Stew Lilker’s

Columbia County Observer

Real news from Florida for working families since 2007

Florida News

Apply To Be a Poll Worker – Experience the Elections Process From Within

In some counties, it is not too late for this year.

Photo: Red Dot via Unsplash | Columbia County Observer graphic

TALAHASSEE, FL – Voting is one way to play a pivotal role in Florida's electoral process. Another way is by being a poll worker to help ensure elections are administered fairly, efficiently, and according to law.

In some counties, there is still an ongoing need for election poll workers just like the people you have seen taking your ballots during the August 23 primary elections.

Lanelle Phillmon, president of the Jacksonville/First Coast League of Women Voters, said her experience as a poll worker allowed her to see how voters are verified and shown how to cast a vote properly and how poll workers are trained.

Columbia County Asst. SOE Johnna Horne said, "Even though the County has a full complement of poll workers for this election, we always encourage people to apply. I think the 2024 election is going to really be a big one.”

In Columbia County, early voting begins on October 29 and ends on November 5. Early voting is not the same in all counties.

Florida's larger counties, such as Broward and Palm Beach County, are still accepting poll worker applications and giving the required instructional classes through October 21 and 22 respectively.

Visit the Columbia County Supervisor of Elections

"Even those of us who just worked on August 23, if we're going to be poll workers for early voting or Election Day in November, we will actually go through training once again," Phillmon explained. "Just want to make sure that anything that may have changed with Florida statutes or voting laws or election processes, that we're up-to-date on that."

Needs for staffing at the polls vary by county; anyone interested can contact their supervisors of elections for applications to be a paid poll worker.

A coalition of businesses and nonprofits launched the website powerthepolls.org to make it easier for anyone to sign up for accurate poll worker information across the country.

Ms. Phillmon pointed out that for those skeptical about the election process, being a poll worker is the best way to see for yourself, get trained, and be able to share with friends and family firsthand the integrity of the process.

"I would encourage them to not only attend a poll-worker training, but I would encourage them to come out and actually participate and become an election worker," Ms. Phillmon urged. "You really do get to see what it's like, what the process is, how the equipment is used, and you get to see the entire process, but you're seeing it from the inside out."

Poll workers are chosen to work a specific election by their availability, skills, and willingness to travel. The number of poll workers for each election is typically determined by the size of the election and the expected voter turnout.

Standard duties of poll worker include being a clerk, who guides voters standing in line; a marshal, who calls for the opening and closing of polls; a poll inspector, who runs the polling location; and a judge, who provides backup support for the poll inspector.

Comments: to add a comment go here.
Meeting Calendar
No need to be confused - Find links to agendas and where your participation is welcome.

Make a comment • click here •
All comments are displayed at the end of the article and are moderated.