SHIAWASSEE COUNTY Clerk Caroline Wilson recently hosted 17 county clerks from across the state – including clerks from as far away as Iron, Mackinac and Van Buren counties – for an Elections 101 training workshop at the Shiawassee RESD on Thursday, Feb. 15. The Michigan Bureau of Elections has devoted a large portion of its resources to implementing new software in 2018, and training opportunities have decreased as a result of the statewide rollout. With three elections scheduled for 2018, including the August Primary and November General elections, Wilson decided she would take matters into her own hands and organize a training workshop.

  Oakland County Elections Coordinator Joe Rozell led the workshop, and clerks from nine Michigan counties received an elections primer on everything from deadlines and affidavits of identity to petitions and ballot preparation. Rozell provided tips for canvassing and office planning, and the group spent plenty of time discussing the new voting equipment, which some clerks will be using for the first time this year.

  After emphasizing how important training sessions are in ensuring election equipment operators are confident heading into an election, he shared several tips for improving the efficiency of training sessions. Rozell recommends that training sessions include a hands-on component, such as mock election simulations. He  suggested breaking up training sessions to avoid overloading or burning out trainees.

  He also noted that, while pre-election training sessions will provide election equipment operators with invaluable experience that will translate into increased comfort levels, it is important to use the August election to pinpoint and address any remaining challenges or deficiencies.

Wilson is impressed with the results of the all-day Feb. 15 training session, sharing that every evaluation she received from the clerks in attendance was enthusiastic, and that everyone gave the training session a perfect score overall.

  “I am so happy that everyone had such a positive experience,” Wilson noted following the training. “Almost every clerk who attended was new or has limited experience, and we all walked out of there with a lot more confidence. Some even said they think trainings like this should be mandatory. This was a great setting. It was a small enough group that everyone felt comfortable asking questions, and Joe (Rozell) did a great job.”

(Independent Photo/Graham Sturgeon)

Elections 101 Training Workshop was last modified: February 26th, 2018 by Karen Elford