University of Rochester

EVENT: Undergrads Serve as Monroe County Poll Inspectors on Election Day

October 29, 2010

Grant Funds Monroe County Elections Fellowship Program

WHO: Undergraduates at the University of Rochester, Monroe Community College, and Roberts Wesleyan College will have the opportunity to participate directly in the electoral process by working as college poll inspectors, thanks to a grant from the federal Election Assistance Commission through the "Help America Vote Act."

DATE, PLACE: Tuesday, Nov. 2, at select polling sites throughout Monroe County, including Gates-Chili, Henrietta, Brighton, and the City of Rochester.

WHAT: The Election Fellows program is a partnership among the University, Monroe Community College, Roberts Wesleyan College, and the Monroe County Board of Elections. Through the program, 150 students (50 from each school) were trained to work at Monroe County's polling sites, where they will assist voters as they cast their ballots in the November 2nd election. The grant will fund a stipend for each student and help alleviate the costs associated with running the program.

In addition to the 150 undergraduates who will work at the polls, six students were selected as Election Fellows. In this leadership role, Election Fellows participated in a "boot camp" that trained them to use the voting machines, taught recruitment techniques, and introduced them to the bi-partisan election process.

The student poll inspectors will assist voters in making a smooth transition to using New York State's new ImageCast optical voting machines. The technology, which is being introduced to polls this fall, requires voters to fill in bubbles on a paper ballot and insert it into a deposit scanner. In October, the students recieved training on how to use the machines.

4:30 a.m. Students board buses at the University of Rochester (photographers and camera crews are welcome to do live shots on location; please schedule visit in advance).
5 a.m. Students arrive at polling sites.
5:30 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. Students serve as poll inspectors at various polling sites.
10 p.m. Students return to campus.

FOR MORE INFORMATION: For more information about the Election Fellows program, call Melissa Greco Lopes at 585-260-6666.