Sunday, April 18, 2010
Delegate, PC Races Making It Tough to Find Poll Workers
Want to make some money and be a part of the democratic process?
Since Democrats are electing precinct committeepersons and state convention delegates in the May 4 Primary, many of the folks that normally serve as inspectors, clerks, or judges are going to be appearing on the ballot in contested races. Therefore, they cannot serve inside the polls in any of those normal spots. It's great for democracy, but it makes it difficult for Marion County Clerk Beth White and the Election Board to run the Primary.
This week, I've received no fewer than three pleas from various sources for help running the May 4 election. As one person familiar with the situation told me the other day, "I think panic is setting in; they don't want a replay of 2007."
You might remember that day back in 2007 for the municipal Primary when there were widespread problems with inspectors not showing and other poll workers confused. Some polling places didn't even get open. That would be a disaster. There should be several hotly contested races. Certainly, Marion County Clerk Beth White and the Election Board, who have done such a great job since that dark day in May '07, want to make sure everything runs smoothly
The reasons why so many people are running where they normally would not is simple.
An ambitious mayoral candidate, Brian Williams, filed many loyalists to run for PC against many longtime PCs in the hopes of presumably turning out supporters for the slating convention in 2011. While his filings were sloppy and a few were even thrown out, the wide majority of them stood, and some PCs that had not had a race in years are now finding themselves in a battle.
Secondly, and perhaps most importantly for 2010, a contested Secretary of State race has made being elected a State Delegate mean something more than in the recent past. The state-level candidates for offices such as Secretary of State are elected by the delegates to the State Convention. Both Tom McKenna and Vop Osili have done a tremendous job recruiting supporters to run for delegate.
Besides this, there are contested races in many of the townships and in some of the county races on both sides of the ballot. It's going to be a busy primary. Ward Chairs and Township Coordinators on both sides of the ledger have been working hard to shuffle folks around so that those inspectors who are also on the ballot can work where they are not on the ballot. In the larger townships, it has left gaps.
If you are interested in working as a poll worker, contact the Election Board at 327-VOTE. I'm sure they can use your help. To work in Marion County, you must be a registered voter in Marion County. Inspectors make $110 for the day. Clerks and judges pocket $70 for the day. They do have half shifts, but the pay is also halved. It's a long 6:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. shift, but the satisfaction you receive from working adds to that pay.