FARMINGTON As counties begin to ramp up for the Nov. 4 presidential election, they want to make sure they have enough poll workers to serve voters' needs.
Already, they're asking for registered voters to sign up to be trained and work election day for a modest stipend.
In Davis County, election officials are hoping to draw from the county employee pool, and so far the plan has the blessing of county administrative officials.
The county will offer a day of paid administrative leave for employees to work the election instead of their normal jobs on Nov. 4.
Employees will also receive the poll-worker stipend associated with the job they end up doing on election day.
The thinking, says personnel director Mel Miles, is that the county won't lose significant productivity on Election Day a day in which the major job of the county is administering a basic American right smoothly and fairly.
"We need people out there all day long," said Pat Beckstead, Davis elections manager.
Davis County will need 1,100 or so poll workers to do a variety of jobs.
County employees will receive a poll-worker application enclosed in their Sept. 12 paychecks. That should give the county time to train employees in time for the election.
Employees who wish to participate must be registered voters and live in the county.
For years, county clerks have asked the business community to provide similar compensation so its employees and participate as poll workers, as well.
Such efforts have been under way in Salt Lake and Utah counties.
Utah County also hopes to draw from the county employee pool, said Scott Hogensen, chief deputy in the Utah County Clerk/Auditor's Office.
His office estimates a need for 1,000 poll workers.
"We think we're doing pretty good, but we can always use more," Hogensen said.The county employees who may end up assisting with the election will be deployed strategically on an as-needed basis. The plan has support from administrative officers in the county's departments, but specific people have not been committed yet, Hogensen said.
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