Poll workers sought for 2020 elections

Meghan Flynn
Rosemary Wehkamp, left, hands a paper ballot to a voter in November 2019 as she and fellow election workers Susie Gooden and Marilyn Wadel work one of the tables in the Finney County Fairgrounds 4-H bulding during the general election. Voters had a choice of casting their votes using either a paper or electronic ballot.

The Finney County Clerk and Election Office is in need of people willing to work the election polls for 2020.

Dori Munyan, Finney County clerk, said the county usually has around 80 poll workers on Election Day and then some on additional boards such as the Audit Board, Mail Board and an Early Voting Board.

To be an eligible worker, you need to be a resident of Finney County, a registered voter and a U.S. citizen.

Munyan said training is provided to the workers right before the election.

“It takes anywhere from three to four hours and will take place just a few days before the election, we want to make sure (the information) is fresh in everyone’s mind,” she said. “We’ll cover all of the specific positions and their roles and we’ll have some actual hands-on training with the election equipment.”

Student workers are also accepted, Munyan said.

“We are able to have students work the election. Normally a student is under 18 years of age, so they're not registered to vote yet, but we can allow them to work the polls,” she said. “There's some restrictions, we can only have one of each on each board and things like that, but we can definitely employ several student workers.”

Many of the county’s poll workers have assisted with local elections for decades.

Cyndi Proffitt has served the county since the 1982 elections and has worked every election since, save one.

“I grew up knowing my grandmother was an election worker in Lincoln, Nebraska, so it’s something I already knew about,” she said.

Proffitt said the people are what bring her back every year.

“You see the same people come in and vote, and watch their kids grow every year, and then their kids come in to vote,” she said. “It’s like a family reunion.”

She also enjoys helping others.

“I love helping everyone to do their part and vote, because it’s not just a right, it’s a responsibility,” she said. “That’s why working the elections is so important to me.”

Workers are paid for their service but can also volunteer their time if they need CEUs or just want to give back to the community.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, health and safety measures will be taken.

The Election Office is working closely with Finney County Emergency Management to provide supplies and implement protocols that will help keep everyone safe at each polling location.

Some of the safety measures they are looking to implement include:

  • Adequate supplies of hand sanitizer, face masks and gloves.
  • Disinfectant wipes for use on high-touch surfaces.
  • Limiting the number of voters inside the polling location at one time.
  • Marking the floor for safe physical distancing.

The Primary Election is on Aug. 4 and the General Election is on Nov. 3.

If available and would like to work or receive more information, contact the Election Coordinator at 620-272-3575.