Ken Carlson

Stanislaus County poll workers can earn $95 to $130 on Election Day

Stanislaus County’s Registrar of Voters office is looking for poll workers for the Nov. 8 presidential election.

The election office has 180 polling places to staff for people who cast their votes the old-fashioned way, instead of using mail ballots. It takes about 800 workers to run polling places in the county on Election Day.

There is a particular need for workers who speak both English and Spanish, Registrar of Voters Lee Lundrigan said.

It also helps to have election officers with technical skills to assist with voting equipment, she said.

Some of the poll workers are inspectors and some are judges. Lundrigan said the inspectors are given the keys to open the polling location and they make sure the judges arrive for their duties.

Throughout the day, poll workers locate voter names on the roster, issue the ballots and assist voters in other ways.

Lundrigan said the election officers are considered volunteers by the county. Those volunteers are paid stipends ranging from $95 to $130 as reimbursement for mileage and meals, she said.

The stipend for inspectors is $130, and judges are given $95. The polls are open for 13 hours on Election Day, from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m., but a $95 stipend for working the entire time does not violate the state’s minimum-wage law because of that volunteer status, Lundrigan said.

Some nonprofit groups adopt a polling place to raise money for charity. Group members volunteer their time and donate their stipends to an organization of their choice.

To meet the basic requirements for election officer, applicants must be 18 years or older and a California resident and U.S. citizen. People who are mentally incompetent or on felony parole are ineligible.

Residents can pick up an application at the Registrar of Voters office, 1021 I St. in downtown Modesto, or use an online application at Groups wishing to adopt a polling place in Stanislaus County should call the election office at 209-525-5200.

Democrats take the lead

Stanislaus County turned a shade of blue with the latest voter-registration count, in which Democrats took a slight lead over the GOP.

As of Thursday, about 700 voter registrations separated the two parties. The Democrats have 87,980, to 87,285 for the Republicans.

The Republicans held a sizable lead in registration, but the tide began to turn with Democratic registration drives leading up to the June presidential primary.

Ken Carlson: 209-578-2321