Media Advisory
  February 19, 2004
To: City Desks, Assignment Desks, Education Writers
Subject: Training for Student Election Poll Workers, March Primary
Date/Time: Tuesday, February 24, 2004 – 10:30 a.m. - Noon
Place: Instructional Building Room 1001 – - Los Angeles Mission College, 13356 Eldridge Avenue, Sylmar

The average age of poll workers in Los Angeles County is 72. New poll workers are needed to keep our voting tradition efficient and effective, according to the Los Angeles County Registrar of Voters. Those are the reasons behind a partnership between the Los Angeles Community College District (LACCD) and the Registrar’s office – a partnership to train new poll workers from among the ranks of community college students.

Nearly 300 political science students at Mission College have signed up for the program and will be the first in the district to undergo the training. To make the training realistic, Katie Mac, student poll worker program coordinator, will create a mock voting area within a classroom. The training site will be outfitted with a polling booth, InkaVote machine, demonstration ballots, ballot box, sample roster, "I Voted" stickers, bilingual signs, flags, "no electioneering" signs, gray secrecy sleeves, and provisional envelopes.

Students who complete the training and serve as poll workers during the March 2 California Primary Election will receive a stipend of $80. In addition to the stipend, Mission College students will receive "lab" credit for their participation.

In launching the program – the first in the state – Registrar Conny McCormick described the need for poll workers as a "national crisis." LACCD Trustee Warren Furutani said recruiting community college students as poll workers is a logical solution to the problem. "They have a familiarity with computers, as touch screen voting machines replace punch card balloting, and they speak the multiple languages of a given community because that’s where they’re from."

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