Summit County elections board calling for poll workers

Staff Writer
Kent Weeklies

The Hudson League of Women Voters is encouraging citizens to become poll workers for the November General Election.

The Summit County Board of Elections needs at least 1,680 poll workers to staff all precincts in the county. According to Board of Elections Director Lance Reed, the workers are needed now.

Training sessions are scheduled between early September and mid-October, although Reed says they may have to add “emergency” trainings sessions up until the election. Trained poll workers are assigned to teams of four per precinct – two Republicans and two Democrats.

In the 2018 election, over half of all poll workers were over the age of 60. Many of them are opting out of the upcoming election, albeit with some reluctance.

“This was going to be my fourth and last presidential election and I do feel somewhat cheated,” said league member Rosanne Thomas. “Election Day is quite long, but helping neighbors perform our duty as American citizens, and working with a wonderful bipartisan team was so rewarding.”

Current LWVH President, Carol O’Connell, said fair elections are the cornerstone of our democracy. Recognizing their importance and wanting to do her part, she has signed up to be a poll worker for the first time. She says she is hoping to start a trend.

The Secretary of State and board of elections are trying to recruit poll workers from entirely new groups of people. Summit County BOE is already reaching out to high school seniors who are at least 17 years old — too young to vote, but not too young to work the polls.

Both the Ohio Bar Association and the Accountancy Board of Ohio will give lawyers and CPA’s continuing education credits to work on Nov. 3.

Election Day for poll workers begins at 5:30 a.m. with polls opening at 6:30 a.m. Poll workers process all voters, including those with disabilities or in need of curbside voting, until 7:30 p.m. To keep poll workers and voters safe this year, the board of elections will be providing masks, gloves, hand sanitizer and wipes.

Applications to become a poll worker can be submitted online through the Ohio Secretary of State’s office at VoteOhio.gov/DefendDemocracy or on the Summit County Board of Elections website www.summitcountyboe.gov. The Board of Elections website also has an application form that can be downloaded and sent by mail.