Title: Democracy & Elections Director
About the Position
The Democracy & Elections Director leads Ohio Voice’s (OV) work on democracy reform efforts supporting the coalitions and partners we work with. This role, which was held for 10+ years by the outgoing director, has been and is expected to continue as the lead staffer for the Ohio Voter Rights Coalition (OVRC) and Ohio Fair Courts Alliance and to be OV’s top leader on all things related to democracy and elections — including work on, but not limited to, election protection, election administration, and voting rights. This position will work especially closely with the OVRC Volunteer Engagement Manager, Communications Manager, and Development Coordinator, as well as with external partners and other stakeholders on a regular basis. Management and coaching support for the position will come from OV’s Co-Directors.
Ohio Voice Background
Ohio Voice is the “c3 table” or “civic engagement table” in Ohio — an affiliate of State Voices nationally. Our mission is to support and grow the ecosystem of non-profit, non-partisan organizations doing year-round civic engagement with underrepresented communities in order to win progressive governance that will improve people’s lives.
Our work includes:
Helping partners grow their impact through capacity support, including data and analytics support, comms and social media support, fiscal sponsorship, re-granting, leadership development trainings, community building, and more
Supporting the progressive ecosystem through collective planning efforts and staffing the work of coalitions like the Ohio Voter Rights Coalition (OVRC) and Ohio Fair Courts Alliance
Building on new ideas and experimentation like ballot incubation, creating collective plans for fundraising and maximizing impact, and supporting peer-to-peer networks for organizations joining or expanding the movements for justice in Ohio and beyond
Ohio Voice has worked to build a non-hierarchical environment where self-management and independence are valued. We work in close collaboration with one another on projects.
Vision for Ideal Candidate
The ideal candidate would have a working knowledge of the democracy reform space generally and in Ohio specifically – encompassing issues like election protection, election administration, voting rights, redistricting, and more. Proven interest in and experience working with coalition partners and allies to create collective plans for action (and accompanying budgets) will be necessary, and the ideal candidate would have current working relationships with our closest partners. A track record of being highly organized, communicating proactively, and being reliable and relational will go a long way while working in close collaboration with teams (both within OV and the coalitions that are supported by this role). The ideal candidate will possess strong interpersonal skills and the ability to motivate and guide people to take action, as well as the collaborative experience and mentality necessary to oversee implementation and accountability for the work. Effective working knowledge of Statehouse politics and legislative dynamics, as well as an understanding of administrative decision making at the state and county level would be a big plus. We expect any candidate to have a strong desire to be a statewide expert in these policy areas.
We are seeking an individual who can work independently on projects as well as refine processes to make them run smoothly for diverse groups. The ideal candidate will have high-level facilitation skills and be a strong coach/manager who builds rapport and fits in well with diverse teams. We would love to find someone who is comfortable and effective in driving work plans and ensuring that timelines and outcomes are adhered to. Keeping tabs on many pieces of work, including committees and initiatives that this role will not be leading directly or involved in on a regular basis, will be important to ensure effective communication with various stakeholders. Thinking creatively to solve problems balancing multiple interests will be a regular part of the job. A natural curiosity would lead the ideal candidate to follow the news and best practices in this area of work (both in Ohio and nationally), look for opportunities to fill gaps or take advantage of opportunities, and forge new plans and partnerships to take concepts to reality.
The ideal candidate will bring existing relationships in our ecosystem in Ohio and/or a proven ability to learn and navigate this ecosystem of democracy reform and its intersections with other movements. Campaign, issue, and strategic experience that can be leveraged to facilitate planning and implementation of coalition projects would be very beneficial (e.g. knowledge of field plans, polling projects, issue expertise, power analysis — statewide and in counties/cities, etc.). Due to the dynamic nature of our work, the candidate must be able to manage multiple priorities. We are seeking a candidate who will conduct work through the lens of racial justice, equity, and inclusion to advance equitable democracy for all Ohioans.
The Democracy & Elections Director is an existing position at Ohio Voice and while we foster a non-hierarchical environment, this is certainly a position where we are actively seeking a leader and driver. Primary responsibilities will include:
Convene regular conference calls and communications with the Ohio Voter Rights Coalition (OVRC), a network of local, state, and national voter advocates
Support and/or lead planning and action toward implementing strategic policy and administrative reforms to modernize voter registration, improve voter access, and protect our democracy
Work with election officials to monitor and support elections reforms and troubleshoot barriers to the ballot
Monitor election related legislation, provide testimony to support proactive reforms and defend against voting restrictions
Support creation of grant requests and the creation of plans and budgets for project work
Provide trainings and written materials to support voter education, as well as report on coalition efforts after elections
Collaborate with OV and OVRC team members to support external communications, including blogs, social media, action alerts, op-eds, and earned media
Coordinate a statewide election protection program
Grow the coalition to support fair courts and define strategies and goals for improving the judiciary
A proven commitment to and passion for justice
A track record of working with under-represented communities, particularly in communities of color, with demonstrable cultural competency
Extensive experience working toward civic engagement and/or with coalitions
Strong project management skills, ability to consistently meet deadlines and/or communicate when things change
Excellent written and oral communication skills, willingness and ability to make presentations
Must be able to work independently, as a team leader, and as part of a team
From an experiential level, we are looking for someone that has served in three or more previous sustained, meaningful staff and/or project management roles, with demonstrably strong results.
Salary & Job Information
Starting salary for this position is $60-80,000 annually, based on qualifications and experience, plus generous benefits that include health insurance, access to professional development funds, sabbatical, and more. This position is classified as full-time exempt. We expect it to be a long-term role with our team.
The responsibilities will vary and there will be periods where the work is more internal, and others that are more external facing. Some evenings and weekends may be required, but OV works hard to create a sustainable culture with reasonable work hours and expectations.
Ohio Voice is formally based in Columbus, but remote work is the post/ongoing-pandemic norm. Applicants should live in Ohio or be willing to move to Ohio. We expect this position will be roughly 70% remote work and 30% in-person meetings, with occasional national travel for conferences, meetings, and/or events.
How to Apply
Send an email to [email protected] with “Democracy & Elections Director” in the subject line. Include a resume and a thoughtful cover letter telling us why you are interested in this position specifically and what skills and experience you would bring to the role. Applications without personalized cover letters are unlikely to be considered and may not be responded to.
Deadline for submissions: Applications will be considered on a rolling basis until the position is filled – the initial deadline will be 1/20/23. The position is open until it has been removed from www.ohvoice.org/jobs.
A Note to Potential Candidates:
Studies have shown that women, trans, non-binary folks, and BIPOC are less likely to apply for jobs unless they believe they meet every single one of the qualifications as described in a job description. We are committed to building a diverse and inclusive organization, and we are most interested in finding the best candidate for the job. That candidate may be one who comes from a background less traditional to our field of work, and that’s okay. We would strongly encourage you to apply, even if you don’t believe you meet every one of the qualifications described.
Ohio Voice is an equal opportunity employer. We strive to create a supportive and inclusive workplace where contributions are valued and celebrated, and our employees thrive by being themselves and are inspired to do the best work of their lives.
We seek applicants of all backgrounds and identities, across race, color, ethnicity, national origin or ancestry, citizenship, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, veteran status, marital status, pregnancy or parental status, or disability. Applicants will not be discriminated against based on these or other protected categories or social identities.
Ohio Voice will consider employment for qualified applicants with arrest and conviction records, in accordance with applicable laws. Justice impacted applicants are strongly encouraged to apply.
Ohio Voice is committed to the full inclusion of all applicants. If reasonable accommodation is needed to participate in the job application or interview process please let us know in your application email and/or prior to an interview.