Aging Poll Workers Concern Election Officials - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

11/02/04

Aging Poll Workers Concern Election Officials

The aging of America is having an impact at polling places across the country.

Many poll workers are senior citizens, who've worked elections for many years. And that raises the challenge of recruiting a new generation, to assume those election day duties.

Age is an issue because so many of the most dependable poll workers are elderly. And they'll be needing younger volunteers to replace them when they become unable to carry out the responsibility.

"We've been real busy today, thank God," said poll manager, Mary Ducksworth, as she helped oversee the late morning rush at the Isaiah Fredericks Community Center.

A sense of community service prompted her to become a poll worker 20 years ago. "Because I thought it was something good for the community. To help, you know," she explained.

Sheredia Graves represents the next generation of poll workers. She's young enough to be the daughter of most poll workers and she's determined to get others her age involved.

"We are trying to get more younger people involved. So, maybe next time we'll have younger people, like myself," she said.

A steady crowd of voters gave poll workers at the Klein Road Church of God little time to take a break.

It's Patricia Mack's ninth election. She answered the call to civic duty more than a decade ago.

"I was concerned about getting out and working in the community. And that was the one thing I could do," Mack said.

Recruiting a new generation of poll workers is a nationwide concern. National election officials estimate the average age of a poll worker in America is 72 years old.

Veteran poll workers we talked with welcome the younger volunteers who are training to take their place.

"Because we're getting old. And somebody has got to take over," Mary Ducksworth admitted.

Being a poll worker obviously requires a time commitment.  And that's one of the big reasons so many poll workers are retirees. By the way, the poll workers are paid for this duty. Polling place managers get 95 dollars for working election day. All other poll workers get 75 dollars.

By Steve Phillips

  • NEWSMore>>

  • Buddy bags make transition easier for foster kids

    Buddy bags make transition easier for foster kids

    Sunday, July 23 2017 9:27 AM EDT2017-07-23 13:27:58 GMT
    Donations are being accepted to fill buddy bags (Photo Source: buddybagsms.com)Donations are being accepted to fill buddy bags (Photo Source: buddybagsms.com)

    A collection drive starts in D’Iberville this week to make life just a little bit better for children in Mississippi’s foster care system. One80 Fitness will help create Buddy Bags. These bags contain new and gender-neutral fleece blankets, stuffed animals, hygiene kits and activity books. To fill the next 100 bags, organizers need help. They need people to donate blankets and hygiene kits.

    More >>

    A collection drive starts in D’Iberville this week to make life just a little bit better for children in Mississippi’s foster care system. One80 Fitness will help create Buddy Bags. These bags contain new and gender-neutral fleece blankets, stuffed animals, hygiene kits and activity books. To fill the next 100 bags, organizers need help. They need people to donate blankets and hygiene kits.

    More >>
  • Gautier hosts first Music on the Lawn

    Gautier hosts first Music on the Lawn

    Saturday, July 22 2017 11:12 PM EDT2017-07-23 03:12:28 GMT

    The music has come to Gautier. Thanks to help from the Mississippi Songwriters Alliance, the first Music on the Lawn brought local songwriters together to make music that makes everybody happy.

    More >>

    Thanks to help from the Mississippi Songwriters Alliance, the first Music on the Lawn brought local songwriters together to make music that makes everybody happy. 

    More >>
  • State flag debate will likely reach a boiling point in Biloxi

    State flag debate will likely reach a boiling point in Biloxi

    Saturday, July 22 2017 11:00 PM EDT2017-07-23 03:00:16 GMT

    The next seven days, issues such as the state flag, and race relations will be debated in Biloxi.

    More >>

    The next seven days, issues such as the state flag, and race relations will be debated in Biloxi. 

    More >>
  • Trending StoriesTrending StoriesMore>>

  • Police: 8 dead in truck, 20 dire in immigrant smuggling case

    Police: 8 dead in truck, 20 dire in immigrant smuggling case

    Sunday, July 23 2017 5:50 AM EDT2017-07-23 09:50:46 GMT
    Sunday, July 23 2017 10:52 AM EDT2017-07-23 14:52:34 GMT

    Eight people have been found dead in a tractor-trailer outside a Walmart in Texas in what police are calling a tragic human trafficking case.

    More >>

    Eight people have been found dead in a tractor-trailer outside a Walmart in Texas in what police are calling a tragic human trafficking case.

    More >>
  • After Craigslist scam, man can't enter his own home

    After Craigslist scam, man can't enter his own home

    Saturday, July 22 2017 8:29 PM EDT2017-07-23 00:29:14 GMT
    Saturday, July 22 2017 8:29 PM EDT2017-07-23 00:29:14 GMT

    The people inside rented the home from a mystery person on Craiglist. As the law stands, because they refuse to leave, Keith Mills now has to go to court to prove he’s the rightful owner.

    More >>

    The people inside rented the home from a mystery person on Craiglist while owner Keith Mills was on vacation.. As the law stands, because the renters refuse to leave, Mills now has to go to court to prove he’s the rightful owner.

    More >>
  • NASA issues warning: You may have a bad pair of eclipse glasses

    NASA issues warning: You may have a bad pair of eclipse glasses

    Friday, July 21 2017 11:22 AM EDT2017-07-21 15:22:03 GMT
    The path of the total solar eciipse on August 21, 2017 crosses directly over Columbia and the Midlands. (Source: NASA)The path of the total solar eciipse on August 21, 2017 crosses directly over Columbia and the Midlands. (Source: NASA)

    As the world, the United States, and South Carolina prepared for arguably the coolest celestial event in decades, our old friends at NASA want you to know that pairs of unsafe solar eclipse glasses are being distributed. 

    More >>

    As the world, the United States, and South Carolina prepared for arguably the coolest celestial event in decades, our old friends at NASA want you to know that pairs of unsafe solar eclipse glasses are being distributed. 

    More >>
Powered by Frankly