(Posted Feb. 19, 2020)
By Kristy Zurbrick, Madison Editor
Madison County poll workers are in for a treat when they report for duty on March 17, primary election day.
Barbara Niemeyer, a member of the Madison County Board of Elections, secured donations from local businesses to provide freshly baked cinnamon rolls, coffee, and pizza to individuals working at all six of the county’s polling locations.
“I used to be a poll worker. When you’re working, it’s a long day,” Niemeyer said. “When I got on the Board of Elections, I decided I was going to do something to offer an incentive or perk to poll workers and to say thank you.”
On election day, poll workers start their day at 5:30 a.m. and end it only after all ballots are reconciled and polling locations are packed up. Polls close at 7:30 p.m. Reconciliation and packing wraps up one to two hours later. The pay is $111 for the day.
“If you’re a poll worker, you are doing it because you believe in democracy, in the right to vote, and in serving the community,” Niemeyer said.
On March 17, Madison Senior Living Community will provide poll workers with cinnamon rolls and coffee. Businesses helping to provide pizza are Domino’s of London, Phat Daddy’s Pizza in London, Domino’s of Plain City, Mike’s Pizza in West Jefferson, and Joe’s Lakeside Pizza at Choctaw Lake.
“It was unbelievable, the level of support. Not one business turned me down,” Niemeyer said.
All of the poll worker positions are filled for the March 17 primary election, but the Board of Elections is always looking for poll workers for future elections.
Madison County’s polling sites are located at Jonathan Alder, London, Madison-Plains and West Jefferson high schools, the Mount Sterling Community Center, and Choctaw Lake Lodge.
Poll workers must be registered voters in Madison County. The exception is high school seniors, who do not need to be registered but do need to be county residents, at least 17 years old, and recommended to the Board of Elections by their school advisors.
Training is required for all poll workers and takes place at least 60 days prior to each election. Poll workers are paid $10 per hour for training. Most positions pay $111 for work performed on election day. The exception is site manager, which pays $126 for the day.
Anyone interested in becoming a poll worker can call the Board of Elections, (740) 852-9424, to be placed on a call list. The board will start calling potential poll workers in September for the November election.