November 2, 2012 Secretary of the Virginia State Board of Elections Don Palmer 1100 Bank Street, Richmond, VA 23219

Chairman of the Virginia State Board of Elections Charlie Judd 1100 Bank Street, Richmond, VA 23219 Vice-Chairman of the Virginia State Board of Elections Kimberly Bowers 1100 Bank Street, Richmond, VA 23219 Virginia Attorney General Kenneth Cuccinelli, II 900 East Main Street Richmond, VA 23219 United States Attorney Neil MacBride 2100 Jamieson Ave Alexandria, VA 22314 United States Attorney Timothy J. Heaphy Post Office Box 1709 Roanoke, Virginia 24008-1709 Dear Sirs and Madam: We write to strongly request your immediate attention and action to remedy the poll watcher training activities of “True the Vote” in Virginia. The True the Vote’s Virginia training materials provide incorrect and misleading guidance about Virginia law and voting procedures. Virginia poll watchers that rely on the erroneous “training” in True the Vote’s poll watcher manual pose a grave risk of fostering an environment of confusion, hostility and intimidation. Worse, these ill-trained poll watchers could intentionally or inadvertently make it harder for Virginians to vote, especially new voters, voters of color, voters who need language assistance, and voters with physical disabilities. It is critical that you protect eligible Virginia voters from the potentially suppressive tactics of poll watchers relying on True the Vote’s Virginia Poll Watcher training manual. The errors are numerous and serious.

We urge you to have the counties remind the chief officers that under Virginia Code § 24.2-604, the chief officers have the authority to remove persons, including poll watchers, who are disturbing, disrupting, or delaying the voting process. The document, “True the Vote Virginia Observer Training,” is attached. This document is presented as a Virginia specific manual, however large sections include misleading or inaccurate boilerplate language cut and paste from other True the Vote state manuals, including Colorado and Texas. Here are some of the statements from the training manual that are plainly wrong and highly misleading. The bulleted statements are taken directly from the training manual; the sub-bullet point provides the inaccuracy and our suggested response. Statement: Page 36 [Under “Voting After the Poll is Closed”]: “If a vote is cast after the legal closing time, it should be cast as a provisional ballot and separated from those votes before the legal closing time.” o Correction: Virginia law is clear: if a voter is in line at 7:00pm, even if the voter casts a ballot after 7:00pm, the voter casts a regular ballot, not a provisional ballot. In other words, everyone in line at the closing of polls in Virginia is entitled to vote with a regular ballot. Statement: Page 7 [Under “Election Officials”]: “The chairman for the State Board of Elections is the Chief Election Officer for the state of Virginia.” o Correction: The Chief Election Officer for the Commonwealth of Virginia is the Secretary of the State Board of Elections, Secretary Palmer. Statement: Page 23 [Under “Voting Area”]: “[I]n the case of voters requiring assistance in a language other than English, a [party or candidate] representative with proficiency in that language may be asked to assist.” o Correction: Virginia Code § 24.2-604 was amended in the previous legislative session to prohibit an authorized representative [party or candidate] to provide assistance in any case permitted under § 24.2-649. Virginia Code § 24.2-604 states that, “Authorized representatives shall not be allowed in any case to provide assistance to any voter as permitted under § 24.2-649 or to wear any indication that they are authorized to assist voters either inside the polling place or within 40 feet of any entrance to the polling place.” Statement: Page 23 [Under “Voter Check-In”]: “Voter states name and current address and election officer repeat name and address. Officer asks voter to present acceptable form of ID: his Commonwealth of Virginia voter registration card, his social security card, his valid Virginia driver’s license, his concealed handgun permit issued pursuant to §18.2-308, or any other identification card issued by a government agency of the Commonwealth, one of its political subdivisions, or the United States; any valid student identification card issued by any institution of higher education located in the Commonwealth of Virginia; any valid employee identification card containing a photograph of the voter and issued by an employer of the voter in the ordinary course of

the employer’s business; or a copy of a current utility bill statement, government check, or paycheck that shows the name and address of the voter.” o Correction: The State Board of Election’s acceptable voter identification chart shows that voters may also present a tribal enrollment or other tribal ID provided by one of the 11 tribes recognized in Virginia, a military ID, or an expired Virginia driver’s license that is within 30 days of expiration. Statement: Page 32 [Under “Challenging Voters or Absentee/Mail-In Ballots”]: “The Poll Lead or Assistant (usually together) can make a decision to uphold or overrule your challenge. Take careful notes of everything said during this process. It’s also possible that the Poll Lead or Assistant may determine that a final decision on the challenge cannot be reached. In this case, they should allow the challenged voter to vote by provisional ballot only.” o Correction: Pursuant to Virginia Code § 24.2-651, any challenged voter who signs a statement under felony penalty attesting to their eligibility shall cast a regular ballot (i.e., “shall be permitted to vote on the voting system in use at the precinct.”) Statement: Page 33 [Under “What to Watch For”]: “At the check-in area, watch to ensure that voters are presenting the ID required by your state law and that the Election Workers are checking the address on the ID against the address in the voter book/poll book/online record.” o Correction: Nowhere in Virginia law does it say that a valid Virginia ID for voting purposes must have an address on it. Not all legal forms of ID under Virginia Code contain a current address. Furthermore, according to the SBEs’ “What If” guide, there are multiple instances where a voter may cast a regular ballot even if the address on their ID does not match the address in the poll book. For instance, the voters’ ID may contain a mailing address, not a physical address or the voter could have moved within the same precinct. Statement: Page 34 [Under “What to Watch For (continued)”]: “Watch to ensure that the Election Workers are instructing each voter to sign the voter book or digitally sign their online record, as needed. The Election Worker should compare these signatures against the ID presented or against the voter book signatures on record, per your state’s practice.” o Correction: There is no requirement under Virginia law for voters to sign the poll book or for election workers to compare signatures. Virginia law does not require that eligible IDs contain a signature. Your attention to this matter is all the more important because a prominent True the Vote official compared trained poll observers to police officers, which implies that poll watchers are charged with enforcing the law. The organization’s National Elections Coordinator Bill Ouren told attendees at a True the Vote event that “for any of you that have seen qualified, capable poll observers in action, it’s kind of like driving down the road and looking up in that rearview mirror and seeing that there is an officer of the law following you.” Misinformed, wrongly trained poll watchers may be inclined to harass, intimidate, or interfere with a qualified voter’s

right to vote, all of which violates Virginia law, especially if voters are targeted for discriminatory reasons such as race, ethnicity, language ability, or gender. Clearly, reliance on the numerous errors in the True the Vote Virginia Observer Training manual disqualify anyone from claiming that they are a capable poll watcher. Ironically, in an interview with the National Rifle Association News, the President of True the Vote told an interviewer that “if you find value in spending time trying to stop the corruption where it starts, which we argue is at the polls, then what you do is you end up truing [sic] the process all the way to the highest offices in the land” and that "we’ve got to, I believe, take the reins back.” The misstatements of law in True the Vote’s Virginia materials belie the stated goals of True the Vote. Concerns over voter intimidation, partisanship and interference with the right to vote have prompted Congressman Elijah Cummings, Ranking Member of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, to open an investigation into True the Vote. He has requested documents relating to the True the Vote’s plans “to deploy hundreds of thousands of personnel across the country on Election Day to challenge access to the polls for people you believe should not be allowed to vote.” He explained that if True the Vote’s efforts “are intentional, politically-motivated, and widespread across multiple states, they could amount to a criminal conspiracy.” Virginia Code mandates that, “It shall be unlawful for any authorized representative, voter, or any other person in the room to (i) hinder or delay a qualified voter; (ii) give, tender, or exhibit any ballot, ticket, or other campaign material to any person; (iii) solicit or in any manner attempt to influence any person in casting his vote; (iv) hinder or delay any officer of election; or (v) otherwise impede the orderly conduct of the election.” - Virginia Code § 24.2-604(D) We expect that you will enforce this and other voter protection laws to their fullest extent, particularly in the wake of these disturbing training materials that threaten to disenfranchise voters and make it harder for eligible Virginians to vote. We request that you do the following as soon as possible: Enforce Virginia law; Request that the State Board of Elections remind election judges how to handle poll watchers that are trained contrary to Virginia law, including the significant statutory authority under Virginia Code § 24.2-604(D) and (E) to eject any poll watcher who seeks to carry out any action that is contrary to Virginia law;

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Inform the Virginia Republican and Democrats that their monitors are to obey all laws or risk ejection from the polling location; and Request that True the Vote immediately correct their training materials and distribute corrective materials to all persons signed up to become poll watchers trained and/or mobilized by True the Vote.

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These steps are critical to ensure a free, fair and accessible election in Virginia. We hope that you will take the necessary steps and begin this process as soon as possible.

Sincerely, The 2012 Virginia Election Protection Coalition Michael Lore Volunteer Coordinator Common Cause Virginia 1133 19th St., 9th floor Washington, DC 20036 mlore@commoncause.org Courtney Mills Staff Attorney Fair Elections Legal Network 1825 K Street NW, Suite 450 Washington, D.C. 20006 Tel: 202-331-0114 Fax: 202-331-1663 cmills@fairelectionsnetwork.com Tram Nguyen Associate Director Virginia New Majority Education Fund 6397 Little River Turnpike, Ste 300 Alexandria, VA 22312 tnguyen@virginianewmajority.org Anna Scholl Executive Director ProgressVA Education Fund PO Box 742 Earlysville, VA 22936 anna@progressva.org Katie O’Connor Staff Attorney Advancement Project 1220 L Street NW Suite 850 Washington DC 20005 KOConnor@advancementproject.org

Make votes count!

Inspire and equip volunteers as Election Observers!

––––– Virginia – ––––

Training
Ensure election integrity!

ObserVer

Prevent voter fraud!

Advocate free and fair elections in 2012!

