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Board of Elections looking for young poll workers, not preparing for additional ballot boxes

Lucas County Board of Elections Director will follow directive of Secretary of State, hoping to recruit high school seniors as poll workers.
Published: Sep. 16, 2020 at 10:58 PM EDT
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TOLEDO, Ohio (WTVG) - According to the state, more the 65% of Ohio poll workers are over the age of 61, which could put them at a higher risk of contracting COVID-19 on election day, prompting some to stay home and not volunteer on November 3.

To counter that, local election boards are hoping more young people will apply. Secretary of State Frank LaRose is requesting that parents, teachers, and coaches ask their 17-year-old students to serve as poll workers.

Students can earn around $100-$150 for their time, and can also receive community service hours, extra credit in school, and a boost to their college applications.

Lucas County Board of Elections Director LaVera Scott says unlike past years, the board is unable to visit high schools to recruit students, due to many not attending in person because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

However, Scott still encourages the learning process and opportunity for students.

“It’s just becoming part of the process, and if you become part of the process at an early age I think you feel more comfortable about the process of elections itself,” Scott said.

People interested in applying to be a poll worker can go to VoteOhio.gov/DefendDemocracy for more information.

Another hurdle for this election, the prospect of having multiple ballot drop boxes in Lucas County.

A Franklin County Judge ruled Tuesday morning that individual counties could have more than one box, but a statement from the office of Secretary of State Frank LaRose said the ruling does not change his directive, which the board in Lucas County says they will continue to follow.

“We definitely want people to understand that we would love to have things like this happen, the bad thing is, things like this need to start earlier," explains Scott. "They need to start at an earlier time frame so boards of elections can order more ballot boxes, have more ballot boxes made, make connections with the places you want to put them at. That’s not something you can do overnight.”

If you’d like more information, you can click here for everything you need to know about voting this November.

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