United States Election Assistance Comittee

The EAC Official Blog

Posted By Jeannie Layson on November 14, 2011

Flu season is almost here, and EAC is collecting flu season contingency plans from election officials. We're looking to share backup staffing strategies, technology solutions and other creative approaches. Examples include plans to mitigate the effect of the flu at polling places and coordination strategies with state and local health departments. Election officials should send their plans to clearinghouse@eac.gov and list themselves as experts in the Election Official Exchange. We're posting the plans here.

Our first submission comes from Bristol, VA General Registrar Penny Limburg:

Optical Scan/ Hand Sanitizer WARNING!

If you plan to offer information regarding the use of hand sanitizers at voting precincts, I offer the follow suggestion. Never let a voter use hand sanitizer just before they are handed a ballot. In 2009, amid the flu epidemic and concern for minimizing the spread of germs, we sent hand sanitizer out to each voting precinct. A voter dispensed a big dollop on her hands just before she was given her ballot. Her ballot became damp from the sanitizer product left on her hands which in turn became jammed in the optical scan machine when she deposited it. Not only did it jam to the point that we could not readily remove the ballot, it tore into pieces that got into other parts of the machine. In spite of waiting for the residue to evaporate and attempting to remove the remains of the ballot, the machine was down for the rest of the day. Only 15 minutes before the close of the polls, the technicians were finally able to clear the slot. The machine had to be sent off for repair and cleaning.

Problems have been seen whenever the card stock that ballots are printed on become damp for any reason. We even caution our officers on rainy elections to ensure voters dry their hands well before handling a ballot.

Penny Limburg
General Registrar
City of Bristol VA

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Posted By Jeannie Layson on October 13, 2011

Please be aware that based on the 2010 census, the U.S. Bureau of the Census has released determinations as to which political subdivisions are subject to the minority language assistance provisions of Section 203 of the Voting Rights Act of 1965, as amended. Additional information and a listing of the states and political subdivisions obligated to comply with the requirements can be found in the Federal Register.

EAC's language assistance resources may assist states and political subdivisions newly covered under Section 203 of the Voting Rights Act. The EAC’s Glossaries of Election Terminology (PDFs and an online tool) Voters Guides to Federal Elections, and National Mail Voter Registration Form are available in numerous languages and free of charge. For additional information on these EAC resources, contact Marcy Reedy at mreedy@eac.gov.

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Posted By Jeannie Layson on August 23, 2011

Today's earthquake reminds us of the importance of contingency planning in elections. On September 20, in conjunction with National Preparedness Month, EAC will host a public roundtable about contingency planning. (More details to come.)

In the meantime, please review the following resources about contingency planning, which were created by election officials for election officials.

Election officials--please send any contingency plans so we can share them with your peers. Send them to jlayson@eac.gov or post them here.

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Posted By Jeannie Layson on August 11, 2011

EAC's roundtable on ballot & polling place design is over, but the discussion is just beginning. View the on demand webcast (available 8-12-11), testimony, graphics and EAC's complete design report here. The report includes ballot design specifications, sample images and best practices developed by election officials, poll workers, voters and other experts. Election officials can also request a copy of the image library (not online), which includes camera ready images of ballots for a variety of voting systems and polling place signs in several languages. These images can be customized for local jurisdictions, and then sent to the printer for production, which will save time and money. Contact Marcy Reedy toll free at 866-747-1471 or mreedy@eac.gov to request the image library on CD.

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Posted By EAC Staff on July 22, 2011

Thanks to the election officials who’ve shared their experience and expertise on the Exchange. We remind everyone that the contents of the Exchange are available to the public; however, only former or current US election officials may officially join. EAC’s use of its website, online tools and social media is consistent with its social media policy, which states our responsibility to avoid references to commercial interests or services. For more information please read our social media policy and the blog code of conduct. Thank you again for participating! If you have questions or comments, leave them here or send us a note.

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Posted By EAC Staff on July 19, 2011

EAC recently launched the Election Exchange, an online tool for election officials to connect and share best practices and knowledge. So far, 50 election officials have signed up, and they have a wide range of experience and expertise in pre and post election activities, contingency planning, poll workers and voting systems. Based on feedback, we will add a field allowing participants to identify themselves as city, county or state officials. We are also exploring how to improve the keyword search and make the tool more intuitive. Keep the comments coming here or use the Contact Us form. We need and want your input!

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