poll workers

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North Carolina: Poll worker training highlights voter ID, many Election Day tasks | Winston-Salem Journal

Poll worker training for the March primary kicked off last week in Forsyth County, and for seasoned precinct officials, most of the information is familiar. But one element is new for everyone: voter ID. By the end of the month, more than 300 precinct officials will have attended the class, which covers everything from voting machine setup and voter check-in to provisional ballots and photo identification requirements. The class is mandatory for chief judges and judges, the precinct officials who run the polling places on Election Day. In about two and a half hours, Forsyth elections office employees hit the highlights from the State Board of Elections’ voting site guide and the county’s poll worker manual, which contains about 100 pages of instructions and forms.

Full Article: Poll worker training highlights voter ID, many Election Day tasks - Winston-Salem Journal: Local News.

Editorials: Poll workers needed | Cincinnati Enquirer

Hamilton County elections need your help. That’s the obvious takeaway from the county Board of Elections’ recent post-mortem of the snafu-filled Nov. 3 election. The board found that 84 percent of its polling stations had problems on Election Day. Among other issues, many poll workers struggled with the setup for electronic poll site equipment. Some local high school seniors assisting at the polls played hero by adroitly dealing with electronic issues. Clearly, Hamilton County needs more poll workers comfortable with troubleshooting a wi-fi router connection. It takes about 2,600 workers to operate the county’s polls on Election Day, and while the Board of Election has done well making sure polling locations are staffed, it needs workers who are fluent in using technology.

Full Article: Editorial: Poll workers needed.

Voting Blogs: Election Day 2015 had a little bit of everything: glitches, snafus, rats, successful pilots and unsuccessful pilots | electionlineWeekly

“There was no line at the polling place. The line was almost out the door at Starbucks.” — an email from a Kentucky voter to her daughter. 

There was snow, there was rain, there were blue skies and warm temperatures. Poll workers overslept, stole voting equipment and didn’t know how to use new technology. Voting machines malfunctioned and ballot-counting machines chugged along. There were new voting systems that worked flawlessly and there were those that didn’t. Turnout out was historically low and turnout was relatively high. Oh and there were rats.

Ohio: On the front lines of an awful election | Cincinnati Enquirer

The election went very badly. As a poll worker, I know that better than anybody. Really. It was awful. Because of this, they decided to keep the polls open late (“Problems, delays keep the polls open” Nov. 4). That was not a good idea. It fixed nothing. Many of the problems were blamed on the new technology. But that wasn’t the real issue, per se. I hear some locations gave up on the new machines and reverted to paper because they couldn’t get the printers hooked up. But that’s human error and inadequate training. The training was, indeed, inadequate. Only about half the poll workers – the precinct managers and deputies – were trained on the complete setup. It was assumed the regular precinct officials wouldn’t need to know.

Voting Blogs: A case study on college poll workers – An in-depth look at the Chicago Program | electionlineWeekly

Elections officials looking to improve efficiency on election day should look no further than the nearest college, university or community college according to a recent study of the college poll worker program in Chicago. Among other things, the Student Leaders in Elections: A Case Study in College Poll Worker Recruitment found that recruiting college poll workers helps improve the transmission of election results, makes it easier to staff polling places in need because students aren’t married to a location and students who served as bilingual poll workers are more likely to serve in future elections. The U.S. Election Assistance Commission has long supported the practice of college poll workers and one of the recommendations of Presidential Commission on Election Administration was for jurisdictions to recruit more college students as poll workers.

Full Article: electionlineWeekly.

Indiana: Poll workers provide important yet often overlooked service to voters | News-Sentinel

When you’re out at the polls today, don’t just think about the candidates running for office, also keep in mind the the dedicated poll workers. After hours of training and — for many — more than 10 years of experience, poll workers flood into area voting sites at 5 a.m. to gear up for a 14-hour workday. While it pays well, anywhere from $95 to $175 for the day, the job involves a huge amount of responsibility as well as a deep knowledge of the election process and Indiana election laws. Poll workers are supplied to the election board thanks to the local political parties. Each party is responsible for providing poll workers.

Full Article: Poll workers provide important yet often overlooked service to voters - News-Sentinel.com.

Alabama: House passes bill allowing voters over 70, disabled skip line at polling places | AL.com

A piece of legislation that would allow voters over the age of 70 and the disabled to avoid waiting in line at polling places passed in the Alabama House today after little discussion. Rep. David Standridge, R-Hayden, said he sponsored the bill after witnessing elderly citizens standing in long lines waiting to cast their votes. “This would just merely allow them to move up in line if they so request it,” he said today on the House floor.

Full Article: Alabama House passes bill allowing voters over 70, disabled skip line at polling places | AL.com.

