Precinct ElectionOfficials Training Davis County Auditor’s Office 664-2101
OPENING THE POLLS • All precinct election officials (PEOs) should be at the polling place one hour before the polls open. If anyone is missing, call the Auditor’s Office, as soon as possible to ask for a replacement. • Administer the oath – inside the front cover of the Tally Book. • Arrange the polling place • Set up the election equipment • Check Accessibility – Make sure the route(s) to be used by voters is accessible, both inside and outside the building. Provide chairs at accessible voting booths. If possible, set up a separate table for voters who need extra help.
OPENING THE POLLS continued… • Post all signs provided by the Auditor’s Office. • Post the following on the walls inside the polling place: • Sample ballot of each ballot style (both front and back if a two-sided ballot) • “Instructions for Voters” – 1 copy in the polling place and 1 in each voting booth. • “Voting Is Your Right” poster. • EDR Instructions and Iowa Voter Identification Requirements Poster.
OPENING THE POLLS continued… • Set up “Vote Here” signs. • Post the Polling Place Name and a map of your precinct at the Entrance door of the building. • Set out and secure the ballots. Check the number of ballots against the number(s) listed on the Ballot Record and Receipt, verify quantities for each ballot style. Call the Auditor’s Office if the number does not match. Set the ballots in a secure place so that only the PEOs have access to the ballots. Open one packet of each ballot style to distribute to voters. Count the ballots as you open each packet and call the Auditor’s office if the number does not match. Do not open more than one packet of each ballot style at a time.
OPENING THE POLLS continued… • Synchronize watches – Precinct chairperson should determine and announce the clock to be used for the official times for opening and closing the polls. • Open on time – Unlock the doors on time. Even if the election equipment is not functional or ready, do not ask a voter to return at a later time; use emergency procedures if necessary.
POLLING PLACE ASSIGNMENTS… Ballot Scanner and AutoMark • Read “OPENING” instructions. • The AutoMarkwill be used for ADA compliant requirements. • Even if no one asks to use it, it must be open, powered, and ready to go. • Use the BRASS key to turn it to ON. • AccuvotePrecinct Count Optical Scanner (OS) will be used for calculating the totals of paper ballots. • Use the RED key to open the tape compartment, and remove the cover. • The BLACK key will be used for any of the locks on the BLACK BOX that holds the Optical scanner, and the ballots.
GENERAL GUIDELINES • Do: • Call the Auditor’s Office for any situation about which you are unsure or for which you cannot find the answer. • Report any activities that you believe or think may be illegal. • Treat each voter with courtesy, fairness and respect. • Ensure that each person who is eligible to vote has the opportunity to vote. • Inform voters that someone is available to help them, if they wish. • Familiarize yourself with the location of restrooms and telephones in the polling place. • Tell other PEOs if you are experiencing health problems or if you have any special needs to be accommodated. • Bring meals and snacks or arrange for someone to bring them to you. • Encourage and express appreciation to other PEOs. • Tell each voter, “Thank you for voting.” • Take pride in what you do.
GENERAL GUIDELINES continued… • Don’t: • Read newspapers or news magazines or play a television or radio at the polling places. • Wear campaign buttons or stickers or allow poll watchers to wear them in the polling place. (A voter can wear such items, as long as the voter does not linger in the polling place or solicit votes.) • Answer voters’ questions on candidates or public measures, or spell names of write-in candidates for voters. • Discuss politics or candidates in the polling place. • Count on being able to go home at any point during the day. • Assume anything based on a voter’s race, gender, language, disability or appearance. • Comment on or disclose any vote cast by a person you are helping.
GENERAL GUIDELINES continued… • Ballot Security – You must guard the ballots at all times. It is illegal to take a ballot from the polling place (except for curbside voting). Precinct election officials shall order the arrest of any person doing so. • Secrecy of Voting Process – Never reveal how any person voted and do not permit voters to show or discuss their ballots with others. • Voter Questions – Do not respond to questions about candidates or issues on the ballot. You may not express personal opinions in any way in your position as a precinct election official. • Protect Each Person’s Right To Vote – It is not the role of the PEO to decide who gets to vote. If the voter is in the wrong precinct, direct the voter to the correct precinct. However, if the voter insists on voting in your precinct, offer the voter a provisional ballot.
