001. INTRODUCTION: Chief & Assistant Chief Basics
Welcome to the Chief & Assistant Chief Basics online training class!
This class will go over all information you need to know before serving as a Chief or Assistant Chief for the first time.
002. INTRODUCTION: Class Notes
Review all information in these slides and notes at your own pace.
We will go over all information you need to know, including what to do before polls open, how to handle non-routine voters, provisional ballots, how to complete the Statement of Results, and how to close the polls at the end of election day.
At the end, you must complete a quiz to receive credit for this class.
003. INTRODUCTION: Election Officer Basics Review
This class will assume you are familiar with the current list of acceptable IDs, Poll Pads and how to check in voters, and DS200s and how to cast ballots.
If you need a refresher on any of these topics, feel free to pause this training and view part or all of the online Election Officer Basics class.
004. BEFORE POLLS OPEN: Introduction
Let’s start by going over what you need to know and do before election day and during opening procedures before polls open.
005. BEFORE POLLS OPEN: Chiefs Notebook
All Chiefs and Assistant Chiefs are issued a digital PDF of the Chiefs Notebook before each election. This class is designed to give you an overview of everything you need to know, but you will also have a physical Chiefs Notebook on election day to easily double-check and reference how to handle any situation.
You will receive your Chiefs Notebook PDF about 2 weeks before election day. It’s very important for you to familiarize yourself with the contents BEFORE election day, so that you know where to look when you need to help a non-routine voter or handle another situation.
006. BEFORE POLLS OPEN: The Week Before
The week before the election, there are 4 things you need to do.
007. BEFORE POLLS OPEN: The Day Before
There are 2 things to do the day before the election:
008. BEFORE POLLS OPEN: The Morning Of
Now it’s election morning. What do you need to do?
009. BEFORE POLLS OPEN: Voting Room Layout
This is a sample room layout to give you an idea of the flow inside a voting room.
The voting room should be set up to have the voter move in a circular fashion, without crossing the paths of other voters, and with an election officer at each station to help guide them.
The absentee ballot drop box should be monitored by the greeter if placed outside the voting room entrance. Your Chief may decide that it is more practical to position the drop box inside the voting room of your precinct. In this case, another officer, such as one stationed at the check-in tables, should monitor the drop box.
010. BEFORE POLLS OPEN: Chief's Table
It’s vital that you set up your Chief’s Table with all items you may need. We suggest you actually use 2 tables side-by-side: one to hold these documents and forms and another where non-routine voters may sit as you help them.
Keep your Chief’s Table tidy throughout the day. The better-organized your Chief’s Table is, the easier it will be for you to find what you need to help process non-routine voters!
011. BEFORE POLLS OPEN: People to Know
Let’s go over some people who may be at your polling place:
012. NON-ROUTINE VOTERS, PART 1: Introduction
We will now go over some Non-Routine Voter situations and how to use the “What-Ifs” in the Chiefs Notebook.
In this section, we will cover voters without an acceptable ID, voters who are marked Inactive, voters who require assistance, and curbside voters.
013. NON-ROUTINE VOTERS, PART 1: Who Helps Non-Routine Voters
As a regular election officer in the past, you have helped process all routine voters. These are voters who can be checked-in on the Poll Pad without issue.
As a Chief or Assistant Chief, you will help process all non-routine voters. If an election officer cannot check-in a voter, they will direct them to the Chief’s Table for you to help them.
014. NON-ROUTINE VOTERS, PART 1: Voter Referral Worksheet and What-Ifs
When one of your officers notices they have a non-routine voter, ask them to complete the yellow Voter Referral Worksheet. You’ll notice that the list of reasons for referral on the left correspond with different What-If reference numbers on the right. You can use this information to look in the What-Ifs to find out how to handle any situation.
The What-Ifs are a comprehensive state-issued document with step-by-step instructions for dealing with any non-routine voter situation. You will reference them frequently on election day. If you have questions or need more help, you can always call our office and we will guide you through a non-routine voter situation.
