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Poll Workers - Glossary of Terms


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CBOE or BOE: This is an acronym for County Board of Elections or Board of Elections, respectively.

Chairperson: The chairperson is a type of inspector. We must have one for every district for every election. They are in charge of calling us with any problems, proclaiming the results orally, scheduling assignments and when they should be changed, making sure everything is signed by inspectors and the paperwork is filled out correctly, and generally making sure everything runs well. This person is not solely responsible for anything that could happen during the day.

Coordinator: Coordinators are used those polling sites where there is more than one district. Voters go to their table first, where they are looked up on a list and given a card that instructs them to the correct district. They can carry that card to the machine if they so choose, if it keeps them from getting confused as where to go. Please make sure to collect these cards and return them to the coordinators’ table so they don’t run out. Coordinators do not need to be trained, they can only work as coordinators and not inspectors.

iButton/Security Key: This is used to start up the machine. At the opening of polls, the key is inserted after the machine continuously beeps. If during the day, someone needs to use the BMD, the key is used to start the BMD, and at the close of polls it is used to close the polls and shut down the machine.

ICP Serial Number: ICP stands for Image Cast Precinct, this is the type of scanner that we use. It is a series of numbers and letters, which begin with NYJ, that are uniquely assigned to each scanner. It needs to be checked on the Canvass Seal Report at the opening of polls. In order to locate the serial number, it is located in three places on the machine: 1) on a green sign on the ballot box door, 2) on a green sign on the emergency ballot door, and 3) on the side of the scanner on a little sticker with a bar code on it.

Memory Card(s): There are two memory cards that come in the machine. One is called the Administrative and the other is Poll Worker. The Administrative card is a backup of the ballot and the results and the Poll Worker Card is how we get the results for election night reporting. At the close of polls, you will remove the card marked Poll Worker and put that card in the Security Pouch.

New Seal Envelope: This envelope is found in the Security Pouch. It contains all the seals that you will need at the close of polls to reseal the bags and the machine.

Primary Election: A Primary Election is an election in which a designating party chooses a candidate to run on their line in the General Election. In New York State, we have what we call closed primaries. A closed primary allows only those registered with that party to vote for its candidate. For example, if there is a Republican primary only Republican voters may vote in that election.
There are six designated parties in New York, so there could be more than one party in a primary. If that is the case than everything will be kept separate according to the party. Each party will have their own Print Out, Voter List Sheet, Poll Books, Ballot Booklets, and Affidavit Ballots. Every party in New York State is assigned a color, so we will keep everything color-coordinated for you. For example, if there is a primary for Republicans and Democrats, Republicans are pink and Democrats are green. We will have the Republican Print Out, Voter List Sheet, Poll Books, Ballot Booklets, and Affidavit Ballots, either printed on pink paper, or there will be pink writing or shading, or the supplies may be wrapped in pink paper. The same goes for Democrats, except their color is green. When a voter comes in, you will need to ask them their party and look them on the corresponding party’s supplies. You will need to keep track of the voters separately. For example, if the first four voters are Republicans, you will look them up on the Republican Print Out, list them on the Republican Voter List sequentially, have them sign the Republican Poll Book, and give them a Republican Ballot. When the fifth voter comes in and they are a Democrat, you will do the same as you did with the Republican voters, but with the Democratic supplies. When you are recording their name on the Democratic List Sheet, they are Democratic voter number one, list them sequentially on the list for the Democrats. If a voter requires an Affidavit Ballot, please make sure that you give them the correct party’s ballot.

Protective Counter Number: This number is the accumulative number of ballots that have been through the machine since we started using it. THIS NUMBER WILL NEVER BE ZERO. At the open of polls you will check to make sure the number matches the number recorded on the Canvass Seal Report. At the close of polls, you will record the new protective number from your results tape on your canvass seal report. If you subtract the open polls number from the close of polls number you would get the total number of ballots that were put through the machine or the total number of voters that came in to vote.

Purple Pouch: This pouch will be attached to the Blue Supply Bag. It will contain the White Instruction folder, the tool pouch and the Security Pouch.

Results Tape: This tape is printed at the close of polls. It lists all the offices and candidates and results as recorded by the scanner after it has scanned every ballot. The tape is used when the chairperson needs to read the results aloud. This is where the close of polls protective number is found, this number is recorded on the Canvass Seal Report.

