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George’s Notes for Poll Management

Comments after first hands on poll management

Basic no problem poll manager at the manager’s table voter  processing procedure, using a number 2 pencil for any entries on the voter check-off list:

  • Greet the voter
  • If a multiple party primary, ask which party the voter wants to vote in
  • Take  the voter’s ID
  • If a proper ID matches the voter; find the voter in the check-off [voter registration] list
  • Ask if the voter still lives at the address given
  • If he or she does, initial his or her line on the check-off sheet and ask the voter to sign the check-in [poll] list
  • If the signature there matches  that on the ID, print the page and line number on the check-off list that the voter signed on the check-in sheet and any other pertinent information to be entered on the line for the voter--such as, in a primary with both parties voting, which party the voter wishes to vote in
  • Direct the voter to the appropriate voting machine--if the voter is visually impaired ask if he or she would like to use the ADA (audio machine and if so and he or she asks or agrees to assistance to go to the machine escort him or her to the machine which has diamond shape and arrow bottoms at its bottom

A poll manager at a voting machine

  • Inserts a red PEB and presses the button to present the ballot or for visually impaired voters, after asking whether or not assistance is wanted, ensures that the voter at the ADA machine has the earphones on, inserts a red PEB in the ADA machine and presses the diamond shape button at the bottom of the screen (the ADA audio instructs the voter to press the directional arrows at the bottom of the screen to navigate around the ballot and to press the diamond shape button to make a selection)
  • Remains available, to assist the voter if he or she asks for directions on how to use the machine
  • A voter is officially allowed three minutes to vote although use of the special ADA voting machine for those who are visually impaired may take more time

Improvements?

  • Strongly encourage hands-on training even after taking the on-line course. Compare reading about tying one’s shoes to actually practice to learn. Learning to put together voting machines by reading about it, for me at least, is inadequate. The same goes for setting up the electronic devices for use and using them to prepare zero and total tapes. Even though there is additional material to read at the polling place, without prior experience or hands-on training, doing what is required in the recommended 45 minutes before the polls open would be nearly impossible, for me at least.
  • Simplify the poll manager forms for challenges. As poll managers do all the challenges, additional information other than which poll manager is making the challenge and why the challenge is being made is sufficient. Unnecessary effort can discourage poll managers making challenges and unnecessarily hold up the line.
  • Find some device or arrangement so the poll manager can more readily and inconspicuously  compare signatures on identifying cards with those on the voter sign-in sheet. Such could encourage poll managers to properly make this comparison, especially when photo ID is not given.
  • Setting up the polling place the day before voting would help ensure that everything would be taken care of by 7 a.m. on voting day.

Overall More Detailed Notes

Overall, these notes apply to South Carolina. The specific Horry County South Carolina, Voter registration number is (843) 915-5440-- or

from Myrtle Beach: (843) 205-5440.

 

If you are a poll manager in a precinct other than your own, you will need to vote an absentee ballot in person, with one requested to be mailed to you from voter registration or with one obtained on-line. If you are viewing these notes online, click here to access a copy of an absentee ballot that you can print out, fill in, sign and mail in (or scan and e-mail).

 

In any case, bring sufficient food and drink to the polling place to sustain you from 6:15 a. m. until all the work is done in wrapping up after 7 p.m.

 

These notes were derived by selectively copying and pasting from the South Carolina Poll Managers Handbook or the online training guide--most generally not from independent knowledge or information provided by others. They are only handy notes to supplement training.

 

Scroll down past the introductory material to begin a description of "Processing Voters" somewhat in the sequence they might be needed..

Please e-mail me at edwardsgeor@gmail.com with comments so I can correct any possible errors or make desirable changes.

 

Note that these notes do not deal with the detailed polling place setup or closing procedures using PEBs. To read about these and other informative details, if you are reading this online click here for an on-line copy of the South Carolina election commission poll managers handbook--otherwise directly from the handbook or from the online training course or material available at the polling place. . The online training course includes video and audio as to how to use the green PEB to perform functions such as printing a zero or totals tape.

