I. In Focus This Week
What’s In & Out in election administration for 2018
You’ve waited all year for it, so without further ado, here is electionlineWeekly’s annual list of what’s in and what’s out in election administration for 2018.
Happy New Year!
Out: Elections that are decided by one vote
In: Elections that are tied
Out: Older OVR systems or outdated registration systems
In: Pushing for enhanced motor voter, dare we call it automated registration
Out: Automatic Voter Registration at the DMV
In: Automatic Voter Registration at birth
Out: No-paper record DREs
In: Paper ballots ("back to the future")
Out: Worries about individual fraudsters (although of course not entirely out)
In: Worries about nation-state bad actors
In: 24-hour ballot boxes
Out: Sexual harassers in office
In: Renewed interest in special election and vacancies--what are the rules, precisely?
Out: Cybersecurity as an election issue just for experts
In: Cybersecurity as an election issue for everyone
Out: Election geeks pulling their hair out on Election Day
In: Election geeks wanting to use the same hair stylist as Dr. Charles Stewart & Brian Corley
Out: Election Day
In: Election Season
In: Tablets as ballot marking devices
Out: Paper petitions
In: eSign electronic petition app.
Out: Voting systems with proprietary technology
In: Voting systems using off the shelf technology
Out: Louisiana state election commissioner Angie Rogers
In: Louisiana state election commissioner Sherri Hadskey
Out: Delivering ballots by mail
In: Delivering ballots electronically
Out: Amateur DIY electiongeekery
In: MIT Election Data and Science Lab
Out: Presidential candidates making unsubstantiated charges of massive voter fraud
In: Presidents making unsubstantiated charges of massive voter fraud
Out: Bearing full cost of unbudgeted special election.
In: Counties ask state to reimburse for special election or seek ways to reduce costs of special election.
Out: Worrying what the Presidential Advisory Commission on Electoral Integrity will do
In: Wondering what the heck PACEI is doing
Out: Utah state election director Mark Thomas
In: Utah state election director Justin Lee
Out: Complaining that no one does risk-limiting audits (RLA)
In: Complaining that your jurisdiction, not Colorado, did the first RLA
Out: Boring #electiongeek Twitter
In: Wild, GIF-filled #electiongeek Tweets from the likes of Harford County, Md. and Minneapolis, Minn.
Out: Long lines at polling places
In: Better data about lines (of all lengths) at the polls
Out: Election officials adroitly avoiding engaging their social media friends on the politics of the 2016 elections.
In: Election officials adroitly avoiding engaging their social media friends on the politics of the 2018 elections.
Out: Voters regretting not voting in an election that ends in a tie.
In: Voters remembering the regret and showing up for the 2018 elections.
Out: Ranked-choice voting in Maine and Santa Fe, NM (or maybe not)
In: Ranked-choice voting in Maine and Santa FE, NM (or maybe not)
Out: “I don’t know – ask the IT guy“
In: Election officials as information-system managers
Out: Pennsylvania Secretary of the Commonwealth Pedro Cortes
In: Acting Secretary Robert Torres
Out: 2017 EAC Chair Matt Masterson
In: 2018 EAC Chair Tom Hicks
Out: AOL AIM
In: Email encryption and other cybersecurity vigilance
Out: Early Voting only at permanent locations
In: Early Voting at Mobile Voting Units
In: VVSG 2.0
Out: Election Center as NASED Executive Director (with thanks to Doug Lewis and Tim Mattice)
In: Amy Cohen (and Democracy Works) as NASED Executive Director
A special thanks to all of this year’s contributors: Kim Alexander, Lori Augino, Doug Chapin, Rebecca Connors, Brian Corley, Alton Dillard, Michael Ertel, Michael Haas, Rick Hasen, David Levine, Katy Owens Hubler, Angie Rogers, Stacey Scholl, Charles H. Stewart and Wendy Underhill.
II. Federal-State Updates
U.S. District Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly ruled that the Presidential Advisory Commission on Election Integrity must give Maine Secretary of State Matthew Dunlap (D) access to relevant documents in order to allow him “fully participate” in the panel’s review. "In the Court’s view, his assertion that he will be unable to fully participate without the information contained in relevant documents that the Commission has not shared with the public has merit."
In another PACEI court ruling, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia has upheld a lower court’s ruling to allow PACEI to continue its work and collect voter data from the states. The three-judge panel ruled unanimously that the plaintiff, the Electronic Privacy Information Center, did not have legal standing because it is not an individual voter.
III. Election News This Week
According to a press release from Elections Supervisor Caroline Fawkes, the St. Croix and St. John elections offices will remain closed “until further notice” following the back-to-back Hurricanes of Irma and Maria. “The St. Croix District Office located at Sunny Isle Annex Unit 4, remains closed until further notice as we deal with major renovations after Hurricane Maria,” Mrs. Fawkes said. “We do not have the capability to provide any voter’s identification cards, we can only register voters. The St. John Elections Office has no internet service; therefore, we also cannot provide any voter identification cards. The St. John residents can register at the St. Thomas Elections Office. Presently, the only functional Elections Office is the St. Thomas Office, which is 90 percent operational.”
