DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) – Elections officials in the Miami Valley have seen interest from people wanting to be poll workers, but they’re still in need of more people to make sure they’re prepared for November 8.
“I started looking around in ways that I could be involved in our elections, and I recognized that the county has a real need for qualified, good, hard working people to work the polls,” Montgomery County polling location supervisor Paul Lehner said.
Lehner is a polling location supervisor. He first signed up to be a poll worker in 2016 and has only missed one election day since.
“You’re working from about 5:30 in the morning till 7:30, 8:00 at night continuously,” Lehner said. “It is a long day, but it’s very rewarding.”
Elections officials said that long working window sometimes causes burnout, but it’s that way to ensure the poll workers they need are there and running each precinct.
“If we had a shift and there was a shift change at noon, what happens if your relief doesn’t show up?” Montgomery County Board of Elections Deputy Director Sarah Greathouse said.
Montgomery County is still recruiting poll workers, especially volunteers to have on standby if something comes up.
Both Greene and Miami county elections officials said they’re short on Democrat poll workers.
“Everything we do in our office and with the poll workers on Election Day, it’s all done in bipartisan teams,” Miami County Board of Elections Director Ian Ridgeway said. “There’s always a Republican and a Democrat working together to make sure everything goes smoothly.”
This year, Greathouse said more people are wanting to get involved in the voting process.
“People have started to look into elections administration, and one of the things our poll workers say is they’re so glad because they’ve learned so much,” Greathouse said.
Lehner said volunteers to work at a polling location gives you insight into how Ohio’s election process works.
“You get the opportunity to meet a lot of people that you wouldn’t meet in your community and help them play the central role that we have in our democracy of casting their vote,” Lehner said.
Poll workers in Ohio are paid for the day and can either attend in-person or virtual training. To find out more or sign up to be a poll worker, click here.