 

Preparation of the voting place

 

NOTE: Curbside voting signs must be displayed outside in the designated curbside parking area

It is recommended that the managers label a poll list “CURBSIDE”at the beginning of the day. This poll list can be used whenever curbside voting is utilized without interrupting the processing of voters inside the polling place.  The managers will post sample ballots and all posters including the SC Voter Information poster, the Do's and Don'ts poster and the No Campaign Material poster .

and signs in a conspicuous area of the polling place. These should be posted at wheelchair-eye level. Instructions should be posted in the polling place and the arrangement of candidate’s names properly placed in the machines.

Separating Paper Ballots

If you are working in a precinct with multiple districts, make sure ballots are separated by types (emergency/provisional and failsafe provisional) and districts.

Securing Paper Ballots

  • Paper ballots must not be placed on the managers table but should be kept in a secure location
  • No unauthorized personnel should have access to the paper ballots

Procedures to Follow When Unable to Print a Zero Tape

If you are unable to print a zero tape by 7:00 a.m., contact election commission immediately.

Procedure

  1. Contact the election commission to dispatch a polling location technician.
  2. Allow voters to begin voting at 7:00 a.m. on the machines even if you have not printed your zero tapes.

Important Note

The polling location technician is able to print a zero tape at any time during the day. The zero tape will reflect the actual time the machines were opened.
 
 

Securing Voting Equipment

It is extremely important to secure all voting machines, PEBs, communications pack and paper ballots at the polls.

Securing PEBs

  • Red PEBs should always be in the possession of a poll manager
  • The green PEB should always be in the communications pack except when it is being used for opening or closing the voting machines

General security at the polls

  • Prior to opening the polls, before removing any security seals, verify the seal numbers on each booth and communications pack against the corresponding numbers recorded on the seal envelope
  • If seal numbers don't match or seals are broken, contact your county election commission
  • Place the broken seals from the booths and communications pack into the seal envelope
  • Verify seal numbers on flash card doors after opening booths. Do not remove these seals until appropriate time as instructed by your county election commission
  • When closing the polls, secure the voting booths and communications pack with the seals provided in the seal envelope
  • Record all closing seal numbers on the seal envelope
  • Never allow unauthorized individuals access to voting machines

Cell phones, cameras, and other personal electronic devices

As a courtesy to others, voters are not allowed to use cell phones, cameras, and other personal electronic devices while voting.

 

 

Qualifications To Vote

 

To become a registered elector in South Carolina a person must be at least

  • 18 years of age on election day

  • a United States citizen and a resident of the state, county, and precinct in which he/she wishes to register to vote.

Those adjudicated mentally incompetent and persons confined to any public prison from the conviction of a crime are disqualified from voting. There is no durational residence requirement in South Carolina in order to register to vote (Section 7-5- 120).

A person must register in person or by mail at least 30 days prior to an election to be eligible to vote in that particular election.

  _____________________________________________________________________________

Processing voters

 

The managers should be provided with, and should wear, proper identification badges and sign the pay vouchers that include their required oath. Manager’s oath is to not allow anyone to vote who is not entitled to.

 

At 7:00 A.M. sharp, announce that the polls are open, and allow voting to begin. .

Watchers can not talk to voters. [GHE. I am informed by Dana of voter registration that the time and place for a hearing of challenged ballots will be in a black binder delivered to the polling place.]

 

According to current state law, a paper ballot may be used for only the following reasons:
  • Emergency, for use if all voting machines become inoperable
  • Provisional, for a challenged ballot
  • Failsafe Provisional, if a voter has moved into another precinct, but did not change his voter registration address

Codes

 

I-M indicates that the State Election Commission received information that the voter has moved.

I-F indicates that the voter failed to respond to a confirmation mailing conducted by the State Election Commission to verify the voter’s address.

