Private Banking and Public Elections

In an effort to make casting a ballot as easy as possible, Orange County, California is trying out a host of new ideas Among them, voting booths in malls, and even at the airport But one new plan is raising a few eyebrows The County Registrar has struck a sort of, corporate sponsorship deal with the bank, Wells Fargo What is Wells Fargo gonna do?

Well, it is a corporate sponsorship, but NOT the kind of sponsorship that you traditionally think of Election officials are quick to point out that obviously, no money has been exchanged here, and Wells Fargo Bank has some very strict rules it must follow on election day It’s employees not allowed to wear anything with the company logo on it, or even notify voters that they work for the bank

In Orange County, California, Wells Fargo will supply poll workers on election day The bank says, it is a simple way for it’s employees, to give back to their community

Our role there is to be normal citizens, performing our civic responsibilities, so, all Wells Fargo marketing, advertising is off limits that day, and the inspectors are there, and poll watchers are there to make sure that’s exactly what happens

The Orange County Registrar says this is certainly not about corporate advertising, rather a new and creative way to find volunteers, because listen to this, TEN THOUSAND PEOPLE are needed to man the polls on election day, in The OC.

What we are seeing is that the average age of poll workers is 74 years old. They’re a great group of people, but as they retire out of that system, we have to replace them, with younger folks and new people

And civil liberties groups like the ACLU congratulate Wells Fargo for it’s involvement in the community, but warns that this could become a slippery slope for branding opportunities, if this is not policed properly.