As the presidential election draws closer, the Delaware County Board of Elections continues to recruit people to work the polls.
Officials are predicting the highest turnout of voters ever in the county for November.
Board officials said Delaware County had a 79 percent voter turnout with 99,254 registered voters in the 2012 presidential election.
“It was the highest percentage in the state,” said Ali Solove, poll worker coordinator and public outreach for the county Board of Elections.
Officials said they are expecting an 80 percent or higher voter turnout this fall.
According to Solove, the board uses an average of 850 regular poll workers for local elections. Given the nature of this year’s presidential election, they are expecting the number of workers needed to reach over 1,000, she said.
Delaware County sponsors a program called “Delaware for Democracy,” allowing county employees to work the polls on Election Day, instead of going to their everyday job. They spend the day working the polls, Solove said.
“We have people who have been doing this for years,” Solove said. “Every year they want to come back.”
Solove said one such person is Helen Christensen who has worked the polls for 54 years.
Solove said the board recruits high school students who have turned 17 years old and are taking government and civic classes to help at the polls.
“We have contact with each of the schools in the county,” Solove said. “It counts as an alternative learning experience.”
“We’ll have 175 or so students,” said Rand Guebert, election services specialist. “It’s a good citizenship opportunity.”
Poll workers are paid for their service. “The average base pay for a worker is $150 for the day,” Solove said.
If you’re interested in being a poll worker, the minimum requirement is being 17 and a high school senior.
Volunteer forms can be obtained online at www.co.delaware.oh.us/boe/files/PEOapplication.pdf.
For more information, contact the Delaware County Board of Elections, 2079 U.S. 23, Delaware OH 43015, by phone at 740-833-2080, or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
D. Anthony Botkin may be reached at 740-413-0902 or on Twitter @dabotkin.