John Jones
A citizen initiative empowered by TRUE the VOTE

Virginia

Table Of Contents

Virginia Poll Observer Training
Getting Started . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4 How To Use Your eBook . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4 Chapter 1 – Introduction . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .5 Welcome . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5 The Purpose . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5 Why Do We Need Election Observers? . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5-6 What’s in the Video . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6 Chapter 2 – Who Oversees Our Elections? . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7 Election Officials . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7 Polling Place Staff . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7 Poll Lead . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8 Assistant Poll Lead . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9 Election Workers . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9 Election Observers . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10 Poll Challengers . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11 Other Service Venues . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11 Early Voting Procedures . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11 Chapter 3 – Preparing For Elections . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12 Poll Assignment . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12 Training Requirements . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12 Final Briefing and Deployment . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 13 Election Observer Checklist . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 13 Commitment . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 13 Chapter 4 – Working The Elections . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14 Setting Up the Poll . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14 Types of Ballots and Equipment . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14 Arrival At Poll . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 15 Election Observer Rules and Privileges . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 16-17 Infractions . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 17 Conflict Resolutions . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 18 Chapter 5 – Opening The Poll . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 19 Who’s in the Polls . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 19 Opening Evaluation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 19-20

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Table Of Contents

Virginia Poll Observer Training
Equipment Usage . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 20 Opening Procedures . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 21 Poll Layout . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 21 Note Taking . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 22 Chapter 6 – Poll Activity . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 23 Voting Area . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 23 Voter Check-In . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 23 Voting List/Poll Book . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 23-24 Same Day Voter Registration . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 24 Paper Ballots . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 25 Electronic Ballots . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 25-27 Provisional Ballots . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 27 Absentee/mail-in Ballots . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 28 Voters Needing Assistance . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 28-30 Curbside Voting . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 30 Interim Voter Counts . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 31 Electioneering . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 31 Challenging Voters or Absentee/mail-in Ballots . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 32 Taking Breaks . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 33 What to Watch For . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 33-34 Chapter 7 – Closing The Poll . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 35 Closing Procedures . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 35 Voting After the Poll is Closed . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 36 Closing Documentation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 37 Counting Ballots . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 38 Securing and Transporting of Ballots and Equipment . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 39 Breaking Down the Poll Equipment . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 40 Incident Reports . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 40 Closing Checklist . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 41 Chapter 8 – Wrap Up . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 42 Online Assessment . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 43 Helpful Links . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 43

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Getting Started

getting started

How To Use Your eBook
This eBook was created just for you and your state . In it you will find the material covered in the Election Observer training video, along with state specific details and election laws that are unique to your state . There’s a lot of information contained in the video and on the following pages - don’t get overwhelmed . Our intent is to expose you to the full polling place experience, so that you will be generally familiar with the entire process . As you will learn, TRUE the VOTE will provide you with additional supporting documents and a Quick Reference Guide closer to Election Day . . . . .but for now, what’s most important is for you to watch the training video, follow along with the eBook, and take the assessment at the end of the course (so that you’ll know that you know that you know your role in the poll .) After those steps are complete, you’ll be contacted by your local election integrity organization-they’ll help connect you with volunteer opportunities and make sure you are ready to go! We’re all in this together, all serving to support the single most fundamental process of our representative republic . Thank you for your commitment to election integrity!

Objectives
After completing this course, you will be able to: • Understand the role of an Election Observer. • Identify responsibilities of an Election Observer. • Describe key events in polling place procedures. • Recognize common causes of election irregularities. • Perform the duties of an Election Observer.

Icons Used Throughout This eBook
Video Content Sources for Additional Information

State Specific Information

Notes

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Introduction • Chapter 1

Welcome
Welcome to the TRUE the VOTE Election Observer Training - thank you for stepping up to help ensure the integrity of our elections! TRUE the VOTE is an initiative developed by citizens for citizens to inspire and equip volunteers for involvement at every stage of our electoral process and to actively protect the rights of legitimate voters regardless of party affiliation .

The Purpose and Role
The purpose of this training is to prepare you for your role as an Election Observer and to explain the importance of this role . The term Election Observer is the generic title we will refer to throughout this video, but the official title of this role may be different in your state. The 10th Amendment of our Constitution provides for elections to be overseen at the state level, this means that election laws and titles can vary by state . However, most of the basic processes are the same . In addition to the training video, you’ll have this state specific eBook to highlight important information unique to your state . Party and candidate representatives bring balance to the polls, ensuring that all parties are represented, and are the citizen eyes and ears at the polls, ensuring that all parties are represented, and are the citizen eyes and ears at the polls, ensuring that proper election procedures are followed--and documenting and reporting if they are not.

Virginia Election Code

24.2-604 “The officers of election shall permit one authorized representative of each political party or independent candidate in a general or special election, or one authorized representative of each candidate in a primary election, to remain in the room in which the election is being conducted at all times.”

Why Do We Need Election Observers?
Across the country, citizens are becoming increasingly concerned about our electoral process . When election laws are not followed properly, or the laws are vague, it leaves the process open to problems - including manipulation by those with partisan agendas . Without Election Observers present, these issues often go undocumented and unaddressed . TRUE the VOTE isn’t concerned with which political party you’re a part of, or which candidate you support - but we are very concerned about the integrity of our elections .

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Introduction • Chapter 1

Just One Example Of Election Fraud In Virginia

In July 2012, the Voter Participation Center in Virginia has come under fire for allegedly mailing voter registration forms to the deceased, pets, children, and others ineligible to vote . The Romney campaign has asked the Attorney General’s office to investigate this further . http://www2.timesdispatch.com/news/virginia-politics/2012/jul/25/15/tdmain01-romneycamp-asks-va-to-probe-voter-forms-ar-2081517/

What’s in the Video
This training will be presented in chapters, so that you can go back and review areas that you might have questions about without having to watch the entire presentation . The Chapters are: Chapter 1 - Introduction Chapter 2 - Who Oversees Our Elections? Chapter 3 - Preparing for Elections Chapter 4 - Working the Elections Chapter 5 - Opening the Poll Chapter 6 - Poll Activity Chapter 7 - Closing the Poll Chapter 8 - Wrap-Up Since this training will be available as an on-demand video, once you’ve registered for the course you will be able to access the video at your convenience . TRUE the VOTE also offers live webinars for Q&A sessions, conference calls, and online discussions, to help equip you with the knowledge and understanding of election laws and procedures in your state .
You can make a difference!

Notes

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Who Oversees Our Elections ? • Chapter 2

Election Officials
The key individuals involved in elections are the Secretary of State (SoS), local Election Administrators, local Voter Registrars, and in some states, Election Boards . The SoS is the senior-most individual at the state level responsible for elections . Local Election Administrators have varied titles and conduct the actual election (voting) operations . Local Voter Registrars are responsible for the registering of voters and maintaining the integrity of the voter rolls . Election Boards, sometimes called Accountability Boards, oversee both registration and election operations . The chairman for the State Board of Elections is the Chief Election Officer for the state of Virginia. The Chairman--currently Charles Judd, as well as the two other board members, are appointed by the Governor. http://www.sbe.virginia.gov/cms/Index.html

Polling Place Staff
State election laws generally provide for four to five types of roles at the polls, though the position titles vary widely by state or county . These roles are: • Poll Lead* • Assistant Poll Lead* • Election Clerks* • Election Observers* • Poll Challengers* * These are the generic terms used in this training. The specific titles used by your state are defined in your states election code. Staffed by members of both major parties, these roles work together to ensure a fair and honest electoral process. Chief Election Officer, Assistant Chief Election Officer, Election Officers, Party/Candidate Representatives

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Who Oversees Our Elections ? • Chapter 2

Poll Lead
The Poll Lead is the primary authority in the poll . This person directs, oversees, and is responsible for all election business in the poll . In some states, this individual has legal authority equivalent to that of a district judge . The Poll Lead is usually selected by a major party and is the primary representative for that party in the poll . This person must be a qualified, registered voter and may not be a candidate on the ballot or an elected public official . This person must attend training provided by the Election Administrator . This is a paid position . Chief Officer: appointed by electoral board, from one of the two parties who received the most votes in the most recent gubernatorial election. Eligibility Requirements: citizen of the Commonwealth, citizen of the precinct in which serving if at all possible. Training: requires training from the board of elections no less than 3 and no more than 30 days prior to an election. Paid: Election officer is a paid position, although officers may waive compensation and work as a volunteer. Volunteer Election Officials must posses the same qualifications as paid Election Officials.

Virginia Election Code

24.2-115 Appointment, qualifications, and terms of officers of elections. http://leg1.state.va.us/cgi-bin/legp504.exe?000+cod+24.2-115 24.2-116 Compensation of officers; volunteer officers. http://leg1.state.va.us/cgi-bin/legp504.exe?000+cod+24.2-116

Assistant Poll Lead
The Assistant Poll Lead is the secondary authority in the poll . This person stands in for the Poll Lead when the Poll Lead is absent from the poll or voting area . The Assistant Poll Lead is typically selected by the opposing major party and, is the primary representative for the opposing major party in the poll . This person must be a qualified, registered voter and may not be a candidate on the ballot or an elected public official . This person must attend training provided by the Election Administrator . This is a paid position . * These are the generic terms used in this training . The specific titles used by your state are defined in your state’s election code . Staffed by members of both major parties, these roles work together to ensure a fair and honest electoral process

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Who Oversees Our Elections ? • Chapter 2

Assistant Poll Lead (continued)

Assistant Officer: appointed by electoral board, if possible from the opposite party as the chief officer. Eligibility Requirements: citizen of the Commonwealth, citizen of the precinct in which serving if at all possible. Training: requires training from the board of elections no less than 3 and no more than 30 days prior to an election. Paid: Election officer is a paid position, although officers may waive compensation and work as a volunteer. Volunteer Election Officials must posses the same qualifications as paid Election Officials.

Virginia Election Code

24.2-115 Appointment, qualifications, and terms of officers of elections. http://leg1.state.va.us/cgi-bin/legp504.exe?000+cod+24.2-115 24.2-116 Compensation of officers; volunteer officers. http://leg1.state.va.us/cgi-bin/legp504.exe?000+cod+24.2-116

Election Workers
Election Workers are those individuals who, under the direction of the Poll Lead and Assistant Poll Lead, conduct the actual set up of the polls, the operation of the voting process, and the closing of the polls . These individuals may be selected by the major parties or by the Poll Lead and/or Assistant Poll Lead . Election Workers most often rotate between different tasks in conducting the election operations at the polls . The title of the Election Worker is defined in the state election code . This person is a qualified, registered voter . An Election Worker may not be a candidate on the ballot or an elected public official . This position holder must attend training provided by the Election Administrator . This is a paid position .

