CLEVELAND — Labor shortages have affected a number of industries and election officials are hoping to stave off a shortage of poll workers in November.
According to Ohio Secretary of State Frank LaRose, Ohio is 6,000 individuals shy of the minimum number of poll workers needed to staff all polling locations on Nov. 2. Overall, county boards of elections are 17,000 workers shy of their goal to fully staff election sites.
The greatest need, according to LaRose, is in Ohio’s three largest counties — Franklin, Cuyahoga and Hamilton. According to data from LaRose’s office, Cuyahoga County requires 3,900 poll workers to staff all polling locations. As of Wednesday, Cuyahoga County has 1,623 poll workers committed to work Nov. 2.
While the numbers may seem dire, Cuyahoga County Board of Elections spokesperson Mike West is confident the county will be fully staffed.
“We are on track to meet our goals but we are always looking for additional poll workers,” he said.
According to the Secretary of State’s Office, four counties — Adams, Holmes, Lorain and Pickaway — have already met their goal for hiring poll workers. The goal for 2021 is for each county to have 125% of the minimum number of trained workers required.
But dozens of counties still remain hundreds of workers shy of having the minimum number of poll workers.
“Last year Ohioans stepped up in record numbers to serve as poll workers, showing the world the patriotism and can-do sense of public service our state has always exemplified,” said LaRose. “As this year’s important November election approaches, we’re still a long way away from ensuring a full complement of poll workers to staff our thousands of polling locations across the state. If you volunteered to serve as a poll worker last year or have ever wondered what it’s like to serve your community and perform an important patriotic duty in a time of need, Ohio voters need you.”
Ohioans interested in working the polls can fill out a form online. Pay for poll workers vary by county, but generally pay more than $100 for Election Day.