I. In Focus This Week
Exit Interview: Helen Purcell
For more than quarter of a century Purcell ran Maricopa County elections
By Tammy Patrick
Bipartisan Policy Center
Election professionals live in an odd space.
We spend our careers advancing reforms for continuous improvement, network with others to find the very best practices to implement and serve our public, many put it all on the line as a candidate to continue that effort and are then reliant upon the system they helped to create and have tended to for years to allow them another term.
December and January are bittersweet.
Congratulations to the victors and condolences to those who did not prevail in the race and to the many outstanding professionals who served at their pleasure and subsequently leave the field.
I was very fortunate to work in Maricopa County Elections Department under County Recorder Helen Purcell and Elections Director Karen Osborne. I would not be doing the work that I do today without their tutelage and the support they provided for the eleven years I worked in their office so I jumped at the chance to do an interview for electionline.org to share with you some words of wisdom from one of our nation’s very best.
Tammy: It is always interesting to find out the path of election administrators. How did you get into elections? What prompted you to run for County Recorder?
Helen: In the mid-80s I served for 4 or 5 years as the voter registration chair for the Republican party and was frustrated with the responsiveness of the Recorder’s office. It was very difficult to get any information out of them. I had always said that I never wanted to run for office, but something had to be done. Although it has gotten somewhat better than it was in those days, often times women have to have more qualifications than men do—they aren’t asked “what are your qualifications to run for Recorder?”—but I had qualifications as I had worked for years with mortgage recordings in addition to the voter registration. I ran against the incumbent, also a Republican. He wasn’t happy about it. He decided not to run for Recorder and instead had an unsuccessful Board of Supervisors bid.
Tammy: Elections and the recording of documents changed dramatically over your tenure in Maricopa County, with you at the helm. What do you see as the most impactful changes that were implemented?
Helen: Things have certainly changed since I was first elected in 1988. In 1996 we moved away from punch cards and took the monumental step to optical scan equipment because of the issues we were seeing with the punch card machines. When the 2000 debacle hit along with the Help America Vote Act, we were glad we were ahead of the curve.
We implemented early voting to expand chances for voters to participate. Now the majority of our voters choose to vote that way; in some elections, upwards of 90 percent of the ballots cast will be early.
Although Motor Voter was in place, it expanded to include online voter registration.
Tammy: So, basically every facet of elections has changed over your time in office from the way voters get on the rolls, when they can vote, and the equipment used to capture their intent.
Helen: Yes, and that is just the election-side of the office. When I walked into the office back in 1988 it was wall to wall paper. Each document was manually hand-stamped and entered into the system. Now more than 80 percent of our documents are filed electronically. We have positioned 10 recording kiosks around the county to better serve the public and remove the necessity to drive downtown. Electronic filing also has the added benefit of making that document more readily available to the public online. We went back and digitized images, estimated at more than 190 million documents, as far back as 1871 (Arizona became a state in 1912).
One of the reasons we were able to do some of what we did was because of the Recorder’s Surcharge. Legislation had been passed before I took office to establish a surcharge fund for use on technology in the office. It was slated to sunset and we fought very hard to make it a permanent funding stream—one that doesn’t compete with other departments and that is controlled by our office.
Tammy: Over the years you served on the EAC Advisory Board and TGDC and in many leadership roles at NACO focusing on leveraging technology to improve the services we provide to the public in a secure and tested fashion. How important is it, do you think, for such efforts to continue?
Helen: It is incredibly important because every level of government informs the process and we have much to learn from each other. After 2000 and the implementation of HAVA it became very apparent that we need to have some common processes in handling election administration. It would be a horrendous wrong if the EAC didn’t continue. The voter guides and other resources particularly benefit small jurisdictions by offering assistance and have been a tremendous help in getting an election right and possibly save some money while they’re at it. We would be in a world of hurt without such an experienced body working on standards, testing, and certification. The certification program has come a long way and having testable standards is critical for election officials and the integrity of the process.
Tammy: Your office recorded hundreds of millions of documents and counted hundreds of millions of ballots over your career. What advise can you provide to other administrators on keeping staff motivated when the workload gets hectic and the hours long (during candidate filing, voter registration deadlines, canvasing, etc.)?
