Confessions of a PV Poll Worker

By Michele Ayers as told to Carol Moeller

Behind the smooth operation I (Carol) experienced in my most recent voting opportunity, a whole army of poll workers paved the way for this luxury. This is the narrative of a PV Dems member and poll worker.

All poll workers were advised to watch a video and required to attend in-person training. Michele felt the video was superior to the in-person experience, so those workers who did not watch the video lacked important information. The training erroneously told the poll workers that a voter could change his or her mind after submitting a ballot as the last ballot submitted by a voter would be the one that counted. Michele was initially assigned to Vista Grande School, but prior to the start of the election period, she was reassigned to Lunada Bay School.

Once the election began, it was obvious many voters did not receive their sample ballots. As can be imagined in this complex primary, this slowed the process considerably. Michele loaned her own unmarked sample ballot to help out these voters. Complicating the process, those registered as No Party Preference were allowed to crossover to vote using the ballot of the Democrats, American Independents or Libertarians. This was also the first election in which voters could switch parties at the polls, and many wanted to take advantage of this feature, but no information about the philosophies of each party was readily available.

Michele suggests having synopses of party platforms on-site for voters at the polls. Other suggestions include a large poster that describes: • what to do if you are NPP and wish to vote for President • an explanation as to why CA does not require voters to produce IDs

  • how to change political affiliation
  • how to become a Permanent Absentee Voter
  • a number to call with random questions such as how to input a change of address or the reporting procedure if a voter did not receive a sample ballot

For some reason, the computers provided to look up voters sometimes glitched out and were unable to find properly registered voters, so poll workers were forced to provide those voters with Provisional Ballots. Inexplicably, the stopgap remedy was to look the voter up on an alternate computer.

Although other PV locations had considerable lines, at Lunada Bay the wait time was never longer than 15 minutes. That being said, Michele felt the workers there really worked to provide everyone with a positive experience and went “above and beyond” to keep the wait times down by assisting each other and not keeping to one spot or assignment. The assigned shift for poll workers on Election Day was from 6am to 9pm!!!! Thank you Michele and all of our poll workers!

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