Friday, February 18, 2000

Poll workers needed for March 7 primary

The Cincinnati Enquirer

        BATAVIA — Wanted: People to work one long day, earn upward of $120 and play a crucial role in that quintessentially American thing called Election Day.

        Counties that need poll workers include Clermont, Hamilton and Butler.

        Polls are open 6:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. March 7, and workers are expected to be there about a half-hour before and up to an hour afterward.

        Each precinct is required to have four poll workers, two Republicans and two Democrats. The only qualification is that one be a registered voter in that county. A training class is required.

        Ohio has moved up its presi dential primary from March 21 to March 7. Some local issues will also be decided. Officials with several county boards of elections said Thursday that the earlier date might be a factor, as some residents spend the winter out of state.

        This is especially true of retired residents, who typically are the core of the poll work force at Hamilton County's 1,083 precincts.

        “We rely heavily on our retired citizens,” Julie Stautberg, Hamilton County's director of elections, said Thursday. “They're the backbone. And it's a sense of civic pride, too.”

        “We're the same way,” said poll worker clerk Angie Myers of the Butler County Board of Elections. “We have them sign up at previous elections and we're calling them, but many of our regulars are in Florida.”

        Of Butler County's 279 precincts, the most pressing needs are in the Union Township area and Middletown, Ms. Myers said. The pay is up to $120 per day in Butler, the same as in Hamilton County.

        It's $110 in Clermont County, where there are 196 precincts. The election bureau reports serious shortages throughout the county, but notably in the Miami and Union township areas.

        “It's a bigger need than normal,” said Kathy Jones, Clermontboard of elections deputy director. “(There are) a lot of people that possibly didn't realize the change to March.”

        Presiding judges and ballot judges, who transport election materials, get additional pay.

        Board of elections numbers:

        • Butler County, 887-3700

        • Clermont County, 732-7275

        • Hamilton County, 632-7000

        • Warren County, 925-1358


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