State offering attorneys CLE credit for working election polls

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FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) – In efforts to push more workers to the polls on Election Day, Allen County Attorney Steve Shine proposed that the state targets attorneys.

The idea came from the Ohio Supreme Court, and the goal is to increase the number of poll workers on Election Day in Indiana.

“It’s not about being a Republican or a Democrat, it’s about a profession, a legal profession being able to step up to the plate and become good public servants and at the same time enhance their own legal career,” said Allen County Republican Chair, Steve Shine.

In a letter to the Indiana Supreme Court back in early August, Shine wrote:

“The COVID-19 pandemic complicates the upcoming General Election Day 2020 plans. Many county election boards throughout the state are struggling to find sufficient number of poll workers to cover their voting locations. To address this unique crisis, I would propose a partnership between Indiana’s attorneys and the county election boards, to overcome the worker shortage and assure the proper conduct of elections this fall.”

The state signed off on the proposal, and now, attorneys who work the polls will receive one-hour of Continuing Legal Education credit (CLE). The number of hours worked would be credited to their obligation of pro bono services encouraged by the state board.

“It will be great for attorneys to exercise their public service in a manner they would be rewarded,” Shine said.

With the pandemic, a decrease in elderly poll workers are expected. Allen County Election Board Director Beth Dlug, said a lot of long-time poll workers are shying away this election year.

Dlug told WANE 15’s Briana Brownlee that having attorneys as poll workers is a benefit because they are aware of election laws and can apply it to any situation that may happen at the polling location.

“For example, there are laws against wearing any kind of apparel with the candidate’s name on it. An attorney would be able to know that law understand it and be able to take that information and apply it in the real world,” Dlug said.

Dlug mentioned that even though there is a decrease in the elderly workers, there is an increase of the younger generation signing up to vote.

Attorneys who are interested in working the polls this election, click here.

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