I. In Focus This Week
Denver Elections fulfills need for election judges in unique way
Partnership with Denver Day Works employs area homeless
By M. Mindy Moretti
In 2017 Denver Elections Division employed a special group of election judges to work in the ballot processing room.
They didn’t look any different from any of the other temporary election workers, they ate in the break room with everyone else and had the same temporary employee badges. They processed ballots for six hours a day just like everyone else.
What made these nine election judges special though is that they were employed through Denver Day Works, a program designed to provide a low to no barrier work experience for people throughout the city who are experiencing homelessness.
“The first day was an electrifying day,” said Elizabeth Littlepage, election judge coordinator. “I felt like we were really making an impact in these workers lives, giving them the opportunity to get back into the workforce.”
Like many of the Denver Day Works' partnerships, the connection with Elections came as a suggestion from someone only indirectly involved explained Marcus Ritosa, lean facilitator with Denver Day Works. From a program leadership perspective, Ritosa saw this as a good project in part because of the nature of the work. It was something indoors, low-impact, and more details-oriented.
For Littlepage, the call from Denver Day Works was helping her deal with a struggle every election official in the country faces — finding enough election judges/poll workers.
Littlepage said that after several meetings with the Denver Day Works team to discuss the possibility of the program, the Elections Division then had to meet with attorneys to determine if it would be possible because all election judges are required to go through background checks. This was a new step for Denver Day Works.
“One of the new processes we tested during this election cycle was in effectively and efficiently conducting limited background checks in accordance with Elections Division rules,” Ritosa said. “While there may have been some potential workers excluded for these reasons, we were able to perform the necessary checks without disruption or burden on our process.”
Other than the background check, the only other requirement the workers needed to fulfill is that they had to be eligible to register to vote in Denver.
The workers assisted in the ballot processing room for four separate days, six hours each day, and there were five workers per day, but not always the same workers each day. In total nine total different workers helped over the four day schedule the Elections Division had set up.
Because the workers were working in the ballot processing room, there was very little training involved and it didn’t matter if a different employee showed up the next day.
According to Littlepage, the workers were excited, energetic, and very approachable. They were all very different, with varying backgrounds and experiences. One of the workers had been an election judge in Chicago in the 1980s.
The Department of Human services recently released a video with clients telling their own stories about working with Denver Day Works. One of those workers is Regina, who worked at the Elections Division. In the video, Regina talks about how important it was to her to be trusted in such an important city job.
“You can tell from the video her pride in working for the Elections division as she shows her badge,” Ritosa said. “We also know that many of our participants at that site chose to return for the second week in the short project.”
The workers employed through Denver Day Works are paid a set daily rate through the Department of Human Services. Some get cash, some get gift cards and some get checks, depending on each which option they choose and they are paid at the end of the day. Denver Day Works also provides a sack lunch for each of the employees.
On the Elections side, Littlepage said a decision was made to pay the Department of Human Services the amount the city would have paid election judges, working the same hours, that were not part of the program.
“We wanted to do this because we hope that it will help expand the program,” Littlepage said.
Although a mechanism like Denver Day Works may not be available in every jurisdiction, if it is, Littlepage strongly recommended that other elections officials consider working with the program.
Ritosa echoed Littlepage’s sentiments and offered some advice. He said if other elections groups are considering recruiting among the homeless population, it's important to recognize how on-boarding and operations can be structured using some principles of supported employment (as opposed to competitive employment).
“For instance, we were successful because 1) we ensured that they could reliably work for pay (cash) on the scheduled day, 2) we offered breakfast, lunch, and a secure place to store personal belongings, 3) we operated at a location easily accessible by public transit and/or near other service providers, and 4) we were careful to conduct the background checks transparently, after gaining initial trust, and ensuring that a failure would not be just one more ‘closed door’.”
Littlepage is looking forward to continuing the partnership this year.
“As the election judge coordinator for the Denver Elections Division, I feel it is important to always have different sources and ways to find the large amount of election judges needed from election to election,” Littlepage said. “I am so thrilled to collaborate with this program again in 2018; this is a great partnership to have between Denver Human Services and the Denver Elections Division and I am eager to see it grow.”
II. Federal-State Updates
In Texas, plaintiffs in a suit that seeks to prevent the state from providing the Presidential Advisory Commission on Election Integrity with voter data are seeking a way to end the suit now that the commission no longer exists and the White House says that all data already collected will be thrown out.
