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Civic Engagement

Monroe County Election Fellows

The Monroe County Election Fellows (MCEF) Program fosters student civic engagement by recruiting, training, and mobilizing students to work at the polls on Election Day. MCEF is a unique collaboration between the Rochester Center for Community Leadership, Monroe County Board of Elections, Monroe Community College, Nazareth College, Roberts Wesleyan College and St. John Fisher. The program was piloted from 2010-2012 with the support of a grant from the US Election Assistance Commission. As of May 2018, Rochester Institute of Technology and the College at Brockport have joined the partnership.

The MCEF Program seeks to engage college students in the democratic process not just as voters but as election inspectors at the polls on Election Day. Through this community involvement, students:

  • gain a deeper understanding of civic life in Monroe County,
  • an in-depth understanding of the logistics of conducting a democratic election, and
  • a stronger sense of commitment to the democratic process.

In 2011, 200 undergraduate students from the five partner institutions served as election inspectors throughout Monroe County. In 2018, the goals is to recruit more than double that number. Monroe County Election Fellows will be recruiting 60 students from each of the seven partner colleges for a total of 420 student inspectors. 

Student election inspectors work alongside community poll workers, many of whom (about 75%) return to serve at the polls year after year. There are almost 800 voting districts in Monroe County that need workers on Election Day, and about 3,200 inspectors are needed. Students play an important role in filling that gap of required poll workers.

Election Fellows

Two students from each partner institution are hired as Election Fellows. They receive advanced technical, civic, and leadership training and are responsible for designing and implementing strategies to recruit poll workers (election inspectors) from their respective colleges. Election Fellows must be registered to vote in Monroe County as either a Democrat or a Republican, or be willing to update their registration to meet these requirements. The 2018 Election Fellows application is now closed. 

Election Inspectors

Monroe County Election Inspectors (poll workers) are responsible for overseeing elections in Monroe County. Election Inspectors work in bi-partisan teams at polling sites across the county to ensure that voters are processed in a fair and efficient manner according to election law. They are compensated for their work on Election Day.

Responsibilities include:

  • signing in voters
  • handing out ballots
  • assisting voters with disabilities,
  • and explaining voting technology.

Inspectors must be registered to vote in Monroe County as either a Democrat or a Republican, or be willing to update their registration to meet these requirements. Election Inspectors attend a mandatory training prior to Election Day. Transportation to and from your assigned polling site will be coordinated by your college's Election Fellow (for students from the seven partner institutions serving as inspectors). Election Day is Tuesday, November 6, 2018.

Interested? Contact Abbie Deacon at to learn more.

View a list of Monroe County Offices to be elected in 2018 by clicking here.