DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) – With Election Day less than three weeks away, thousands of poll workers are still needed across Ohio, and hundreds are needed in the Miami Valley.
Montgomery County has just more than half of the minimum poll workers they need for November 2. Election officials said they’re not concerned yet, but they’re in need of new people to step in this election.
“This being our now fourth election under COVID restrictions, we are seeing a little bit higher fall off than we’d prefer to see, so what we’d like to do is continue to grow our ranks,” Montgomery County Board of Elections deputy director Sarah Greathouse said.
According to Ohio’s Poll Worker Tracker, Montgomery County needs at least 1,440 poll workers to run the polls on Election Day, though the goal is to get 1,800. Currently, they have 827 workers committed, leaving the county 997 workers short of their goal.
“We always recruit more people to work on Election Day than what we’ll actually need, so worse case scenario, we always have people on standby,” Greathouse said.
Across the Miami Valley, other Boards of Elections are also in need of workers. Miami County needs 232 poll workers, Greene County needs 214 and Clark County needs 89.
Ohio Secretary of State Frank LaRose said last November, Ohio saw a record-number of poll workers sign up with 56,000, so far this year, the state is 17,000 short.
LaRose said when people sign up, they get an inside look at Ohio’s voting process.
“You’re doing an important patriotic duty for your community and for your state, this also is your chance to become an election expert to really learn why Ohio’s elections make it easy to vote and hard to cheat and how you can trust Ohio’s elections,” LaRose said.
Greathouse said the biggest impact to their poll worker base is many older workers either have COVID-19 concerns, or have decided to retire. Greathouse said they now need younger generations to sign up even, and so far, people have been responding.
“Running elections in a time of COVID has been incredibly challenging, but one of the opportunities it has given us is that so many people are paying attention to elections in a way that they never did before and so many are choosing to serve as poll workers,” Greathouse said.
To be a poll worker, you are required to be registered to vote in the county you are signing up for. It also requires a combination of online and in-person training.
The position is not volunteer, poll workers are paid $120 plus an additional $25 for serving on Election Day.
To find out more information about how to sign up be a poll worker in Ohio, click here.