The Hamilton County Board of Elections says it still needs hundreds of poll workers to helm election-day operations on Tuesday, Nov. 8.
“It takes a small army to put on an election for Hamilton County,” says Board of Elections director Sherry Poland in an Oct. 4 news release. “We still need 300 people to answer the call.”
A large part of the shortage comes as aging poll workers stay inside to protect themselves from the continued threat of COVID-19. According to the U.S. Election Assistance Commission, most poll workers have traditionally been over the age of 61, making them especially vulnerable to complications if they contract COVID-19.
Threats against poll workers in the wake of election fraud misinformation during the 2020 election also have contributed to a decline in volunteers. Senior FBI officials announced on Oct. 3 that seven states continue to see unusual levels of threats against poll workers, including in Ohio's neighbor Michigan.
The majority of positions needed in Hamilton County are known as precinct election officials, or PEOs. This position helps to set up the polls the Monday night before Election Day, and they instruct voters about procedures at the polling place the day of the election. The position pays $181.50 and requires a four-hour training session, which are offered mornings, afternoons and evenings starting Oct. 10.
The other positions available are voting location manager (VLM) and voting location deputy (VLD), which manage responsibilities and procedures at the polling place. While the Election Day process is non-partisan, these two positions are staffed by people from opposite political parties.
Poland tells CityBeat these positions make slightly more money for their time, with VLMs making $218 and VLDs making $186.50.
To fill any of these positions, applicants must:
- Be a registered voter in Hamilton County, Ohio
- Be a United States citizen
- Be able to speak, read and write fluently in the English language
- Be comfortable using electronic technology
- Not be a candidate for any office to be voted on at the polling place in that election
- Not be convicted of a felony
Stay connected with CityBeat. Subscribe to our newsletters, and follow us on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Google News, Apple News and Reddit.