City Clerk’s Office Seeks More Paid Election Workers for August and November Elections

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Raymond Holt for ELi

City of East Lansing election inspectors working the Nov. 2019 election.

City Clerk Jennifer Shuster is looking for civic-minded, qualified citizens to serve as paid election workers during the August 4 state primary election and the November 3 general election.

“As we navigate two back-to-back elections in the shadow of a pandemic, we are going to need new election workers to help with increased mail-in ballots as well as in-person voting at all of East Lansing’s polling locations,” said Shuster.

She added, “For those considering applying, please know that safety procedures will be in place and personal protective equipment, such as masks, face shields, plexiglass barriers and gloves, will be supplied.”

According to Shuster, “Election inspectors play an important role in assisting with the voting process and ensuring the right to vote for all registered voters. They are a vital part of democracy in action and are greatly appreciated for their service.”

The author this article, Ken Sperber (left), has been an election inspector for many years alongside his spouse, Val Thonger (right). Photo by Raymond Holt for ELi.

To qualify as a paid “election inspector” you must be registered to vote in Michigan or a student, age 16 or 17.

“Election inspectors do not need to be registered East Lansing voters to work an East Lansing election,” Shuster has noted.

Election inspectors begin work before the polls open and finish after the polls are closed. The City needs election inspectors who can work the full day from 6 a.m. until 10 p.m., as well as election inspectors who can commit to working half-day shifts (either 6 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. or 2-10 p.m.)

Inspectors must also attend a mandatory certification class (and are paid for that time).

“We encourage any eligible individual with an interest to consider applying to be an election inspector, including high school and college students looking to gain experience and learn about the latest voting technology,” said Shuster. “This is a wonderful way to meet great people, provide community service and earn a little extra cash.”

Important role in our democracy

Election inspectors provide an important role in our democracy, supporting the right to vote. Having served as an election inspector, I can say it is a gratifying way to be involved in our community and participate in civic service. Precinct election workers are paid $12 per hour; precinct chairs and co-chairs receive $14 per hour. All election inspectors are paid for one, three-hour required training session.

Election inspectors should be detail-oriented, friendly and able to work either a full 16-hour day, or work a half-day shift of about 8 hours.

If you are interested in becoming an East Lansing Election Inspector you can complete the online application or stop by the City Clerk’s office during regular business hours to fill out an application in person.

According to the clerk’s office, “Individuals who have previously worked as an election inspector or chairperson during an East Lansing election do not need to re-apply, but they are asked to email cityclerk@cityofeastlansing.com if they would like to sign up again.”

This article includes material previously published at ELi. Note: When this article was originally posted on June 25, it provided the previous pay rates. They have increased by $2/hour since our last report on this work, and the article has been corrected.

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