On November 6, General Election day, Stacey Moniz will show up at a Maui polling place, just as she has been for the last two decades. Not to vote, but to serve as a volunteer precinct official. “For me it’s the one civic thing I can do besides voting,” she said. As executive director for Women Helping Women, Moniz avoids all conflicts of interest by declining to endorse or campaign for candidates. What she does encourage is voting and volunteering at precincts in need of help with those who come to cast ballots. “Voting is a very, very serious thing and volunteering at a polling place can be enjoyable,” Moniz said.
A volunteer since 1990, Moniz has helped at polling places in Kihei, Paia and Wailuku. “I’m a volunteer at heart,” she said. Training for precinct officials is provided. Moniz said she’s particularly impressed with the state and county officials’ progress over the years in eliminating as many barriers as possible for voters to cast ballots. For example, precinct officials can provide pen holders and magnifying glasses for voters who need the assistance. If a person is physically unable to get out of a car at a polling place, precinct officials can bring the poll book and ballot to the person. “My goal is to help the voters go through the process as easily as possible,” Moniz said.
Qualifications for a precinct official include:
- Be 16 years of age on or before June 30, 2012
- Be able to read and write English
- Be able to lift 25 to 35 pounds; and
- Be able to attend a training session.
A precinct official’s day starts at 5:30 a.m. and ends between 7 and 7:30 p.m. A stipend of $85 for the day is provided to all precinct officials. For more information, call the Maui County Clerk’s Office at 270-7749 or visit: hawaii.gov/elections/volunteers.