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Northampton County needs poll workers; classes scheduled on new machines: Some people have quit to avoid dealing with touch-screen equipment.
[April 13, 2006]

Northampton County needs poll workers; classes scheduled on new machines: Some people have quit to avoid dealing with touch-screen equipment.


(Morning Call, The (Allentown, PA) (KRT) Via Thomson Dialog NewsEdge) Apr. 13--Northampton County will start teaching election workers how to use new electronic voting machines next week, and is recruiting workers.

Workers must attend a two- to three-hour class on how to use WINvote touch-screen electronic machines, which officials hope will be delivered in time for the May 16 primary. If they aren't, the backup plan is to use the lever machines that have been used for decades, and which must be replaced under a federal voting law.



Classes will run April 21-30 at the county's 911 center in Upper Nazareth Township. They will be offered in the morning, afternoon and evening.

Registrar Deborah DePaul said some poll workers have resigned, though not as many as she had anticipated, because they did not want to work with electronic machines.


She believes working the polls will be easier with the new equipment because it is more automated.

"I don't foresee problems with people learning the new system at all," DePaul said.

She said some workers tried out the machines last weekend when the equipment was on display at Palmer Park Mall in Palmer Township.

With the new equipment, the county by law still must have five workers at each voting location, DePaul said. Judges of elections and minority and majority inspectors are elected positions at each polling place, and clerks and voting machine operators are appointed.

Vacancies occur when elected workers don't complete their terms, or when no one runs for a position.

For the primary election, the county is short 15 workers total in these districts: Bethlehem 4th Ward, Glendon, Hanover Township 5th District, Lower Saucon Township 2nd and 8th districts, Pen Argyl 4th Ward, Plainfield Township Church District and Wilson 1st Ward.

In addition to recruiting workers for the polls that have vacancies, the county is looking for volunteers for future elections.

Judges of elections are paid $130 for election day and the other workers are paid $95. They also will be paid for attending classes on the new machines, $15 for judges and inspectors and $10 for machine operators.

Anyone interested in applying for a position should call the voter registration office at 610-559-3055.

Workers must be 18, registered to vote and live in the precinct where they would work. Machine operators may be 17 years old.

paul.muschick@mcall.com

610-559-2146

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