Notes I forgot to upload from November 6, 2002:
I had no idea until this afternoon that an aquaintance of mine was a poll volunteer for every election. I, of course, wish that I had known that before yesterday's election, so I could have asked him about the process ahead of time. (Or, for that matter, I wished I'd have asked the volunteers at my polling precinct more questions about everything, in retrospect.)
He said that everything went pretty smoothly at his station yesterday. They didn't run out of ballots or anything like that . He did, however, "have to keep telling the other volunteers to stop sending people away."
He said that it was his understanding that, even if your name is not on the list, that they are supposed to give you a "provisional" ballot and let you vote and include an explanation of the circumstances. When the people that count the votes get the ballot, they can look you up in the database, and if they can verify that you are currently registered in the database, your vote will count.
The number one question I am asked on a regular basis from people is what to do if they move and didn't re-register at their new address. Just yesterday I told a lady in a coffee shop that I didn't know what to do in that situation and that she "might be out of luck." It seems like this is believed to be the case by most of the General Public -- although I am going to need to find out for sure.
Well my poll volunteer acquaintance (who asked that his name be witheld because he was worried about getting into trouble if he was wrong about any of this) believes that this is not the case. That you can vote with a provisional ballot and they can look you up in the database, if you were registered previously, and just changed addresses, you should still be registered.
RE: ID -- It was his understanding that they are NOT supposed to require ID for anyone whose name is on the list. ID was requested as a means of providing a current address for the people who hadn't re-registered under the new address. If the people didn't have ID, they could provide two pieces of mail to show they had received mail at the address they claimed to reside at.
Even if the person cannot provide any of these things, it was his's understanding that you have to let people vote. You can't turn anyone away.
This all just reminds me that I need to register to be a poll worker, so I can understand more about how everything works.Posted by Lisa at November 15, 2002 04:28 PM | TrackBack