Maine - Understanding and Supporting Election Poll Workers

Project Objective:

Identifying the important role poll workers play in building trust in elections, the project launched a research-practice collaboration. Beginning with a survey in collaboration with the Maine Secretary of State’s Office, Maine Town and City Clerks Association (MTCCA), and the Maine League of Women Voters, the survey’s primary focus is  to better understand: who serves as a poll worker; the motivations that drive them to take on this work; the impacts this project has on their civic and political attitudes: and lastly, the negative aspects of this experience.

Polling location

Media Coverage

Bangor Daily News: Poll workers are mostly invisible, but they’re essential to our democracy | Opinion 

Maine elections are efficient, transparent and secure thanks to hundreds of Mainers who serve as election officials. These volunteers and their work are often invisible, unacknowledged and under-appreciated. By Jordan LaBouff

Poll worker speaking to voter

Morning Sentinel: Need reassurances about election integrity? Serve as a poll worker!

Our recent research with Maine poll workers suggests that serving as an election official reduces any fears about election integrity or intimidation at the polls, and bolsters confidence in the integrity of our democracy. By Rob GloverJordan LaBouff, and Carrie Ann Levan

Screenshot from Maine Conservation Voters Lunch & Learn Session

Maine Conservation Voters: Understanding Poll Workers, the Unsung Heroes of Our American Democracy

Poll workers are critically important to the functioning of American democracy. Yet our loose patchwork system of local election administration is under serious threat. In this session, we’ll present initial findings from an ongoing project to understand the characteristics and experiences of poll workers here in Maine. 

A sign that reads "POLLING STATION"

Chapter Spotlight: Maine SSN Works to Improve Poll Worker Recruitment and Trust in Elections

To understand how to improve the recruitment of poll workers and what effects this volunteerism might have on shoring up trust in our electoral systems, Maine SSN chapter leaders Rob Glover and Jordan LaBouff joined forces with Maine SSN member Carrie LeVan to launch a new research project.

Project Leaders

University of Maine
Rob Glover Headshot

Glover’s research deals with the implications of citizenship and immigration policy for how we understand political membership, participation, and community. In his teaching, Glover leads an innovative series of courses in which students and local community partners engage in collaborative research to confront local challenges utilizing existing assets and resources.

University of Maine

LaBouff is a social psychologist who focuses on relationships between different groups. Most of his research investigates the roles of beliefs (both religious and moral) and religious group membership on people’s attitudes and behaviors. He is particularly interested in how these beliefs, and reminders of these beliefs, might influence cultural and political processes.

Colby College
Carrie LeVan Headshot

LeVan’s research focuses on mobilization and social networks and their role in affecting the participation of individuals from varying socioeconomic backgrounds. Current projects include investigating the influence of personal relationships on the turnout rates of low status voters, and exploring the effect of having politically engaged neighbors on one’s propensity to vote.