I. In Focus This Week
Harford County, Md. election judges receive active shooter training
Training can help election judges on election day, or any day
By M. Mindy Moretti
Poll workers are trained in a variety of areas for early voting and election day. Everything from how to check in voters, start-up voting machines, shut down voting machines, what to do if the power goes out and what to do if they run out of ballots.
And now, all the election judges in Harford County, Maryland will be trained in one more element: What to do in the event of an active shooter.
“For a while now, in a lot of our election training classes, we would get at least one question about ‘What if…,’ explained Sara Mohan, program manager – Social Media & Outreach for the Harford County Board of Elections.
After attending an active shooter seminar at the Maryland Association of Counties 2017 Winter Conference given by the Harford County Sheriff’s Office, Election Director Kevin Keene and Deputy Director Dale Livingston knew that the time was right to answer “What if…”
“They were so impressed with the message and presentation by Deputy Tom Wehrle that they decided right then that the time was right to offer this message to the election judges,” Mohan explained. “There is no way that printed material could have the same impact of a live presentation. Particularly when it is presented by these deputies who are so dedicated not only to their mission as police officers, but to their desire to reach as many people as possible with their message.”
The board has set up four trainings for elections judges. The first one was held earlier this month in the auditorium at Harford Community College. With 237 election judges in attendance, Mohan said it was a packed house for the two-hour presentation.
In the first hour Deputy Brad Crossley discusses statistics and things to be aware of in terms of your surroundings and other things that could be signs to alert you for your safety.
The second hour, Deputy Wehrle gives guidance as to the tools you may have available, what you can do to protect yourself and others, and what to expect from the officers when they arrive on the scene. The options are to RUN, HIDE, FIGHT and he goes into the specifics of each one of these decisions you may have to make and the ramifications of each.
The Sheriff’s Office offers Civilian Response to Active Shooter/Assailant Training to any entity in Harford County that would like it, whether that be a government entity, private business, church, daycare centers, etc…
“The training was not tailored specifically for the Board of Elections. They received our standard Civilian Response to Active Shooter/Assailant Training,” Deputy Crossley explained. “Our program is geared for any civilian entity and will help citizens remain as safe as possible in any scenario.”
The active shooter training is mandatory for all election judges in Harford County. The only judges excused are those who have received the training through other avenues. Mohan said that was about 10 judges. The judges are paid $50 for attending the training like they are for all election judge trainings. The cost to pay the election judges is the only additional costs the county incurs for the training.
Mohan said that by-in-large the responses from the election judges has been very positive about the training.
“The election judges who have attended so far, have come away with very positive comments and feel more empowered and informed,”
Mohan said in the current climate in the country and around the world that it cannot be ignored that any type of violent incident can happen at any time and anywhere and that by training election judges so their awareness is heightened and they can possibly save a life.
“There are risk management issues that we must address. This information can benefit the election judges no matter where they are, at school, church, the mall, or even a polling place,” Mohan said.
Deputy Crossley echoed Mohan’s comments about the importance of this training, not only for election day, but for every day.
“We would absolutely recommend this training for other counties, states, etc.,” Deputy Crossley said. “This training is invaluable to civilians to empower them and provide them knowledge in the horrible event they are ever involved in one of these incidents. No longer can we bury our heads in the sand and pretend this won’t happen. Knowledge is power and we love empowering our citizens.”
II. Federal-State Updates
According to The Hill, Senators are working to revise legislation that will help states bolster their election security. Sen. James Lankford (R-Okla.) told The Hill that he expects to work out the final details of the bill within “weeks,” after state election officials expressed some remaining concerns with the current version.
III. Election News This Week
The Orange County registrar of voters’ office has released an Election Security Playbook. The 26-page book covers physical and cybersecurity controls for the 2018 election cycle and beyond. “Election security has always been a priority for our office,” Registrar of Voters Neal Kelley said. “However, a paradigm shift occurred in 2016 – and we have worked to further enhance overall ballot integrity. We believe a proactive ‘ring of security’ is critical to safeguard the millions of ballots that are cast in Orange County during each election cycle.” According to Kelley, the purpose of the playbook is to provide a guide to anticipate, mitigate and respond to physical and cyber threats.
DuPage County, Illinois and Liberty Systems, LLC have reached a settlement over the faulty equipment that delayed the results of last month’s primary election by hours. According to the Daily Herald, DuPage Election Commission officials said Liberty Systems LLC provided the wrong ballot-like cards needed to close the county’s optical scan voting machines. The so-called “ender cards” were too thick to run through the voting machines that read paper ballots — a mistake officials didn’t discover until after the polls closed. It took the commission more than eight hours to release results. Part of the settlement includes: Liberty Systems will not be paid for the kits for the March primary, three other contracts with Liberty Systems will be terminated immediately, the company will repair or replace 167 machines damaged by the faulty cards and the company will compensate the county for the overtime costs on election night.
