December 29, 2011

I. In Focus This Week

The List
What’s out and what’s in for 2012

You’ve waited all year for it, so without further ado, here is electionlineWeekly’s annual list of what’s in and what’s out in election administration for 2012.

And as always, a hat-tip to The Washington Post that began their version of the In and Out List in 1978 and inspired us to start ours.

Happy New Year!

Out: Charlie White (maybe)
Vop Osili (maybe not)

Out: Statewide voter ID in North Carolina
County by county voter ID in North Carolina

Out: Doug Chapin as director of Election Initiatives at Pew
David Becker as director of Election Initiatives at Pew

Out: Same-day voter registration in Maine
Same-day voter registration in Maine

Out: Sweater vests
Pocket squares

Out: State funding for anything
In: Budget deficits and major cuts

Out: Recounts          

Out: Rokey Suleman
Paul Stenbjorn
Cliff Tatum

Out: Kentucky SoS Trey Grayson
Kentucky SoS Elaine Walker
Kentucky SoS Alison Lundergan Grimes

Out: Louisiana SoS Jay Dardenne
Louisiana SoS Tom Schedler

Out: Appreciation for Wisconsin’s non-partisan Government Accountability Board
Local criticism of “partisan” GAB

Out: Texas’ Ann McGeehan and Kentucky’s Sarah Ball Johnson
Someone with really big boots to fill

Out: Voter photo ID in South Carolina
Legal challenges

Out: New York’s lever voting machines (finally!)
Confusion and thousands miscast ballots on New York’s optical scan ballots

Out: High school teachers as voter registration leaders
High school teachers as voter registration defendants

Out: Governors’ vetoes as last line of defense against voter ID
DOJ preclearance as last hope of opponents of voter ID

Out: Fighting voter ID
Getting voter ID

Out: Touchscreen voting machines as enemy #1 of technologists
Internet voting as enemy #1 of technologists

Out: Worrying about election funding
Worrying A LOT about election funding

Out: EAC Commissioners Donetta Davidson and Gineen Bresso, EAC Executive Director Tom Wilkey
Bueller? (and @EACGov)

Out: Old precinct lines and election dates
Who knows?

Out: Waiting in line at the polls to cast a ballot
Waiting in line at the DMV to get a photo ID

Out: Paul Stenbjorn, DC Board of Elections and Ethics
Paul Stenbjorn, Scytl

Out: Paul Miller, Washington State
Paul Miller, Scytl

Out: Wondering what Scytl’s going to do with all those Pauls
Scytl unveils secure voting on tablet computers

Special thanks to Doug Chapin, Sam Derheimer and Stacie Temple for their contributions to this year’s In and Out list.