Helen: Did you ever feel like if you had an idea you could bring it to me?
Tammy: Of course, your door was always open!
Helen: The best office environment encourage staff to solve problems and have ideas about how to improve, but then also to provide the tools necessary to see that through and make it work. If you do that then there is a personal investment and few balk at the work load because they want it to be successful. You want everyone to succeed—the people you work with are like your family.
Tammy: What do you see as the next chapter in elections, where the field is moving?
Helen: Security of new systems will be very important. You want to encourage the next bright idea, but you have to be sure that the new way is safe and has integrity.
Tammy: There are a handful of public servants like yourself who stayed in the field for a long time, past the point when colleagues retired. Why? Why did you decide to keep running?
Helen: Quite simply, I loved my job and the people that I worked with. The ability to share ideas on the national level and get to that next best thing on the horizon—that was my driving force, sometimes to the detriment to my family life. But we all make those sacrifices for the love of the work and what it means.
(Tammy Patrick is a fellow at the Bipartisan Policy Center. Her work focuses on the recommendations of the Presidential Commission on Election Administration, to which she was appointed by President Barack Obama in 2013 and served as a commissioner. Prior to that she worked for 11 years as a federal compliance officer in Maricopa County. Patrick serves on the steering committee for National Voter Registration Day and the board of advisors for the Center for Technology in Civic Life.)
II. VIP Feedback
Where should the Voting Information Project go from here?
As you may have heard, The Pew Charitable Trusts has initiated a planning process to determine the future of the Voting Information Project (VIP). And as part of that process, we are seeking input from the field on what stakeholders think should be the next phase of VIP.
To that end, we invite you to submit your views—ideally no more than 500 words—on the following topics:
1) What should VIP continue to do? What should it change?
2) What can VIP teach about—and learn from—its efforts?
3) Are there other opportunities for VIP (or a project like it)?
4) What changes to VIP would make election officials more or less likely to participate?
5) What communities are currently being missed by projects like VIP, and how can we address those shortcomings?
6) Who else is doing work in this space, and how might VIP contribute to those efforts—and vice versa?
7) What other questions should we be asking?
We plan to make the submissions available to the community; please let us know if you’d prefer not to be featured publicly.
We look forward to hearing from you. Thank you for your contributions.
Voting Information Project Working Group
Alexis Schuler/Monica Leibovitz, The Pew Charitable Trusts
Mike Hogan, Google
Samidh Chakrabati, Facebook
Marc Burris, North Carolina State Board of Elections
Paul Stenbjorn, Virginia Department of Elections
Brian Corley, Pasco County, Florida, Supervisor of Elections
Kathryn Peters, Democracy Works
Tiana Epps-Johnson, Center for Technology and Civic Life
Charles Stewart, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Clarence Wardell, United States Digital Service
(Note: Affiliations are for identification purposes only.)
III. Election News This Week
This week, President Donald J. Trump reiterated his unsubstantiated claim that 3-5 million people cast illegal ballots in the November 2016 election and that he would order a full investigation into the claims. Needless to say, the response from elections officials at both the federal, state and local level, and both parties, was swift and unified in its opposition to the president’s claims. Here is just a sampling of some of the responses nationwide: Alabama, Arizona, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Missouri, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Vermont, Washington, and West Virginia.
All 15 of Arizona’s recorders have signed on to a letter to Secretary of State Michele Reagan saying that the relationship between the secretary of state’s office and the local elections official is in “dire” condition because state Elections Director Eric Spencer has been “ineffective and disrespectful.” According to the Arizona Capitol Times, the letter said Spencer has been verbally abusive, “rude” and “dismissive” of questions posted to him. Secretary of State spokesman Matt Roberts told the paper that, after Reagan received the letter, she spoke on the phone with Coconino County Recorder Patty Hansen, the president of the Arizona County Recorders Association, and that Reagan is encouraged by their conversation. “(Reagan) is going to communicate with all of the county recorders, as she has in the past,” Roberts told the paper. “And she’s excited about the opportunities we have in 2017 to work together with the recorders, as she always has.” Hansen said the phone call left her optimistic.
