Elections office needs polling place, people

March 5, 2014
E. Wesley Parry III, assistant director of elections for Washington County, writes on a board used to keep track of the status of local election panels. - Barbara S. Miller / Observer-Reporter Order a Print

For years, residents of Chartiers Township’s 4th Precinct have voted in a garage at the Worstell residence, but because that option is no longer available, the Washington County Elections Office is seeking another building to serve as a polling place for the May 20 primary and Nov. 4 general election.

The new polling place must have parking available, be accessible to disabled voters and have electrical outlets that can accommodate electronic voting machines. There is a dearth of commercial establishments in the precinct, so the sole option may be a residence.

“Rent is negotiable, but low,” said Larry Spahr, Washington County director of elections. The county has a liability insurance policy to cover civic-minded property owners on election days.

The elections office also is seeking people to work on local election boards.

Because many judges of election were write-in candidates last year, the elections office had to contact them to ascertain whether they actually wanted the job or had been elected through some sort of prank.

In other cases, there was a tie between write-in candidates.

Because the elections office was contacting so many judges of election anyway, they organized the effort as systematic data collection for the status of each precinct.

“We want to make sure they’ve got the people they need to conduct the election,” said E. Wesley Parry III, assistant director of elections.

Canton Township 3rd Precinct needs four workers, including a judge of elections; Canton 4 needs two, including a judge; Cecil 3, a four-person election board, including judge; Charleroi 6 needs two election board members; California 1 needs four board members; Canonsburg 3-3 needs three members, including a judge; Chartiers 2, majority inspector and clerk; Chartiers 4 needs an entire board; Jefferson Township needs a clerk; Long Branch needs four board members; and both Union Township 5 and West Brownsville 2 need an entire board.

Those who serve on election boards should live within the municipality, if not the particular precinct.

Election board workers earn about $100 for working a full shift, which lasts from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m.

The person returning voting machines and memory cards used to tabulate election results earns an additional $20 plus mileage for their vehicle’s trip between the polling place and Washington.

Spahr asked those interested in serving on election boards, or offering a polling place in Chartiers 4, to call him at 724-228-6750.

Training and refresher courses are planned for 1:30 and 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, April 2, and 10 a.m. Friday, April 4, in the public meeting room of the Courthouse Square office building.

Barbara S. Miller covers politics, Washington County government and a variety of other topics for the Observer-Reporter. She is a graduate of Washington & Jefferson College, majoring in English and history. Follow her on Twitter @reporterbarb.

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