executing training with minimal supervision with specific deadlines in place. Examples of Duties: Develops, manages, and/or coordinates required training for all election workers. Prepares, schedules, coordinates, and teaches election training for election workers (Election Judges, Alternate Judges, Elections Department, clerks, etc.). Manages CERA, REO, IGO, and other professional election certifications and reporting requirements. Prepares and schedules CERA, REO, and IGO approved training classes for employees of DCEA. Manages the training of help desk personnel and other temporary employees. Schedules, announces, and conducts registration for training classes.Researches changing laws and trends and modifies or revises existing training programs as necessary, based on the need for new material. Manages and maintains training material and tools used for the various types of training and makes recommendations for additional resources. Prepares all necessary handouts for the attendees. Regular and punctual attendance is required. Performs other related duties as required. Salary: $53,909.00 – $62,534.00 Annually. Application: For the complete job listing and to apply, click here.
Elections Analyst (Bilingual-Spanish, Russian, Chinese, Vietnamese or Ukrainian), Clackamas County, Oregon– Do you want to be essential to ensuring our elections are accurate, transparent, and inclusive? The Clackamas County Clerk’s Office seeks a bilingual and service-oriented individual with Vote by Mail elections experience to join our Elections team as an Elections Analyst. You will contribute to coordinating and managing customer service, voter registration and ballot processing. Proficiency in English and a second language (Spanish, Chinese, Russian, Vietnamese or Ukrainian) is required, as you will actively participate in customer service efforts and technical processes during each election cycle. As an Elections Analyst, you will serve as subject matter expert for redistricting, candidate and jurisdiction filing, coordination, voter registration and election technology. Your responsibilities will extend to supporting the County Clerk’s office through interpretation, translation and customer service, contributing to the accessibility of the democratic process. Salary: $64,564 – $81,982. Deadline: March 11. 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 Equipment/Operations Analyst, Jackson County, North Carolina— This position performs intermediate skilled technical and operational support work assisting the Director with planning, directing, coordinating, and supervising the elections process. Duties and Responsibilities: Assists in Implementing changing election laws, coordinating elections, and supervising activities of the office. Oversees set up of One-Stop voting sites and network. Sets up all E-poll books according to polling place. Assists in machine logic and accuracy. Administers Campaign Reporting schedule. Provides requested information such as registration analysis, voting analysis, lists of precinct officials, precinct locations, precinct political committees, and campaign reports to the various candidates, campaign committees, party chairs, news media, and the general public. Provides requested information regarding the North Carolina Campaign Reporting Act to prospective candidates, candidates, elected officials, media, and the general public, provides and notices of required reports to Candidates. Assists with audits submitted campaign reports, reviews, and verifies records to ensure that required information is provided and correct. Assists with polling sites database. Prepares campaign reports for public viewing. Assists with planning for and coordinating all early voting site, including the set up and close out of all sites. Assists in training of one-stop workers. Assists in canvassing the returns of all elections. Explains policies, laws, rules, regulations, and procedures to the public and other inquiring parties. Assists with voter registration verification procedures. Assists in ADA compliance and Campaign zones at polling places. Assists in processing and verifying petitions. Assists in preparing and conducting elections. Assists with state reporting requirements. Interacts with elected officials, candidates, the North Carolina Campaign Reporting Office, the general public, and the media. Performs other related job duties as assigned. Salary: $40,694. Application: For the complete job listing and to apply, click here.
Elections Operation Manager, Pima County, Arizona— Pima County Elections Department is actively seeking a highly qualified candidate with a unique blend of skills and experience to join our team as an Elections Operations Manager. The ideal candidate brings extensive expertise in voting equipment and e-poll books, ensuring the seamless functioning of critical election infrastructure. Your familiarity with online inventory systems will be instrumental in maintaining accurate and efficient inventory management. Additionally, your proven ability to collaborate with political parties and high-ranking officials sets you apart. Your past interactions with these stakeholders have showcased your exceptional communication and diplomacy skills, essential in the realm of elections. If you’re ready to leverage your expertise and contribute to the democratic process, we encourage you to apply. Join us in shaping the future of elections, where your skills and experience will make a significant impact. This classification is in the unclassified service and is exempt from the Pima County Merit System Rules. Duties/Responsibilities: (Work assignments may vary depending on the department’s needs and will be communicated to the applicant or incumbent by the supervisor.) Develops program goals, objectives, policies, and procedures, and establishes short- and long-range program performance plans subject to management review; Manages and administers program activities and evaluates program effectiveness and success; Manages the activities of professional staff and evaluates their performance; Develops, negotiates, monitors, and administers contracts, intergovernmental agreements, and/or financial and service agreements for the program managed; Monitors program contract compliance and takes corrective action as required; Performs as a program representative within the community, delivers informational news releases, serves as a program contact person, and participates in community awareness activities; Develops and maintains effective working relationships and coordinates program activities with other County departments, public and private agencies, organizations and groups to promote the program and its goals; Analyzes local, state and federal legislation and ensures program compliance with applicable regulations and policies; Directs organizational and management studies for the purpose of identifying problems and alternative solutions to the problems; Develops, writes and administers the program’s annual budget, prepares program-related financial forecasts, and identifies funding sources to support program activities; Reviews and analyzes routine and special reports detailing the status and/or success of the program, prepares recommendations, and/or initiates corrective action; Evaluates management problems and makes decisions regarding the proper course of action; May make recommendations to the Board of Supervisors regarding program objectives; May direct the preparation and submission of proposals and grant applications; May access or maintain specialized databases containing program-specific information to review information or generate reports. Salary: $57,607 – $63,367. Application: For the complete job listing and to apply, click here.
