I. In Focus This Week
Exit interviews with Secretaries McCulloch and Tenant
The New Year will bring new elections leadership in several states (with Maggie Toulouse Oliver already in place in New Mexico), but before the new bosses take office, we sat down with two departing secretaries of state Montana’s Linda McCulloch and West Virginia’s Natalie Tennant.
McCulloch and Tennant were both elected the secretary of state’s office in their respective states in 2008 and both were re-elected in 2012. McCulloch was term-limited and could not seek re-election in 2016 and Tennant was defeated for a third term.
Both women were pioneers in very different ways. McCulloch was the first, and will remain for now, the only woman to ever hold the secretary of state’s office in Montana. Tennant because the first and one of only two women to serve as the school mascot for West Virginia University which garnered her national news coverage in 1990.
Tennant and McCulloch were both active on the national stage in the field of elections and both of them saw the implementation of numerous elections-related measures in their states during their tenure.
While we look forward to working with their successors, electionline will miss both McCulloch and Tennant who have always been responsive and open and true advocates for elections.
II. Electionline Holiday Schedule
Due to the upcoming holidays, we’ll be altering our schedule a bit.
From December 27 through December 30, electionlineToday will publish each day by 9 a.m. instead of our typical 6 a.m. Also, due to the holidays, electionlineToday will NOT publish on December 26 and January 2, 2017.
III. 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 we are now 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.
IV. Election News This Week
Following an issue-plagued election, the Tulare County board of supervisors have appointed a new registrar of voters and created a new county department to oversee elections. The board voted 5-0 to create the new office and appoint Michelle Baldwin as the interim registrar. According to The Fresno Bee, on Election Day, Tulare County Auditor-Controller Rita Woodard came under intense scrutiny when several polling places experienced long lines, a shortage of ballots, and in some cases wrong ballots being given to voters. Woodard told The Bee the board’s action to remove the registrar of voters duties from her office does not bother her. “I think the board made a good decision, and I wish Michelle Baldwin all the luck in the world,” she said.
According to the Denton Record-Chronicle, Judge Mary Horn submitted a letter Tuesday to the head of elections with the Texas Secretary of State’s office requesting a formal review of processes Denton County, Texas used in its Nov. 8 general election. The letter asks office of elections director Keith Ingram to conduct a review in early January. Additionally, it specifies that the county will make elections personnel and documents readily available for the review.
Washington might be a vote-by-mail state, but during the most recent election more than half of the voters who cast ballots chose to drop them off at ballot drop boxes instead of in the mail box. According to King County officials, more than 90 percent of King County residents live within three miles of a drop box.
Oh my. It’s been a bad year for many people for many reasons and 2016 just got a bit worse for the St. Croix board of elections when their final meeting of the year ended in chaos with multiple motions made to unseat the current chairwoman and at some point in time, a new chairman being appointed.
A 2014 election controversy in Mineral County, Nevada is finally over with no changes in the outcome. Ultimately 178 votes cast on one machine during early voting were not counted, but that did not change the result. According to KOLO, when current Clerk-Treasurer Chris Nepper released all the materials from the 2014 election to the public for review, a small group of people recounted the votes and the results remained the same.
Personnel News: Hays County, Texas Elections Administrator and Voter Registrar Joyce Cowan will retire on December 31 after 31 years on the job. Lisa Terry, Montville, Connecticut clerk will retire on December 31 after nearly 20 years on the job. Brenda Griffith has announced that she not seek a new term on the Defiance County, Ohio board of elections. After first being appointed to the job in 1965, Priscilla Sterrett was recently re-elected to another term as Sandstone Township, Michigan clerk. She has been on the job for 51 years! Matthew Clyne has been reappointed as the Democratic elections commissioner in Albany County, New York. Mildred Davis was recently honored by Iowa Secretary of State Paul Pate for being the longest serving election worker in the state. She started working the polls in Woodbury County in 1960. Edison Wauneak is the Apache County, Arizona recorder. He had previously served at the elections director for the Navajo Nation for 14 years. Connie Viar is the new Montgomery County, Virginia registrar of voters effective March 1. Fred Pitts has been appointed to the Tupelo, Mississippi election commission. Joan Kirk is retiring as the Fremont County, Iowa auditor after 12 years on the job.
V. Legislative Updates
Alabama: Rep. Craig Ford (D-Gadsden) is planning to introduce a bill that would bring early voting to The Yellowhammer State. Ford’s bill would require probate judges to set up an early voting location in each county, which would be open at least five days in the two weeks leading up to the election.
