Do you have an affinity for technology? Did you do well in civics class? Are you free on November 4? If you meet all of these criteria, then you might feel compelled to take a temporary job on Election Day this year as a volunteer election site worker or an electronic voting machine technician.
That's the message being sent out by groups concerned about the integrity of the upcoming presidential election as well as the e-voting technology some states will rely on to cast votes. Election watchdog Black Box Voting, based in Renton, Wash., this week issued a press release pointing out that voting machine vendors—including Election Systems & Software, Premier Election Solutions, Sequoia Voting Systems and Hart Intercivic—will hire and train thousands of technicians staffed around the country.
Black Box points out that temporary election tech support jobs have been spotted on Yahoo's HotJobs.com and other Web sites, including a post on craigslist by Hart Intercivic for consultants to provide training and support for software and hardware systems as counties across the country prepare for the "closely-watched November 4 presidential election." Anyone with "tech skills interested in safeguarding the November election is encouraged to register at technical recruiting sites and apply for any election-related projects," Black Box said in its press release.
A similar request was issued in July by presenters at the Last HOPE hacker's conference in New York City. "I'd like to ask all of you who are of voting age and U.S. citizens to volunteer as poll workers," said Sandy Clark, computing systems manager of Princeton University's Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences Program and a researcher for Project EVEREST, a 10-week security review of the electronic voting technology used throughout Ohio. Clark and her team were tasked with identifying any problems that might make elections vulnerable to tampering, and they say they found plenty.
It used to be your civic duty to simply vote. Now, this includes making sure your vote is counted.