SPRINGFIELD, Mo. — Voter turnout could be near record-highs, and Greene County has hired hundreds of workers in hopes of making things go smoothly on election day.
With Greene County predicting to see around 75% voter turnout on Nov. 3, it’s responding accordingly by hiring about 500 regular election judges and 160 Supervisory judges.
Training for the Supervisory judges began Thursday at the University Plaza Hotel and Convention Center, led by Greene County Clerk Shane Schoeller.
He says those Supervisors have a critical role on election day.
“They help resolve a lot of the issues that occur during the day. Say, for example, if a voter has moved; they help determine if the voter is at the right polling location. They actually together bring the results back to the courthouse,” Schoeller says.
There will be two supervisors per polling place, one Republican and one Democrat. Regular election judges will begin training next week. They do things like getting voters checked in, make sure voters get the right ballots, and they’ll play a big part in cleanliness.
“Two people per polling location are just going to be cleaning. We’re going to hand every voter a pen; they get to keep that pen. We’re going to have enough facemasks for voters,” says Schoeller.
Thursday’s training session lasted about 3 hours long. For those new to the process, such as Josh Hay, it was an eye-opening experience.
“It was informative. A lot of information to make sure the public gets their right to vote. I have complained about elections, I have complained about politics, and decided to do something. It’s very impressive. They really cover their bases, and they want everybody to have a fair election,” Hay says.
Some love the opportunity to get involved so much; they keep coming back. Linda Hyde, who is entering her 5th year as an election supervisor, says this process continues to be fulfilling.
“Even though we’ve been through this training before, it’s been several months. It’s good training to go back through and hear what we’re supposed to do. It’s my way of volunteering for the election without actually volunteering for a party or campaign,” says Hyde. “I think you should consider it because everybody should have to do it once and see how the process works.”
Supervisory judges make $215 on election day, while regular judges make $200.
Schoeller wants to remind voters that if they see long lines on election day – don’t get deterred. Voters will be encouraged to keep 6-feet of distance in lines, making the wait seem longer than it appears. The extra judges should help check-in lines move faster.
Schoeller says if voters want to vote in-person absentee, the Greene County Election Center is open:
- October 23: 7:30 p.m. – 5:30 p.m.
- October 24: 9 a.m. – 1 p.m.
- October 26-30: 7:30 a.m. – 5:30 p.m.
- October 31: 9 a.m. – 4 p.m.
- November 2: 7:30 a.m. – 5 p.m.