County seeking election workers
The August primary election is a month away, and Johnson County Election Office officials are still looking for about 200 more poll workers.
In a presidential year, about 1,800 workers are needed for the August primary and again in the November general elections, said Tom Ray, election director of voting locations and staffing.
Ray said recruiting workers was a year-round effort, as all of them have to go through a three-hour training before they work.
To find workers, Ray said the county mostly relies on word of mouth, but has a few other methods.
"We send letters to all the churches in Johnson County asking them to post it in their bulletins on Sunday morning," he said. "We get a lot of response from that."
The election office also contacts the more than 1,000 workers in its database that work almost ever election.
"Anyone with an email address we have that in our system, and we can do mass mailings to all of our election workers that have an e-mail address," he said. "A lot of our election workers will turn around and they will send that e-mail out to all the people they know."
Ray said the county is moving away from the image that all poll workers are retirees.
"In the last five to six years that trend has changed," he said. "We still have those people, but we have younger people getting involved and a lot of businesses are allowing civic leave."
The state also has a student election worker program, which allows one student, aged 16 or 17, per polling location. There are 285 polling locations in Johnson County and right now, and 90 students have signed up for the August election, Ray said. Most Johnson County high schools participate.
"It's an experience for students prior to becoming the voting age," he said.
Election workers do get paid to work, but Ray said most don't do it for the money.
"The majority of the people do it out of dedication and civic duty," he said. "They want to do something to be involved and help make the process work. Johnson County has been blesse in excellent workers."
Election worker general information
¢ Resident of Johnson County, Kansas
¢ Registered to vote at current address
¢ Complete three hours of training
¢ Available for the complete day (Please note: Smoking is not allowed at any polling location.)
¢ Supervising judges: $135.
¢ Election workers: $110.
¢ Training Session: $15.
¢ Polls are open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.
¢ All election workers report to their assigned work site on Election Day no later than 6 a.m. to prepare for 7 a.m. opening of the polls.
¢ For presidential elections only, election workers report at 5 a.m. for the 6 a.m. opening of the polls.
¢ Following the close of the polls at 7 p.m., all election workers assist the supervising judge in closing down the polling site.
For more information about becoming an election worker, visit www.jocoelection.org.