More poll workers needed for Vinton County General ElectionFree Access

With the Nov. 8 General Election less than one month away, the leaders at the Vinton County Board of Elections are still hoping to recruit and hire some additional poll workers to help conduct the election.

Vinton County Elections Director Melissa Hale told The Telegram Wednesday that a total of 80 poll workers are needed to staff the 20 voting precincts across the county with four assigned to each precinct. As of Wednesday afternoon, a total of 76 poll workers were signed up and will be ready to serve on Election Day.

However, because elections in Ohio are conducted in a bipartisan fashion, the number of poll workers must be evenly divided between Republicans and Democrats with independents being allowed to make up the balance if there is not a sufficient number of Republicans or Democrats. Hale reports there are 40 Republican poll workers signed up, but only 36 designated as either Democrats or Independents. Therefore, to fill the shortage for the Nov. 8 General Election, the staff needs to add a combination of four more Democrats and/or Independents.

Moreover, Hale is hoping to recruit more than four extra poll workers for this election cycle as she points out that reserves will always likely be needed as scheduled poll workers may be unable to work for a variety of different reasons. Therefore, Republicans interested in becoming poll workers can also sign up now and be ready to serve as if needed this year. Otherwise, they will be on the rolls ready to serve in future elections.

“I would really like to have some extras,” Hale said, hoping to plug any staffing gaps on short notice.

There are only a few requirements for poll workers: (1) They have to be 18 years of age or older; (2) They have to be registered voters; (3) They cannot have been convicted of a felony-level crime; (4) They cannot be running as a candidate in the same election for which they are serving as a poll worker.

As for the benefits, poll workers earn more than $125 for one day of work on Election Day. This work experience as a poll worker can look good on a job resume or college application and poll workers gain a firsthand understanding of elections and the voting process.

Prospective poll workers must take mandatory training, but it is usually accomplished in one brief session at the Vinton County Board of Elections office.

Poll workers do not need to reside in the precinct where they live as the Elections Office can assign them to serve where they are needed. However, Hale said she likes to allow poll workers to work in the polling place they prefer if that’s possible to do.

Those interested in becoming a poll worker in Vinton County should contact the Vinton County Board of Elections office by calling 740-596-5855.

Polling places will be open from 6:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. on Nov. 8. Prospective voters who wish to view sample ballots for each local precinct can see them on the Vinton County Board of Elections website at Members of the public are also invited to stop by the office for information or assistance regarding the General Election. The office is located in the Vinton County Community Building at 31935 Stat Route 93, McArthur.

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