December 19, 2008

2 Ideas for Elinimating the Shortage of Poll Workers

Some counties in California and elsewhere experience great difficultly in finding enough poll workers to serve at the precincts on Election Day. This shortage can have a significant impact on the quality of the voting experience for voters as well as potentially jeopardize security or other important election operational issues.

Here are two ideas that might help eliminate the pre-election scramble for people.

  • Weekend Elections - That's right. Other countries have elections on a Saturday or Sunday and it works well. Why not move our elections from Tuesdays, which is a product of our agrarian past, to Saturdays when many folks are not working - at least not in the office cubicle. Sure, there would be less time for errands and the family but then the change might yield a higher voter turnout and solve the precinct worker problem.
  • Property Tax Credit - I don't know of any state that has tried this idea but California could be the first. If you are a property owner and sign up to serve at the polls on Election Day, you would be entitled to a $7,000 credit on your home's assessed value (Similar to the Homeowner's Exemption Program in California). This reduction in assessed value would save the property owner around $70 on their property tax bill. In addition to the credit, precinct workers who serve on Election Day would also receive their regular pay from the county.

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