Law program receives federal grant for Tidewater Roots Poll Project

The Election Law Society and the Election Law Program at William & Mary Law School today announced plans for the Tidewater Roots Poll Project (TRPP), a new program to aid local government in recruiting and training young poll workers. The project is generously funded by a Help America Vote College Program grant administered by the U.S. Election Assistance Commission.

Members of the Election Law Society, a student organization at the Law School, will recruit and train 240 undergraduate students from six colleges in the Tidewater region: Christopher Newport University, Hampton University, Norfolk State University, Old Dominion University, Regent University and William & Mary.

Election Law Society logoRecruited students will receive thorough training, including technical sessions offered by registrars of the counties served, and will have the opportunity to meet and to interact with long-serving poll workers.  TRPP seeks to inspire a new generation of volunteers by teaching students the skills needed to be effective poll workers and instilling in them a sense of civic spirit grounded in the history and tradition of voting in the Tidewater region.

"We are very excited to be able to bring eager local students and registrars together to meet the growing demand for poll workers," commented ELS President Ashleigh Casey, a second-year law student. "The program is a great way for undergraduate students and Election Law Society members to get involved with and make a positive impact in the local community."

The program will run through Election Day, November 2, 2010, when students will serve at polls throughout the region.  Following Election Day, TRPP will develop a website featuring oral histories of long-time Virginia poll workers intended to preserve their stories and inspire future generations to civic service.

Created in 2005 as a joint venture of the National Center for State Courts and the Law School, the Election Law Program seeks to provide practical assistance to state court judges in the United States who are called upon to resolve difficult election law disputes.  William & Mary students created the Election Law Society to generate interest in and educate students about this rapidly expanding and extremely important area of legal practice.

If you are a college student in the Hampton Roads area and would like to know more about the project, please contact coordinator@tidewaterroots.com.