Virginia Election Code

24.2-115 Appointment, qualifications, and terms of officers of elections. http://leg1.state.va.us/cgi-bin/legp504.exe?000+cod+24.2-115 24.2-116 Compensation of officers; volunteer officers. http://leg1.state.va.us/cgi-bin/legp504.exe?000+cod+24.2-116

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Who Oversees Our Elections ? • Chapter 2

Election Observer
An Election Observer is typically appointed by a stakeholder on the current ballot . This stakeholder can be a political party with a candidate on the ballot, a candidate or group of candidates on the ballot, or a political group supporting or opposing a proposition, issue or amendment on the ballot . In some states, an Election Observer can be self-appointed and unaffiliated with any other entity . These individuals generally watch the election activities to ensure all activities are conducted in accordance with the law . Where violations of, or exceptions to, the election laws are observed, these individuals alert Election Officials where allowed and document the observations in order to provide a written record of all violations and exceptions . The specific title for Election Observer in your state is defined in your state’s election code . An Election Observer generally must be a qualified, registered voter . An Election Observer must not be an employee, or employer of, or related to, any of the paid Election Workers . This is a volunteer position . While a party or candidate may provide training, it is generally not a requirement to attend . Party/Candidate Representative: Appointed by candidate or party--1 per poll location. Qualifications: Qualified voter of any jurisdiction of the commonwealth, not a current candidate on the ballot for election.

Virginia Election Code

24.2-604 Prohibited activities at polls; notice of prohibited area; electioneering; presence of representatives of parties or candidates; simulated elections; observers; news media; penalties. http://leg1.state.va.us/cgi-bin/legp504.exe?000+cod+24.2-6042.pdf

Notes

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Who Oversees Our Elections ? • Chapter 2

Poll Challengers
Depending on specific state election law, the Poll Challenger role may or may not exist . These individuals are typically appointed by candidates who are on the ballot, or organizations that support or oppose propositions included on the current ballot . They usually oversee the voter qualification and checkin process, providing an independent verification to ensure voting requirements are being met . The title of the Poll Challenger is defined in the state election code and is a qualified, registered voter . The Poll Challenger must not be an employee or, employer of, or related to, any of the paid Election Workers . Virginia does not have Poll Challengers.

Other Service Venues
Venues for Election Workers and Election Observers vary widely by state and local practices . The typical venues where Election Workers and Election Observers serve are: election polling locations where citizens vote in person, central count locations where ballots are collected and/or counted, voter registration locations where voters are registered, and central count locations for absentee/mail-in ballot review . Representatives may watch as absentee ballots are counted. votes are counted, and returns are completed, with up to four bystanders and representatives present.

Virginia Election Code

24.2.655. Representatives of political parties and candidates to be present on request. http://leg1.state.va.us/cgi-bin/legp504.exe?000+cod+24.2-655

Early Voting Procedures
In many states there are two in-person election periods - Early Voting and General Election . Early Voting is a period of time ranging from several days to several weeks before the General Election . Early Voting offers voters additional time during which they can cast their vote . The polling place set-up is typically the same for Early Voting, with the same staffing requirements and the same procedures followed at the polls during the General Election . The key difference is that Early Voting poll locations are usually very limited in number by comparison to the number of polls open during General Election . Early voting in VA required a valid excuse, the same conditions required for an absentee ballot, begins as soon as ballots are available, and can be done in person or by mail.

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Preparing For Elections • Chapter 3

Poll Assignment
The procedures for appointing an Election Observer are generally set out in state election law . These laws will specify who can appoint an Election Observer, as well the requirements that must be met and standards that must be followed . An Election Observer is typically appointed by a stakeholder on the current ballot . This stakeholder can be a political party with a candidate on the ballot, a candidate or group of candidates on the ballot, or a political group supporting or opposing a proposition, issue or amendment on the ballot . Every Election Observer should be given a Certificate of Appointment by the stakeholder . This certificate is typically presented to the Poll Lead and is the manner in which an Election Observer gains access to serve in the poll location . In planning to serve as an Election Observer, it is critical to understand this process . TRUE the VOTE does not appoint Election Observers, we help connect stakeholders with trained TRUE the VOTE volunteers . Work through a candidate or a party to be assigned to a precinct. To enter the polls, a signed statement saying that they are authorized to represent the party with the city or county chairman’s or candidate’s signature or a photocopy of such a document will be required.

Virginia Election Code

24.2-604. Prohibited activities at polls; notice of prohibited area; electioneering; presence of representatives of parties or candidates; simulated elections; observers; news media; penalties. “Each representative shall present to the officers of election a written statement designating him to be a representative of the party or candidate and signed by the county or city chairman of his political party, the independent candidate, or the primary candidate, as appropriate. Such statement, bearing the chairman’s or candidate’s original signature, may be photocopied, and such photocopy shall be as valid as if the copy had been signed.” http://leg1.state.va.us/cgi-bin/legp504.exe?000+cod+24.2-604

Training Requirements
Training is usually required for Election Workers . Poll Leads and Assistant Poll Leads are typically trained in state election law, local poll procedures, and in the operation of voting equipment . Election Clerks are usually trained in local poll procedures, in the operation of voting equipment, and possibly in election law . The training for Election Workers is generally conducted by the staff of the Election Administrator . Training for Election Observers is typically not required . Secretary of State offices may or may not provide self-taught training materials . Election Observers may or may not receive training from those who appoint them to serve . TRUE the VOTE conducts this training course for all Election Observers associated with TRUE the VOTE . It is important for Election Observers to fully understand the election law, local poll procedures, and the operation of voting equipment, in order to identify any deviations observed during their service at the poll . No state training is required for representatives of candidates/parties.

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Preparing For Elections • Chapter 3

Final Briefing and Deployment
TRUE the VOTE highly encourages you to attend one of our Final Briefings leading up to the election . Together with your local affiliated organization, we will review essential points, provide any last minute updates, and, most importantly, provide you with your Final Briefing information packet . Included in this packet will be your Certificate of Appointment, which will specify your polling location, hotline contact telephone numbers (including the names of your TRUE the VOTE Team Captain and other TRUE the VOTE-trained individuals serving with you), your Quick Reference Guide, Incident Reports, and other important and helpful handouts . Receive your signed statement from the party or candidate you are working through

Election Observer Checklist
1) Vote early or absentee 2) Don’t bring any electronic or recording device, except your cell phone 3) Don’t bring any political material 4) Don’t wear anything that refers to a political party, candidate, or issue 5) Bring your Final Briefing packet 6) Bring your Certificate of Appointment * 7) Bring a map or directions to the poll location* 8) Bring Team Captain / Hotline telephone numbers* 9) Bring Election Observer’s Quick Reference Guide* 10) Take a photo ID to confirm your identity 11) Dress comfortably; business casual . Wear comfortable shoes 12) Bring food, snacks, water, medicines for 15 hours 13) Bring a clipboard, notepad, pens 14) Bring a watch 15) Bring a cell phone and charger 16) Know where to park at the polling place * All these items will be included in your Final Briefing packet

Commitment
Be committed to your assignment . You are part of a TRUE the VOTE trained team in the polls, so please be prepared for your service and plan to serve the entire day if possible . If for some reason you find you cannot serve, notify your Team Captain immediately so a replacement can be found to keep the TRUE the VOTE team intact . The role of a Poll Observer is extremely important, as you are documenting the activities in the poll and ensuring that all election laws and procedures are being followed. Please do not accept this position unless you are fully committed to performing these duties. Please make sure your have cleared your schedule and made arrangements for child care, appointments or other things that could impact your commitment to serve at the polls. Remember, others are counting on you - advise your Team Captain as soon as possible if an emergency arises, causing you not to be able to fulfill your commitment.

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Working The Elections • Chapter 4

Setting Up the Poll
The equipment and materials used in the poll are typically delivered by the Election Administrator’s staff or by the Poll Lead . All ballots and election machines should be sealed/locked when they arrive at the polling location . The Poll Lead will usually notify the Election Workers to arrive at the poll location the day before voting begins to set up the poll . In some states, the Election Observer is also notified and attends the poll set up . The seals on the equipment and ballot materials should only be broken in the presence of both the Poll Lead and the Assistant Poll Lead . If the Election Observer does not witness this, confirm with the Poll Lead and assistant Poll Lead that they were both present . If they were not both present, document this fact and notify your Team Captain . Before every election, materials are delivered to an election officer for each precinct by a board member or other individual designated by the board. Equipment is set up the morning of the election by the election officers. Voting equipment is set up at least four feet from where any election officer is seated, but voting and counting equipment must remain in plain view of the officers of election. The representatives do not assist with set up but may observe the process of set up and equipment testing..

Virginia Election Code

24.2-621. Delivery of packages to officers; opening packages. http://leg1.state.va.us/cgi-bin/legp504.exe?000+cod+24.2-621 24.2-624 Opening and closing ballot containers; opening polls http://leg1.state.va.us/cgi-bin/legp504.exe?000+cod+24.2-624 24.2-639 Duties of officers of election. http://leg1.state.va.us/cgi-bin/legp504.exe?000+cod+24.2-639 24.2-638 Voting equipment to be in plain view; officers and others not permitted to see actual voting; unlocking counter compartment of equipment, etc. http://leg1.state.va.us/cgi-bin/legp504.exe?000+cod+24.2-638

Types of Ballots and Equipment
The types of ballots, and the extent to which electronic voting machines are used, differ from state to state and sometimes county to county . Be familiar with what is used in your location, including the specific type of ballot and election machines used . Board of Elections Approved Election Materials: Premier Election Solutions, Election Systems & Software, Sequoia Voting Systems, Hart Intercivic, Dominion Voting, Unilect Corporation, Unisyn, Advanced Voting Solutions. Equipment may vary by polling location-check to see what equipment will be at your poll. A complete list may be found at http://www.sbe.virginia.gov/cms/Election_Information/Voting_Systems_Ballots/Index. html

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Working The Elections • Chapter 4

Arrival at Poll
Plan to arrive at the poll location at least one hour prior to the opening of the poll to voters . Upon arrival, introduce yourself to the Poll Lead and provide identification, including a Certificate of Appointment when required . Ask the Poll Lead what their policy is on cell phones and follow that policy while in the poll . Ask the Poll Lead where you should stand or sit . Remember that the election law allows the Election Observer to be able to see all voting activities . From where you are placed, you should be able to observe the voter check-in qualification process including the use of a poll book or electronic voter roll . If you are prevented from viewing all aspects of the voting process or prevented from serving at all, you should show the Poll Lead the legal reference on your Election Observer Quick Reference Guide . If the Poll Lead continues to not let you serve, ask them to document the reason for denying your service on the back of your Appointment Certificate, then step outside the poll, but within the non-electioneering zone, and call your Team Captain to report that your service has been refused . Do not leave the poll or step outside the non-electioneering zone . Follow the instructions from your Team Captain . Judges are to arrive by 5:15 to begin set up, so arrival by or before that time would be best to completely observe opening procedures. Credentials are presented to the judges upon time of arrival. The use of cell phones is permitted if they do not contain a camera or other recording device, but may be prohibited by the chief officer if they are being used in violation of another part of the law. Authorized representatives shall be allowed to be close enough to the central election table to see and hear what is occurring, but not close enough to interfere with the process. Appeal to the local Election Board or the candidate/party you are working through if not accepted.

