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Preparing for the polls

Preparing for the polls

Election officers gather together on Tuesday afternoon to start preparing for the Nov.5 Election Day.

POSTED October 15, 2013 8:07 p.m.

With the Nov. 5 election around the corner, the people behind the scenes are busy preparing to ensure the polling process goes as smoothly as possible.

Approximately 60 individuals attended the Stanislaus County election officer training held at the War Memorial on Tuesday, many of whom have worked as an election officer for over 20 years.

“There have been times when we’ve had officers who have done this for 50 years or more,” said Marlaine Cox of the Stanislaus County Clerk Recorder Office.

Although only 60 attended Tuesday’s training, Cox says that they are expecting over 650 election officers for the November election.

“We even have some high school students who are helping at the polling sites,” said Cox. “Of course there are requirements on who can do it, such as they have to be 16 and a citizen. But it’s great to see them come out and participate.”

Throughout the training, election officers were informed of their duties for Election Day and given the proper training to make each polling place accessible for all voters. A presentation by the Disability Resource Agency for Independent Living – a local nonprofit seeking to help citizens with disabilities – was included during the training, offering advice on how to make sure each polling place is compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act.

While the election officers were given bundles of paperwork to review during the training, a hands-on equipment training was also provided. Officers worked in groups to review the setup procedure so that when the morning of Nov. 5 comes, they’ll be ready to shout “The polls are open!” at precisely 7 a.m. with their polls ready for voters.

In his fifth year as an election officer, Gil Esquer explained why he keeps coming back.

“The first time I signed up, I just happened to be at the Stanislaus election office and I saw that they needed volunteers,” said Esquer. “Now, five years later, here I am. I am already of the belief that everyone should vote, and so if I can help in the process too while I’m at it, I’m there.” 

Although Cox shared that they are not expecting a large amount of voters this coming election, it remains imperative that the election officers are fully prepared for Nov. 5.

“We’re kind of like customer service, but we’re voter service,” said Cox. “And we’re very fortunate to have a great group of election officers that come back year after year.”

Polls will be open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Nov. 5. To find your polling place, visit

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