Search for more poll workers in Kentucky continues at state, local levels

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OWENSBORO, Ky, (WEHT) – We’re about two months away until the November election, and Kentucky state and county election officials continue looking for poll workers. Hundreds will be needed in places like Daviess County.

“I think it’s just feeling like I’m doing my part and I’m doing something to help the whole process move forward,” said Dianne McFarling, who has been a poll worker for forty years. Friends reached out to her asking what it’s like to work the polls on Election Day.

“I’ve had several people who have called me recently, and say I’m interested in becoming a poll worker. What do I do? How do I get the process started?” she recalled.

Officials with the Kentucky Secretary Of State’s Office say more than 3,000 people applied to be poll workers online so far, but a normal election requires 15,000. Daviess County Clerk Leslie McCarty says the county may need up to 200 poll workers.

“When I check my email, I usually have 15-20 emails saying somebody has requested to be a poll worker,” she said.

While some show interest , others aren’t signing up this time due to COVID-19 concerns.

“A lot of those in the high risk category are not being poll workers. They don’t want to be around crowds of people,” McCarty explained.

“We tell them that we use all the precautions that the CDC tells us to. We use the masks and the various other things that we’re supposed to use,” says Shane Evans, who has been a poll worker for more than 20 years.

This week, the Secretary Of State’s Office started a new campaign with some Kentucky breweries to encourage people to work the polls through labels showing the need and codes leading people to sign up. Secretary Of State Michael Adams says some precincts couldn’t open during the June primaries because there weren’t enough workers.

McCarty also says clerk’s office workers can be used to work voting centers just like in past elections.

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(This story was originally published on September 2, 2020) 

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