County of Sonoma, California
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Checklist for Inspectors & Clerks: Prepare to Open the Polls

  • Set your watch to correct time.
  • Report to Polling Place at 6:00 AM.
  • Turn on cell phone; do not turn off until you return supplies to Return Center.
  • Set up Disabled Access Unit (DAU) booth and JBC in full view of Precinct Board; see instructions (in gray binder).
  • Set up modifications for accessibility. See “Compliance Plan” envelope (if applicable).
  • Set up voting booths approximately 2 feet apart and in full view of Precinct Board; refer to “Mark-A-Vote Booth Assembly Instructions” (in gray binder) to assemble voting booths.
  • Place Ballot Box in full view of Precinct Board.
  • Refer to “Polling Place Set Up” Diagrams (PDF: 52 kB) (in gray binder) and place following items on Precinct Board table:
    1. “Start Here” Sign
    2. Pens, Pencils and Rulers
    3. Combined Roster and Curbside Roster
    4. Street Address Update List
    5. Official Ballots and Secrecy Envelopes
  • Using blue tape provided, post the following required signs inside the Polling Place:
    1. Voter’s Bill of Rights (inside polling place door)
    2. “Restroom Closed” sign (not on restroom door)
    3. Blue “Permanent Vote by Mail” sign
    4. Pink Provisional sign
    5. “No Smoking, etc…” sign
    6. “Damaged Ballots, Over Vote” sign
    7. “How to Mark Your Ballot” sign
    8. All other signs in “Signs for Posting” envelope
  • Using blue tape provided, post the following required signs outside Polling Place:
    1. Voter’s Bill of Rights (outside polling place door)
    2. “Vote Here” signs (visible from street)
    3. American flag (blue field on left)
    4. Directional signs (green arrows)
  • Post both copies of Precinct – Street Index near (inside) entrance to Polling Place at a height for easy reading by someone seated in a chair.
  • Post “This index shall not be…” sign next to Precinct – Street Index with white ribbon.
  • Sign and witness Declaration of Election Officers Form and complete Reimbursement Form (inside front cover of Combined Roster).
  • Inspectors records actual mileage to and from class of instruction and to polling place, and record estimated mileage from the polling place to the Return Center. Inspector may also claim mileage to pick up key or make arrangements with polling place and to return clerk to vehicle after accompanying Inspector to Return Center.
  • Complete and put on required identification badges (“Election Official”).
  • A majority of precinct board must be present at all times. Breaks and meals are scheduled at the discretion of the Inspector. Recommended: ½ hour lunch and ½ hour dinner. Start early – there is generally a “rush hour” after 5:00 PM. Snacking between meal breaks may occur given the length of the day. It is never permissible to have food or drinks on the precinct board table or in close proximity to ballots.
  • Place various Clerk Instructions sheets on precinct board table. After assigning each person a clerk job, use these to review each clerk’s assignment for the day.
  • All Clerks review “Instructions for Processing Voters” and “Checklist for Closing the Polls” as soon as practicable.
  • At 7:00 AM, declare polls open and exhibit empty Ballot Box to first voter (or another clerk if no voters are present); close and lock Ballot Box with one red plastic lock (inside blue supply pouch).
  • Record serial number of red plastic lock used to lock Ballot Box on front cover of Combined Roster.
  • Your Field Support Officer (FSO) will visit your polling place to check set up. Use your FSO to “troubleshoot” problems; call the FSO immediately if you are missing or running out of supplies, need help with your DAU, or have questions about operations.