August 10, 2007
WASHINGTON – The United States Election Assistance Commission (EAC) has released two best practices guidebooks to help election officials recruit, train, and retain poll workers. “Successful Practices for Poll Worker Recruitment, Training and Retention” and “A Guidebook for Recruiting College Poll Workers” are available at www.eac.gov.
“Elections are becoming more complicated because of new federal and state laws, new procedures and new technical and security requirements for voting equipment,” said EAC Chair Donetta Davidson. “The need for trained poll workers is more urgent than ever, and we hope these guidebooks will help election officials find and keep good poll workers as well as recruit a new generation of poll workers.”
The guidebooks entailed a fifteen month development process involving two working groups and dozens of interviews and focus groups with election officials, voters and veteran poll workers. Draft versions of each guidebook were field-tested at six sites during the 2006 elections. The guidebooks were reviewed by the EAC’s Standards Board and Board of Advisors during a virtual public meeting last month. The draft documents and comments are available at www.eac.gov.
EAC developed the best practices in accordance with HAVA Sections 241 (b), 501 (b) and 502 (a) related to recruiting, training, and improving the performance of poll workers.
Helping election officials recruit more poll workers has been one of EAC’s top priorities. In addition to the guidebooks, since fiscal year 2004, the EAC has provided $927,000 in grants as part of the Help America Vote College Program to promote college student involvement at the polls. Grants were used to develop recruitment and training programs for college students to serve as poll workers and poll assistants.
EAC is an independent bipartisan commission created by HAVA. It is charged with administering payments to states and developing guidance to meet HAVA requirements, adopting voluntary voting system guidelines, and accrediting voting system test laboratories and certifying voting equipment. EAC also serves as a national clearinghouse and resource of information regarding election administration. The four EAC commissioners are Donetta Davidson, chair; Rosemary Rodriguez, vice chair; Caroline Hunter; and Gracia Hillman.