GENERAL GUIDELINES continued… • Political Signs, Materials or Campaigning • Signs within 300 feet of the polling place door are prohibited by law during voting hours. • Signs or bumper stickers larger than 90 square inches on cars or trucks parked within 300 feet of the polling place are prohibited. • The law provides an exception for signs on private property that is not a polling place. • If anyone in or near the polling place (within 300 feet of the door) is interfering with voters or soliciting votes, ask the person to stop. • If you have questions or problems, call the Auditor’s Office.
POLL WATCHERS/OBSERVERS • Poll Watchers/Observers - A poll watcher is a person who has official permission to be at the polling place on Election Day. Poll Watchers are also called observers or challenging committees. Categories of poll watchers include: • Political parties • Nonparty political organizations • Non-partisan candidates • Groups supporting or opposing public measures • Educational program
POLL WATCHERS/OBSERVERS continued… • Political Parties – Each political party – Democrats and Republicans – may have no more than three poll watchers at a time, if the party has candidates on the ballot. A poll watcher must have a letter showing that the poll watcher is accredited by the political party. • Nonparty political organizations are any political organizations other than the Democrat or Republican party. One poll watcher is permitted to be present from each nonparty political organization with candidates on the ballot. • Non-partisan candidates – any non-partisan candidate on the ballot may appoint one poll watcher who must carry a letter of appointment signed by the candidate. • Groups supporting or opposing public measures on the ballot are permitted, except at primary and general elections. Unlike the other categories of poll watchers, these poll watchers must have notified the County Auditor before election day. • Educational program – Any person authorized by the County Auditor in consultation with the Secretary of State for purposes of conducting and attending educational programs for youth are permitted.
GENERAL GUIDELINES • The chairperson of the precinct election officials is in charge of the polling place. • PEOs may ask to see identification for any person, including a poll watcher. • Poll Watchers must have a specific relationship to an office or public measure on the ballot. • A poll watcher in an election cannot be a candidate for office listed on the ballot, an elected official whose office is listed on the ballot, or a PEO official working at the election. • As a courtesy and if space allows, provide poll watchers a table and chairs near, but separate from, the tables for the PEOs.
GENERAL GUIDELINES continued… Poll Watchers/Observers CAN • Challenge any voter they believe is not qualified to vote in the precinct and participate in asking questions to any challenged voter. • View and handle the signed Voter’s Declaration of Eligibility slips (but not the election register). The Sign-In Sheet is used for precincts where the voter signs the election register. • Call the Auditor’s Office to report a problem if a poll watcher believes the precinct election official has done something wrong.
GENERAL GUIDELINES continued… Poll Watchers/Observers CANNOT • Solicit votes, cause any disturbance, interfere with the election process, handle ballots, use polling place supplies or equipment, solicit votes for specific candidates or public measures, give or display campaign literature, or wear political buttons, stickers, jewelry or clothing. Ask the person to stop and call the Auditor’s Office if the behavior continues. • Conduct partisan activity in the polling place, including using a cell phone to call voters or to report to a political party headquarters.
GENERAL GUIDELINES continued… • Media – Members of the media are common visitors to polling places. Although the law does not specifically allow or prohibit members of the media in polling places, general guidelines include: • Allow a member of the media to be inside the place to take photographs or film the activity, but do not allow the individual to interfere with the voting process. • Restrict an interview with a voter until the voter has cast the ballot and only outside the polling place. • Answer questions from or provide comments to the media if authorized by the County Auditor. Otherwise, refer the individual to the County Auditor and provide the telephone number.
