Carol Rennahan knew early on Tuesday’s poll that something wasn’t right.
Foster Twp. The election judge checked the papers on his four machines in the ward and found them low — really low.After 199 people voted, there were only 5 papers left. Five more people have since voted, she said.
I ran out of paper and it was 9:30 am
Lenahan was not surprised to learn later that she was not the only judge dealing with paper shortages. She was already dealing with setup issues, dates that needed to be reset on the machine, and low battery.
As a new judge in 2022, Lenahan had previously worked in polls as a clerk and knew what to expect. But there are just too many scenarios that can and do go wrong on a given election day, and two hours of training isn’t enough to cover them all, Lennahan said.
She only received two hours of training in the spring and fall, she said.
Judges, clerks and inspectors will need more comprehensive training, followed by refresher courses, according to Lennahan, who has worked at City Hall since 1972.
She believes the county, through one of its state departments (the State Department or even the Department of Community and Economic Development), should arrange all-day classes for polling place workers.
“Two hours is not enough,” said Lennahan. “We do this twice a year he does. People forget what to do.”
The books provided are not always enough, she said.
Lenahan said the training should be comprehensive and should include troubleshooting machines and setups, review of supply checklists, procedures and protocols, and should be hands-on with question-and-answer sessions.
Someone in West Hazleton may have had X, Y or Z problems last year. The solution they found might help someone in another community in the next election, she said.
“We need more than two hours,” said Lennahan. “I need a full day session with a lunch break.”
Scheduling should be done over multiple days, and participants should be offered a variety of times and options, she said.
The new clerk at the polling place even told her he didn’t know there was so much they needed to know and thought he was just greeting people and watching the votes.
Lenahan suggested that course completion certification for pollsters could be a good step forward.
But first, she said, the county needs to get the elections office right so it’s free of paper shortages, preventable malfunctions, and obsolete or unchecked machinery and equipment.
“I’ve been in government all my life, so this isn’t surprising,” Lennahan said. How many people would say that?
Before the precinct paper ran out, Lennahan tried to contact the county elections office. She was unable to answer the phone and her voicemail her box was full. Another phone number rang endlessly, she said.
Lennahan said he overcame the shortage. Some say provisional ballots and emergency ballots, others will come back. Everyone she said she would be back in came back, she said, and she said she knew voters and people in her community.
The extended voting hours due to paper shortages had no effect on her precinct, as only three voters turned up between 8:00 and 10:00 p.m.
Nearly 600 people voted on her ward on Tuesday, and Lenahan said she started the day with four machines and 204 sheets of paper.
Lenahan later learned the county tried to contact her on Tuesday morning, but the call was made to her home phone.
https://www.indianagazette.com/news/state/luzerne-county-election-judge-says-more-training-needed/article_c91b35c4-b5be-5b41-ae20-ba87a4428b18.html A Lucerne County election judge says more training is needed.state