When you’re out at the polls today, don’t just think about the candidates running for office, also keep in mind the the dedicated poll workers. After hours of training and — for many — more than 10 years of experience, poll workers flood into area voting sites at 5 a.m. to gear up for a 14-hour workday. While it pays well, anywhere from $95 to $175 for the day, the job involves a huge amount of responsibility as well as a deep knowledge of the election process and Indiana election laws. Poll workers are supplied to the election board thanks to the local political parties. Each party is responsible for providing poll workers.
For big elections such as a presidential election, the parties can supply as many as 1,100 poll workers. However, for this municipal election, there’s only a total of 554. The Republican Party was responsible for providing 331 workers this year. For the 2016 general election, Allen County Republican Party chairman Steve Shine expects to provide more than 500.
Shine said the job of poll work is integral to the election process as a way to establish checks and balances. “It’s very important. They are the greeter, the concierge, the steward of the process,” Shine said. “They lead people to the right place. They make sure it’s secure and every ballot counts. Even if there is an issue, they know how a provisional ballot is cast.