Sec. of State Offers First-Ever Online Training for Election Precinct Workers
Secretary of State Ruth Johnson today announced the first-ever online training for Michigan’s poll workers. The training is designed to promote consistency across polling places, to reinforce procedures that maintain integrity in the elections process and to help ensure ballot security.
Johnson said the videos were created with input from county and local clerks around the state and is intended to supplement local or regional training efforts.
“This was a way for us to assist local clerks and the state’s nearly 30,000 precinct workers who have such a critical job on the front lines on Election Day,” Johnson said. “Our poll workers have a tough job and we want to do everything we can to support them. These are people who want to be a part of democracy in action and their work allows every Michigan voter to have their vote count and their voice heard on Election Day.”
The first phase of the Election Day Management online training can be viewed here on the Secretary of State’s website at www.Michigan.gov/sos or on the state’s Bureau of Elections YouTube Channel. To access, click here.
Traverse City Clerk Benjamin Marentette has already used the new online training. “In Traverse City, we are showing the election training videos from the Bureau of Elections during the training sessions we are holding with all of our polling place workers,” Marentette said. “The videos drive some key points home and are a great tool that we are using as part of our training program.”
Oakland County Elections Director Joe Rozell said the training videos are the result of strong collaboration between the Secretary of State’s office, county clerks and local clerks. “We’re looking forward to incorporating them into our training program,” said Rozell, noting that clerks in Oakland County employ some 3,600 poll workers on Election Day. “These arrived just in time to help us train for November.”
Johnson said the training is intended to supplement local and county clerks’ own training. Clerks can download the individual video files to their computers or present the videos live from the web during their own training. Clerks can also direct poll workers to the site so they can review the videos on their own time as a “refresher” course at home.
Training topics range from enforcement of Michigan’s photo ID laws to the processing of provision and challenged ballots, important checks and balances that must be observed on Election Day and the way to seal and secure ballot containers.
The videos will also help ensure that no eligible voter is turned away from the polls on Election Day.
Johnson said in addition to the videos, state elections officials have put in long hours to assist clerks with additional training to help prepare for the presidential election year. Trainers held training sessions in each of Michigan’s 83 counties as well as regional sessions across the state on topics ranging from Election Day issues to use of the state’s electronic poll books, which are specially-programmed laptops used to check in voters at the polls. Electronic or e-pollbooks are now used in 80 percent of precincts statewide.