Jewish Values in Action
Voting Integrity Programs
Voting day can be a very confusing time. People need to know when and where to vote. Polling stations do not always open on time, or close too early, and voting machines do not always run effectively. It is essential that there are volunteers on the ground that insure that everyone has the opportunity cast a meaningful ballot. JCRCs may work with local civic engagement organizations or local bar associations to engage community members in voting integrity programs such as monitoring polling places, fixing voting machines, and helping disabled voters cast ballots. These types of programs help build strong relationships with local organizations and provide a meaningful way to support the American democratic process.
- Work with local community members to ensure the integrity of the voting system.
- Educate community members about the obstacles that face some citizens when voting.
- Engage young and unaffiliated Jews and acquaint them with the work of the JCRC
JCRC volunteers can help monitor polling places and ensure that they open and close on time, are treating all citizens fairly, and providing every voter with the proper privacy and respect required to cast a meaningful ballot. Often local organizations and affiliates of national organizations conduct poll monitor trainings. JCRCs may wish to publicize these programs, organize a group of volunteers to learn about the issues, including voter identification requirements, and then monitor polls, or even cosponsor these workshops.
Since the 2000 Presidential Election, many communities throughout the United States have transitioned to electronic voting machines. Many voters find these machines challenging. Like all electrical equipment, they sometimes malfunction. Students and young adults with computer skills may be able to assist local poll workers when electronic voting machines malfunction. Students may travel from polling place to polling place helping poll workers with these voting machines. Before developing a program, it is important to coordinate efforts with other local civic engagement organizations and the local Election Authorities.
Poll monitors and volunteers for voting integrity programs are needed throughout the day on Election Day. Organizing volunteer shifts may be the simplest way to organize this type of event.
- Directory of Local Election Officials: https://www.overseasvotefoundation.org/overseas/nass.htm
- National Association of Secretaries of State: http://www.canivote.org/
- Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights Under the Law – Election Protection Program: http://866ourvote.org
- Absentee Ballot Locator: http://www.longdistancevoter.org/