Civics (History and Government) Questions for the Naturalization Test

The 100 civics (history and government) questions and answers for the naturalization test are listed below. The civics test is an oral test and the USCIS Officer will ask the applicant up to 10 of the 100 civics questions. An applicant must answer 6 out of 10 questions correctly to pass the civics portion of the naturalization test.
On the naturalization test, some answers may change because of elections or appointments. As you study for the test, make sure that you know the most current answers to these questions. Answer these questions with the name of the official who is serving at the time of your eligibility interview with USCIS. The USCIS Officer will not accept an incorrect answer.

Ballot Duplication Technology: What Is It and How Does It Work?

Our first post in this series on ballot duplication served as an explainer to demystify this term, which refers to the process used to transcribe a damaged or unreadable ballot so that it can be counted.

In our second blog post, we shared the Overseas Voting Initiative’s (OVI) latest recommendations for ballot duplication in light of the COVID-19 pandemic.

In this post, we will define ballot duplication technology solutions and give a general overview of how these solutions work.

What is ballot duplication technology?

Ballot duplication technology solutions are comprised of software and hardware used to automate the transcription of damaged or otherwise machine-unreadable ballots efficiently and accurately within a transparent and verifiable environment. Ballot duplication hardware components are usually commercially available scanners, printers and computer workstations.

What specifically happens during the ballot duplication process?

Two specific actions are performed during the duplication of a damaged or machine-unreadable ballot:

  1. The interpretation of the ballot style — an elections official determines the version of a ballot within a jurisdiction that an individual voter is eligible to vote
  2. The voter’s marked responses to those specific ballot style choices are preserved onto a new tabulation-ready ballot

How does ballot duplication technology work?

The process for transcribing a damaged or machine-unreadable ballot  — we’ll use the term “damaged” in this article for simplicity — using ballot duplication technology varies according to the specific provider and technology used. However, the transcription process typically follows steps similar to these:

  1. The damaged ballot is digitally scanned, either individually or as part of a “batch,” or group of damaged ballots requiring duplication. A duplicate ID number, distinct marking or barcode is physically printed on the scanned damaged ballot by the scanner simultaneously.
  2. The ballot style of the damaged ballot is recognized and a “clean copy” of the appropriate ballot style is retrieved from the electronic repository of available ballot styles for that jurisdiction and a duplicated ballot image is created.
  3. This same duplicate ID number, distinct marking or barcode that was printed on the damaged ballot as it was scanned is produced and associated as a digital overlay on the new duplicated ballot image. Having the same duplicate ID number on the damaged ballot and the newly created ballot results in a duplicate ID match and allows these two ballots to be associated providing a chain of custody of the duplication process for auditability.
  4. After being electronically matched, the scanned damaged ballot image and the duplicated ballot image are displayed side-by-side on screen and reviewed for approval by a team of bipartisan election workers, often called a “ballot board.” These boards are tasked with approving all ballots requiring duplication following the jurisdiction’s election laws and procedures.
  5. Upon approval by the ballot board, the new duplicated ballot image is printed — if required — and routed for tabulation.
  6. The new duplicated ballot is counted by the jurisdiction’s tabulation system.

Do all election jurisdictions use ballot duplication technology?

Not all election jurisdictions use ballot duplication technology. Most election jurisdictions that duplicate ballots use a manual process for a variety of reasons including budget constraints, the number of ballots duplicated in a typical election, physical size of a jurisdiction’s post-election processing area and state election laws.

Next up, we will share our observations on innovation in ballot duplication technology since 2016 and provide an overview of the marketplace landscape. In September, we’ll share frequently asked questions (with answers!) to help in discussing ballot duplication with external stakeholders. Finally, we’ll wrap up our ballot duplication blog series with two posts highlighting what our OVI Working Group members and other state and local election officials are doing in their jurisdictions around ballot duplication innovation, communication and remote observation of post-election processes.

