Why I am a Poll Worker

From: Arthur Keller <voting_at_kellers_dot_org>
Date: Sat May 20 2006 - 12:36:32 CDT

I wrote this blurb for Mainstreet Moms. I thought some of you would
be interested in it.

Like many of you, I've been increasingly interested in doing what I
can to ensure the integrity of our elections, by promoting paper
trails or paper ballots and public disclosure of election systems and
processes. However, I realized that I didn't really understand how
elections worked unless I actually worked in them. So I called up my
local Registrar of Voters to volunteer on Election Day. After a 3.5
hour training class, I was ready to work in the polls. It was a
fascinating experience, and I learned a lot about the real issues of
how elections are run and what the problems are. In particular, I
learned firsthand how electronic voting machines worked and are used,
and I can now talk about my concerns about trade secret voting
machines in a more informed manner than before. The next election, I
was selected to be a precinct inspector, so I was actually in charge
of a polling place, and I was the one who made sure that all voters
had an easy time voting, and I hand delivered the election results to
the collection point while another poll worker trailed me to ensure
they arrived safely and intact. I certainly don't work the 6am to
9pm-plus day for the pay, particularly since I donate my pay to the
Open Voting Consortium. Rather, I will serve again because the
security and integrity of our elections depends on the people who
care participating in its detailed processes, and that means
volunteering to staff my local poll on Election Day. I recently went
to poll worker training and some of the longtime poll workers there
were criticizing the new California requirement for paper trails
because of the "unnecessary" extra work for poll workers. Unless
those of us volunteer who favor strong security measures, the
counties are stuck with poll workers who favor expedience over
security. I hope you'll join me as a volunteer poll worker in your
area to help keep our democracy vibrant.

Arthur Keller

Arthur M. Keller, Ph.D., 3881 Corina Way, Palo Alto, CA  94303-4507
tel +1(650)424-0202, fax +1(650)424-0424
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Received on Wed May 31 23:17:04 2006

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