• If either the I-M or I-F is present in the MGR INIT/STAT column on the voter registration list, verify the voter’s address. If the address has not changed, complete the poll list as usual. When the voter registration list is updated after the election, the I-M or I-F status will be removed from this voter’s record.

• If the voter’s address has changed, follow the Failsafe or Change of Address procedure. [GHE found on page 3 in the troubleshooting section}

ABS If a voter has previously been issued an absentee ballot, the letters “ABS” will appear in the manager’s initials column of the list. The poll manager should direct the voter to his county voter registration office. This voter whose name is marked with an “ABS” will not be permitted to vote in person in his resident precinct unless this voter furnishes the poll manager with a certificate from the county voter registration office stating that his absentee ballot has been returned to this office unmarked

 

1. a. Upon entering the polling place, the voter must present one of the following forms of identification to the manager:

• a current South Carolina driver’s license

• an identification card containing a photograph issued by the South Carolina Department of Public Safety, Division of Motor Vehicles

• a voter registration card (Section 7-13-710).

 

Voter Without Identification

If a person presents himself at the polls without a valid South Carolina driver’s license, a photo identification issued by the South Carolina Department of Public Safety, Division of Motor Vehicles, or a valid registration certificate, he/she should not be allowed to vote.

If the voter does not have a driver’s license or DMV photo identification and states that his/her certificate has been lost or stolen, he/she should be advised that his/her county board of voter registration is open all day on election day and that he/she may go there and obtain a duplicate certificate. He/she will then be allowed to vote. [GHE. The address for voter registration in Horry County SC is 1515 Fourth Ave. in Conway. You must fill in the information from the drivers license or other permissible ID on the last page of the voter registration list.]

 

1. b Use a ruler or straight edge to locate the voter on the voter registration list. Poll managers use only #2 pencils

[GHE. If the voter's name cannot be found on the voter registration list although he or she presents one of the three accepted forms of identification, take him or her to a telephone and give the name to voter registration (in Horry County SC, 915-5440 or 205-5440 from Myrtle Beach) give the voter's name to get the birth date and ask the voter for it. If the voter gives the correct date of birth, you may allow him to vote--for more details, see page 8 of the troubleshooting guide on the back of the S.C. Poll Managers Handbook]

[GHE. From the online training course--

Voters who have moved to another precinct

"Failsafe Voting: Voters who have moved to another precinct. [GHE--I have no idea how you would know unless you call voter registration if you suspect the address given is not in the proper precinct.]
When a voter who moves to another precinct within the same county:

  1. If it is determined the voter has moved to a different precinct, the manager should direct the voter to his previous precinct

  2. At this previous precinct, the manager MUST complete the change of address section on the provisional ballot envelope, and have it signed by the voter

  3. The voter will vote a Failsafe ballot. This is a ballot for federal, statewide, countywide and municipal-wide offices only

  4. This ballot is placed in a provisional ballot envelope with “Failsafe” marked on the envelope

OR

The voter may go to the voter registration office, complete a change of address form and vote a complete ballot for all offices

Failsafe Voting

: Voters who have moved from one county to another county within SC within 30 days of an election

  1. Voter may vote a Failsafe ballot at his polling place in his previous county

OR

The voter may go to his new voter registration office, complete a voter registration form and vote a complete ballot for all offices"]

"A voter who moves to another state within 30 days of a Presidential General Election may return to his previous polling place and vote for President and Vice President only.

 

In a  PRIMARY  If more than one primary election is being held, ask the voter to declare in which political party’s primary he/she wishes to vote. [GHE Write-in votes are not allowed in a primary.]

IMPORTANT: Do not ask the voter “Are you a Republican or Democrat? ”Instead politely ask the voter “In which party’s primary do you wish to vote today?”

In a RUNOFF PRIMARY The poll manager must shade the circle in the RUNOFF column, initial in the RUNOFF column, and complete the page and line number under RUNOFF.

