United States Election Assistance Comittee

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Chapter 1: The General Public

Comment  Creator  Last Modified 

Welcome Standards Board Members.  Thank you for taking the time to review EAC's draft manual (guide book) on the Recruitment, Training and Retention of Poll Workers.  EAC looks forward to receiving your comments and we appreciate your participation. 

ghillman 07/02/2007 06:40 AM
  lfigueroaberrios 07/03/2007 11:41 AM

Good suggestions.  I agree that split shifts should be offered as an option to those who may not be able to commit to a full day.  This especially attractive to seniors.

Edits needed to ensure consistent use of two spaces prior to start of new sentence within each paragraph.

Bulleted subheadings that appear in bold need consistent use of upper and lower case type...inconsistent. 

smcrill 07/03/2007 12:10 PM

Agree with edit comments. Is it pollworker, pollworker or poll-worker.

References to specific election jurisdictions needs to include the state name. Is it Orange County, CA or Orange County, FL?

Page 11 If it a Rotary Club, then is a Kiwanis Club. Under service organization. Hopefully, editors will catch these.

Need to refer more to chart showing state laws.

bcowles 07/05/2007 08:43 AM
Alaska produces a poll worker recruitment brochure and includes a space on our voter registration application for persons to indicate an interest in serving as a poll worker.  The brochure is by far more effective at recruiting.  While the check box on the registration form allows us to gather potential worker names, we have found that this method of recruitment is not producing the same quality or commitment of workers as those that take the time to fill out the poll worker application form on our brochure.  Using the voter registration application as a recruitment tool is only effective if the jurisdiction has staff that can follow-up with the applicant soon after the registration form is received. sgrowden1 07/05/2007 12:34 PM

I found this document to be very well written and full of information. Most of the information is a repeat of ideas that we currently utilize or have been exposed to in the past; however, the examples and detailed suggestions were very interesting and could prove to be very valuable. Samples for voting jurisdictions were very helpful.

tbartholomew 07/05/2007 03:03 PM

These comments relate to the document as a whole - -

In the introduction of the College Poll Worker Guide (page 4), there is a notation in the column about terminology.  I think including similar language in this guide would be helpful since we all use different terms.


I think it would be helpful to have an introduction to this guide explaining what it is, how the best practices were selected, and whether adult educators participated in the guide.  If the authors selected the best practices, information about the authors will give the report more credibility. 

How the left column is used throughout the document changes.  In some cases (page 5), the left column is used for text; in others, it is used for a quote (page  6), tips (page 8), information that elsewhere is in the text (page 95 - pitfalls and challenges are included in text elsewhere in document but is column text here), or to repeat information already provided in text (page 112).  It would be easier to read if the kind of information placed in the left column is standardized so that the reader knows what to expect in that column.

The images of the documents throughout the Guide are too small to read. I assume that they will be legible in the final version of the Guide.

nbainestrella 07/06/2007 11:20 AM

I place 3" X 5" cards at every polling place on Election Day and in my office during our Advance Voting asking if the voter may have an interest in becoming a Poll Worker. We have been successful in using this and it costs very little.

dmerriman 07/05/2007 04:37 PM

Very interesting. Much, if not all, of the information in this volume has been discussed in other forums. Putting it together in one place with examples will be very valuable to the Election Community. As noted by others, it needs to be carefully proofed before it is published.

Thanks for putting this together.




hsholl 07/06/2007 10:53 AM

Even for jurisdiction like Puerto Rico, where the responsability for the recruitment and training of the pollworkers goes to the political parties, this document is full of good and interesting suggestions that help to improve the quality of these procedures. I  will prepare a ducument based on these suggestions to the persons in charge of the recruitment and training of pollworkers in the political parties.

