In a special session with Linn County elections officials LWVLC members got a first-hand look at what’s involved in managing the voting process and making it as convenient as possible for you to vote. County elections officials held the meeting in the hope that some League members and others likewise concerned about the integrity of elections will consider applying for positions as Precinct Election Officials.
In a mid-July gathering at the Linn County Service Center Deputy Commissioner of Elections Tim Box explained that an election requires at least 650 Precinct Elections Officials, and about 100 of those positions need to be filled anew each year. Precinct Elections jobs are seasonal paid positions that require people who are politically neutral, good with numbers and good with people.
The role of the Precinct Elections Official (PEO) is to help people exercise their right to vote and preserve the integrity of the election. PEOs are needed to serve at the polls for a full day on election day – for a general election that is from 6 a.m. until around 10 p.m. – but that’s not the only time the special staff is needed. Needed additionally are:
Teams of elections officials, one Democrat and one Republican, to take absentee ballots to health care facilities.
About 32 elections officials to serve on the Absentee Board to make sure all the absentee ballots are counted.
Elections officials staff satellite voting prior to the election which currently is scheduled at three area HyVee stores, at three area libraries and at area colleges.
Office work – assisting with absentee voting at the Linn County Elections office prior to the election, clerical – separating and scanning the Linn County elections mail, data entry, answering phone calls and general customer service, managing ballot issues and serving as a greeter for ballot drop off.
The elections positions are paid jobs, $160 for the full day on election day, and $12 to $14 an hour (depending on the skill sets required) for the other jobs prior to and after the election. Paid training sessions are included and are done about two weeks prior to the election.
Deputy commissioner of elections Box says encourages any League members and other interested community people to apply and be interviewed for these jobs. He says it’s only a short time to work but the community needs people who are concerned about the integrity of our elections and are the best fit for these roles. He notes that these jobs are convenient for retired people, recent college grads who don’t yet have full time jobs or people who are under-employed or have other part time jobs. A PDF of the PEO Application & Brochure is linked here. You may also find an online application at the Linn County Elections website www.linncounty.org/157/Election-Services .
The general election is Tuesday, November 8 and absentee voting begins in the Linn County Elections office September 29.
Linn County Auditor Joel Miller who welcomed League members and spoke for about ten minutes at the beginning of the July meeting about some of the abuses and concerns his office combats and encounters, says that they are expecting about a 78% voter turnout this November 8. The use of absentee ballots also is increasing and there were 48,000 absentee ballots cast last election cycle.
Along with Miller and Box, Elections Systems Administrator Eric Loecher, Elections Office Coordinator Nathan Schnell and Voter Outreach Coordinator Edwin Valladares described their roles in preparing for and organizing the work of conducting an election.
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