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With the June 3rd Statewide Primary Election three weeks away, the County of Santa Clara is sounding the alarm and calling on citizens to volunteer to serve as elections officers and inspectors.  The County also is asking companies to get the word out to employees and to consider giving eligible volunteers a day off with pay to serve on Election Day.

“Our democratic process depends on involvement of the populous,” said County Executive Jeffrey V. Smith.  “Our history calls for a government ‘of the people, for the people, by the people’.  It takes all of us to ensure that we preserve this time-honored tradition.”

County of Santa Clara Registrar of Voters Shannon Bushey says that typically it is more difficult to staff up for a June election, because of the end of the school year. However, usually by a few weeks before an election, most of the volunteers are in place.

“Many of our poll workers are seniors, and fewer and fewer are able to serve this year,” said Bushey. “We need more professionals and young people to step in and take up the slack.”

This year, in addition to the five languages that ballots have been printed in during past years – English, Spanish, Chinese, Vietnamese and Tagalog – four additional languages have been added by the Secretary of State based on the most recent Census data – including, Hindi, Japanese, Khmer, and Korean.

The County of Santa Clara allows its employees to volunteer as elections officers, without a loss of pay or using vacation, and the County is asking area employers to do the same.

“We have a number of large employers here in Santa Clara County that are civic-oriented,” said Smith.  “We are calling on them to encourage employees to register to volunteer without penalty.”

Election Officers are needed throughout the county, especially in the areas of Cupertino, Sunnyvale, Palo Alto, Los Altos, Los Altos Hills, Mountain View, and Stanford. Anyone who is registered to vote in the state of California or a legal permanent resident can become an Election Officer. Experience is not necessary as training is provided.  Volunteers receive a stipend of $95 – $180, a bit more for the required bi-lingual language skills.

Election Officer Training Next Week

The Registrar of Voter’s Office provides training to Election Officers at various locations throughout the county.  The 3-hour classroom training sessions are scheduled for morning, afternoon and evenings, from Monday through Saturday. Training courses will be available through May 24th.  During the training, volunteers will learn the proper procedures for opening and closing polls, instructing voters, setting up equipment, and ensuring compliance with polling place procedures.  Two weeks prior to each election we offer an open lab where elections officers go for one-on-one assistance, if needed.

To volunteer as an Election Officer please call: (408) 299-POLL [7655] or apply online at www.sccvote.org.

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