I. In Focus This Week
As summer unofficially comes to a close this weekend, we're taking a little break from posting a main news story in electionlineWeekly.
All the news from the week and the current job opportunities can still be found in the sections in the righthand column though.
We'll be back next week with a new feature story on Thursday in electionlineWeekly.
Enjoy your long weekend!
II. Electionline Underwriting
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 4,800 inboxes each week and the weekly newsletter. Underwriting is available on a per-month basis and costs $2,500 per section per month. The underwriting is available on a first come, first-served basis. Each section will be exclusive to one underwriter per month.
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. Primary Updates
Compared to the presidential primary back in March, things were relatively quiet during Arizona’s state and federal primary this week, although that doesn’t mean it was without incident.
The biggest storyline out primary day is the state’s new $750,000 results reporting website was unable to keep up with demand and those attempting to use the site were often greeted with an error message instead of election results. A spokesman for the secretary of state’s office said that while it was unclear if website traffic caused problems, there were issues uploading files from some county recorders.
In Maricopa County, an election worker mistakenly left a ballot bag at a polling place in Glendale. The bag, with its security seal still in place, was discovered Wednesday morning.
Also in Maricopa County, while the race is still close and there are ballots still to be counted, long-time Recorder Helen Purcell is currently behind in her efforts to get re-elected.
And while many people may think the 2016 election cycle has gone to the dogs, in Phoenix that was literally the case. When poll workers arrived at one polling place they were greeted by a pack of dogs. The dogs were removed by a maintenance worker before voters began arriving.
Also in Phoenix, voting was briefly halted when police evacuated a polling place while searching for a suspect in a domestic violence incident.
Things weren’t so sunny in some parts of the Sunshine State as voters headed to the polls on Tuesday, although the major impacts of a predicted tropical storm failed to materialize on Tuesday. Although the weather didn’t cause many problems, there were some issues that rained on Florida’s primary parade.
In Broward County, early voting results were posted to the county’s website about 40 minutes before the polls closed at 7 p.m. Because it is a felony to release results while voters are still casting ballots, county prosecutors are now reviewing how it happened.
Seminole County voters in at least seven different precincts were told that they had already voted when they showed up Tuesday morning even though they had not. Seminole County Supervisor of Elections Mike Etrell said human error caused the problem: someone did not properly code the iPads used for check-in. The iPads were stuck on the March election. "It's really an anomaly for this one election," Etrell told WESH.
Officials in Polk County had to fire an election worker on the spot after the poll worker told an independent voter that they were not allowed to cast a ballot.
A software glitch delayed the vote count in Lake County for several hours. While early voting results were posted as soon as the polls closed, primary day results did not start posting till about 9 p.m.
Results were also late in coming in St. Lucie County and as you can imagine, social media went a bit nuts.
And in a case of headlines colliding, one polling place in Miami had to be moved at the last minute from the city’s botanical garden to the City Hall because the area was undergoing mosquito-spraying to combat the recent Zika outbreak.
Residents of Guam went to the polls to cast their primary ballots on Saturday. According to Maria Pangelinan, executive director of the Guam Election Commission, although there were some issues, overall things went well this weekend.
Some voters did experience some confusion in the Dededo and Yigo precincts because the precincts were broken up to avoid overcrowding, but they weren’t split by location, instead they were split by last name and that created some confusion.
During counting one ballot counter went down and about 1,000 ballots were spoiled due to crossover voting.
IV. Election News This Week
- The U.S. Department of Homeland Security has created the Election Infrastructure Cybersecurity Working Group. According to DHS, the effort is designed to assist states in managing the cybersecurity risks to election and voting systems in coordination with the U.S. Election Assistance Commission, the National Institute of Standards and Technology and the U.S. Department of Justice. The National Association of Secretaries of State made four appointments to the working group. The appointees are Secretary of State Denise Merrill (D-Connecticut), Secretary of State Connie Lawson (R-Indiana), Secretary of State Alex Padilla (D-California) and Secretary of State Brian Kemp (R-Georgia).
