Ohio Program Encourages Lawyers To Serve As Poll Workers To Meet Election Day Needs

Ohio faces a critical shortage of Election Day poll workers. [Rob Crandall / Shutterstock]
Ohio faces a critical shortage of Election Day poll workers. [Rob Crandall / Shutterstock]
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Last week, Governor Mike DeWine issued a reopening order for live theaters and music halls.  Many of the recommendations in the order match those the state gave other economic sectors: masks, social distancing and sanitization procedures.  But, the state also put a 15% capacity limit on both indoor and outdoor venues for theater and musical performances.

Such a cap, local directors and proprietors say make the state recommendations economically unsustainable.  The governor later acknowledged that the low capacity requirement would probably not work for commercial venues but that the first priority was on high school productions going forward to benefit students.

A recently published report from the Brookings Institution looked at cumulative losses within the arts community nationwide.  From April to July, the research center puts the losses for Ohio at 80,000 jobs and more than $3 billion dollars.

The non-profit violence prevention group, Cleveland Peacemakers Alliance, has named a new executive director to lead the organization.

Myesha Crowe, comes into the leadership role after serving has the interim Executive Director. She brings a background in social work and youth development to her role.  The Cleveland Peacemakers Alliance works to reduce youth and gang violence in Cleveland neighborhoods.  The organization now falls under the umbrella of the Boys and Girls Clubs of Northeast Ohio.

Ohio faces a critical need for poll workers for the upcoming November election.  Ohio normally requires 35,000 volunteers---drawn from each party--to work at the polling locations.  But, the coronavirus pandemic has made it difficult to find workers for this election.

Many poll workers tend to be older and at higher risk for complications from COVID-19.  This has led to a shortage of people signing up to work at the polls.

Ohio is taking a novel approach and leaning on its legal community to help meet the need.  The Ohio Supreme Court unanimously approved a plan to have lawyers volunteer as poll workers in exchange for continuing legal education credits.

If you are interested in becoming a poll worker for the upcoming election--we have provided a link to the Secretary of State's information page below.


For More Information:

Ohio Secretary of State web page on poll workers


David C. Barnett, Reporter, Arts & Culture, Ideastream

Myesha Crowe, Executive Director, Cleveland Peacemakers Alliance

Maureen O'Connor, Chief Justice of the Ohio Supreme Court 

Kevin Kleps, Assistant Editor, Sports Business Reporter, Crain's Cleveland Business 

Ohio Channel On-Demand Video

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