What’s that they say about death and taxes? Two things seemingly no one can avoid? Well the state of Minnesota is reminding eligible residents to register to vote when submitting their state taxes. All taxpayers using Minnesota-certified electronic tax-filing software will be see a message prompting them to register to vote online at the secretary of state’s website. Approximately 700,000 eligible residents are not registered and state officials are hoping this will encourage some.
Speaking of voter registration, officials in North Carolina say the number of residents who have registered to vote through the DMV and other state agencies doubled in 2016 after the state was sued for failing to comply with the National Voter Registration Act. According to the State Board of Elections, 345,000 people registered through the DMV, local social services offices and other human service agencies in 2012. In 2016, that number had risen to 715,000.
Several Martin County, Florida government offices, including the supervisor of elections office, were riddled with bullets. The shootings happened over a two-week period of time with the supervisor of elections office getting hit this weekend. some people at the Supervisor of Elections building had to be turned away as crews evaluated damage. "It's concerning, of course, whenever you have a situation like that, because my building, the supervisor of elections office, is fronted with all glass windows," said Vicki Davis, Supervisor of Elections.
Personnel News:Elizabeth Black has been named the new Montgomery County, Tennessee administrator of elections. Dave Fisher is set to join the Miami County, Ohio board of elections. Annalisa Stravato is the new Wilton, Connecticut Republican registrar of voters. J.T. Holt has been nominated to serve on the Lawrence County, Ohio board of elections. William VanNess has been appointed to serve as the Queensbury, New York Republican election commissioner. Heather Wheeler has resigned as the Chesterville, Maine town clerk. Gerald J. Hudak Sr. has resigned from the Luzerne County, Pennsylvania board of elections. Robert Saar, longtime DuPage County, Illinois elections director is set to retire on March 14 although he is currently using up accrued sick time and won’t be back in the office before then. Eric Morgan, deputy director for the Miami County, Ohio board of elections has been terminated.
In Memoriam: David Poythress, former Georgia secretary of state has died. He was 73. Poythress was appointed secretary of state in 1979 and then unsuccessfully ran for one full term in office. In addition to serving as secretary of state, he also served as deputy revenue commissioner, assistant attorney general, state labor commissioner, and the first commissioner of the state Department of Medical Assistance. He was commander in the Georgia Army and Air National Guard during the Iraq, Afghanistan and Bosnian wars. DuBose Porter, a former legislator and Georgia Democratic Party chairman, told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution few can compare with Poythress. “When his nation or community called, he always answered,” Porter said. “He was an accomplished, noble patriot driven by the credo of ‘do the most good.’”
IV. Research and Report Summaries
United States of America General Elections, 8 November 2016, OSCE/ODIHR Election Observation Mission Final Report, OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights, Jan. 18, 2017: At the invitation of the U.S. government, the OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (OSCE/ODIHR) observed the November 8 general elections. The report notes challenges such as aging voting equipment being used in some jurisdictions. It also highlights the elections were run by highly capable election officials, stating, “The elections were administered by competent and committed staff and enjoyed broad public confidence.”
V. Legislative Updates
Arkansas: The House State Agencies and Government Affairs Committee has endorsed legislation that would require voters to show a photo ID in order to cast a ballot.
California: Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez Fletcher has introduced Assembly Bill 216 that would pay for return postage on ballots in statewide elections. According to LGBT Weekly there are 15 co-sponsors of the bill.
Colorado: House Bill 1014 would overturn an 1891 law that made vote-buying illegal and that modern-day administrators have said means that ballot selfies are illegal.
Mississippi: The House Elections Committee has unanimously approved measures that will allow early voting, online voter registration and create a study committee to come up with clearer rules for restoration of voting rights for convicts. The House passed similar early voting legislation in 2016, but it died in the Senate.
Montana: House Bill 287, which would create a permanent absentee voter list, has been referred to the House’s State Administration Committee. The legislation was written by Yellowstone County’s Election Administrator Bret Rutherford. Current law requires the absentee voter list to be deleted on Feb. 1 in even-numbered years.
Another bill being considered by the Legislature is House Bill 212, introduced by Rep. Jeff Essmann (R-Billings). Under the proposed legislation, a fine would be imposed on people who collect a voter’s filled-out or blank ballot. The fine would be $500 per ballot. The bill makes exceptions for post office workers, elected officials, caregivers and family or members of a person's household.