015. NON-ROUTINE VOTERS, PART 1: What if Voter has No ID?
If a voter does not have an acceptable ID with them, you should offer them an ID Confirmation Statement. Have the voter read, complete, and sign the form. Select the “Voter Signed Oath” flag on the Poll Pad and the voter will be able to vote routinely.
016. NON-ROUTINE VOTERS, PART 1: What if Voter is Inactive?
Voters can become “Inactive” if:
How do you process an Inactive voter?
That’s it! One form and one flag on the Poll Pad. There’s no need to call the office for Inactive voters, but you can if you’d like help the first time.
017. NON-ROUTINE VOTERS, PART 1: Affirmation of Elegibility Form
This is an example of an Affirmation of Eligibility form, which you will use for Inactive voters.
On the front side of the form, an election officer must complete Section A with some basic information like the precinct number and date. Do not fill out the “Statement of Challenger” section for an Inactive voter - we will explain this section later in this training.
On the back side of the form, the voter must complete Section B with their information. This includes their name, signature, address, contact info, and more.
That’s it! Now the Affirmation of Eligibility form is complete, the voter may be checked-in on the Poll Pad and vote normally. Remember to select the “Voter Signed Oath” flag on the Poll Pad.
018. NON-ROUTINE VOTERS, PART 1: What if Voter Needs Assistance?
Some voters may need help to vote.
Two important notes:
How do you process an assisted voter?
019. NON-ROUTINE VOTERS, PART 1: Request for Assistance Form
This is an example of a Request for Assistance form, which you will use for voters needing assistance at the voting booth with reading, translating, or marking their ballot.
In total, 3 people must mark this form:
If an election officer is asked to translate the ballot as the assistant, and an Authorized Representative wants to observe, they should fill out section C.
020. NON-ROUTINE VOTERS, PART 1: What if Voter Wishes to Vote Curbside?
Some voters may choose to vote curbside. They would pull into a designated curbside voter parking spot and call the phone number you have put on the curbside voting sign.
How do you process a curbside voter?
Remember that you must always wait with the voter until they finish marking their ballot. If you do not stay, the voter could leave or give their ballot to an outside campaigner – don’t let that happen!
021. NON-ROUTINE VOTERS, PART 1: Check-In Flags
Remember to select the appropriate check-in flag on the Poll Pad for:
Work with your officers to ensure this step isn’t skipped!
022. NON-ROUTINE VOTERS, PART 1: Knowledge Check
Time for a knowledge check!
023. NON-ROUTINE VOTERS, PART 2: Introduction
Now let’s go over some more Non-Routine Voter situations and how to use the “What-Ifs” in the Chiefs Notebook.
In this section we’ll cover some provisional voter situations, what to do if a voter has requested an absentee ballot, how to handle a voter if they’ve moved, and a few more “What-If” situations.
024. NON-ROUTINE VOTERS, PART 2: Provisional Ballots
Many of the following situations will involve provisional ballots. Provisional ballots are ballots that are set aside on election day and adjudicated later. There is a common misconception that provisional ballots are only counted in close races or to break ties; this is not true! Provisional ballots are reviewed by the Electoral Board in the days after the election and, if counted, they are included in the official election results.
The first step is to understand WHEN to offer a provisional ballot to a voter.
After this section, we will explain HOW to complete a provisional ballot step-by-step.
025. NON-ROUTINE VOTERS, PART 2: What if Voter is Already Checked-In?
What should you do if a voter is already listed in the pollbook as having voted earlier in the day?
The Electoral Board will review the situation and determine if the ballot should be counted.
026. NON-ROUTINE VOTERS, PART 2: What if Voter is Not in Pollbook?
What should you do if a voter is not listed in the pollbook?
The Electoral Board will review the situation and determine if the ballot should be counted.
027. NON-ROUTINE VOTERS, PART 2: What if Voter Requested Absentee Ballot?
What if a voter intended to vote by mail and requested a mailed ballot, but then comes to the polling place anyways?
First, let’s look at the steps if the voter comes to the polling place WITH their absentee ballot. Before proceeding, remind the voter they have the option of depositing a completed absentee ballot in the ballot drop box at the precinct. Otherwise, proceed with the following steps.
