More than 400 poll workers in Delaware County have called off in the last 48 hours due to concerns about COVID-19 coronavirus, Delaware County Board of Elections director Karla Herron said.

That number is from a total of about 900, Herron said, and includes only those who've called in the last two days.

Many poll workers are older and thus fall into a higher-risk category for transference of the coronavirus, Herron said. She said many have called their doctors, who have recommended against working.

The primary election in Ohio is Tuesday, March 17. In addition to the presidential primaries, several local issues -- including those from Olentangy Schools and Big Walnut Local Schools -- are on Delaware County ballots.

Herron said poll locations will be open even with reduced staffing.

She said efforts are being made to recruit high school and college students, teachers and other school staff. The board of elections also has reached out to government workers and other groups of employees who have been told to stay home.

She said staff even is making cold calls from the registered-voters list in search of additional poll workers.

"We're going to keep recruiting, even on Election Day. If someone is voting and can stay, we'll deputize and train them on the spot," Herron said.

The pay is approximately $140, per a press release.

Herron said voting and reporting should continue as normal, with as minimal impact as possible. She said early voting should help; 1,200 people voted March 14 and 900 more March 15.

"It could slow the reporting process, but it's our intent to be as effective as we always have been," Herron said.

She said polling locations are prepared for increased use of curbside voting.

For more information, call the board of elections at 740-833-2080.

editorial@thisweeknews.com
@ThisWeekNews