Read the other articles in our Ballot Duplication series:

Ballot Duplication: What it is, what it is not and why we are talking about it in 2020

Ballot Duplication: New Recommendations for Contingency Planning in the time of COVID-19 and Beyond

Continued Advancement in Ballot Duplication Technology Solutions: Pilots in the Field

Contingency Planning During COVID-19: Ballot Duplication in the States

Frequently Asked Questions (and Answers) About Ballot Duplication

Election officials are planning for remote observation of post-election processes, including ballot duplication, due to COVID-19 pandemic

CSG to Hold Safety Awareness on Public Transit Virtual Learning Seminar

by Kaitlyn Bison 

The Council of State Governments will host the Safety Awareness on Public Transit Virtual Learning Seminar on Nov. 17 and 18 at 1 p.m. ET as part of the Federal Transit Authority Crime Prevention and Public Safety Awareness project. CSG invites policymakers, stakeholders and subject-matter experts in public transportation to this two-day virtual learning opportunity to engage with one another and share strategies for safety awareness on public transportation. With a focus on human trafficking prevention, participants will be able to attend several sessions with speakers from different sectors in the transportation industry, sharing their experiences and best practices for mitigating safety issues. Participants will also have the opportunity to discuss the presentations with their fellow attendees in breakout rooms as well as during a virtual action planning session.  

The seminar will feature experts who are spearheading change to prevent human trafficking and strengthen public safety in public transportation. Learn more about the experts: 

Dharm Guruswamy, public transportation safety specialist: Dharm Guruswamy is an experienced transportation professional whose 20+ years of professional experience spans the private, public, quasi-public and public multilateral sectors. More recently, Guruswamy has been a key player in the federal government’s first exercise of direct safety oversight of a rail transit agency, where he currently serves as deputy director of the Federal Transit Authority’s Washington Metropolitan Transit Authority Safety Oversight Team. He is a member of the Rail Transit Systems Committee (AP065) and a former member of the Intercity Passenger Rail Committee (AR010) of the Transportation Research Board. Guruswamy holds a Transit Safety and Security Program Certification for Rail (TSSP-Rail) from the Transit Safety Institute of the U.S. Department of Transportation. 

Polly Hanson, senior director security, risk and emergency management: Polly Hanson is responsible for developing transit security, risk and emergency management standards and policies for the American Public Transportation Association. She performs peer reviews and assists with safety audits and serves as an advocate for transportation security, as well as a source matter expert on transit security, risk and emergency management issues. Hanson earned her master’s degree in applied behavioral science from Johns Hopkins University and her bachelor’s degree in communications from Temple University. In addition, she continued her education by attending the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s National Executive Institute, Law Enforcement Executive Development Seminar and National Academy. Hanson is working to obtain her FTA Transit Safety and Security Program and Safety Measurement System certifications. 

Allison Grossman, director of public policy and strategic advocacy: Allison Grossman is the director of public policy and strategic advocacy at Polaris. She is an experienced strategist, advocate and nonprofit leader with expertise in issue advocacy, government relations and coalition building. Prior to joining Polaris, she served as the senior advisor, global policy and advocacy at RESULTS, a grassroots anti-poverty advocacy organization, where she led campaigns on global education and early childhood development. She also has worked with Save the Children and American Jewish World Service. Grossman started her career as an Eisendrath Legislative Assistant at the Religious Action Center. She holds a bachelor’s degree in political science from the University of Arizona. She earned her master’s degree in governmental studies from the Johns Hopkins University. 

Chris Van Eyken, senior program associate, improving agency practice: Chris Van Eyken’s work focuses on encouraging transit agencies to adopt best practices and needed reforms. He has advocated for better transit as an agency staff member and as an external advocate. Van Eyken has provided technical support to agencies in the U.S. and abroad. He holds a bachelor’s degree in international affairs from the George Washington University and a master’s degree in urban planning from Hunter College. 

Kristen Joyner, vice president, CTAA Board of Directors: Kristen Joyner is vice president of the Community Transportation Association of America, a national membership association representing rural, small-urban, specialized and Non-Emergency Medical Transportation  providers. Joyner has represented the South West Transit Association on the CTAA Board since 2017. Currently, she serves as an advocate for transit issues and conducts leadership training and certification programs for transportation professionals. From 2012 – 2016, she was a member of the White House Task Force for Transit Leaders. Recently, she spearheaded Operation Veterans in Public Transportation, a project that SWTA developed to acknowledge and support veterans in transportation. 

