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California Briefing / SACRAMENTO

Poll workers get new training

September 19, 2008|Patrick McGreevy

Most counties appear to be complying with a law requiring training of poll workers, but some are falling short in making sure voters are properly accommodated at their polling places, according to a state audit released Thursday.

Auditor Elaine Howle found that current training guidelines do not cover the rights of decline-to-state voters, those who have registered to vote without declaring a party affiliation.

About 50,000 decline-to-state voters failed to mark an additional bubble on their ballots indicating that they intended to vote in the Democratic or American Independent primaries during the Feb. 5 elections. Some voters complained that poll workers didn't tell them of the additional requirement. The ballots were not initially counted, but were tallied later after a flood of complaints.

"The Legislature should consider amending the Elections Code to explicitly direct the [secretary of state] to periodically update its poll worker training guidelines and to monitor county adherence to these standards," the audit concluded.

-- Patrick McGreevy

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