Part of being an engaged citizen is participating in the electoral process. For most people, that involves voting. For political science majors–and especially for LEAP Ambassadors–it involves going beyond that. Accordingly, a couple of us signed up this spring to be election workers for the election on Tuesday, March 1. For the political science nerds among us, it’s an exciting prospect!
To be an election worker, you have to be registered to vote in the county for which you plan to vote. Fortunately, all LEAP Ambassadors are registered to vote, making us all eligible to work an election. The county has a need for these workers, so the act of working an election is not only a personal goal, but also a civic duty of sorts: it’s providing a real public service.
Of course, the election workers have to be trained to make the correct decisions and follow the the procedures. To ensure that is the case, the Walker County Tax Assessor Collector, Diana McRae, provides training to the volunteers. Thus, Bella and I found ourselves at the Walker County Annex for three hours on a Tuesday morning, learning about the electoral process.
It’s more complex than it seems. There are certain rules that must be followed: no cell phones in the voting area; no political slogans or signs; no persuasive talk. There are also procedural elements. Voters sometimes get confused about (1) whether they are registered and, if they are (2) which county they are registered in; and, even if they have the right county, (3) they may be in the incorrect precinct.
We learned how to address those issues during our training, and we also met some nice people.
We are looking forward to March 1, 2016 and working our first election!