One of Alverno College’s eight trademarked abilities – effective citizenship – was in full effect when students, faculty and staff were given the day off on presidential Election Day. More than extending an opportunity to vote in the important election, the day off also provided a way for nearly 200 Alverno students to work at the polls.
“It is so important for our students to be engaged, effective citizens,” shared Mary J. Meehan, president of Alverno College. “It is part of the foundation of the Alverno experience. We want our students to make informed choices and be involved in community issues.”
This marked the third time Alverno has offered on-campus, poll worker training sessions as part of the Poll Worker Training Project. The project is funded through a grant – one of only 15 awarded nationally – from the U.S. Election Commission.
As a result of the funding, Alverno and the Milwaukee Election Commission recruit and train students to help with election activities and create materials for the upcoming election, along with coordinating future poll worker recruitment programs. The grant also provides leadership opportunities to two Alverno interns, Isela Ramirez and Elizabeth Flores Bustamante, who assist the Milwaukee Election Commission with grant activities.
In total, the College held 10, two-hour poll worker training sessions, in which participants are instructed on how to serve as election inspectors or site coordinator assistants. Each session is led by representatives – Alverno alumnae Lisa Catlin-Weiner and Naomi Guddie – from the Milwaukee County Election Commission and the City of Milwaukee Election Commission.
Poll worker responsibilities include greeting voters, verifying voters’ polling sites, registering new voters, assisting the chief election inspector at each site, distributing ballots, handling voter machines, helping to maintain traffic flow and other related tasks.