Plan for the Worst

The EAC is giving both voters and LEOs encouragement to be prepared for election day.  Here is an excerpt from their current press release.

Under its Election Management Guidelines program, the EAC has issued a chapter on Contingency Planning and Change Management and the Contingency and Disaster Planning Quick Start Guide. The EAC also held a public meeting about contingency planning in July. These resources, including a webcast of the public meeting, are available at Some of the steps EAC recommends include:

  1. Create and implement an action plan. Begin by setting a goal, defining its purpose, and specifying objectives.
  2. Do not wait for situations to arise before addressing them. Be proactive and learn to regularly identify and assess contingencies; involve staff, election workers and other stakeholders in this process.
  3. Contact state and local department of emergency preparedness and request copies of existing action plans and information on available resources. These plans and resources can provide the template for developing a specific operational plan as it relates to elections, including pre-election, early voting, Election Day and post-election activities.
  4. Coordinate with all levels of government and utility companies. Establish a designated contact person for each entity.
  5. Contemplate worst case scenarios and develop an action plan for each scenario, including poll worker shortages, phone system crashes, power failures, inclement weather and long lines.
  6. Develop a ballot distribution plan to prevent shortages. Train poll workers to know when to request more ballots, assign regional troubleshooters to support a specified number of polling places and provide each of them with a kit of extra supplies, including ballots.
  7. Notify utility companies about Election Day activities. Request that they limit work in any area that could cause a power outage.
  8. Ensure that vote tabulation systems are backed-up and stored in a secure, fire-proof facility.
  9. Share contingency plans with surrounding jurisdictions, the state and the U.S. Election Assistance Commission.
  10. Involve and inform the media about contingency plans so they will be prepared to immediately inform the public.

Chair Reminds Voters to Be Prepared

“I also urge voters to take steps now to get the basics – polling place location and hours of operation, registration status and provisional voting procedures,” said Chair Rodriguez. The Chair recommends that voters take the following steps now:

  1. Verify registration status
  2. Know location of polling place
  3. Know what voting equipment will be used
  4. Find out the provisional voting procedures in your state
  5. Know what identification, if any, is required on Election Day
  6. Know the polling place hours