Woodbury County sees shortage of precinct election officials months before the general election

Recruitment tactics are being implement to garner more election officials

By Bria Bell | bbell@kcautv.com

Published 08/25 2016 09:38PM

Updated 08/25 2016 10:48PM

It's a challenge that seems to grow each year. As the general election nears, Woodbury county needs more volunteers to work at voting precincts. 
That's partly because those who are loyal volunteers are aging.
"It's a very important job," says Mildred Davis, a long time precinct election official. 
Davis has been a Woodbury county precinct election official for nearly 40 years. During her first time as a poll worker JFK was on the ballot. 
"We were voting for President Kennedy," says Davis. 
The 93-year-old says she thoroughly takes pleasure in her role of helping out with the democratic process. She says she loves getting to meet new people and it serves as a way to keep up with what's going on in the community.
"I enjoy it, I just have a ball! Come by precinct 8." 
But Woodbury county is facing some challenges when it comes to preparing for the November election. 
"We're just having a difficult time getting precinct election officials," says Pat Gill the Woodbury county commissioner of elections.  
"We have a lot of people that have done it for so many years that they're ready to resign and do other things," says Woodbury county clerk Kim Grieve.  
There are 44 precincts within the county and three election officials must be present in order for voting to take place. Officials can spend up to 16 hours on location during election night and to help with recruitment tactics, the county may raise the hourly pay. Right now officials are paid $8 to 9 an hour. 
"We're trying to give them the incentive to come work for us," says Gill.  
Mildred says she'll be on staff for this year's election and also encourages others to take part in one of the most important events for our nation. 
"The next election if God's willing, and I intend on being there," says Davis.  
"if you come and try the job one time, then you can say whether you like it or you don't." 
If you are interested in becoming a precinct election for Woodbury County call 712-279-6465.

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