New Hampshire: Among the several dozens of elections-related bills in the Legislature Senate Bill 47, which was requested by the secretary of state’s office, would give the office the authority to conduct investigations into violations of election law, enforce the rules and impose penalties.
Another law would prohibit gun owners from bringing their guns to the polls with them if those polling places are housed in schools.
New Mexico: Bipartisan legislation and constitutional changes have been proposed that would end closed primaries in New Mexico. The legislation would open up the primaries to unaffiliated voters and the constitutional amendment would create a top-two primary system.
North Dakota: Citing budgetary reasons, the North Dakota House has voted down two bills supported by Secretary of State Al Jaeger. One would have steered $9 million from the general fund to counties for the purchase of new voting equipment and the other would have spent $3 million to purchase e-poll books.
Ohio: Rep. Wes Retherford (R-Hamilton) and Rep. Dorothy Pelanda (R-Marysville) plan to introduce legislation that would prevent one-candidate special elections.
Oklahoma: State Rep. David Perryman (D-Chickasha) has introduced House Bill 1332 which would give Oklahoma voters the option of registering their thumb print as a form of voter ID. The thumb print would not be required, but would be an option for voters.
Pennsylvania: Rep. Tony DeLuca (D-Penn Hills) has announced that he plans to introduce legislation that would allow for early voting in the commonwealth as well as same day voter registration.
South Dakota: Secretary of State Shantel Krebs testified before the House State Affairs Committee on legislation that she is proposing would set flat numbers for both partisan and independent candidates that are seeking offices in counties that operate vote centers. During her testimony, Krebs noted that while vote centers work well for voters, they have presented some problems for elections officials, which is why she introduced the legislation.
Utah: The House has approved HB12 74-0. The bill will require county clerks to quickly notify voters if their vote-by-mail ballots are spoiled so they may correct the problems and cast a new ballot. It requires clerks to email or phone voters within 24 hours of rejection of a ballot if it is before Election Day, or it gives them two days to mail a letter.
Vermont: The House Government Operations Committee heard about two days of testimony from state election officials, attorneys, current and former lawmakers, town clerks and others in a disputed election decided by only seven votes. The committee announced that it wants to do a recount.
Virginia: The Senate has approved a bill that would alter how write-in votes are counted. Under the new legislation, the threshold to actually attach names to write-in votes would raise so they would only be counted if the total of write-ins cast could mathematically alter the outcome of the election.
Also in Virginia, HB 1425, sponsored by Del. Mark Cole (R-Fredericksburg) would end the state’s winner-take-all system of awarding Electoral College votes and instead the votes would be divided among the presidential candidates based on how many of the state’s 11 Congressional districts they win.
Washington: Secretary of state Kim Wyman is pushing lawmakers to change the date of the state’s presidential primary from the fourth Tuesday in May to the second Tuesday in March. She is also asking lawmakers to allow elections officials to remove candidates from the ballot if they die, withdraw or suspend their candidacy before the primary. Her proposals were introduced with bipartisan support in the House and Senate.
Sen Patty Kuderer has introduced legislation that would allow for same-day voter registration up until 5 p.m. on the day of a primary, special or general election. The bill would also update the online and mail-in registration deadline from 29 days prior to an election to eight days prior.
Wyoming: The House Judiciary Committee has approved House Bill 75 which eliminates the application process for nonviolent felons who have completed their sentences to regain their voting rights. The bill is supported by the League of Women Voters, and the Department of Corrections.
Also in Wyoming, House Bill 167 would require voters to show a government-issued photo ID in order to cast a ballot.
VI. Legal Updates
Alabama: A three-judge federal court panel has blocked Alabama from using in next year's elections 12 legislative districts challenged as unconstitutional by black political groups. The districts are part of the district map drawn and approved by the Republican-led Alabama Legislature after the 2010 Census and were used in the 2014 election.