Connecticut: Rep. William Tong (D-Stanford) has committed to introducing a bill to allow early voting in The Nutmeg State as soon as the session begins in January.
Florida: Rep. Janet Cruz (D-Tampa) has filed legislation that will allow voters to fix mismatching signatures on their vote-by-mail ballots so they can be counted. It would require supervisors and their staff to allow submission of an affidavit to cure signature discrepancies.
Maryland: The Aberdeen City Council has finally decided on a way to determine tied elections. Under a unanimous vote, the council approved a charter amendment that will force tied elections to a runoff election. The amendment is the result of a tied election 13 months ago that had no way of being resolved.
Montana: Rep. Kathy Swanson has introduced House Bill 86 which would allow high school students to serve as election judges.
North Carolina: During a special session, the North Carolina Legislature approved a bill, which outgoing Gov. Pat McCrory signed, that creates a single board that oversees the state’s ethics, lobbying and elections administration. According to WRAL, Republican sponsors said the law is aimed at creating a bipartisan panel to oversee all the decisions, but the eight-member board would need six votes to take any action.
VI. Legal Updates
Florida: The Florida State Supreme Court has schedule arguments on March 7 on a proposed constitutional amendment that would automatically restore voting rights for most felons. A group known as Floridians for a Fair Democracy has submitted 71,207 petition signatures to the state, enough to trigger Supreme Court review of the proposed ballot wording. If the Supreme Court signs off, the group then would need to collect hundreds of thousands of additional signatures to put the measure on the ballot.
Missouri: The St. Louis city attorney has “uncovered important evidence” in a voter fraud investigation into the August primary and has turned all the evidence over to the U.S. attorney’s office.
VII. Tech Thursday
Federal: Late last week, the U.S. Election Assistance Commission announced that the FBI is investigating a “potential intrusion into an EAC web-facing application.” "We're hoping that his can be resolved relatively quickly,'' Tom Hicks, chairman of the Election Assistance Commission told USA Today. The breach appeared to have happened weeks after Election Day, he said. It's not clear yet exactly when.
Maryland: A team of students from the University of Maryland took home second place in the Kaspersky Lab’s competition to design a system for digital voting. "We wanted to focus on the importance of electronic voting, given recent events," student Juan Guerroro told the Washington Business Journal. "Some of the issues and concerns we've heard about in this election are the same ones we've been hearing about for a long time, but we haven't seen a great deal of innovation going into the actual voting process."
New York: Three New York University students recently won a challenge mounted by the Kaspersky Lab, in conjunction with The Economists to design a system for digital voting that addresses privacy and security issues. Votebook, which is secure, scalable, and consistent with current voter behavior and expectations of privacy. As per the rules of the challenge, Votebook is based on blockchain technology, which creates a distributed, irreversible, incontrovertible public ledger that has been described as double-entry accounting for the digital age.
Ohio: Football, hangovers, black-eyed peas and online voter registration will all mark the start of 2017 in Ohio. This week Secretary of State Jon Husted announced that the state will finally launch its online voter registration system on Jan. 1.
VIII. Opinions This Week
Illinois: Rock County
Kentucky: Early voting
Maine: Voting system
Maryland: Election reform
Michigan: Voting machines
Mississippi: Voter registration
North Dakota: Voter ID
Oregon: Automatic voter registration
Pennsylvania: Voting system
Wisconsin: Local elections officials
IX. Upcoming Events
Joint Election Official Liaison Committee Meeting — This annual meeting, which is open to current members of The Election Center, NASS, NASED, IaGO, IIMC, NCSL and NACo, will feature a report from the U.S. Election Assistance Commission as well as discussions on proposed and pending legislation, cyber security, U.S. Postal Service issues, state voter registration issues, DOJ issues and concerns, the Federal Voting Assistance Program and new Election Center security resources. When: January 5-6, 2017. Where: Ritz Carlton Hotel, Arlington, Virginia.
IaoGO 2017 Mid-Winter Conference —join the International Association of Government Officials at their mid-winter conference with the theme of Success Through Education. A tentative agenda can be found here. When: January 8-11, 2017. Where: Tucson, Arizona. For more information and to register, click here.
NASS 2017 Winter Conference — Mark your calendars now and stay tuned for more information and registration details on the National Association of Secretaries of State 2017 Winter Conference. When: February 15-18, 2017. Where: Washington, D.C.
