I. In Focus This Week
Work Elections program aims to help fill the poll worker void
Nonpartisan online tool centralizes requirements and applications
The attention-grabbing headline in the Tulsa World this week said it all, “State in desperate need of poll workers, election officials say.”
“The bottom line is if we continue down the path we are on, I think you are headed for a crisis eventually in that there will not be enough poll workers, qualified poll workers, to run elections,” Paul Ziriax, secretary of the Oklahoma Election Board told the paper.
Oklahoma is not alone. Almost every day electionlineToday posts stories from counties and states throughout the country looking for poll workers.
High school students, college students, non-citizens (for language accessibility purposes), county employees, you name it, counties and states are trying to tap every resource possible to recruit poll workers, but still the need persists.
Now one project seeks to lend a hand by collecting poll worker applications and information from hundreds of counties and states in an effort to make it easier for local election officials and potential poll workers to connect.
Work Elections, developed with funding from the Knight Foundation’s Knight Prototype Fund aims to facilitate a national campaign to focus attention on the value of improving election administration by broadening and diversifying the poll of poll workers.
What is Work Elections?
Work Elections is a nonpartisan online tool that collects and centralizes poll worker requirements and applications. It currently has information for seven states’ local election jurisdictions (Arizona, California, Florida, Nevada, New Mexico, Ohio and Virginia) and statewide applications for a handful of other states. We hope to add jurisdiction pages for all 50 states in the future.
Why is Work Elections needed?
Many local election officials struggle to recruit a sufficient number of volunteers with the necessary technological and language skills needed to manage a polling place and help voters on Election Day. Additionally, many people who may be great candidates for poll worker positions may not know how to volunteer or what helping on Election Day entails.
Work Elections is a central source of simplified information for potential poll worker volunteers who may not know where or how to apply. By linking them directly to local jurisdictions, the website makes it easy for prospective poll workers to find what they need fast. We hope this will be a tool to help educate and recruit future poll workers.
What does a poll worker do for Election Day?
Tasks on Election Day depend on your position, but the general job of a poll worker is to prepare the polling place and voting machines, et voters, ensure order in the lines, check voters in to receive their ballot, issue the correct ballots and assist voters as necessary, among other tasks. Training is available for all poll workers so they will be prepared to help voters on Election Day.
Why should I use the Work Elections site rather than the information from my local elections office or secretary of state?
Many election offices and secretaries of states have great online resources for poll workers, but others don’t. Work Elections uses the information already available online and adds information like hours, compensation, and requirements that may not appear on their site. We also link users directly to each jurisdiction or state’s page for poll worker requirements, applications and staff contact information you can use. We have called each jurisdiction to make sure the information we offer is as accurate as possible.
I found the information about being a poll worker in my community… now what?
If your jurisdiction has an online application or a printable application, we included it on their page and you can use that to sign up. If an application isn’t available, you have other questions or would like to call your elections office to sign up to be a poll worker, that information is there as well.
I’m a local elections official who would like to update my jurisdiction’s information or add my jurisdiction to the site, what should I do?
II. Editor's Note
For almost 15 years, electionline.org has brought you all the election administration reform news and information of the day through electionlineToday and of the week through our weekly newsletter electionlineWeekly.
Because of the generosity of such organizations as The Pew Charitable Trusts, Democracy Fund and the Hewlett Foundation we were able to bring you that news and information for free and free of advertising.
In order to continue providing you with the important news of the day and week, beginning September 1 we will be offering monthly underwriting for our daily and weekly postings (think more NPR, less local radio and television).
Underwriting will be available for electionlineToday, the weekly email that reaches about 4,300 inboxes each week and the weekly newsletter.
We will accept underwriting from a variety of entities in the elections world, but will not accept political advertising.
Job posting and marketplace listings from elections offices seeking to sell/trade voting equipment will remain free of charge.