Indiana: Judge Sarah Evans Barker has granted the ACLU of Indiana’s motion for summary judgement in a suit the organization brought against the state’s ballot selfie ban. The ACLU argued that the law violated a voter’s First Amendment rights. “Simply put, the State has failed to establish that Indiana suffers from any substantial ongoing vote-buying problem(s) in need of the statutory protections imposed by this statute, much less any problem(s) emanating from or pertaining to the use of digital photography in facilitation vote buying.”
Kansas: The American Civil Liberties Union wants a federal court for force Secretary of State Kris Kobach to turn over documents he was photographed bringing to a meeting with the then-president elect. According to WIBW, some of the visible words suggest they detailed proposed changes to voter registration laws.
Texas: The U.S. Department of Justice requested, and has received a postponement in a scheduled hearing over the state’s voter ID law. "Because of the change in administration, the Department of Justice also experienced a transition in leadership," the Justice Department petition states. "The United States requires additional time to brief the new leadership of the Department on this case and the issues to be addressed at that hearing before making any representations to the Court." The hearing has been delayed until Feb. 28. Also this week, the U.S. Supreme Court rejected an appeal from officials in the Lone Star State to restore the voter ID law. Although no reason was given, Chief Justice John Roberts did say that the court is free to consider the case after further proceedings in the lower courts.
Also in the Lone Star State, the Texas Civil Rights Project is asking the U.S. District Court in San Antonio to hold the state in contempt of court for failing to hand over documents in an ongoing federal lawsuit over the state’s compliance with the Motor Voter Law.
In other Texas legal news, the U.S. Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals will hear arguments in the Pasadena voting rights case on February 1.
VII. Tech Thursday
California: According to Government Technology, work to redesign the process of how residents vote in Los Angeles County is entering a critical but transformational stage after eight years of research and conceptualization. By early to mid-summer 2017, Los Angeles County hopes to have an RFP ready for vendors. The agency’s goal is to do some form of piloting of the new voting model during the 2018 midterm elections.
Michigan: This week, Secretary of State Ruth Johnson announced that the state would purchase all new voting equipment and have it in place in time for the 2018 mid-term elections. The State Administrative Board has authorized up to $82.1 million in spending over the next 10 years and approved contracts with three vendors for new tabulation machines, election-management software and long-term maintenance.
Virginia: The Ash Center for Democratic Governance and Innovation at Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government name Virginia’s online absentee ballot application system one of its 2017 Bright Ideas Initiatives. During the 2016 presidential primaries, the system processed 27 percent of all absentee ballots and 62 percent of requests from voters under the age of 30.
VIII. Opinions This Week
Arizona: College students
California: Voter fraud
Connecticut: Election professionals
Illinois: Voting rights
Indiana: Lake County
Mississippi: Election reforms
New Mexico: Automatic voter registration
IX. Upcoming Events
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
Account Manager, Clear Ballot, Boston — we are looking for a talented Account Manager to play an active role in developing and maintaining long-term working relationships with Clear Ballot’s customers. This person should be able to work independently and in partnership with other team members to achieve high customer satisfaction. The account manager will have a regional assignment, with certain customers assigned to him/her. Deadline: Open until filled. Application: For the complete job listing and to apply, click here.
Associate Director for Modern Election, Democracy Fund— the Democracy Fund seeks an Associate Director for Modern Elections to lead its strategy for creating a modern election system. The Associate Director will be responsible for implementing the Election Program’s efforts to modernize voter registration systems, improve and expand access to voting, and reduce the risk of systematic election failures. The Associate Director, a newly created position reporting to the Elections Program Director, will also support the team’s work to encourage the adoption of evidence-based best practices and technology in the elections field, which will include direct advocacy and coalition building through Democracy Fund Voice, a 501c4 sister-organization. The Associate Director also will support research, network development, field evaluation and analysis, and the development of a portfolio of regional and national grantees working to generate change for a modern election system. The successful candidate will be an excellent manager with demonstrated policy reform and management experience. Strong candidates will possess deep expertise in the field of election administration or a related area of public policy and will be comfortable collaborating in a highly bipartisan, fast-paced work environment. Deadline: Open until filled. Application: For the complete job listing and to apply, click here.
