Poll Workers Needed

From Bob McGaw:

Dear Committee members: 

I spoke with Ellen Cushman, Town Clerk, about restrictions on political activities applicable to people who work at the polls. She’s always happy to have more folks trained and available so the pool is large to draw from. Here’s the scoop: There are some basic rules:

1. We prefer that you don’t  work at your own precinct’s voting site if you are anticipating being on the ballot, as a Town Mceting Member or any other office. If you are running for a town-wide office, you shouldn’t work the polls that day.

2. There’s no campaigning or electioneering within 150 ft of the polls on Election Day:

No one can wear political buttons etc., while working at the polls; you can’t electioneer or speak to the voters encouraging them to vote a certain way. And you can’t chide them for being a Republican, Democrat, or Uenrolled. If you park within the 150-foot radius you should remove your  car-top advertisements and your bumper stickers that apply to the election that day.

3. Prior to election day, you are free to canvass, hold signs, have a sign on your lawn, have a bumper sticker, wear a button, make a donation, email people encouraging them to vote, etc. but if you are serving as a Campaign Manager or Treasurer, we prefer you not work that specific election.

Nothing very unexpected there.

Once you are trained you will be on a list available to be selected to work on an election day. If you have been a very vocal, and very publicly visible coordinator for a candidate or issue, then the Town Clerk may well suggest that you not work at the polls, on the theory that if you have become so publicly identified with a candidate or issue that voters would likely associate you with a suggestion to vote for a candidate or issue, it might be seen as unfair pressure on voters. This decision will be made on a case-by-case basis based on the circumstances. The idea is that we should avoid giving the impression that the candidate’s election committee people are also running the voting on election day.

If you’ re interested, please email or call the Town Clerk’s office. Training in advance of the April 30th Special State Primary is about to be scheduled so you’ll want your name on the list. No training, no working, it’s that simple.

Phone:  617-993-2600   or email to townclerk [at] belmont-ma [dot] gov   and provide your name, precinct and phone and email address.