I-TEAM: Cuyahoga County Board of Elections still in need of dozens of workers

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CLEVELAND (WJW) — The FOX 8 I-TEAM has found Cuyahoga County has a shortage of workers to help carry out the presidential election next month.

So, we’re investigating why and what it means to your vote.

Less than 3 weeks before Election Day, the Cuyahoga County Board of Elections still needs to hire dozens of workers, possibly up to 100 more, to process votes.

This comes to light as we see workers hustling to keep up with long lines of people showing up for early voting.

Board spokesman Mike West told us there are openings for many positions.

“A variety of jobs that last a variety of lengths and it pays $12.50 an hour,” said West.

The jobs are full-time for a short-time to carry out the election. This includes positions for handling applications for ballots, sorting ballots, scanning them into the election computer system and more.

We wondered why there are so many openings? For a long time, this election has been generating a national buzz.

“Most of the people who do these temporary jobs come back again and again. But, we’ve heard from many of them that they’re concerned about the coronavirus. You know, It’s human nature,” said West.

Step inside the Cuyahoga County Board of Elections and you see they are doing a lot to protect against the spread of COVID-19. Many plastic barriers have been put up, people are spaced apart, and workers are sanitizing.

Of course, you will find high interest in this election not just in Cuyahoga County. So, the I-TEAM checked around Northeast Ohio. We found Medina County and Stark County are sill hiring some election workers, too.

But, officials in Lake and Geauga Counties say they’re in good shape.

Back at Cuyahoga County Board of Election headquarters, we met Alec Rubin working full-time for a while. He told us he’s retired and took this job for a number of reasons.

“It’s kind of a civic duty. It feels good versus some others jobs I could be doing in the private sector,” he said.

We also met Norma Cubano working there. She is translating for voters speaking Spanish, and she’s cleaning.

“Well I’m doing a little bit of everything,” she said.

So what happens if Cuyahoga County falls short of workers on election day?

The Board says in that case, workers on staff will simply have to work overtime to make sure your votes get counted.

“We are hiring right now. We want people who want a front seat to democracy,” said West.

You can go out to vote early and maybe get a job, too. You should know, Cuyahoga County does not hire felons for jobs with the Board of Elections.

Also, the openings do not involve poll workers. The County has already hired about 5,000 of those.

You can find out more by calling 216-443-6600 or you can click on www.443VOTE.us.

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