Elections Program Tech Lead
U.S. Digital Response · Remote (US only)
About our Elections Program
America’s election infrastructure is crumbling - and it is critically under-supported. Our vision is an America where every election office has access to the tools and technology required to run modern, fair, and trustworthy elections.
USDR deploys experienced technologists to help election officials quickly respond to new challenges, and builds simple, effective digital tools that enable governments to better meet voters’ needs. Since 2020, USDR has partnered with over 48 election offices and NGOs to work on engagements serving over 13 million people. Examples of our past projects include a poll locator tool built for Native American populations in Arizona with non-traditional addresses (webinar with more info here), and a poll worker management tool that is used by a dozen counties nationwide to acquire, train, communicate with, and pay their poll workers more efficiently (more information here).
In 2022, U.S. Digital Response received a multi-year, multi-million dollar grant award from the Center for Tech and Civic Life to establish a dedicated Elections Program and support the growth of our work as part of the U.S. Alliance for Election Excellence. You can learn more about the goals of this alliance in this TED Talk: An election redesign to restore trust in US democracy by Tiana Epps-Johnson.
About the role
USDR is seeking a Tech Lead to be the first full-time engineering hire for our Elections program. In this role, you will work closely with internal (Program Co-Leads, CTO, and volunteers) and external (local election officials, their staff, and NGOs) team members to prioritize, design, and implement solutions for our government partners. As the first engineering hire, you will play a key role in shaping the growth of our Elections development team, and be a leader participating in hiring processes for other engineers. You will gain deep insight into the real challenges facing America’s elections system, and understand how technologists can help—not as “tech saviors,” but as thought partners.
This is a hybrid role: it entails a mix of hands-on web engineering as well as advising on technical approaches and supervising the work of other team members. Depending on the stage and maturity of a given elections project, you may be leveraging low-code and no-code solutions, or building a webapp. Sometimes our partner projects entail working with technologies that are behind the cutting edge; a willingness to be flexible and meet governments where they are is essential.
In addition to to-be-hired staff developers, USDR’s deep bench of experienced and highly technical volunteers may also join to help implement specific projects—especially rapid-response projects that USDR can ship in two months or fewer. You’ll help set context for them, serve as a technical sounding board, and supervise their work.
You might be a good fit for this role if you’re a senior or staff engineer with mentorship or team leadership experience, a hands-on engineering manager who’s still comfortable designing systems and writing code, or a tech lead by any other name.
In this position you will:
- Architect, implement, launch, and scale web-based software solutions that help election departments respond effectively to voter needs.
- Support the growth of the Elections program engineering team by supervising work, participating in the hiring process, and onboarding and advising engineers from USDR’s volunteer ecosystem to assist with the implementation of projects.
- Comfortable creating direction, not just taking direction. This is a good role for a creative, user-focused engineer.
- Represent USDR on calls with our government and nonprofit partners alongside the Elections Program Leads and volunteers.
- Represent USDR and the values of our Volunteer Oath in your work.
Qualified candidates will have:
- At least 4 years of experience developing web applications through the full software development lifecycle across the stack (both frontend and backend web technologies).
- Previous responsibility for designing and delivering new services and features, not just maintaining legacy systems.
- Ability to self-direct your time toward high-leverage activities.
- Experience working closely with PMs, UX and UI designers, and data scientists and engineers.
- Comfort with joining an early-stage team, meaning that the substance of what you work on will change as our team and products grow in maturity.
- Interest in learning about and contributing to an ecosystem of open source, low-code, and/or no-code software
- Experience as an engineering leader. This doesn’t necessarily mean that you’ve been a people manager. You may have mentored interns, led task forces and working groups, or served as a domain expert or architect in some specialization. In some specific way, you’ve been a force multiplier for the people around you.
- Strong interest in supporting equitable access to public services
- Desire to create an organizational culture and project offerings that reflect anti-oppression knowledge and best practices.
- Or any combination of education, experience, and measurable performance that demonstrates the capability to perform the duties of the position
- Applications will be accepted and reviewed on a rolling basis. USDR will conduct an application and resume review, followed by a series of interviews with various members of USDR.
What you’ll get:
- A competitive salary, consistent with similar roles in other tech non-profits in the Bay Area where USDR is headquartered. The annual salary range for this role is $150,000 - $180,000 depending on experience.
- Full health, dental and vision benefits (USDR pays 100% of the cost for our employees and 80% of the cost for their dependents).
- 401K with a matching contribution of up to 3 percent of your pay with $1 for each dollar you contribute and for more than 3 percent and up to 5 percent of your pay with $0.50 for each dollar you contribute.
- An equipment reimbursement for the purchase of a computer and peripheral devices of up to $2,000 along with a Work from Home allowance of $100 each month to support employees as they navigate working from home.
- A discretionary budget of $500 per year per employee for learning and development along with an organization-wide L&D budget to support individuals and teams with work-related learning and development expenses
- A supportive community where everyone can thrive and find a balance between working hard to make a difference and taking care of themselves. This means that we are committed to a fully remote work environment (for US-based employees) along with flexible schedules and time off policies that work with your life.
Want to learn more?
We recently hosted an Elections Program Info Session for all interested candidates. You can watch the recording here (the passcode is ML$1f#GB).
Equal Employment Opportunity
U.S. Digital Response is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer fully dedicated to achieving a diverse staff. All qualified applicants are encouraged to apply and will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, national origin, age, sex (including pregnancy, gender identity and expression, and sexual orientation), disability status, protected veteran status, political party affiliation, or any other characteristic protected by law.
We encourage and welcome all interested potential applicants, regardless of background or prior experience volunteering with U.S. Digital Response, to apply.