III. Election News This Week
- This week, the Riverside County, California’s District Attorney said that the someone, with access to voters’ personal information, used the state’s voter registration website and changed their party affiliation without the voter’s knowledge. According to the Press-Enterprise, the registrar of voter’s office received only two complaints about party switching, but the DA’s office said it received a few dozen complaints. DA Mike Hestrin told the Press-Enterprise that a a preliminary investigation revealed that someone with access to Social Security numbers and other private data went to the state’s voter registration website, pretended to be a voter and changed that voter’s affiliation.
- Ballots are in the mail in 15 Stevens County, Minnesota precincts that have decided to move to vote-by-mail for the 2016 election cycle. Under Minnesota state statute, all non-metropolitan townships can choose to offer balloting by mail rather than operating a polling place on Election Day. Cities with less than 400 registered voters are also eligible. Amanda Barsness, auditor/treasurer for Stevens County told the Morris Sun Tribune that man power — or lack there off — drove the switch. "It has become increasingly more difficult for some of the smaller townships to get the election judges they need," Barsness said. "It was very exciting to see that all of them were willing to take a shot at it and go for it."
- The Will County, Illinois clerk’s office will focus all of its attention on elections services on November 8 (and March 20, 2018 and Nov. 6, 2018) thanks to a new measure that will allow the clerk’s office to suspend all services that are not related to the election on those days. Services that will be suspended Nov. 8 include issuing marriage and civil union licenses; providing certified copies of birth, death and marriage certificates; and any back tax issues.
- New episodes of the talk show “Chelsea,” featuring comedienne Chelsea Handler debut on Netflix this week and the 2015 mayoral election in Bradenton Beach, Florida which ended in a tie and was settled by the card draws. During the tie-break, which was held in the Manatee County Supervisor of Elections office, William Shearon drew and ace of clubs and Jack Clark drew a 10 of clubs giving the mayoral seat to Shearon. “I kept emphasizing that every vote counts,” he said, “and that was the real spirit of it,” Shearon told The Bradenton Herald. “It was kind of a humbling experience in the respect that I thought it was just going to be like any local TV interview where they come and set up a camera and we talk. It was more involved than that.”
- Personnel News: Colleen Haag, Shelburne, Vermont’s town clerk is retiring after 34 years on the job. Shelly Growden, elections system manager for the state of Alaska has retired. Gail Schrader, the longtime Athens-Clarke County, Georgia director of elections and voter registration will retire effective Aug. 1.
IV. Research and Report Summaries
The New Realities of Voting by Mail in 2016 – The Bipartisan Policy Center, June 2016: This report includes recommendations for voters, election officials, lawmakers, and the postal service to ensure voting by mail is a secure and efficient option for casting ballots.
Issues Related to Registering Voters and Administering Elections - United States Government Accountability Office, June 2016: This report addresses three areas related to election administration including the benefits and challenges of collecting and sharing voter registration information electronically; the effect of policies such as same day registration and vote by mail on voter turnout; and the costs of elections. Findings include:
- The majority of studies about voting by mail and same day registration show an increase in voter turnout;
- Most studies of early in-person voting show no impact on voter turnout or a decrease in turnout.; and
- Election costs vary greatly by jurisdiction and are difficult to quantify.
V. Legislative Updates
California: Marie Waldron (R-Escondido) plans to introduce legislation designed to protect the voting records of individuals. “With new technology advancements come new levels of fraud and abuse,” Waldron said. “My legislation will update process and protections for voters in the new digital age.”
Also in California, SB450, which would send a mail ballot to every registered voter was approved by the Assembly Elections and Redistricting Committee.
Delaware: A bill that eliminates the require for ex-felons to complete all the monetary requirements of their sentences before having their voting rights restored has been approved by the General Assembly. Under Senate Bill 242, once a felon has completed the other terms of their sentence, they may have their rights restored even if they have outstanding financial obligations.