Elections Specialist, Bilingual (Chinese, Russian, Vietnamese or Ukrainian), Clackamas County, Oregon – Do you want to be essential to ensuring our elections are accurate, transparent, and inclusive? The Clackamas County Clerk’s Office seeks bilingual individual and service-oriented individuals to join our Elections team as Elections Specialists. In this role, you will serve as a crucial technical expert on election processes, providing clerical support and exceptional customer service to a diverse array of stakeholders. Fluency in English and a second language (Chinese, Russian, Vietnamese, or Ukrainian) is essential, as you will engage with the public in person, over the phone, and online. As an Elections Specialist, your responsibilities include detailed data entry of complex voter registration records, petition verification, ballot issuance and processing, and handling inquiries during each election cycle. Additionally, you will be pivotal in providing interpretation, translation, and culturally responsive customer service in English and a second language. The position extends beyond election-specific tasks to supporting the County Clerk’s office in various functions, such as interpretation and translation for services beyond elections, recording services, marriage licenses, wedding ceremonies, and public access to government services. Your role will also involve collaborating with coworkers, other division and department staff, and various county and state elections stakeholders to foster an inclusive, positive, and supportive work environment. You will actively participate in workplace preparedness, safety, and security procedures, working towards maintaining an environment where everyone feels a sense of safety, trust, and belonging. If you are ready to contribute to the elections process and engage with a diverse community, we invite you to apply and join our dedicated Elections team. Salary: $44,641-$56,179. Deadline: March 11. 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.
Human Resources Supervisor, Maricopa County– The Maricopa County Recorder’s Office (MCRO) is responsible for recording all documents required by law and making them available for public record. MCRO oversees the voter registration process, documentation, and administration for the County’s approximately 2.5 million voters. The Office also oversees early voting, all mail elections, and other election processes and administration. MCRO offers a friendly, welcoming, and collaborative environment with opportunities to grow and learn new skills. As the Human Resources Supervisor, direct and supervise human resources staff and employee development training. This position will provide human resources leadership by driving and executing advanced-level personnel work, which requires discretion and independent judgment in making recommendations and decisions. Salary: $65,000 – $112,000. Deadline: Feb. 28. Application: For the complete job listing and to apply, click here.
National Elections Supervisor, Pacifica Media– The Pacifica Foundation was founded in 1946 and is a non-profit organization providing educational services through listener-supported community FM radio. There are five listener-supported FM radio stations in the Pacifica network: KPFA Berkeley, KPFK Los Angeles, KPFT Houston, WPFW Washington, DC, and WBAI New York and a network of over 250 Affiliate stations. Work with General Managers, Program Directors and other key staff at KPFA, KPFK, KPFT, WBAI and WPFW to ensure fair elections. Develop an election budget for the Executive Director. Develop an election timeline in accordance with the Pacifica Foundation’s Bylaws. Ensure with the stations’ General Managers that staff and listener member lists are clean and de-duped and separated by listener and staff categories without duplication. Assist the Executive Director in selecting a balloting company and coordinate ballot issuing/reissuing throughout the process. Work with the balloting and tabulation company to design and plan electronic balloting including providing clean membership lists. Maintain and monitor an election hotline to provide members support throughout the election. Design ballot materials, candidate statement pamphlets, voting instructions. Maintain an updated website with updated election information throughout the election cycle. Facilitate candidate nomination process. Develop and coordinate candidate on-air forums with the assistance of local station personnel. Develop fair campaign provisions, including processing complaints of violations. Produce radio PSAs to promote each phase of the election. If Local Election Supervisors are required, recruit and train one at each station. Attend and report on progress of election at virtual meetings, many are held in the evenings and weekends to accommodate the volunteers’ schedules. Provide detailed report of election for distribution within 30-days of close of election. Deadline: Feb. 26. 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.