Election Center Special Workshop — the Election Center will host a special winter workshop featuring courses in facilitating voter participation (Course 7), implementation of new programs (Course 8) and resources management (Renewal Course 26). When: February 15-19. Where: Savanah, Georgia.
NASED 2017 Winter Meeting — Mark your calendars now and stay tuned for more information and registration details on the National Association of State Election Directors 2017 Winter Meeting. When: February 15-18, 2017. Where: Washington, D.C.
IaoGO 2017 Annual Conference — Mark your calendars now and stay tuned for more information and registration details on the International Association of Government Officials 2017 Annual Conference. When: July 6-13, 2017. Where: Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin.
NASS 2017 Summer Conference — Mark your calendars now and stay tuned for more information and registration details on the National Association of Secretaries of State 2017 Summer Conference. When: July 7-10, 2017. Where: Indianapolis, Indiana.
NASED 2017 Summer Meeting— Mark your calendars now and stay tuned for more information and registration details on the National Association of State Election Directors 2017 Summer Meeting. When: August 22-25, 2017. Where: Anaheim, California.
X. Job Postings This Week
Ballot Production Services Consultant, Hart InterCivic — BPS Consultants at Hart work with our customers to design ballots and to provide printed ballots and voting media for customers. This is a customer-service position, and applicants must have exceptional customer service skills. This is a part-time hourly positon with opportunities for overtime pay during peak periods. This is not a replacement position, but a net new position at Hart. This is an ideal position for someone who wants to work varying hours, depending on the calendar. Preference is for this position to be Austin-based, but that is open to negotiation. Deadline: Open until filled. Application: For the complete job listing and to apply, please click here.
Chief, Departmental Operations, San Diego County Registrar of Voters — the County of San Diego, Registrar of Voters (ROV) invites résumés from qualified candidates for Chief, Departmental Operations to fill a vacancy in the Precinct Services Division. The Chief, Departmental Operations is an unclassified management position reporting directly to executive management and oversees a major functional area or several small programs including creating program policy and supervision of staff. This position provides leadership and oversight over the functions and activities of the Department’s Precinct Services Division. The primary responsibilities are to direct precinct planning; securing poll facilities; survey and retrofit polls to meet accessibility requirements; print requests; GIS/cartographic functions; oversee candidate filing and candidate services, manage campaign finance disclosure reporting and oversee the overall direction of the language services program. The Chief, Departmental Operations provides leadership, supervision, and management of staff responsible for precinct service activities. These responsibilities are accomplished through a balanced, yet continually shifting combination of in-house resources. Salary: $95,000 to $110,000. Deadline: January 9, 2017. Application: For the complete job listing and to apply, click here.
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.
Director of Elections/General Registrar, Fredericksburg, Virginia — the Electoral Board is seeking a qualified individual to lead and direct the administration of elections in Fredericksburg, Virginia. This position reports to and is accountable to the Fredericksburg Electoral Board. Work encompasses all aspects of running city elections. Duties are specified in Code of Virginia, § 24.2-114 and basic qualifications in § 24.2-110. Salary: $50,058-$55,590. Deadline: December 22, 2016. Application: For the complete listing and to apply, click here.
Director of Operations, West, Western United States — Dominion Voting Systems is looking for a talented and passionate Director of Operations, West to join our team! This position can be based in either Northern California or Nevada and will work remotely. This position will direct the day-to-day operations in the Western United States for Dominion Voting in order to meet and exceed business objectives for growth and profitability. This position will formulate and enact policies and strategies; work with leadership to set and achieve goals; forecast, set and manage budgets; hire, mentor and manage staff; and establish and maintain professional and positive business relationships with our customers. Salary: Negotiable base + bonus target & benefits. Deadline: Open until filled. Application: For the complete job listing and to apply, click here.
Elections & Special Districts Director, Cochise County, Arizona — under general direction of the County Administrator, provides professional level project planning in all functions related to the conduct of voting and election activities for the County. Under limited supervision, perform work of considerable difficulty to plan, organize, coordinate, direct and control all activities of the Elections & Special Districts Department in compliance with statutory and regulatory federal and state requirements. Prepare and manage the annual fiscal budget for the department, develop long-range plans and anticipates/identifies long-term organizational needs. Sound judgment and considerable communication and interpersonal skills are required in this position. Salary: $60,000-$90,000. Deadline: Open until filled. Application: For the complete job listing and to apply, click here.
