FREDONIA - The Chautauqua County Board of Elections is partnering with SUNY Fredonia in a series of training videos for Election Day officials.
The six 10-minute videos are being produced by the campus' student-run television station WNYF-TV for the Internet. The joint venture will help officials learn responsibilities, voting machine operations, forms and documentation and sensitivity for persons of limited English proficiency.
"We intend to take training for election inspectors in our county into the 21st century," said Brian Abram, county Republican election commissioner.
"The state Board of Elections put together an online training tool for inspectors," he said. "We are taking their information, localizing and condensing it to a more usable format for Chautauqua County."
Added Anthony Popielarz, board of elections' inspector training coordinator: "The Fredonia college students are doing a tremendous job working with our elections staff to produce a high quality training video for our election inspectors."
According to John Matey, president and general manager of WNYF, filming began last weekend, with additional days of shooting to be scheduled.
"We do a number of contracts with businesses outside the school so it's nothing new to us," said Matey, a journalism major at the college. "But it's definitely a good way for the county to collaborate with the school."
Norman Green, county Democratic election commissioner, said the $500 training video project will be available to election workers in early October.
"We are really excited to be partnering with our local college to provide a first-class training video," Green said, noting the production was covered through federal Help America Vote funds.
The training videos are expected to assist election workers for the Nov. 6 general election, Green said.
The county Board of Elections has been working with Matey and Benjamin Kamm, vice president and WNYF station manager. The faculty adviser is Mark Kiyak, assistant professor of communication.
Election trainers Pat Dashiell, Elaine Mulville and bilingual assistant area election director Cyndie Barr also is assisting with the technical aspects of the film with the school.
"It's a great collaboration. ... We should have a few more weekends of filming," Matey said.