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Huge poll worker shortage at Elkhart voting centers

GOSHEN, Ind.-- It takes a lot to run an election in Elkhart County-- close to 300 poll workers to be exact.

Election day is November 6 and Elkhart and Goshen counties only have 27 workers so far.

The Elkhart County Election Board started preparing for the general election in the summer of 2017 and met Tuesday to discuss the deadlines in providing poll workers needed only to find out that there is a significant shortage in poll workers. 

Office manager of voter registration Chad Clingerman said the lack of communication is causing them to scramble for help.

“We wanted to press upon them to stay on the schedule, and get us the information on time and also, if they were in trouble, what can we do to help them? It’s a headache for us behind the scenes because it delays us getting other things ready,” said Clingerman. "We calculated we need around 300 workers total. For election day itself it's around 243."

He shared all the positions needed before training beginning in exactly seven days and said they need all the help they can get.  

“Absentee voting in person, travel board, to count all the absentee voting by mail and board receives all the electric material after election night.”

John Frybort has been helping with voting for about 11 years and said his biggest concern is  if there isn't enough people to help, people will get discouraged and leave the long lines.

“Every vote is very important. Every vote counts, and every vote is needed. We have a whole variety of different opinions and they all need to be heard, they all need to be expressed.”

To find out how to get involved, contact Elkhart Voting Services. 

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