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Election Day workers sought

October 25, 2003|by LAURA ERNDE

laurae@herald-mail.com

Washington County election officials are recruiting additional poll workers to guide voters through the use of new touch-screen voting booths next year.

Election Director Dorothy Kaetzel said about 100 workers will be needed in addition to the 350 usually on duty.

An additional person will be needed at the sign-in table to encode cards that voters will insert into touch-screen computers. At least one more poll worker will be needed to answer questions about the electronic voting booths, she said.

The new system, being implemented statewide, was used in a handful of counties last year, including Allegany County.

In Washington County, it will replace a system where paper ballots were fed into automatic counters at each polling place.

Kaetzel has seen a demonstration of the new system, and her staff will be trained on them next month.

"It's really not that different. It's like ordering a sandwich at Sheetz," she said.

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Election judges get paid $100 and chief judges get $120 for working from 6 a.m. to about 8:30 p.m.

Poll workers need to be registered to vote and be able to attend a three-hour training class, for which they will be paid $20 after they fulfill their obligation to work in the March 2 primary election and the Nov. 2 general election.

They also must be willing to travel to polling places where they are needed throughout the county.

Each of the 46 polling places in the county is required to have three Democratic and three Republican poll workers. People who belong to other political parties or who are unaffiliated can fill in the rest of the spots, she said.

Anyone who is interested in working the polls may contact the Washington County Board of Elections at 240-313-2050 between 8 a.m. and 4:30 p.m.

Kaetzel may be reached via e-mail at dkaetzel@washco-md.net.

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