SIDNEY — Chris Gibbs, chairman of the Shelby County Board of Elections, addressed the Sidney Kiwanis Club during its regular meeting, Jan. 18.
Also in attendance was Dawn Billing. She is the director of the Board of Elections and has been with the board for 17 years.
The title of Gibbs’ presentation was “Can You Spare a Day for Democracy?” Gibbs first asked members, “What one-word definition does the board consider as a well-run election? The answer is, ‘Boring.’ This past general election was, in fact, boring. Everything ran smoothly and results were pretty much completed by 9:15 election night.”
It takes in excess of 100 poll workers to ensure a well-run election, Gibbs said. However, the board of elections is sometimes challenged in finding enough poll workers. Gibbs encouraged Kiwanians to become poll workers.
Among the requirements to be a poll worker are being a U.S. citizen, being a registered voter, having no felony convictions and not running as a candidate for that particular election.
Training is provided for all poll workers. They also get paid for working an election. approximately $121 for a 12- t0 14-hour day. The board tries to assign poll workers to their own precincts but “it comes down to where certain workers are needed,” Gibbs said. There are two teams of two people at each precinct. In other words, a total of four poll workers are needed for each precinct. Party affiliation is important as there must be the same number of Republicans and Democrats.
One upcoming change is that e-poll books will be used in upcoming elections. These electronic machines will only be used for signing in. Paper ballots will continue to be used.