Lancaster County pushes for more election workers

Published: Aug. 15, 2022 at 9:20 PM CDT
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LINCOLN, Neb. (KOLN) -Lancaster County is already pushing for more poll workers ahead of November’s general election, which is less than three months away.

Tuesday marks National Poll Worker Recruitment Day. The county’s election commissioner said we’re in need of more than 1,000 poll workers before November.

“As a poll worker I think its very important that we act as servant leaders to our community,” said Martha Ellen Florence, a Lancaster County poll worker.

Florence has been a poll worker in Lancaster County for more than 20 years. She said while there isn’t necessarily a shortage of people who will work at the polls, there is a need to get more people involved.

“We need younger poll workers,” Florence said. “We need poll workers of color and we need people to step up and be servant leaders to their community. We still do a good job and we make sure that the folks of Lancaster County are served.”

Dave Shively has been the Lancaster County Election Commissioner for the same amount of time. He said they are constantly looking for new faces to help out during each election.

“This is the way democracy is supposed to happen,” Shively said. “You go to a polling place and your neighbors are serving as your poll workers and they assist you in making sure your ballots are counted.”

Shively said during June’s special election, only a few precincts were short one or two poll workers. Florence said while they need more people to sign up, many are wary.

“I think people are scared with the way that the news and the world and things that have come along with people who have been poll workers in the last election people are scared,” Florence said. “If you’re gonna give, you’re gonna be brave and you gonna have a voice to make sure others have a voice then it’s important be a poll worker.

Shively said the only qualifications to sign up include being a registered voter and being able to work elections from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. If you’re interested in signing up, you can call or visit the election commission office.

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