Ohio: Local Government Insider: Not voting won’t cost local poll workers | The Columbus Dispatch

About 12 percent of people who worked the polls in Franklin County on Election Day last fall never cast their own ballot. Does that matter? It does in Hamilton County, where The Cincinnati Enquirer reported this week that about 100 poll workers were fired for not voting in 2013 or 2014. That made us ask what happens here, and this is what we found: The percentage of local poll workers who didn’t vote in the last four elections has declined since the primary election in 2013. That year, 577 of the 2,219 eligible poll workers (26 percent) did not cast ballots. It has gotten better since, with about 17 percent of poll workers not casting ballots in the general election that year, and 18 percent of poll workers not casting ballots in last year’s primary election. In November, 367 of 3,001 poll workers did not vote. So will they the get fired for it? No.

Full Article: Local Government Insider: Not voting won’t cost local poll workers | The Columbus Dispatch.

Ohio: 100 Hamilton County poll workers fired for not voting | Cincinnati Enquirer

More than 100 Hamilton County poll workers got fired Tuesday for failing to do the one thing that matters most on Election Day. They didn’t vote. The board of elections said goodbye to the 104 workers after learning they had not voted in either the 2013 or 2014 elections, despite spending most of those Election Days in a polling place, surrounded by voters and ballots. “I’m frankly kind of shocked by the number of people on that list,” said Tim Burke, chairman of the board and leader of Hamilton County’s Democratic Party. “We want everyone to vote. If we have poll workers who don’t vote, we’re not encouraging that.”

Full Article: 100 poll workers fired for not voting.

Voting Blogs: How Young Is too Young for Poll Workers, and How do We Adapt to a Younger Generation? | State of Elections

It is no secret that the typical poll worker tends to be a senior citizen; indeed, the average age of those volunteering to work the polls is seventy-five. As new technologies are implemented for use in elections, however, there has been a growing push for younger volunteers who are presumably more tech-savvy. In efforts to recruit this younger demographic, California amended its election law statutes to allow high school students to serve as poll workers if certain conditions are met, including a minimum GPA and age requirement. On its face, this law appears like an excellent way to encourage young people to volunteer to serve as poll workers, especially as they are compensated for their time spent both in training and on Election Day. However, one question that remains unanswered is whether high school students, and minors in general, are mature enough to handle the responsibilities that come with the position.

Full Article: Only One Minor Problem: How Young Is too Young for Poll Workers, and How do We Adapt to a Younger Generation? : State of Elections.

Mississippi: Hinds County election official takes blame for ballot shortage | WAPT

A Hinds County election commissioner is taking the blame after several polling places ran out of ballots on election night. Election officials said 35 to 40 polling locations in Hinds County ran out of paper ballots before the polls closed at 7 p.m. “I usually zip right in and right out, but not tonight. I’m going to sit here until I vote,” voter Susanna Green said Tuesday night. “Most of these people are taking it very nicely. They are, as you can see, sitting around waiting for the ballots to show up,” said poll worker Sandy Wilkerson. Connie Cochran, the District 4 election commissioner, apologized Wednesday to voters who were inconvenienced. Scores of voters were forced to stand in line, some for more than an hour, waiting for more ballots to be brought in. 

Full Article: Hinds County election official takes blame for ballot shortage | Politics - WAPT Home.

Mississippi: McDaniel supporters pore over ballots | Clarion-Ledger

A preliminary examination of ballots cast in Tuesday’s Republican U.S. Senate primary runoff between incumbent Sen. Thad Cochran and state Sen. Chris McDaniel has found irregularities in at least 800 ballots, tea party officials said. Mississippi Tea Party Chairwoman Laura Van Overschelde said Thursday that the examination of ballots isn’t complete and will continue until all ballots are examined. “Looking at the poll books, we found some evidence we are concerned about,” Overschelde said. “The investigation is still preliminary.”

Full Article: McDaniel supporters pore over ballots.

South Carolina: Richland election better but more improvements needed, director says | The State

Two years after a disastrous election process left people waiting hours in line to cast ballots, Richland County kept long waits at a minimum during Tuesday’s primary and reduced the frustrations so many voters expressed during the 2012 general election. But far fewer people voted in the primary election, and county voting director Samuel Selph acknowledged that Richland has “some more work to do” before the upcoming general election in November. The county needs to ramp up training for poll workers, who had difficulties Tuesday operating equipment that is vital to the election process, he said. He said human error, as opposed to malfunctioning equipment, led to the majority of problems.

Full Article: Richland election better but more improvements needed, director says | Local News | The State.

California: No ballots, no voting machines and other glitches at Los Angeles County polling places | Daily News

With some 5,000 polling places operating throughout Los Angeles County on Tuesday and a shortage of volunteers, some voting locations reported problems such as missing ink and other materials and a lack of staffing. Loyola Marymount University’s Center for the Study of Los Angeles, which had students at polling sites throughout the area, was keeping track of the problems through its Twitter feed, noting issues such as an absence of workers at one site, and voting machines without ink. “Still no ballots at Fire Station 99. Polls have been open for FOUR HOURS,” one tweet noted, referring to a site on the Westside. 

Full Article: No ballots, no voting machines and other glitches at Los Angeles County polling places.