“We’re going to reach out to the state to see if we can come up with some sort of joint agreement for winding down the lawsuit in a way that makes us satisfied that voter rights are going to be protected,” Myrna Pérez, a lawyer for the Brennan Center for Justice at New York University’s Law School, which represented the plaintiffs in the case told The Dallas Morning News. “We are not suggesting there is no way and no information that could be sent over striking the balance the Legislature struck in crafting the election law, but we’re worried about the balance.”
III. Election News This Week
The Illinois State Board of Elections recently decided that it will not be providing voter data to the interstate program Crosscheck. According to the Rock River Times, the ISBE cited security concerns as the reason for not sending the data. “As of this date, we have received no description of security enhancements from Crosscheck,” ISBE Executive Director Steve Sandvoss said in a Jan. 10 letter to legislators. “We plan to review and discuss those proposed enhancements upon receipt and we will transmit no data to Crosscheck until security issues are addressed to our satisfaction.”
Posible si. Posible no. The Hall County, Georgia board of elections has reversed course on an April 2017 plan to provide ballots in Spanish. Instead, the board voted to establish a committee to study the costs. The committee will report its findings in January 2019. According to the Gainesville Times, more than a dozen speakers testified in favor of bilingual ballots, saying it was the right thing to do on ethical, financial and patriotic grounds. Speakers included Hall County residents and representatives from Latino groups and the American Civil Liberties Union. Craig Lutz, a member of the elections said the county didn’t know the cost of bilingual ballots and said having English-only ballots wouldn’t disenfranchise voters, the paper reported.
Canyon County, Idaho is leaving nothing to chance with its polling places in 2018 and has signed a $45,600 contract with an independent contractor to make sure that the all of the county’s polling places are accessible. In 2016, the U.S. Department of Justice found that only four of the county’s 25 polling sites were fully accessible. The county and their new contractor, Meeting the Challenge, have until March 13 to get the polling sites into compliance.
The League of Women Voters in Naperville, Illinois is providing birthday boxes to students at two high schools who will turn 18 in time for the November election. According to the Daily Herald, contain nonpartisan information about registering to vote, searching for reliable information about candidates, voting by mail while in college, forming opinions in a democracy and why voting is important. Along with the handouts, each box contains pencils, mints and Tootsie Rolls in patriotic wrappers, a business card for the League of Women Voters website, and a letter from a fellow voter. We think that sounds like a pretty awesome gift!
Personnel News: Butler County, Ohio board of elections deputy director Jocelyn Bucaro has been sworn in as the new president of the Ohio Association of Election Officials. JoHanna Cox, an attorney and former prosecutor, has announced she will seek the Republican nomination for secretary of state in New Mexico. Edgardo Cortes, Virginia Election Commissioner, will not stay on under newly elected Gov. Ralph Northam. Martha A. Jones of the Wayne County, Indiana election board, has received a Lifetime Achievement Award from the secretary of state’s office. Rose Ann Vasquez is the new deputy clerk in Dona Ana County, New Mexico. Jim Harper, an attorney, has announced his candidacy for the Indiana secretary of state seat.
IV. Legislative Updates
Federal Legislation: Sens. Marco Rubio (R-Florida) and Chris Van Hollen (D-Maryland) have introduced the Defending Elections from Threats by Establishing Redlines (DETER ) Act. According to The Hill, the bill lays out specific foreign actions against U.S. elections that would warrant penalties from the federal government. The types of sanctions imposed would be left up to the Administration.
Arizona: The Senate Judiciary Committee has authorized $2.5 million to hold a special election to replace Rep. Trent Franks, that’s $1 million less than what Maricopa County estimates it will cost to conduct the election. The costs are for two elections, a primary election on Feb. 27 and the general election on April 24.
California: San Francisco supervisors are considering proposal that would push back the implementation of Proposition N. Proposition N was approved by the voters and allows legal non-citizens to vote in local elections. Supervisor Sandra Fewer is leading the charge to delay implementation saying the board of supervisors needs more time to make it bulletproof.
Florida: Without debate, the executive committee of the Florida Constitution Revision Commission voted 4-2 against a measure that would have made the secretary of state position an elected seat instead of an appointed one.
Indiana: By a 45-2 vote, the Senate has approved Senate Bill 155 that allows county elections officials to count the ballot of a voter who casts their vote before Election Day, but dies before the ballot is counted.
Nebraska: Sen. John Murante has introduced three bills relating to voter ID. LB 1066 people would be required to show a photo ID to vote, the bill would also require the secretary of state’s office to provide IDs to people who don’t have any of the acceptable IDs. LB 1065 would permit the use of electronic poll books. LB 1064 would require the secretary of state to check the citizenship status of registered voters and those applying to become registered voters.
New Hampshire: SB 438 would allow the secretary of state’s office to take postpone town elections in cases of emergencies, such as bad weather.