Illinois: Under a law signed by Gov. Bruce Rauner (R) on June 30, Illinois will now be a part of ERIC. State Sen. Terry Link, who sponsored the bill, said the system will not only modernize the state’s voter registration system but allow it to keep better track of voter records and ensure the election system’s integrity. Illinois is the 19th state and the District of Columbia to join ERIC.
U.S. Virgin Islands: The Senate has approved legislation that would move the Virgin Islands to a unitary elections board. Under the approved legislation, there will be one, unified elections board with 14 members — seven from each district.
VI. Legal Updates
Various: NPR has a primer on what cases to watch in the upcoming months and what impacts they may have on the November 2016 elections.
California: U.S. District Judge Charles R. Breyer refused to grant a motion from the California Council of the Blind for a preliminary injunction against San Mateo County and the state of California. The original suit claimed that the county and state were disenfranchising blind and visually impaired voters by using an all-paper absentee ballot pilot program.
Iowa: In a 4-3 decision, the Iowa Supreme Court ruled that all felonies are “infamous crimes” and therefore all ex-felons remain permanently disenfranchised under the state constitution. "This ruling goes in line with 150 years of precedence and has been reaffirmed by the people of Iowa and their elected representatives on multiple occasions," Iowa Secretary of State Paul Pate said in a statement. Some lawmakers and civil rights groups vow to change the state law and amend the constitution.
Louisiana: VOTE — Voice of the Ex-Offender has filed suit in the 19th Judicial District seeking to restore voting rights to nearly 70,000 Louisiana citizens. The lawsuit, which names Gov. John Bel Edwards and Secretary of State Tom Schedler as defendants, takes aim at a law passed in 1976 that altered the definition of who may vote so that it excludes people on probation or parole. The lawsuit claims that law was passed improperly and that the state constitution, as written and approved in 1974, actually afforded voting rights to probationers and parolees.
New Jersey: The New Jersey Court of Appeals rejected a challenge to the state’s voter registration deadline. The Rutgers University Student Association had argued that the state’s 21-day registration deadline is no longer needed because of electronic systems to verify registrations.
North Carolina: A three-judge panel of the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals has ruled 2-1 that new voting maps for the Wake County board of commissioners and board of education are unconstitutional because they violate equal representation. Candidate filing for the November election was set to start Friday, but that now is in limbo.
Wisconsin: After nine days of trial, Judge James Peterson heard closing remarks in Wisconsin’s voter ID law challenge. During closing arguments, Peterson said, “Both the Democratic side and the Republican side probably overstated or over-predicted the impact the voter ID law would have on elections,” adding that he doesn't see "anything powerful either way." Peterson said he will rule by the end of July.
VII. Tech Thursday
Arizona: Portions of the Arizona Secretary of State’s website remain down this week. In addition to the secretary of state’s site being down, there are reports that a county computer had been compromised by malicious malware. The FBI are investigating. The projected date to have the state’s online voter registration back up and running is July 8.
California: Los Angeles County unveiled a prototype of its new voting system that according to designers was the product of dozens of earlier prototypes and feedback from more than 3,500 voters. Under the new system, voters would make their choice on electronic machines, that would then print the ballot for voter review and the voter would then feed the ballot back into the machine for tabulation.
VIII. Opinions This Week
Georgia: Early voting
Massachusetts: Early voting
Minnesota: Ballot burning
North Carolina: On-campus voting site
Ohio: Voting rights
Oklahoma: Poll workers
Oregon: Secretary of state race
Pennsylvania: Voter registration
Texas: Voter ID
Utah: Election reform
IX. Available Funding/Awards
2016 Baxter Award for Election Practitioner
The International Foundation for Electoral Systems' (IFES) Joe C. Baxter Award recognizes the contribution of a professional whose skills, dedication and sacrifices to the field of election administration epitomize the mission of IFES and embody the spirit of former IFES Senior Adviser for Election Administration Joe C. Baxter. Baxter had a firm commitment to the principles of local ownership, transparency and sustainability of electoral administration.
