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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:  places. We believe these problems alone provide sufficient justification for the importance of initiatives like Professors at the Polls in future elections within Maryland. The Baltimore Sun editorialized the Friday after the Primary: If there is one lesson to be derived from the many snafus of Maryland primary election, it is the importance of having competent and adequately trained workers staffing the polls. For all the heated debate about technology, security and early voting, the system’s greatest vulnerability turned out to revolve around the quality and quantity of election judges. Most of Tuesday’s worst problems could be traced to the fact that too many of the state 20,000 election workers didn’t show up for work, forgot crucial supplies or couldn’t operate the equipment. 9 3. Professors at the Polls Activities in Maryland Following initial contacts between The Center and AAUP during the summer and early fall 2005, program directors sent letters in mid-November, 2005 to sixty faculty at twenty Maryland institutions of higher learning to attend an informational luncheon and meeting at the AAUP in Washington on January 9, 2006. The purpose of the initial meeting was to enlist a core group of faculty from around the state to serve as election judges and recruit interested faculty and staff. The meeting also served to educate faculty about the need for additional election judges and discussed problems associated with judging in recent Maryland elections. Twenty-four individuals attended the January meeting, including faculty from the following Maryland schools: St. Mary’s College, Salisbury University, Towson State University, University of Baltimore, University of Maryland Baltimore County, University of Maryland at College Park, University of Maryland Eastern Shore, Morgan State, Hood, and Bowie State. Other attendees included representatives from the AAUP, American University, the Pollworker Institute, Just 9 “In Search of Decent Judges,” The Baltimore Sun, September 15, 2006. 7

Authors: Messitte, Zach. and Cain, Michael.
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background image
places.
We believe these problems alone provide sufficient justification for the
importance of initiatives like Professors at the Polls in future elections within Maryland.
The Baltimore Sun editorialized the Friday after the Primary:
If there is one lesson to be derived from the many snafus of Maryland primary
election, it is the importance of having competent and adequately trained workers
staffing the polls. For all the heated debate about technology, security and early
voting, the system’s greatest vulnerability turned out to revolve around the quality
and quantity of election judges. Most of Tuesday’s worst problems could be
traced to the fact that too many of the state 20,000 election workers didn’t show
up for work, forgot crucial supplies or couldn’t operate the equipment.
3.
Professors at the Polls Activities in Maryland
Following initial contacts between The Center and AAUP during the summer and
early fall 2005, program directors sent letters in mid-November, 2005 to sixty faculty at
twenty Maryland institutions of higher learning to attend an informational luncheon and
meeting at the AAUP in Washington on January 9, 2006. The purpose of the initial
meeting was to enlist a core group of faculty from around the state to serve as election
judges and recruit interested faculty and staff. The meeting also served to educate faculty
about the need for additional election judges and discussed problems associated with
judging in recent Maryland elections.
Twenty-four individuals attended the January
meeting, including faculty from the following Maryland schools: St. Mary’s College,
Salisbury University, Towson State University, University of Baltimore, University of
Maryland Baltimore County, University of Maryland at College Park, University of
Maryland Eastern Shore, Morgan State, Hood, and Bowie State. Other attendees included
representatives from the AAUP, American University, the Pollworker Institute, Just
9
“In Search of Decent Judges,” The Baltimore Sun, September 15, 2006.
7


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