Also in New Hampshire, Rep. Elizabeth Read (D-Newmarket) has introduced House Bill 1540 would bring ranked choice voting to the Granite State.
North Carolina: Senate Bill 704—the Universal Senate Voter Registration Bill—would automatically register people to vote at driver’s license offices, public agencies, community colleges and state universities. It also requires the bi-partisan state Board of Elections and Ethics Enforcement to implement an outreach campaign informing citizens of automatic voter registration.
Ohio: Rep. Kathleen Clyde (D), who is also running for secretary of state, announced plans to introduced two bills designed to safeguard Ohio’s elections. One bill would establish a cybersecurity director within the secretary of state’s office and the other would require counties to conduct audits.
South Dakota: The Senate has approved HB 1004 which ensures the state board of elections has the authority to set the font and size of type and overall size of the petition form for ballot measures.
Texas: The Dallas County commission voted this week to limit the number of mail-in ballot applications a campaign and others may obtain. Campaigns will now only be allowed to pick up 200 applications and individuals can only pick up five. Previously there had been no limits. The commission cited fraud and the costs for providing and endless number of copies as reason for the change.
Virginia: Del. Patrick Hope (D-47th) has introduced legislation that would allow the Arlington County board to mandate instant runoff voting in local races. According to Inside NoVA, The proposal has elicited a wary reaction from the county’s Electoral Board and elections staff. Linda Lindberg, the supervisor of elections in Arlington, brought up concerns related to the cost for new technology, the potential confusion for voters and a likely lag time in reporting election winners.
Also in Virginia, legislation introduced by Del. Marcus Simon (D-Falls Church) seeks to clarify the process for when an election ends in a tie. As law as currently written, a candidate losing a race by lot, may seek another recount. Under the proposed legislation, the drawing of lots would be the end of the process.
So far about 45 bills and a half-dozen constitutional amendments to expand voting rights have been introduced.
Wisconsin: The Assembly has approved Assembly Bill 85 which will allow municipal officials to serve as election officials. Under current law, a member of a municipality’s governing body is prohibited to hold another office or position of employment within the city, village or town with three narrow exceptions. AB 85 would add serving as an election official to the list of exceptions. The bill does not remove the prohibition currently in place that prevents an elected official from serving as an election official where his or her name is on the ballot.
V. Legal Updates
Alabama: The NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund filed notice that they are appealing U.S. District Judge L. Scott Coogler’s order to dismiss a lawsuit against the state’s voter ID law. "We are deeply disappointed by the judge's ruling dismissing our case before trial," said LDF President and Director-Counsel Sherrilyn Ifill. "Over the course of two years, we have developed a sound case demonstrating that Alabama's voter ID law is racially discriminatory. We had hoped to present our full case at trial next month."
California: Earlier this month the State of California reached a settlement agreement with the League of Women Voters and three other groups that had sued the state’s Department of Motor Vehicles and Secretary of State’s Office claiming that the state burdens would-be voters by making them fill out the same information on two separate voter registration forms. Under the agreement, the state agreed to continue rolling out AB 1461 — automatic voter registration — on the LWV’s schedule.
Minnesota: Jeffrey Spanier, 53 of Sartell pleaded guilty to a felony count of registering to vote as an ineligible voter in November 2016. As a convicted felon on probation, Spanier was not eligible to register to vote.
North Dakota: In August 26, a federal judge granted a preliminary injunction against the state’s voter ID law. This week, the state argued in U.S. District Court that voter affidavits are “incompatible” with North Dakota’s status as the only state without voter registration. "Thousands of unverifiable votes will likely be cast in future elections as long as North Dakota is forced to use voter's affidavits in conjunction with its choice to remove registration as an impediment to voting," the state argued, the West Fargo Pioneer reported.
VI. Tech Thursday
Kansas: Bryan Caskey, director of elections in Secretary of State Kris Kobach’s office said the state will postpone the initial uploading of voter registration data from other states to Crosscheck while the secretary’s office reviews the program’s cybersecurity.
Missouri: The Show Me State will be showing its voter rolls to 21 other states and the District of Columbia beginning this week with the announcement that Missouri has joined ERIC. “I have advocated for Missouri’s participation in ERIC since the inception of the program,” former Boone Co. Clerk Wendy Noren said in the news release. “Secretary Ashcroft’s agreement is a huge win for anyone who cares about maintaining accurate registration lists and improving services to voters.”
Oregon: Secretary of State Dennis Richardson announced this week that preliminary results of the upcoming Jan. 23 special election will be streamed live on his official Facebook page before they are officially posted on the state election site. "The live-stream will show the secretary discussing elections and voting and provide the preliminary election results," spokeswoman, Debra Royal told KTVL. "This is something new we're trying, to engage voters who use social media and who might not necessarily go to our website to retrieve election results."
