September 21, 2009
CONTACT INFORMATION: Terri McCoy, (406) 444-2807
McCulloch Announces Winner of Grant to Recruit College Poll Workers
HELENA - Secretary of State Linda McCulloch today announced that Salish Kootenai College (SKC) will receive $66,008 in federal grants from the U.S. Election Assistance Commission (EAC) to recruit college students to serve as nonpartisan poll workers during the 2009 and 2010 elections.
SKC applied for the two-year grant earlier this year by submitting a budget and a project plan for activities supporting each election cycle. The proposal includes a working relationship with Flathead Valley Community College (FVCC) and both Lake and Flathead County elections offices.
"Serving as a poll worker in college enhances a student's civic knowledge, which supports continued engagement in government and society. I applaud Salish Kootenai College and Flathead Valley Community College for supporting their local elections offices and for raising the bar on civic education," said McCulloch.
The EAC says each recipient's program employs a variety of methods to recruit poll workers, including those with specialized language and technical skills. SKC and FVCC will focus on recruiting those who speak the Salish and Kootenai languages to improve aid to Native American voters in Lake and Flathead counties.
"It is important that Indian people see some Indian poll workers when they walk into the voting area. This grant will help Lake and Flathead counties bring more of our underrepresented people to the polls," said SKC President Joe McDonald.
"This grant program will help us recruit the next generation of poll workers by focusing on recruiting and educating a new generation of Americans about the importance of civic participation on Election Day. This is a win-win project, and we're excited to partner with these groups," said Paula Robinson, Flathead County Clerk & Recorder.
"I look forward to supporting this program at the state level, because we all benefit from a diverse and well-educated group of election workers and volunteers," added McCulloch. "I encourage additional colleges and universities to consider similar programs."
The EAC awarded $750,000 in grants to 11 colleges and universities and two nonprofit organizations. Seventy-one organizations applied for the competitive 2009 Help America Vote College Program. Salish Kootenai College is Montana's only grant recipient.