I. In Focus This Week
Exit Interview: Angie Rogers
Longtime commissioner of elections looking forward to time with family & friends
By M. Mindy Moretti
Louisiana’s longtime commissioner of elections Angie Rogers is set to retire soon and so electionline wanted to catch her before she left for one our Exit Interviews.
Angie has been Louisiana commissioner of elections for more than a decade, through several secretaries of state and one life-changing hurricane.
The Civil Service League recently honored Angie with the Monte M. Lemann Award, which is the highest civil service award given to administrators and unclassified employees in the state.
“When Louisiana voters go to the polls to cast their ballot on Election Day, the person behind the scenes, ensuring not only each citizen’s right to vote, but also their right to a fair and impartial election system, is Angie Rogers,” Secretary of State Tom Schedler said in a release on the announcement of the award.
“There is no greater demonstration of democracy than fair and reliable elections, and Angie has been integral to that work here in Louisiana under the leadership of several secretaries of state, including myself. Angie’s legal background, coupled with her instinctive determination and focus, provide the perfect framework in overseeing Louisiana’s complex election system. Her influence in an area so critical to our nation’s core beliefs and values is immeasurable and touches the lives of every one of Louisiana’s three million registered voters,” Schedler said.
On a personal note, I first met Angie in 2006 when I headed to New Orleans to cover the post-Katrina rescheduled mayoral election. Angie was beyond helpful to me in my work and her steadying hand was evident throughout that Election Day with genuinely happy and grateful voters heading to the polls with many of them seeing friends and neighbors for the first time since the storm. Thank you so much Angie for all you’ve done for electionline and the voters of Louisiana. We’ll miss you!
Why have you decided to retire at this time (clearly you’re nowhere near retirement age! :) )?
Thanks for the compliment Mindy and who knows what retirement age is right or not, but I felt like it was the right time for me after 33 years of state service! I decided to retire simply because I was eligible and young enough to hopefully have many wonderful years of doing all those things we have to put off or put on hold in order to work elections! Of course I plan to fill my days with family, friends, travel and just waking up late on Election Day!!
What are you most proud of during your time in the Louisiana secretary of state’s office?
I'm most proud of the team that we have built in Elections, which was divided by two different state departments just prior to my appointment as Commissioner of Elections. We are now one, not just in being one department but in being one team who thinks about each other and the reactions that our actions have on each other in the elections process from start to finish. And of course I have several highlights in my career at the Louisiana Secretary of State's office that were tough times, like Hurricanes Katrina and Rita, but those memories make me smile when I think about our team and what we did to help the citizens of Louisiana who were displaced all over our country be able to participate in the Orleans Mayoral election in 2006.
What would you say is the most difficult thing you faced during your time running elections in Louisiana and how did you deal with it/what did you learn from it?
I think the most difficult thing for me in elections from the first day that I started was in keeping everyone calm during the "fires" that seem to have to be put out each day leading up to an election and especially on Election Day. I try to manage from a calm state and help our leaders and elections partners weather the "fires" of elections and learn that while there is no perfect person (except God) or no perfect election, that we have the processes and people in place to be able to handle everything we need for a successful election.
Is there anything you were not able to accomplish as elections commissioner that you really wish you had?
I am retiring before we will invest in a new technology for voting in Louisiana and although I am not going to be part of that process, I feel good about the foundation that I was part of building in elections that I know will be part of the new voting system.
What are your thoughts about women in positions of leadership in elections? There aren’t many at the state level despite dominance locally. What’s your advice to young women seeking to take the next step?
All that I knew growing up was that I wanted to be a lawyer like my dad. I never thought about being a leader, it just came natural to me to become a lawyer and get a job and like most if not all of us in elections, I just stumbled into this field and then fell in love with it! I also don't think of gender for leadership positions. I'm a firm believer in the best person should have the job. So my advice is to work hard and do something that you find passion in doing and the rest will fall into place.
In an increasingly partisan world, what advice would you give to an up-and-coming elections official to deal with that?
I will share the advice that I received from the late Al Ater, who was acting Secretary of State during the hardest times dealing with Hurricane Katrina and a wonderful leader to work with! Al reminded everyone that we are the referees in elections, just like the referees in football that do their best to make sure the game is played by the rules and fair. If you keep that in mind, you can't go wrong!