Pennsylvania: Kensington election craziness raises doubts about weird poll-watcher rules | Philadelphia City Paper

During Tuesday’s primary, various candidates in Kensington alleged that their opponents were bribing voters, campaigning inside polling places, and, in one instance, distributing anonymous fliers that claimed one candidate was gay — and those were just the complaints made to a reporter over a few hours time. An assistant district attorney showed up at Stetson Middle School in Kensington to respond to reports that campaign workers were accompanying voters into voting booths. After observing a raucous scene that involved dozens of different political supporters in colorful campaign T-shirts, his walkie-talkie crackled and he departed — there had been another report of electioneering at the Bayard Taylor School, on the other side of the neighborhood. In theory, there are poll watchers who can respond to such Election Day complaints. Each candidate is entitled to a certain number of poll-watcher certificates, issued by the City Commissioners office, entitling that person to enter and observe activity at any polling place.

Full Article: Kensington election craziness raises doubts about Philly's weird poll-watcher rules :: News :: Philadelphia City Paper.

India: Election Officials Brave Hungry Crocodiles to Reach Voters | Wall Street Journal

The midday sun was blazing when Biswajit Roy, a middle-aged Indian high-school teacher, gingerly pulled himself, and two voting machines, into a modified dugout canoe. His mission: Traverse crocodile-infested mangrove swamps, cross a stretch of open sea and then hike through a jungle to the remote village of Hanspuri so its 261 voters could cast ballots in India’s national elections. “When I got my orders, I was thunderstruck,” said Mr. Roy, 41 years old, an election officer in the Andaman and Nicobar Islands. India is the world’s largest democracy, with 814.5 million registered voters. When election time rolls around, the government and its foot soldiers go to extraordinary lengths to make sure that citizens in this largely rural and infrastructure-challenged country can participate. Put another way, the national elections trigger the world’s biggest obstacle course for some Indian election officials.

Full Article: In India, Election Officials Brave Hungry Crocodiles to Reach Voters - WSJ.com.

Voting Blogs: Richland County South Carolina elections still in turmoil | electionlineWeekly

In the heart of South Carolina lies Richland County. Home to the University of South Carolina, the second largest county in the state is celebrating its 215th anniversary. By all accounts, it’s a nice place to live and work. Recently though, it has not been a good place to vote. The Richland County Board of Elections and Voter Registration has been under a cloud of controversy since 2011 when the General Assembly passed a law merging Richland County’s elections office and voter registration office. During the 2012 presidential election, voters in Richland County faced some of the longest lines in the country. Some of the problems were blamed on a lack of poll workers, malfunctioning machines and that in many cases there were simply too few voting machines at precincts. There were anecdotal reports that hundreds of voters ultimately gave up and never cast a ballot.

Full Article: electionlineWeekly.

New York: Elections Board head claims agency deliberately underfunded | New York Post

The head of the city Board of Elections stunned City Council members on Tuesday by claiming that the long-battered agency was purposely shorted funds by the city so it would fail. BOE director Michael Ryan made the conspiracy-laden accusation as part of a pitch to secure a whopping $55 million in additional funding from the city’s coffers, even as his agency remains under investigation by the city. A recent Department of Investigation probe identified a host of failings at the agency — including nepotism, voter roll deficiencies and poor training of poll workers. “While the board has historically been a convenient foil for public criticism, it has at the same time been the victim of a funding scheme that seems to have been intentionally designed to ‘cash starve’ the agency to accomplish some unknown and ultimately inconceivable goal,” Ryan said of the city’s preliminary $75.6 million fiscal 2015 budget for his agency.

Full Article: Elections Board head claims agency deliberately underfunded | New York Post.

Mississippi: State releases absentee ballot report from Hattiesburg election | The Clarion-Ledger

A Secretary of State analysis said about 10.4 percent of absentee ballots that were definitively accepted or rejected in Hattiesburg’s special mayoral election in September were incorrectly counted. According to a “Report of Absentee Voting” released Friday morning by the Secretary of State’s Office, a review of 1,044 of the 1,048 absentee ballots cast showed about 8.5 percent of those marked “accepted” should have been rejected, while about 31.9 percent of those marked “rejected” should have been accepted. 

Full Article: State releases absentee ballot report from Hattiesburg election | The Clarion-Ledger | clarionledger.com.

New York: The dead can vote in New York City | New York Post

Death doesn’t necessarily disqualify you from voting in New York City. Investigators posing as dead voters were allowed to cast ballots for this year’s primary and general elections, thanks to antiquated Board of Election registration records and lax oversight by poll workers, authorities said. The election board’s susceptibility to voter fraud by people impersonating the departed was uncovered during a massive probe of the agency by the Department of Investigation. The probe uncovered 63 instances when voters’ names should have been stricken from the rolls, but weren’t — even though some of them had died years before. “The majority of those 63 individuals remained on the rolls nearly two years — and some as long as four years — since a death, felony conviction, or move outside of New York City,” said DOI Commissioner Rose Gill Hearn.

Full Article: The dead can vote in NYC | New York Post.