Miami County meets poll worker quota

MIAMI COUNTY — Miami County is one of 72 Ohio counties that has met its recruitment goal for poll works for the Nov. 3 election.

Last week, Miami County Board of Elections Director Laura Bruns said the goal was to have 520 people, or about six people per precinct.

Bruns said interested registered voters, from both parties, continue to call and have offered to work the polls. Bruns said they are taking down a list of names because “there’s no such thing as too many” poll workers. The board of elections will train those who are interested even though they may not be needed. With the COVID-19 pandemic, officials said they would rather have more than necessary ready to help at the polls.

“The way I look at it is if a voter wants to work and comes to training, they are going to learn a lot about how this process works just coming to an hour-and-a-half training,” Bruns said. “The more people who understand how things work the better.”

Bruns said if those who come to training and get paid $15 don’t end up working, that’s OK. Board of Elections member Jim Oda asked if those who are trained can always be in the pool of poll workers for the next election, which Bruns affirmed.

According to the Secretary of State’s press release last week, 53,034 Ohioans have signed up to serve as a poll worker on Nov. 3, including includes 22,830 Democratic poll workers and 20,147 Republicans.

There are only 16 counties that are more than 100 poll workers away from meeting their goal. Those counties are Allen, Ashtabula, Clermont, Cuyahoga, Darke, Franklin, Greene, Hamilton, Lawrence, Mahoning, Montgomery, Richland, Ross, Stark, Summit, and Trumbull. Particular focus is on Franklin, Hamilton, and Summit counties — all of which require 500 or more poll workers to meet their goal, with Summit the furthest away – still needing 843 poll workers.

The board of elections also received an additional grant from the Vote at Home institute for around $35,000 which is the amount it will cost to purchase a ballot extractor. Bruns said the other grant, the Center for Tech and Civic Life’s grant for $39,000, will be used to pay for Election Day lunch for the county’s poll workers, as well as polling location rent and seasonal employees and outreach for ads, from print to YouTube video ads.

Those interested in serving as a poll worker can sign up at VoteOhio.gov/DefendDemocracy or the board of elections office (937)440-3905. For those who sign-up online, the boards of election have been instructed to promptly contact the voter and schedule training. From there you will be assigned to work a neighborhood polling location or may serve as a reserve poll worker and be on-call for election day.