Established by Caltech President David Baltimore and MIT President Charles Vest in December 2000 to prevent a recurrence of the problems that threatened the 2000 U.S. Presidential Election. Since establishment, members of the VTP have studied all aspects of the election process, both in the United States and abroad. VTP faculty, research affiliates, and students have written many working papers, published scores of academic articles and books, and worked on a great array of specific projects.
The Caltech/MIT Voting Technology Project (VTP) applies social science and engineering to voting. Our work ranges from the functioning of voting machines to the effects of reforms on voter behavior to the assessment of voting systems. We are an interdisciplinary group that both conducts original research in this area and engages in an active program of outreach to the public and election officials.
Poll Worker and Machine Optimization. This tool combines recent presidential elections data averaged at the state level with research on polling technology conducted by the New York City Board of Elections to calculate the number of poll workers and machines needed to keep lines short throughout the day.
Post by Gary Riccio on Aug 19, 2020 14:44:41 GMT -5
See article from National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL) Election Administration website, July 2020, on "Poll Worker Shortages and Potential Solutions"
From the article:
Election officials need your help. Encourage family, friends, constituents and anyone who is able to serve as a poll worker this year... In 2016, two-thirds of election jurisdictions struggled to recruit enough poll workers for Election Day, according to the U.S. Election Assistance Commission (EAC)... in 2020, the scale of this problem has snowballed [because typically older poll workers are] the most at-risk for serious complications from COVID-19. With the U.S. facing a substantial poll worker shortage in November, election officials are searching for innovative and effective recruitment strategies.
[The rest of the article has exceedingly important and actionable information.]
These county-based reference maps show and label the state legislative districts and/or voting districts.
Each county is covered by one or more parent map sheets at a single scale.
Each set of VTD/SLD reference maps is accompanied by a VTD to Map Sheet relationship file and an SLD to Map Sheet relationship file. These semi-colon delimited text files include a record for each VTD or SLD within the county, consisting of the code and name of the district and a list of all map sheet numbers that the district appears on.
For more information about the Census Redistricting Data Program, visit the Census Redistricting Data Office website.
A precinct or voting district, in the United States, is the smallest unit into which electoral districts are divided. A larger geographic unit such as a county, township, or city council district is typically subdivided into precincts and each address is assigned to a specific precinct. Each precinct has a specific polling station where its residents go to vote; however, more than one precinct may use the same polling station.
A 2004 survey by the United States Election Assistance Commission reported an average precinct size in the United States of approximately 1,100 registered voters. Kansas had the smallest average precinct size with 437 voters per precinct, while the District of Columbia had the largest average size at 2,704 voters per precinct.
Post by Gary Riccio on Aug 19, 2020 15:29:16 GMT -5
Information and resources for in-person voting from the Election Assistance Commission (EAC),
Innovative Practices and New Solutions Guide
Finding Voting Locations and Poll Workers
Considerations for Modifying the Scale of In-Person Voting
Health and Safety at the Polling Place
Safeguarding Staff and Work Environment from COVID-19
The EAC was established by the Help America Vote Act of 2002 (HAVA). EAC is an independent, bipartisan commission charged with developing guidance to meet HAVA requirements, adopting voluntary voting system guidelines, and serving as a national clearinghouse of information on election administration. EAC also accredits testing laboratories and certifies voting systems, as well as audits the use of HAVA funds.
The four EAC commissioners are appointed by the president and confirmed by the U.S. Senate. EAC is required to submit an annual report to Congress as well as testify periodically about HAVA progress and related issues. The commission also holds public meetings and hearings to inform the public about its progress and activities.
Note, in particular, the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Research has shown that polling places in poorer precincts are less likely to be ADA compliant due to prohibitive cost. This can and will be used to create unequal access of poor people to polling places. Be vigilant to ensure that, even if alternative ADA-compliant polling places cannot be found, that the number of polling places is not reduced.
Discover voting rates and the characteristics of American voting-age citizens by their Congressional designation with actionable granularity. Help us identify Congressional districts where voter suppression has been most effective and consequential.
Even though voters aren’t thinking about that yet, local election officials are. They're working to find sites that are willing to host a polling operation and that are free or low cost, ADA compliant and convenient for voters. Finding such sites is a perennial problem, and it’s made harder this year by COVID-19, which has already caused some locations—schools, long-term care facilities, community buildings—to opt out of hosting polling places.
