Poll Worker Recruitment and Training Project 2008

American University's Center for Democracy and Election Management (CDEM) and The Pollworker Institute (PI) received a grant from the U.S. Election Assistance Commission's (EAC) Help America Vote College Program to recruit and train poll workers for the November 4, 2008 general election. CDEM and PI partnered with other D.C. area universities in this recruitment process and collaborated with the D.C. Board of Elections and Ethics and the Maryland and Virginia State Boards of Elections. American University was one of 27 colleges and nonprofit organizations to receive such a grant. Through the Help America Vote College Program, the EAC distributes funds to increase the pool of qualified poll workers and to ease poll worker shortages.

Student Essay Contest. As part of its 2008 Poll Worker Project, CDEM conducted an essay contest for student poll workers. Students who served at the polls on November 4, 2008 were invited to write a brief reflection on their experience and to offer suggestions to improve U.S. elections. A panel of three judges (Dr. George Guess, CDEM Director, Tihana Bartulac-Blanc, CDEM Associate Director, and Jennifer Collins-Foley, President of the Pollworker Institute) reviewed the essays that were submitted and choose the essay by Kiran Gandhi of Georgetown University as the winner. Read her essay here.

Poll Worker Recruitment and Training Project 2006

The "Help America Vote College Program" of the EAC encourages students enrolled at institutions of higher education to assist state and local governments in the administration of elections by serving as nonpartisan poll workers or assistants, and to encourage state and local governments to use the services of the students participating in the College Poll Worker Program. American University was one of the 19 universities across the U.S., and the only university in the Washington D.C. metropolitan area, to have been selected to participate in this program to recruit and train college students to work as poll workers in the 2006 midterm elections.