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July 25, 2013

Hanging Out at the State House


This morning Kelsey and I headed over to the RI State House to watch the Board of Elections film a poll worker training session. They are using this video as a starting point for improvement. The video will indefinitely be changed in the next few months, but it is a good way for them to take a step back and observe how they have been tackling this training. Once the video is edited they will be able to watch and note what things are missing and what could be explained better. We got our coffee fix and watched the politics of shooting a poll worker training unfold…”move the flag to the left a little more”…”there’s too much glare on the wood paneling behind him”…”we don’t have any example ballots to show?”…”we have to start over, I’m using the wrong Power Point.” There was no talk about how to tailor the training to the needs of the poll workers or how to make the video as engaging as possible. After nearly 3 hours of taping and still one more session (of three total) to tape, Kelsey and I had to leave. But we are very interested to see how the final video is edited and compiled. I think it will be uploaded to the RI Board of Election’s website shortly after.

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Questions I want to ask the officials at the Board of Elections:

-What is the goal of the poll worker training?

-What is your role in the training process?

-How do you want the attendee to feel after he/she has completed the training? And what skills/expertise should they leave with?

I don’t think they have ever asked themselves these questions, and I find that frequently returning back to the original intent of a project can help ground its future trajectory, because sometimes we all lose sight of what we initially set out to accomplish.

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