- This week the Federal Bureau of Investigation announced that Russian hackers may be responsible for infiltrating the voter registration databases in Arizona and Illinois. Following the announcement, media outlets in just about every state approached elections officials about the security of their systems. We’ll have more for you about that next week. In the meantime, the National Conference of State Legislatures has a primer for what legislators should be asking their elections officials about elections security.
- In response to concerns raised by Wisconsin election officials, this week the state’s Division of Motor Vehicles said the state will use overnight mail to get people voting credentials in order to make sure they can vote. Because not all IDs are immediately available at the DMV some voters have to wait until they are mailed. Members of the state’s new Elections Commission expressed their concerns this week about the lag time to get the IDs. According to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, Michael Haas, director of the commission, said he expects his staff to develop an outreach plan by next week that will emphasize that people can get voting credentials in one trip to the DMV.
- Recently election officials in Prince William County, Virginia rented billboard space to urge commuters who may not be able to make to the polls on November 8 to apply for an absentee ballot. The billboard is located at a busy commuter intersection, but some have pointed out that the signs location—about 200 feet away from the intersection—makes it difficult for drivers to see. The billboard cost $3,262 to rent.
- A fire broke out just before 6 p.m. on August 31 in the Erie County, New York Board of Elections offices and caused about $275,000 worth of damage. Despite the damage price tag, officials weren’t concerned about the impact this may have on the Sept. 13 primary. Board of elections staff were working late when the fire broke out. No one was hurt and no critical hardware (voting machines) or software was damaged.
- Mi Familia Vota, a nonpartisan voter registration group is partnering with Arizona’s largest Spanish-language television and radio stations to produce a media campaign aimed at boosting Hispanic voter registration. The spot is set to air about 2,500 times through Election Day on Univision and Telemundo affiliates in the state. The spots feature DJs and talk show hosts from popular Spanish-language radio stations.
- And while we’re talking about vote rigging/hacking and since it’s right before a long holiday weekend when people might be raising a glass to toast the end of summer, Vine Pair — a website about wine, beer and cocktails—has an interesting piece on the history of using alcohol to buy votes in this country.
- Personnel News: Keith Rutledge has been hired to serve as the new Arkansas state board of election commissioners executive director. Michael Fitzgibbons has been removed as chairman of the Sevier County, Tennessee election commission. The Tuscarawas County, Ohio board of elections has recommended Allan Sayre to serve as the county’s new elections director. Robert Kando has been fired from his job as executive director of the Rhode Island board of elections.
V. Legislative Updates
California: Senate Bill 450 now awaits the signature (or veto) of Gov. Jerry Brown (D). Under the approved legislation, California would move to the Colorado-model of running elections with all vote-by-mail and election day vote centers for those who still like the idea of casting their ballot in person. If signed into law beginning in 2018 counties would mail every voter a ballot, offer drop box locations countywide and provide vote center locations for registration and voting up to 10 days before an election.
Another bill awaiting Brown’s signature is Assembly Bill 1921. This bill removes language in existing law that prohibits anyone other than an immediate family member from submitting a ballot on behalf of a voter. The bill allows anyone to submit a ballot on behalf of anyone else and also does not limit the number of ballots that one person may submit.
VI. Legal Updates
Arizona: In response to a lawsuit filed in Pima County Superior Court, the county elections department will hold onto digital images of ballots cast during this week’s primary, despite a policy for clearing them out daily after results are tabulated. The suit alleges that the county is required to hold onto those images for at least 22 months.
California: U.S. District Judge William Alsup has dismissed a suit brought by Bernie Sanders supporters as moot since the election was two months ago. In an attempt to keep the lawsuit alive following the primary, plaintiffs said they were shifting their focus to 2020.
Kansas: An unsuccessful candidate in this August’s Democratic primary is asking the Kansas Supreme Court to order Douglas County court officials to summon a grand jury to investigate Secretary of State Kris Kobach. After Douglas County Chief Judge Robert Fairchild rejected the petition, Steven X. Davis filed a motion with the state’s highest court.
Missouri: Circuit Judge Rex Burlison has refused to dismiss a case that could result in a new election for state representative in St. Louis. “In spite of …testimony, nothing has changed. As we acknowledged last week, we are reviewing the allegations of voter fraud. Beyond that, the Circuit Attorney does not discuss the status or process used to investigate criminal allegations.”