Unfortunately Vigo County, Indiana students of voting age will have to find their own way to the polls for the upcoming primary election. Last month the Vigo County School Corporation had discussed busing eligible students to vote centers on election day. However the school board ultimately chose not to take up the idea after from concerned members of the community. The school board is hoping that another organization, such as the League of Women Voters may find a way to bus the students. The school superintendent is still committed to getting kids to the polls. “If that means us coming up with a plan to get transportation after school for those who can’t be transported, or providing them opportunities for absentee voting at school, or getting them to the polls that are open later, then we’ll do all we can to ensure they get their chance to vote,” Superintendent Danny Tanoos told WFIU.
This May, Colorado will hold its first primaries where unaffiliated voters will be able to cast a ballot in either the Democratic or Republican primaries. The secretary of state’s office has launched an education campaign to let voters know that they have the opportunity to vote and how the process will work. While much of the UChooseCO campaign will be done through digital efforts like a website, a giant yellow U will be featured in various locations to attract people’s attention. Currently one of the Us is planted on the courthouse lawn in Routt County. Routt County Clerk Kim Bonner said her office will also be adding a yard sign. Bonner told the Steamboat Pilot & Today that she thought the U was a novelty and unique way to get unaffiliated voters involved. Colorado has about 1.4 million unaffiliated voters.
Personnel News: Lori Wurtz is the new Hall County, Georgia elections director. Newly appointed Wyoming Secretary of State Ed Buchanan has announced his plans to seek the seat for a full four-year term. Carole Young-Kleinfeld, Wilton, Connecticut Democratic registrar of voters plans to retire after 10 years on the job. Christine Jones is the new director of the Queen Anne’s County, Maryland board of elections.
IV. Legislative Updates
Arizona: According to the Arizona Republic, a bill that would have allowed counties with the proper technology to keep early voting centers open from Saturday through Monday before Election Day, and that had widespread bipartisan support, has been gutted by the speaker of the house. Speaker JD Mesnard (R-Chandler) removed the weekend provision from the bill.
Connecticut: By an 81-65 vote, the House of Representatives has approved a resolution that could eventually allow early voting in the Nutmeg State. The resolution would ask voters to amend the state’s constitution to allow early voting. The bill now moves to the Senate.
Hawaii: This week, lawmakers have introduced a bill that would pilot a vote-by-mail program on Kauai in 2020 before making a decision to move the system statewide. The bill this week is identical to a bill that was introduced in 2017.
Illinois: The House has approved a bill that would remove Illinois from Crosscheck. The bill has been sent to Gov. Brue Rauner.
Also in Illinois, a bill that would require counties with less than 3 million people to have a process in place to allow pre-trial detainees to vote-by-mail has been approved by the House. Counties with populations higher than 3 millions would be required to have a voting booth in their jail. The bill now moves to the Senate.
Massachusetts: Boston Mayor Marty Walsh has signed an ordinance this week that will require voter registration forms to be made available at public high schools, welcome centers, all neighborhood branches of the Boston Public Library, and all youth and family community centers.
Minnesota: By a 7-0 vote, the St. Louis Park city council has voted to move the city to a ranked-choice voting system. The council still needs to vote one more time, on Monday May 7, to finalize the move. This vote must also be unanimous or a referendum will be called.
New Hampshire: The Senate Election Law Committee has voted 3-2 to move House Bill 1264 to the full Senate. Under the bill the word domicile would be aligned with residence in order to allow someone to register to vote in the state. The bill would not explicitly bar anyone from voting, but would require someone who votes to obtain residency status, including by obtaining a New Hampshire driver’s license within 60 days.
Ohio: The Columbiana County board of commissioners as approved a request to allow county employees to serve as poll workers. Under the resolution, county employees will be given a paid day off to work the polls. They will also be allowed to collect the roughly $101 poll workers receive for working on election day.
Oklahoma: Gov. Mary Fallin (R) has vetoed a bill that would have legalized ballot selfies in Oklahoma. “I am concerned how this will potentially open up the voting process for voter intimidation and propaganda electioneering,” Fallin wrote in her letter to legislators explaining her veto.
V. Legal Updates
Federal Litigation: The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit has affirmed a lower court ruling that invalidated as too abstract a patent infringement case brought by Voter Verified, Inc. against ES&S.