If you could design the perfect elections system, what would it look like?
Oh that's easy ... I call it pajama voting where I can sit on my couch and vote in my pajama's ... smiley face!
What innovations would you like to see the elections community work on in the future?
I want to see less elections in Louisiana. We have worked hard on this for many years and we have reduced our elections to twice a year instead of four times a year. So while we have made great improvements, it is still too many elections in a year and it wears out the interest in voting in my opinion.
Anything else that you would like to add would be greatly appreciated.
In closing I'd like to say a big "THANK YOU" to all the wonderful people that I have had the privilege of meeting and working with not only in Louisiana but all over the country that I think fondly of, not only as colleagues but as friends! I have learned so much from so many and I will look with joy on my career days and wait patiently to find out what God has in store for me in this next exciting chapter of my journey. Best wishes to everyone in Elections! I will be thinking of you on Election Day!
II. Federal-State Updates
NBC News has another article on the radio silence from the Presidential Advisory Commission on Election Integrity. While Maine Secretary of State Matthew Dunlap (D) has been the most outspoken member of the commission about the silence, this article has quotes from New Hampshire Secretary of State William Gardner (D) and Alan King (D) the chief election official in Jefferson County, Alabama.
"It's my understanding that this commission is supposed to submit its recommendations in March 2018," King told the network. "I’m wondering when you take a two-and-half-month hiatus from meeting. ... I obviously think anyone would have concerns how a deadline like that is supposed to be met."
The American Civil Liberties Union has added concerns about personal privacy and data security to its list of complaints in a lawsuit against the Presidential Advisory Commission on Election Integrity. According to KMUW, The ACLU lawsuit cites concerns that the data-gathering effort would become a target for hackers, and by way of example points to indications that Kansas’ multistate Crosscheck voter registration system may not be secure. The defendants have yet to file an answer to the ACLU’s original lawsuit.
According to The Hill, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), the Election Assistance Commission and voting equipment industry and nonprofit groups met recently to launch an election security Sector Coordinating Council (SCC). The SCC will represent the private sector as Homeland Security deliberates strategies and policies to protect critical infrastructure.
“The SCC framework provides a well-tested mechanism for sharing threat information between the Federal government and council partners, advancing risk-management efforts, and providing federal agencies with insight into the security landscape faced by industry,” David Wulf, acting deputy assistant secretary of the DHS Office of Infrastructure Protection said in a statement.
Members of Congress from 18 of the 21 states that had their voting systems attacked in 2016 have sent a letter to House Speaker Paul Ryan requesting briefings from the FBI and DHS. According to The Cleveland Plain Dealer, a spokeswoman for Ryan did not respond to a request for comment on the letter.
III. Election News This Week
With the state’s new voter ID law set to take effect with the turn of the calendar to 2018, the West Virginia secretary of state’s office is working overtime to get the word out to the public. Secretary of State Mac Warner has launched the “Be Registered & Be Ready to Vote” awareness campaign to address frequently asked questions about the new law. The law, which does not require a photo ID, may be one of the most lax ones in the country with voters being allowed to show anything from a voter registration card to bank or debit card to prove identity. That being said, the state is working hard to make sure that voters—and county clerks—are aware of the multitude of IDs that are acceptable.
This is a new one for us. Chicago election officials are investigating complaints from residents alleging that they were approached by people impersonating employees of the board of elections. According to the AP, Board Chairwoman Marisel Hernandez said in a Friday statement that city election officials do not go to voters' homes to ask about petition signatures.
Election Day 2017: The rollercoaster election in Virginia continued this week when a recount in a Newport News-area House race ended up with a one-vote victory. The winning candidate — after the recount — began with recount down by about a dozen votes, but ended up “winning” by one. However, the following day, a three-judge panel reinstated one ballot for the “losing” candidate and now the race is tied. The Virginia State Board of Elections will draw lots — slips of paper with each candidate’s name on them from an old film canister — on December 27. The ultimate winner of the election will most likely determine which party has control of the Virginia House of Delegates.
