Push to get additional election workers leading up to general election

The Kansas Secretary of State encouraged people concerned about election integrity to sign up to work at the polls.
Published: Aug. 23, 2022 at 6:00 PM CDT
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WICHITA, Kan. (KWCH) - A little more than two months out from the general midterm election, there’s a push to recruit additional election workers. In large part due to a constitutional amendment question regarding abortion rights in Kansas, an unprecedented turnout in the Aug. 2 primary led to extended waits at polling sites across the state and votes cast late into election night, after results began to pour in.

For longtime election workers like Bill Gale, there’s enjoyment in the public service work.

“I like working with people, especially voters,” he said. “Going out and meeting them and having the public contact is really gratifying.”

Gale was sick in early August and unable to help with the primary election. He said he hopes to work again soon. Kansas Secretary of State Scott Schwab is championing the effort to get more people to become election workers.

“Folks, if you’re frustrated, be part of the process,” he said. “I know [Sedgwick County Election Commissioner Angela Caudillo is] constantly looking for more poll workers. Coming into the primaries, Sedgwick County had a little bit of a COVID outbreak, and a lot of poll workers couldn’t work on Election Day that they needed down in Sedgwick County. So, please be willing to be a poll worker. You can be as young as 16 and be a poll worker, so, we’re encouraging folks, ‘please go ahead and take the training and be a part of the process.”

Election workers must be at least 16, able to work from 4:45 a.m. to 9 p.m. and attend election working training. The pay is $7.50 per hour.

“Well, it’s certainly not the pay. People come in and say, ‘well, thanks for volunteering, but we do get paid,’” Gail said. “And I think that young adults, even those at 16 should come out and learn what the process is all about.”

If interested in becoming a poll worker for the Nov. 8 general election, you can find further information and where to sign up on Sedgwick County’s website.

“If you are a skeptic of the system, then become part of the system and learn it,” Schwab said. “Go ahead and be that poll worker so you can see the layers of security we have in Kansas.

Ahead of the Nov. 8 general election, Oct. 18 is the last day to register to vote. Oct. 19 is the beginning of advance ballots being mailed. Early voting at the Sedgwick County Election Office runs from Oct. 24 to Nov. 7 with early voting at satellite locations happening Nov. 1-5.