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Maryland Professors at the Polls: A Pilot Project Encouraging Faculty (and Students) to Serve as Poll Workers in the 2006 Elections
Unformatted Document Text:  higher learning. 6. A Postscript During the 2007 legislative session in Annapolis Delegate John Bohanan (D-St. Mary’s) introduced House Bill 366, Election Administration and the Recruitment and Retention of Election Judges. 20 The bill mandated that no classes be held in the state higher education system on General Election Day in November, that polling places be opened on public college and university campuses where more than 500 students, faculty, or staff vote, and that college-level credit be offered for students who serve and go through the training process. A provision also allowed for split shifts at the polls and incentives to encourage participation by workers as judges. The co-directors testified on behalf of the legislation along with students from St. Mary’s College of Maryland who supported the idea. Opposition to the legislation was bipartisan with legislators complaining that college students shouldn’t be singled out and that they might turn the Tuesday holiday into a four-day weekend. While the bill ultimately failed in Committee a modified version passed the House, only to be killed in the Senate. The legislation and the idea of using students and professors as election judges gained currency in the state and on campuses. At St. Mary’s students received a valuable lesson in the legislative process and the idea received wide media attention across the state. 21 The College has endorsed the idea of having students excused from classes on 20 http://mlis.state.md.us/2007RS/billfile/hb0366.htm , (Accessed January 17, 2008) 21 For example: Alan Brody, “Children Are Our Future,” The Gazette of Politics and Business, November 10, 2007; Phillip Rucker, “On Campus,” The Washington Post, February 20, 2007; Jesse Yeatman, “Professors, College Students Could Help Staff Elections,” The St. Mary’s County Enterprise, February 23, 2007; Stephanie Tracy, “Bill Seeks to Tap College Students for Election Jobs,” The Washington Examiner, 18

Authors: Messitte, Zach. and Cain, Michael.
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higher learning.
6. A Postscript
During the 2007 legislative session in Annapolis Delegate John Bohanan (D-St.
Mary’s) introduced House Bill 366, Election Administration and the Recruitment and
Retention of Election Judges.
The bill mandated that no classes be held in the state
higher education system on General Election Day in November, that polling places be
opened on public college and university campuses where more than 500 students, faculty,
or staff vote, and that college-level credit be offered for students who serve and go
through the training process. A provision also allowed for split shifts at the polls and
incentives to encourage participation by workers as judges.
The co-directors testified on behalf of the legislation along with students from St.
Mary’s College of Maryland who supported the idea. Opposition to the legislation was
bipartisan with legislators complaining that college students shouldn’t be singled out and
that they might turn the Tuesday holiday into a four-day weekend. While the bill
ultimately failed in Committee a modified version passed the House, only to be killed in
the Senate.
The legislation and the idea of using students and professors as election judges
gained currency in the state and on campuses. At St. Mary’s students received a valuable
lesson in the legislative process and the idea received wide media attention across the
state.
The College has endorsed the idea of having students excused from classes on
20
, (Accessed January 17, 2008)
21
For example: Alan Brody, “Children Are Our Future,” The Gazette of Politics and Business, November
10, 2007; Phillip Rucker, “On Campus,” The Washington Post, February 20, 2007; Jesse Yeatman,
“Professors, College Students Could Help Staff Elections,” The St. Mary’s County Enterprise, February 23,
2007; Stephanie Tracy, “Bill Seeks to Tap College Students for Election Jobs,” The Washington Examiner,
18


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