Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Role and Importance Of Poll Greeters

Join us for another Democratic Network Educational Forum discussion on Voter Empowerment and Election Protection, at 10:45am this Sat., October 13th, at the John & Judy Gay Library in McKinney. The Forum this month will provide training on the role and importance of poll greeters, including what we all can do to protect voters' rights. LOTS of poll greeters will be needed so ask your friends to attend this Forum presentation. There will also be additional discussion about the duties of poll watchers. (John & Judy Gay Library - 6861 El Dorado Parkway - Map)

Remember 2000? Hanging chads, voter suppression, overwhelming confusion and voting machines that may - or may not - have counted the votes as they were cast. There were critical failures at many key points along the way that resulted in a stolen election and eight long years of regret. 

Today, the King Street Patriots, Tea Party groups and conservative activists of all stripes are recruiting and training followers to "True the Vote" in ways that are clearly designed to intimidate legitimate voters and suppress votes from ethnic and religious minorities, young people and other targeted populations. On the heels of months of voter photo I.D. court fights, deputy voter registrar court fights, redistricting court fights, plus a last minute purge of dead voters who are not dead, confusion and errors in the election process are virtually guaranteed, and we still have concerns about those machines.

Saturday
October 13, 2012
13
Being informed about these intimidation tactics and failure points before the first votes are cast allows you to defend vulnerable voters and protect the interests of candidates you support. You'll able to share important information with your network and identify potential issues anywhere and everywhere you see them.

The program will be held at the John & Judy Gay Library in McKinney, 6861 El Dorado Parkway, just east of Alma. It's centrally located in the county and offers plenty of room, so please encourage Democratic friends and neighbors to come with you. Join us for coffee and breakfast goodies at 10:45 am and the program will get started at 11:00 am. We'll wrap up by 1 pm and those who care to continue the discussion can adjourn to a nearby restaurant for lunch.

As always, we invite your input on topics, speakers, format and other options - and encourage you to get involved in growing our network. We'll have sign-up and comment sheets at the event, but if you aren't able to attend, please e-mail us at info@collindems.net, or call (469) 713-2031 to leave a voice message.


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Democratic Network Educational Forum

Poll Greeter Guide

Poll Greeters are outside the 100-foot marker and their activities are not very restricted. They can electioneer, help voters with ballots, wave candidate signs, and help support their party's candidates in the voting process as long as they stay outside the 100 ft marker of the polling place.

Contact your Political Party’s and or Candidates’ campaign office(s) and ask for the Get Out The Vote (GOTV) or Poll Greeter Coordinator to inquire about a poll greeter assignment.

What to Wear:
  • Comfortable layers of clothing as the temperature will change throughout the day.
  • Comfortable shoes, because you may be standing for long periods of time.
  • Sunscreen, as there is little shade at polling places.
What to Bring:
  • Bottles of Water and snacks/energy bars
  • Extra sunscreen, sunglasses, an umbrella (for shade and rain)
  • A book, radio or MP3 player for when there is no voter traffic
  • A cell phone (or locate a nearby payphone)
  • A folding chair
  • Handbook for Election Judges and Clerks
  • Election Day phone numbers and web address
  • Folding table for Candidate and Party literature
  • Candidate and Party literature and signs
What to Expect:

People happy to see you there; those who are hostile to you being there; and many people indifferent to you being there
  • An election official, a hostile voter or someone from another party may question your presence. While this is rare, be prepared for anything. In addition, ALL greeters, signs and literature must be a specified distance from the entrance to the polling place.
  • Voter traffic will fluctuate dramatically. Many tend to vote before or after work. Some arrive during their lunch break or after-school. Typically, there is a lower turnout during non-presidential election years.
  • A long but satisfying day. You may leave with more energy than when you started because you made a huge difference.
As a Poll Greeter, your main responsibilities are:
  1. To project a positive, enthusiastic attitude;
  2. To give palm cards or other handouts; and
  3. To thank arriving people for voting, encourage them to vote for your party or particular candidates and ask if they have any last minute questions.
  4. Thank departing people for voting too.
The job seems simple and extremely repetitive, but executing all three tasks at the same time throughout the day is harder than it seems. Make each handout and greeting as genuine, enthusiastic, and effective as the first.
  • Say “Thank you for voting today, and please vote for these great candidates.”
  • If you are alone, do not encage in lengthy discussions of the issues/candidates with people that want to talk. Direct them to the Hospitality Table that you set up that has candidate and or party literature.
  • Position yourself next to the main pathway into the polling place, but do not block it. Always make sure you are outside the restricted area.
  • Keep smiling, even in the face of hostile people. Remember that you are making a positive difference and there are lot more people grateful that you are there. Your calm and polite response to a hostile voter creates a positive impression of both you and the party.
Keep your chair and personal items nearby so you can easily sit down when time permits but you are able to remain in position to greet new voters.

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