I will again be an early voting poll worker beginning October 16 for the Wake County Board of Elections for this fall’s general election. I will be working 73 of the 114 hours the Pullen Arts Center early voting site will be open (and taking annual leave for the hours that fall in my normal workday). Of course, it will wind up being a lot more than 73 hours as those in line when voting hours end each day will be able to vote.
In 2004, I also worked Pullen Arts Center for early voting, pretty much the same hours. Besides helping out with a civic duty by enabling more people to vote, I learned a lot about the election process. Some of my observations of the early voting and canvassing process led to some changes in the elections law (Bill Gilkeson and I handle election law drafting for the North Carolina General Assembly). Those changes wound up in two omnibus election bills from the 2005 session:
1) House Bill 1115 of the 2005 Session included these changes as summarized in the bill title: “to permit the same kind of voter assistance in one‑stop sites as at voting places on election day; to expressly provide that precinct transfer voters at one‑stop sites need not vote provisional ballots; to delete the requirement that one‑stop voters be instructed in how to vote mail absentee ballots …to extend for three days the county canvass after a general election in November of an even‑numbered year and change other related dates; to expressly allow electronic pollbooks …”
2) House Bill 128 of the 2005 Session included the following provisions “to authorize county boards of elections to take steps earlier to count mailed absentee votes … and to provide that except for their ENVELOPE, PROVISIONAL BALLOTS SHALL NOT BE MARKED TO BE IDENTIFIABLE TO A VOTER”
In the 2007 drafting of House Bill 91, I was able to relate to some of the practical issues in same day voter registration.
Here is what the Wake County Board of Elections says about working at the polls:
You want to work election day or early voting — the Wake County Board of Elections still needs people. The county notes:
“Did you know that it takes THOUSANDS of election workers to conduct an election in Wake County? The Board of Elections is always looking for people to staff Election Day polling places and early voting sites. Become an election worker and learn about the elections process first-hand while you help bring voting to your community.
The Board of Elections is recruiting people to staff the 16 early voting sites this fall. Most positions are full-time, but there are a few part-time evening and weekend positions available. The pay for these positions will range from $9.75 to $11.25 per hour.
- Look up voters using a laptop
- Hand out ballots
- Provide voter assistance
- Assist curbside voters
- Issue provisional ballots
- Assist voters applying to register & vote at the same time
- All employees must pass a data entry test (except for previous early voting supervisors)
- Must be able to attend one or more 8-hour training classes
- Must be able to sit and stand for at least one hour at a time
- Must have reliable transportation