OBSERVER TRAINING An Overview of King County Elections Processes& Observer Training Guidelines King County Records, Elections and Licensing Services Division Dean Logan, Director October 2005
Facts about King County Elections • 1 million plus active registered voters • 2,573 voting precincts • 527 polling locations • 583,765 permanent absentee voters • 6,400 military and overseas ballots issued to more than 64 countries • 4,150 out-of-state ballots issued • Multiple ballot formats required • Regular ballots • Chinese-language ballots • Provisional ballots • Chinese-language provisional ballots • Absentee ballots • Chinese-language absentee ballots • Six working locations • Admin Building – 5th Floor • Admin Building – 2nd Floor • Mail Ballot Operations Satellite • Temporary Elections Annex • Election Distribution Center • Bank of America Tower – 20th Floor • Seeking additional leased space • Multipleexternal review processes • Independent Elections Task Force • Citizens’ Election Oversight Committee • Independent Council Audit • Outside Personnel Investigator • Average six elections per year
Management & Organization Tabulation System Election Management System Technology Projects Web Master Candidate Filing Minority Language Program Training & Recruitment Poll Workers Canvassing Troubleshooters Voter Registration Records Maintenance including: New Voter Registrations, Cancellations, Name/Address Changes; Absentee Ballot Request Processing; Provisional Ballot Processing Petition/Initiative Checking Phone Bank & Customer Service Absentee Ballot Insertion Election Distribution Center Poll Site Leases Ballot Layout & Printing Logic & Accuracy Testing We value all members of our organization for all are equally important.
Election Operations CONTACT INFORMATION: Julie Moore Assistant Superintendent (206) 296-1565 email@example.com SERVICE OVERVIEW: • Candidate Filing • Minority Language Program • Poll Worker Recruitment and Training • Canvassing • Troubleshooting • Election Day Support (Help Desk) LOCATION(S): King County Administration Building 500 4th Avenue, #553 Seattle, WA 98104 HOURS OF OPERATION: 8:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.
Mail Ballot Processing and Delivery SERVICE OVERVIEW: • Absentee Ballot Processing • Election Distribution Center • Poll Site Leasing • Ballot Layout and Printing • Logic and Accuracy Testing • Ballot Tabulation CONTACT INFORMATION: Garth Fell Assistant Superintendent (206) 205-1015 firstname.lastname@example.org LOCATION(S): Mail Ballot Operations Satellite (MBOS) 3901 1st Avenue South Seattle, WA 98104 Elections Distribution Center (EDC) 1215 East Fir Street Seattle, WA 98122 HOURS OF OPERATION: 8:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.
Voter Services CONTACT INFORMATION: Anne Bruskland Acting Assistant Superintendent (206) 205-7362 email@example.com SERVICE OVERVIEW: • Voter Registration records processing and maintenance; • Absentee Ballot Request processing; • Provisional Ballot processing • Petition/Initiative Checking • Election Customer Service • Staffing 296-VOTE • Opening/distribution on incoming Election mail LOCATION(S): King County Administration Building 500 4th Avenue, #553 Seattle, WA 98104 HOURS OF OPERATION: 8:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.
Temporary Elections Annex SERVICE OVERVIEW: • Absentee Ballot Processing • Canvassing • Election Day Support (Help Desk) CONTACT INFORMATION: Garth Fell Assistant Superintendent (206) 205-1015 firstname.lastname@example.org LOCATION(S): Temporary Elections Annex 9010 E. Marginal Way S. Tukwila, WA 98108 HOURS OF OPERATION: 8:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.
Observer Overview • The requirement for official observers of the election process is grounded in state law. • King County Elections strives to conduct elections as expeditiously and impartially as possible. Towards that end, all activities will be conducted as open and visible as possible to all concerned. • While the vote itself is secret, the process of conducting an Election is not. • Observers have the right to witness all aspects of the Election process. • Observers play a key role in ensuring the electoral process is transparent and accountable.
Types of Observers • Public Observers • Party Observers • Media Observers • Poll Watchers
Types of Observers Public Observers • The general public may observe the election process and will be permitted to do so provided there is room for the person to observe the process and it does not unduly interfere with the election process.
Types of Observers Party Observers (paid & volunteer) • Person(s) nominated by the chair of the King County major political party central committees or designees to observe the election process through the assignment to a particular function in the election process.
Types of Observers Media Observers • People who represent accredited news media, both print, audio and television.
Types of Observers Poll Watchers • Anyone may watch and observe the voting process during voting hours and while the polls are being closed. Poll watchers and observers are asked to check-in with the Inspector upon arrival at a polling location. • Official Poll Watchers must be designated by a campaign director and authorized by the King County Records, Elections, and Licensing Services, (REALS) Director.
General Observer Guidelines • The observer has the right to observe all aspects of the Election process. • As an observer, you are permitted to observe: Candidate filing Ballot duplication Ballot printing Ballot tabulation Ballot assembly Storage of ballots Logic & Accuracy testing Provisional ballot processing Signature verification Ballot opening & inspection Ballot reconciliation Canvass Board proceedings
Rules for Public Election Observing • By law, observers may not touch ballots, ballot containers, or vote tallying equipment. Please remember this while observing election activities. • As an observer, you are expected to remain objective and independent from King County Elections. Please refrain from any actions which may jeopardize this status or appear as a conflict of interest. • Due to time constraints and the critical nature of our job, we cannot allow workers to be disrupted. Please help us maintain a work environment free of distractions so that everyone can concentrate on their current task. This does not include speaking to members of the Election Supervisory team or the Staff/Observer Liaison – part of their job is to answer your questions. • King County Elections’ officials will make every effort to be hospitable to observers and assist you in understanding the operations you are observing. • Open food and beverage containers are prohibited in the observation areas. • Video taping and use of cellular phones or other wireless communication is prohibited. • (Reference: King County Elections, Policies and Procedures ELE 9-40 (DP) 6.7) • King County Records, Elections, and Licensing Services Division, Department of Executive Services
Public Observer Process • Checking In: • Check-in with Election Staff at your assigned site and sign Check-in Log. • Read, sign and date the provided copy of “Affidavit of Acknowledgement, Rules for Public Observers” form. • Wear the “Observer” badge at all times, while observing. • Follow Rules for Public Observing at all times. • Observing: • Assigned election staff will provide an overview of the process you are observing. • When possible, a chair will be provided for observers if they intend to observe more than 30 minutes to an hour. • Checking Out: • Check-out and return badge at check-in area at end of your observation period.
Hand-outs and additional materials • 2005 General Election Observer Opportunities • Rules For Public Election Observing • Affidavit of Acknowledgement • An Observers Guide- Washington State Elections
Observer Q & A • Thank you for being part of the election process in King County! • Questions?