Some Suggested "Best Practices"
As the Chief Judge for Precinct 19-19, I have found the practices
listed below work well for our precinct. Although many may be unique to
our precinct and operations, some (probably modified) might be useful in
other precincts. I provide more details about some procedures in
Activities before and
after an Election.
There are some related pictures in my
sign portfolio. Also, the albums with
pictures for each election are on my website under the
"Election Preparation and Results"
Google Photos hints if you are
unfamiliar with viewing such albums.
Some of the Special Procedures and Considerations in Precinct 19-19
On return home after Monday Setup
- Communication and documentation
public documentation (explanatory
text files, lists, diagrams, photos, etc.) to communicate
with Precinct Officials, the Coordinator, the BOE Staff,
and Precinct 19-19 voters. I maintain a
website with many of these
files for the current and past elections.
- Maintain many
lists for my own use, e.g,
to-do's, notes about items to be printed, information about
Precinct Officials and assignments, contact data, lists of
items to bring where and when, data about our school
polling place, etc.
- Establish reliable
two-way email communication with
Precinct Officials. Spam filtering has often been a
problem. Email is critical for such things as making
assignments and resolving problems.
- Use the
Nextdoor social network to
communicate with many voters in our precinct, e.g., to
alert them about an upcoming election and provide a link to
"Information Mainly for Precinct
19-19 Voters". This 19-19 web page has much
background information about elections in general, as well
as some details about Precinct 19-19 and its polling
- Give a
handout to each curbside voter. It warns
about carpool lines, noting how to find the current times
to avoid. It also provides a diagram for proper entry to
the curbside area.
- Post a map to a nearby
porta potty, when one is provided
by the Town of Rolesville. Campaign workers can use that
facility; they cannot use the school's restrooms.
- Organizing the Chief Judge hardcopy material
- Use two
3-ring binders to hold:
- The BOE documents, e.g., the Manual and Quick Guides.
- The material I have created, e.g., the things noted
in item 1 above.
Note: I have to make holes
in the BOE documents to put them in a binder. That's hard
to do for the thick Manual -- I use a power drill and a
rat-tail file to make the three holes.
pocket folders to collect and then
distribute items to specific areas at Monday Setup, e.g.,
there is a folder for each of these areas: Ballot Table,
Help Table, Inside Signs, Outside Signs/Curbside, and
clipboards for taking notes
during the day and to make oath and pay sheet signing
- Rearrange the
Chief Judge Binder contents,
gathering all the poll-closing items into just one of its
- Two purple stamped envelopes
- "Reconciliation Form"
- "Election Day Pay Sheet"
- "Oath Sheet"
- "Voters in Line at 7:30 P.M." form
- "Voted Ballots" labels
- "Unvoted Ballots" labels
- "Reconciliation Items" blue plastic bag
- "Emergency Bin Ballots" clear plastic bag
- "Thumb Drive Gold Envelope"
- Setting up the polling place
- Make a
furniture restoration diagram showing
how we should restore the room before leaving on election
night. Creating the diagram involves visiting the polling
place before each election, meeting with school personnel, and
taking many pictures of the current arrangement.
the polling place if there are no appropriate BOE signs or
more are needed.
file jackets with attached sheets of
paper to insert over the top of BOE sign stands. For example,
this allows much larger letters to be put on the Registration
Table letter signs.
masking tape for carpet/floor and
driveway marking, e.g., to make direction arrows. This tape
sticks much better than blue tape in high-wear areas and is
much more visible on dark surfaces such as dark carpet and
asphalt. Note that masking tape does not stick well on wet
red Sharpie to mark on some of the
tape arrows for emphasis. Carefully test that the red ink
will not bleed thru the type of masking tape used.
blue tape, not cellophane tape, to
attach signs to glass doors. We tape signs to the inside of
our glass entry door instead of to the outside; that keeps the
signs out of the weather. It is easy to remove blue tape in
contrast to cellophane tape, which can leave pieces stuck to
the glass. Of course use blue tape for hanging all inside
signs, not just for hanging signs on glass doors.
- Use the
gray bin as the container for
critical items to be moved outside in an emergency. Place it
behind the Ballot Table. During the day, keep the bin empty
except for ballots and ATV bags.
- Take inside and outside
photos of the polling place after
completion of Monday Setup. Make the pictures available to
all via Google Photos.
- Check the pollbooks to make sure they
are organized correctly.
- Get the Precinct 19-19 Last-Minute Absentee List from the
Precinct Officials website.
- Mark with a pink "A" the
associated pollbook labels.
- Use the VRNs to double-check
that the right labels will be marked.
- Use a
PC to print two copies of the
Last-Minute Absentee List.
Note: The current "Chief Judge
Pocket Guide" indicates the Chief Judge should use a cell
phone at Monday Setup to get the Last-Minute Absentee List and
then presumably handwrite the two needed copies. The PC-based
procedure listed above seems easier and much less prone to
After the polls close
After Election Day
- Have the Ballot Table Official complete my
"Ballot Count Reconciliation" worksheet and then prepare a
draft of the standard
"Reconciliation Form". I
include a blank copy of both the worksheet and the form in the
Ballot Table folder. I recommend filling them out using a
pencil to make it easier to correct arithmetic errors.
If this Ballot Table work is done, then
during the later "Reconciliation Items" bag (blue bag)
processing the Chief Judge and Judges can just quickly verify
the draft numbers and then copy the numbers to the official
"Reconciliation Form" in ink. This speeds up the
- Have a designated
Packing-Up Coordinator to organize
all the packing up and furniture restoration while the Chief
Judge and Judges are doing the poll-closing administrative
work with the Tabulator, ballots, bags, etc. Provide detailed
packing-up instructions to help get everything in the
right place. A checkbox is provided for each item.
The packing-up instructions specify how to use a
"Return to Jeff" collection box and a
"Jeff's Signs" collection box to
collect and sort out some of the smaller items.
- Have a
"Blue Bag" collection box for
some "Reconciliation Items" bag (blue bag) material.
This is used during the Tabulator close process and in general
collects many items that will eventually be sealed in the blue
- Post a completed
"Ballot Count Reconciliation" worksheet on my website. This records the counts
we reported to the BOE and how we derived them.
- Prepare a draft
postmortem report and submit it to
the Precinct Officials and Coordinator for comments. After
incorporating their input, post the final report on my website
and notify the BOE Staff. The postmortem includes a link to
the Google Photos album for this election.
Chief Judge for Precinct 19-19