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Thursday December 3rd, 2020 4:50AM

Hall County doubles up on poll workers for Election Day 2020

By B.J. Williams/Video: Lauren Hunter
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One of the steps the Georgia Secretary of State's Office has taken to ensure the general election runs more smoothly than the primary on June 9 is the hiring of additional poll workers across the state. In Hall County, some 600 workers will be staffing the polls on Nov. 3 - almost twice the number that worked the 2016 general election. 

Hall County Elections Director Lori Wurtz, during a break from a poll worker training session earlier this week, said the Secretary of State's Office has done a good job with the hiring process, particularly when it comes to hiring younger workers. 

"I really hope we don't see the day when our seniors are gone," Wurtz said. "They take in the younger ones and teach them what they need to know to make it through an election."

The ongoing coronavirus pandemic has been a concern for senior citizens who have traditionally worked the precincts, and Wurtz said many opted to return to the job even with the health threat. She said the make-up of the poll worker pool is eventually split between veterans and novices.

Poll workers are required to complete between four and eight hours of training, depending on the job the worker has. (See code below).

Wurtz said working the polls is not an easy job.

"There are a lot of rules, there are a lot of laws that we must follow, so it's a lot to learn in a short amount of time," Wurtz said. 

Voters need to remember some of the rules, as well, to make the process smoother. For example, review the ballot before going to the polls, something that will make the process move along more quickly. Voters will cast ballots at assigned precincts on election day and not at the early voting precincts set up through Oct. 30. Voters also need to remember they can't wear t-shirts, hats or buttons supporting a specific candidate; those items can be worn the rest of the day, but not at the precinct.

Follow this link to find out more about Hall County elections. 

O.C.G.A. § 21-2-99(a) The election superintendent shall provide adequate training to all poll officers and poll workers regarding the use of voting equipment, voting procedures, all aspects of state and federal law applicable to conducting elections, and the poll officers' or poll workers' duties in connection therewith prior to each general primary and general election and each special primary and special election; provided, however, such training shall not be required for a special election held between the date of the general primary and the general election. Upon successful completion of such instruction, the superintendent shall give to each poll officer and poll worker a certificate to the effect that such person has been found qualified to conduct such primary or election with the particular type of voting equipment in use in that jurisdiction. Additionally, the superintendent shall notify the Secretary of State on forms to be provided by the Secretary of State of the date when such instruction was held and the number of persons attending and completing such instruction. For the purpose of giving such instructions, the superintendent shall call such meeting or meetings of poll officers and poll workers as shall be necessary. Each poll officer shall, upon notice, attend such meeting or meetings called for his or her instruction.

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  • Associated Tags: Hall County elections, Lori Wurtz, Election 2020, poll workers
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