Personnel News: Marcia Johnson-Blanco, co-director, Voting Rights Project, Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law; and Clarissa Martínez-De-Castro, deputy vice president, Office of Research, Advocacy, and Legislation, UnidosUS have both been elected to the U.S. Vote Foundation’s executive board. Tammy Woodall, former first deputy clerk is now the clerk of Greene County, Indiana. Nan Benson was recently appointed the Marshall County, Iowa auditor and recorder. Siskiyou County, California Clerk Collen Setzer has announced that after 20 years on the job she will retire at the end of her current term of office. Gov.-elect Phil Murphy has announced that he plans to appoint Tahesha Way as the new, New Jersey secretary of state. Way’s responsibilities will include expanding voting rights in the Garden State. Margie Mullins is stepping down as the Winnebago County, Illinois clerk after 11 years on the job. Mike Yambor is retiring as the Defiance County, Ohio elections director.
IV. Legisative Updates
Federal Legislation: A bill that was approved by the House Education and Workforce Committee would no longer require colleges and universities to inform students about registering to vote. According to The Hill, the Promoting Real Opportunity, Success and Prosperity through Education Reform (PROSPER) Act would nix language requiring that schools request voter registration forms from their state at least 120 days before the voter registration deadline, and send students an “electronic communication” exclusively about voter registration. It also eliminates language specifying schools are required to follow these requirements for general and special federal elections, state gubernatorial elections and elections for chief executives within the state.
Sen. James Lankford (R-Oklahoma), Sen. Lindsay Graham (R-South Carolina), Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minnesota) and Sen. Kamala Harris (D-California) have announced plans to introduce a bill to improve and streamline information about cyber threats between state and federal entities. The bill, which will include resources for states, is also intended to help states identify and prepare against cyber attacks.
Montana: The Gallatin County commission voted this week to stick with an elected elections administrator instead of making this position an appointed one. Although they voted down the idea this time, they left the door open to taking up the matter again in the future once they had hammered out more details about the new role.
Nebraska: State Sen. John Murante said that he will once again introduce legislation to enact voter ID. He provided no details about the bill in advance of its introduction.
New Jersey: Sen. Ron Rice (D-Essex) has announced his intentions to introduce legislation in 2018 that would allow convicted felons, those on probation, people on parole and incarcerated individuals to vote in elections.
New York: Mayor Bill Be Blasio has signed a bill into law that will allow New York City residents to register online to vote from any computer even without a DMV-issued ID.
North Dakota: Fargo City Commission voted 3-2 against putting a measure on the June ballot to reform the city’s election process. The election reform recommendations were made by a task force formed more than a year ago.
Also in North Dakota, the Burleigh County commission voted to drop a plan for universal vote centers after the state’s attorney informed the commission that the city of Bismarck has the jurisdiction to draw the precinct lines within city limits.
Tennessee: House Democrats have announced their intentions to push a repeal or change to state voting laws in the 2018 session including the state’s 2011 voter photo ID law.
V. Legal Updates
California: Add Los Angeles County to the list of states and counties that Judicial Watch has sued over what they are argue are bloated voter rolls. The suit argues that the county’s two lists of voters, one for active and one for inactive, should be combined into one and voters should be purged.
Illinois: A 16th Circuit Court judge will hear testimony about putting a question on the March 20, 2018 ballot asking Aurora residents if they want to eliminate the Aurora Election Commission. Proponents of eliminating the commission filed more than 1,000 petition signatures Friday with the Kane County Circuit Clerk's office.
New York: Federal Judge Nicholas Garaufis has signed the consent decree in the settlement between the New York City Board of Elections and activists in the suit filed over the city’s illegal purge of voters. The board must review all the names of voters purged since July 1, 2013 and restore any voter who was removed in violation of state or federal election law. It also has to create a comprehensive remedial plan within 90 days that addresses the specific violations of the Election Law. If all parties don't agree to the board's plan, it could go back to court.
New Mexico: The Santa Fe city council spent time this week hammering out details of how ranked-choice voting will work when the city begins using the voting system in 2018. Members of the council approved language to define a “majority” as well as ballot design.
North Carolina: An Alamance County grand jury has indicted 12 people for violating state election laws. According to WRAL, after elections, the State Board of Elections compares the state's voter registration database against the state Department of Public Safety's list of felons, and reviews voting history to determine if matches voted while still serving their sentences.