In GENERAL ELECTIONS Once you determine the voter’s eligibility, the column to the immediate right of the voter’s name and headed “Manager’s Initials/Status” must be completed to give that voter credit for voting in this election. Also shade in the circle under the “VOTED” column.

 

2. The manager must verify that the photograph on the driver’s license or DMV card is that of the person offering to vote. If a registration card is presented, the description on the certificate must fit the voter. Verify the voter’s qualifications and ask if the address shown on the voter registration list is the voter’s current and correct address before proceeding. If the voter’s current address is different from what is listed on the voter registration list, see “Voter Address Discrepancy” in the General Voting Day Problems section. [GHE--I find this on page 8 of the trouble shooting guide on the back of the S.C. Poll Managers Handbook under "Voter name cannot be found on voter registration list, as follows:]

If any voter presents a valid South Carolina driver’s license, a photo identification

issued by the South Carolina Department of Public Safety, or valid voter registration

card, but you cannot find his name on the voter registration list, you should:

1. Take the voter to the nearest available telephone and phone your county voter

registration office.

• Notify all poll watchers present that you are making this phone call. They are

allowed to accompany you to the phone and to have the information repeated

to each of them by the Registration Board.

• If the call is a long distance call, it may be made collect, and the voter

registration office will accept the call.

• Give the voter registration office only the name of the voter as it appears on

the driver’s license or other permissible from of identification.

• The office will check its records, and if the voter’s name is found and he/she is

eligible to vote in the precinct, you will be given the voter’s date of birth.

• Ask the voter to give you his date of birth. If he can give you the correct birth

date, you may allow him to vote.

NOTE: Before permitting the person to vote, you must fill in the information

from the driver’s license or other permissible form of identification on the last

page of the voter registration list.

 

3. Ask the voter to sign the [In primary “appropriate” poll list ] [a voter who wishes to and is qualified to vote in the runoff primary must sign the runoff poll list.] Remind the voter to read the oath printed at the top of the page and that is what he is signing.

The signature on the voter’s identification should be checked against his/her signature on the poll list after the voter signs this list

 

4. Record your manager’s initials in the “MGR INIT/STAT” designated spaces to the right of the voter’s name on the voter registration list.

In primary shade in the appropriate party circle indicating the political party primary in which the voter has chosen to vote • Shade at least 75% of the party block Then, write the page and line number the voter signed on the poll list. Also shade in the circle under the “VOTED” column.

 

5. Check the ELECTION DISTRICTS section located to the right of the voter’s name to determine the district offices on which the voter is entitled to vote.

 

6. Direct the voter to the voting terminal

 

*New Voters Registered by Mail--Presentation of Identification Additional ID May Be Required

New voters who register to vote by mail are required to provide identification prior to voting. Those who did not provide identification when registering to vote will be required to provide this ID at the polls prior to voting in addition to the required voting identification prior to voting.

Poll workers are required to check the Manager’s Initials column on the voter registration list to determine if a person has provided proper identification while registering to vote. If an individual fails to submit a copy of one of the below, the letters “ID” will be printed in the “Manager’s Initials” column. [GHE. I'm still a little unclear on this, but, if I remember correctly from what I was told on calling voter registration, this is already printed in this column--that is, the only thing that the poll manager writes here is his initial if the voter has been cleared to vote, even if only via a provisional ballot. Given presentation of the additional ID, he or she is processed the same way as any other voter.]

 

[New Voters] Manager’s Initials Column Contains the Letters ID

1. Require the voter to show one of the following current items:

valid photo identification (includes passport, employee, student

[On line training: A valid photo ID which may include a driver's license, school ID, business ID, or other type of photo ID. The photo ID is not required to include an address]

or military ID. Does not require an address on ID.)

or

• utility bill

• bank statement

• government check

• paycheck

• government document (voter registration card cannot be used as official government document).

NOTE: If identification other than photo identification is presented, it must show the name and address of the voter (HAVA Section 303(b)(2)).

