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Poll Challenging (volunteers needed) - Zer Netmouse
October 26th, 2006
07:34 am

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Poll Challenging (volunteers needed)
A couple people followed up on my comment about Poll Challenging and asked for more details. Poll Challenging involves being inside the polling place and helping make sure that people who have a right to vote do not have that right interfered with - that if they are not at the right polling place, they are helped and not discouraged, that nobody is being influenced inside the polling place, that people are voting by themselves and not being coached. Mostly, you just observe. If someone (especially someone of the opposing party) is harassing someone, or it seems that someone who ought to be able to vote is being unfairly denied that right, you might get involved.

If you'd like to be a Poll Challenger on behalf of Democrats, you need to attend one of the following training sessions at the Pittsfield Admin. Building, 6201 W. Michigan Ave, Ann Arbor, 48108.

Sunday, October 29 from 2-5 PM
or
Wednesday, November 1, 6:30-9:30 PM

Registration is appreciated, but not required. Please email Brenda Anderson andersonb@a2mail.net and let her know which session
you plan to attend.

(2 comments | Leave a comment)

Comments
 
From:jer_
Date:October 26th, 2006 04:08 pm (UTC)
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How would you go about being a non-partisan Poll Challenger. I'm neither a Democrat, nor a Republican, but I think I would be interested in ensuring the election process is done fairly, even in a relatively small way. Is there a means for me to do so?
From:(Anonymous)
Date:October 26th, 2006 04:25 pm (UTC)
(Link)
hmm. I don't know. I am guessing there's some sort of way you could set it up ahead of time with the local head of elections, but I don't know who that is. As far as I'm concerned, if you would like to be a poll challenger and help make sure things are fair, I would go ahead and go to the democratic training and try it out. It's not as though you will be asked to say democratic things - it's against the law to say anything particularly partisan or political, in that it might pressure or influence someone, within a certain distance of the polling place (I think it's 100 meters). That's part of what you guard _against_ as a challenger - you make sure the polling place is a neutral environment.

The thing is, the clerks who are running the election don't want too big a crowd in there. I think each party is given the right to have someone there, by default, but we still give the county advance notice that we will be sending people. I imagine there are no rules against setting yourself up as an observer spontaneously, but you might get an unfriendly reception from the polling place volunteers, who have to work around people, if they don't know in advance that you're coming. It's a good question. If you find out anything more about it, please let me know.
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