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Rep. West urges Gov. DeWine to consider deploying National Guard members as poll workers

Measure would help prevent a repeat of this year's primary election poll worker shortage
August 25, 2020
Thomas West News

COLUMBUS- State Rep. Thomas West (D-Canton) today announced that he had sent a letter to Gov. Mike DeWine urging him to consider deploying members of the Ohio National Guard as poll workers if county boards of elections continue to face shortages heading into the November election.

“For those Ohioans who choose to vote in-person on Election Day, it is absolutely crucial that we ensure our polling locations are adequately staffed. We must consider all options at our disposal to ensure that happens,” said Rep. West. “As we continue to monitor poll worker staffing levels for our counties, I hope the governor will take this suggestion under careful consideration.”

West’s letter comes after the Stark County Board of Elections announced results of a poll worker survey it was required to conduct by an order from Secretary of State Frank LaRose. The survey asked 2,700 people who had formerly served or recently indicated interest in serving as a poll worker whether they would do so in November. 1,000 people responded, and of those, 54 percent said they would, 35 percent they would not and 10 percent were unsure.

35,000 poll workers are required in order to operate the state’s 4,000 polling locations. LaRose has warned that if the 88 counties can’t field the required number of poll workers, affected polling locations would not be able to operate.

Editor’s Note: Letter to Gov. DeWine attached.

Rep. West urges Gov. DeWine to consider deploying National Guard members as poll workers (PDF)