Colton looking for election poll workers

February 1, 2016 By Paula Katinas Brooklyn Daily Eagle
Democratic District Leader Nancy Tong and Assemblymember William Colton, shown at the United Progressive Democratic Club in Bensonhurst, are looking for residents to sign on as poll workers on Election Day. Eagle file photo by Paula Katinas
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Workers at Election Day polling sites are an important part of democracy, according to Assemblymember William Colton, who said they play a key role in ensuring that voters’ rights are respected.

Colton, along with Nancy Tong and Charles Ragusa, the two Democratic Party district leaders in the 47th Assembly District (Gravesend-Bensonhurst), is hunting for people to serve as poll workers on Primary Day and Election Day.

There are a number of different positions available for those who want to work on Election Day at the polls, Colton said. Poll workers are paid and can be assigned to serve any one of a number of different functions, including inspectors, poll clerks and information clerks. Other workers at the polls include interpreters fluent in foreign languages like Spanish and Chinese. 

Poll workers (inspectors, poll clerks and information clerks) earn a salary for $200 for working each Election Day, as well as an additional $100 for attending a six-hour training class and passing a required exam. 

Interpreters earn a salary of $200 for working on each Election Day and an additional $25 for attending a training class and passing the exam. 

“It is extremely important that local residents are involved in our community and our nation’s election process. As citizens of the United States, we have a duty to support our democracy. Democracy only works when many diverse groups of people are involved and engaged in our government and political system,” said Colton (D-Gravesend-Bensonhurst).

“In addition, I encourage all who are interested in working at the polls on Election Day visit the United Progressive Democratic Club to complete and submit an application,” Colton added.

The United Progressive Democratic Club is located at 29 Bay 25th St. in Bensonhurst. Applicants can visit the club Wednesdays between 6 and 8 p.m.

To apply to work as a poll worker one must be a U.S. citizen, a registered voter in New York City, be at least 18 years of age and reside in one of the five boroughs. 

Colton, who has sponsored legislation in the New York State Assembly to increase the pay for poll workers, said he believes a pay hike will help recruit more applicants to work at the polls.

The 2016 dates for the primaries and the general election are Tuesday, April 19, (Presidential Primary); Tuesday, June 28, (Federal Office Primary); Tuesday, Sept. 13, (State/Local Primary); and Tuesday, Nov. 8, (General Election).

“I worked as a poll worker several years ago, and it was a great learning experience that helped me become more active in my community and I encourage other people to consider working at the polls on Election Day as well,” Tong said.

Ragusa urged residents to consider becoming poll workers. “I believe it is important that all of us become involved in our communities, and working as a poll worker can help people become more active citizens,” he said.

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