Military veterans make great PEOs and comprise a large pool of service-oriented individuals from diverse backgrounds. Veterans are likely to view assisting at polling locations as a continuation of their civic duty and are excellent example of commitment to community.
There are numerous veteran and military support organizations throughout Ohio giving county boards of elections an opportunity to request participation from these often highly organized groups. It is a cost effective means of outreach.
Why recruiting military veterans is a valuable tool for county boards of elections:
- Many young Ohioans are concluding military service at this time.
- Veterans are service-oriented and willing to aid their communities.
- Access to veterans is available statewide, through the Ohio Department of Veterans Services and other local veteran organizations that have field offices and posts in every Ohio county.
Why serving as a PEO is a valuable experience for military veterans and support organizations:
- They are able to continue performing their civic duty.
- They are able to mentor a new generation.
- They receive the stipend.
- Organizations have the opportunity to continue community outreach.
Steps to Recruiting Military Veterans:
- Develop Packet to Send to Military Support Organizations
This packet should include all materials military support organizations need to provide veterans 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 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:
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.
- Communicate Early with Military Support Organizations' Decision Makers
County boards of elections should communicate with local military support organizations.
A letter template has been created to assist in making contact with the decision makers at these organizations.A list of support organizations is available here.
- Promote the Military Support Organization Recruitment Program
Request Assistance from Third-Party Distribution Channels
Contact organizations in your county that regularly conduct military 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 veterans 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 people are easily accessible using on-line tools, which are also very cost-effective. Ensure that military support organizations provide website and social media information to their veterans 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.
County boards of elections 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 military 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 military support organizations about the opportunity to serve as a PEO.
- Measure Your Success
Once the county board of elections has successfully started a military support organization PEO program, evaluate the effectiveness of its recruitment efforts and the value of utilizing military veterans as PEOs.
- Track the number of military veterans who serve as PEOs.
- Follow up with military veterans 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 military veterans' work.
- Follow up with military support organizations to evaluate the effectiveness of the program.