The Delaware County Board of Elections (BOE) is recruiting an additional 150 registered voters to add to the current pool of poll workers for the Nov. 5 general election and the March 10, 2020, primary election.
“We’re asking people to commit to both elections since they are so close together, so we can have everyone trained on the new equipment for both elections,” said Ali Solove, elections support specialist.
According to the BOE, the county currently has 140,808 registered voters casting ballots in 159 voting precincts that are spread out over 48 voting locations. The board is required by Ohio statute to provide 754 poll workers for all elections, but it usually employs well beyond the required number to help maintain shorter lines by getting voters in and out as quickly as possible on election day.
During the 2015 general election, the turnout rate was 47.65% with 59,118 ballots cast in 151 voting precincts.
According to Solove, the board tries to maintain an average pool of 850 trained poll workers to pull from.
“Not all the poll workers work every election,” she said.
Though a few of the poll workers have worked for many years, Solove said workers retire or move out of the county, so the board is always looking for ways to replenish the numbers.
“I have a couple of workers that are over 90,” she said. “They no longer drive, but they find a ride to get to the precincts.”
To help pad the numbers a little further, Solove said the board also recruits high school seniors to help at the polls on election day. She emphasized that the minimum requirements for high schoolers to work the polls on election day are they have to be seniors, at least 17 years old, and are taking a government or a civics class.
Another way the board finds poll workers is by taking advantage of “Delaware for Democracy,” a program sponsored by Delaware County. According to Solove, the program allows county employees to work the polls on Election Day, instead of their daily jobs.
Solove said poll workers are paid for training and their service in the election.
“The pay for a basic poll worker is $155,” she said.
For more information, contact the Delaware County Board of Elections, 2079 U.S. Route 23, Delaware, by phone at 740-833-2080 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Volunteer forms can be obtained online at www.co.delaware.oh.us/boe/files/PEOapplication.pdf.
According to officials, no one has ever been turned away if there are more poll workers than needed.
Contact D. Anthony Botkin at 740-413-0902. Follow him on Twitter @dabotkin.