VII. Opinions This Week
Alabama: Voter ID
Indiana: Voting obstacles
Michigan: Voting rights
New Hampshire: Voter fraud
New Jersey: Automatic voter registration
New Mexico: Ranked choice voting
North Carolina: Voter fraud
Ohio: Voting rights
Oklahoma: Special elections
Virginia: Election laws
VIII. Available RFPs/RFIs
Elections Ballot Mailing Services Solution
Ada County has issued a Request for Information for the use of an Elections Ballot Mailing Services Solution (EBMSS) for next year. The RFI is open until January 31, 2018 (1/31/18).
Risk Limiting Audit Software
The Colorado Secretary of State’s office has issued a Request for Information for the next development phase of the state’s risk-limiting audit software tool. The RFI is open until January 21.
The RFI is posted on VSS. Please have vendors go to this website:
- In the middle of the page on the left-hand side they will see a button marked public access. Click here.
- At the top of the page in the middle they will see the keyword search. Have the vendor type in “Risk Limiting.”
- This will bring up both the previously published DQ and the newly published RFI. Click on the RFI details button.
- The attachments tab on the next screen will pull up the RFI and the Exhibit A.
Voting System Development
Los Angeles County Registrar-Recorder/County Clerk (RR/CC) Dean C. Logan released a Request for Proposals (RFP) for the Los Angeles County Voting Solutions for All People (VSAP). The RFP seeks proposals from pre-qualified vendors to support the development and implementation of the County’s new voting systems. Vendors were pre-qualified during the initial Phase of this RFP in November 2017.
The VSAP is an innovative project launched by Los Angeles County to develop a completely new voting experience for Los Angeles County voters; an experience that focuses on the needs and preferences of the voters themselves – and, that is publicly owned and operated. The proposed new voting experience was designed using a human-centered approach that engaged over 3,500 voters in the design process to result in an experience that is secure, accessible and convenient.
Pre-qualified vendors have until Friday, March 2, 2018 at 2PM to respond. Individuals desiring more information on the RFP are advised to visit the VSAP website at VSAP: Request for Proposals.
Additional information and updates are available online at vsap.lavote.net.
IX. Upcoming Events
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.
X. Job Postings This Week
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.
Deputy Director of Voter Service, Denver, Colorado— the City and County of Denver's Elections Division has an opening for a Deputy Director of Voter Services. This position is instrumental in our office's duty to plan and conduct successful elections for City and County of Denver voters. The objective of this position is to coordinate and manage the day to day activities of the voter services team. Some of the day to day: Plans, organizes, and directs the work of the department staff in all aspects of elections held in Denver in accordance with federal, state, and local laws. Plan and manage the customer experience and service functional areas; manage voter outreach activities; oversee the voter registration process and the maintenance of registration files; estimate personnel requirements and resources for varying work projects; communicate the need for resources to accomplish established objectives; Plan and manage various phases of the election process, including but not limited to: preparing election calendars and department work plans; creating official notices to voters; preparing and ordering official ballot materials; issuing and processing of mail ballots; managing election procedures including the voter process; establishing key performance metrics and indicators; post-election reconciliation activities; registration list maintenance; ensure the training materials are accurate and effective; and look for ways to continuously improve processes, procedures, and policies to more effectively deliver election services. Assigns, directs and supervises activities of election team members, ensuring enforcement of a myriad of statutory mandates, directives, policies, procedures and standards, appropriate delivery of service to customers; and ensure fiscal responsibility in all aspects of the voter services division. Salary: Up to $97,000. Deadline: Jan. 23. 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.
Support Specialist, Marion County, Oregon— journey level classification of the Information Services series, which applies specialized knowledge in department wide, multiple software applications; conducts training sessions; assists in design of systems and applications, and recommend policy or procedural changes to ensure effectiveness and efficiency of systems; provides technical assistance in and facilitates the use of computer hardware and software for a department; and performs related work as required. Works under the general supervision of the Elections and Recording Manager who assigns work, establishes goals, and reviews work for conformance to technical standards and compliance with department goals. Salary: $23.29-$31.17 hourly. Deadline: Jan. 29. Application: For the complete job listing and to apply, click here.
Each aluminum briefcase contains the following: aluminum legs, privacy shield, writing base, light assembly. All units are in great shape dimensions are 22”x 18”x 3“. MFG: ESL. Election supplies Limited, Napa California. Quantity: 400 Price per unit is $45. Contact Greg Larson 408.569.1004