Vigo County seeks poll workers for May primary contests

With the May 5 presidential primary election less than four months away, the Vigo County Election Board is looking for poll workers.

“We will probably need about 200 workers,” said Vigo County Clerk Brad Newman, a member the board.

The county pays $12 an hour for poll clerks who work in two voter centers 28 days prior to the election or in voter centers a week prior to the election. The county pays $140 to poll clerks who work on election day.

People appointed as a Democrat judge earn $150, while a Republican judge earns $140. A Republican inspector earns $175 on election day. 

The political party that won the most Secretary of State votes in the last election in the county serve as election inspectors.

“Obviously there is always greater interest in presidential years, and we anticipate this one to be perhaps record setting,” Election Board President Kara Anderson.

Those working on election day are in for a long day, Anderson said, working 14 hours. That’s because workers are at the vote centers an hour before polls open and likely an hour after. Polls are open 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. in Indiana.

The county has to have equal numbers of Democrat and Republican poll clerks. A poll worker has to be a registered voter; has to have a voting record in the county; have transportation and have the ability to perform election tasks.

The Election Board is still working on a vote center site plan. It expects to vote on such a plan in the next three weeks.

“I think we have made excellent strides, [including] in 2018 with the mall location” as a vote center, Anderson said. And, she added, using the County Annex instead of the Vigo County Courthouse also provided easier access to voters.

“We only have so much equipment, and we have got to figure out where to place that and where it is best utilized. We are still trying to come up with improvements,” Anderson said. “We have tweaked this system every year. We have tried to be responsive (to place vote centers) where folks have told us and trends tell you were it is somewhat convenient.”

“We look at this like a wheel, with the [courthouse] the hub,” Anderson said of locating vote centers. “The vote centers also have to be handicapped accessible,” she said.

Campaign financial reports

In other business, the clerk’s office notified nearly 90 candidates of a requirement to file an annual committee campaign financial report. There still remains 11 reports yet to be submitted.

The Election Board voted to send out certified letters to the candidates who have not filed a report, followed by a telephone call. The board set a deadline of 4 p.m. Jan. 31 to file the reports or the board will implement a $50 fine.

“A few years ago, we made this a priority not to carry these reports on for years and years,” Anderson said of the board in 2016 adopting a policy to issue a fine, based on state law, to people who have not filed campaign finance reports.

“Even if they were not on the ticket last year, if they have an open committee, they are still required to file a campaign finance reports, like current office holders if in mid-cycle for their election, they still have to do this,” Anderson said.

“It is not our responsibility to hold their hands,” Newman said. “This is something they agreed to do when they ran for office. They were given (information) packets and signed and said they would do this,” the clerk said of filing campaign finance reports.

Reporter Howard Greninger can be reached 812-231-4204 or howard.greninger@tribstar.com. Follow on Twitter@TribStarHoward.

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