In his first state of the secretary of state report, Montana Secretary of State Corey Stapleton took the opportunity to reiterate that the state of Montana does not have issues with coordinated voter fraud. The 12-page report, which covered all the division of the secretary’s office, touched on only two separate incidences of voter fraud on the May 2016 special election. "At the time of this report, while there are still active law enforcement investigations into voter fraud being conducted, the context of these fraud cases is that they are unrelated with each other and represent a small fraction of the 383,000 votes cast in the May election," he wrote.
Election 2017 Update: The Virginia State Board of Elections has postponed choosing the winner of a tied House of Delegates race after on candidate, Shelly Simonds (D) filed a motion in Newport News Circuity Court asking the judges to reconsider their decision to count a disputed ballot which made the race end in a tie instead of Simonds with a one-vote lead. “Drawing names is an action of last resort,” the board said in written statement. “Any substantive concerns regarding the election or recount should be resolved before a random drawing is conducted.” In Ohio, Secretary of State Jon Husted sent a letter to the Mahoning County board of elections asking the board to address shortcomings in the handling of ballots and communication among staff, board members, the media and the public.
Personnel News: Kathy Singer is the new Cleveland County, Oklahoma election board assistant secretary. She replaces longtime employee Anette Pretty who retired. Mariann Penska is set to become the newest member of the Butler County, Ohio board of elections. Davison Twp., Michigan Clerk Cindy Shields has received the Loretta J. Manwaring Memorial Award for the work she did on the countywide purchase of new voting machines.
In Memoriam: March Fong Eu, California’s first female secretary of state has died. She was 95.Eu was secretary of state from 1975 until 1994 when she was appointed ambassador of Micronesia by President William J. Clinton. "Our elections system today reflects many of Secretary Eu's contributions that include voter registration by mail, absentee ballots upon request, and candidate statements in ballot pamphlets," California State Controller Betty T. Yee told the Sacramento Bee. Eu was a third-generation Californian and began her career as a dental hygienist.
IV. Legislative Updates
Federal Legislation: A bipartisan coalition of Senator introduced a bill that would authorize block grants for states to upgrade outdated voted technology. It would also create a program for an independent panel of experts to develop cybersecurity guidelines for election systems. According to The Hill, he legislation aims to expedite the process by which state officials receive security clearances necessary to review sensitive threat information and instructs the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and other federal entities to more quickly share this information with relevant state officials.
Florida: The Volusia County council recently updated the employee rulebook including eliminating the two-hour voting window for county employees. According to The News Journal, Human Resources Director Tom Motes said voting today is easier than it was in 1981, when the original rules were drafted, and that’s why Volusia made its policy more in line with Seminole and Hillsborough counties. “We don’t have people who want to take off two hours (to go vote) and we wouldn’t even know if they were voting,” Motes told the paper. “I remember when the polls were open one day, Election Day. You needed a rule like that. Tell me who can’t get to the polls today? If someone can’t vote in today’s world, they don’t want to vote.”
Kansas: Sedgwick County commissioners are asking state lawmakers to review a law that requires both voters with disabilities and a person helping them cast their mail ballot to sign the affidavit in order for it to be valid. Seniors and voters with disabilities casting their ballot at the polling place or from their car at polling places are not required to sign.
New York: Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) recently unveiled his “Democracy Agenda” that includes plans to protect state elections from hacking threats and enhance voting opportunities. The enhanced voting opportunities include early voting, automatic voter registration and same day voter registration.
V. Legal Updates
Utah: U.S. District Judge Robert Shelby has handed down new voting districts in San Juan County a year after he declared the boundaries unconstitutional and discriminatory against Native American voters. County commissioner Phil Lyman told the Associated Press that the county plans to appeal.
North Dakota: Attorneys representing several members of the Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa have filed a new complaint challenging voter ID law. The amended complaint asks a federal judge to declare House Bill 1369 unconstitutional and prevent it from being implemented, arguing that it violates the national Voting Rights Act. The bill, sponsored by Republican lawmakers, was signed into law by Gov. Doug Burgum in late April.
VI. Tech Thursday
Indiana: Secretary of State Connie Lawson’s office will conduct a pilot program in 2018 to add an additional level to security to access the state’s voter registration rolls. The Indiana State Voter Registration System pilot program will have 10 participating counties and each employee will now have a physical toke key that must be entered as part of the log-in process to access the voter registration system. "While access to the system has always been restricted, we are taking it a step further through additional security measures," Valerie Warycha, deputy chief of staff and communications for the secretary of state’s office told the Chicago Tribune.
VII. Opinions This Week
Maine: Access to voting
New Mexico: Ranked choice voting
Ohio: Voting update
Oklahoma: Voter ID
Pennsylvania: Vote tampering
Texas: Election laws
Vermont: Election security
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.