Now let’s look at the steps if the voter comes to the polling place WITHOUT their absentee ballot.
028. NON-ROUTINE VOTERS, PART 2: What if Voter is Challenged?
It is rare, but you may have someone challenge a voter’s eligibility to vote.
Again, this is a rare situation but if it happens, feel free to call the office for help.
029. NON-ROUTINE VOTERS, PART 2: What if Voter has P.O. Box?
Some voters may be listed in the pollbook with a P.O. Box instead of a typical address. That’s OK!
Again, as long as the voter provides the same address as in the pollbook, you should always check-in the voter routinely. There is no need to call the office for this situation.
030. NON-ROUTINE VOTERS, PART 2: What if Voter is in Wrong Precinct?
What if someone shows up to vote, but they are not registered in your precinct?
Inform them that Virginia law states that they must vote in their registered precinct for their vote to count.
You should strongly encourage them to go to the correct precinct. Again, Virginia law states that you must vote in your registered precinct on election day for your vote to count.
Of course, all voters have the option of voting a provisional ballot. If an out-of-precinct voter chooses to vote a provisional ballot, make sure they first understand they are not voting in their registered precinct. All provisional ballots are adjudicated by the Electoral Board, who follow the law in determining which ballots to count.
031. NON-ROUTINE VOTERS, PART 2: What if Voter has Moved?
If a voter has moved, you will frequently consult the Moving Conditions on page 10 of the What-Ifs. These can often be the most confusing thing for a new Chief or Assistant Chief, but we’re going to walk you through it!
First, you should ask the voter about exactly when they moved. Once you know the date they moved (or at least the month and year), you will look for the correct row that matches. For example, a voter who has moved in 2021 would be in the row that is for “on or after Nov 4, 2020.”
Next, you need to determine how far the voter has moved. If they moved within the same precinct, we can look towards the leftmost column and see they can always vote. Similarly, if they have moved out-of-state, we can see the rightmost column and see they cannot vote normally, unless it is within 30 days of a presidential election. If they cannot vote normally, you should always offer a provisional ballot.
The hard part is when they have moved within Fairfax County. You will need to determine the Congressional District of their old and new precincts. You can either call our office or visit www.house.gov on your phone. Depending on if they moved within the same congressional district or into a different congressional district, you would look in the corresponding columns and find out if they can vote.
Generally speaking, a voter who has moved will have to go to their registered (or “old”) precinct.
032. NON-ROUTINE VOTERS, PART 2: Moved Voter Example 1
Let’s take a look at an example situation. What if a voter moved to Maryland in July 2019?
As you can see on the chart, no matter when a voter moves out-of-state (even if it was the day before the election), they are not eligible to vote routinely in Virginia anymore.
033. NON-ROUTINE VOTERS, PART 2: Moved Voter Example 2
Let’s take a look at another example situation. What if a voter moved in May 2019 to another precinct in Fairfax County? For the purposes of this example, let’s assume they moved within the same congressional district.
As you can see on the chart, if a voter has moved within Fairfax County, the date when they moved is very important. Whether or not they are permitted to vote routinely, you should offer them a Voter Registration application so they may update their registered address.
034. NON-ROUTINE VOTERS, PART 2: Voter Registration Application
Here is a sample of a Virginia Voter Registration Application. This form is used for new voters, as well as voters who simply need to update their name or address.
Whenever you have a voter who has moved without updating their voter registration, you should always offer them a Voter Registration Application. If they complete it and turn it in to you, return it in envelope #8 and our office will process it shortly after the election.
035. NON-ROUTINE VOTERS, PART 2: Knowledge Check
Time for a knowledge check!
036. PROVISIONAL BALLOTS: Introduction
We will now go over Provisional Ballots and the step-by-step procedures for issuing them to voters.
037. PROVISIONAL BALLOTS: Important Notes About Provisional Ballots
Before we begin, some very important notes about provisional ballots. Think of these as the 3 cardinal rules of provisional ballots:
The Electoral Board, and only the Electoral Board, decides whether to count provisional ballots. You should never tell anyone their ballot will or will not be counted. That is the Electoral Board’s decision! If a voter wants more information, you can tell them to call our office.