Virginia Election Code

24.2-639 Duties of officers of election. “The officers of election of each precinct at which voting or counting equipment is used shall meet at the polling place by 5:15 a.m. on the day of the election” “Each representative, who is not himself a candidate or party chairman, shall present to the officers of election a written statement designating him to be a representative of the party or candidate and signed by the county or city chairman of his political party, the independent candidate, or the primary candidate, as appropriate” http://leg1.state.va.us/cgi-bin/legp504.exe?000+cod+24.2-639 24.2-604 Prohibited activities at polls; notice of prohibited area; electioneering; presence of representatives of parties or candidates; simulated elections; observers; news media; penalties. “Authorized representatives shall be allowed, whether in a regular polling place or central absentee voter precinct, to use a handheld wireless communications device, except that authorized representatives shall not be allowed to use such devices when they contain a camera or other imaging device to film or photograph inside a polling place or central absentee voter precinct. The officers of election may prohibit the use of cellular telephones or other handheld wireless communications devices if such use will result in a violation of subsection A or D or § 24.2-607” “Authorized representatives shall be allowed, whether in a regular polling place or central absentee voter precinct, to be close enough to the voter check-in table to be able to hear and see what is occurring; however, such observation shall not violate the secret vote provision of Article II, Section 3 of the Constitution of Virginia or otherwise interfere with the orderly process of the election. Any representative who complains to the chief officer of election that he is unable to hear or see the process may accept the chief officer’s decision or, if dissatisfied, he may immediately appeal the decision to the local electoral board.” http://leg1.state.va.us/cgi-bin/legp504.exe?000+cod+24.2-604 http://leg1.state.va.us/cgi-bin/legp504.exe?000+cod+24.2-639 24.2-604

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Working The Elections • Chapter 4

Election Observer Rules and Privileges
Things an Election Observer May Do: • May observe all aspects of the election voting process. • May be present to observe every step of the ballot handling. • May be present anytime the poll location is unlocked, including during set up and close down of the poll. • May follow the ballots during transit between poll location and central count facility, if applicable. • May be present during the ballot count. • In some states observers, must serve for a minimum number of hours before leaving and returning to the poll location . • May be present to observe same day voter registration processes at the polls. Things an Election Observer May Not Do: • Talk with voters. • Communicate in any way with voters. • Use a recording device inside the polls. • Use a cell phone inside the polls. • Be partisan in any way. • Wear a name tag (not allowed in most states). • Reveal any information about the vote count or ongoing business in the polls. • Observe the ballot of a voter. A representative cannot hinder or assist a voter or wear any indication within 40 feet of the polling location indicating that they are authorized to assist voters. They are not allowed to use a wireless device when they contain a camera or other recording device. They are not to speak to voters or to observe a voter voting unless they are being assisted by an election officer. Representatives are allowed to watch the examination of the equipment before the opening of polls, the check in process, and the counting of ballots and return of results.

Virginia Election Code

24.2-604. Prohibited activities at polls; notice of prohibited area; electioneering; presence of representatives of parties or candidates; simulated elections; observers; news media; penalties. “Authorized representatives shall not be allowed in any case to provide assistance to any voter as permitted under § 24.2-649 or to wear any indication that they are authorized to assist voters either inside the polling place or within 40 feet of any entrance to the polling place.” “It shall be unlawful for any authorized representative, voter, or any other person in the room to (i) hinder or delay a qualified voter; (ii) give, tender, or exhibit any ballot, ticket, or other campaign material to any person; (iii) solicit or in any manner attempt to influence any person in casting his vote; (iv) hinder or delay any officer of election; (v) be in a position to see the marked ballot of any other voter; or (vi) otherwise impede the orderly conduct of the election.” http://leg1.state.va.us/cgi-bin/legp504.exe?000+cod+24.2-604 24.2-639. Duties of officers of election. “The officers shall conduct their examination in the presence of the following party and candidate representatives: one authorized representative of each political party or independent candidate in a general or special election, or one authorized representative of each candidate in a primary election, if such representatives are available.” http://leg1.state.va.us/cgi-bin/legp504.exe?000+cod+24.2-639 24-2-655.

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Working The Elections • Chapter 4

Election Observer Rules and Privileges (continued)
Representatives of political parties and candidates to be present on request. “ Such representatives shall be entitled to be present while the votes are counted and shall remain until the returns are completed.” http://leg1.state.va.us/cgi-bin/legp504.exe?000+cod+24.2-655

Infractions
If an Election Observer should witness an infraction of the election law, the Observer should immediately notify the Poll Lead, as the intent is to prevent an illegal action from occurring . Document all aspects of the event witnessed, including the actions taken by the Poll Lead . If the Poll Lead does not immediately resolve the problem and stop or prevent the violation from occurring, tell the Poll Lead that you have a duty to report the event if it is not resolved . If the Poll Lead still does not immediately correct the situation, exit the polling location, but stay within the non-electioneering zone and contact your Team Captain via the hotline telephone number . Report the situation to the Team Captain then return quickly to the poll to continue observing and documenting election activities . If you observe an infraction, report it to the Chief Officer. If not resolved, report to your command center or directly to county Election Officials if an immediate resolution is required. Otherwise, note details on an Incident Report.

Notes

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Working The Elections • Chapter 4

Conflict Resolution
In a conflict or confrontational situation, remember to follow these guidelines: • Do not talk to whomever is causing the problem, unless it is the Poll Lead; doing so places you at risk of being removed from the poll! • Do not engage in or return the confrontation. Remain professional and courteous. • Calmly walk to the Poll Lead, and inform them of the situation, ask them to resolve it. • Document the situation. • If the confrontation continues, repeat your request. • If the Poll Lead does not immediately handle the situation and stop the confrontation, contact your Team Captain . • It is a good idea to contact your Team Captain about confrontational events in case you are witnessing or experiencing a situation that may occur in other locations . Your Team Captain will take care of any further notifications needed . • Remember that your goal is observe and document, and do nothing that causes you to be removed from the poll . PROFESSIONAL CONDUCT & CONFLICT RESOLUTION: *Remember – your PRIMARY MISSION is observation and documentation, *Be professional in speech and body language, *Tone of voice says more than words chosen, *Avoid being dismissed as disruptive, *Know your reference materials, highlight important items, *Ask Presiding Judge to deal with hostile persons, *In dealing with errors by Presiding Judge or other Election Workers, politely point out correct action from reference materials, -If not corrected, document and call hotline.
i’ll see you at the polls!

Notes

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Opening The Poll • Chapter 5

Who’s in the Polls?
The first thing we suggest you do as an Election Observer is get to know the Election Workers and other Observers you’ll be spending the day with . Introduce yourself to everyone you will be working with, including Supervisors, Clerks, and other Election Observers, and write down their names in your notebook . Representatives should report infractions to the Chief Officer.

Virginia Election Code

Sec. 61.010. WEARING NAME TAG OR BADGE IN POLLING PLACE (a) Except as provided by Subsection (b), a person may not wear a badge, insignia, emblem, or other similar communicative device relating to a candidate, measure, or political party appearing on the ballot, or to the conduct of the election, in the polling place or within 100 feet of any outside door through which a voter may enter the building in which the polling place is located. (b) An election judge, an election clerk, a state or federal election Inspector, a certified peace officer, or a special peace officer appointed for the polling place by the presiding judge shall wear while on duty in the area described by Subsection (a) a tag or official badge that indicates the person’s name and title or position.

Opening Evaluation
Note the set up of poll at opening . Include whether all required notices are properly posted and all proper areas, such as the non-electioneering zone are correctly marked . Determine the location of all documents used in the voting process and that they are readily available . Make a special note of anything you cannot locate, or that is not being used, and bring this to the attention of the Poll Lead .

Election paperwork includes the pollbook & voter check sheets or electronic pollbook, printed ballots in counties that use them, provisional ballots and envelopes for them, change of address form, voter registration forms.

Virginia Election Code

24.2-611 Form and signing of pollbooks; records of persons voting; electronic pollbooks. “The poll book shall (i) provide a space for the officer of election to record the name and consecutive number of the voter at the time he offers to vote and (ii) be retained in accordance with the provisions governing Pollbooks in this title. The State Board shall make available a numerical check sheet required to be used with Pollbooks in printed form to determine the consecutive number to be recorded with the name of the voter by the officer of election. In electronic Pollbooks, the consecutive number shall be entered automatically when the officer of election records that the voter has voted.” 24.2-640. Ballots generally. “In every county and city using mechanical or direct electronic voting systems requiring printed ballots, the electoral board shall furnish a sufficient number of ballots printed on plain white

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Opening The Poll • Chapter 5

Opening Evaluation (continued)
Paper, of such form and size as will fit the ballot frames” http://leg1.state.va.us/cgi-bin/legp504.exe?000+cod+24.2-640 24.2-643. Qualified voter permitted to vote; procedures at polling place; voter identification. http://leg1.state.va.us/cgi-bin/legp504.exe?000+cod+24.2-643 24.2-651.

Equipment Usage
Note that all provided voting equipment is present and being used . There is typically an inventory sheet or report of all voting equipment delivered to the polling location . Notify the Poll Lead and your Team Captain immediately if any item is missing or not being used . It is likely that the poll cannot be opened unless all equipment is present and being properly used . Note the location of the seals that must be used on the equipment at closing . Document this location for use later in the day . Judges are to arrive by 5:15 to begin set up. Voting equipment is set up at least four feet from where any election officer is seated, but voting and counting equipment must remain in plain view of the officers of election. The keys for the election are delivered and then the counters for each machine are assured to register zero, but machines are locked for voting until the polls are officially declared open. Equipment may vary by polling location.

Virginia Election Code

24.2-639 Duties of officers of election. “The officers of election of each precinct at which voting or counting equipment is used shall meet at the polling place by 5:15 a.m. on the day of the election” “The keys to the equipment and any electronic activation devices that are required for the operation of electronic voting equipment shall be delivered, prior to the opening of the polls, to the officer of election designated by the electoral board in a sealed envelope on which has been written or printed the name of the precinct for which it is intended. http://leg1.state.va.us/cgi-bin/legp504.exe?000+cod+24.2-639 24.2-638. Voting equipment to be in plain view; officers and others not permitted to see actual voting; unlocking counter compartment of equipment, etc. http://leg1.state.va.us/cgi-bin/legp504.exe?000+cod+24.2-638

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Opening The Poll • Chapter 5

Opening Procedures
Confirm that all electronic voting machines have a zero count (a paper printout that confirms no votes have been cast) before the polls open and that all paper ballot collect boxes are empty . Document this verification . The representative is allowed to observe the securing of election equipment and opening procedures .