South Carolina: Attorney General Alan Wilson has ruled that the state’s election agency does not need to publicly release documents on how it is protecting voting systems. According to The Post and Courier, State Election Commission Director Marci Andino requested the opinion.
VI. Tech Thursday
Ohio: Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted has Gov. John Kasich and members of the Legislature to put $118 million in the upcoming capital budget to purchase new voting equipment by 2020. “Given the state law requirements for voting systems in Ohio, I believe that the state should pay 100 percent of the capital acquisition and setup costs of the lowest cost, safe and accurate system from the least expensive vendor,” Husted wrote according to The Columbus Dispatch. Most of the state’s voting equipment is more than a decade old.
VII. Opinions This Week
National Opinions: Voting rights| Voter fraud | Automatic voter registration | Presidential Advisory Commission on Election Integrity
California: Voter records
Georgia: Voting system
Indiana: Vigo County
Michigan: Detroit clerk
New York: New York City board of elections
North Carolina: State board of elections
Pennsylvania: Philadelphia elections
Wisconsin: Election commission
VIII. Upcoming Events
iGO Mid-Winter Conference 2018 — iGO’s 2018 winter conference will be in sunny San Diego and if that’s not reason enough to go, they’ve got a great line up of panels and speakers. Topics covered include: Making Social Media Work for You-Voter Education & Outreach; Make 'em Shine! Training All-Star Poll Workers; Innovation Award Winner/Election Equipment RFP Best Practices; and Getting Your Arms around Cybersecurity. Risk and Control. There will also be two hours of guided roundtable discussion on the following topics: Poll Workers-hiring, training & managing; Keeping Voter Registration Databases Clean; Presidential Commission of Election Integrity; Voter ID laws-comparison & examples of working with them; Same Day Registration/Automatic Registration; Hot Topics (Critical Infrastructure, “hacking” allegations, etc.); Elections Cybersecurity; and Absentee / UOCAVA. When: Jan. 5-10, 2018. Where: San Diego.
EAC Summit: The 2018 Federal Election — Ahead of the 2018 midterm elections, the U.S. Election Assistance Commission (EAC) will host an all-day summit to highlight a spectrum of issues that state and local election officials will face as they work to administer a secure, accessible and efficient 2018 Federal Election. Attendees will hear from keynote speakers and expert panelists who will address topics such as election security, voting accessibility, and how to use election data to improve the voter experience. This event is free and open to the public. Due to limited space, registration is strongly recommended. The summit will be recorded and available at a later date. There is no livestream scheduled. When: Jan. 10 9am to 3pm. Where: The National Press Club, Washington, D.C.
Joint Election Officials Liaison Committee — The Joint Election Officials Liaison Committee’s January meeting will include sessions on cybersecurity, pending federal legislation, investing in elections, crisis management and media training, the USGAO’s update on election work and a report from the U.S. Election Assistance Commission. When: Jan. 11-12, 2018. Where: Ritz Carlton Hotel, Arlington, Virginia.
NASED 2018 Winter Meeting — The National Association of State Election Directors’ winter meeting will feature panels with the U.S. Election Assistance Commission, regional DHS reps, Senate Rules staff and House Administration staff as well as discussion on ERIC and VVSG 2.0. When: February 16-19. Where: Washington, D.C.
NASS 2018 Winter Conference — This event will bring together government and industry leaders to showcase secretary of state initiatives and highlight all the latest developments in state and federal policy-making circles. NASS President Connie Lawson and other speakers will focus on many important topics including election cybersecurity and remote notarizations.
When: February 16-19. Where: Washington, D.C.
Election Center Special Workshop — The Election Center’s special workshop will include courses on election and voter registration systems administration and management and leadership concepts in elections and voter registration administration as well as workshops on procurement and contraction, new voting models, IT security, election resources and costs, USPS initiatives and data dangers. When: Feb. 28-March 4. Where: San Antonio, Texas.