You should NOT check in provisional voters on your Poll Pad. In Virginia, provisional voters are never marked on the pollbook because we do not know yet if their ballot will be counted.
Do NOT let voters cast provisional ballots on the DS200 scanner. It’s very important to help provisional voters at the Chief’s Table, far away from the DS200 scanner. Once you issue a ballot to a provisional voter, stay with them until they return it to you.
038. PROVISIONAL BALLOTS: Provisional Notice
This is a sample of a provisional notice. You must give each provisional voter this notice, which tells them more about how and when their provisional ballot will be adjudicated.
039. PROVISIONAL BALLOTS: Provisional Envelope
Once you have given the voter their provisional notice, you and the voter will complete the provisional envelope. As you do so, it’s very important to remember the following:
Virginia law requires both the voter AND the election officer to sign the provisional envelope. Not signing is the most common mistake we see with provisional ballots - don’t let that happen in your precinct! You should also make sure the voter fills out the envelope completely.
If you have additional information about why the voter is voting provisionally, you should put it on the OUTSIDE of the envelope. You can write on the envelope or you can staple notes. This is because the Electoral Board cannot open an envelope until they have already decided to count it. If you or the voter put any notes inside, the Electoral Board will not see them until after they make their decision.
Once someone has voted provisionally, they may NOT vote normally later that day. A provisional vote counts as their one vote for the day, by state law. And in Fairfax County, we do something funny - we follow the law!
040. PROVISIONAL BALLOTS: Provisional Log
This is a sample of the Provisional Ballot Log.
For each provisional voter, you will record some basic information about them here, including their name, address, year of birth, and phone number. The voter writes this information on the individual provisional envelopes, so you can simply copy it over.
You must also select a numerical reason code for each provisional voter - these are listed at the bottom of the page and on the individual provisional envelopes. (There is a helpful explanation of what each code means on page 20 of the What-Ifs.)
Leave the two rightmost columns blank - those are reserved for the Electoral Board.
041. PROVISIONAL BALLOTS: Provisional Steps
Let’s go over all the steps involved in processing a provisional voter.
You’ll note that the ballot was the last thing you and the voter complete. By doing the other steps first, you’re making sure you don’t miss or forget anything.
042. PROVISIONAL BALLOTS: Provisional Practice
Now, let’s practice another provisional situation!
Bob Voter comes in the afternoon, but is marked as having already voted. He mentions that his son (Bob Voter, Jr.) lives with him and voted earlier that day around 10:30 AM.
As we discussed in the Non-Routine section, this is most likely due to an officer checking in the wrong voter. Because you cannot edit the older check-in, you must offer the voter in front of you a provisional ballot. The Electoral Board will then review the situation and determine if his ballot should be counted.
043. PROVISIONAL BALLOTS: Processing Provisional Voters
Let’s continue with the example of a voter who is marked as already having voted.
Remember, any notes should be written or attached to the outside of the envelope, so the Electoral Board can review them before they make their decision. You may also offer the voter a separate piece of paper for them to write their own notes, then staple it to the envelope.
044. PROVISIONAL BALLOTS: Using the Provisional Ballot Log
Don’t forget to add this provisional voter to your Provisional Ballot Log!
For this voter, just as you selected reason code #5 on the envelope, you will mark an ‘x’ in the #5 column.
045. PROVISIONAL BALLOTS: Knowledge Check
Time for a knowledge check!
046. STATEMENT OF RESULTS: Introduction
We will now go over the Statement of Results and how to complete it election night.
047. STATEMENT OF RESULTS: Statement of Results Information
The Statement of Results (SOR) is the most important document you will complete on election night because it is the record of votes in your precinct.
There will also be an identical SOR Copy that you will also complete (the official SOR goes to the courthouse while the copy stays in our office).
The SOR helps answer 3 basic questions:
048. STATEMENT OF RESULTS: Example SOR Review
Let’s review an example SOR together!
049. STATEMENT OF RESULTS: Example SOR, Part 1
Here is an example SOR. On the right side, you must staple the tapes printed from your DS200 scanner.