The Baxter Award honors an election practitioner with a proven track record of exceptional dedication to empowering people to have a say in the way they are governed. IFES presents the Baxter Award annually to one individual at a ceremony typically held in concurrence with IFES' U.S. Election Program or Chief of Party Conference.
The recipient of the Baxter Award must agree to receive the award personally at IFES' ceremony.
X. Upcoming Events
National Association of Secretaries of State Summer Conference — NASS will hold its annual summer meeting in Nashville this year. Agenda programming will include: policy discussions on important issues facing secretaries of state, idea-sharing panels highlighting best practices in state programming, sessions designed for professional development and networking, induction of national officers for the 2016-2017 cycle and excursions to explore Tennessee and learn more about the culture and state government. When: July 14-17. Where: Nashville, Tennessee. For more information and to register, click here.
National Association of State Election Directors Summer Conference — the 2016 NASED summer conference will be held in Nashville, Tennessee. Details about the event are still being hammered out, so be sure to check the website often. When: July 14-17. Where: Nashville, Tennessee. For more information, click here.
National Association of Counties Annual Conference — NACo’s Annual Conference and Exposition provides an opportunity for all county leaders and staff to learn, network and guide the direction of the association. The 2016 Annual Conference is hosted by Los Angeles County. The conference will be held at the Long Beach Convention Center. Attending the Annual Conference provides member county officials with the opportunity to vote on NACo’s policies related to federal legislation and regulation; elect officers; network with colleagues; learn about innovative county programs; learn more about issues impacting counties across the country; and view products and services from participating companies and exhibitors. When: July 22-25. Where: Long Beach, California. For more information and to register, click here.
National Conference of State Legislators Summer Meeting — the 2016 Legislative Summit will be held in Chicago. The elections portion will include: Politics 2016: State Election Preview, Evaluating Elections, What to Do If You’ve Got a Disputed Election, Technology: Improving Elections One Bit or Byte at a Time? And Helping our Military Vote. When: Aug. 8-11. Where: Chicago. For more information and to register, click here.
Election Center Annual Conference— Conference attendees will be inspired and energized as we head into the stretch of the Presidential Election year. We will share substantive elections issues including crucial information from federal agencies to local election of cials sharing practical information for day to day election administration operations. This is the also the time to honor and celebrate the winners of the Election Center’s acclaimed Professional Practices Papers’ Program. You will not only hear the winning presentations but you will take home all of the innovative programs and ideas that were submitted by your colleagues in other jurisdictions around the country. When: Aug. 16-20. Where: Philadelphia. For more information and to register, click here.
XI. Job Postings This Week
Associate Director, Virginia Public Access Project, Richmond, Virginia— make a difference with a nonprofit organization that plays a high-profile role bringing transparency to Virginia politics. We’re looking for someone with a strong interest in politics, but because we’re fiercely nonpartisan, you must be willing to check your personal views at the door. This is a multi-faceted position in an organization that operates in a data-rich environment. You must be comfortable moving between communications, nonprofit fundraising and data analysis. We’re looking for someone who is bright, curious, eager to learn, analytical and motivated by a desire to make a difference. Deadline: July 8. Application: For the complete job listing and to apply, click here.
Customer Relations Manager, Dominion Voting Systems, San Leandro, California — Dominion Voting Systems is seeking a highly motivated and enthusiastic, Customer Relations Manager, to be based in our San Leandro, California office! This position will be responsible for supporting customers by partnering with the sales and operations teams to exceed customer needs and requirements; addressing and resolving customer concerns; and, identifying ways to implement preventive measures for continuous process improvement. Salary: Negotiable base + bonus target & benefits. Deadline: Open until filled. Application: For the complete job listing and to apply, click here.
