State giving out funds for poll worker training

Published 9:23 am Tuesday, July 17, 2012



Extra state money coming into the county’s board of elections will go toward training poll workers for the upcoming presidential election in the fall.

The office of Secretary of State has earmarked $760,000 to be distributed to all 88 counties based on voter registration figures. That means $4,841.34 will come to Lawrence County.

“It will help,” county BOE director Cathy Overbeck said. “Every little bit helps us. Is it ever enough? No.”

The distribution was determined by taking each county’s voter registration figure and dividing that by the total number of registered voters in the state, according to Alexis Zoldan, deputy press secretary for Jon Husted, Ohio’s Secretary of State.

“Then you multiply that percentage by the funds,” she said.

The distribution for Lawrence County was based on a voter registration of 49,501.

This election Overbeck will hire and train 336 poll workers, plus extras to be on standby if any of the regularly assigned workers cannot serve. This election all workers must undergo training, even if they have worked a precinct in past years, according to a Secretary of State directive.

“They have to take one class,” said Overbeck, who usually teaches. “This election everyone has to train. We have a pretty high percentage of returning workers.”

Base pay for a precinct worker is $101.50 for the day with additional pay for extra duties. There are four workers per precinct.

“You check their identification and make sure they are registered in that precinct and that their information is current and provide them with a ballot,” the director said.

Overbeck is already anticipating paying out more for part-time help since the Husted’s office expects the number of those voting via absentee ballots to be up 50 percent. The extra help is needed to process the absentees. In May the secretary of state began sending out absentee ballots directly to every registered voter.

“The whole idea is to encourage poll worker training and make sure everyone is prepared for the November election,” Zoldan said about the funding.