Buddy Schum of Bucks County has worked a committee leader in Philadelphia for several years. Buddy Schum worked the polls during elections and even helped the ward leader get his position. In the following article, Buddy Schum of Bucks County discusses the many ways these poll workers ensure fairness during the voting processes for local and national elections.
Election integrity occupies a major place in current political discussions, yet no amount of discourse seems to result in a consensus on what to do about it. As the primary faces of the election process, it falls on poll workers to do what they can in order to protect American voters from fraud and injustice.
Buddy Schum of Bucks County explains that poll workers can do their part to ensure election integrity by safeguarding the principles of fairness, competence, independence and, above all, transparency. They can do this by promoting trust and leadership among their ranks, and they must do so now more than ever given the prominence of election integrity in recent news.
To assist election workers in their duties, Buddy Schum of Bucks County says that it is important to outline these principles in detail, so they understand the precious values with which they have been entrusted.
What Principles Define Election Integrity
As long as the voting process relies on human effort, there will always exist the potential for bias to sway poll workers and election officials from performing their duties impartially. Ideally, however, Buddy Schum of Bucks County says that those entrusted with upholding these long-held traditions should embrace five basic principles:
- Integrity – Poll workers must place non-partisan regulations ahead of their own personal whims.
- Fairness – All registered voters should be treated with the equal rights they’ve earned as citizens.
- Competence – Avoid rookie mistakes such as not providing enough paper ballots.
- Independence – Treat all voters as individuals rather than faceless party members.
- Transparency – Do not keep voters in the dark about how the election process works.
Although the nation already has several laws in place to safeguard these principles, personal bias or sheer human error sometimes stand in the way. However, Buddy Schum of Bucks County says that the importance of their role in elections is accompanied by a great responsibility on the part of poll workers to keep such issues from compromising their polling station.
Of course, outlining principles is easy. In practice, election workers cannot effectively apply these principles without at least a few clear directions on how to proactively ensure their polling stations remain safe from both malicious tampering and reckless incompetence explains Buddy Schum of Bucks County.
How Poll Workers Can Ensure Fair Voting
Since voters maintain a right to privacy while casting their ballot, poll workers can only take so many steps to do their part in protecting election integrity. That said, they are not completely helpless. There are still at least a few actions they may take to protect the rights of voters. For instance:
- Assign a trusted individual to oversee workers and ensure they follow ethical practices.
- Take complaints by voters seriously. Never brush off what might be a valid concern.
- Answer all voters’ questions and concerns with utmost clarity.
- Treat all voters the same, including those wearing campaign shirts for rival parties.
- Understand fraud prevention measures and follow them to the letter.
- Ensure accessibility of polling stations.
- Keep stations well-stocked to avoid running out of ballots or other supplies.
Why Election Integrity Matters More Than Ever
Buddy Schum of Bucks County explains that voter fraud has become such a hot-button issue that the accusations sometimes start flying long before election day even arrives. The debate recently became especially inflammatory when three states—Missouri, Florida, and West Virginia—pulled out of a program specifically designed to prevent fraud amongst voters.
The program, known as ERIC (Electronic Registration Information Center), is supposed to be a bipartisan effort involving more than two dozen states to prevent fraudulent activities such as double voting or casting ballots under a deceased voter’s name. Ironically, officials’ reason for pulling out centered on allegations that ERIC itself was a conspiracy to commit fraud.
It’s arguable whether the issue should be as hotly debated as it is. The Heritage Foundation, an organization that has documented recorded cases of voter fraud for decades, has identified less than 1500 proven cases of fraud from 1982 to 2023. Even if as many cases occurred in a single year, it’s unlikely they would be enough to sway an election.
However, Buddy Schum of Bucks County says that this is not a matter for poll workers to argue with the voters at their stations. Even if they believe voter fraud unlikely to make a significant dent in the electoral process, election workers must still do their part to maintain integrity. Voters deserve to trust the sanctity of their ballots, the validity of their suspicions notwithstanding.
Poll workers are the midwives of the electoral system, overseeing a labor with the potential to breathe new life into a nation. They should not treat their promise to maintain election integrity as a hollow one. As Americans continue debating the validity of fraud accusations, only repeated demonstrations of fairness and impartiality will put their concerns to rest.