FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) — As the municipal election approaches, local political leaders called on the public to sign up to be poll workers Wednesday.
Both the Democratic and Republican parties are responsible for filling poll worker positions.
Steve Shine, chairman of the Allen County Republican Party, said they’re in a good spot, but could use more poll workers.
“They’re always cancellations, always people who unfortunately have a problem on the day of the election or a couple of days before. So at the very least, we need reserves to call upon, and we welcome people’s participation,” Shine said.
Republicans are expected to fill more spots this year due to the Republican candidate winning the Secretary of State office in Allen County in 2022.
“It’s very important because the polls don’t open if we don’t have poll workers,” Steve said, “And we want to make sure that we serve the people who are voting in the municipal elections in Fort Wayne, New Haven, Woodburn, Monroeville, Leo-Cedarville, and Grabill, Indiana.”
Derek Camp, chairman of the Allen County Democratic Party, said they’ve filled all of their poll worker positions.
“It’s a lot of the same people every year, which makes it easy. They already know what they’re doing typically, and we keep that list every year and we start with an email to each of those poll workers asking if they want the same location for this election. We get a lot of replies out of that,” Camp said.
Both parties said they will not turn anyone away, stressing that the more people they have, the better.
“Even though we are already filled on our spots, we are still building that alternate list,” Camp said, “Please do fill out an application and we’ll do the best we can to get you in. If not this year, we will hold on to it for next year.”
The poll worker position is a paid position, and Shine said it’s also a great way to serve the community.
“It is really a badge of honor to be able to make sure that the vote has integrity, that the vote is accurate, and that people who are entitled to vote get to cast their votes in what is a very important part of our democratic process,” Shine said.
Republicans are required to have republican poll workers, and democrats are required to have democratic poll workers. If one party does not meet the required amount, the election board will sometimes ask the other party to help fill those positions. There is also a vetting process in picking poll workers.
It’s also important to note that only city residents can vote in the municipal election, not county residents.
You can apply to be a poll worker by calling the Allen County Republican Headquarters at 260-422-1554 or by calling the Allen County Democratic Headquarters at 260-478-8239.