Registration & Elections Manager, DeKalb County, Georgia– The following duties are normal for this position. The omission of specific statements of the duties does not exclude them from the classification if the work is similar, related, or a logical assignment for this classification. Other duties may be required and assigned. Manages, directs, and evaluates assigned staff; develops and oversees employee work schedules to ensure adequate coverage and control; compiles and reviews timesheets; approves/processes employee concerns and problems and counsels or disciplines as appropriate; assists with or completes employee performance appraisals; directs work; acts as a liaison between employees and management; and trains staff in operations, policies, and procedures. Organizes, prioritizes, and assigns work; prioritizes and schedules work activities in order to meet objectives; ensures that subordinates have the proper resources needed to complete the assigned work; monitors status of work in progress and inspects completed work; consults with assigned staff to assist with complex/problem situations and provide technical expertise; provides progress and activity reports to ; and assists with the revision of procedure manuals as appropriate. Conducts elections; manages personnel to ensure that all elections are conducted in accordance with state and federal laws and regulations; secures early voting locations and recommends schedules; appoints site managers and determines staffing requirements for early and election day voting; works with polling location personnel and county information technology and GIS staff to ensure provision of technology training and services; develops and reviews training for compliance with election laws; monitors early voting traffic; recommends changes in procedures to resolve issues; conducts election night precinct check-in, election audit and preparation of precinct statistics; monitors election tasks lists; monitors election software programming; and oversees financial filing process. Implements, monitors and maintains registration functions and processes; reviews registration functions and processes including felon registrations, duplicate voters, citizenship verifications, jury summons questionnaires, provisional voting, election night precinct check-in and election audit; monitors and ensures compliance with established protocols and procedures; and updates protocols and procedures as needed. Prepares and completes a variety of registration, production and election reports; compiles and/or tracks various administrative and/or statistical data; generates and prepares data; submits all mandated reports to local, state and federal regulatory agencies or others as required; and maintains related records. Maintains training and procedure manuals; and develops, updates, and revises procedural manuals for voter registration and election functions. Interprets, applies, and ensures compliance with all applicable codes, laws, rules, regulations, standards, policies and procedures; initiates any actions necessary to correct deviations or violations; maintains comprehensive, current knowledge of applicable laws/regulations and pending legislation that may impact department operations; and maintains an awareness of new products, methods, trends and advances in the profession. Assists in developing and implementing department budget; reviews budgetary needs and makes recommendations to executive management; and monitors expenditures against approved budget. Salary: $66,132 – $106,473. 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 Elections Investigator, North Carolina State Board of Elections– Coordinate with agency legal counsel to prioritize and plan investigations consistent with the Elections-Related Investigation Priorities Policy. Apply knowledge of elections and campaign finance laws, policies, and procedures, as well as knowledge of investigatory techniques and methods, to direct and assign casework to elections investigators. Review written investigative reports to ensure case findings are clearly and logically presented to law enforcement partners and prosecuting authorities. Coordinate presentation of cases in grand jury settings, court, and State Board of Elections hearings. Maintain a case management system and provide investigation statistics to management as needed. Conduct short- and long-range planning to ensure that alleged violations are investigated in a timely manner and that violations are referred to the State Bureau of Investigation and prosecutors within the relevant statutes of limitations for remedial action. Perform independent, technical, investigative work. Gather and analyze evidence and prepare investigative reports.Prepare evidence for hearings and court proceedings.Coordinate with agency legal counsel, law enforcement partners, prosecutors, and judicial staff to provide testimony in hearings and court proceedings. Develop and maintain effective professional relationships with State Board elections personnel, county elections personnel, law enforcement personnel, prosecutors, emergency management personnel, and the general public. Provide training and guidance to county personnel and law enforcement personnel at conferences and other meetings.Communicate clearly, concisely, and professionally, both orally and in writing. Salary: $59,752 – $104,566. Annually. Deadline: Feb. 23. Application: For the complete job listing and to apply, click here.
Senior Policy Associate, Verified Voting– As we head into an election year, the SPA will play an integral role on Verified Voting’s programs team, helping the organization ramp up work in priority states and respond effectively to new developments as they arise. The SPA will lead our engagement in several priority states related to Verified Voting’s key issue areas, including robust tabulation audits, ballot accounting, chain-of-custody documentation, and other best practices that support public confidence in elections. (The states will be determined in coordination with other team members who serve as state leads.) The SPA will not lobby, but will advocate for improved policies in priority states, engaging with various stakeholders. They will also collaborate closely with election officials, providing procedural and technical assistance related to implementation of risk-limiting audits and other best practices. The SPA will also provide election officials with strategic messaging support to help them effectively communicate the impact of their work to voters. The SPA will work closely with team members on other policy work and may lead research and writing projects. In particular, the SPA will help develop new materials and resources to capitalize on the upcoming conclusions of a new messaging research project. We are a fully remote organization — the only requirements are that you are eligible to work in the US, that your location is in the US, and that you have a workspace that allows you to complete the demands of the position. Verified Voting’s official operating hours are 9am-5pm Eastern Time, but we work together to accommodate team members’ various time zones, circumstances, and work styles. Occasional in-person meetings and travel opportunities are possible. Salary: $85,000–$90,000. 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.
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