BOISE, Idaho, March 29, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- Get-out-the-vote campaigns on college campuses have often had anemic results. Now, a hands-on partnership in Ada County, Idaho, is bringing college students to the polls for a different reason – to work.
A joint project of the Ada County elections office and a community service group at Boise State University, this project enlisted students to run a mock election, provide tech support for new voting equipment and staff polls on Election Day.
"We started training last October, and students helped with our November general election. It was gratifying to see so many return for the March primary. They were excited to be involved again," said Drew Maffei, Ada County Elections Specialist and training lead.
Last fall, Maffei reached out to Dr. Andrew Giacomazzi, sponsor for the School of Public Service's Leadership & Engagement living-learning community in Taylor Hall, where residents regularly perform public service as part of dormitory life. All the students are freshmen from the Northwest, Mississippi and Massachusetts. More than 20 students joined Dr. Giacomazzi in multiple training sessions with the Ada County elections office.
Tech-savvy students were especially welcome as the County conducted the first election with its new state-of the-art election system, Verity® Voting by Hart InterCivic. On Election Day, each member of a student tech team made morning and evening rounds to a dozen polling locations to ensure that the Chief Judge at every site was satisfied with the system setup. A second group of students provided help desk technical support, while a third worked side-by-side with election staff at the polls.
"Student workers in this year's program ran the gamut from pre-med to political science majors," said Maffei. "Helping with elections gave these young voters insight into the challenges inherent in the democratic process."
Ada County anticipates this will be an ongoing program with new recruits each year. Next, the County plans to prepare the student election workers to manage the campus-located precinct. The students will also help roll out electronic poll books when the County adopts new technology to manage voter check-in at the polling places.
With 215,000 registered voters, Ada County goes to the polls again for the May 17th Primary. Some of the youngest participants may help run the show.
In 2015 Ada County selected Hart InterCivic's Verity Voting system as part of a two-year program to replace aging election equipment. For more information on the Verity Voting system, please visit www.hartintercivic.com/verityoverview.
Austin-based Hart InterCivic is a full service election solutions innovator, partnering with state and local governments to deliver secure, accurate and reliable elections. Working side-by-side with election professionals for more than 100 years, Hart is committed to helping advance democracy one election at a time. The Hart mission fuels passionate customer focus and a continuous drive for technological innovation. The company's new Verity Voting system makes voting more straightforward, equitable and accessible—and makes managing elections more transparent, more efficient and easier.
To view the original version on PR Newswire, visit:http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/ada-county-trains-boise-state-students-as-election-workers-300242019.html
SOURCE Hart InterCivic, Inc.