Customer Relations Manager, New Jersey (Remote) — Dominion Voting Systems is seeking a highly motivated and enthusiastic Customer Relations Manager to work remotely and be based in New Jersey! This position will be responsible for supporting customers by partnering with the sales and operations teams to exceed customer needs and requirements; address and resolve customer concerns; and, identify ways to implement preventive measures for continuous process improvement. Salary: Negotiable base + bonus target & benefits. Deadline: Open until filled. Application: For the complete job listing and to apply, click here.
Deputy Registrar, Manassas, Virginia — conducts local, state and federal elections and performs the duties of the General Registrar in his or her absence. Executes and supervises the recruitment, appointment, oaths, official policies, training and payroll of election officials who work the polls. Processes voter registration applications and administers absentee voting both in person and by mail, email, and fax. Creates Voter Photo IDs; programs electronic poll books for precinct use and trains election officials on their operation. Produces reports and statistics as assigned; creates official advertisements for upcoming elections and registration deadlines; prepares City election results for news media and the public. Assists the General Registrar and Electoral Board in ascertaining election results. Salary: $55,574. Deadline: Open until filled. Application: For the complete job listing and to apply, click here.
Policy and Compliance Supervisor, Virginia Department of Elections — the Department of Elections (ELECT) is seeking a qualified individual to manage a diverse staff and projects and oversees the work of the policy analysts to ensure uniformity in the practices and proceedings and legality and purity in all elections. Serve as liaison to the State Board of Elections, ensuring Board promulgated policies and regulations are properly implemented and maintained. Coordinate the work associated with the legislative session; ensuring the accuracy of and timely submission of analysis/documents, and the implementation of enacted legislation. Salary: $42,614-$75,000. Deadline: June 30. Application: For the complete job listing and to apply, click here.
Product Specialist, Denver, Colorado — Dominion Voting Systems is seeking a tech-savvy and passionate, Product Specialist, to be based in our downtown Denver, Colorado office. This role is responsible for responsible for the installation, operation, repair, and maintenance of all Dominion Voting Systems elections products; providing elections support services and customer training; and interfacing directly with customers, co-workers and election officials. Salary: Negotiable base + bonus target & benefits. Deadline: Open until filled. Application: For the complete job listing and to apply, click here.
Program Officer, Civic Engagement and Government, Ford Foundation —program Officer will particularly inform work on expanding democratic participation—promoting increased and greater representation in elections and shape agendas to reflect the public interest. In collaboration with the Director and team members, the Program Officer will develop a body of work primarily focused on promoting voting rights and other aspects of inclusive non-partisan democratic practice in the United States, that address underlying structural drivers and rules of the game, and seek longer term, more durable change (rather than tactical gains in particular electoral cycles). Opportunities to be addressed may include promoting government’s role in registering voters, strategic litigation, increasing participation and debate in primaries, and developing pathways that connect voting with issues that people care about. The Program Officer will also contribute to CEG efforts that seek to democratize the role of money in politics; and develop, test and demonstrate models of powerful civic engagement with government that build strategic civic capability, achieve policy outcomes, help make government more responsive, and over time contribute to increased trust in government. The Program Officer will work under the direct supervision of the Director of Civic Engagement and Government, and be part of the CEG team. The Program Officer will assess the CEG field, identify key ecosystems and work with various actors and other funders to analyze challenges and opportunities, seek rigorous evidence about program effectiveness, identify levers of change, and play a leading role in shaping specific grant activities. The Program Officer will share substantive knowledge with Foundation colleagues; collaborate broadly across CEG and other thematic areas; serve as a ‘connector’ of grantees, promote thoughtful learning; and work with practitioners, government officials, scholars, NGOs, other donors and corporate sector leaders on issue of common concern to leverage positive impact toward common goals. Deadline: July 8. Application: For the complete job listing and to apply, click here.
