Loyola Neighbhorhood news, Volume 2, Issue 3
Equipment Manager Training Program: Building Team Democracy
Since the 2008 Primary Elections, Loyola University Chicago’s Division of Public Affairs has partnered with the Cook County Clerk’s Office to recruit civic minded Loyola students to serve as Equipment Managers on Election Day. This fall, Elvis Veizi and Margaret Meza, the government relations coordinators for the Division of Public Affairs successfully recruited over 300 students who will serve in polling places throughout suburban Cook County during the upcoming November 2nd elections.
The Equipment Manager initiative is part of the “Building Team Democracy” program, which allows students to go through an intensive training course in order to learn how to master the voting equipment for Election Day. The Equipment Manager is essentially the leader of the polling place team. They are responsible for setting up the polling equipment before the polls open at 6 a.m., while also performing the duties of an election judge throughout the day. When the voting process is complete, the Equipment Managers are responsible for properly consolidating and transmitting the voting results.
According to the Cook County Clerk, David Orr, "having competent equipment managers is especially crucial now. These students are invaluable because they are great with the new technology, able to help our veteran election judges, and they provide the foundation for a new generation of poll workers in suburban Cook County.”
Many Loyola students who have participated in this initiative have found it to be extremely gratifying. In addition to the $350 monetary incentive that Cook County Equipment Managers receive for working on Election Day, this is a great opportunity for students to become civically engaged and give back to their community. Loyola student, Lauren Vandermar anticipates that this will be a great opportunity for her to “participate in the democratic voting process” which she believes “is an important part of being a good citizen. I’m really looking forward to taking a day to help members of my community,” Vandermar said.
Thus far, Loyola University Chicago has successfully recruited more student Equipment Managers than any other college or university in Illinois.