County of Sonoma, California
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Election Day Security

The Sonoma County Registrar of Voters Office is committed to conducting fair and accurate elections. To achieve this mission, various security measures are instituted at all phases of an election. Periodically, new security measures are added to comply with changes to elections laws, and may involve at least one of the following strategies:

People

Poll Workers

As a Poll Worker, you are an integral part of Election Day security. All poll workers have the following responsibilities:

  • Follow all Election Day instructions and procedures including wearing proper identification and ensuring there are at least 2 people with voted ballots at all times.
  • Set up the polling place in a way that allows you to observe voting equipment at all times; your physical presence is a deterrent to an attempt to tamper with voting equipment.
  • Remain vigilant: if you observe suspicious activity, contact Registrar of Voters immediately (and the authorities, if needed).
  • Complete all Disabled Access Unit (DAU) logs and forms thoroughly; verify and document that security locks are appropriately placed when opening and closing the polls. Read all instructions carefully.
  • Accompany and supervise individuals who request to inspect voting equipment; the public has a right to inspect voting equipment and security seals without disrupting the voting process or having physical contact with the equipment. Accommodate requests as soon as it is feasible.

Inspectors

Inspectors have the following additional responsibilities:

  • Store voting equipment and supplies in a secure, dry location while in your possession.
  • Attend training class and be familiar with all Election Day procedures; provide security information to other poll workers, and ensure all security procedures are followed.
  • Call Registrar of Voters or your Field Support Officer whenever you have questions or concerns about security.

Physical Barriers

Physical barriers are used to prevent tampering with voting equipment and supplies, and to ensure the integrity of the election. Serialized locks are placed on equipment that prevents use prior to Election Day, and secures ballots after the polls have closed. Poll workers must verify and document the presence of locks prior to using the DAU equipment, and put a lock on the DAU after the polls have closed. Other security measures include use of tamper-evident, single-use paper seals and plastic bags to secure ballots for transport to the central counting facility. Contents of sealed packages are documented and verified at each phase in the chain of custody.

Procedures

The Registrar of Voters Office requires various procedures to ensure elections are conducted in a fair, legal, and secure manner. In addition to ensuring physical security, all elections officials, including poll workers, must comply with various accounting and auditing requirements that help make up the “checks & balances” for a secure and accurate election. Polling Place security procedures are described in the “Precinct Officer Checklist & Instructions,” “DAU Reconciliation Log Instructions,” and “DAU eSlate Opening and Closing Polls Instructions.” These procedures give step-by-step instructions; be sure all poll workers have reviewed them, and follow them closely to avoid errors. If you have any questions about the instructions, contact the Registrar of Voters Office or your Field Support Officer.