Elections Services Manager, Contra Costa County, California — Contra Costa County's Clerk-Recorder's office is offering an excellent career opportunity for individuals interested in an Election Services Manager Position for their downtown Martinez location. This management position reports to the Assistant Registrar in the Elections Division of the Clerk-Recorder's Office and acts in the place of the Assistant Registrar during his/her absence. This position is responsible for assisting the Assistant Registrar in planning, organizing and directing the day to day activities of the Elections Division; the development, establishment, implementation and evaluation of County elections policies and procedures according to Election and Government Codes, applicable laws, rules, procedures, court cases, regulations and ordinances that affect the preparation and conduct of elections and registration of voters. The ideal candidate will possess knowledge and understanding of the election process, cycle and Election law as well as knowledge and understanding of the interrelationships of each unit of the Election Department. This classification will supervise Elections Division administrative, technical and supervisory staff. Strong management and administrative skills are required as the incumbent will have primary responsibility for day-to-day direction and coordination of the Election Division activities. Excellent Interpersonal skills are required, as the incumbent will interface with staff on all levels as well as county officials, news media, and the public. Salary: $6718-$8166 (monthly). Deadline: December 30. Application: For the complete job listing and to apply, click here.
Executive Director, ERIC, Washington, D.C.— Reporting to the Board of Directors, the Executive Director has overall strategic and operational responsibility for ERIC’s staff, programs, expansion, and execution of its mission. The Executive Director will be thoroughly committed to ERIC’s mission. S/he will develop a deep knowledge of ERIC’s core program, operations, budget and business plans. This is a full-time position that requires a motivated self-starter who is capable of working independently and productively in a home office environment and supervising staff and contractors from a distance. Frequent and effective communication with ERIC staff, board members and contractors is essential. Deadline: December 31. 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.
Product Specialist, Denver, Colorado — Dominion Voting Systems is seeking a tech-savvy, passionate Product Specialist to join our team in downtown Denver! This position will be responsible for providing technical support on all Dominion Voting Systems products both on-site, via the telephone or via email; write detailed, technical documentation for distribution internally and externally; and interface 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.
Product Specialist, Toronto, Ontario — Dominion Voting Systems is seeking a tech-savvy and passionate, Product Specialist, to be based in our downtown Toronto, Ontario 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.
Purchasing Manager, Toronto, Ontario — Dominion Voting Systems is seeking a technical and strategic Purchasing Manager to join our team in downtown Toronto! This is a new position on our Supply Chain team and it will be responsible for managing our contract manufacturers and the purchasing function for our global organization. This hybrid role will be focused on both, technical manufacturing engineering projects, and supply chain, purchasing, and procurement projects. If you enjoy being challenged, enjoy working in a fast-paced and high-growth company, and want to make a direct impact on the success of an organization – this position is for you! Salary: Negotiable base + bonus target & benefits. 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 Product Manager, Denver, Colorado — Dominion Voting Systems is seeking an experienced Senior Product Manager to join our team in downtown Denver! This position will be responsible for end to-end product planning for the DVS portfolio including hardware, software and packaging components. Salary: Negotiable base + bonus target & benefits. Deadline: Open until filled. Application: For the complete job listing and to apply, click here.
Senior Technical Trainer, Clear Ballot, Boston — 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, and 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. Deadline: Open until filled. Application: For the complete job listing and to apply, click here.
Systems Engineer, Clear Ballot, Boston — 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. Deadline: Open until filled. Application: For the complete job listing and to apply, click here.
Voter Registration Specialist II, Yavapai County, Arizona — under minimal supervision, supervises temporary employees and performs all forms of customer service and office procedures. Also performs technical work of increasing difficulty in the operation of Voter Registration and specialized mailing and printing equipment. Major Duties and Responsibilities: Maintains complex voter registration database; manage all phases of printing and mailing of voter materials. Helps manage all phases of mailing and receiving ballots; purchases and maintains inventory of stock; accounts for beginning and ending inventory of ballots. Assists the Registrar of Voters in planning, organizing and preparing for upcoming Elections. Oversees day-to-day office duties; supervises and provides clerical operational support to assigned staff; maintains daily and monthly reports; monitors and performs the maintenance of voter registration records and lists. Prepares periodic and special reports including statistical reports to the Parties, statutory reports to Secretary of State’s office and audit reports to election for canvass. Provides information to the public by answering questions and resolving complaints regarding election/VR laws and procedures. Orders supplies for the Voter Registration department. Performs other job related duties as assigned. Salary: $17.18-$19.75/hour. Deadline: Open until filled. Application: For the complete job listing and to apply, click here.