Virginia Election Code

24.2-639 Duties of officers of election. “Before opening the polls, each officer shall examine the equipment and see that no vote has been cast and that the counters register zero. The officers shall conduct their examination in the presence of the following party and candidate representatives: one authorized representative of each political party or independent candidate in a general or special election, or one authorized representative of each candidate in a primary election, if such representatives are available” http://leg1.state.va.us/cgi-bin/legp504.exe?000+cod+24.2-639

Poll Layout
Draw a schematic of the poll and number or reference specific voting machines and locations inside the poll, using abbreviations that you can easily identify in your notes . This is an example of a poll layout
REQUIRED SIGNAGE

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EO

CLERK

ENTRANCE

VOTING BOOTH 1
VOTER BOOK
CLERK

VOTING BOOTH 2

VOTING BOOTH 3

EO APS

CLERK

Key: EO = Election Observer PS = Poll Lead APS = Asst. Poll Lead

CLERK

VOTING BOOTH 1

POLL LIST

PS

CONTROLLER
CONTROLL

JUDGES’ BOOTH

CLERK

JUDGES’ BOOTH
ER

VOTING BOOTH 2

VOTING BOOTH 3

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Opening The Poll • Chapter 5

Note Taking
Throughout the day take notes on all polling place activities not just exceptions or law violations . Include your name, poll location, date, time of activity and a brief description of events . Make sure that your notes are adequate for you to be able to describe the events completely at a later date . Document the facts and nothing but the facts . Do not use opinions . Keep your notes with you at all times . If your election law requires your notes to be kept inside the poll while the poll is open, hand your notes to a trusted member of your team should you need to leave the poll area . Things to watch for during the opening of the poll: • • • • All security seals were intact prior to poll opening All ballots boxes were empty ( if using paper ballots) All voting machines, ballots, and ballot boxes are accounted for and within your line of sight All ballot counts are zero, as generally indicated by the initial zero count printed report

Observe and document all activities, include your name, poll location info, date, time of activity, brief notes. State observation in factual manner, DO NOT INCLUDE OPINION.

Notes

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Poll Activity • Chapter 6

Voting Area
Once the poll opens, only personnel directly involved in the voting process may be present inside the polls . This includes Election Workers, Election Observers, voters, interpreters provided by the Election Administrator, minor children accompanying a voter, persons admitted to provide assistance to the voter, State and Federal Election Inspectors, Peace Officers appointed by the Election Administrator or the Poll Lead, and the Election Administrator and staff . Document the personnel present for extended periods of time during the day . Election officers, candidate and party representatives, voters and their children aged 15 or younger, representatives of the news media--for a reasonable and limited time, voter designated translators or assistants, high school students serving as election pages if determined by local electoral boards. In most cases, the poll observer can only speak to election officers, only to report an infraction. However, in the case of voters requiring assistance in a language other than English, a representative with proficiency in that language may be asked to assist.

Virginia Election Code

24.2-643. Qualified voter permitted to vote; procedures at polling place; voter identification. “A voter may be accompanied into the voting booth by his child age 15 or younger.” http://leg1.state.va.us/cgi-bin/legp504.exe?000+cod+24.2-643 24.2-604.

Voter Check-In
The Election Observer is entitled to and should observe the voter check-in process . The voter should present their qualified ID and the Election Clerk should verify that the voter’s ID is acceptable . The Election Clerk repeats the voter’s name, looks up the voter’s name in the poll book or voter list, asks the voter for their current address, checks that the address agrees with the name and address in the poll book or voter list, marks that the voter has checked-in, and asks the voter to sign the voter book . Voter states name and current address and election officer repeats name and address. Officer asks voter to present acceptable form of ID: his Commonwealth of Virginia voter registration card, his social security card, his valid Virginia driver’s license, his concealed handgun permit issued pursuant to § 18.2308, or any other identification card issued by a government agency of the Commonwealth, one of its political subdivisions, or the United States; any valid student identification card issued by any institution of higher education located in the Commonwealth of Virginia; any valid employee identification card containing a photograph of the voter and issued by an employer of the voter in the ordinary course of the employer’s business; or a copy of a current utility bill, bank statement, government check, or paycheck that shows the name and address of the voter. If no change of address form is needed and no objections are made, the voter shall be handed a ballot by one officer and admitted to a voting booth by another officer, and the voter’s name is marked in the poll book and a voter count is added.

Virginia Election Code

24.2-643. Qualified voter permitted to vote; procedures at polling place; voter identification. “An officer of election shall ask the voter for his full name and current residence address and repeat, in a voice audible to party and candidate representatives present, the full name and address stated by the voter.

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Poll Activity • Chapter 6

Voter Check-In (continued)
An election officer shall ask the voter to present a valid form of identification: “If the voter’s name is found on the poll book, if he presents one of the forms of identification listed above, if he is qualified to vote in the election, and if no objection is made, an officer shall enter, opposite the voter’s name on the poll book, the first or next consecutive number from the voter count form provided by the State Board, or shall enter that the voter has voted if the poll book is in electronic form; an officer shall provide the voter with the official ballot; and another officer shall admit him to the voting booth. Each voter whose name has been marked on the Pollbooks as present to vote and entitled to a ballot shall remain in the presence of the officers of election in the polling place until he has voted.”

http://leg1.state.va.us/cgi-bin/legp504.exe?000+cod+24.2-643

Same Day Voter Registration
In states with same-day voter registration at the polls, listen and watch closely to ensure that Election Workers working at the registration area are requesting proof of identification and residence documentation from voters . Same-day registration voters must meet specific state residency requirements . If you’re close enough to observe the registration process, note whether or not the entire registration form is being filled out . If proper identification is not provided, or the voter provides information that disqualifies them from registering, document those details . If the person is still allowed to register, notify the Poll Lead, document, and report the issue to your Team Captain .

Virginia does not permit same-day registration

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Poll Activity • Chapter 6

Paper Ballots
If paper ballots are used, be sure that they are visible and within the control of the Election Workers at all times until given to the voter . Paper ballots are usually packed in a clear shrink-wrap . Only one package of paper ballots should be opened at a time . The voter should be given their choice of paper ballots, as permitted in the state election law . The issuance of the paper ballot should be recorded and the voter should take the ballot to the ballot box to mark it in private . Be sure each voter is only getting one ballot . If the voter makes a mistake, the Election Worker should void and record the ballot, placed it in a spoiledballot envelope, and issue a second ballot . There is a maximum number of replacement ballots that can be issued . Once the voter completes the ballot, the voter should insert the ballot into the locked ballot box or ballot reader . The locked ballot box should not be opened by anyone at any time unless the paper ballots are counted at the poll location once the polls are closed . If your state law allows for the ballot box to be opened prior to the close of the polls for any reason, such as a paper jam, or if the box becomes too full to accept ballots, make sure that any ballots that are not put back into the ballot box are secured according to state election procedures and are not left unattended or unsecure . The voter takes the paper ballot, enters the booth, and clearly marks the line they wish to choose, leaving the other line blank. For the presidential election, a box is marked. If the ballot is accidentally defaced, it can be returned to the officer and exchanged for a new ballot, and the old is marked spoiled and put in a spoiled ballot envelope. In Virginia a voter is allowed a maximum of 2 replacement paper ballots.

Virginia Election Code

24.2-644. Voting by paper ballot; voting for presidential electors; write-in votes. http://leg1.state.va.us/cgi-bin/legp504.exe?000+cod+24.2-644 24.2-645. Defaced paper ballots. “If any paper ballot is unintentionally or accidentally defaced and rendered unfit for voting, the voter may deliver the defaced ballot to the officer of election and receive another. http://leg1.state.va.us/cgi-bin/legp504.exe?000+cod+24.2-645 24.2-646. Voter folds paper ballot and hands same to officer who deposits it unopened in ballot container. http://leg1.state.va.us/cgi-bin/legp504.exe?000+cod+24.2-646

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Poll Activity • Chapter 6

Electronic Ballots
If electronic voting ballots are used, upon check-in the voter will be given a code on a slip of paper or a card that they will use to access their electronic ballot . Each voter should be given only one code . After marking their ballot, the voter must complete the voting process by pressing the “cast ballot” button . If it appears the process has not been completed and the ballot is not cast, immediately notify the Poll Lead . It is illegal in most states for an Election Worker to cast a final ballot for a voter; watch to ensure that no Election Worker presses the “cast ballot” button for any voter who has left the voting booth without pressing the button to cast their vote for themselves . If a voter leaves before casting their ballot, Election Workers should try to find the voter before they leave the area and ask them to come back to the voting booth and press the cast ballot button . If the voter has left the area, the Election Workers should cancel the ballot, according to state procedure . When electronic or mechanical ballots are used, sample ballots are provided as a diagram outside the device

Virginia Election Code

24.2-641. Sample ballot. “The electoral board shall provide for each precinct in which mechanical voting machines or direct electronic voting devices are used, two sample ballots, which shall be arranged as a diagram of the front of the voting device as it will appear with the official ballot for voting on Election Day.” http://leg1.state.va.us/cgi-bin/legp504.exe?000+coh+24.2-641+701788

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Poll Activity • Chapter 6

Provisional Ballots
A provisional ballot is a special ballot that is used when the eligibility of the voter is in question . Only the Poll Lead should make the decision to have a voter vote using a provisional ballot . The provisional ballot form has a Provisional Affidavit that is completed by the Poll Lead and signed by the voter, stating the reason the provisional ballot is necessary . The Election Observer should observe this process and ensure that the proper reason is stated on the provisional ballot . All paperwork associated with a provisional ballot (including an electronic voting slip if used) should be sealed in the provisional ballot envelope . If a paper ballot is used as the provisional ballot, the ballot number is recorded on the provisional ballot envelope and the provisional paper ballot in sealed in the provisional ballot envelope . Under no circumstances is a paper provisional ballot put into the ballot box . Regardless of the reason for its use, a provisional ballot is subject to further review and may or may not be counted . An individual is given a provisional ballot and a green envelope on which to fill out identifying information. The voter fills out the ballot, seals the envelope, and hands it to an election officer, who places it in a ballot container. The election officer hands the voter a written notice with instructions on how the ballot will be handled by the board of elections.

