Election Day in Collier County, Nov. 6, 2018. (Photo: David Silverberg)
November 20, 2019 by Marilyn J. Michales
The Goals of the Voter Protection Team are to make certain that each person who is registered to vote has unimpeded access to cast his/her ballot and to assure there is compliance with Florida voting rights statutes.
The Voter Protection Team (VPT) will appreciate help in the following ways:
Volunteer members on the VPT to assist with:
- Identifying and training Poll Watchers* and Poll Greeters** (PW & PG);
- Assisting with scheduling and preparation of materials for training of PW & PG;
- Administrative VPT tasks: communications with and logistics of scheduling of PW & PG, responding to on-going questions and concerns of PW & PG both before and during the election cycles, and general VPT organizational needs;
- Monitoring Canvassing Board Meetings;
- Scheduling training and arranging, when possible, web cam training;
- Communications with Supervisor of Elections Office including specifically certifying Poll Watchers;
- Preparation for a possible Election Recount;
- Communications and coordination with Collier County Democrats DEC, Clubs, and Caucuses;
- Communications with Candidates’ Staff;
- Such other efforts consistent with our goals; and
- Volunteers to serve as Poll Watchers; and
- Volunteers to serve as Poll Greeters.
The legal aspect involved with Voter Protection issues is the overriding concern. Consequently, to augment and expand the VPT and to secure folks for the positions of Poll Watchers and Poll Greeters we are looking for folks with the more specific skill sets and backgrounds.
But please know, everyone with an interest in Voter Protection issues will be enthusiastically welcomed!
If at all possible we are seeking, for example:
(1.) Lawyers (retired and active), accountants (retired and active), retired judges, active or retired business owners, folks with management experience, paralegals etc. (only because these folks may be more willing and comfortable with being in potentially confrontational settings with the legal issues relating to Voters’ Rights and the statutes regulating Florida voting);
(2.) We will need volunteers who have considerable organizational skills, administrative experience, ability to work within deadlines, communications talent and computer skills;
(3.) For Poll Greeters, we will need people who are familiar with and willing to discuss the political issues, the candidates and the various items on the ballots;
(4.) Folks who can be specifically trained on the management and oversight of ballots at each precinct to assure we have proper records in the event of a recount; and
(5.) We may have the added task of assuring that voters who live outside the Gated Communities are allowed unrestricted access each day of voting (this may require us to provide more specific training).
In summary, in addition to the specific skills needed by the Poll Watchers and the Poll Greeters, the VPT will need volunteers with a variety of skills consistent with the VPT Goals.
Specifically for Poll Watchers and Poll Greeters:
- A Poll Watcher is someone who, after training, will be posted, in shifts, inside a precinct voting location to oversee the Collier County Precinct workers to make certain there is compliance with Florida voting rights statutes.
**A Poll Greeter is someone who, after training, will be posted, in shifts, just outside the mandatory perimeter adjacent to a precinct voting location to assist voters as they come to vote; to answer questions, pass out voting information etc.
The Poll Watchers and Poll Greeters are critical to achieving our goal. The time commitment for these tasks will essentially be:
- Attend a 2-hour training program. Training dates in 2020 will be held in February and then again in the fall of 2020 in advance of the Primary and the General election Voting days. Multiples dates and locations will be scheduled to try to accommodate the needs of our volunteers; and hopefully through the use of live Web Cam sessions.
- Poll Watchers and Poll Greeters will need to be available and willing to commit time specifically during each of the election cycles, including the Presidential Primary March 17, Primary (including early voting August) and General (including early voting);
Anyone interested should feel free to call me or send an email if you have any questions.
Marilyn J. Michales, Esq.
1320 Little Blue Heron Court
Naples, Florida 34108 952-210-8033