POLLING PLACE ASSIGNMENTS • The chairperson is in charge of the polling place and responsible for the conduct of the election. Some precincts may have two co-chairpersons appointed by the County Auditor. Chairperson responsibilities include: • Ballots and Supplies: • Pick up ballots and supplies before Election Day. • Review and be familiar with supplies. • Return ballots and supplies after the election. • Precinct Election Officials: • Obtain the names and telephone numbers of PEOs who will be working the election from the Auditor’s office. • Assign responsibilities to PEOs.
POLLING PLACE ASSIGNMENTS continued… • Each voter must complete and sign a Voter’s Declaration of Eligibility. The PEO may fill in the name of the precinct and may pre-number the slips, if directed by the County Auditor. • The required information is the voter’s signature and current address. The voter’s telephone number is optional. • Periodically check to see that the number of completed Voter’s Declaration of Eligibility slips match the number of ballots used, minus provisional and spoiled ballots. • A voter who cannot sign a signature can still vote. An assisted signature authorized by the voter, a rubber stamp signature, or any mark regularly used by the voter as a signature are all appropriate.
POLLING PLACE ASSIGNMENTS continued… Election Register • For counties using Voter’s Declaration of Eligibility Slips: Compare the voter’s name and address on the Voter’s Declaration of Eligibility slip to make sure it matches the election register. For most voters on Election Day, the information on the eligibility slip will match the register and your procedure will be as follows: • A Precinct Official may initial the Voter’s Declaration of Eligibility slip on the line marked “Approved.” • Mark the election register to show the person voted. For the Primary Election, use an “R” for Republican or a “D” for Democrat. For all other elections use an “X”. (For precincts using the computers, the voter has already been “found” & verified in the system, so you can let them move ahead while you are marking them in the register). • If there are different ballot styles, mark the eligibility slip with the ballot style from the election register. (for this Primary Election – not necessary) • Return the eligibility slip to the voter to take to the next station.
POLLING PLACE ASSIGNMENTS continued… Ballot Distribution • Select the correct ballot style. (For Primary Elections only, select the correct political party ballot style.) • Initial the ballot. (Do not initial a ballot until it is time to distribute the ballot.) • Inform the voter that written instructions on how to mark the ballot can be found on the ballot and in the voting booth. • Instruct the voter to use only the pencil or marking pen provided in the voting booth. • Instruct the voter what to do with the ballot when the voter is done voting. • Hand the ballot to the voter with the secrecy folder and guide them to an empty voting booth. • *Iowa law requires that each voter must mark a ballot in a voting booth. Do not give any voter a ballot until a booth is available.
POLLING PLACE ASSIGNMENTS Ballot Distribution continued… • Spoiled Ballots – Keep the “Spoiled Ballots” envelope at the ballot distribution station. • If a voter spoils a ballot, have the voter mark the ballot “Spoiled”. • Have the voter insert the spoiled ballot into the “Spoiled Ballots” envelope. • Protect the voter’s privacy and do not look at the ballot or allow others to see how the spoiled ballot was marked. • If the voter still wishes to vote, give the voter a new ballot. A voter can have up to three attempts to vote a paper ballot.
CLOSING THE POLLS continued… • Close the polls at the designated time. Never close the polls early, even if you believe no one else will come. • Secure the polling place. Anyone on the premises at the time the polls close must be allowed to vote. • Public canvass(or counting of the votes) – Anyone may watch but no one except the precinct election officials may handle the ballots or interfere with the count. • Close the election equipment. (Refer to Guidebook) • Call results to the Auditor’s Office...664-2101. • Count the write-in votes. (Refer to guidebook.)
COUNT THE WRITE-IN VOTES • Tabulating devices count the votes, including write-ins votes (where the voting target is marked), as they are inserted into the machine. • If you used the emergency ballot box, remove any ballots from the emergency ballot box and insert them into the tabulating device. If a ballot is rejected, try again. • The ballot box should sort ballots with write-ins from ballots with no write-ins, but do not rely on them to do so. • Scan the ballots quickly to see if there are any write-in votes to be counted, and pull those aside. • Ballots properly marked count. Do not reject because: • the ballots were misprinted; • the election official’s initials are missing; • the wrong ballots were delivered to your polling place.
