PALM BEACH COUNTY, Fla. — The election cycle is upon us and the Palm Beach County Supervisor of Elections says she’s committed to better transparency, integrity, and accountability through the program, Adopt-A-Precinct. The goal is to get people involved in the elections process who haven’t been involved before.
As of Super Tuesday, the Palm Beach County Supervisor of Elections received 50,000 mail-in ballots leading up to the Presidential Preference Primary Election on March 17. A small number of mail-ins in a county with approximately 976,000 registered voters.
“Even though vote by mail is our fastest-growing way of voting – it’s still the smallest way of voting,” said Wendy Santory Link, Palm Beach County Supervisor of Elections. “Election Day is still the largest way people vote.”
In an effort to get as many people voting as officials can, they’ve unveiled the program, Adopt-A-Precinct. Organizations without ties to candidates on the ballot can serve as part of 4,000 poll workers (i.e. clerks, assistant clerks, inspectors, ballot inspectors, tabulation inspectors, deputies, and standbys) at different precincts.
“It’s got to be a group that does not have any tie to anything on the ballot,” said Link. “This group cannot have endorsed a candidate. They can’t be supporting a party. They cannot be pushing a ballot question one way or the other.”
The program supports the county’s goal to deliver transparency in the voting process. So far the West Palm Beach (FL) Chapter of The Links, Incorporated is one of four organizations to sign up. Two attorneys with the organization say they plan to work polls at predominantly black precincts in the county.
“Of course it’s a constitutional rights but we honor those women who fought for suffrage, the right to vote – who sacrificed themselves and their families to vote,” said Salesia V. Smith-Gordon, The Links, Incorporated, chair of national trends and services. “We know that there’s disparity. We know that there’s been disfranchisement and truth be told we know that there is voter distrust.”
“The numbers of African-Americans coming out and voting is going lower and lower and lower,” added Destiny Baker-Sutton The Links, Incorporated, co-chair of national trends and services. “We are 15 women dedicating our efforts and time to the precincts. Boots on the ground.”
The more positions an organization staffs, the more money can be earned. Officials say a typical team of ten staff can earn approximately $2,240 per election, $6,720 per year. A check will be written to the organization. The Supervisor of Elections (SOE) office will provide training, voting equipment, and all resources needed for a successful election. To learn more, click here.