FCW Insider

Blog archive

Seeking young workers for the polls

The Washington Times has this story about Maryland's search for younger, tech-savvy people to work the polls for the mid-term elections.

Maryland officials, less than two weeks before the general election, are struggling to hire young, technology-savvy judges to monitor electronic voting machines.

"A lot of [younger] people couldn't care less to be bothered with it, to be honest, which is a shame," said Jacqueline K. McDaniel, director of the Baltimore County Board of Elections.

"We would prefer to get younger people," Mrs. McDaniel said. "The job used to be a lot more simple. Now it's a lot more complicated with the machines."

Elections officials in Montgomery County, which has more than 504,000 registered voters and 251 precincts, said they are more than 150 judges short of their goal of 2,600 for the Nov. 7 election.

E-voting presented all sorts of problems during primaries. And I got smacked down (read comments) for this comment:

Of course, given the age of most of the people who work at the polls, the fact that there was user errors with e-voting systems shouldn't really be all that surprising. It isn't the most tech savvy group. And, from what we've read, they were given little training.

But it seems that age does play a factor. Again, from the Washington Times story:

"Those older judges are really scared of those machines," said Armstead B.C. Jones, president of the Baltimore Board of Elections.

Most of the poll workers are... well, more senior, and that does not mean that they are not capable of working e-voting machines. It probably does mean that they need additional training (it's probably too late now), and that they need people to help them out if there is a problem.

Posted by Christopher Dorobek on Oct 25, 2006 at 12:15 PM


Stay Connected

FCW Update

Sign up for our newsletter.

I agree to this site's Privacy Policy.