Scott Bogren, executive director: Scott Bogren has been with the Community Transportation Association of America since 1989, serving the association in a wide variety of roles before being named executive director in 2016. He is a passionate transit advocate and — prior to COVID-19 — a daily transit user. His work always has focused on building and promoting safe, affordable, accessible and inclusive mobility for all Americans.  

The Honorable Judge Jamie Cork of Minnesota: Hon. Jamie Cork was appointed to the First Judicial District Bench in August 2016, where she presides over a variety of cases. She co-chairs the Dakota County Domestic Violence Coordinated Community Response Team and the Juvenile Detention Alternatives Initiative Elimination of Racial Bias Committee. She also is an active member of the First District Equal Justice Committee, Minnesota Children’s Justice Initiative, CJI Indian Child Welfare Act training faculty and subcommittee and CJI Parent Representation subcommittee. Cork worked with Native American tribes and communities in an attempt to assure that families and children were able to obtain culturally appropriate education and services. She helped establish Minnesota statewide policy, training and community outreach regarding the sexual exploitation of youth. She has brought awareness and education about human trafficking to the community through local, state, national and international presentations to judges, attorneys, law enforcement and other professionals. 

Assemblyman Ash Kalra, California: Ash Kalra represents California’s 27th District, which encompasses approximately half of San José and includes all of downtown. He was first elected in 2016, becoming the first Indian American to serve in the California legislature in state history, and he was re-elected to his third term in 2020. Kalra is the chair of the Committee on Labor and Employment and also serves as a member on the Housing and Community Development, Judiciary, Transportation and Water, Parks and Wildlife committees. He earned a bachelor’s degree in communication from the University of California, Santa Barbara, and a law degree from Georgetown University. 

Assemblywoman Carol Murphy, New Jersey: Assemblywoman Carol A. Murphy is currently serving her second term representing the New Jersey 7th Legislative District. First elected in 2017, Murphy is the first woman in over 20 years to represent the 7th Legislative District, as well as being the first Democrat from Mount Laurel to serve in the state legislature. She currently serves as the Assembly deputy majority leader and is the vice-chair of the Assembly Judiciary Committee. She also is a member of the Assembly Budget Committee, the Assembly Financial Institution and Insurance Committee and the Assembly Oversight, Reforms and Federal Relations Committee. Additionally, she serves on the Assembly Special Committee on Infrastructure and Natural Resources.  

Those interested in attending the Safety Awareness on Public Transit Virtual Learning Seminar can reach out to Sydney Blodgett at [email protected] with any questions and register with the following link: Meeting Registration – Zoom

CSG Mourns the Loss of Former Eastern Regional Conference Director Alan Sokolow

“Alan’s leadership guided state officials through many challenges and empowered them to govern better. While his expertise was substantial, it was his love of people and public service that helped him forge so many lasting and valued partnerships and friendships. CSG, the states and our nation are all stronger because of Alan’s work.”

— CSG Executive Director/CEO David Adkins 

Former director of The Council of State Governments Eastern Regional Conference, Alan V. Sokolow, passed away on July 23. Sokolow joined the CSG eastern office in 1967 as a field representative. In 1972, he was promoted to director where he served until his retirement in 2009.  

“Alan’s career at The Council of State Governments spanned four decades. His leadership guided state officials through many challenges and empowered them to govern better,” said CSG Executive Director/CEO David Adkins. “While his expertise was substantial, it was his love of people and public service that helped him forge so many lasting and valued partnerships and friendships.  

“CSG, the states and our nation are all stronger because of Alan’s work. He lives on in his beloved family and in all the good he achieved. May his memory be a blessing.” 

In 2008, a resolution was passed in the Rhode Island General Assembly honoring Sokolow and celebrating his retirement from CSG. The resolution stated, “Rhode Island and the states of the eastern region have been the beneficiaries of the wisdom, integrity and abiding dedication to excellence that Alan Sokolow has always brought to his work at CSG, and along the way, he has earned the unqualified admiration and respect of his fellow workers as well as state officials.”  

A dedicated Brooklyn Dodgers and Mets fan, Sokolow was involved in political campaigns and an active member of Temple Ner Tamid in Bloomfield, New Jersey. He is survived by his wife of 53 years, Margo, two daughters, Rachel and Elena, and two grandchildren, Max and Leo.