IX. Job Postings This Week
Account Manager (Michigan)-ES&S — serves as the interface between customer service and sales with respect to the full array of ES&S product lines. Operating as the lead point of contact for any and all matters specific to customers within the assigned territory from initial implementation of new voting systems through each election cycle. Ultimately, Account Managers are responsible for building and maintaining long-lasting customer relationships, negotiating and promoting Account Management contracts and agreements to maximize profit, and acting as the overall liaison between the customer and internal team members. Account Managers partner with our customers to ensure their long-term success. The Account Manager role includes managing a portfolio of assigned customers, developing new business from existing clients and actively seeking new opportunities. Account Management responsibilities include developing strong relationships with customers, and connecting with key county/jurisdiction officials. Account Managers will liaise between customers and cross-functional internal teams to ensure the timely and successful delivery of our solutions and to proactively identify customer needs and improve the entire customer experience. In addition, Account Managers collaborate with our Sales team to achieve sales quotas and grow our business. Deadline: Open until filled. Application: For the complete job listing and to apply, click here.
Chief Security Officer (Denver) - Dominion Voting Systems — Dominion Voting Systems is seeking a senior executive Chief Security Officer to join our team in Denver, Colorado! The CSO will be accountable for the development, implementation, and management of enterprise-wide strategies, policies, and programs intended for the mitigation and reduction of operational, financial and reputational risk relating to the security of our products, data, personnel, customers, and facilities globally. Salary: Negotiable base + bonus & benefits. Deadline: Open until filled. Application: For the complete job listing and to apply, click here.
Customer Relations Manager (Toronto) - Dominion Voting Systems — Dominion Voting Systems is seeking a customer focused and passionate Customer Relations Manager to join our team in Toronto! This position is responsible for providing world-class customer service to our customers in order to achieve our core purpose of delivering solutions for the advancement of fair, accessible, and secure elections! Salary: Negotiable base + bonus & benefits. Deadline: Open until filled. Application: For the complete job listing and to apply, click here.
Customer Relations Manager (Phoenix, AZ) - Dominion Voting Systems — Dominion Voting Systems is seeking a customer focused and passionate Customer Relations Manager to join our team in Phoenix, AZ! This position is responsible for effectively and proactively managing the day-to-day relationship, administration and technical/product support of one or more assigned customer accounts. Additionally, the CRM will serve as project manager for specialized projects such as pre- and post-election day support, new product implementations, and/or product upgrades/updates. Salary: Negotiable base + bonus & benefits. Deadline: Open until filled. Application: For the complete job listing and to apply, click here.
Election Technical Specialist, Ada County, Idaho — the Election Technical Specialist will help ensure accuracy of the voter registration database through the maintenance of the street file within the registration system, create maps and other data, and assist with other election duties as they arise. Ensuring that voters are in the right voting districts based on their residence is an integral part of the election database, and must be constantly maintained. An employee in this position may be required to exercise supervisory responsibilities over temporary employees during major elections. This employee could also assist in absentee voting, early voting and voter registration for Ada County following local, state and federal law. This work is performed under the supervision of the Office Administrator and Elections Director and is evaluated through conferences, reports, observation and periodic review of work plans. Salary: $15.38-$22.12/hr. Deadline: Jan. 1, 2018. Application: For the complete job listing and to apply, click here.
Elections Manager, Sonoma County, California — the Elections Manager is responsible for supporting the daily operations and activities of the Registrar of Voters Office, including the development, coordination, and evaluation of division operations and programs. The individual selected for this position will use considerable independent judgment and discretion in the supervision of staff, the prioritization and coordination of mandates, goals, objectives, and the delegation of administrative responsibilities. The Elections Manager is also responsible for: Analyzing, managing, and coordinating projects such as legal and technological changes; Managing ballot production and distribution; Preparing and conducting trainings; Drafting, reviewing, and updating procedural manuals; Assisting in preparation of the division's budget; and Developing professional relationships with public officials, and community groups and agencies. Salary: $7,044.03 to $8,562.41 monthly. Deadline: Jan. 8. Application: For the complete job listing and to apply, click here:
Government Outreach Lead, Democracy Works — as the Government Outreach Lead, you will be responsible for growing our government program and expanding use of our tools. You’ll be joining a team of nationally respected experts in election administration with deep connections among election officials and technologists at the federal, state, and local level. In 2018, we’re focusing on establishing new relationships and formal partnerships with a variety of offices, all with varying priorities, funding constraints, and power structures. In this role, you will need to immerse yourself in the world of election administration, build relationships with keystakeholders, and think creatively in order to generate revenue opportunities for Democracy Works products and services. Salary: $76,000-$120,000. Deadline: Target start date is Feb. 15. Application: For the complete job listing and to apply, click here.