2. Once the proper ID has been presented, the manager may proceed by placing the manager’s initials in the Manager’s Initials column. These initials will

serve as verification that identification was presented by the voter. The manager does not need to retain a copy of the identification or indicate what type of identification was presented. NOTE: If proper ID is not presented, the manager should still place initials in the “MGR INIT/STAT” column and allow the voter to vote a provisional ballot.

3. The manager should then process the voter as usual, requiring one of the three types of identification needed in order to vote.

If the voter does not provide this additional ID:

1. Offer the voter a provisional ballot.

2. Provide a Notice of Hearing on Provisional Ballots to the voter.

3. Instruct the voter to present this ID prior to the provisional ballot hearing.

 

Voting by Electors Who Are Elderly or Disabled

Curbside Voting

 

Any voter who, because of disability or age 65 or older, cannot enter the polling place in which he/she is registered to vote, or is unable to stand in line to vote, may vote

outside that polling place in the closest available parking area utilizing the vehicle in which he/she has been driven, or has driven to the polls (Section 7-13-771) and the

National Voting Accessibility for the Elderly and Handicapped Act.

Curbside voting signs must be displayed outside in the designated curbside parking

area.

 

1. When the managers are informed that a voter who is elderly or disabled cannot enter the polling place or cannot stand in line to vote, the voter’s identification (see “Presentation of Identification”) must be presented to the managers who must locate the voter on the voter registration list for that precinct and verify that he/she is eligible to vote.

 

2. Upon verification of the voter’s eligibility, 2 managers must take the curbside poll list and the voting terminal [GHE: This is removable from the voting booth as the clerk can show you] to the eligible voter.

NOTE: It is recommended that the managers label a poll list “CURBSIDE”at the beginning of the day. This poll list can be used whenever curbside voting is utilized without interrupting the processing of voters inside the polling place.  

Any poll watchers who are present must be notified and may accompany the managers as observers at the poll watcher’s discretion.

No person other than the voter is permitted in the vehicle in which the voter is casting his/her ballot unless the voter is entitled to assistance in voting (See “Assistance to Voters.”)

IMPORTANT: Managers must remember to mark the voter registration list “Curbside” for all voters who vote a curbside ballot. Simply write “Curbside”next to the voter’s name on the voter’s registration list.

 

Challenge by the Managers (Provisional Ballots)

 

The law provides that if the managers are reasonably sure that the person presenting him/herself is entitled to vote, they will deliver to him/her a ballot (Section 7-13-730). The law also provides that the managers of election should prevent any person from voting when they have good reason to believe that such person has already voted. (For example, ABS is shown next to the voter’s name.) It provides also that they should refuse to allow any person to vote who is not a registered voter or who has become disqualified for any cause to vote in the precinct. It is the duty of managers to challenge the vote of any person who may be known or suspected not to be a qualified voter (Section 7-13-810).

If the managers have good reason to believe that the voter has already voted, or if they believe that he/she has become disqualified to vote, they should challenge his/her vote in the following manner:

 

The managers should explain to the voter the qualifications of a voter. These qualifications are set forth in Sections 7-5-120 and 7-5-220, the 26th Amendment of the United States Constitution, and decision of the United States Supreme Court in Dunn v. Blumstein (March 21, 1972), as follows:

must be at least 18 years of age

• must be a citizen of the United States, a resident of South Carolina, the county, and the voting precinct at which he/she offers to vote

• must neither be now under court order declaring him mentally incompetent nor confined in a public prison—persons on parole time and paid restitution or probation for non-disqualifying crimes should be permitted to vote, as well as those persons waiting trial may vote

• must not have been convicted of a felony or crimes against the election laws, unless he/she shall have served his/her complete sentence, including any probation or parole time and paid restitution, or have been pardoned for such offenses

• must have been duly registered by the board of registration and his/her registration must be dated at least 30 days prior to the election.

