Obama supporters talk about poll watching

Published 12:00 am Sunday, January 13, 2008

The Selma Times-Journal

In an era where the word &8220;chad&8221; has made it into the language of popular culture as a symbol of what is wrong with the country’s voting system (change), the Friends of Obama are taking action to prevent voting errors from happening in Dallas County.

The rapidly growing organization held a workshop on poll watching as part of their Saturday meeting in the community room at the Magnolia Gardens apartment complex. They are recruiting volunteers.

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With a poll watcher, Dulaney said, there would be someone to troubleshoot problems such as registration confusion on election day. &8220;We would want them to be an observer and if there are any problems, they have us to call,&8221; Dulaney said.

Dulaney said she registered to vote in June, but never received a card or any sort of printed verification that she registered. &8220;I had to go and get the information,&8221; Dulaney said. &8220;My name was in the database, but I had no way of knowing that.&8221;

Dulaney said people can find out if they are registered by going to the courthouse and checking with the voter registration office. If someone is not in the database, they can reregister right then and there. &8220;But how many people know to do that?&8221; she asked.

Dulaney said sharing knowledge, regardless of party affiliation, is a large part of what Friends of Obama has set out to do. &8220;Voter education is what it’s about,&8221; Dulaney said. &8220;If they aren’t educated, the numbers of people voting will continue to decrease.&8221;

To that end, Friends of Obama will continue to hold Saturday meetings to inform interested individuals. They have raised more than $200 in campaign funds and have recruited 35 volunteers in the past two weeks. &8220;We’re trying to bring that passion about voting back to the people,&8221; Dulaney said.