MAYVILLE – As election officials across the nation struggle to find voting site poll workers, those in Chautauqua County are looking to the next generation of voters to get involved.
Tuesday is National Poll Worker Recruitment Day. At the Chautauqua County Board of Elections, Commissioners Luz Torres and Brian Abram are looking to boost recruitment to aid in the electoral process.
“We have a shortage here in Chautauqua County and we’re looking to recruit people to come on out and help us in the various times of the year, mostly in June and November, to become part of democracy and help your fellow residents here in Chautauqua County vote,” explained Abram.
Each poll worker makes minimum-wage and would undergo paid hands on training. They must be a registered voter in Chautauqua County.
The commissioner encourages people of all ages to apply, and encourages schools to get their of-age students, 17-years-old and up, interested in democracy.
“We have certain schools that are definitely adapting to the process of allowing their government class, normally, to come out and help us. The city schools are the most important when it comes to the amount of polls sites that need to be manned,” says Abram.
Abram continued that the students that work the polls usually do not want to leave, as they are getting to see democracy in action. It also encourages them to vote themselves.
“Get them at that early stage and get them involved at that moment is a plus. It’s a plus for them, it’s a plus for us. And for them to understand and know who’s on the ballot and how the system works. And they can be very educated by having their hands around the process,” says Abram.
In addition, students are encouraged to vote to improve the lives of those around them, whether or not they plan to leave for college, the military, a job, or stay home in the coming years.
The office works to make the application process accessible to all. Those interested in applying can stop in to the office during normal business hours, give them a call or visit votechautauqua.com for more. Officials are seeking Spanish Interpreters too.