WE need Democratic Election Inspectors
We have recently lost two of our long-time Election Inspectors, Helen Kukon and Cindy Smith. Roberta Griffin, also a stalwart at the polls has suffered some health problems that make it uncertain if she could do it this November. Many of the inspectors are of an age that one can’t guarantee attendance at an event so far into the future!
The Job is this:
You spend an afternoon or morning at a training session that is conducted by the Columbia County Election officials. You will be surrounded by long-timers who just need to brush up details and other newcomers like yourself.
On Election Day you put that knowledge to work as you sit at the table at the polling site and greet folks who come in to vote. You check their entry in the Voter Enrollment Books to see if they are in the correct place to vote, ask them to sign the book and send them on to cast their ballots.
People come in in dribs and drabs, occasionally several all at once, but it is easy to move them through the process without much of a wait. Voters are grateful that you are doing this job. You need to be patient and friendly and helpful. You meet people whose names you have heard but now you can put a face to them. You are being an essential part of our democratic process.
You get paid for it, too. A general election would call for a shift of from 5 AM to 10 PM. Yes, that many consecutive hours. You have breaks whenever it slows down and the Town usually provides cold cuts and sandwich fixin’s and coffee, but sometimes Inspectors get together and organize some better repast. In other words, you are not “chained to the desk”. Under some circumstances you can arrange to work a half shift and share the task with someone else who needs to work reduced hours.
You do put in long shifts, from getting to the polls an hour before it opens at 6 AM and staying all day and about an hour after the polls close at 9 PM to get the count and close up. ( For the Primary Elections the hours for the Polls are NOON to 9PM.) The hourly pay rate is now $12.00/hour, so for a 17 hour day you would receive $204.00. When the polls close you stay until the counts can be verified and the County’s delegated “Ballot Catchers” take the ballots safely to the Sheriff’s office for security.
It’s a nice little piece of money to earn just before the Holidays, and you are helping to fulfil the democratic ideal of fair elections. Please contact me if you are the least bit intereted in becoming an Inspector! Or if you know someone who might be interested!
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