California: A lawsuit has been filed in San Francisco Superior Court against Secretary of State Alex Padilla accusing him of misinterpreting the law and failing to provide ballots and other elections materials in languages other than English. According to the San Francisco Gate, state law requires Padilla’s office to decide every four years which areas need language assistance, and to order county officials to provide translations of sample ballots and other materials enabling voters to fill out English-language ballots. Language aid is required if at least 3 percent of voting-age residents in a county or precinct “lack sufficient skills in English to vote without assistance.” The suit contended the law mandates assistance throughout a county that meets the 3 percent threshold — including 18 California counties where at least 3 percent of voting-age residents speak primarily Spanish — but Padilla has required assistance only in individual voting precincts rather than county-wide.
Florida: A three-judge panel of the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Atlanta has issued a say in the March 27 order by U.S. District Judge Mark Walker that declared the state’s system of restoring ex-felon voting rights as “fatally flawed” and unconstitutionally arbitrary.
Guam: A federal lawsuit that seeks to provide voting rights to residents of Guam and other territories has been appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court. In November 2015, six U.S. citizens, who all are former Illinois residents now living in Guam, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands, filed a lawsuit in Illinois’ northern district court. The group argued that the laws allowing them to vote in particular areas, but not certain U.S. territories, including Guam, are a violation of their equal protection rights, according to court documents.
Indiana: U.S. District Court Judge Sarah Evans Baker has ruled that Marion County, which had previously only set up one early voting site for the entire county, was in fact not providing equal ballot access. In the ruling Baker did not require the county to have the new sites ready for the May primary, but will need to have them for the election in November.
Kansas: Secretary of State Kris Kobach has affirmed his plans to appeal the ruling of Judge Julie Robinson that found him in contempt of court in the ongoing case against the state’s proof-of-citizenship law.
Mississippi: Last week, Secretary of State Delbert Hosemann sought to have two ex-felon voting rights lawsuits merged into one case, but some former felons are objecting. One suit was filed by the Mississippi Center for Justices and other by the Southern Poverty Law Center. Attorneys in the Southern Poverty Law Center suit have filed papers with the judge requesting that the two cases remain separate because they make different arguments.
North Dakota: The state is appealing a portion of U.S. District Judge Daniel Hovland’s early April ruling that prevented the state from requiring IDs that include a “current residential street address.” The state is also asking for a stay of the ruling while the appeal is pending.
U.S. Virgin Islands: This week, Superior Court Judge Denise Francios heard testimony in the challenge to the law passed by the Senate in 2017 to restructure the entities that oversee and conduct elections in the USVI. The law calls for the elimination of two district elections boards and the joint BOE instead replacing them with one, territory-wide board.
VI. Tech Thursday
National News: A group of election security advocates have sent an open letter to election officials in all 50 states and the District of Columbia encouraging the states to spend their new federal election security funding on things like replacing paperless voting and improving their network security.
Georgia: This week, Secretary of State Brian Kemp (R) announced the appointment of 18-members to the Secure, Accessible & Fair Elections (SAFE) Commission. The group includes five elected officials, six county elections directors, three party officials, one technology expert, one voter accessibility expert and two voters.
New Mexico: The secretary of state’s office has updated the rules on absentee voting to include new procedures for absentee ballots for the blind and visually impaired voters. Blind and visually impaired voters will now be able vote using their own non-visual or low-vision technology.
West Virginia: The West Virginia Secretary of State’s office plans to roll out a new website for the May primary election that will allow voters to get election results in real time. “We’re trying to be as accurate as possible, as timely as possible,” IT Director Dave Tackett told WVNews. He said the software will allow users to look up election results as soon as they come in from county-by-county vote tallies.
VII. Opinions This Week
Delaware: Paper ballots
Indiana: Vigo County
New Jersey: Automatic voter registration
New Mexico: Ranked choice voting
Texas: Local elections
Wisconsin: Voter ID
VIII. Upcoming Events
Election Center Professional Program Special Session — During May’s special session, the following core curriculum in election administration and voter registration will be offered: Enfranchisement, Enhancement & Enforcement – Modern Federal Election Law and Regulation: 1965-Present; Constitutions, Courts and Cases to 1965 – Early America to 1965 with focus on State and U.S. Constitutions; History I: Ancients to 17891; and History II: 1781 to Modern Era. When: May 7-12. Where: Auburn, Alabama.
2018 Election Mail Forum — The National Postal Forum will hold a one-day Election Mail Forum. At the forum, participants will hear from speakers, attend panel discussions on the Intelligent Mail barcode and discover how the USPS can be an election mail partner and how this can help better serve voters. When: May 8. Where: San Antonio, Texas.