For the record I want to explain some of the facts of the Puerto Rico electoral system:

  • The general election is a holiday. with a constant 80% or more of voters participation.
  • Until now in Puero Rico dont use any elctronic voting system.
  • All the pollworkers are volunteers (they don't get paid) but they get food trough the public schools food services. recently we have been considering law projects to paid a perdien for expenses or provide a contributive credit (local IRS).
  • In general terms the experience with the parties responsability to the recruitmen and training of the pollworkers have been very good. For example:
  • -We have never confroted any problems to open any polling place in general elections because pollworkers absence.
  • -Each political party, trough their own structures has the responsabilty to recruit and traing a minimum of 10,000  to have at least one representaive in each level of the electoral process( 110 Local Commission, 1676 Polling Centers[Unidad Electoral in spanish] and near 8,000 polling places [colegios in spanish]). But the parties can recruit and provide almost near 30,000 pollworkers if they wants to have full representation: two (2) in each Local Commission, two (2) in each polling Centers and  three (3) in each polling place. Historically the two principal political parties provides almost the maximun permisible.Because these reality we have counting with the presence of at least one pollworker in representation of at least the two principal parties in each of the electoral levels.
  • -The CEE (Elections Commission of the Commonwelth of Puerto Rico) has the institucional responsability for train the Local Commision Parties Officials ( last electios near 760, next electios will be near 1000). The training is based in the General Electios regulatios and procedures manuals so that they can train or supervise the train of the pollworkers of each party. These training takes from 6 to 8 hours.
  • -The CEE has also the responsability to provide the political parties all the necessary materials and documents to make the trainings to allthe pollworkers. The train of the pollworkers are from 7 hours period for those that have previos experience to 14 or 16 hours for the new electoral officilas (pollworkers).
  • -The educational or academic level of the pollworkers is not least that high school graduate  and not least than 50% are of the professional level.
  • -We estimate that 20% belongs to retired people, 20% are young new voters and 60% are voters from 23 to 50 years old. Except to the new voters; the others groups have at least experience in  one or mores elctions events and in general terms there is a perseverance of 60% to 70%.
  • -In terms of the participation by gender is almost equall wiht a higher tendency of participation for the women.  
ncolonberlingeri 07/06/2007 06:07 PM

The election process begins long before Election Day and its success depends largely on the leadership and volunteer contributions of our citizen poll workers. Elections are for the people, by the people, and if they are to remain free and fair, a poll worker’s role is no less important than that of a voter’s. It is no secret that the recruitment and continual sustainability poll workers is an ever-growing problem across this country. The average age of a poll worker in Indiana is 72 years old, and with each passing year there is a decrease in the number of our most reliable citizen volunteers. Current technology and the abundance of new legislation intimidate many, while others may believe it is simply their time to move on. This is normal; however, with fewer and fewer of the next generation to take their place, this trend has caused state and local election administrators to think outside the box to ensure that counties have sufficient poll workers to serve the needs of the voting public.


Indiana continues to try and find new ways to increase and diversify poll workers across the state. Our programs reach out to both high school and college students in an effort to attract the next generation of poll workers and sustain them in future elections. We call on civic, religious and charitable organizations with an already active volunteer base, and we have a program that appeals to the civic responsibility of government employees to serve their community as poll workers. These programs are designed to help counties recruit and retain poll workers through future elections. However, even the best of programs cannot succeed if a county fails to utilize the resources provided. Thus, other ideas and concepts must also be utilized in order to assure Americans their constitutional right.

These innovative concepts include vote centers and satellite absentee voting. This line of proven, efficient election reform can solve our poll worker problems without compromising the election integrity. As in every area of election reform, access to the process must always be balanced by consideration for security of the process.


Voting is our most fundamental right, but it is a right that carries with it responsibilities. There are people who can and will abuse the election process. That is why having efficient, secure elections is of utmost importance. Poll workers who make it possible to exercise our right bear an important responsibility in guarding against fraud and corruption. We cannot take this role for granted, and certain provisions and security measures are needed.

Joseph McLain

HAVA Administrator

On Behalf of Todd Rokita

Indiana Secretary of State

trokita1 07/06/2007 04:57 PM
  bcowles 04/24/2008 03:46 PM