posted Mar 2, 2012, 2:13 AM by Ralph Zazula
On Tuesday, March 6th, ShowIDtoVote is asking voters across Massachusetts to help participate in a citizen poll observation effort. The goal of the effort is to increase familiarity with Poll Observation Rules in the Commonwealth. The procedures for citizen’s to follow is fairly simple.
1. Go to a polling location.
2. Check in with polling officials and let them know you wish to be a citizen polling observer.
3. Answer any questions and follow all directions provided by officials.
4. Remember to let the officials know you will be taking photographs and videos of polling location activities.
Take notes of any directions or issues including the names of any polling officials involved. Remember that polling officials are busy and responsible for many activities on election day. Be polite and do not cause any disruptions.
You may choose to poll observe at polling location or locations in the state. Observers are not limited to the towns of residence. Observers may change polling locations but should always check in with officials.
If you are voting at the polling location, it is recommended that you complete your voting before checking in and requesting to be allowed to observe. This is very important and only fair to the polling officials.
Bring a camera or a smartphone. - It is legal to take pictures or videos inside the polling place. It is a public event. If a polling official objects to using a camera, stop using the device until procedures can be clarified. Any and all devices must be configured to be silent, no bells, no buzzers, no rings, no shutter click sounds. Escalate if necessary.
Do’s and Don’tsDO NOT EVER CAPTURE ANY IMAGE THAT SHOWS THE CONTENT OF A BALLOT.
DO NOT Talk with VOTERS!
DO NOT Talk with Poll Workers! Any discussions are to be with the Warden or Official in charge.
DO NOT Challenge a vote if you do not understand voting rules.
DO NOT Interfere with anyone voting!
DO NOT Interfere with officials while doing their jobs!
DO NOT make noise. No talking, No humming, NO PHONE CALLS, No alarms! No sounds!
DO NOT wear or display any buttons, pins, stickers, brochures!
DO NOT record audio of the voter check in or check out procedures!
Set Cell Phones and any other devices to Silent Operation. Cell phones cannot be used to make or receive calls inside the polling place. They are not allowed to ring! Go outside to answer or make calls.
Pre-Program the phone numbers for escalations! - local clerks or election board officials, campaign, attorney, Sec of State, media, relative for bail, etc.
If any problem is still not resolved, a person may contact the Secretary of the Commonwealth’s Elections Division at 617-727-2828 or 1-800-462-8683.
Bring your own food & drink - Do not accept beverages/food from strangers. When drinking takes small sips as needed.
Watch the entire process - Fraud is more than voters voting more often than they should vote. Watch the poll workers, poll officials, visitors and document anything suspicious. Remember that as witnesses we also want to recognize and report when everything goes well!
Be friendly. Most poll workers are great people doing a super job, and we are there to help not hinder the legitimate process. Follow all instructions provided by officials. If something does not seam appropriate, it is OK to question, but avoid argument. Escalate questions and reports.
When the operation is completed or if there are any immediate issues send ShowIDtoVote photos and videos along with information of any problems. Provide details of polling locations that allowed or restricted observation activities.
Remember that an observer has a right to observe with or without devices, but never to do anything in a way that would intimidate a voter. If a voter does not wish to have a photo taken, please try and respect those wishes even if you have a right to observe. Be nice!
Photographs and videos cannot be used for commercial purposes.