Poll Worker Training: Serving Diverse Voters


[upbeat music] – Welcome to poll worker training on how to serve diverse voters. As a poll worker, your service
to Utah citizens is vital. Voters come to the polls
with varied opinions, backgrounds, and interests. Our election system serves all of them. Each has the right to vote
privately and independently. To help you prepare to serve voters who may need accommodations, we’ve invited some Utah
voters to share some advice. – What poll workers can
do to help a blind person navigate into the polling area is, first, acknowledge that they’re
there by the front door, offer their assistance in
the form of offering an elbow or walking next to the person. – If they want to introduce themselves or I may introduce myself to them so that they know who
they’re working with. And, then, usually what I tell them is, if they want to give me
turn by turn directions, but honestly, moreover, I prefer just a little basic conversation, even just, “Oh, how’s your day going?” Because I can hear their voice
and follow them from there. – [Tina] When in doubt, just ask. So having a poll worker
be aware of the situation and then asking what is the
best way to assist the blind. – If someone were to reach for my cane, I would sort of feel
disoriented ’cause I’m trying to use it to navigate around
obstacles like the table or to find the little section
where the voting machine is. – When interacting with
a service animal team, particularly a guide dog
team, first and foremost address the person that dog
is accompanying you with. Don’t interact with the guide dog. And, the reason being
is, ’cause a guide dog, just like the poll worker, has
a job that they have to do. And if they become distracted, they can’t perform to
their job to the fullest. – If they just say something simple like, remind me that the little
cut off corner of the ballot goes up to the top on the right, then from there I’m pretty good, now that I know how to use the machine. If they don’t know how to use the machine, just be willing to answer
the individual’s questions. – Using jargon that matches
what’s braille-labeled on the machine is really important to us. So being consistent with the verbiage. – [Interpreter’s voice] I think
the first and most important thing is to have patience when you’re
talking with a deaf person. Not because that person is different, but just trying to set up
a communication standard. Once that’s set up, then you’ll know what way they want to communicate. Some prefer writing back and forth. Some will just gesture back and forth. Some will even use their phone and type out a message on the screen. There are a lot of different
ways to do visual communication and that’s the most important part. It’s also important that, if the person is using a
sign language interpreter, to always look at the deaf person. For example, right now
I have an interpreter voicing for me while I’m signing. But the camera’s pointed at me because I’m the one
doing the communication. So it’s important to make eye
contact with the deaf person and the person who’s
conveying the information. – We as older voters like
different levels of help. Just ask us what we need. It’s a good idea to set up some chairs so a voter like me can sit while we wait. – The best thing a poll worker can do is ask me what help I might need, but don’t assume that I need help. And don’t do something for me. And the kind of help
somebody like me might need is assistance getting an ID out, or signing the voting book. Or tilting the screen or
positioning the machine so that I can reach it. – Anyone has the right to
have a person of their choice assist them with voting. – When I vote, I would like
my brother to go with me. – Mindy can choose anyone to help her, as long as its not her boss,
her union representative, or a candidate. She can even ask for
help from a poll worker. – Please talk to me, not my helper. I’m the voter. – The person providing
assistance may not advocate for the voter to vote for or against any issue or candidate on the ballot. The person providing assistance should also keep the
voter’s choices private. – My experience with being a
voter that uses a wheelchair, there are two main things that
I really want to hit home. One, if I need assistance,
I’ll ask for it. Please don’t touch me or my chair. Two, I just need enough space to be able to get behind the ballot marking device. Make sure that the table is
far enough away from a wall that I can maneuver safely,
but also still private. There are lots of
different wheelchair types. I use a small and compact one
that fits into many spaces. Other chairs will be bigger
and require more space. A good rule of thumb is
about five feet of area that you want clear so that
they can maneuver easily to the ballot marking device. Assisting voters with a
variety of needs is simple. Be respectful and ask how you can help. That way each voter can let you know what works best for them. Thank you for serving the
needs of all of our voters. [upbeat music]

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