Election workers essential part of democracy

Published 11:10 am Friday, March 16, 2018

Democracy doesn’t work without we the people, and that carries over to actual elections.

Clark County Clerk Michelle Turner has been advertising recently for precinct workers for the May 22 primary.

As of Tuesday morning, all the spots were filled with several alternates on hand. That doesn’t mean they won’t need others for election day.

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Last minute situations may happen and an alternate would need to be called early that morning to work.

Regardless of the size or number of ballots, there must be 104 people to staff Clark County’s 26 precincts on primary and election days.

State law also requires two Democrats and two Republicans staff each precinct. It also requires balancing personalities among workers.

This year with up to five ballots at some precincts, experienced workers will be key.

Each precinct worker must complete a two and a half hour “college school” class May 16 to work the election.

On election day, workers must be at the precincts at 5:30 a.m. to set up the voting machines and prepare for polls to open at 6 a.m.

After polls close at 6 p.m. and the last voter votes, they have to take everything down and deliver the totals to the clerks office.

It makes for a long day, Turner said, especially since they can not leave the precinct.

The pay is $25 for attending election school and $125 for working the election.

Although that’s not bad pay even for a long day, it certainly isn’t all about the money. Those who do it do so out of civic pride and love for our democracy.

We applaud all those who are currently committed and urge others to strongly consider signing up to be alternates to ensure this and all future elections run as smoothly as possible.

A government for the people by the people will always need the people to rise to the occasion and ensure democracy works.