INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — It takes a minimum of 10 people to run one polling location, and Marion County has 187 polling locations.
That means the county clerk’s office, with the help of both political parties, has had to recruit close to 2,000 people to work the polls on Election Day. And if someone doesn’t show up, the polling location could be delayed in opening.
Since early voting started in Marion County in early October, 213,612 people have already voted in this election. According to the Marion County Clerk’s Office, that is close to 30% of the registered voters in the county, and they expect a historic turnout on Election Day.
“We have had well over 4,000 volunteers sign up to work this election cycle, and our initial goal was to have just over 2,000” said Russell Hollis of the Marion County Clerk’s Office.
Every polling location must have an inspector. The inspector is, so to speak, the boss of the polling location. The job of the inspector is to make sure everyone shows up and that the equipment is in working order so that you can vote. If the inspector is late or doesn’t show up, then that polling location doesn’t open until a replacement inspector arrives. Both political parties are responsible for an equal number of people to check voter IDs and hand out ballots.
“Because we do require a bipartisan set of initials on the back of the paper ballot,” said Hollis.
With the record number of in-person early voting ballots and mail-in absentee ballots, all of which have to be inspected for signatures and opened one at a time starting on Election Day. There is pressure on both parties to staff the absentee ballot count
We are also actively recruiting for central count, which is where we think there is going to be a big need because we don’t have a history of how many absentee ballots that are going to be coming in and we don’t have a history of having Marion, that large amount come in,” said Scott Zaravee of the Marion County Republican Central Committee.
The Marion County Clerk’s Office says they have people in reserve to fill in for those that don’t show up. They also say they have equipment in reserve and the ability to move equipment around to accommodate crowds at busier locations.