Virginia Election Code

24.2-653. Voter whose name does not appear on poll book or who is marked as having voted; handling of provisional ballots; ballots cast after normal close of polls due to court order extending polling hours. “Such person shall be given a paper ballot and provide, subject to the penalties for making false statements pursuant to § 24.2-1016, on a green envelope supplied by the State Board, the identifying information required on the envelope, including his social security number, if any, full name including the maiden or any other prior legal name, date of birth, complete address, and signature. The officers of election shall note on the green envelope whether or not the voter has presented one of the specified forms of identification. The officers of election shall enter the appropriate information for the person in the precinct provisional ballots log in accordance with the instructions of the State Board but shall not enter a consecutive number for the voter on the poll book nor otherwise mark his name as having voted. The officers of election shall provide an application for registration to the person offering to vote in the manner provided in this section. The voter shall then, in the presence of an officer of election, but in a secret manner, mark the ballot as provided in § 24.2-644 and seal it in the green envelope. The envelope containing the ballot shall then be placed in the ballot container by an officer of election. An officer of election, by a written notice given to the voter, shall (i) inform him that a determination of his right to vote shall be made by the electoral board, (ii) advise the voter of the beginning time and place for the board’s meeting and of the voter’s right to be present at that meeting, and (iii) inform a voter voting provisionally when required by § 24.2-643 that he may submit a copy of one of the forms of identification specified in subsection B of § 24.2-643 to the electoral board by facsimile, electronic mail, in-person submission, or timely United States Postal Service or commercial mail delivery, to be received by the electoral board no later than noon on the third day after the election. At the meeting, the voter may request an extension of the determination of the provisional vote to the following day in order to provide information to prove that the voter is entitled to vote in the precinct pursuant to § 24.2-401. The electoral board shall have the authority to grant such extensions which it deems reasonable to determine the status of a provisional vote.” http://leg1.state.va.us/cgi-bin/legp504.exe?000+cod+24.2-653

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Poll Activity • Chapter 6

Absentee/Mail-In Ballots
Absentee and mail-in ballots both refer to ballots that are cast at a location other than a designated polling place . These terms are often used interchangeably, so for clarity, we will reference both terms . Typically, a voter mails in a request to the Election Administrator to receive a ballot; the Election Administrator then sends a ballot to the voter, who completes the ballot and returns it by US Mail . States sometimes have provisions that allow for absentee ballots to be emailed, faxed, or delivered in person . In some states, voters can be added to a permanent absentee/mail-in voter list, resulting in their ballots being routinely mailed to them without need of a request . Not all polling places are authorized to handle absentee/mail-in ballots . Generally, a absentee/mail-in ballot is brought to a poll is when a voter who has received a mail-in ballot decides instead to vote at a polling place . If your state allows polls to accept absentee/mail-in ballots, then the general process to address the situation is as follows: the Election Worker must call the Election Administrator to report the absentee/mail-in ballot, then cancel the absentee/mail-in ballot, according to state procedure, before the voter can vote in person . Election Observers should ensure this process is followed to prevent a voter from voting twice . In some states, the absentee/mail-in ballots are brought to the poll and included in the counting of the ballots once the poll is closed . Be sure to know what is and is not permitted in your state . Voters can present absentee/mail-in ballots at poll locations. Returned absentee/mail-in ballots are placed in the Cancelled Ballots by Mail envelope.

Voters Needing Assistance
State election law generally specifies what is and is not permitted in terms of voter assistance . A voter may request assistance with language translations or assistance if they have a physical limitation . A voter may bring someone with them to assist or ask to be assisted by an Election Worker . If a person other than an Election Worker assists the voter, the helper must sign an affidavit swearing that they will not influence how the voter votes . Once the helper signs this affidavit, the voter and assistant are treated like an individual voter and observation is not necessary . However, if an Election Worker assists the voter, an Election Observer should observe the assistance to ensure the Election Worker does not influence the voter and does only what the voter requests . The Election Observer should be careful to positions themselves so they can see the Election Worker and hear the conversation, but not see the voter’s ballot or electronic voting machine screen . A voter requiring assistance due to physical disability or inability to read or write may be assisted by another person if requested. A person who is blind may designate an officer or any other person, while a person who requires assistance for any other disability must not be the voter’s employer, an agent of the voter’s employer, or an officer or agent of the voter’s union. The voter must sign a request stating the he requires assistance and the assistant must sign a request saying that he is not the employer, agent of the employer, or agent of the union, and will act in accordance with the law. The voter’s mark can be substituted for signature, but will not be required of a blind voter. The officer will record the name of the assistant. The officer or assistant will then assist the voter without attempting to influence them or reveal how they voted. If a voter needs assistance in a language other than English as not brought an assistant, the officer must ask the representatives if they have a volunteer who is able to interpret for the voter. If the officer interprets, one representative from each party or candidate shall be permitted to observe the interpretation. The voter shall also be allowed to designate one of the representatives as their assistant.

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Poll Activity • Chapter 6

Voters Needing Assistance (continued) I
in a precinct where an electronic voting device is available that provides an audio ballot, the voter shall be informed that this is available for him to vote in privacy without assistance and the officers shall provide assistance on the machine. Virginia Election Code 24.2-649. Assistance for certain voters. “Any qualified voter, who requires assistance to vote by reason of physical disability or inability to read or write, may, if he so requests, be assisted in voting. If he is blind, he may designate an officer of election or any other person to assist him. If he is unable to read and write or disabled for any cause other than blindness, he may designate an officer of election or some other person to assist him other than the voter’s employer or agent of that employer, or officer or agent of the voter’s union. The officer of election or other person so designated shall not enter the booth with the voter unless (i) the voter signs a request stating that he requires assistance by reason of physical disability or inability to read or write and (ii) the officer of election or other person signs a statement that he is not the voter’s employer or an agent of that employer, or an officer or agent of the voter’s union, and that he will act in accordance with the requirements of this section.” “If the voter is unable to sign the request, his own mark acknowledged by him before an officer of election shall be sufficient signature, provided no mark shall be required of a voter who is blind. An officer of election shall advise the voter and person assisting the voter of the requirements of this section and record the name of the voter and the name and address of the person assisting him. The officer of election or other person so designated shall assist the qualified voter in the preparation of his ballot in accordance with his instructions and without soliciting his vote or in any manner attempting to influence his vote and shall not in any manner divulge or indicate, by signs or otherwise, how the voter voted on any office or question. If a paper ballot or a mark sense ballot is used, the officer or other person so designated shall deposit the ballot in the ballot container in accordance with § 24.2-646. C. If the voter requires assistance in a language other than English and has not designated a person to assist him, an officer of election, before he assists as interpreter, shall inquire of the representatives authorized to be present pursuant to § 24.2-604 whether they have a volunteer available who can interpret for the voter. One representative interpreter for each party or candidate, insofar as available, shall be permitted to observe the officer of election communicate with the voter. The voter may designate one of the volunteer party or candidate interpreters to provide assistance. A person so designated by the voter shall meet all the requirements of this section for a person providing assistance.” “In any precinct in which an electronic voting device is available that provides an audio ballot, the officers of election shall notify a voter requiring assistance pursuant to this subsection that such equipment is available for him to use to vote in privacy without assistance and the officers of election shall instruct the voter on the use of the voting equipment. Nothing in this subsection shall be construed to require a voter to use the equipment unassisted.” http://leg1.state.va.us/cgi-bin/legp504.exe?000+cod+24.2-649

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Poll Activity • Chapter 6

Curbside Voting
State election law provides for curbside voting, to assist voters who cannot physically enter the poll to vote in person . Poll set up procedures should consider curbside voting and if possible arrange for a vehicle with a curbside voter to park within the non-electioneering zone . Two Election Workers, one from each major party should obtain the curbside voter’s ID, check-in the voter inside the poll, then take a ballot or portable election machine to the curbside voter, and allow the voter to vote in private; though the ballot or voting machine should never leave the sight of the two Election Workers . Once the voter has marked the ballot, the ballot or electronic voting machine should be taken back inside the poll for the vote to be recorded or placed in the ballot box . If there are multiple curbside voters, each should complete this process individually before the next voter begins . An Election Observer is permitted and should observe the entire process . A voter aged 65 or older or with physical disability may request a ballot be taken outside the voting area but within 150 feet of an entrance to the polling place. The officer hands the ballot to the voter who marks it secretly and then folds and hands it back to the officer, who then deposits it in the ballot box. If available, a portable electronic device may be brought to the voter in place of a paper ballot.

Virginia Election Code

24.2-649. Assistance for certain voters. “Any voter age 65 or older or physically disabled may request and then shall be handed a paper ballot or a mark sense ballot by an officer of election outside the polling place but within 150 feet of the entrance to the polling place. The voter shall mark the paper ballot in the officer’s presence but in a secret manner and fold and return the ballot to the officer. The officer shall immediately return to the polling place and deposit the ballot in the ballot container in accordance with § 24.2-646. The voter shall mark the mark sense ballot in the officer’s presence but in a secret manner and cover and return the ballot to the officer who shall immediately return to the polling place and deposit the ballot in the ballot counter in accordance with the instructions of the State Board. Any county or city that has acquired an electronic voting device that is so constructed as to be easily portable may use the voting device in lieu of a paper or mark sense ballot for the voter requiring assistance pursuant to this subsection. However, the electronic voting device may be used in lieu of a paper ballot only so long as: (i) the voting device remains in the plain view of two officers of election representing two political parties or, in a primary election, two officers of election representing the party conducting the primary, provided that if the use of two officers for this purpose would result in too few officers remaining in the polling place to meet legal requirements, the equipment shall remain in plain view of one officer who shall be either the chief officer or the assistant chief officer; and (ii) the voter casts his ballot in a secret manner unless the voter requests assistance pursuant to this section. After the voter has completed voting his ballot, the officer or officers shall immediately return the voting device to its assigned location inside the polling place. The machine number, the time that the machine was removed and the time that it was returned, the number on the machine’s public counter before the machine was removed and the number on the same counter when it was returned, and the name or names of the officer or officers who accompanied the machine shall be recorded on the statement of results” http://leg1.state.va.us/cgi-bin/legp504.exe?000+cod+24.2-649

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Poll Activity • Chapter 6

Interim Voter Counts
Some state election laws require interim voting information to be posted for public viewing at the polls . This can be the number of votes cast, or a copy of the voter rolls noting who has and has not voted, posted at specific intervals throughout the day . Election Observers should note whether the process is correctly followed . Any interviews must be conducted outside of the polling area and the prohibited area outside of it