II. Election News This Week

  • On Friday, the U.S. Department of Justice put a halt to the implementation of South Carolina’s voter photo ID law saying that it discriminated against minority voters. According to The Washington Post, the department’s Civil Rights Division said the state statute is discriminatory because the state’s registered minority voters are nearly 20 percent more likely than whites to lack a state-issued photo ID. South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley (R) called the decision “outrageous” and said she plans to seek “every possible option to get this terrible, clearly political decision overturned so we can protect the integrity of our electoral process and our 10th Amendment rights.” Local politicians immediately took sides in the department’s ruling, mostly along party lines. What exactly this means for Texas, another pre-clearance state that passed a voter ID law in 2011, remains to be seen, although a spokesman for the state’s attorney general told the Austin-American Statesman said the attorney genera is “prepared to take all necessary legal action to defend the voter ID law enacted by the Texas Legislature.” The Justice Dept. has not indicated when it will rule on Texas’ law, but local elections officials are anxiously awaiting the ruling in order to prepare for the 2012 election cycle. And although not a pre-clearance state, opponents of Tennessee’s new voter ID law were buoyed by the Justice Dept.’s ruling last week and hope that the fed decision will help spur an overturning of Tennessee’s law.
  • Late last week, a Marion County, Ind. judge ruled that Secretary of State Charlie White was ineligible to run for the state’s top elections job and that Democrat Vop Osili should be installed as secretary of state. Judge Louis Rosenberg ruled that White’s voter registration was in violation of state law. “The fact that Mr. White knowingly registered in the wrong precinct is sufficient to render him ineligible for the office of Secretary of State,” Rosenberg wrote in his ruling. Roseberg ruled White ineligible on Thursday the 22nd and on Friday the 23rd he issued a temporary stay on his ruling till December 29 giving time for White to file an appeal. Rosenberg ultimately moved the hearing to Jan. 3 because of the holiday schedule. The state’s attorney general has also said the state will appeal the ruling. The case could next go to the Indiana Court of Appeals although Indiana law does allow the state Supreme Court to take a case directly from the trial court if the case is of public importance. In an odd twist to the story, White’s father, Darrell White, is claiming that someone hacked his Facebook page and posted anti-Semitic comments about Rosenberg who is Jewish and a Democrat. The Facebook count has since been deleted.
  • Absentee ballots are in the mail — no really — in Florida this week for the Jan. 31 primary, but some long-time absentee voters might be wondering if their ballots got lost amongst the post-holiday circulars. A 2010 law eliminated automatically sending absentee ballots to voters who had requested them in the previous election and elections supervisors are concerned voters are unaware of the law change. “It’s dramatically decreased,” Seminole County Elections Supervisor Michael Ertel told the Orlando Sentinel. “The reason is, after the 2010 election, almost everybody’s absentee ballot request expired.” Ertel’s office has received only 2,366 requests so far from his county’s heavily Republican electorate, compared with 6,663 absentee ballots cast in the 2008 GOP presidential primary. Similarly, Palm Beach County reported 4,857 requests by mid-week, compared with 9,612 in the 2008 election.
  • Personnel News: By a unanimous vote, the Kentucky State Board of Elections fired longtime director Sarah Ball Johnson effective at the end of the year. Ball Johnson has served as the director for eight years and worked for the state board for 17 years. Outgoing Secretary of State Elaine Walker said the board’s attorney Maryellen Allen will serve as interim director. Ball Johnson told The Associated Press that she will miss the job, but is looking forward to new opportunities.
  • In Memoriam: Former Durham, Conn. Registrar of Voters Robert “Bob” Schulte passed away this week. He was 65. Schulte served as registrar for three years stepping down only earlier this year. Shirley E. Smith of Bristol Township, Pa. died late last week. She was 73. Smith was the voting machine inspector for many elections for Bristol.

IV. Opinions 

National: U.S. Dept. of Justice; U.S. Postal Service; Attorney General, II; Voter ID, II; Voting rights, II, III, IV, V; Vote fraud; Student voters, II

California: Elections website; Debra Bowen

Colorado: Voter ID

Florida: Voting restrictions; Early voting

Indiana: Voter ID; Primary process; Charlie White, II, III, IV, V, VI, VII, VIII

Maine: Ranked-choice voting

Maryland: Vote fraud

Mississippi: Voter ID

New Hampshire: Vote fraud

New Jersey: Ballot error

New York: Voting rights

North Carolina: Voter ID

Pennsylvania: Voting rights, II, III; Voter ID, II

South Carolina: Voter ID

Texas: Preclearance; Voter ID, II

Vermont: Student voters

West Virginia: Room for error; Vote fraud

Wisconsin: Government Accountability Board; Obstacles to voting; Election reforms; Voter access

**Some sites may require registration.

V. Job Openings

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 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.

Deputy City Clerk, City of Ann Arbor, Mich. —manages the election warehouse operations, including directing and assigning work to temporary election staff.  Testing and preparing all voting equipment for use in city, state and federal elections. Serves as City FOIA Coordinator, managing the Freedom of Information Act process and preparing all responses on behalf of the City. Assisting the City Clerk with all other management duties in the City Clerk’s Office, including acting as City Clerk in his/her absence. Qualifications: Bachelor’s degree in public administration, political science, or a related field; experience in county or municipal election administration: at least four years, inclusive of administration of a national election; one year supervisory experience (preferred); an equivalent combination of education and experience will be considered. Salary: $48,000-$65,000. Application: For more information and to apply, click here.

