Clearinghouse Resources for Election Officials

Last Updated 9/23/2022

Welcome to the EAC’s latest resources for election officials! On this page, the EAC has compiled some of our most recent products and information. These resources are organized into several categories. Click each link below to go directly to that topic. 

Latest Resources for Election Officials

  • 10/17/2022 - Non-Confrontational Techniques for Election Workers Training 

    • This video is a shortened version of the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency’s (CISA)  Non-Confrontational Techniques for Election Workers Training. To support election workers in a heightened threat environment, this training emphasizes non-confrontational techniques to help election workers recognize potentially escalating situations, determine if emergency response is needed, safely de-escalate, and report appropriately. State, local, tribal, and territorial (SLTT) election administrators can utilize this video for poll workers and other frontline election workers to complement their existing training with techniques to de-escalate potentially violent situations.

  • 9/12/2022 - Polling Place Consolidation Simulations

    • This simulations video series is intended to help election officials develop a polling place consolidation program. It provides visual interpretations of voting locations, equipment, staff, and explores how different strategies may work in practice at a voting location.

  • 8/31/2022 - Best Practices: Accessibility for Voting By Mail

    • An increasing number of states and voters have begun to utilize alternative means of voting, particularly outside of the polling place. Despite the differences in terminology and methodology used to describe voting outside of a polling place, the process must be accessible. According to the EAC’s Disability and Voting Accessibility in the 2020 Election survey conducted by Rutgers University, voters with disabilities were more likely to vote by mail.

      This document highlights the primary barriers to voting by mail and provides best practices to help ensure voters with disabilities have equal access to this crucial voting option. Election officials, policymakers, and advocates can utilize this guide's checklists and best practices to better serve this community.

  • 8/29/2022 - Best Practices: Election Technology Security

    • Election administration requires careful attention to security to maintain the integrity of the entire voting process. Election officials must develop and follow procedures to ensure the security of all components of the election process—from voter registration through final results certification. This document highlights security features that are essential for protecting election technology.  

  • 8/10/2022 - Protecting U.S. Elections: A CISA Cybersecurity Toolkit (August 10, 2022) - The Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) released this toolkit as a one-stop catalog of free services and tools available for state and local election officials to improve the cybersecurity and resilience of their infrastructure. As the lead federal agency responsible for election security, CISA regularly works with state and local election officials to secure their systems and offers a number of services, information products, and other resources. This toolkit was developed through CISA’s Joint Cyber Defense Collaborative (JCDC), which worked with private and public sector organizations, including in the election community, and JCDC alliance members – to compile these free resources. The toolkit is organized into broad categories designed to help election officials:

    • Assess their risk using an Election Security Risk Profile Tool developed by CISA and the U.S. Election Assistance Commission;

    • Find tools related to protecting voter information, websites, email systems, and networks; and 

    • Protect assets against phishing, ransomware, and distributed denial-of-services (DDoS) attacks. 

  • 6/23/2022Incident Response Checklist

    • During early voting and Election Day, communications between election officials and voting locations are extremely important. When incidents occur, communication needs to be quick and should convey informed decisions about how to respond. Election officials, poll workers, community leaders, and election stakeholders should help develop and understand the plan. This EAC checklist aims to make incident response easier to plan, implement, and assess.

  • 6/23/2022Removing Personal Identifying Information (PII) from a Google Search

    • Personal information, which is often part of the public record for election officials, administrators, poll workers, and others associated with conducting elections, can be exploited and shared online for the purpose of intimidation and harassment. One option for election officials to remove URLs containing personal information is Google’s newly expanded Personal Identifying Information (PII) Removal process.  This EAC memo provides information about the program and how state and local election officials can access or seek more information about this process. 

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Accessibility

  • Best Practices for Accessible In-Person Voting

    • This document provides information about what obstacles voters with disabilities may face with in-person voting and offers best practices to ensure equal access to all aspects of the in-person voting experience.

 

  • Best Practices for Accessible Voter Registration

    • This guide highlights the primary barriers to accessibility in the voter registration process and provides best practices to help ensure voters with disabilities have equal access to this crucial first step of the voting experience.

