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July 20, 2013

Poll Worker Training

by keelapotter

Warm greetings (literally 93 degrees) from Providence! The pre-college, CE, and summer camp students have swarmed college hill. Needless to say, Kelsey and I are the exact opposite of lonely.

As we continue our research, poll worker training has been one of the target areas that we have addressed. A few weeks ago we met with a Jen Giroux who is the Interim Associate Vice President for Professional Studies and CE at RI College. She has been working with the RI Board of Elections to help them assess their current poll worker training program. She expressed to us that the biggest challenge for her was that changing one seemingly minuscule thing could then go on to unintentionally shift something else.

Jen, with the help of the RI Board of Elections, recently conducted a follow up survey that was sent to 766 RI poll workers from the 2012 general election. It is the first follow up survey they have done, and they have seen a high survey return rate…meaning people are eager to give feedback about their training and election day experiences (UH HUH, OH YEAHHHH!). The results have not been compiled yet, but we are both very excited to see the responses!

I have been thinking a lot lately about multiple intelligences and learning styles; specifically how my past experience in a progressive school that embraced these methodologies has influenced how I understand my election research this summer. After our meeting with Jen, I continued to think about the different kinds of training our society embeds into our everyday lives: CPR, drivers education, and lifeguard certification among the many others. What’s interesting to me is how these crucial training efforts are delivered to the citizen and how effectively the things learned are sustained. How can poll worker training be tailored to all kinds of learners? How can the training become an experience that empowers them?

Keela

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