Recognizing the hard work of the canvassing board and poll workers

On Tuesday, April 11th, the Board of County Commissioners (BOCC) recognized members of the Hernando County’s Canvassing Board and Poll Workers.

According to Florida Statute (102.141), the county Canvassing Board is comprised of The Supervisor of Elections, a county court judge, and the chair of the board of county commissioners. Alternates are appointed in cases where any of the above cannot serve, and in the previous Election cycle, two non-elected citizens from the Planning and Zoning Commission served in this capacity. Members do not receive a salary for participation on the board, however may be reimbursed for expenses.

The duties of the Canvassing Board include; overseeing and testing of all voting equipment, canvassing of vote by mail ballots, canvassing of ballots for early voting, canvassing write-in ballots, canvassing returns from the polls, oversee submitting preliminary returns, oversee submitting unofficial count, certifying returns, canvassing ballots from Uniformed and Overseas Citizens Absentee Voting Act (UOCAVA) voters, canvassing provisional ballots, determine voter intent on ballots, and conduct manual audits of voting system.

Commissioner Wayne Dukes illustrated situations where a voter’s signature may appear different from their submitted information, and part of the Canvassing Board’s duties is to determine if the latest signature is actually that of the original voter.

During the past election cycle, members of the board examined 70,000 ballots, determined voter intent for 3,200 ballots and worked over 90 hours, which included a holiday. For this excellence in service, Judge Donald Scaglione, Judge Kurt Hitzemann, John Scharch and Lynn Gruber-White were presented with Certificates of Achievement.

The most visible people during an election are the Poll Workers. Poll Workers of various capacities in Hernando county are required to have specialized training to assist voters and operations during Election days. Hernando county currently has 445 poll workers on the roster: 302 are women, 137 are men and range from ages 18 to 91, some serving for as long as 45 years. The various positions for Poll Workers are compensated.

The BOCC adopted a resolution to commend Poll Workers for their service. Supervisor of Elections Shirley Anderson introduced the Poll Worker with the longest tenure, Marcia Hood. Ms. Hood spoke on behalf of the rest of her colleagues, thanking Shirley Anderson and staff for providing the training and tools that ensure that “every voter who’s eligible in Hernando county has the opportunity to cast their ballot.”

Information for becoming a Poll Worker can be found at http://www.hernandovotes.com/Poll-Worker/Information
Requirements Include:

• Access to Email

• Standing

• Bending or Stooping

• Lifting approx 35lbs

• Normal Vision

• Manual/Physical

• Dexterity

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