New Voter Forum — Hosted by the National Association of Secretaries of State, this forum will focus on voter outreach, education and best practices geared towards young people, minorities, active duty military and the disabled communities. Secretaries of State/Lieutenant Governors, senior state staff and private sector representatives will convene to hold bipartisan discussions on these important topics. When: May 21. Where: Washington, DC.
Cybersecurity Online Training Series — The Center for Technology and Civic Life (CTCL) is partnering with the Center for Democracy and Technology (CDT) to deliver a new cybersecurity training series designed for election officials this July. The series will include 3 courses that will empower your election office to manage cyber threats and communicate with the public about cybersecurity. After completing the series, you’ll have more confidence to safeguard against and respond to cyber threats in your election office. When: July 10, July 24 and July 31. Where: Online.
NASS 2018 Summer Conference — Mark your calendars now for the National Association of Secretaries of State 2018 summer conference in the City of Brotherly Love. Check back soon for more information about the agenda. When: July 13-16. Where: Philadelphia.
2018 NASED Summer Meeting — Mark your calendars now for the National Association of State Election Directors’ 2018 summer meeting in the City of Brotherly Love. Check back soon for more information about the agenda. When: July 13-16. Where: Philadelphia.
NACo Annual Conference and Exposition — Mark your calendars now for the National Association of Counties Annual Conference and Exposition in Music City. Check back soon for more information about the agenda. When: July 13-16. Where: Nashville, Tennessee.
2018 iGo Annual Conference — Mark your calendars now for the International Association of Government Officials 2018 Annual Conference in The Biggest Little City in the World! Check back soon for more information about the agenda. When: July 16-21. Where: Reno, Nevada.
Election Sciences Reform and Administration (ESRA) — The conference brings together political scientists and other experts in election administration to develop rigorous empirical approaches to the study of how law and administrative procedures affect the quality of elections in the United States. Participants will identify major questions in the field, share new insights, foster collaboration between election administrators and election scientists, and connect senior and junior scholars. When: July 26 and 27. Where: University of Wisconsin-Madison.
IX. Job Postings This Week
electionlineWeekly publishes election administration job postings each week as a free service to our readers. To have your job listed in the newsletter, please send a copy of the job description, including a web link to email@example.com. Job postings must be received by 5pm on Wednesday in order to appear in the Thursday newsletter. Listings will run for three weeks or till the deadline listed in the posting.
Clerk-Recorder Services Technician, Contra Costa County, California— the Clerk-Recorder Services Technician is a technical position assigned to one of the specialized units of the Clerk-Recorder Division: Recording, Clerk Services, Imaging/Indexing and Archive/Warehouse Services. This position performs technical and complex data entry and clerical that may include: fictitious business name, general clerk filings, notary, passport, marriage license application processing and marriage ceremonies, real property and other general document recordings, document indexing and/or general index verification, customer service desk and phone support, and perform database management in one or more database systems; and perform related work as required. Salary: $44,018-$53,505. Deadline: May 11. Application: For the complete job listing and to apply, click here.
Customer Support Consultant, Hart InterCivic— Hart InterCivic is looking to add a Customer Support Consultant to our team. A Hart Customer Support Consultant is a great listener and communicator who responds to requests for assistance from Hart InterCivic customers for all Hart InterCivic products. The primary responsibilities for this position are to answer, resolve and route customer queries (usually by phone or email), work with customers in a professional manner and read and interpret documents such as user guides and training manuals and translate the information to the customer in a manner which they can understand. We are looking for individuals who have technical skills, have been in support roles in the past and, preferably, have elections experience. Application: For the complete job listing and to apply, click here.
Elections and Voter Services Manager, Montana Secretary of State’s Office — this position serves as the Manager of the Elections and Voter Services Division and reports to the Elections and Voter Services Director for the Office of the Secretary of State. This position is responsible for ensuring the integrity of elections, aligning resources with the strategic direction of the Elections and Voter Services Division, interpreting state election laws and ensuring implementation uniformly throughout the state, and interpreting, analyzing, drawing conclusions, identifying trends, and presenting voting data. This position supervises three positions within the Division and is responsible for all aspects of performance management. Salary: $75,000. Deadline: Open until filled: Application: For the complete job listing and to apply, click here.
Field Sales Director, Hart InterCivic — the Field Sales Director works primarily on the road and from a home office when he/she is not on business travel. The Field Sales Director is responsible for creating news sales with prospects and existing clients in a defined region. Today, this role is a single contributor and does not directly manage people. This position will report to the VP of Sales. Application: For the complete job listing an to apply, click here.
