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October 28, 2008

Election Day Concerns




Dear Mayor:

With the economy in a turmoil and unprecedented interest in the outcome among the electorate, few would argue with the fact that the presidential election taking place on Tuesday, November 4, is a historic one.  The Municipal Clerks Association of New Jersey has asked that we remind municipal officials of some of the important issues to remember to ensure that this important election goes as smoothly as possible.

  1. Poll workers must be carefully trained to handle provisional ballots, to obtain accurate results from the machines, and to determine whether or not prospective voters are eligible to cast a ballot.
  2. Challengers must not be allowed to interfere with voters and poll workers at polling places, while the essential role of challengers in addressing issues is respected.
  3. If schools where people vote are not closed to students on Election Day, safety issues may be created for students, voters may disrupt classes, and parking problems may be created for voters.  It may be useful to have some discussions with the school administration to be prepared for those issues.
  4. If the schools do not close, municipal officials must be aware of the above problems.  At the very least, schools should avoid having other special events on that day and keep students away from the polling area.
  5. People working for the candidates who are in the polling locations when the polls close in order to get the results must not be allowed to interfere with the poll workers trying to do their jobs and poll workers should announce the results clearly so that those seeking the results are able to obtain the information.
  6. A special effort should be made to encourage those who are able to vote during the day to do so, in order to reduce the congestion at the traditionally heavy voting time after 5 pm.

These issues are always important at election time, but with the unusually large turnout expected for this election, extra care must be taken by all involved to ensure that everything proceeds in an orderly fashion on November 4.


                                                                        Very truly yours,


                                                                        William G. Dressel, Jr.
                                 Executive Director




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