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Court program encourages lawyers to staff polls in November

COLUMBUS (AP) — Lawyers who volunteer as poll workers could earn continuing education credit hours in exchange, under a program announced by the Ohio Supreme Court and the state elections chief as the state faces a poll worker shortage because of the coronavirus pandemc.

 

To earn the four hours of credit under the initiative, participating attorneys must complete training at local election boards and work the entire voting day. Workers typically serve from 5:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. when polls close.

 

“I can think of no greater opportunity for lawyers in Ohio to give back to our state than to get involved on election day and help fill the urgent need for poll workers,” Chief Justice Maureen O’Connor said.

 

Before in-person voting was suspended for the March 17 primary, elections chief Frank LaRose was monitoring a shortage of workers as many long-time poll volunteers opted against serving because of the coronavirus.

 

“Safe and accessible in-person voting is essential, and that requires large numbers of dedicated poll workers who will deliver accurate, accessible, secure, elections for their fellow Ohioans,” LaRose said.

 

Ohio has about 44,000 licensed attorneys. They must earn 24 continuing education hours every two years.