Need for poll workers increases as primary gets closer

Local News

Election Day is coming quick and county election boards are making sure they have enough people to work the polls.

It’s getting harder to do, though. Columbiana County is hoping to attract some new workers before the primary.

The county has 73 locations where people vote and it needs 356 poll workers every Election Day.

“There’s just a gap from that crowd that’s been doing it to that next generation, so to speak, filling the ranks,” said Adam Booth, with the county’s board of elections.

A gap and a scramble to make sure every location has people from multiple parties, and that there are enough workers to cover last-minute sicknesses and emergencies.

“I guess frustrating is an OK word. Disheartening, a little bit,” Booth said. “You’d hope to see people step up, it’s a civic duty. We do get paid, it’s not volunteer.”

It just became a little easier to meet that need.

“The commissioners just passed resolution yesterday that allows county employees to serve as poll workers without having to use leave,” Booth said.

All office holders and department heads have been made aware of it. Booth has also reminded other places in the county that they can do the same thing.

He hopes it will help strengthen the list of extras and spares for next month’s election. Training only takes 90 minutes.

“There’s four different jobs to do, not any one are very hard,” Booth said. “We train you to do it. Shouldn’t be any reason to be skeptical, or worried or fearsome of that.”

The work is easy, but Election Day is long — about 14 hours. The best part is you get paid about $100.

“It’s a good feeling to be out there, and helping out your county and government, and be on the front line of democracy,” Booth said.

Every county is in the same position, wanting to find more poll workers so they’re not scrambling before every election.

The primary election in Ohio is May 8. In Pennsylvania, it’s May 15.

Application to become a poll worker in Ohio

Apply to be a poll worker in Mercer County, PA

Apply to be a poll worker in Lawrence County, PA

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