Virginia Election Code

24.2-604. Prohibited activities at polls; notice of prohibited area; electioneering; presence of representatives of parties or candidates; simulated elections; observers; news media; penalties. . http://leg1.state.va.us/cgi-bin/legp504.exe?000+coh+24.2-604+702477

Electioneering
Most states have a clearly stated “buffer zone,” or non-electioneering zone, around the polling place to prevent electioneering during the voting day . Within this buffer zone, no one is allowed to campaign for candidates or issues or otherwise interrupt voters going into or coming out of the polling place . Unless they’re actually there to vote at that location, no candidate is allowed to be inside the buffer zone for any reason throughout the day . Within the buffer zone, voters are supposed to be able to walk freely to and from the entrance to the polling place . Some states do allow exit pollsters to stop voters on their way out to conduct exit polling research . But, while they may be allowed inside the buffer zone by state law, they cannot interfere with the voting process or become an annoyance to voters . Many states prohibit sound trucks or other sound amplifier equipment to send messages that can be heard inside the polling place . Distance requirements are generally specified in state law and typically extend well beyond the buffer zone . Remember, you are not responsible for enforcing the buffer zone, but you do have the right to inform the Poll Lead or Assistant if others are violating this space . Within the polling place or within 40 feet of an entrance to the polling place: hinder or delay a qualified voter; give, tender, or exhibit any ballot, ticket, or other campaign material to any person; solicit or in any manner attempt to influence any person in casting his vote; hinder or delay any officer of election; be in a position to see the marked ballot of any other voter; or otherwise impede the orderly conduct of the election. However, a non-candidate voter entering the polls for the sole purpose of voting shall not be prohibited from wearing a shirt, hat, or other apparel or from having a button with a candidates name or slogan attached to their clothing.

Virginia Election Code

24.2-604. Prohibited activities at polls; notice of prohibited area; electioneering; presence of representatives of parties or candidates; simulated elections; observers; news media; penalties. http://leg1.state.va.us/cgi-bin/legp504.exe?000+coh+24.2-604+702498

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Poll Activity • Chapter 6

Challenging Voters or Absentee/Mail-In Ballots
In some states, Election Observers can challenge voters or absentee/mail-in ballots counted at the polling place, if they have reason to believe a voter or ballot does not meet state requirements . Be very familiar with the reasons for challenging voters that are allowed by your state and be prudent in your challenges . If the Poll Lead judges that you are abusing this privilege, or that you are impeding the election process, they can have you removed from the polling place . In most states allowing challenges, you must verbally state your intent to challenge a particular voter BEFORE they have been issued a ballot or the device or code that allows them to access the voting machine . This means that you must challenge the voter at the time they present themselves to the Election Workers at check-in and BEFORE they are issued the means by which to vote . You must announce your challenge so that it can be clearly heard by Election Workers . Be sure that the Election Workers stop processing the voter in question and motion for the Poll Lead or the Assistant to come to your location . You will be sworn in, asked to state the basis for your challenge, and asked to fill out a form documenting your challenge . The challenged voter will also be sworn in and asked to fill out another form . The Poll Lead or the Assistant will usually call the two of you together and question of each of you . If called for, the Poll Lead or Assistant may ask the challenged voter to produce additional identification directly related to your challenge . The Poll Lead or Assistant (usually together) can make a decision to uphold or overrule your challenge . Take careful notes of everything said during this process . It’s also possible that the Poll Lead or Assistant may determine that a final decision on the challenge cannot be reached . In this case, they should allow the challenged voter to vote by provisional ballot only . Be sure that the process for provisional ballots (covered earlier in this training) is followed according to your state law and make note of what the Poll Lead or Assistant writes on the provisional ballot form as the reason for providing the provisional ballot . The challenger (a qualified voter in VA) completes signs a statement giving the reason they believe the other voter to be ineligible. The challenged voter is then given the opportunity to sign a statement refuting the challenge. If they do not sign, they are not permitted to vote. If they sign, they are given a ballot or, if it is marked in the poll book that they have already voted, a provisional ballot; the officer shall then mark his name in the poll book, along with the fact that he has signed the refutation of the challenge.

Virginia Election Code

24.2-651 Voter who is challenged; how challenge tried. “Any qualified voter may, and the officers of election shall, challenge the vote of any person who is listed on the poll book but is known or suspected not to be a qualified voter. http://leg1.state.va.us/cgi-bin/legp504.exe?000+cod+24.2-65

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Poll Activity • Chapter 6

Taking Breaks
It’s important for you to see and hear everything that goes on throughout the voting process . Therefore, you should minimize your time away from the voting area . If you have to leave the voting area for any extended period of time, ask permission to see the total number of votes cast in that location to that point . Write that number down . Do a quick calculation to determine the average number of voters per hour who have passed through the polling place to that point . When you return, check the count again . If the total number of votes recorded is significantly higher than expected ask the Poll Lead what happened while you were out . Record the incident in your notes . If the Poll Lead tells you that you may not take your notes with you if you leave the polling place, give your notes to another volunteer Election Observer for safekeeping and retrieve your notes as soon as you return . The Poll Lead has the authority to require you to keep your notes inside the polling place, but they do NOT have the authority to order you to leave your notes with them . Remember, safeguarding your notes is also safeguarding the interests of the stakeholder who appointed you . Safeguarding your notes is also safeguarding the interests of the stakeholder who appointed you . A representative may serve part of the day and be replaced by successive representatives.

Virginia Election Code

24.2-604. Prohibited activities at polls; notice of prohibited area; electioneering; presence of representatives of parties or candidates; simulated elections; observers; news media; penalties. “A representative may serve part of the day and be replaced by successive representatives.” http://leg1.state.va.us/cgi-bin/legp504.exe?000+coh+24.2-604+702667

What to Watch For
Inside the polling place, there are many things that deserve your close attention . In states that allow same-day voter registration, listen and watch closely to ensure that the Election Workers at that station are requesting, seeing and recording proof of residence documentation presented by the voters . If you’re close enough to observe the process, ensure that the entire registration form is filled out and that the Election Workers are confirming that the voter has lived within the precinct or ward long enough to qualify to vote there . At the check-in area, watch to ensure that voters are presenting the ID required by your state law and that the Election Workers are checking the address on the ID against the address in the voter book/poll book/online record . Check to ensure that Election Workers confirm the voter’s address and that they give a change of address form to any voter who claims to have moved since their last registration . Observe whether the Election Workers check with the Poll Lead to ensure that the voter’s new address is inside the precinct or ward .

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Poll Activity • Chapter 6

What to Watch For (continued)
Many states require Election Workers to repeat the names and addresses of voters as they are checked in . This is to help Election Observers who are not allowed to stand or sit near enough to the check in table to see the voter book or the ID presented . If the Election Workers are NOT repeating the voter information loud enough for you to hear, ask the Poll Lead to have them speak louder . Watch to ensure that the Election Workers are instructing each voter to sign the voter book or digitally sign their online record, as needed . The Election Worker should compare these signatures against the ID presented or against the voter book signatures on record, per your state’s practice . In states that require photo identification, ensure that the Election Worker both checks and acknowledges that the voter looks like the photo on the identification they’ve presented . Be sure the Election Workers who are checking voters in are also keeping track of every voter passing the check-in station . Otherwise, there could be problems at the end of the day when the Poll Lead tries to reconcile the number of votes cast versus the number of voters checked in . If the polling place where you are serving uses paper ballots, observe that each voter is only getting one ballot . If the polling place is using electronic voting equipment, observe that each voter is only getting one pass or one code number to access the machine . Be particularly observant of any voter requesting assistance . Ensure that the name and other information of the person providing the assistance is correctly entered in the voter book (and elsewhere if applicable) . If your state requires that the assistant take an oath, be sure that oath is administered and recorded . Watch to ensure that the voter is only receiving the assistance needed and allowed by law . If an Election Worker is assisting a voter, watch to ensure that an Election Worker from the other major political party accompanies them and is close enough to observe and hear everything that is said and done . If your state has a time limit on how long a voter may stand at the voting booth, watch for voters who overstay that period . Call to the attention of the Poll Lead or Assistant any voter who has stayed long past the allotted time . Watch to ensure that no voter is affixing campaign materials to any voting booth . That’s electioneering inside the buffer zone, an illegal act . Notify the Poll Lead or Assistant if any voter leaves campaign material inside the voting booth . If your polling location uses electronic voting equipment, watch to ensure that no Election Worker presses the “cast ballot” button for any voter who leaves the voting booth before pressing the final button to cast their vote . In most states, it’s illegal for an Election Worker to press the “cast ballot” button . Election Workers should try to find the voter before they leave the voting area, bring them back, and ask them to press the “cast ballot” button . If the voter has left the voting area, Election Workers are supposed to cancel the ballot, in accordance with procedures taught them by the local voting authority . If your state law requires that the Poll Lead publicly post interim voting numbers or lists of who has or has not voted, watch to ensure that they are meeting those requirements . Watch for any voter who is required to cast a provisional ballot . Provisional ballots must be kept separate from regular ballots . If voting is by paper ballot, be sure the provisional ballot is placed in the correct envelope and away from the regular paper ballots in the ballot box .

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Closing The Poll • Chapter 7

Closing Procedures
Closing the poll is one of the most important electoral processes . Deviations from legally defined procedures can result in challenges to the legality of the election . Although it may be late in a long day, it’s critical that you remain diligent during this phase . Per state election law, the Poll Lead has the primary responsibility for closing the poll at the appointed closing time . They may assign some duties to other Election Workers, but they have the ultimate responsibility . You should carefully observe how the Poll Lead and Assistant handle the closing of the poll . It is very important that they follow proper procedures . Note any deviations from correct procedures and treat these deviations in the same way you treated errors or violations throughout the voting day . As part of your observations during the closing of the poll, you should pay close attention to the instructions given to voters who arrive after the poll is closed, the Poll Lead’s completion of any required paperwork, and most importantly, how the ballots are handled, including counting and securing them for transportation . At 6:45 p.m. an officer of election shall announce that the polls will close in fifteen minutes. The officers of election shall list the names of all qualified voters in line before the polling place at 7:00 p.m. and permit those voters and no others to vote after 7:00 p.m. Candidate/party representatives may watch the poll closing activities.

