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The majority of the bipartisan poll workers in Ohio and across the country are 60 or older. However, with concerns over COVID-19 and the older population being more at risk, young people are needed to fill these roles. The Delaware County Democratic Party is urging young, healthy Ohioans (including high school seniors, recent graduates and veterans) to step up and sign up to be a paid poll worker.
What is expected of you
Paid poll workers, also known as “precinct election officials” or PEOs, must complete a training prior to Election Day. Experienced election workers may complete a virtual training to allow social distancing for in-person trainings. The Board of Elections will also work with you to ensure you are trained at your comfort level.
Workers are assigned to a specific polling location, often their own. They must assist with setting up Monday, Nov. 2, 2020 (the evening before Election Day). The Voting Location Manager (who is in charge of the polling location) will contact all election officials about the specific setup time.
On Election Day, workers manage ballots and supplies; open and close the polling locations; and oversee the casting of ballots throughout Election Day. Workers must arrive at their polling location at the time designated by their Precinct Captain, typically around 5:30 a.m. Polls are open 6:30 a.m. – 7:30 p.m. and workers will clean and pack up the polling location after the polls close.
You get paid and some people can get special credit!
While it’s a long day, you get paid $155 to attend the virtual training, attend setup, and work on Election Day. In addition, certain groups can get extra benefits:
- High school students should work with their schools to earn an excused absence and potentially credit for working the polls.
- Attorneys and social workers can now receive credit toward their mandatory continuing education.
Why it’s a great experience
Being a Poll Worker helps you gain confidence in our election process. You are trained to follow the law and check that the voter is eligible to vote, checking them in, and showing them how to use the voting machine. You are also trained to handle various scenarios that may be out of the ordinary. For example, what to do if someone comes up in the system as having requested an absentee ballot but would like to vote in person, or if their address does not match in the system.
You often serve at your own polling location, so you get to see many of your neighbors as they come through to vote. In addition, all poll locations have an equal number of Democrats and Republicans working. So, you are able to join together with those with whom you may differ in opinion on some issues, but agree on ensuring a safe and fair election!
How the Delaware County Board of Elections is keeping workers safe this year
The Delaware County Board of Elections shared these safety guidelines for this November that include:
- Each poll location will have a layout and signage for voter check-in, voting booths and equipment, spaced six feet apart.
- Poll workers will be provided with face masks, face shields, gloves, hand sanitizer, and sanitizing wipes for the electronic poll books, tables, door handles and other equipment.
- The BOE website and social media will advise voters to maintain six feet of separation at the polling place and to consider bringing their own marking device, a blue or black ink pen, sanitizer & mask. Pens, hand sanitizer and masks will be available for voters who do not bring their own.
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CALL TO ACTION: Sign up to be a poll worker this year by contacting Rob Katula at (740) 833-2096 or RKatula@delawarecountyohio.gov.
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