 

  • Best Practices: Accessibility for Voting By Mail

    • This document highlights the primary barriers to voting by mail and provides best practices to help ensure voters with disabilities have equal access to this crucial voting option. Election officials, policymakers, and advocates can utilize this guide's checklists and best practices to better serve this community.

 

  • Fact sheet: Disability and Voter Turnout in the 2020 Elections

    • An estimated 1.95 million people with disabilities had trouble voting in 2020, but according to this report by the Program for Disability Research at Rutgers University and the U.S. Election Assistance Commission, accessibility was significantly improved compared to previous elections. For more information about voter turnout and trends for voters with disabilities during the 2020 election, you can view our roundtable discussion on this topic below:

 

  • Language Access and Accessibility

    • Election officials must communicate information so that voters with disabilities that impact their hearing, seeing, speaking, reading, writing, or comprehension can understand. Recognizing the intersection of language access and disability ensures that election officials produce materials accessible to all voters when meeting language access requirements. This document provides brief case studies and a checklist for video, audio, and image accessibility.

 

  • Native Americans and Disability Access

    • Native American voters face multiple barriers to participating in elections, from language access issues to registering to vote at nontraditional addresses. Additionally, Native Americans have the highest rate of disability among all American ethnicities and racial groups, with nearly 1 in 4 Native Americans having a disability. The intersection of these challenges can make voting especially challenging among Native American communities. This one-page document discusses these challenges and offers solutions to promote equitable access to the ballot.

 

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Audits

  • Election Audits Across the United States

    • Election audits ensure voting systems operate accurately, that election officials comply with regulations or internal policies and identify and resolve discrepancies to promote voter confidence in the election administration process. There is no national auditing standard, and methods can vary from procedural, traditional, risk-limiting, tiered, or a combination of one or more types. This document provides detailed information about the types of audits conducted in the United States, as well as timing, case studies, and additional state-specific information.

 

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Election Security

  • Voting System Security Measures

    • This guide outlines some of the many best practices local election officials follow to secure voting systems through an election cycle. It's important to note this is a broad list of common security measures and procedures to protect the integrity of an election. The types of security measures may vary based on the voting systems in use in state and local jurisdictions. We hope this will also be a helpful resource for election officials as they work to educate the public on this critical part of election administration. This resource and other information for voter on election security is available here and resources for election officials on election security is available here

 

  • Best Practices: Chain of Custody

    • Chain of Custody refers to the processes, or paper trail, that documents the transfer of materials from one person (or place) to the next. Every state and local jurisdiction has its own controls for ensuring the chain of custody of election materials is properly maintained. This document is intended to provide examples of best practices, checklists, and forms for maintaining a proper chain of custody.

 

  • Byrne Justice Assistance Grants (Byrne JAG) Memo

    • The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) established a task force to address ongoing threats of violence against election workers, administrators, officials, and volunteers. During the Task Force’s work, the DOJ received inquiries regarding grant programs to protect election workers and the voting process. On January 26, 2022, the DOJ issued guidance that funds from the Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grant Program (Byrne JAG) may be used to protect election workers from violence and criminal threats of violence. This three-page memo provides information about the program and how state and local election officials can access or seek more information about these resources.

 

  • Election Official Alert: Paper Supply Chain Risk Management

    • This three-page document, from April 2022, provides information about the current risks to the paper supply chain for election officials. This paper also provides a detailed breakdown of these risks by election process type, including possible mitigation strategies election officials can use when planning for this year’s elections. 

 

  • Election Official Security

    • No one should have to face violent threats at work, but unfortunately, this is the reality for many election officials. There are proactive steps election officials can take to improve their personal security, and it is critically important to document and report every threat and develop a working relationship with federal and local law enforcement. This website provides a quick reference for election officials who may be facing personal threats while at work.

 

  • 8/29/2022 - Best Practices: Election Technology Security
    • Election administration requires careful attention to security to maintain the integrity of the entire voting process. Election officials must develop and follow procedures to ensure the security of all components of the election process—from voter registration through final results certification. This document highlights security features that are essential for protecting election technology.  

