Tulsa County looking for poll workers

TULSA -- The Tulsa County Election Board is looking for more people to work the polls for the upcoming November election.

Gwen Freeman, Secretary of the Election Board, said they are seeing staggering numbers of people registering to vote this year.

She said statewide 76,000 people have registered since January. Tulsa County has seen 12,000 applications.

With the increased number of votes comes an increased need for poll workers.

Mike Fritts has been working at the polls for 16 years.

"I am a disabled veteran and to me, voting is a foundation of our country and it is very important to me," Fritts said.

He is in his 70s and most of the other workers are too. Freeman said the average poll worker is about 75-years old.

"It makes them feel they have a purpose," Fritts said.

It will take about 1,000 workers to make election day run smoothly in Tulsa County less than a month from now.

Freeman said they are on track, however, last-minute health emergencies or vacations put a kink in their plans.

"We do have some age-related issues that come into play, unfortunately at the last minute," Freeman said. "We are always looking for additional precinct workers."

So far, there are more than 2 million people registered to vote in the state. Tulsa County makes up for 15-percent of that. Without the poll workers, the election is not possible.

"We have a long day," Fritts said. "It is fun. None of us do it for the money."

Poll workers make less than $100 for the day and typically work from 6:30 a.m. until 7:00 p.m.

A class is required to work the polls. Several classes are scheduled for the week of Oct. 15.

The last day to register to vote is Friday, Oct. 12. People who want to register in person have to do it by 5:00 p.m. Those who choose to mail in the form must have it postmarked by Oct. 12.

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