Registrar of Voters
Election Advisory Committee Meeting
Friday, February 22, 2013, 9:30 AM.
Room 324A, Marin Civic Center
A meeting of the Election Advisory Committee was held on Friday, February 22, 2013. Present were: Greg Brockbank, Ericka Erickson, Veda Florez, Bonnie Glaser, Marcia Hagen, Morgan Kelley, Anne Layzer, Jeanne Leoncini, and Bob Richard. Present from the Elections Office: Elaine Ginnold, Melvin Briones, and Colleen Ksanda.
May 7, 2013 Special Vote by Mail Election
Committee members reviewed a handout with key dates and deadlines for the May 7, 2013 Special Vote by Mail Election. There are approximately 48,000 voters in the following districts on the ballot: Alto, Almonte, Homestead Valley and Richardson Bay Sanitary Districts, and the San Rafael Elementary and High School Districts. On Election Day, voters can drop off their ballots at the following three sites from 7 AM to 8 PM on Election Day: Marin County Election Office, Mill Valley Community Center, and San Rafael City Hall, City Clerk’s Office. If voters lose or damage their ballots, they can get another ballot at the Elections Office.
Committee members reviewed the Voter Instructions insert for VBM ballots and recommended printing the date of the election to accompany the phrase, "on Election Day." The date of the election will be included for the next printing of this insert.
Goals and Objectives for elections in FY 2013-14
Committee members brainstormed objectives for 2 Goals for FY 2013-14. A discussion of the remaining goals will be on the agenda at the next meeting. Report on committee suggestions follows:
Goal 1: Voter outreach and education
- Focus on areas of low registration, bilingual and low income voters.
- Focus public information efforts in places where target population goes (bus stops, grocery stores, apartment complexes, local leadership classes).
- Ask Grassroots to make a presentation to the Committee on effective outreach methods to target populations.
- Partner with schools, libraries, community leaders. Invite HS students for a tour of the elections office.
- Look for funding to help pay for outreach efforts.
- Connect with Secretary of State outreach efforts.
- Survey non registered voters to see what is preventing them from registering to vote. Let non registered voters know that jury selection is made from other lists, such as DMV, besides the voter list to reduce fear of jury selection.
Ericka Erickson, from Grassroots, agreed to speak to the committee at a meeting later this year. She emphasized that peer education is effective outreach tool that helps with voter education. It is important for voters to know what is on the ballot so they can relate it to their own lives and make a connection with the issues.
Goal 2: Poll worker training and recruitment
- Keep role playing exercises
- Provide food at classes
- Require all poll workers to go to training
- Evaluate poll workers to weed out poor performers
- Pair experienced with new workers when role playing
- Send poll workers home with materials
- Continue the e-poll book pilot
- Provide personal checklist of items that could be helpful to poll workers on Election Day, such as information regarding what to wear, food, breaks, expectation for a long day.
PEW report on elections — ranking of States
Committee discussed the PEW report on state elections and how we can use the 17 assessment tools in the study to measure election performance in Marin. The information in the study used only data that came from reliable sources, such as the Election Assistance Commission’s survey of states and the US Census bureau. The states were ranked in three areas: Registration, Voting and Counting and on two factors: Convenience and Integrity. For example, registration convenience would be how easy it is for voters to register to vote. Registration integrity would be how well the registration lists are maintained to ensure that ineligible voters are removed. The assessment tools in this survey could also be used to compare the elections performance from county to county. To see the survey report, go to www.pewstates.org.
Bob Richard brought up the issue of how California voting rights laws can impact election performance. He will prepare a presentation on this for a meeting later in the year. The Committee requested information on which states administer elections at the state level.
Sharing best election management practices among jurisdictions
There is currently no one source that compares election management practices among jurisdictions, however; there are many state and national resources that have information about election administration practices. Ms. Ginnold distributed a list of resources with election information about other counties. In California, the CA Association of Clerks and Election Officials has a website http://caceo58.org that posts election information from counties. The CA Secretary of State issues memos to counties with interpretation of election laws and suggestions for procedures for various election processes. (See attached report below.)
Registration look-up on website
This topic is scheduled for the March meeting as the changes we requested have not yet been added to the website.
Colleen Ksanda distributed feedback from poll workers about the e-poll book pilot at the November 2012 election. The response from poll workers to the ES&S e-poll book was mainly positive except for the areas of voter sign-in and maintenance of the street index. Bob Richard suggested doing a pilot of an e-roster with the signature pad if the Secretary of State allows it. He suggested continuing our exploration on the use of an e-roster.
What happens if unopened ballots are found after election is certified?
Unopened ballots found after the election is certified are not opened and counted unless they would change the result of the election. If the unopened ballots would change the results of the election, the ballots would be opened and counted and the election would be re-certified. Marin County has controls in place to prevent this type of situation. Controls include having office staff recount the poll worker count of VBM ballots turned in at the polls to make sure the two numbers match and inspecting every empty VBM envelope to make sure there are no ballots left in them.
Post canvass risk limiting audit report
Ms. Ginnold reported that the post canvass risk limiting pilot audit of the June 5, 2012 election was done on February 14, 2013 and all ballots matched the scanned images. She distributed a report with the details of the audit. Report is posted on Elections website.
There being no further business, the meeting adjourned at 11:30 AM. The next meeting will be on Friday, March 22. Note that the date of the March meeting has changed to March 22.
Sharing Best Election Management Practices Among Jurisdictions
February 22, 2013
What is currently being done to share best election management practices?
California Association of Clerks and Elections Officials: http://caceo58.org
- Has website with postings for: Procedures and manuals for various election processes; Election Surveys and reports from various counties.
- CACEO Election Legislation SubCommittee meets monthly to review state election legislation.
- Sponsors a New Law Workshop every December to review the new laws for the new year
- Sponsors occasional training seminars on election issues
CA Secretary of State: http://www.sos.ca.gov/elections
- Posts information on various election processes on website. Has a page for Counties to share materials they have developed.
- Provide food at classes
- Issues memos to counties with interpretations of election law, procedures to implement new laws, notices of deadlines, requests for reports from counties.
The Election Center:
has a training program for election officials, holds conferences about elections, and has an annual best practices award program that counties can participate in. http://www.electioncenter.org
The National Association of Clerks and Recorders:
has conferences and offers educational sessions in election administration at meetings of the Association. http://www.nacrc.org
Election Assistance Commission
has website and brochures on election administration. http://www.eac.gov
is a weekly online newsletter with news and information about elections in the U.S. http://www.electionline.org
Election Administration Reports:
is a bi-weekly newsletter with news about elections in the U.S. and information about Federal election legislation. http://electionadminreports.com
Periodicals such as Governing and Governing Technology have information about what counties are doing, but are not focused on elections. http://www.governing.com. and http://www.govtech.com
PEW research center. Research and reports on election topics. Just published report: Elections Performance Index — The first Comprehensive Assessment of Election Administration Across the Nation. http://www.pewstates.org
Brennan Center for Justice. Research and reports on election topics. http://www.brennancenter.org