GWINNETT COUNTY, Ga. — Training for thousands of poll workers is beginning across the state.
Channel 2′s Steve Gehlbach got to sit in on one of the training sessions in Gwinnett County.
Poll workers have to go through online and in-person classes before staffing advanced voting sites.
Come actual Election Day, there are more than 150 polling sites and 2,000 workers needed. From veteran poll workers, who’ve done this for years, to brand-new doing their first election.
All must complete this vital training.
“It’s important to refresh your memory,” a poll worker said.
From looking up voters, to setting up scanners and new voting machines, poll workers have to follow strict rules.
“Last thing you want this election is to make a mistake. And there are very strict guidelines that you do and different scenarios, so they’re just preparing us to do what we need to do,” Lambros said.
Poll workers are trained on the many “what if” situations.
“Making sure we are finding the correct person in the system, so many ‘what-ifs’, and you got to make sure you’re coming to these classes that you’re following the steps, one through 10, in order to make sure that we’re processing everything right,” said poll worker Jennifer Olivares.
This training becomes even more important this election.
There used to be teams of two for early voting, checking each other’s work, but because of COVID-19 restrictions, they can’t do that and have to validate everything individually.
Other precautions will also be in place to protect voters and poll workers.
“Everybody exercised really good social distancing and wearing masks and taking extra measures and the election office has provided us with gloves, masks, hand sanitizer, stuff like that,” said poll worker Ronald Lambros.
While Gwinnett did lose some former poll workers who didn’t want to take any risks, Olivares said she didn’t have any hesitation coming back. She’s been doing it for 16 years.
“I feel like it’s something that I need to do. I like to ensure that everyone is given the correct opportunity to vote and to make sure all the processes are followed,” Olivares said.
You have less than two weeks to register to vote. Early voting begins October 12.
Cox Media Group