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A record turnout is predicted in Greene County for the November presidential election, and that means extra poll workers will be needed. KSMU's Michele Skalicky has more.
Greene County Clerk Richard Struckhoff says they haven't yet put a finger on the number of poll workers that will be needed for the election in November. But he anticipates the county will need quite a few extra workers than are usually needed during an election.
Recruitment is underway to a certain extent in the county...current poll workers are encouraged to ask people they know to help out. The political parties are involved in finding workers and the Secretary of State's Office has a program in place where anyone interested in becoming a poll worker can enter their name on the Secretary of State's website.
But Struckhoff says the poll worker recruitment effort hasn't yet begun in earnest.
He says they'll look to college campuses in the area to find college students to help out at the polls. And he says they also hope to recruit youth election participants—high school students 16 and 17-years-old who, with the permission of their principals, can provide assistance at polling sites.
They also need special deputies to assist voters with disabilities and to use palm pilots to help voters who go to the wrong polling site, find their correct polling place. He says they'll need 2 special deputies in some locations.
To be a poll worker in MO, you have to be a registered voter in the state. The law has changed to allow people to work in counties other than the one they're registered in.
Poll workers put in long hours on election day—they arrive at their polling place around 5 am and often don't end their day until 9 in the evening. Struckhoff says pay varies depending on their duties.
Training sessions, which usually last about 2 hours, are held the week before the election.
Darrel Smith became a poll worker four years ago after responding to a notice in the paper. He works as a supervisory judge.
He says he's met a lot of nice people and he feels like he's making a difference in the community.
Struckhoff has great respect for people like Smith. He says many of the county's poll workers have been at their job for years.
He says it will be challenge to recruit new, younger poll workers.
To find out more about being a poll worker, call your county clerk's office. In Greene County, the number is 868-4055 or go to the MO Secretary of State's Office's website: sos.mo.gov/pollworker or call 1-800-NOW-VOTE.