Story by Lourice Angie
The Orange County Board of Elections (BOE), which supervises a team of Election Inspectors whose job it is to work at the various polling places, is urgently seeking more recruits. Being an election inspector is an opportunity for O.C. registered voters to become more involved in the community and with the election process.
The BOE currently does not have enough inspectors to completely staff all voting sites and with two elections upcoming – the primary election in September and the general election in November – training new inspectors is a priority.
The BOE has designed a new building, located at 75 Webster Ave. in Goshen, which provides adequate training space. In addition, the new location, the facility is equipped with all of the necessary machinery and supplies, including a loading dock that enables them to load trucks and have the necessary supplies delivered to polling sites throughout the county.
Susan McDonald, the Democratic Election Inspector Coordinator said, “We always have to have Democrats and Republicans at every polling location; it ensures the fairness of the election. We need people to work and it’s not always easy to find people.”
Inspectors do not need to be registered Democrats or Republicans but simply need to declare for one or the other in order to initial voter signatures. There is also a need for bilingual inspectors, depending on the population in specific areas.
“We are seeking bilingual Spanish speaking inspectors throughout the county,” said Rocio Weyrauch, the Republican Bilingual Election Inspector Coordinator.
Inspectors conduct assigned duties for the entire day at a designated polling site during elections. Workers are compensated for their training and for working on Election Day. Duties include: issuing ballots to registered voters, registering voters, monitoring the voting equipment, explaining how to mark ballots and cast votes, and counting votes.
To become a poll worker, applicants must be a U.S citizen, 18 years of age or older and registered to vote in Orange County. The BOE is able to train students under 18 who will be 18 on Election Day. All workers must be able to travel to their designated poll sites.
Election Inspector Training will be offered throughout the summer on days, evenings, and on weekends in an effort to accommodate any schedule. Training classes will be offered at the Goshen location and also in Port Jervis, Middletown and Newburgh. All election inspectors are required to attend training each year to keep up on any changes, for which they are financially compensated.
For more information on how to become an Election Inspector, call the O.C. Board of Elections at 360-6515 or 360-6516, visit www.orangecountygov.com, send a fax to 291-2437 or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.