ACLU of Georgia

Poll Worker Recruitment Program & Resources

During the June 9, 2020, primary election, Georgia voters experienced long lines, extreme delays, equipment malfunctions, and other problems with in-person voting caused by a significant shortage of well-trained poll workers. Many Georgia poll workers dropped out due to pandemic-related concerns, and those that remained lacked hands-on training with Georgia’s newly implemented voting system technology. Procedural blind spots resulted in an improper use of provisional ballots, failure to legally cancel absentee ballots for in-person voters, and early closures of polling locations. 

Leading up to and on November 3, Georgia voters cast their ballots in the general election. In order to prevent a recurrence of similar voting obstacles, the ACLU of Georgia worked to recruit and prepare qualified poll workers and aimed to be a source of information for all poll workers preparing for Election Day.

Poll workers in Georgia may use the resources below to prepare for working the polls during these runoff elections.

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Poll Worker Resources:

Anyone who cannot vote by regular ballot has the right to vote by provisional ballot. Unless the voter’s ballot has already been cast during early voting or their absentee ballot has already been received by their county, no voter should leave the polling place without casting a ballot. Use these resources to properly issue provisional ballots to voters who are unable to vote using the touchscreen unit. However, because a provisional ballot is not guaranteed to be counted, anyone who IS allowed to vote on a touchscreen unit should be allowed to do so. A provisional ballot is the “best last option.” Importantly, if a voter has to cast a provisional ballot because they could not show acceptable ID, inform the voter that they have three days after the election to contact their board of elections and show acceptable identification to “cure” their ballot.

In Georgia, any voter with a disability or over the age of 75 who arrives at the polling place between 9:30 am and 4:30 pm does not have to wait in line.

Voters have a right to voter assistance. Any voter has the right to select someone to join them in the booth to help with vision, reading, or use of voting equipment. This includes bringing in a translator. Voters may select anyone except their employer, agent of their union, a candidate on the ballot, or a family member of the candidate (unless voter requiring assistance is related to the candidate). 

When voting on the touchscreen ballot marking device (BMD), some accessible options are available in the top right corner of the screen, including language, text size, screen reader, high contrast view, and sip and puff technology.

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