Standards for Determining a Voter’s Mark • Example of properly marked ballot • CANDIDATE 1 • CANDIDATE 2
CERTIFICATE OF WRITE-IN VOTES RECORD the Write-Ins on these sheets (located in your Tally Books). Pay attention to the number of votes each office received. Your pages should look like this (without the color)
CLOSING THE POLLS continued… • Voted & Counted ballots – On the Ballot Record and Receipt form, enter the total ballots Voted & Counted for each type of ballot. This combined total must equal the Total Paper Ballots Cast on the Ballots Cast section of the Certificate of Election Officials page on the Tally Book. • Spoiled ballots – Carefully count the number of spoiled ballots and enter the total for each ballot style on the bottom section of the Ballot Record and Receipt form and the compiled total on the Ballots Cast section of the Certificate of Election Officials page in the Tally Book. Seal the spoiled ballots in the correct envelope and place in the supply box.
CLOSING THE POLLS continued… • Provisional ballots – Carefully count the number of provisional ballots and enter the total for each ballot style on the bottom section of the Ballot Record and Receipt form and the compiled total on the Ballots Cast section and the Declaration of Eligibility section of the Certificate of Election Officials page in the Tally Book. Seal all of the individual provisional ballot envelopes inside the larger envelopes and place in the supply box. • Unused/Not Voted ballots – Carefully count all ballots that have not been given to voters and enter the total for each ballot style on the bottom section of the Ballot Record and Receipt form and the compiled total on the Ballots Cast section of the Certificate of Election Officials page in the Tally Book. Seal in the package provided and place in the supply box.
CLOSING THE POLLS continued… • Complete the Ballot Record and Receipt – It is extremely important that this is filled in correctly so that the totals equal the number of ballots that you were given of each ballot type. • Complete the Declaration of Eligibility Reconciliation section on the Certificate of Election Officials page of the Tally Book. • Enter the total number of ballots cast listed on the results tape from the Ballot Scanner. • Verify the # of signed Voter’s Declaration of Eligibility slips: • Count the marks in the election register (e.g. X, R, D; not A). Do not include the people marked on the election register as absentee voters. • Get an exact count of signed Voter’s Declaration of Eligibility slips. The slips should have been numbered throughout the election as they were used so you should be able to use the last signed slip. • These counts should be equal and should also be the same as the “Total” of the provisional ballots issued, ballots cast on Ballot Scanner on the section of the Declaration of Eligibility section of the Certificate of Election Officials page of the Tally Book. • Complete the Tally Book. Be sure all of the PEOs sign in each of the designated places.
CLOSING THE POLLS continued… • Announce the unofficial tally to all present at the polling place. • Complete the claim form (located in the supply box). • Pack the supply box – Make sure the supply box contains the Tally List, claim form, election register, and envelopes for unused, spoiled, and provisional ballots. • Take down signs, voting booths, etc. Make sure facility is left in the same condition as when you arrived. • A Courier will arrive by closing to transport the OS memory card to the Auditor’s Office. You will first put the “Ender” card through the counting machine, and let the “totals” tape finish. There will be a form provided for you to complete, that will also specify the name of your courier. After the tape is finished, YOU, the PEO, will break the seal on the tabulating machine, pull the card from the compartment and hand it to the courier. Put the signed form in your supply tote. • You may bring ballots and supplies to the Auditor’s office on either election night, or before noon the next day. But, you must decide which option, and let the auditor’s office know, by tonight (training night).
EMERGENCIES • Equipment not working – Allow voters to vote using paper ballots. Use emergency slot on black ballot box. Notify Auditor’s Office. • Injury/Illness of voter – Dial 911 for help as needed. Notify the Auditor’s Office. • Injury/Illness of PEO – Dial 911 for help as needed. Notify the Auditor’s Office. Auditor’s Office will find staff to continue work at the polls. • Severe weather (Refer to Guidebook). • In all emergencies, secure voted and unvoted ballots.
GOOD LUCK! • Thanks to all of you for participating in the election process and serving the residents of Davis County. AUDITOR’S OFFICE - 664-2101