AUBURN — The DeKalb County Election Board has heavily staffed its vote centers by adding extra poll workers for the Nov. 3 General Election, DeKalb County Clerk Holly Albright reported.
In its first year of using vote centers, the county needs a minimum of 82 workers to staff the vote center model, Albright said.
One of the benefits of being a vote center county is the flexibility of staffing the vote centers, Albright said. At larger and busier sites, as many workers as needed can be added, she explained.
“Since this is our first year utilizing vote centers and it is a presidential election year, we have heavily staffed all our sites by adding additional workers. We have added 10 additional workers for a total of 92 poll workers,” she explained.
Albright said it is the responsibility of the county Democratic and Republican parties to find poll workers, as the polls are staffed in a bi-partisan manner.
“Both parties were able to find the required number of workers,” Albright said.
In the past, when DeKalb County followed a precinct voting model, five workers were required at each precinct, no matter the size of the precinct, Albright explained.
“DeKalb has 39 precincts, so under the precinct model we were required to have 195 workers,” she added.
Albright said this year, the county has about 10 new poll workers who are ages 18-40, as well as about 10 new workers who are age 50 and older.
“Both parties have a list of experienced workers they call each year to work the polls, and we make sure to staff the polls with a good mix of experienced and novice poll workers at each site,” Albright said.
Poll workers earn up to $150 for their service, depending on the county, according to the Indiana Secretary of State’s office. In DeKalb County, inspectors and lead judges each receive $136, judges receive $120 and clerks are paid $105. All workers receive a $20 meal allowance. All poll workers also are required to attend a two-hour training class and they are paid $15 for attending, Albright said.
Included in the 92 workers who will staff this year’s polls are 16 students. Albright said the Election Board must unanimously approve the use of student poll workers. Requirements are that the student:
• is at least age 16 but not 18 or older;
• is a citizen of the United States;
• is a resident of the county;
• has a cumulative grade-point average equivalent to not less than 3.0 on a 4.0 scale;
• has the written approval of the principal of the school the individual attends or the approval of the individual responsible for the education of the student if the student is educated in the home;
• has the approval of the individual’s parent or legal guardian;
• has completed the required training conducted by the county Election Board; and
• meets all the other criteria to serve as a precinct official under Indiana code.
“It’s a long day for our poll workers. They cannot leave the polls during Election Day, so it’s a 13- to 14-hour day for these individuals. They arrive at 5 a.m. to set up and get ready for voters to begin voting at 6 a.m. After the polls close at 6 p.m. they have to clean up the polling site and return all the election supplies back to the courthouse,” Albright said.
“The DeKalb County Election Board greatly appreciates all the men and women who step up to help their fellow citizens exercise their right to vote. We could not do it without them, and we appreciate their service.”