The Fayette County Board of Elections is looking for about 50 more poll workers to help out in the November 2016 presidential election.
A training program for people interested in learning how to be a poll worker is being organized.
The training program will be offered during the second week in September and is mandatory for all poll workers, according to Jamie Brooks, Fayette County Board of Elections Deputy Director.
“For this presidential election we are going to have a few more people working so we have enough people to handle the extra people coming to vote,” said Brooks.
Brooks said during a normal election year they might only see a 35 percent voter turnout. But in years when there’s a presidential election, the number of people who come out to vote will at least double.
“There are a lot of people who only vote every four years. We wish it wasn’t that way, we wish people would vote every year,” said Brooks.
Just because more people will turn out to vote, it doesn’t mean their job changes. They still have the same number of polling locations and poll books.
“But we do need to pump up our pool of election officials that we have,” said Brooks.
The Secretary of State sent out a template to use for the training. Brooks said they’re making a PowerPoint for the training.
“It’s pretty intense,” said Brooks.
She said the training will last two to three hours, but will cover everything a person will need to know in order to be a successful poll worker.
“It’s the A-Z on elections,” said Brooks.
She said the training will be offered at the Center for Economic Opportunity. The class will be offered all week, at several times during the day, to keep the class sizes small and manageable.
“It’s a one-time, two to three hour training during the week,” said Brooks.
She said people who are interested in being a poll worker can call the Board of Elections, but she said they need to act now.
“They should get in touch soon, in the next couple of weeks, if they think at all they would be interested or available,” said Brooks.
There is no cost to the training.
And Brooks said they won’t be using the new e-poll books in this year’s election.
“There are 22 counties that will not have e-poll books of the 88 counties for this election cycle,” said Brooks. She said they will transition to using e-poll books for next year’s election.
For this election, poll workers can expect to work from 6 a.m. to 8 or 8:30 in the evening.
“It’s a long day,” said Brooks.
She said they would ideally like to have people work the polls who are comfortable talking to people and are civic minded.
“It’s a patriotic duty,” said Brooks.
Reach Ashley at the Record-Herald (740) 313-0355 or on Twitter @ashbunton