Payroll & AP Administrator, Dominion Voting Systems — Dominion Voting Systems is seeking an experienced Payroll & AP Administrator to be join our team in Denver, CO! This position will be responsible for managing and organizing of all functions related to payroll administration and accounts payable, including, but not limited to: recording, processing and obtaining approvals; and Processing all matters in a timely and accurate fashion, including following up on items related to the various accounts payable, payroll and month-end deadlines. Deadline: Open until filled. Application: For the complete job listing and to apply, click here.
Product Manager, TurboVote — as Product Manager for TurboVote, you will be acting as a product owner and project manager, working from end-to-end— from sitting with our executive leadership to make strategic choices AND down in the details of planning sprints and onboarding partners. In doing so, you’ll be supported by a constellation of software developers; a researcher who brings extensive knowledge of election administration; a partner support team with significant experience implementing across higher education, nonprofit, and corporate environments; and a COO dedicated to corralling the external resources you need to succeed. Deadline: Open until filled. Salary: $90,000 to $120,000 per year. Application: For the complete job listing and to apply, click here.
Product & System Specialist (Jamestown, NY) - Dominion Voting Systems — Dominion Voting Systems is seeking tech-savvy and passionate Product & System Specialist to join our team in Jamestown, NY! This position is responsible for delivering internal and external technical support services related to the implementation, operation, repair, maintenance and upgrades of Dominion’s hardware and software technologies and products. Salary: Negotiable base + bonus & benefits. Deadline: Open until filled. Application: For the complete job listing and to apply, click here.
Regional Sales Manager (West), Dominion Voting Systems — Dominion Voting Systems is seeking is highly-motivated and accomplished Regional Sales Manager to work remotely and be based in the Western United States; preferably California. The Regional Sales Manager is responsible for long term sales (3-5 years) of the company’s election products and services in a specified geographic region to governmental agencies. This position uses technical, organizational and customer knowledge to influence customers and assist them in applying the products and services to their needs, resulting in revenue generation. In addition, the position provides input and participates in the marketing, planning and development of products and services. Salary: Negotiable base + commission & benefits. Deadline: Open until filled. Application: For the complete job listing and to apply, click here.
Registrar of Voters, Sacramento County, California — working under the duties required by the Elections Code, the Registrar of Voters plans, organizes, evaluates, and directs the operations and activities of the Department of Voter Registration. This position functions as the appointing authority of the department and is responsible for all divisions within the department including administration, campaign services, precinct operations and outreach, registration, and voting systems which include technology and vote-by-mail. The Registrar of Voters reports directly to the Deputy County Executive--Administrative Services and is exempt from Civil Service. The incumbent is responsible for advising and assisting the officials of the County agencies, departments, boards and commissions with respect to matters assigned to the department. Through subordinate managers, the incumbent is responsible for developing and managing the goals, objectives, and policies of the department. Salary: $134,425.44 - $148,206.25. Deadline: Jan. 31, 2018. Application: For the complete job listing and to apply, click here.
Research Associate, The Center for Election Innovation & Research — the Research Associate will work both independently and alongside other CEIR staff to design research and later clean, analyze, and report on the data arising from that research. Research projects will vary in length. Some research will result in short blog posts (approximately 600-words), while other research will lend itself to lengthier reports expected from traditional studies. For this reason, a qualified Research Associate will be both a proficient researcher and writer. Deadline: Open until filled. Application: For the complete job listing and to apply, click here.
Senior Manager, Technical Product Support (Denver, CO) - Dominion Voting Systems — Dominion Voting Systems is seeking a tech-savvy, passionate Senior Manager, Technical Product Support to join our team in Denver, CO! This position is responsible for strategically leading and developing a multi-state team of election technology software and hardware Product Specialists through a number of critical projects throughout the Western United States. Salary: Negotiable base + bonus & benefits. Deadline: Open until filled. Application: For the complete job listing and to apply, click here.