[Note: This is tricky because the research shows that ADA compliance is less likely in poorer precincts because it is financially infeasible for the associated communities. Thus, this well-meaning criterion could lead to fewer and more widely dispersed polling places in poorer precincts with the unintended effect of voter disenfranchisement.]
The table lists state-by-state laws regarding poll watcher, also known as partisan citizen observers.
A poll watcher’s primary purpose is to ensure that their party has a fair chance of winning an election. Poll watchers closely monitor election administration and may keep track of voter turnout for their parties. They are not supposed to interfere in the electoral process apart from reporting issues to polling place authorities and party officials.
In most states, political parties, candidates and ballot issue committees can appoint poll watchers. In some states a candidate cannot appoint a poll watcher but a group of several candidates can appoint poll watchers jointly. Organizations and civic groups can also appoint poll watchers in some states. Most states don’t allow candidates to be poll watchers.
Poll watchers are usually required to be registered voters, but states differ on whether the poll watcher must be registered in the county or precinct rather than just in the state. States also differ on whether the cap on the number of poll watchers from one entity is based on the number of poll watchers per precinct or on the number of poll watchers per polling place.
"An extremely comprehensive guide to making sure your ballot gets counted, no matter where in America you live."
Extremely comprehensive is a bit of an overstatement, but it is a good place to start. Beyond your local government websites on voting, this all-state guide is useful for anyone who wants to help friends in other states who may not have the time or the talent to digest the information on our unnecessarily draconian voting systems.
Next to casting a ballot yourself, serving as a poll worker is the most important thing you can do to help our democracy thrive.
DISCLAIMER: This app collects and shares information as a public service. A best effort is made to ensure accuracy but the information is provided to you “AS IS”. Please refer to official sources for the latest details. Election infrastructure is managed at the county level, not the state level, but there are state-level guidelines and restrictions.
The app provides the following information for every state:
State resources to become election worker/judge
County specific information to become election worker
Eligible age (e.g., as young as 16-years-old in some states)
Do you have to be a registered voter?
Address requirement (e.g., don't necessarily have to reside in your voting precinct or county)
One of the best ways that you can help make sure Massachusetts holds successful elections this year is by offering your time to be a poll worker. Poll workers are needed across the Commonwealth for the upcoming State Primary on September 1 and State Election on November 3. Many communities will also need workers to assist with early voting.
Poll workers are hired by local election officials to help check-in voters, distribute ballots, tally votes, and assist voters in the polling place. This year, poll workers will also be needed to help sanitize booths and pens, direct voters, and monitor social distancing in the polling places.
Having enough poll workers for every precinct is the best way to keep lines short and reduce crowding in polling places.
Generally, poll workers must be registered voters of the Commonwealth, though up to 2 poll workers per precinct may be 16 or 17 years old. This year, if a city or town cannot find enough poll workers, they have the option of hiring workers regardless of their registration status or political party affiliation.
This guide is designed to help Americans vote—and make sure their ballots are actually counted. It is written for voters who are understandably worried that their vote might not be counted due to the vagaries of mail delivery and state election laws. And it assumes that voters will prefer to minimize their exposure to other individuals during a pandemic. Our chief goal is to recommend the safest, easiest, most reliable voting options in all 50 states and the District of Columbia. We explain how you can vote absentee, from the safety of your own home, then return your ballot without relying on USPS.
Other states will begin doing the same over the next few weeks in an election that's expected to break all records in the number of ballots cast early and by mail. Minnesota will be the first state to offer early in-person voting starting Sept. 18, with many states following not long afterward.
Most analysts believe that at least half the electorate will vote by mail or early in person, largely because the pandemic has made many voters reluctant to show up at potentially crowded polling places on Nov. 3.
You can vote in person at an earlier date to skip the long lines at the polls on Election Day.
Early in-person voting will be one option for the 2020 election this year as a result of adjustments made during the coronavirus pandemic for those who prefer to avoid going to the poll places on Election Day amid fears that voting in person could help spread COVID-19. Fortunately, many states are offering early voting as an option, as well as voting by mail and absentee voting. The decision to allow early voting and voting by mail is a way for states to help keep Americans safe.