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County will need workers for polls

With Election Day nearing, Lawrence County Board of Election officials are sending out a distress call – they need more poll workers.

Thursday, September 23, 1999

With Election Day nearing, Lawrence County Board of Election officials are sending out a distress call – they need more poll workers.

Anyone with a little free time to spare and a desire to serve the community is encouraged to call the board of elections at 532-0444, Director Mary Wipert said.

"It’s hard to find poll workers," Ms. Wipert said. "It pays $85, and the first time, it’s required that they go to a training class, and that pays $10. But you have to start work at 6 a.m., and you don’t get home until about 8 p.m. The job does not pay enough money."

Hundreds of poll workers are needed throughout the county, however, Ms. Wipert said.

"The Democrats have two poll workers in every precinct and the Republicans have two," she said. "There are 84 precincts in Lawrence County."

And trained poll workers, even if they are not scheduled to work, are needed, as well, Ms. Wipert said.

"About five or six days before Election Day, we lose poll workers," she said. "Then we’re calling everyone we know to find another poll worker. Most of the time we can find some people."

Those who do work the polls seem to enjoy the long day, however, Ms. Wipert added.

"They see people they haven’t seen for years, and most people just love it," she said.

But the job does carry its own responsibilities. There are four different jobs at every precinct. No one is sent in unprepared, though, Ms. Wipert said.

There will be three training classes offered in October, Ms. Wipert said.

They will be at 7 p.m. Oct. 19 and 2 p.m. Oct. 21 at the Common Pleas Court, and at 6 p.m. Oct. 25 at Chesapeake West Elementary School, she said.

"If anyone’s not sure whether or not they want to be involved, they can come to the school of instruction," Ms. Wipert said. "Of course, without registering first, they will not get paid, but they could see if it would be something they would be interested in doing."

Ms. Wipert also has been known to train volunteers the day before the election if extra workers are needed.

And even a first-timer should have no fear when Election Day dawns, because there will always be someone around to ask if they don’t know the answer to a questions, or forget how to do something, Ms. Wipert said.

"We won’t stick you in a precinct where everyone’s new," she said.