Note that in each section of the SOR, there is a column for what number you are looking for (e.g. Total Voters Checked In), then a column telling you where to find that number (e.g. Poll Pad Certification Form), and then a column for you to write in the number (e.g. 102). Once you get the hang of it, it’s pretty straightforward. There are also more detailed instructions in the Chiefs Notebook that you receive each election.
Part A: In this first section, you will account for all voters in your precinct. In this example SOR, we can see on row A1 that 102 voters were checked-in on the Poll Pads. Next, on row A2, we have to account for any fleeing voters. As a reminder, fleeing voters are individuals who checked in and received a ballot, but left without scanning it on the DS200. In this example, we can see there were 2 fleeing voters. Lastly, on row A3, we want to calculate the difference (A1 minus A2), which tells us there were 100 voters who actually cast their ballot.
Part B: In the second section, you will account for all counted ballots in your precinct. In this example, we can see that there were 50 ballots cast on the first DS200 scanner, 50 ballots cast on the second DS200 scanner, and 0 hand-counted ballots. If you add these numbers up, you can see there were 100 total counted ballots.
Part C: In this section, you will note any discrepancies in your numbers. In our example, the total number of voters casting ballots in Part A matched the total number of ballots cast in Part B, which is great! That is what is supposed to happen, which is why we wrote “no discrepancies.” However, sometimes the numbers may not match up. The most common issue is if a voter was not properly checked-in but still received a ballot. This is why it’s important to monitor your check-in table first thing in the morning and make sure all officers know how to check-in voters properly. In that case, if you know why the numbers are off, write an explanation here.
One other note: if any numbers are 0, we prefer you put a “dash” in that box, as we did here in section B (row B3). It makes it a little easier when office staff review every SOR in the days after the election.
050. STATEMENT OF RESULTS: Example SOR, Part 2
Now let’s look at the next two sections of the SOR.
PART D: In this section, we want to account for all ballots you received and whether they were used or not. Let’s go row-by-row.
This is a lot of numbers but trust us – it’s easier than it looks! And as always, if you need help, please feel free to call the office on election day.
Part E: This is where all election officers present sign to acknowledge they certify the results.
051. STATEMENT OF RESULTS: Helpful Reminders
The best tip we have for you in completing the SOR is to be prepared; have all required documents, tapes, and numbers handy before you begin and it will be much easier.
And if you do need help on election day, we are just a phone call away!
052. TIPS & CLOSING POLLS: Introduction
We will now go over Tips & Closing the Polls on election night.
053. TIPS & CLOSING POLLS: Election Officers
Here are some tips to help you on election day:
054. TIPS & CLOSING POLLS: Equipment Tips
Now let’s go over some equipment tips to keep election day running smoothly.
055. TIPS & CLOSING POLLS: Return Checklist
The end of the day can be a scramble to find everything you need, but it does not have to be. We provide multiple checklists in the Chiefs Notebook for what needs to be returned and where. We also include a second copy in the back of the notebook, printed in blue, that you can take out and hand to an officer.
Remember, delegate tasks and work in parallel to get everything done.
056. TIPS & CLOSING POLLS: Signature Reminder
A very important reminder about signatures:
We really do not want you, or your officers, to have to come into our office after a day of hard work. Before leaving the polling place on election day, review the Signature Checklist in the Chiefs Notebook one last time to make sure everything is signed properly.
Be a hero, have zero missing signatures!
057. TIPS & CLOSING POLLS: Closing Procedures Tips
Lastly, some general tips about closing procedures:
With these tips, you should be well-prepared for your first time as a Chief or Assistant Chief.
058. CONCLUSION: Quiz and Contact Information
Congratulations! You have now completed this online class.
To receive credit, you must still take and pass the quiz. You can find the quiz in the Election Officer Portal. Go to the Training tab, scroll down, and look in the bottom-right for a link labeled “Take Quiz.” If you do not pass the quiz the first time, you can take it again. You can have the training materials open to reference as you take the quiz.
This training is now complete. Thank you and we know you’ll do great on election day!