CAMERON COUNTY, Texas (ValleyCentral) — Early voting for midterm elections starts on Oct. 24, and Cameron Country Elections Department is making sure they are fully staffed with poll workers.
“The preparations for elections begin many months in advance,” said Cameron County’s elections administrator, Remi Garza.
Garza said the department is in the final stages of receiving their ballots and confirmed that main-in ballots have been delivered.
He said with 23 polling locations, poll workers play an important role in elections.
“Essentially a poll worker is going to be responsible for everything in the polling place runs according to the election code,” said Garza.
The elections department is recruiting workers for early voting and election day, according to Garza.
“We get the nominations from both parties, the Republicans and Democrats, and they’re the ones that actually help us fill the rosters for our election workers,” he said.
Garza said an even number of republicans and democrats are selected and assigned to each location.
He said although some poll workers are not returning to the work at the polls this year, new candidates are showing interest.
He explained that not all election departments have the same experience.
“There are a lot of areas in Texas that struggle to meet the number of poll workers that they would like to have. We’ve been very fortunate down here but in areas such as Dallas and Harris County and some of the larger communities, because they have so many polling places it’s difficult for them to find sometimes up until the last minute,” said Garza.
Garza said sites in Cameron County can have four to 20 poll workers, depending on the size of the location.
“We have had a lot of people express interest. We have a much younger group of people coming in. I’m not sure if it’s the consequence of some of the things they’ve heard about polling locations or election workers, but it feels to me that people are stepping into the breach to protect our democracy,” he said.
He explained in order to qualify to be a poll worker, applicants must be 18 years or older, a United States citizen, and be a registered voter.