As election officials brace for an expected large voter turnout in next week’s election, volunteers will be stationed at several Oklahoma County precincts to help voters and note voting problems.
Volunteer poll monitors will be part of a national, nonpartisan group and will be asking voters to contact them if they experience difficulties voting. Volunteers will wear black T-shirts with the words "Election Protection.”
Members in the group, made up mostly of Oklahoma City University students, will be part of Impact, a national network of law students founded in 2004 at Columbia Law School in New York to monitor voting integrity. Impact is part of the nonpartisan Election Protection coalition, which was formed to ensure all voters have an equal opportunity to cast their ballots.
OCU law student Sean Spivey contacted Impact and arranged for a training session last week with a group representative.
"This is a great nonpartisan way to ensure everyone who has the right to vote has the capability to vote,” he said.
Laura Gleen, who is taking a semester off from Columbia to work on Impact, said volunteers should document when voters have problems and then call a toll-free number to report the issue.
"My experience is that there are a very few polling places that run absolutely smoothly,” Gleen said. "Because of the (expected) record turnout ... that will mean longer lines and confusion with so many new voters being registered.