Many Ohio counties need more poll workers. Is yours one of them?

By: - September 29, 2020 1:00 am
A voting location

File photo of a voting location from Wikimedia Commons by Tom Arthur.

Ohio voters need your help.

Though there is an unprecedented number of citizens planning to cast absentee ballots this fall, counties throughout the state are still in need of more poll workers for Election Day. 

Secretary of State Frank LaRose is encouraging Ohioans to sign up to receive training ahead of the Nov. 3 election. 

As part of the recruitment drive, LaRose has compiled data on how many Democratic and Republican poll workers are needed for each county. (Polling places are served by bipartisan teams of trained officials.)

The state has identified a bare minimum number of sign-ups needed based on the amount of precincts each county has. The latest update on Sept. 22 showed dozens of counties had not yet reached the minimum threshold for either party. 

The state has also identified a higher “target” goal for each county to reach, which would give boards of elections a comfortable amount that could “compensate for any cancellations or no-shows.” Only a few counties had already reached that target by Sept. 22.

Poll workers who are neither Democrats or Republicans are encouraged to serve as well.

You can sign up or learn more information about being a poll worker by clicking here.

The following maps created by the Ohio Capital Journal show the poll worker needs throughout Ohio for the two political parties. Counties that are colored in still need more recruits. Those in white have reached the respective goals.

Here is a full chart showing the “minimum” and “target” needs for each county per political party:

As the Ohio Capital Journal has reported, LaRose is emphasizing a number of poll worker recruitment drives this fall:

  • Youth at the Booth: Ohioans as young as 18 years old can serve as poll workers. Also, 17-year-olds can sign up if they are seniors in high school. 
  • Second Call to Duty: The state is encouraging service members and veterans to “defend democracy” by becoming a poll worker.
  • Give a Day For Democracy: LaRose is encouraging Ohio employers to give their employees the day off Nov. 3 in order for them to serve as poll workers.
  • Work a Day and Donate Your Pay: Employees and volunteers of nonprofits could work the polls and donate their day’s pay to their respective organizations.
  • Continuing Education: Ohio lawyers and certified public accountants (CPAs) can receive continuing education credits from their professional licensure entities by serving as poll workers. 


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Tyler Buchanan
Tyler Buchanan

Tyler Buchanan is an award-winning journalist who has covered Ohio politics and government for the past decade. A Bellevue native and graduate of Bowling Green State University, he most recently spent 6 1/2 years as a reporter and editor of The Athens Messenger and Vinton-Jackson Courier newspapers. He is a member of the BG News Alumni Society Board and was a 2019 fellow in the Kiplinger Program in Public Affairs Journalism.