Election poll workers needed in St. Joseph County

Published: Apr. 16, 2018 at 4:55 PM EDT
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"I think what they need to be able to smile," Poll Inspector Michael Kinsey said.

If you're want to work the polls the year in St. Joe County... It's one of the qualities you should have.

"People come in that time early in the morning, or busy in the day. It's simple, smile at the people. They're happy. You're happy to have them vote," Kinsey added.

The county clerk's office is looking to hire roughly 200 volunteers for May 8th -- for their local precincts. Workers will open the polls... process voters and deliver results to the County Election Board when voting is over.

"Poll workers are the front line on election day," Terri Rethlake, St. Joseph County Clerk, said.

Every election is different, and voter turnout is hard to predict. Rethlake said this year brings a unique obstacle at the polls.

"It's extremely challenging when you have a year off and people kind of forget about election day after a year of not voting."

The day is long - between 13 and 14 hours - but workers are paid for their time. Depending on your title - you could earn between $90 and $150 dollars.

"They would come in early, usually an hour before the polls open - which would be 5 o'clock in the morning, polls open at 6 a.m," Rethlake said.

But the early hours don't scare off people like Michael Kinsey. This will be his fourth year at the polls.

"It's rewarding because I believe in voting and if you don't vote, you can't talk," he said.

Poll workers must be registered voters, residents of St. Joseph County and must attend at least one training class.

To apply: contact the St. Joseph County Voter Registration office at 574-235-9521 or online at