Poll workers prepare for more tasks, busier Election Day

Many offices are still looking for people to step up; but in Genesee County, one clerk’s office has been luckier than others.
Published: Oct. 20, 2020 at 5:12 PM EDT
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FLINT, Mich. (WJRT) - (10/20/2020) - “I think that we’re ready for it. We’re just trying to prepare for any instance we can think of,” Flushing Township Clerk Wendy Meinburg said.

14 days from one of the most anticipated elections in U.S. history and clerks offices across the state are working overtime.

But, they can’t do it alone.

We’ve told you about the need for day-of workers at the polls. Those paid volunteers are tasked with making sure everything runs smoothly.

Many offices are still looking for people to step up; but in Genesee County, one clerk’s office has been luckier than others.

Fortunately, clerks have had practice dealing with an Election Day during this coronavirus pandemic. Meinburg said that’s helped put many of her Election Inspectors at ease. They know there’s specific measures in place to protect them, too.

“We’re still enforcing the six foot distancing, and we even have the six foot distancing for the workers,” Meinburg said. “So, before they would be really close to each other, now they’re at least six feet apart. They wear their masks and their shields.”

Gloves and hand sanitizer are also available.

Meinburg said poll workers are not only tasked with making sure each person is able to vote privately; but, they also have to sanitize each booth once they’re done.

Meinburg bought thousands of pens, too. So, she said each voter just takes the one they used with them, rather than having the worker clean them.

“I think that we’re doing a really good job here. And the clerks themselves, we’re, we’re in conversation all the time, if anybody has a different idea or has some other suggestion,” she explained.

With just two weeks left, Meinburg told ABC12 News she’s busy making sure the 45 to 55 people certified are comfortable and ready for what’s expected to be a long day on November 3rd.

Election Inspectors start at 6 a.m. and there’s no telling this year how long they’ll be needed into the night.

“Sometimes the public can be a little tough; and it can be, especially for this election there could be lines. There’s, you know, people might get a little agitated waiting in line. I hope that they have the patience,” Meinburg said. “And when you only do it four times a year, you got to get back in that groove, you know. I think that anybody really can do it, if they really wanna put the effort in.”

Not every township or city is so lucky to have as many Election Inspectors sign up as Meinburg has. She said several clerks have had trouble finding both Democrats and Republicans to work the polls.

With the threat of COVID-19, many older poll workers are choosing to stay home. The job is paid, if you want to help out click here.

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