Poll workers, a part of the election process
When it comes time to cast a ballot on Nov. 6 don’t overlook the people at your polling location who are there to make help provide that opportunity.
Poll workers are the folks who greet you at your precinct, check your identification, have you sign your name in the poll book, and then give you instructions on how to cast your ballot whether it’s by using an electronic machine or an optical scanned paper ballot.
Poll workers are often friends and neighbors and they do important jobs to help run the election.
The day typically starts around 6 a.m. and includes tasks such as to open up the polls and make sure the machines ready to operate. This all must be finished prior to 6:30 a.m., when the polls are supposed to be open.
Small jobs that most people don’t think about such as placing American flags at the polling location is part of the work.
During Election Day, it’s a poll workers job to make sure each voter is registered. Sometimes a voter must cast a provisional ballot because their identity can’t be verified by required identification or in situations where there might be a question of the voter’s eligibility in that specific precinct.
It’s the job of the poll worker to determine when a provisional ballot must be cast and they are trained on when those situations apply and how to handle it.
Once the election hours are concluded at 7:30 p.m. — unless directed to stay open longer due a court order — poll workers close down the voting location and deliver ballots to the county elections board, which works as quickly as possible to get them counted so the public can learn the unofficial results.
One thing to note is work as a poll worker is not a volunteer position, it is a paid one and the rate is set by the respective county.
In Lake County, a poll worker is paid $107.91 plus $20 for training. Presiding judges receive $127.91, plus $20 for training. In Geauga County, poll workers are paid $107.91, plus $30 for training. Presiding judges earn an extra $5 to $11, plus $30 for training.
There is always a need for poll workers in Lake County and most other counties, election officials will say. Inevitably someone gets sick or has an emergency and just can’t make it to the polls, so another person has to be ready to step in as a substitute, if necessary.
Serving as a poll worker, which I haven’t done because I’m usually working to cover an election, would be something I’d like to do sometime. I’m told it’s a long day, but most often a rewarding one because it’s a chance to be a part of the election process and serve the community.
Lake County TEA Party meets
The Lake County TEA Party will meet at 7 p.m., Tuesday at Harvey High School Auditorium in Painesville. Ohio School Board candidates Bev Goldstein, District 11, and Sarah Fowler, District 7 are scheduled to speak.
For any Nov. 6 candidates who have earned endorsements (not from The News-Herald), feel free to email them or fax them. Because of the volume and space required to list them, these items will not be printed in this column. Instead, they’ll be posted periodically on The News-Herald’s Northern Ohio Politics Blog at NorthernOhioLocalPolitics.blogspot.com.
The weekly deadline for information to appear in this column is each Wednesday at 5 p.m. Email or fax is preferred.
* Lori DiNallo, candidate for Ohio House of Representatives District 60, hosts a clambake 6:30 p.m. Oct. 17 at Benny Vino Urban Winery in Perry Village. See Jan Clair.
* Judy Moran, candidate for Lake County commissioner, hosts a Ladies Luncheon with special guest speaker Kathy Purmal, noon to 2:30 p.m. Oct. 21, at Cappelli’s Party Center in Mentor. See Kathy Russo or Shirely Vesel.
John Arthur Hutchison