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Ohio Election Officials Need Poll Workers Now For November Contest

Debbie Holmes

Voter turnout in Ohio has hovered around 70% in presidential election years, and the Secretary of State predicts turnout will be as high as ever this year. But with lingering concerns about the pandemic, election officials say it's important to get as many Ohioans as possible to vote early.

The state has approved spending $1.5 million in federal funds to send absentee ballot applications to nearly 8 million registered voters. If more Ohioans vote early – either by mail or during in-person early voting days –officials say it will help alleviate long lines on Election Day.

Now, local election boards are gearing up to find poll workers. Sherry Poland, director of the Hamilton County Board of Elections, says it is important for poll workers, especially those who are high-risk for COVID-19, to get in contact now to talk about their plans for this November.

“We understand if we have to sit this one out, but we need to know that now," Poland says.

Elections officials say it will be a challenge to recruit the 35,000 poll workers they need, so they will be asking students, community groups and veterans organizations to help.

Jo Ingles is a professional journalist who covers politics and Ohio government for the Ohio Public Radio and Television for the Ohio Public Radio and Television Statehouse News Bureau. She reports on issues of importance to Ohioans including education, legislation, politics, and life and death issues such as capital punishment.