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Lucas, Wood counties boards of election report surplus of poll workers for August primary

After a poll worker shortage concern, Lucas and Wood County election officials said there are more than enough workers for Tuesday's primary.

TOLEDO, Ohio — With the primary election nearing on Tuesday, county election officials are at work overseeing the early voting period.

Lucas County election officials said they now have more workers than necessary in case any have to drop out.

"We are putting a buffer in there, because I've been doing this long enough that I know there's going to be some people, for whatever reason, that may not be able to work on Tuesday," Lucas County Board of Elections Director Lavera Scott said.

Wood County election officials were concerned at the beginning of the month that they wouldn't have enough poll workers. In the last few weeks, however, the board got commitments from more volunteers.

"Poll worker recruitment has gone better than we had expected. We're sitting at a pretty good spot," Wood County Board of Elections Director Terry Burton said. 

Burton said recruitment has become a year-round process for most boards of election.

Burton believes shifting demographics and the shrinking number of people taking days off work in elections is one of the reasons finding workers is more difficult.

"The number of people that are in the workforce now has dramatically increased," Burton said. "There are very few one-income families so there's not always someone at home. Even people that retire now typically don't quit working. They go do something else."

Election officials said Tuesday's turnout may not be especially large, but having a complete number of precinct officials is always needed to conduct a safe and efficient election.

They encourage those interested to apply.

"All counties are always looking for someone to work, so if someone is interested they definitely should make the phone call because they won't be turned away."

Eligible applicants must be 18 years or older, a registered voter and undergo at least two hours of training.

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