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Ohio Lawyers to Volunteer as Poll Workers

Ohio has a plan to help close the expected shortfall at voting precincts this fall. The idea is to have attorneys serve as poll workers. An order from the Ohio Supreme Court allows state attorneys to receive Continuing Legal Education (CLE) credit for serving as precinct election officials on Election Day. Attorneys must earn 24 credits every two years. Ohio Supreme Court Chief Justice Maureen O’Connor promoted the plan on CBS This Morning.

polling station

Ohio attorneys will serve as poll workers on Election Day.

“The opportunity for attorneys to be poll workers is just one piece of the puzzle. It could turn out to be a very big piece and be helpful on Election Day,” Chief Justice O’Connor said in a taped remote interview with correspondent Jericka Duncan.

The chief justice partnered with Ohio Secretary of State Frank LaRose to ask lawyers and judges to help counter the expected worker shortfall. Most poll workers are older adults at higher risk of contracting COVID-19. Calling on the state’s 42,000 attorneys to fill Election Day roles can help mitigate risk.

With enough poll workers, “people who do show up at the polls are processed quickly, they don’t have to linger at the poll site,” Chief Justice O’Connor said.

Election Day is scheduled for November 3. The U.S. presidential race, all 16 Ohio congressional seats and many other state races will be on the ballot. Early voting and mail-in voting begins on October 6.