Project Manager, Hart InterCivic — project managers at Hart InterCivic are highly motivated “self-starters” who are enthusiastic about providing exceptional customer service. Working with other members of the Professional Services and Operations teams, the project manager directs activity, solves problems and develops lasting and strong relationships with our customers. Hart InterCivic’s unique and industry known culture of innovation, transparency and customer-centric focus creates an environment where team members will continually grow and be challenged to develop their careers. Deadline: Open until filled. Application: For the complete job listing and to apply, click here.
Proposal Writer, Clear Ballot, Boston— newly created proposal writer position will be part of a dedicated team producing competitive responses to State and County government RFPs. Responsibilities and Tasks: Write engaging content about technical subjects; format final documents using the company style sheet; collaborate with a team of subject matter experts; edit proposal drafts; respond to deadlines and move quickly; contribute to a database of response text, figures and technical descriptions and benefit from professional growth opportunities. Deadline: Open until filled. Application: For the complete job listing and to apply, click here.
Registrar, Greene County, Virginia—duties include those outlines in Virginia Code Sec. 24,2-114, as well as those assigned by the local electoral board. Candidates must possess knowledge of cutting edge technology and the ability to assist the public in a professional manner. Additional skills include familiarity with local government, accounting, standard office procedures, federal/state election laws, managements skills, public relations and good oral/written communication skills. Salary: $45,557. Deadline: July 11. Application: For the complete job listing and to apply, click here.
RMA Support Consultant, Hart InterCivic — an RMA Support Consultant responds to all return material authorization requests from Hart InterCivic internal and external customers for all Hart Voting System products. The person in this position must possess the ability to communicate effectively with customers, suppliers, or employees. Essential responsibilities include: Acquires a functional level of knowledge for all Hart InterCivic products and their modules; manages and organizes information and documentation for customer issues; applies advanced knowledge of computer software tools to problem-solving situations; knowledge of standard ticket tracking software is a must; in-depth knowledge of standard inventory warehouse processes and procedures; stays informed on support methodologies; keeps up with revisions to any relevant materials (Agile ECOs and effectivity); works cooperatively with Hart InterCivic field personnel to insure customer satisfaction; complies with, and keeps up with changes in, Hart InterCivic policies, procedures and regulations; other duties as assigned. Deadline: Opening until filled. Application: For the complete job listing and to apply, click here.
Software Developer II, Denver, Colorado & Toronto, Ontario — Dominion Voting Systems is seeking a highly technical and passionate Software Developer II to be based in either our downtown Denver office or our downtown Toronto office! This position will be responsible for providing high-level technical expertise to design development, coding, testing and debugging of new voting system software and/or significant enhancements to existing software for our customers. This position will work on a team utilizing an Agile development environment. Salary: Negotiable base + bonus target & benefits. Deadline: Open until filled. Application: For the complete job listing and to apply, click here.
Technical Writer, Clear Ballot, Boston — our small and growing team of technical communicators has an immediate need for a new member with intermediate-to-senior experience. Documentation is key to success in the election systems domain. Deliverables include tasks and supporting information, and, highly scrutinized specifications and plans. All products and their documentation are certified by federal or state agencies; evaluation is performed by demanding government laboratories. Once products are certified, documentation supports the work of users under pressure whose skills range the technical spectrum. Key Responsibilities: Work collaboratively with fellow communicators and the Engineering, Quality Assurance, Technical Support, Compliance/Certification, Business Development, and Executive Management functions; develop deep understanding of the federal regulations governing voting systems, and, the ability to interpret issues raised by delegated federal and state reviewers in partnership with Compliance/Certification; meet governmental standards and write appropriately for target audiences: voters, poll workers, election officials and their technical staff, and voting system test laboratories; quickly grasp complex technical concepts and make them easily understandable through prose and graphics; deal gracefully with multitasking and constant change; create and modify single-sourced, conditionalized, reusable content in MadCap Flare; adhere and contribute to working styles and standards, information architecture, and documentation production process; and respond to documentation tickets. Deadline: Open until filled. Application: For the complete job listing and to apply, click here.