Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Homecoming Elections

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Homecoming elections are done.
Thanks Orange County Registrar of Voters
for running them.
I posted on Facebook on the afternoon of Tuesday, 10.09.12 a simple photo and a caption (see right).  From this simple photo and simple caption with a thank you to the Orange County Registrar of Voters (OC ROV) brought some of the most interesting of comments.  Loara has been using the MyBallot Student Election Program  for about three years now for Homecoming elections and last year used them for ASB Elections.  They have worked with us so well you'll even see one of our former students Teejay Hipolito (class of 2012) on the link and pamphlets advertising the program (he is the young man on the far right of the screen when you go to MyBallot).  The program to get them on our campus is simple.  Someone from the OCROV comes to Loara and talks about the election process and why the balloting system is important.  We then go to the OCROV and see how a ballot is made and the security they use so there is no fraud on an elections.  Lastly they come to us and hold our elections for us.

What were those comments? (I took the names off to help out their privacy)

Why do we do our elections so fancy these days?  

Students waiting to vote
Well there are many reasons, here are three: The OCROV need poll workers so they use us as a community liaison to help recruit poll workers ($90 to work the polls, who isn't interested), we want kids to get familiar with the election devices they'll use when they turn 18, and we want to show fair elections at school sites.

In many south county schools parents feel that schools are fixing election and their son or daughter was kept from achieving their High School dream of being Queen or King (look I'm not judging, but it seems a bit odd right?) Although that is far from the truth at Loara High School, as I really don't have any real buy in to who wins or loses, there are those that really think it happens.  So, with the help of the OC ROV electronic machines there can be no doubt.

How do elections run these days?  We allow the entire school to nominate who they want on the ballot, we have a committee to tally all those ballots, all 2600 of them, and then send the names off to the OCROV (all ballots are then locked into the safe in case anyone feels the count is off, I'll let em count them themselves).  We have been doing the tally system for the last 23 years I've been at Loara (and I remember a similar system prior).

Here is where it changes, we used to spend quite a bit of money and time on Scantrons and handing them to everyone for them to bubble in the answer.  Scantrons cost about $200 - $400 an election, and took about 1 hour to run after school.  Our change using the MyBallot system is we agree to a time they will come onto campus to set up their 48 electronic machines, they bring in 5 or so of their employees along with 5 of our students and an electronic election is held.  Seniors come out during one period during the day, Juniors come out during another, Sophomores during another and Freshmen yet another.  Once all that chose to vote do so (this ends at the end of lunch) then a guy wearing a tie carrying a briefcase, a computer and a printer comes onto campus, plugs all the tallying machines together and within 5 minutes we have an answer.

This has allowed us a lot of freedom in the way we announce the court and has freed us up from expense and time.  I am truly thankful to Neal Kelley, who is the Registrar of Voters for Orange County, California, the fifth largest voting jurisdiction in the United States, serving more than 1.6 million registered voters.  He has made elections accessible to schools and has helped Loara High School considerably in the quest to be community minded with their MyBallot program.

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