Another great resource for recruiting PEOs is local businesses. Participating in a PEO program with their employees enables businesses to give back to the community. Employees are likely to view assisting at polling locations as a civic duty to their state and country.
There are numerous business support organizations throughout Ohio. They provide a central location for outreach to large numbers of business owners and might be more cost effective than individual outreach.
Why recruiting business owners and employees is a valuable tool for county boards of elections:
- Many employees are repeat volunteers and provide word-of-mouth recruitment within their business.
- Employees have an added incentive to report as directed to their polling location to maintain their reputation and the reputation of their business. Many business owners are service oriented and willing to serve their communities.
- Access to business owners is available statewide, through numerous local chambers of commerce and other organizations.
Why serving as a PEO is a valuable tool for business owners and employees:
- Business owners might use the experience as a team-building exercise.
- Employees receive a stipend, and some offices choose to donate the stipends earned to a community charity.
- Businesses and employees perform their civic duty and become familiar with their communities.
- Businesses have the opportunity to continue community outreach.
Steps to Recruiting Business Owners and Employees:
- 1. Develop Packet to Send to Business Support Organizations
This packet should include all materials businesses need to provide employees with the information they need to understand the responsibilities of serving as a PEO. County boards of elections may customize many of materials available from the Secretary of State's office and develop other materials on their own as needed. Some recommended materials are:
Self-mailer Sign up Card
This self-mailer card was created by the Secretary of State's office to be distributed to anyone interested in being a PEO. Counties received requested quantities of the cards for their recruitment efforts, boards may provide these to businesses and organizations and/or more cards can be requested on the Secretary of State’s website.
This poster was created by the Secretary of State's office to be printed and displayed. There are two sizes available:
Voter Registration FormImportant Dates to Remember Handout
Business employees who have not yet registered to vote may do so with this form. Businesses and organizations may print the voter registration form or request copies of it here.
This handout must be created by the county board of elections to include important dates such as the PEO recruitment deadline, training date(s), Election Day, etc.
- 2. Communicate Early with Businesses' Decision Makers
County boards of elections should communicate with local business support organizations or businesses themselves.
An email template and letter template have been created to assist in making contact with the decision makers at these business support organizations. The email may be sent well in advance of trainings and elections and is intended to be a quick and free first point of contact. The county board of elections also may use the letter as a follow-up to the initial email contact. A list of chambers of commerce and economic development centers is available here.
- 3. Promote the Business Recruitment Program
Request Assistance from Third-Party Distribution Channels
Contact organizations in your county that regularly conduct local business outreach efforts to see if they will help the board's PEO recruitment efforts.
Provide those organizations with printed materials and links available to you for distribution.
Make sure they are directing any interested owners to request information directly from you or by signing up for more information at www.PEOinOHIO.com.
Many of these organizations will have regularly scheduled meetings where boards can send a representative to speak about the need and benefits for precinct election officials in their county.
Website and Social Media Outreach
Many businesses are easily accessible using on-line tools, which are also very cost-effective. Ensure that businesses provide website and social media information to their employees by making the relevant links available.
- Post requests for assistance on your website.
- Post requests for assistance on your social media accounts and encourage a dialogue on these sites for further interaction. Be sure to make the posts fun and short.
- Encourage them to follow OhioSOSHusted on Facebook and Twitter.
You can also encourage them to use the widget created by the Secretary of State's office to include on their website, blog and social profiles. Simply forward the code for the widget found here.
Printed materials are also very useful. Encourage business support organizations to distribute materials provided to them in their packets (see above).
Word of Mouth
One of the best methods for disseminating information will always be personal interaction. Encourage frequent dialogue between the county board or elections and chambers of comers or business support organizations about the opportunity to serve as a PEO.
Once the county board of elections has successfully started a local business PEO program, evaluate the effectiveness of its recruitment efforts and the value of utilizing business employees as PEOs.
- Track the number of local business employees who serve as PEOs.
- Follow up with local business employees after they serve to hear their thoughts on the program and whether they would be willing to serve as a PEO in the future.
- Follow up with precinct judges on their impressions of the local business employees' work.
- Follow up with chambers of commerce and local business support organizations to evaluate the effectiveness of the program.