 

2. The managers can question the voter as to these qualifications. If the person whose vote is challenged insists that he/she is qualified, and the challenge is not withdrawn, his/her vote will then be received and placed in an envelope on which will be written the name of the voter, and that of the challenger. If voting at the voting place is being done upon a voting machine, the manager shall provide a paper ballot if the vote is challenged, and it shall be placed [GHE: a ballot box should have been delivered to the precinct.]

 

3. The managers should inform both the challenged voter and the challenger of the time and place that the hearing on provisional ballots will be held. The poll manager must fill out Notices of the Provisional Ballot Hearing and give to each challenged voter and challenger at the time the challenge is issued. [GHE: Information will be provided with other information in a black binder delivered to the polling place--"information book."]  Unless the challenger is present at the hearing, produces witnesses in support of the challenge, or provides evidence in writing to support the challenge prior to the hearing, the provisional ballot will be counted. [Emphasis added to the text presented in the manual.] The challenger should make every effort to be in attendance at the hearing. Nothing prohibits the county election commission from continuing any challenge administratively as long as it has evidence to sustain the challenge (Section 7-13-830).

 

Any manager who challenges a person’s vote should be present at the hearing to ensure that the challenge is sustained and to make certain that the vote is not counted if it is ruled invalid. NOTE: All challenges must be made before the time a voter deposits a paper ballot in a ballot box or casts his vote in a voting machine; no challenge will be considered after that time. In the case of absentee ballots, challenges should be made prior to the processing of the absentee ballot envelopes. However, nothing will affect the right of any elector or qualified watcher to challenge the absentee vote of any person which is fraudulent or when the challenge is based on evidence discovered after the vote is cast (Section 7-13-810).

 

Challenges by Watchers and Electors

 

1. If the watcher desires to challenge a voter, he/she must address himself to a manager and not to the voter.

 

2. The manager should then follow the procedure outlined in the preceding section entitled “Challenge by the Managers” (Section 7-13-810). He/she should explain the qualifications of an elector and examine the person as to such qualifications.

 

3. If the challenger specifies the grounds  of his/her challenge, such as commission of a crime, or failure to reside in the precinct, the managers only need explain the appropriate qualifications to the challenged person and examine him as to these.

 

4. If the challenged person insists that he/she is qualified and the challenge is not withdrawn, the vote should be received, placed in the special challenge envelope on which is written the name of the voter, the name of the precinct, the name of the challenger [GHE: I have been told by Horry County voter registration and others, as I understand it is, that, as far as the form is concerned, the poll manager filling out the form is the challenger!] and the reason for challenge; and the challenged vote is then kept separate and apart and not counted, following the procedure outlined above (Section 7-13-830).

 

NOTE: It should be noted that any qualified elector has the right to challenge a person’s vote the same as a watcher. The challenge must be directed to the voter through a manager (Section 7-13-810).

Closing the Polling Place

At 7:00 P.M., announce that the polls are closed. Process any voters remaining in line, and then close the polling place while ensuring anyone is permitted to view closing procedures.

The on-line training course audio and video go through the closing procedures using a green PEB--

  • Close each voting machine
  • Print a totals tape
  • Remove flash cards from voting machines
  • Secure the polling place
  • Account for ballots
  • There is also printed information available at the voting place that is not available for copying and pasting here. The following text copied from on-line training text.

    Results Tapes and Ballot Boxes

    Post results

    Poll managers must post a copy of the results in a conspicuous site at the polling place.

    Open and prepare ballot boxes

    At the close of the election, the managers and clerk immediately open the ballot boxes publicly, and then prepare them for transport. All paper ballots will be counted at election central.

    Accounting for Election Materials

    After managers have completed the closing process, it is important to account for election materials. When managers have accumulated the totals from every opened machine in the precinct, the clerk delivers election materials to the election commission.

    Items delivered

    • Voter registration list
    • Poll list
    • Communications pack
    • All PEBs