Broward County has one of the largest voter populations in the state of Florida. It hosts 1.7 million residents and well over 1 million registered voters. New DS200 Optical Scanner Voting machines, new laws and voting procedures, ever changing voter boundaries and polling locations translate into a constant push for voter education in the community.
The Voter Education Department plans and coordinates all education and outreach activities. The activities include voting machine demonstrations, voter education and awareness workshops, voter registration drives, voter registration training workshops, poll worker and volunteer recruitment, election day trouble shooting, special event planning, linking with the community through partnerships, art production for flyers, posters, brochures and newspapers, advertising and supplies distribution.
Among the responsibilities and duties listed is a program that has been tremendously successful. The annual High School Voter Registration Drive or (H.S.V.R.) has sparked much conversation and interest. All seventy (70) of Broward County’s public, private and charter high schools have taken part in the registration drives. Total registrations surpassed forty thousand (40,000)! over the past six years. The drives have culminated in historical field trips to the polls for county-wide elections. With five major elections taking place in 2010, we plan to increase the numbers of young voters by working with student organizations such as the student council and student government.
It is not enough to register new voters. It is our intention to incorporate a three step process, or the three "ates". The first step is voter registration. We must motivate citizens to become active in the process. Information about registration deadlines and eligibility is important to every voter. The Help America Vote Act (HAVA) is designed to implement step two in the process, education. We must educate people about the voting process as it pertains to Broward County. Citizens need to understand their rights and responsibilities in order to become educated voters. Lastly, voters need to participate in the process. In our case, this means for a registered voter to choose one of the three ways that they can vote: Vote-by-Mail (Absentee Ballots), Early Voting or Election Day. Remember, registration and education are both moot points without participating and demonstrating the rights of citizenship.
Voter education and outreach services are provided by a diverse staff whose technical and language skills give us our ability to work with all of Broward’s voters. The staff outreaches to the Broward community via attendance and participation at festivals, parades, churches, city hall events, sporting events, shopping malls and major retail outlets and any other opportunities that will help us to educate our voters.
We will continue to build on what has been a tremendous success for our county. Working together as a community is, and will continue to be an important part of the elections process.
For more information please call the Voter Education Department, Gino Herring, Director, at: 954-357-7040, or e-mail us at email@example.com.