 

  • Incident Response Checklist
    • During early voting and Election Day, communications between election officials and voting locations are extremely important. When incidents occur, communication needs to be quick and should convey informed decisions about how to respond. Election officials, poll workers, community leaders, and election stakeholders should help develop and understand the plan. This EAC checklist aims to make incident response easier to plan, implement, and assess.

 

 

  • Removing Personal Identifying Information (PII) from a Google Search

    • Personal information, which is often part of the public record for election officials, administrators, poll workers, and others associated with conducting elections, can be exploited and shared online for the purpose of intimidation and harassment. One option for election officials to remove URLs containing personal information is Google’s newly expanded Personal Identifying Information (PII) Removal process.  This EAC memo provides information about the program and how state and local election officials can access or seek more information about this process.

 

  • Supply Chain Considerations for Election Officials

    • Election officials are contingency planners and as any election approaches, especially federal elections, the EAC understands the planning that officials are doing to serve voters. In 2022, paper supply chain challenges are a concern for election officials as the midterm primaries and general election near. This page contains resources addressing the paper supply chain issues for election officials and recommendations on how to mitigate the impact of these challenges.

 

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In-Person Voting

  • Polling Place Consolidation Simulations

    • This simulations video series is intended to help election officials develop a polling place consolidation program. It provides visual interpretations of voting locations, equipment, staff, and explores how different strategies may work in practice at a voting location.

 

  • Geo-Enabled Elections

    • Many elections offices are integrating geographic information systems (GIS) as a tool to create, manage, and analyze election data. This guide helps election officials identify and secure the resources necessary to create and maintain a GIS database. Election officials can use this guide to learn the basics of using GIS to improve election administration.

 

  • Local Election Officials’ Guide to Redistricting

    • Redistricting applies to all levels of government where district elections are held, although not all jurisdictions will be subject to or require new boundaries to be redrawn. Although election officials share basic responsibilities for updating newly redrawn political districts in their records, there are variations in the size of their offices, technical abilities, budgets, and the resources available to update and audit precinct and district boundaries. In addition, because redistricting usually only occurs once every 10 years, it is possible the officials responsible for managing redistricting has only overseen the process one or fewer times.  The purpose of this document is to provide general guidance to assist election officials when making technical changes to precinct and district information in election systems. 

 

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Language Access

  • Language Access Resources

    • The Voting Rights Act (VRA) requires that certain state and political subdivisions provide language assistance during elections for certain language minority groups who are unable to speak or understand English adequately enough to participate in the electoral process. As of 2021, Federal law requires over 330 jurisdictions to provide some type of language assistance. This webpage provides a variety of resources for federal, state, and local jurisdictions related to language access for voters. 

Current Language Access Designations Under Section 203 of the VRA

 

  • Best Practices: Unwritten Languages

    • Unwritten languages can provide unique challenges for meeting the requirements of Section 203 of the Voting Rights Act. The unwritten languages currently covered by Section 203 include Aleut, Apache, Inupiaq, Pueblo, and Yup’ik. This document provides a general overview for meeting the language access requirements for these or other unwritten languages.

 

  • Language Access and Accessibility

    • Election officials must communicate information so that voters with disabilities that impact their hearing, seeing, speaking, reading, writing, or comprehension can understand. Recognizing the intersection of language access and disability ensures that election officials produce materials accessible to all voters when meeting language access requirements. This document provides brief case studies and a checklist for video, audio, and image accessibility.

 

  • Language Access Program Checklist

    • In 2019, 26.9 million people in the U.S. had limited English proficiency, and 67.8 million people spoke a language other than English at home. 331 jurisdictions and 3 states are currently covered by Section 203 of the Voting Rights Act, which requires jurisdictions to provide language access for communities that meet certain criteria. Of these 331 jurisdictions, an additional 68 are newly covered under Section 203 in 2021. This two-page checklist is intended to assist election officials in their role in “enab[ling] members of the applicable language minority groups to participate effectively in the electoral process.” 28 CFR § 55.2(b)

 

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"Quick Start Guides"

  • Quick Start Guides
    • The U.S. Election Assistance Commission’s 2022 revision of the Quick Start Guides (QSG) series includes 26 guides that summarize and highlight election administration information in the United States. The goal of the QSG series is to provide a collection of helpful tips and practices to assist state and local election officials in effectively managing and administering elections. This series includes updated best practices and new topics to help election officials run efficient elections. The best practices are designed to be practical and applicable to jurisdictions regardless of their size and resources. The suggestions outlined in the QSG series are solely designed to serve as a source of information for election officials and not as requirements by which they must abide. 