Virginia Election Code

24.2-603. Hours polls to be open; closing the polls. “ http://leg1.state.va.us/cgi-bin/legp504.exe?000+coh+24.2-603+70269124.2-655. Representatives of political parties and candidates to be present on request. “Such representatives shall be entitled to be present while the votes are counted and shall remain until the returns are completed.” http://leg1.state.va.us/cgi-bin/legp504.exe?000+coh+24.2-655+702829

Help ensure free and fair elections!

Notes

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Closing The Poll • Chapter 7

Voting After The Poll Is Closed
Unless extended by court order or by another governing authority, there is a specific time at which your polling place is supposed to close and accept no additional voters . In most states, any voter in line to enter the polling place at the moment the polls are legally supposed to close should be allowed to vote and any voter arriving after the time the polls are legally supposed to close should NOT be allowed to vote . Different states use different methods to identify the last voter in line when the polls close . Your Poll Lead may have some discretion as to exactly how they identify the last legal voter of the day . In most states, the Poll Lead sends another Election Worker to stand in line behind the last voter to mark the point after which no one else can vote . This is the preferred approach since the Election Worker serving as the marker has the authority to notify all other late arrival voters that the poll is closed and that they will not be allowed to vote . That same Election Worker can also prevent others from “cutting” in line or otherwise attempting to subvert legal closing procedure . If a vote is cast after the legal closing time, it should be cast as a provisional ballot and separated from those votes before the legal closing time . At 6:45 p.m. an officer of election shall announce that the polls will close in fifteen minutes. The officers of election shall list the names of all qualified voters in line before the polling place at 7:00 p.m. and permit those voters and no others to vote after 7:00 p.m.

Virginia Election Code
24.2-603. Hours polls to be open; closing the polls. “At 6:45 p.m. an officer of election shall announce that the polls will close in fifteen minutes. The officers of election shall list the names of all qualified voters in line before the polling place at 7:00 p.m. and permit those voters and no others to vote after 7:00 p.m.” http://leg1.state.va.us/cgi-bin/legp504.exe?000+coh+24.2-603+702691

Notes

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Closing The Poll • Chapter 7

Poll Closing Documentation
After the last voter has left the polling place there is quite a bit of documentation to be done—correctly . There is documentation required to verify that the number of ballots cast (in any form) matches the number of voters signed in . If there is a discrepancy between the two numbers, there are specific procedures used to reconcile the counts . In places where the votes are counted at the polling location, there should be official documentation used by the Poll Lead to record the votes as they are counted . Observe this documentation process closely to ensure accurate entries for each candidate or issue and to avoid misplacing the documentation after the tallies are recorded . Additionally, there is specific documentation used to explain how the ballot boxes, counting machines, and electronic voting machines are sealed and prepared for transportation back to the point designated by the local voting authority . Election Workers should locate this documentation and set them aside for use when preparing the ballot boxes and equipment for transport . After ascertaining the results and before adjourning, the officers shall put the Pollbooks, the duplicate statements of results, and any printed inspection and return sheets in the envelopes provided by the State Board. The officers shall seal the envelopes and direct them to the clerk of the circuit court for the county or city. The Pollbooks, statements, and sheets thus sealed and directed, the sealed counted ballots envelope or container, and the unused, defaced, spoiled and set aside ballots properly accounted for, packaged and sealed, shall be conveyed by one of the officers to be determined by lot, if they cannot otherwise agree, to the clerk of court by noon on the day following the election.

Virginia Election Code

24.2-668. Pollbooks, statements of results, and ballots to be sealed and delivered to clerk or general registrar. “After ascertaining the results and before adjourning, the officers shall put the Pollbooks, the duplicate statements of results, and any printed inspection and return sheets in the envelopes provided by the State Board. The officers shall seal the envelopes and direct them to the clerk of the circuit court for the county or city. The Pollbooks, statements, and sheets thus sealed and directed, the sealed counted ballots envelope or container, and the unused, defaced, spoiled and set aside ballots properly accounted for, packaged and sealed, shall be conveyed by one of the officers to be determined by lot, if they cannot otherwise agree, to the clerk of court by noon on the day following the election.” http://leg1.state.va.us/cgi-bin/legp504.exe?000+cod+24.2-668

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Closing The Poll • Chapter 7

Counting Ballots
After the last legal voter has voted, the closing process can begin . The process will differ according to whether or not the individual ballots are to be counted on site at the polling place . Regardless, no one should handle, or even be near, any of the voting equipment until the Poll Lead and Assistant are ready to begin counting . If your poll location uses paper ballots that are to be counted manually, there are specific instructions on exactly how these ballots are to be counted and registered on forms provided by the local voting authority . There are also specific instructions on how the Election Workers are to handle ballots where the voter’s intent is not perfectly clear . In most states, the problem ballots are reviewed by the Poll Lead, the Assistant Poll Lead and the next highest ranking Election Workers (from at least two different parties) . This group will closely review the ballot and then vote on the voter’s intent . In poll locations where paper ballots are counted by a scanning machine, there are specific instructions on how the ballots are to be fed into the machine and how the total counts per candidate or issue are viewed and recorded . If the machine cannot determine a particular voter’s intent, the same process described above is usually followed . In some states with poll locations using electronic voting machines, the votes are counted at the polling place and reported to the local voting authority . There are specific instructions on how to read the votes in each machine and how to record them on the paperwork provided for this purpose . In many states with electronic voting machines the ballots are not counted at the polling place . Instead, the Election Workers reconcile the number of ballots recorded on the machines against the total number of voters who signed the voter book . The same process used for paper ballots also applies to absentee/mail-in ballots . In every state where ballots are counted at the polling place and at which the media and other outsiders are allowed to witness the counting, there are set procedures by which the Poll Lead announces results to those in attendance .

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Closing The Poll • Chapter 7

Securing and Transporting of Ballots and Equipment
The securing of ballots will depend on the equipment used in your polling place . Ballots secured in boxes will be locked in the boxes until it is time to tally votes . Ballots secured electronically will be secured or inactivated depending on the instructions for that the machine, as given by the SoS . In any case, Election Observers may be present during the securing of ballots . After Tally Reports have been printed, all electronic equipment is powered off, disassembled, and sealed . Tally totals and seal numbers are reported, and Presiding Judge or designated Election Worker returns the controllers to assigned election night drop-off location, per Election Administrators instructions . Ballots are to be placed in an envelope or container, sealed, and brought to the clerk of county by noon on the day following the election.

Virginia Election Code

24.2-668. Pollbooks, statements of results, and ballots to be sealed and delivered to clerk or general registrar. “The Pollbooks, statements, and sheets thus sealed and directed, the sealed counted ballots envelope or container, and the unused, defaced, spoiled and set aside ballots properly accounted for, packaged and sealed, shall be conveyed by one of the officers to be determined by lot, if they cannot otherwise agree, to the clerk of court by noon on the day following the election.” h http://leg1.state.va.us/cgi-bin/legp504.exe?000+cod+24.2-668

Notes

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Closing The Poll • Chapter 7

Breaking Down the Poll Equipment
All Election Workers share some responsibility for closing down the polls, sealing ballot boxes and electronic voting equipment, and preparing to return all material to the local voting authority . As an Election Observer you are not allowed to help in this process and you should not touch any of the equipment or ballot boxes . You should ask the Poll Lead to allow you to closely inspect any seals that are applied to the ballot box or voting equipment and you should ensure that the serial numbers on these seals match the paperwork which usually accompanies the equipment back to the local voting authority . You should treat any irregularity you see in the same way you treated infractions in voting processes during the day .

One of the judges returns equipment keys, ballots, and paperwork to the county clerk’s office. This is determined by lottery if no other means. No specifics are given about breakdown and return of equipment.

Virginia Election Code

24.2-668. Pollbooks, statements of results, and ballots to be sealed and delivered to clerk or general registrar. “The Pollbooks, statements, and sheets thus sealed and directed, the sealed counted ballots envelope or container, and the unused, defaced, spoiled and set aside ballots properly accounted for, packaged and sealed, shall be conveyed by one of the officers to be determined by lot, if they cannot otherwise agree, to the clerk of court by noon on the day following the election.” http://leg1.state.va.us/cgi-bin/legp504.exe?000+coh+24.2-668+501398

Incident Reports
As soon as possible, after the close of the polls and completion of all follow up work, you should review the notes you’ve taken all day . Identify any and all serious or repeated breaches of election law in your state . Transfer the specifics of these incidents to an Incident Report to be filed with the candidate or organization that appointed you and with your local election integrity organization . TRUE the VOTE will provide Incident Reports at the Final Briefing . If you do not have Incident Reports, summarize each incident in a logical and factual written report . If your state has forms for reporting election law violations, use those forms and submit your report to the state as well .

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Closing The Poll • Chapter 7

Closing Checklist
As an Election Observer, you will observe the closing of the polls . Understanding what should be happening will help you recognize when procedures are not being followed . A complete closing checklist is provided for you in your Quick Reference Guide, but here are a few questions you will need to address: - Did the Poll Lead follow proper procedure for identifying and accepting the last voter in line at the mandated poll closing time? - After the last voter left the polling place did the Poll Lead follow proper procedure for shutting down the voting equipment or safeguarding the ballot boxes? - Did the Poll Lead dismiss anyone in attendance who was not legally allowed to be present during the closing of the polls? - Were ballots recorded according to correct procedure? - Were provisional ballots correctly separated from regular ballots? - If absentee/mail-in ballots were received, were they packaged in the correct containers? - If votes were being counted on site, did the Poll Lead follow proper procedure in admitting spectators to enter the polling place and view the vote count? - Did the Poll Lead and Assistant Supervisor properly complete all required paperwork? - Did they correctly reconcile the total number of voters signed in with the total number of cast ballots? - After counting, were all ballots properly stored and secured as required by your state’s election code? - Was all voting equipment and documentation properly sealed and transported to the location designated by your local Election Authority? Your observation and accurate documentation of these procedures help to ensure that reports from your polling place will be reliable .

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Wrap Up • Chapter 8

Notes

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Wrap Up • Chapter 8

Online Assessment

Please complete the online assessment at end of this presentation. Once completed, your local election integrity organization will contact you with instructions for your next step in volunteering at the polls. Congratulations!

Thank You for Participating in the TrUe the VOTe election Observer Training
You are now on your way to making a great contribution to the protection of our electoral process!

Thanks!

Helpful Links
TRUE the VOTE: www.truethevote.org

Virginia State Legislature:

http://legis.state.va.us/ Virginia Election Code http://leg1.state.va.us/cgi-bin/legp504.exe?000+cod+TOC2402000 (Title 24.2) Virginia Board of Election http://www.sbe.virginia.gov/cms/Index.html

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