Customer Service Consultant, Hart InterCivic — Hart InterCivic is seeking a Customer Service Consultant who has a strong desire to provide an outstanding customer experience for a growing company. Our Customer Service Consultant supports our customers on a daily basis by providing the following: Foster and develop positive customer relations by providing courteous, prompt and proactive customer service. Communicate with customers by phone, email or other correspondence. Respond to customer requests in a timely manner. Ensure timely Order Fulfillment through interactions with customers, other internal departments, and vendors: Create price quotations, orders, and similar requests for customers. Process purchase orders and enter purchase information into Order Management System. Verify all purchase orders and order information for accuracy. Contact customers to verify the information on purchase orders as it may be appropriate. Provide customers with assistance and information on part numbers, order status, troubleshooting their purchase orders, or other requests. Act as a liaison and coordinate with other departments through order completion and to expedite or resolve any issues or concerns. Provide follow up and respond to customer issues, inquiries, emails, correspondence, or other requests. Assist in maintaining up to date customer files. Partner with other departments to prepare documentation to process returns and credit memos. Partner with other departments to process requests for internal orders, including capital expenditure requests. Maintain a current working knowledge of product lines, prices, lead-time, and other relevant information. Deadline: Open until filled. Application: For the complete job listing and to apply, click here.
Customer Service Representative, Collier County, Florida— purpose of this classification is to provide clerical support and customer service. Work involves preparing a variety of documents; entering data and retrieving information from department databases; maintaining automated and manual files; and assisting callers, customers and/or visitors. Salary: $34,000-$38,000. 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.
IT Specialist, Collier County, Florida — the IT Support Specialist works closely with IT staff to provide technical support and assistance to all staff located within the Supervisor of Elections office. This person will work with a wide variety of elections industry specific technologies to include hardware, software, programming, printers, and applications. In addition, this person will be providing support and assistance for non-election industry networking technology to include workstations, servers, printers, etc. Salary: $44,000-$50,000. 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.
Research Fellow- Elections, The Democracy Fund — the Elections Program focuses on election administration and money in politics by supporting unbiased research, bipartisan dialogue, and unconventional solutions that will ensure the views and votes of the American public come first in our democracy. We are looking for candidates who are available part-time (20-30 hours/week) and can support the research needs of the Elections Program team, which may include both qualitative and quantitative analysis. A successful candidate has the ability to work with policy experts and academics on questions fundamental to our program and has a high interest in making meaningful contributions to elections and voting research. Deadline: Open until filled. Application: For the complete job listing and to apply, click here.
Senior Technical Trainer, Clear Ballot, Boston, Massachusetts — 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, Massachusetts — 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.
Vote-by-Mail Coordinator, Collier County, Florida —purpose of this classification is to issue vote-by-mail ballots, handle vote-by-mail voter service inquiries, maintain voter records, and support all other vote-by-mail ballot functions. Duties include: Interacts daily with registered voters and makes decisions regarding the vote-by-mail balloting process. As part of a team, works well with others and communicates ideas effectively. Exchanges information, coordinates assignments, and problem solves with others. Supervises temporary workers for ballot processing and voter inquiries during peak election cycles. Designs routing and sorting schemes and then loads, operates, adjusts, and repairs machinery used by vote-by-mail department. Maintains database information for vote-by-mail ballots by entering voter registrations and vote-by-mail ballot requests, retrieving voter information, and providing detailed reports. Creates new spreadsheets/files and purges old data. Researches information from databases as requested. Generates reports, logs, and listings from databases. May include scanning paper documents into digital database. Administers the security of vote-by-mail ballots by ensuring secure distribution, receipt, and storage. Controls voted vote- by-mail ballot acceptance, signature verification, sorting, and extraction. Prepares department records, reports, and forms. Prepares correspondence and letters; receives documents and retrieves information from drafts, summaries, databases, or other source documents; incorporates information into prepared materials; proofreads for accuracy and completeness; copies and distributes documents as appropriate. Requests information from other departments as necessary to complete department records/files. Answers telephones; assists callers with questions regarding election related issues, services, or procedures; refers callers to other staff members as appropriate. Responds to email, web, and fax inquiries. Operates a personal computer, telephones, copiers, mailing, and other general office equipment as necessary to complete essential functions, to include the use of word processing, spreadsheet, presentation, database, and other system software. Salary: $38,000-$42,000. 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.
XII. 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.