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Press Release

Publish Date: 3/11/2014

Release: Montgomery County seeking out "Guardians of the Ballot"

County looking for Inspectors to help Election Day run smoothly

The right to vote is one of the most important privileges in the United States. In order to exercise that right, polling places must have workers, who help things run smoothly and keep any waiting time, for voters, to a minimum. Montgomery County is looking for more people to serve as "Guardians of the Ballot." Election Day workers are compensated for their time.

A well-managed polling place, with well-trained workers, is vital on Election Day. Like many places across the county, Montgomery County needs more workers to help the Election Day process run effectively and efficiently.

Election Day workers must administer the polling place and provide information as necessary to the voters. Worker shortages are one of the leading concerns of the Board of Elections and recruitment for these workers is a persistent challenge.

Another challenge in recent years has been finding workers that are bilingual, most importantly for our area, in Spanish, to assist voters if necessary.

We need persons of all ages, but having the availability of a week day makes it difficult for many who work to participate in the process. The Board of Elections can now use people for half-day shifts, making it easier for some. Also, Election Law is allowing high school students, who are 17 years of age and fulfilling their educations requirements, to perform the duties of an Election Inspector or poll clerk. Last year, as an exercise in civic education and for class credit, students from Fonda-Fultonville and Amsterdam High School participated, with good success.

Plans are in the works this year to encourage employers to make opportunities for Election Day worker service available to their employees. Success of such a program depends first and foremost on community support.

The Commissioners also encourage county employees to participate in support of the electoral process, as they already have the day off. To become an Election Inspector, a person must first be a registered voter in Montgomery County, and secondly, attend and pass a training session yearly.