Anna Gogadze, Senior Outreach Coordinator
Volunteer Outreach Ambassadors
Hon. Paul A. Stamoulis, Supervisor of Elections
Our Outreach Programs are extensions of the Supervisor of Elections offices. Great strides have been made to make voting easier for our voters with special needs and our senior population. This is a way for the Supervisor of Elections to reach out to the community and serve all citizens of Charlotte County. Serving our elderly population and Veterans with periodic visits throughout the year to various Senior Centers and Veteran’s Homes is beneficial, increasing the value of life for our senior citizens.
Our Senior Outreach Team members go out into the community to provide services to voters that are unable, for any variety of reasons, to come into our offices. We are non-partisan professionals providing general information and tools for allowing voters to be able to cast their vote.
Working through the Activities Director in any of the care facilities that request our presence, the arrangements are made for the residents to interact with the representatives from the SOE office. These team members can help residents register to vote, make necessary changes or updates, deliver and receive ballots during election times and provide answers to questions via non-partisan education materials.
During a non-election year representatives from the Supervisor of Elections office visit Senior Centers and Veteran Homes in Charlotte County. They register new voters, take address changes, party changes, update signatures and take Vote by Mail requests.
During an election year, representatives of the SOE office will pay a visit to the Senior Centers and Veterans Homes in Charlotte County:
One to two months before visiting any Senior Center, the Senior Outreach Coordinator, or designee, contacts the Activities Direct to establish a time and date for representatives from the SOE office to visit. The Activities Director notes this on their calendar allowing residents and family members of residents to know about the upcoming event.
Once time and date are confirmed via communication with the Activities Director, a mailing from our office to the centers confirms all important information. Included is the list of residents receiving ballots or having ballots mailed to them directly.
Family members are encouraged to be on hand if/when possible. This allows the residents to feel more comfortable in the event they have questions or need additional assistance. This becomes especially important when the ballots are delivered, as our representatives are non-partisan and unable to give any information relating to specific candidates or issues.
The Activities Directors at participating Centers sign an agreement confirming they have requested our services and delineating the level of services required. Some only request that we update records and take Vote by Mail requests. In this case, the ballots are mailed to the residents in the facility. In other cases, we deliver the ballots and bring them back to the SOE offices once the voter has completed their ballot.
In the office, several logs are maintained in order to preserve the integrity of the Vote by Mail process. A log is kept, tracking the disposition of the ballots from the time they leave the SOE office until they are securely returned. Vote by Mail ballots are kept secured until they are processed. A delivery bag seal lock is maintained. Each facility has a designated number on a tag, attached to a bag with a seal. These are logged in and out whenever a change occurs.
During an election cycle the ballots are delivered three to four weeks prior to an election. Two to four Volunteer Outreach Ambassadors accompany the Senior Outreach Coordinator. These volunteers are representatives of all of the major parties and assist the voter by reading instructions for marking their ballot. They are collateral witnesses to maintain the integrity of the voting process.
Tying It All Together:
Our dedicated Outreach Specialists and Volunteer Ambassadors represent the Supervisor of Elections Offices and continue to serve the voting needs of the Charlotte County residents who designate Senior Centers and Veterans Homes as their primary residence. The representatives of the SOE office are able to help informed voters exercise their democratic right to vote, fulfilling our founding fathers’ dreams with honor and dignity!
*Florida Voter Registration Applications (FVRA) *Sample Ballots (when available) *Q&A Brochures *Secure Transport Receptacles *Log Reports (to maintain integrity of processes) *Vote by Mail Pamphlets