Three members compose the Monroe County Election Board. County Clerk Linda Robbins, a Democrat, serves as the secretary of the board. Judy Smith-Ille is the Republican board member and chairman of the board. The Democratic appointee to the board is Lorraine Farrell.
While these three lead the board, they also work with about 1,000 seasonal paid employees that make elections in the county happen, from early in the planning process to the days following Election Day.
“I don’t think everyone realizes just how much goes into an election,”
What they do
The board meets yearround to plan elections.
“We put together the entire election process, from registration to Election Day,” Smith-Ille said.
The board doesn’t get much time off while preparing for election season. A large part of the Election Board’s job is ensuring the residents in its 82 precincts have voting accessibility.
Smith-Ille said she often searches the county for potential voting centers that cooperate with the Help America Vote Act of 2002.
This act encourages voters with physical challenges to still come to the polls by, in part, putting specific requirements on the types of buildings that are eligible to be polling centers.
Finding good locations is also often the biggest challenge the board faces, Robbins said, noting that not all buildings are properly retrofitted to accommodate all types of voters.
The board is currently deciding on the exact locations and opening times of satellite voting locations, with the goal to best accommodate voters. They are keeping inclement weather and working schedules in mind.
A meeting Friday was continued into next week in order to finalize those details.
How can you get involved
The board seeks poll workers on Election Day and temporary paid employees and volunteers for a variety of election tasks. The work would require some training, but most positions are paid. The three board leaders encourage IU students to get involved. An equal number of registered Republicans and Democrats will be accepted.
“It’s a learning process they can carry with them for the rest of their lives,” Smith-Ille said.
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