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Howe: Poll workers are 'important for democracy'

This Wednesday, Aug. 23rd, is “National Poll Worker Recruitment Day.”

It’s to raise awareness about working elections, as well as recruiting workers.

"Poll workers are really the heartbeat of what makes democracy run," said North Dakota Secretary of State Michael Howe. "Whether it's for a June election, a November general election, even a local election — poll workers are really what drives the election process."

Howe said North Dakota needs about 3000 poll workers to run the June Primary and the November General Election. That's the total in all 53 counties.

"In the November election, there will be at least one physical polling location in all 53 counties," Howe said. "Many counties will have more than one polling location. And several counties do have early voting, open two weeks prior to election day."

Howe said all those locations need to be staffed. He said you need to be 16 years of age to work the polls.

"Some counties have been able to get poll workers with no problem, but for others, it's a little difficult," Howe said. "It really depends on the year and the location."

Howe said poll workers historically have been older.

"Some of those folks may not be willing to put in the long hours anymore," Howe said. "So it's paramount we get younger people involved in the process, to insure we run a smooth election."

Howe said training is available for pollworkers. He said if you’re interested, you can contact your local county auditor, or the Secretary of State Elections Division.