Seals: Seals are used to protect certain parts of the machine or bags that can be tampered with. It is to ensure that the machine, Blue Bag Supply Bag, Red Ballot Bag, and Security Pouch were not tampered with between our office sealing them, transporting of the machine, and the opening of the polls. It is the same for the close of polls, inspectors reseal everything and the B.O.E checks to make sure that nothing was tampered with between the close of polls to when we get the supplies and the machines back at our storage facility. Some seals are removed at the opening of polls and replaced at the close of polls, some seals are not removed at all and kept intact from when they are put on at our facility to when they come back to us, and some seals stay on throughout the day and then are removed at the close of polls. If a seal is removed it is placed in the “Used or Broken Seal” envelope that is provided for you in your Security Pouch. When the machine and the bags need to be resealed at the close of the polls, you will find the new seals in the Security Pouch in the envelope marked “New Seals”. The seal numbers are recorded on the Canvass Seal Report for the open and close of polls and checked to make sure they match. In the morning, this is done by the inspectors and when everything is returned the Canvass Seal Report is checked by the employees of the B.O.E.

There are four different types of seals that are used:
Memory Card Seals: There are two of these seals. They are used to seal the memory cards in the machine. The seals are not taken off at the open of polls, but at the close of polls it is necessary to remove the seal marked poll worker to remove the memory card.

Paper Seals: These seals are used to seal the ATI port, the printer, and the flash drive. There are two different colors: red and green. If it is red it means the seal is not removed and stays on. Red seals are used for the flash and the printer. If the seal is green it means it is removed at the opening of polls and replaced with a new seal at the close of polls. Green seals are used to seal the ATI port.

Wire Seal: This seal used to seal the Ballot Box Door. In the morning it is red, and is removed using scissors. When you remove the seal it placed in the “Used or Broken Seal” envelope found in the Security Pouch. At the close of polls it is replaced with a blue seal that is found in the “New Seal” envelope found in the Security Pouch.

Plastic Seals: These seals are used to seal the Blue Supply Bag, the Red Ballot Bag, and the Security Pouch. They are broken off with either your hands or you can use the tool provided for you. At the open of polls, all the seals are red. When they are broken off they are placed in the “Used or Broken Seal” envelope found in the Security Pouch. When they get resealed at the close of polls, you use blue seals, found in the “New Seals” envelope found in the Security Pouch.

Sequential Numbering: When numbering something it is when you start with one and count up by ones, without skipping any numbers. This is used on the Voter List Sheet, when numbering the voters that come in to vote.

Special Situation Table: This is implemented during general elections when we expect a big turnout of voters and it will only be used at polling sites where there are more than one district. It will consist of two inspectors. They will help those voters who may have issues, such as their name not being in the poll book, the voter will be sent to the table, where the inspectors there will resolve the issue. This will help to not hold up voting. The inspectors will not have to take time to call us and interrupt the other voters trying to resolve the issue. If it is applicable, the voter will be sent back to your table with an instruction card on to process the voter. If the voter has to vote by an affidavit ballot, the voter will do so at the situation table.

Status Tape: This tape can be printed at the opening of polls, but DO NOT PRINT THIS TAPE. This tape only states that no ballots have been cast. It does not list all the contests and candidates. If this tape gets printed by accident, please contact our office and we will instruct you on how to print a Zero Tape.

Total Scanned or Ballots Cast: These terms are interchangeable. This is the total number of ballots that were scanned through the voting machine. On the machine the term used is “Ballots Cast” and on the tape from the machine the term used is “Total Scanned”. This number should also match the number of voters that came in to vote that day. This is not the total number of ballots used.

Used or Broken Seals: This envelope is found in the Security Pouch. This is where the used or broken seals are put after they are either broken off from the bags or machine or taken of the machine.

Zero Tape: This is the tape that is printed at the opening of polls. You get this tape after pressing ZERO on the scanner when it asks you what kind of tape that you want. Please press ZERO and not STATUS. The Zero tape lists all the candidates and the offices that are on the ballot. We need this tape in order to do our canvassing after the election. This tape proves that all contests and candidates are at zero.