Poll workers are of older age in Douglas County

Many poll workers are of older age
Published: Nov. 8, 2022 at 3:50 PM CST
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OMAHA, Neb. (WOWT) - Officials in Douglas County expect around 100,000 voters will venture out to cast ballots in person Tuesday.

Voters will be greeted by poll workers whose average age is 54 years old.

The people working in the more than 200 voting sites across the county are key to bringing this campaign season across the finish line.

Around 11 a.m. at the Sons of Italy Hall, voter traffic here is brisk. Many of the people working the polls here have some gray tones in their hair.

“A lot of times older people have more time, and that’s probably why you see more,” said poll worker Pat James.

James has been working the polls for around 15 years, she says the people who write down the names and hand out the ballots are key to our democracy.

“Well if we didn’t have people we couldn’t have elections.”

Marguerite Worthing has been working the elections, longer than James. Worthing started when she was a younger woman.

“Well I must have been in my 70s,” Worthing said. “It’s been a few years. I’m going to be 89 in two weeks.”

Worthing believes the first presidential election she worked for was when Jimmy Carter won the White House. Worthing still enjoys the work.

“I get to see people I haven’t seen for quite a while in the area. I live in the area but a lot of people are working and just don’t get out like they used to, and this way I get to see neighbors that I haven’t seen for a while. And it’s just nice to see so many people coming out. It really is this year we’ve had a lot more than we had last year and that’s good.”

Worthing is aware of what’s going around the country with talks of voter fraud, she tells us she just doesn’t talk about politics at home and never here at the polls.

“As soon as you start talking politics an argument starts up and I don’t want to get into any arguments, because everybody’s got their own vision of what they should do with their politics so I just do a lot of praying and hope for the best.”

Douglas County officials say there are 1,400 poll workers on the job across the county, and they are paid the minimum wage of $9 an hour.