COLUMBUS – Recognizing the importance of having properly trained elections officials in place, Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted today issued Directive 2014-21, requiring all poll workers for the upcoming general election to undergo mandatory training. To help offset the cost for county boards of elections, Secretary Husted also announced $760,000 in grants for the state’s 88 counties.
“With approximately 40,000 poll workers needed on Election Day, it is essential that we not only recruit qualified individuals, but also ensure that they are all prepared to serve voters,” Secretary Husted said. “Well-trained poll workers are just one more way we continue to make it is easy to vote and hard to cheat in Ohio.”
Under state law, poll workers are required to participate in an education program that instructs them as to the rules, procedures and law pertaining to elections administration in Ohio. New poll workers must go through training before working the polls, while those who have previously served only need to go through retraining a minimum of once every three years. Today’s directive ensures all poll workers are ready for the 2014 November General Election.
Each county will receive an amount based on the number of registered voters in that county. This funding will provide for the mandatory training each poll worker is required to complete under state law. These funds help offset some of the cost associated with training poll workers for county boards of elections, which are facing tighter budgets.
To date, the Secretary of State’s office has awarded more than $1.5 million to ensure individuals staffing neighborhood polling locations are properly trained ahead of Election Day so voters have a positive experience.
The Secretary of State’s office also assists with the recruitment of new poll workers through PEOinOhio.com. This comprehensive website provides online training tools and resources for county boards of elections and poll workers alike, as well as an online sign-up for Ohioans to become poll workers. To date, more than 2,100 people have signed up through the Secretary of State’s office.