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Commissioners OK raises for poll workers

LISBON — Columbiana County commissioners agreed Wednesday to accept the poll worker pay increase approved by the county board of elections for next year.

“They’re well-deserved to get a pay raise. We think that it will help attract future poll workers,” Board of Elections Deputy Director Bryce Miner said when contacted.

The election board approved the wage hike at a meeting Aug. 31, but Ohio election rules require the proposed increase to come before county commissioners for their acceptance. The election board submitted a letter to commissioners outlining the current rates and the proposed rates, noting the pay for poll workers has not been increased since 2009 and the current rate falls below the state hourly minimum wage.

“This increase will put Columbiana County on par with other like-sized counties and is a re-investment of funds saved via extensive precinct consolidation in 2021,” the letter signed by Miner and Director Kim Fusco said.

Poll workers are paid a lump sum amount based on a 15-hour Election Day. According to the chart, a poll worker hourly rate will increase from $7.25 per hour to $9.30 per hour, a presiding judge hourly rate will increase from $8.57 per hour to $9.30 per hour and a multi precinct voting location manager hourly rate will increase from $8.57 per hour to $9.30 per hour.

The maximum number of poll workers normally working on Election Day totals 348, with four poll workers each at 59 polling locations and 14 polling locations with up to eight poll workers. The total salary cost per election will increase from $30,728 to $38,183.

Training costs for poll workers will increase from a flat fee of $14.50 to a flat fee of $15. Pickup and dropoff flat fees will increase from $18.50 to $20 for poll worker presiding judges and multi precinct voting location managers. Mileage will increase from 48 cents per mile to 62.5 cents per mile.

The increase represents an additional $7,683 per election, not including mileage, for poll workers, but precinct consolidation in 2021 saved the budget $6,719 per election, not including mileage.

In other election-related business, Miner said the election board certified the required post election audit results. Election workers had to hand-count 5 percent of the vote in the 59th District State Representative Democrat race and the 33rd District State Committeeman Republican race from the Aug. 2 election.

“We were 100 percent accurate. We’re very proud of that,” Miner said.

Both he and Fusco congratulated staff on a successful election.

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