Election volunteers needed

By Angie Baldelomar

As the Aug. 2 primary elections approach, so does the need for volunteers to work in the polls and to help count ballots once the polls are closed that day.

Decatur County Clerk Colleen Geihsler said she needs 55 volunteers who can be present from 6 a.m. election day until 7 p.m. when polls close. People can also volunteer as counters, and that job can start any time after 5 p.m. and finish around 9 p.m., if it is a smaller election, or as late as 2 a.m. if it is a bigger vote, she said. Workers are paid $7.50 per hour.

This year, the primary election falls the same day as the start of the Decatur County Fair, which could be an issue said Ms. Geihsler.

“The fair starting that day takes care of a lot of mothers,” she said. “People are saying they can’t help this election because they have kids who are doing 4-H for the fair.”

Another issue, she said, is that some older volunteers do not want to work anymore, and the younger group works at the fair.

“They’re getting to a point where they don’t want to do it anymore,” she said. “It’s too much.”

Ms. Geihsler said bigger counties have machines that count the ballots, but here in Decatur County, they are counted by hand.

“We really need people who want to work for the election,” she said.

The county will have polling places in Norcatur, Jennings, Dresden and at The Gateway in Oberlin, she said.

“We have a couple of volunteers from each city so far,” she said, “but of course, we need all the volunteers we can get.”

Ms. Geihsler said she will hold a class to go over everything volunteers have to do on Friday, July 29, at the court room of the courthouse. She said she wants to have volunteers signed up before that day. Volunteers can sign up by calling the clerk’s office at (785) 475-8101.

This story was published on page 3A of The Oberlin Herald‘s print edition on July 20, 2016.


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