Party leader seeks poll worker raises

Published 8:00 pm Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Lincoln County is in need of additional poll workers for local elections.

     Lincoln County Democratic Party Chairperson Helen Funk said election overseers are having problems keeping poll workers.

     “With gas like it is and the long hours, some people just can’t do it,” she said. “We’ve tried for years to get younger people involved, but they don’t want to work for what they get paid.

Subscribe to our free email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox

     “Last election, we were able to get a few qualified young people to work,” she continued. “It’s hard for them to sit there from six in the morning until when the polls close. It makes for a long day.”

     Funk spoke to the Lincoln County Board of Supervisors Monday about giving the workers a raise.

     Currently, poll workers make $80 for working the election, with the people who transport the ballot boxes before and after the election making an extra $20 for a total of $100.

     Funk wanted to give all workers a raise of $15 for working the elections and their long hours.

     The supervisors took the matter under advisement, but District Three Supervisor Nolan Williamson said there is a good chance the raise would be approved.

     “It’ll probably happen,” he said. “We’ve got our budget set, but I feel pretty sure it’ll happen.”

     Williamson said he thinks everyone could benefit from a raise these days.

     “The way the economy is now, everyone could use extra money,” he said.

     Funk said she felt confident the raise would be helpful if approved.

     “I hope we’ll get it,” she said. “I think it would help us attract more people.”

     During a primary election, Funk said the law requires a minimum of three poll workers at every polling place. Lincoln County has 32 total polling places, meaning a total of at least 96 poll workers are needed per party.

     “We have to decide the number needed by the size of the election and how many people are registered in that precinct to know how many workers and machines are needed,” she said.

     The training to become a poll worker is not difficult, said Funk, and does not take much time.

     Once the training is completed, Funk said election officials do their best to accommodate the person’s needs.

     “We try to find a place for them to work if they want to,” said Funk. “I’m very flexible with whatever someone needs.”

     Anyone interested in becoming a poll worker can contact the Lincoln County Circuit Clerk’s office at 601-835-3435.