 

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Results, Canvass, and Certification

  • Election Results, Canvass, and Certification

    • Election officials well know there are various steps and factors that impact when election results are final. Communicating that information with the public can be a challenge. Voters look to election officials for trusted information about election results. How election officials display election results can play a key role in facilitating public confidence in election outcomes.  This webpage contains information about the process of reporting, canvassing, and certifying election results, how election results change from unofficial to official, and best practices and resources to help election officials communicate this essential process to voters. It contains videos, charts, and documents on these topics. These topics are important in communicating with the public on how these processes work, in order to help everyone better understand them.

 

  • Election Results Reporting 
    • The election results reported on election night are never the final, certified results. Election officials well know there are various other steps and factors that impact when election results are final. Communicating that information with the public can be a challenge. To help communicate the nuances of this process, the EAC developed several resources to assist election officials as they educate voters. 
       

  • Communicating Election and Post-Election Processes Toolkit
    • Use this toolkit to create educational materials about pre- and post-election processes that observers and the public can understand. Election officials in any size jurisdiction can adapt this toolkit to fit their observer and voter education needs. This toolkit includes a full suite of images and document templates to help voters better understand these critical election processes, both in-person and online. 

 

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Toolkits

  • Best Practices: FAQs

    • Election administration in the United States is highly decentralized, with each state having a unique set of laws that govern voting procedures. Recognizing the breadth of voting practices throughout the country and that local election officials are the best source of trusted information, this toolkit is designed to assist election officials in creating (or improving) FAQs for their websites. Additionally, the toolkit provides social media guides that election officials can use to quickly promote their FAQs as a trusted source of information.

 

  • Communicating Election and Post-Election Processes Toolkit

    • Use this toolkit to create educational materials about pre- and post-election processes that observers and the public can understand. Election officials in any size jurisdiction can adapt this toolkit to fit their observer and voter education needs. This toolkit includes a full suite of images and document templates to help voters better understand these critical election processes, both in-person and online.

 

  • National Poll Worker Recruitment Day

    • Established in 2020 by the U.S. Election Assistance Commission, National Poll Worker Recruitment Day is a day of action with the goal of encouraging potential poll workers to sign up to Help America Vote. This toolkit provides information, sharable graphics, and other resources to help your community participate.

 

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Voter Information and Communication

  • Glossary of Election Terminology

    • The Glossary of Election Terminology contains nearly 1,300 terms and phrases used in the administration of elections in the United States. The purpose of the glossary is to provide election officials with a comprehensive resource of common words and phrases used in the administration of elections. This glossary has also been translated into 21 languages.

 

  • Voting 101: Election Information for New Voters

    • New voters have commonly asked questions on many aspects of voting. While the specifics may vary on the state and local level, there is basic information that is helpful for all new voters. This double-sided flier is a printable resource intended to cover the basic questions new voters have and to share resources to find out more information.

 

  • Voting Access for Native Americans: Case Studies and Best Practices

    • Native Americans are both citizens of their tribes and citizens of the United States. Native American communities are unique within the American political structure and have equally unique challenges to fully participating in United States elections. This document provides detailed background information, case studies, and best practices for providing voting information and services to these diverse communities.

 

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Voting Technology

  • EAC Testing and Certification Program

    • The EAC’s national voluntary voting system certification program is intended to independently verify that voting systems comply with the functional capabilities, accessibility, and security requirements necessary to ensure the integrity and reliability of voting system operation, as established in the Voluntary Voting System Guidelines (VVSG). The purpose of this document is to provide an overview of the EAC Testing and Certification program.

 

  • Geo-Enabled Elections

    • Many elections offices are integrating geographic information systems (GIS) as a tool to create, manage, and analyze election data. This guide helps election officials identify and secure the resources necessary to create and maintain a GIS database. Election officials can use this guide to learn the basics of using GIS to improve election administration. 

 

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