Deputy General Registrar, City of Richmond, Va. — provides administrative assistance and management support to the general registrar. The position is responsible for budget development and monitoring, personnel, payroll, purchasing, e-pollbook management, inventory monitoring and control, staff supervision, and some training. The position works within broad policy and organizational guidelines, independently plans and implements projects; reports progress of major activities through periodic conferences and meetings. Assumes the duties of the General Registrar in the absence of the General Registrar. Qualifications: Requires, Bachelor’s degree in public administration, business management, organizational development, project management or a related field; two years of experience in a public setting performing related duties; and 1 year of supervisory experience: OR, High school diploma; five years of progressively responsible administrative experience in a voter registration or election office, or closely related field; and three years of supervisory experience; or, any equivalent combination of training and experience (as approved by the department) that provides evidence that the applicant possesses the necessary Applicant  traits. Prior experience in voter registration or elections preferred. Successful candidate must be a resident of the Commonwealth of Virginia and qualified to register to vote at the time of appointment. No Special License or Certification required. Salary: $43,771-$71,898. Application: For complete job listing and application, click here. Deadline: Open until filled.

Election Training Coordinator, D.C. Board of Elections and Ethics — coordinates recruitment of polling officials. Maintains and manage the list of potential polling officials received from the voter information postcards, civic groups, volunteers, and related sources. Communicates with potential polling officials and conducts orientation meetings. Assists in the development of an election worker information, education and outreach program as a means of maintaining and monitoring the election work force. Salary: $62,499-$79,959. Application: Visit, click on “Career Opportunities” and search for keyword “election” or apply in person at the D.C. Department of Human Resources Job Center located in the South Lobby at 441 4th Street NW, Washington, D.C. 20001. Deadline: Open until filled.

General Registrar, City of Virginia Beach — seeking a qualified individual to fill an unexpired term ending June 30, 2015 as General Registrar.  The appointed incumbent will be required to take and sign the oath of office prescribed in Article II, Section 7 of the Constitution of Virginia before the Clerk or Deputy Clerk of Court or a Notary (§24.2-120). We are looking for an individual with advanced voter registration experience; experience managing a voter registration office; experience working with electronic poll books; experience working with Microsoft Office programs to include Word, Excel, and Access; supervisory experience; budgeting experience; experience working with a board of directors; public speaking experience; and a college degree in fields such as public administration, business administration, or similar disciplines. Qualifications for this position include any combination of education (above the high school level) and/or experience equivalent to eight (8) years in position(s) providing the knowledge, skills and abilities listed above and associated with such positions as Registrar, Assistant Registrar or voter registration office management; or any equivalent combination of experience and training which provides the required knowledge, skills and abilities.  Must be a registered voter in the Commonwealth of Virginia, be or become a City of Virginia Beach resident, have a valid Virginia driver’s license and be able to obtain a notary commission.  The General Registrar must file the signed oath with the Clerk of Court and a copy of the signed oath must be filed with the secretary of the Electoral Board and with the State Board of Elections (§24.2-120). Salary: $84,476. Application: For more information and to apply, click here. Deadline: Dec. 31.

Technology Scout/IT Visionary, Overseas Vote Foundation inspired technology guru/visionary/whiz to join our innovative team. Strong understanding of the competitive application development market, standard available and emerging technologies, solutions, and providers is essential in this position. Work with us to help define our technical direction and improvements. Qualifications: Web applications development experience; applications testing experience; content Management and redevelopment of webpages; website development; graphic design and HTML programming skills highly valued. Personal ability to define and document work plan is required. Self-motivation and inquisitive thinking will be especially valued. Detail orientation, artistic strengths, and perfectionist qualities are all a plus to this position. Must be a native English speaker. Estimated time per week: 10 hours. Type of Position: Volunteer, or monthly stipend for first 3 months. Salary: Freelance hourly or monthly thereafter. Must have own laptop. Location: Anywhere. Munich, Germany preferred but not required. Position available as of January 1, 2012. Application: Please submit resume and references. To Susan Dzieduszycka-Suinat,