Donít watch democracy, be a poll worker and defend It
Worried about the security of elections in Ohio?
Questioning the results of recent elections?
Afraid that we are losing a critical component of our 225-year-old democracy?
If so, turn off the TV, power down your phone, and lend a hand in running free and fair elections here in Cuyahoga County. The County Board of Elections (BOE) is always looking for poll workers to work election day at voting locations and for temporary workers to assist full-time staff members at the BOE headquarters in the weeks before and after voting.
These aren’t volunteer opportunities – you can actually get paid for defending democracy at the grassroots level. Not only that, you’ll work with friendly people, serve your community, and have a front row seat to observe how elections are conducted and to see the multiple safeguards that are in place to ensure accurate and timely vote counting.
According to Ohio Secretary of State Frank LaRose – the state’s leading election official – audits of the 2020 presidential election in Ohio found that the state’s results were 99.98 percent accurate. Forty-five states and the District of Columbia have some type of audit requirement. No state audit uncovered significant errors or flaws following the 2020 election.
But some candidates are already alleging that the upcoming midterm elections – which haven’t even been held yet – will be fraudulent.
So, it’s understandable that some normal people might be concerned about the security of election processes and the validity of election results.
In response, LaRose, like election officials elsewhere in the nation, has stepped up efforts to explain voting procedures and describe the security measures that protect the integrity of our election systems. The Secretary of State’s website (ohiosos.gov) provides a fact sheet on voting security. The County BOE website also provides information on election security.
Did you know that any election worker that comes anywhere near a ballot – voted or unvoted – or comes near a scanner or a pollbook, must be a member of a bipartisan team? Did you know that every paper ballot is retained for recount and audit purposes, even though the ballots are scanned at the voting location? Did you know that pollbooks and scanners are inspected before each election? And that scanners are never connected to the internet? Did you know that all vote counting is conducted in BOE facilities that are always under video surveillance?
Various groups are looking to recruit poll-watchers or observers for the upcoming election. But if you would rather defend democracy than watch it, consider becoming a poll worker.
To sign up as a Cuyahoga County BOE poll worker or temporary employee, see the Cuyahoga County BOE website at boe.cuyahogacounty.gov or call the BOE at 216-443-3277.
Walter Topp is a resident of Bay Village.