AP and EWU continue election day partnership

By Sam Jackson, Reporter

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The Associated Press is partnering with EWU by hiring up to 300 students to work the AP Western Region Election Center for the Nov. 6 general elections. 

Since the 2000 general elections, the AP and EWU have come together for this project every two years.

Selected students will be paid $12.50 an hour for training and working as vote entry clerks in the EWU Fieldhouse. Students will input voting results, gather data, staff computers, receive calls from AP representatives and assist AP staff members with other tasks.

“It’s a great opportunity for Eastern students to participate in the democratic process in a different way and to see it from a different vantage point,” political science professor Jim Headley said. “It’s a pretty cool opportunity, […] in that Eastern is one of the few universities in the United States that has this relationship with the AP.”

Anyone interested in democracy is encouraged to participate in this event. 

“Obviously political science majors would be good candidates, but it’s definitely not limited to political science majors,” Headley said. “In fact, this partnership between the AP and EWU is through the EWU journalism program and the ASEWU. So, there’s a broad variety of majors that participate.”

Headley considers this opportunity to be “a unique and important service,” because the AP could choose any university to conduct this partnership, but it picked EWU.

“The students who do this, they perform a great service because even though it’s data entry, it’s still journalism, and we are the primary supplier of that information that comes out on election night,” AP Data Center director Dana Bloch said. “What we type in there [vote data] is being seen around the world, so it’s an important job.”

The AP is accepting preregistration for positions until Tuesday, Oct. 30. Students are hired on a first-come first-serve basis. 

Training starts on Oct. 30 from 4-6 p.m. and again on Saturday Nov. 3 from 9 a.m-noon in the EWU Fieldhouse. Students that are hired will be required to attend both training days. 

To preregister for a position, students must email their name, phone number, email address and address to Steve Blewett, former EWU journalism program director and position recruiter for the event, at [email protected] 

Students that register early and that attend both training sessions are guaranteed a position on election night.

“Not bad to get paid to have an interesting seat on election night,” Headley said.

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