State funds Pollworkers training

Workers in the Scioto County Board of Elections were busy as poll workers turned in equipment.

The Scioto County Board of Elections will train from 340-350 poll workers in preparation for the upcoming November General Election.

On Wednesday, Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted announced the release of $760,000 in funds for the state’s 88 counties to help offset the cost of mandatory poll worker training for county boards of elections.

“Properly trained poll workers are a critical part of ensuring that our elections run smoothly and voters have a positive experience,” Husted said. “These funds will ensure that come Election Day Ohio’s poll workers are ready.”

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. The June directive ensures all poll workers are ready for the 2016 Presidential Election.

“They give us an allotted amount of money, and it’s through the state of Ohio,” Scioto County Board of Elections Director Julia Gearheart told the Community Commom. “We pay $20 per person.”

Each county will receive an amount based on the number of registered voters in that county. The funding will provide for the mandatory training each poll worker is required to complete under state law. Those funds help offset the cost associated with training poll workers for county boards of elections, which are facing tighter budgets.

“We’ve got some of our training set up,” Gearheart said. ‘We have to train every poll worker this time and we’ve got some of our dates set up. I think so far we’ve got 11 classes.”

Gearheart said the county has 308 poll workers, but will train 340-350 in case of illness.

To date, the Secretary of State’s office has awarded nearly $2.3 million to ensure individuals staffing 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 The 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 11,200 people have signed up through the Secretary of State’s Office.