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Ohio Trained A Record 57,000 Poll Workers After Bipartisan Recruitment Effort

Ohio Secretary of State Frank LaRose, right, overseeing the Election Night Reporting Center in Columbus, Ohio, watches early returns in the Ohio primary election from the Election Night Command Center, Tuesday, April 28, 2020.
Gene Puskar
/
Associated Press
Ohio Secretary of State Frank LaRose, right, overseeing the Election Night Reporting Center in Columbus, Ohio, watches early returns in the Ohio primary election from the Election Night Command Center, Tuesday, April 28, 2020.

Ohio Secretary of State Frank LaRose says a record 56,789 people are trained and ready to be poll workers this year.

“Ohioans are stepping up to serve as poll workers this election season at a pace never seen before, showing the world the civic engagement and can-do sense of public service our state has always exemplified,” LaRose said in a statement Thursday.

Just five counties—Ashtabula, Greene, Jackson, Pike, and Vinton—have not yet met their minimum number of poll workers.

Bob Taft, former Republican governor of Ohio, and Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) got together virtually in one of many efforts initiated to encourage people to work the polls.

“We’re joining together for the most ambitious crossover event in Ohio history: this PSA,” Taft and Brown said in a video.

A little humor between old foes was meant to encourage young people to become poll workers. The effort paid off: LaRose reported that since the primary, recruitment efforts have led to more than 148,000 people being referred to county boards of elections for consideration and training.

Among the ranks of trained poll workers are 23,649 registered Democrats, 20,733 Republicans and 12,407 unaffiliated or minor party members.

Brown and Taft both previously served as secretary of state, and Brown says that’s why he’s confident about how things will go Tuesday.

“We have an election system built by people like Bob Taft and me and others who were nonpartisan secretaries of state," Brown said. "I think the votes will be counted properly.”

Brown urges people to make a plan not just to vote themselves, but to check with friends and family to make sure they too cast a ballot.