National Civic Summit - Dr. Ruth A. Charles, Josh Malchow, and Eric Wahl

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National Civic Summit - Dr. Ruth A. Charles, Josh Malchow, and Eric Wahl

  1. 1. Developing Students to Be Public Servants National Civic Summit - July 2009 Dr. Ruth A. Charles, Josh Malchow, Eric Wahl Winona State University, MN;
  2. 2. Hanging Chads?
  3. 3. 2000 Election - Florida
  4. 4. Voter Intent?
  5. 5. Poll Workers/Election Judges • Resident of state and registered voter • Signed up to work • National average age 72 years • Voluntary Public Servants
  6. 6. Class Project- Election Judge • My own experience • 2006- 10 students; 2008- 75 students • U.S. Election Assistance Commission grant- “Help America Vote: College Poll Worker Program” • Federal Priority to get more people involved.
  7. 7. Being an Election Judge • Made it a class assignment • Individuals had to apply and receive a position as an election judge • Had to be trained by city/county staff on being an election judge • Grant assisted in mileage and lodging • Pre/post surveys (n=75) “Carnegie Foundation Political Engagement Survey” • Focus groups (n=66)
  8. 8. Non-Partisan Service Learning Activity • Registration for poll worker requires declaring a political party • Issue of party balancing at the polls – Only visible when there is a voter who needs help • Fairness • Importance of human dignity regardless of political affiliation
  9. 9. Sample • 75 students- all FT undergraduate, • 80% 18-24 yrs old with 75% of them women, • 75% A/B students, • 34 SWK students, 41 other majors, • 79% employed while going to school, • 87% majority ethnic status.
  10. 10. Sample (continued) • 95% had never been an election judge before, • 97% did the general election, while 25% did both the primary and general election. • 71% did it outside of their own precinct. • 929 hours served to community
  11. 11. What was your overall experience as an election judge?
  12. 12. How much effect do election judges have in ensuring election administration is fair, accessible, and accurate?
  13. 13. Would you ever be an election judge if it weren’t for this class assignment? (n=66)
  14. 14. Encouraged students to express their own political opinions
  15. 15. Guide students to understand the connections between course material and current issues and problems in our society
  16. 16. Help students consider political issues from a variety of perspectives
  17. 17. MN Secretary of State: Desired Qualifications of an Election Judge • Ability to communicate clearly with voters • Comfortable with assisting and serving a diverse population • Ability to remain impartial and not exert influence over voters • Physical and emotional stamina • Attention to detail • General math skills • Fluency in a second language • http://www.sos.state.mn.us/home/index.asp?page=585
  18. 18. Misunderstandings regarding Election Judges’ qualifications • 1- You do not need to be a senior citizen to be a election judge. • 2- It is not volunteering, but a paid position. • 3- Party Balancing at the polling places does not mean that you need to promote a political party at the polls. • 4-MN law supports getting time off to work at the polls.

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