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County puts out call for poll workers

By JOSH COTTON

jcotton@timesobserver.com

It takes dozens of people throughout the county to ensure that Warren County can run secure and smooth elections.

It includes the county’s election staff and the Board of Elections.

But the rubber meets the road with the people that work the polls each and every election day.

And the county already knows there are vacancies in those offices at precincts around the county.

“(We are) getting a lot of people saying they’re not running again,” Lisa Rivett, the count’s election director, said.

The positions are elected — judge of elections and inspector of elections.

And they’re paid.

Rivett said it’s unclear how many vacancies will exist. The deadline to file nominating petitions to be on the ballot for these positions isn’t until next month.

But she said she’s heard from staff in Farmintgon, Pleasant and Columbus that won’t be seeking another term this election cycle. She’s “afraid” there are going to be a lot of vacancies.

The need isn’t unique — a post by the Pa. Department of State this week noted that all counties have a need for poll workers.

To get on the ballot for judge of elections, 10 signatures are needed from people of the same party and the same precinct. Inspectors of election only need five signatures. There’s no filing fee. And the count will train those elected to these positions; and the training is compensated, as well.

Rivett said the training lasts two to three hours once a year — twice in a presidential cycle. Those new to serving in this capacity will have additional training, as well.

“I think my poll workers are aging,” she said, and “don’t want to take the responsibility. There’s a variety of things that are causing this.”

She acknowledged that election day is a “long day” for those that serve. “We totally get that.”

“I just want to make sure we have full boards for people so they can have people at their polling places.”

All the paperwork needed to run for these crucial offices can be obtained through the county’s election office.

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