HomeLatest ThreadsGreatest ThreadsForums & GroupsMy SubscriptionsMy Posts
DU Home » Latest Threads » Forums & Groups » Places » U.S. » Michigan (Group) » Supervisor says some Detr...

Fri Dec 16, 2016, 07:57 AM

Supervisor says some Detroit poll workers not capable of doing the job


Rochelle Riley , Detroit Free Press Columnist

Janice Winfrey should have called a news conference last January and said Detroit could not run its 2016 elections effectively without people stepping up to replace aging, incapable poll workers. Had she done that, the Detroit city clerk, who was widely praised for transforming the department when she ousted former Clerk Jackie Currie in 2005, would not be facing a firestorm of criticism over mishandled voter ballots and malfunctioning machines. She also wouldn’t have had some precincts where capable veterans worked alongside some people who could not read, weren’t properly trained, weren’t mobile and didn’t know how to use new electronic polling books that long ago replaced paper sheets, one veteran polling supervisor who has worked the polls for 30 years asserted Thursday.

“The one thing I noticed — and this is where the problem is cropping up — is that a lot of folks have mobility issues and other issues,” said Christopher Flournoy, 52, a residential home improvement salesperson who lives in Russell Woods. Flournoy has been working the polls since he was in his 20s, and said things are not as they should be. “I have personally been shocked when I go to training,” he said. “They do provide training and you’ll see people come in on walkers and with crutches, and the one thought I had is how on earth are they going to carry on their responsibilities as an elections inspector?

“The biggest problem is training — and I don’t like to say disparaging things — but the trainers are not trained to provide instruction. They’re winging it. They don’t have people who have been trained to provide training to adults. It becomes a gripe session about the previous election. You get handed some materials and nobody says good luck, but that’s implied. You’ll figure out as you go along."
The average age of poll workers nationwide is 68.

Detroit workers are older,  Winfrey said earlier this week. And the work is grueling —  15-18 hours with only two one-hour meal times and two other 15-minute breaks. “We’re getting older folks doing it because they’ve always done it like me, and we’re getting another group doing it because it’s an easy way to make a $150,” Flournoy said. “I’ve had workers in precincts I supervise who couldn’t read. They absolutely could not read and couldn’t operate the computer,” he said, adding that Winfrey should return to giving the aptitude test she created when she was first elected. “That’s where it goes back to — training. Training is supposed to be mandatory, but I’ve had people to show up and say ‘No, I didn’t do training, but they gave me a credential.' ”

1 replies, 2732 views

Reply to this thread

Back to top Alert abuse

Always highlight: 10 newest replies | Replies posted after I mark a forum
Replies to this discussion thread
Arrow 1 replies Author Time Post
Reply Supervisor says some Detroit poll workers not capable of doing the job (Original post)
MichMan Dec 2016 OP
HoneyBadger Dec 2016 #1

Response to MichMan (Original post)

Fri Dec 16, 2016, 08:08 AM

1. My mother in law did this job for years


She was in her 70's but had not held a full time jobs since her 20's. It was a way to make some money and sit and talk to her friends all day. She loved it. She was a nice lady, but neither educated nor a professional worker.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink

Reply to this thread