Help Protect Democracy in California: Join ALC's Poll Monitoring Program

December 21, 2023 News

When: Saturday, March 2nd or Tuesday, March 5th, 2024

Where:
Alameda, Butte, Contra Costa, Fresno, Madera, Marin, Merced, Monterey, Napa, Placer, Sacramento, San Francisco, San Joaquin, San Mateo, Santa Clara, Solano, Sonoma, Stanislaus, Sutter, and Yolo Counties*

Two California poll monitor volunteers standing side by side. Both are wearing masks and orange stickers that say "Non-Partisan Poll Observer."

Starting in the 1990s, ALC has conducted non-partisan poll monitoring in California’s elections. The goal of our program is to help ensure that our elections are administered smoothly and that all eligible voters can cast their ballots freely and fairly. Today, our poll monitoring program is the largest non-partisan election protection program in California and operates in partnership with California Common Cause and the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights of the San Francisco Bay Area. We use the information volunteer poll monitors provide to resolve problems during elections and to improve the process for future elections.

We are seeking volunteers to conduct poll monitoring during the March 2024 primary elections. Volunteer poll monitors will travel to five polling sites during a four-hour shift. During your visits, you will check for language and disability access (e.g., translated materials, disability compliance, etc.), assist any voters who are encountering problems, and ensure voter harassment and disenfranchisement do not occur. You will be extensively trained and equipped with the tools to resolve a wide variety of issues. Volunteer poll monitors will have access to a legal support hotline that will help resolve problems you may encounter.

This is an in-person volunteer opportunity and you will be asked to enter indoor voting locations where you will encounter poll workers and voters who are not wearing masks. Please take this into consideration when deciding whether you would like to participate in our program.

Volunteer Requirements:

  • No poll monitoring experience necessary
  • Legal and non-legal backgrounds welcome
  • At least 16 years old
  • Basic English skills (limited English fluency is completely fine)
  • No language skills beyond English are required, but we are especially seeking volunteers who can read Spanish, Chinese, Vietnamese, Tagalog, Punjabi, Korean, Hmong, Khmer, and Hindi to verify the presence of translated election materials
  • You do not have to be a U.S. citizen or a registered voter
  • Access to a car is strongly preferred. Unfortunately, given the lack of reliable transportation alternatives in certain counties and locations, we cannot guarantee that volunteers without access to a car will be able to participate in the program, although we will try our best to assign voting sites that are accessible by public transit or pair such volunteers with partners who have access to a car.

Time Commitment: In addition to a four-hour shift, volunteers should prepare to travel up to 90 minutes to their assigned polling places on March 2 or March 5. Volunteers will also need to attend a 90-minute online training session prior to participating. (Attorneys barred in California will receive 1.5 MCLE credit hours for attending the online training.) ALC makes every effort to reduce travel time and consider each volunteer’s preferences while still ensuring that coverage needs are met.

Transportation Stipends:
To help offset transportation costs, ALC offers volunteers a $100 stipend after completing the program. However, please note that attorneys and law students who are participating in the program to fulfill pro bono requirements or MCLE credit hours are not eligible to receive this stipend.

Ready to be a part of our program? Be sure to sign up to volunteer by the February 9, 2024 deadline.

Register for one of the following trainings below (do not sign up for a training until you have filled out the volunteer form):

Training #1: Tuesday, February 13, 2024 (6:00-7:30 pm)

Training #2: Wednesday, February 21, 2024 (6:00-7:30 pm)

Training #3: Thursday, February 22, 2024 (6:00-7:30 pm)

Training #4: Saturday, February 24, 2024 (10:00-11:30 am)


Thank you for your interest! Please email pollmonitor@advancingjustice-alc.org with any questions or concerns.

* Interested volunteers who live in Southern California (particularly Kern, Kings, Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino, San Diego, and Tulare Counties) should sign up with California Common Cause.