North Carolina: The U.S. Department of Justice filed a brief with the Supreme Court endorsing a lower court’s decision to strike down election reforms in North Carolina including eliminating voter ID, reinstating early voting and same day registration. On Wednesday, a divided Supreme Court refused the emergency request from the state to reinstate the law meaning that most voters will not need an ID to cast a ballot in November.
Ohio: The Ohio Democratic Party will ask the U.S. Supreme Court to reinstate Golden Week. The party expects to file the appeal with the high court within the next few days.
Texas: U.S. District Judge Nelva Gonzales Ramos has denied Attorney General Ken Paxton’s request to delay setting a date for a hearing on the state’s voter ID law. According to The Dallas Morning News, Gonzales Ramos said she will hold a hearing in January. Paxton had requested that a date be set no earlier than August 2017 to give the Legislature time to make changes to the state's law.
Utah: Judge Lyle Anderson has ruled that while Wayne County Deputy Clerk Coral Brinkerhoff illegally helped her husband win his campaign for county commission, that the election will not be voided. "Mrs. Brinkerhoff not only failed to be careful in separating her work on (her husband's) campaign from her duties as county clerk, but improperly used her position to benefit (his) campaign," Anderson concluded. But Anderson failed to void the election because he said the clerk’s action impacted 45 votes and David Brinkerhoff won by 55 votes.
Virginia: The Virginia GOP has filed a contempt-of-court motion against Gov. Terry McAuliffe (D) for his recent action to reinstate the voting rights of 13,000 ex-felons. McAuliffe said that he reinstated those rights individually, as the court ordered, but Republicans argue that McAuliffe’s workaround is no different than his original order.
West Virginia: In his appeal to the state’s highest court to gain access to the ballot as an independent candidate for Kanawha County clerk, former state senator Erik Wells said his 1st and 14th amendment rights are being violated.
Wisconsin: The full 7th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled in favor of Wisconsin’s voter ID law meaning that barring an appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court, the state’s voter ID will be in place in November and beyond. The court found that the affidavit process was unnecessary because the state had broadened the number of acceptable IDs in order to cast a ballot.
VII. Tech Thursday
National Tech: Voto Latino has launched an Android version of their VoterPal voter registration app. An Apple version of the app was launched back in March during SXSW.
Ohio: The Ohio Voter Information app is now available for Android and Apple products. The app can be customized to include personal voting information. Access to residence addresses currently on file, voting history, the status of your absentee ballot, polling place information and viewing of available sample ballots for upcoming elections will be included. It is also possible to update address information, if needed.
Oregon: This week, Jackson County, Oregon, became the ninth county in Oregon to employ Clear Ballot’s ClearVote voting system. “The efficiencies realized by Clear Ballot’s digital adjudication process are perfect for our vote by mail system” noted Jackson County Clerk Christine Walker. “Our ability to reduce or eliminate manual processes will result in significant cost savings for the County such that it will pay for itself in a few election cycles.”
VIII. Opinions This Week
National Opinions: Poll watching | Voter fraud | Election Performance Index | Cybersecurity, II, III, IV | Voter ID | Voting Rights Act | Electoral map | Hacked election, II | Rigged election, II | Voting rights | Paper ballots
Alabama: Voter fraud
Arizona: Database hack
Arkansas: On-campus voting site
Connecticut: Voter conspiracy
Guam: Voting rights
Indiana: Porter County
Kansas: Kris Kobach
Maine: Ranked choice voting
Massachusetts: Online voting
New Jersey: Close elections
New York: Hospitalized voters
North Dakota: Election Performance Index
Oregon: Secretary of state race
Pennsylvania: Voter fraud
Vermont: Early voting
IX. Upcoming Events
National Voter Registration Day — In 2008, 6 million Americans didn’t vote because they missed a registration deadline or didn’t know how to register. In 2016, we want to make sure no one is left out. On September 27, 2016, volunteers, celebrities, and organizations from all over the country will “hit the streets” for National Voter Registration Day. This single day of coordinated ﬁeld, technology and media efforts will create pervasive awareness of voter registration opportunities–allowing us to reach tens of thousands of voters who we could not reach otherwise. When: September 27th. Where: Nationwide. For more information, click here.
