Poll workers needed across the state

CINCINNATI — With less than three weeks to go before Election Day, counties across the state are searching for poll workers. 

What You Need To Know

  • Ohio is currently short 17,000 poll workers, according to the Secretary of State Frank LaRose
  • Only four of 88 counties have met the staffing requirement
  • The off-year election is looked at as the primary reasoning for the shortage
  • Longtime poll workers and leaders are encouraging others to sign up to fill the need

Ohio Secretary of State Frank LaRose’s Office said only four counties have reached their poll worker recruitment goals with less than three weeks to go before Election Day.

“Right now, we’re about 17,000 poll workers short,” LaRose said. “So we’re putting out the help wanted sign.” 

But local leaders and longtime poll workers are keeping calm and working to fill the demand.

Deborah Weaver is one of those voices. She’s a voting location manager in Hamilton County who has been working at the polls for more than four decades. She’s done so because it’s an important part of the democratic process.

“A lot of my ancestors fought hard to obtain that right to even stand in line to vote,” Weaver said. “And it does make a difference in the outcome of every day living.” 

She is one 27,000 people who have already signed up to work the polls on Nov. 2, but more help is needed. 

Sherry Poland is the director of the Hamilton County Board of Elections and said finding poll workers in an off-year election is a challenge. 

“Right now we are several hundred poll workers short throughout the county,” Poland said. “We are recruiting both Democratic poll workers, Republican poll workers and poll workers who are non-affiliated with any major political party. We can find a place for anyone.” 

Hamilton County is currently onboarding new classes of poll workers, which are paid positions.

“Poll workers are paid,” Poland said. “They’re paid a minimum of $181.50 and can make up to $218 if they are assigned to a manager position.” 

But for Weaver, it’s not about the money; it’s about doing the right thing — something she plans to do as long as she can.

“Until the good Lord calls me home,” Weaver said. “Or I can’t see any more or walk anymore. But yeah, I don’t foresee stopping doing this for a long time. I wanna stick around doing this until I’m about 108.” 

If you’re interested in signing up to be a poll worker you can do so by calling or visiting your local board of elections, or going to this website.

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