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Wednesday, September 27, 2023

Sedgwick County in need of election workers

WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) — Sept. 19 is National Voter Registration Day, and Sedgwick County election officials encourage everyone to register if they haven’t yet. If you’re not sure whether you are registered or want to check your polling place, click here.

“Local elections have more of an impact on your daily life than the national elections in the even number years,” Sedgwick County Election Commissioner Laura Rainwater said. “Local and state elections are probably the most important elections. The policies that elected officials are making at the local level impact you more than at the national level in my opinion. So it’s very important that we get people out to vote in these local elections.”

If you voted in the primaries, you are all set for the general election unless you changed your name or address. The last day to register to vote is Oct. 17.

During the primaries, voter turnout exceeded officials’ expectations based on what they had seen in the past. For the general election, they are expecting 30-35% voter turnout, which is higher than the last two mayoral years.

For the general election, Sedgwick County needs about 100 more election workers because it added 22 polling sites from the primaries.

“We don’t have enough election workers to adequately and efficiently staff all the 84 sites,” Rainwater said. “It slows the process down. You may have to stand in line at the check-in table.

Election workers get $8.50 an hour and are required to take a paid 4-hour class. Workers must be registered to vote in the county they are working in.

“It’s a long day, but it’s very rewarding,” Rainwater said. “And we can’t have our elections without our election workers. They’re the most important piece to the puzzle.”

Rainwater suggests visiting a class to see if working is something you are interested in. She says 90% of election workers return every election.

“Feeling that you’re contributing to the democracy of our country, and when you get home at night at eight o’clock, and you crash on your couch after a long day of working the polls, and you watch the results come in, I always got a sense of pride and knowing that I helped contribute to the democracy of our country because, without our elections, we wouldn’t have the type of government we have,” Rainwater said.

Next year, the county will add 25-30 sites to reduce wait times.

For a full calendar of dates, click here.

To become an election worker, click here.

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