X. Job Postings This Week
Customer Relations Manager, Dominion Voting Systems, Chicago, Illinois— Dominion Voting Systems is seeking a highly motivated and enthusiastic, Customer Relations Manager, based in the Chicago, Illinois area! This position will be responsible for providing world-class customer service in order to achieve our core purpose of delivering solutions for the advancement of fair, accessible, and secure elections! You will problem solve, collaborate, create and improve processes, and make our customers successful in the execution of seemingly impossible tasks. Excitement lives here!. Salary: Negotiable base + bonus target & benefits. Deadline: Open until filled. Application: For the complete job listing and to apply click here.
Manufacturing Engineer III, Toronto, Ontario — Dominion Voting Systems is seeking an experienced and passionate, Manufacturing Engineer III, to join our team in downtown Toronto! This position will work with Contract Manufacturer's (CM's) Engineering Teams to develop, implement and maintain methods, operation sequence and processes for the manufacture of parts, components, sub-assemblies and final assemblies; Interface with design engineering, estimating, determining time standards and making recommendations on product lines; Provide technical support to CM's engineering teams; and Maintain records and reporting systems for coordination of manufacturing operations and accountable for on-site monitoring and audit of CM’s manufacturing processes to help identify and resolve issues causing defects and affecting product quality. Salary: Negotiable base + bonus target & benefits. Deadline: Open until filled. Application: For the complete job listing and to apply, click here.
Product Manager (Owner), Toronto, Ontario — Dominion Voting Systems is seeking an motivated and experienced, Product Manager (Owner), to join our team in downtown Toronto! This position will be responsible for managing the planning, forecasting and marketing of one or more products at all stages of the product lifecycle; Investigating, selecting, and developing the products by considering such factors as intended market, products offered by the competition and how well the product fits with the company's business model. This position may be assigned a jurisdiction to coordinate a Requirements Elicitations and Gap Analysis (REGA). Salary: Negotiable base + bonus target & benefits. Deadline: Open until filled. 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.
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.
Senior Data Architect, Virginia Department of Elections — the Department of Elections (ELECT) is seeking a qualified individual to plan, design and manage ELECT data extraction processes to ensure accuracy, completeness, integrity, security and efficiency of the ELECT processes. Implements policies, standards and procedures relating to data structures, performance, security and auditing. Possess the knowledge, skills and abilities to manage processes, databases and other applications written by a third-party. Also, works closely with our vendors, developers and business analysts for successful election management. Salary: $70,000-$110,000. Deadline: Open until filled. Application: For the complete job listing and to apply, click here.
Senior Project Manager, Denver, Colorado — Dominion Voting Systems is seeking an experienced, well-organized and passionate Senior Project Manager to join our team in downtown Denver! This position will be responsible for overseeing the successful execution of assigned projects in the State of Colorado as well as managing a team of local and remote employees. This position is critical to the success of our customers throughout the State of Colorado. Salary: Negotiable base + bonus target & benefits. Deadline: Open until filled. Application: For the complete job listing and to apply, click here.
Senior UI/UX Designer, Toronto, Ontario — Dominion Voting Systems is seeking a talented and passionate, Senior UI/UX Designer, to join our team in downtown Toronto! This position will be tasked with creating an easy-to-use voting experience for voters and election workers. The ideal candidate should have an eye for clean and artful design, possess superior UI skills and be able to translate high-level requirements into intuitive and functional user interfaces. Salary: Negotiable base + bonus target & benefits. Deadline: Open until filled. Application: For the complete job listing and to apply, click here.
Senior Software Developer, Lead, Toronto, Ontario — Dominion Voting Systems is seeking highly technical and passionate, Senior Software Developer, Lead to join our team in downtown Toronto! 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 Lead 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.
Software Developer II, Toronto, Ontario — Dominion Voting Systems is seeking a talented and passionate, Software Developer II, to join our team in downtown Toronto! 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.