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Cuyahoga County Still Accepting Poll Worker Applications For Nov. 3

The Cuyahoga County Board of Elections is still accepting applications from potential poll workers, despite confusion over emails sent out last week.

Susan Love, the editor of the West Life newspaper, said she hadn’t considered becoming a poll worker before. But a month or two ago, she decided to offer her services.

“I was thinking about it, and thought, you know what, I have the flexibility, I have the ability to help out, I’m healthy,” she said. “So I decided that I was going to step out of my comfort zone and actually volunteer and do my civic duty to help things run smoothly.”

But around 9 p.m. last Tuesday, she got an email saying the board of elections didn’t need her.

“I was shocked, because every report I’ve heard said it should be all hands on deck,” she said.

So Love called the board and was told election officials do still needed poll workers. She attended a two-and-a-half hour training session over the weekend.

The email sent to potential poll workers was incorrect, Director Tony Perlatti said Monday. The board has more applications than open positions, he said, but they will continue to accept and train new workers.

“We know from our experiences that you have some individuals who sign up and then change their mind, they don’t attend training, or they come up with a conflict on Election Day that they can no longer serve,” Perlatti said. “We need to make sure we hire enough.”

The email was supposed to alert applicants that their paperwork had been received and would be processed, Perlatti said – and that it might take additional time to get through, as there are a large number of applications to work the polls this year.

Staff sent follow-up emails to clear up any confusion, Perlatti said, and he sent a third email himself to make sure everyone understood they were still needed.

The board also sent out 3,000 training signup emails to new poll workers over the last three days, Perlatti said. More emails will go out this week.

“We are actively still recruiting workers,” Perlatti said. “We get new applications every day from the Secretary of State’s website and other means.”

ideastream's Nick Castele contributed to this report.

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