Allen County Party Chairs say more people interested in working at polls

Published: Nov. 1, 2022 at 11:21 PM EDT
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FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WPTA) - Poll workers are on the front lines of democracy. They make sure the system works at the local level. It’s a volunteer job, and it’s often thankless. But hundreds of people are ready to get to work on election day. In Indiana, they go through their political parties to get the job.

“There’s great interest by people who want to serve as a poll worker, particularly within the last few years with questions in regard to the integrity of the election,” Chairman of Allen County Republican Party Steve Shine said.

Derek Camp, Chairman of the Allen County Democratic Party, agrees that workers want to ensure the process works efficiently and fairly.

“I think for a lot of them, they want the process to work,” Camp said. “They are there to do their job and they want to do it professionally. They want to make sure that everyone has the opportunity to vote regardless of party.”

Both chairmen say interest levels are rising for poll workers, but the motivation behind that interest slightly differs in their eyes.

“We’ve seen a steady increase over the last couple of years, but especially this year after the decision to overturn Roe v. Wade,” Camp said. “We saw a major increase in people signing up to be a poll worker both directly through us and through the election board.”

“I think that prior to 2020, the issue of whether an election was fair or not did not rise to the top of everyone’s concerns like it did after 2020,” Shine said.

To be clear, claims of widespread fraud in 2020 were proven false.

But, even with the vast interest in the election process, the chairmen say it’s still difficult recruiting young people to work on election day.

However, Camp says the election board found other ways to get young people involved in the process.

“The election board did a very good job this year to make sure that as many of the assistant judges as possible were high schoolers - 16 and 17-year-olds that can work as assistant judges in these locations - and they did a very good job of filling the vast majority of those spots,” Camp said.

Allen County Democrats say their requirement was initially 228 workers but have gathered 260 workers total after being asked to help fill some slots.

Shine says the Republican party is responsible for gathering 355 poll workers this time. However, some republican spots have yet to be filled. You can contact the county GOP for more information if you are interested.