Field Support Engineer (Ohio), Clear Ballot — Oversee and perform installation, configuration and maintenance of Ubuntu servers and Windows desktop and laptop machines, local area network, related equipment and devices; become expert at installation and configuration of Clear Ballot Group software; respond to end user reported incidents, create and track incidents in a ticketing system; daily interaction with both local and remote users for needs gathering and problem analysis; provides technical leadership on a variety of highly specialized project-related activities requiring expertise in specific scientific/technical areas for digital voting systems. Application: For the complete job listing and to apply, click here.
Operations Technician, Clear Ballot — the Operations Technician’s primary duty is preparing, installing software, staging, and shipping equipment to customers. Additionally, the position manages an internal IT network and maintains inventory of company equipment. The successful candidate has all or some combination of experience with hands on hardware and software integration, IT, project management, procurement, logistics, and inventory management. This position reports to the Director of Field Operations. Application: For the complete job listing and to apply, click here.
Product Manager, Clear Ballot — the Product Manager position is a member of the Clear Ballot Product team. At Clear Ballot, the Product team is the hub around which all other functions orbit. The team manages the company’s product planning and feedback cycle, interacting and collaborating regularly with Customer Success, Engineering, Business Development, Compliance/Certification, Field Operations, and Executive Management. Clear Ballot Product Managers work on a multi-disciplinary product team which is assigned one of more of Clear Ballot products. As the customer representative on the product team, the Product Manager creates, prioritizes and represents product requirements to the product team. The Product Manager also the product team’s representative to stakeholders inside and outside of the organization. The Product Manager is often working with prospects and clients to gain insight, vet ideas, and present solutions. Application: For the complete job listing and to apply, click here.
Research Associate, Center for Election Innovation & Research — the Research Associate will conduct original research and provide written quantitative and qualitative analyses. The Research Associate will work full-time in the Washington, DC Metro Area, usually in CEIR’s office, although sometimes working from home may be possible. Job Duties include: Conduct original research covering a variety of election-related issues pertinent to CEIR’s mission; Draft papers, blog posts, and other writings, to be published by CEIR and/or other outlets; Attend convenings, hearings, and other meetings; and Interact with election officials and other election experts. Application: For the complete job listing and to apply, click here.
Senior Manager, Technical Product Support (Denver, CO) – Dominion Voting Systems — Dominion Voting Systems is seeking a tech-savvy, passionate Senior Manager, Technical Product Support to join our team in Denver, CO! This position is responsible for strategically leading and developing a multi-state team of election technology software and hardware Product Specialists through a number of critical projects throughout the Western United States. Salary: Negotiable base + bonus & benefits. Deadline: Open until filled. Application: For the complete job listing and to apply, click here.
Senior Technical Trainer, Clear Ballot — training courses and learning materials support users whose skills range the technical spectrum and include laypersons (pollworkers), election officials, and system administrators. Our small and growing documentation and training team has an immediate need for a new member with intermediate-to-senior experience in: Instructional design; Development of learning curricula; Production of training materials; Hands-on, customer facing training. Generally, the training department, technical staff, and operations staff provide training at the customer’s site. We need an instructional designer and trainer who can analyze the learners and materials, and establish an appropriately targeted learning program. The opportunity exists to develop computer based training as an enhancement to our learning curriculum. Application: For the complete job listing and to apply, click here.
State Election Technology Associate, Clear Ballot— our growing team has an immediate need for a new member to manage testing, approval and certification campaigns of election technology in new states. This position works directly with State Government to test and approve voting systems. Certification and approval is key to success in the election systems domain. Diplomacy and empathy alongside professional and tactful communications are key contributors to smooth state certification campaigns of new election technology. All voting system components (ballot layout, in-person voting, absentee voting, results reporting and audit) and their associated documentation are certified by state agencies; evaluation is performed by demanding government laboratories. Requirements vary across the States; and these requirements are found in statute, Rule, by written and oral tradition, and sometimes are ambiguous and even unwritten. Attention to detail is paramount to success. Application: For the complete job listing and to apply, click here.
Systems Engineer, Clear Ballot — We are looking for a talented Systems Engineer who has both a technical and services/support background which enables them to quickly assess customer needs and offer value to Clear Ballot’s customers. The Systems Engineer will gain a deep understanding of how Clear Ballot’s products operate and their optimal configuration to build a streamlined installation process of the Clear Vote election system. The ideal candidate for this position can prioritize mission critical tasks and coordinate the implementation and expansion of our systems. They will be able to work directly with customers, display innovation, think conceptually and act tactically to build consensus around system installation and enhancement and meet deadlines. Application: For the complete job listing and to apply, click here.
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