The upcoming primary election is just a month away and the county needs election workers.

Last year during the presidential election, Gov. Tom Wolf sent messages in newsletter asking people to sign up to be poll workers. The county had a good response and there were enough poll workers.

Now, it seems many of those same workers have chosen not to return. So, the county needs more poll workers.

Workers start about 6:30 a.m and end about 8:30 p.m. Workers are needed for such jobs as signing in voters as well as "uploading" the ballot for voters. That involves determining which party registration is and opening that party ballot on the machine for the voter.

If you are interested, contact the Office of Voter Services. Although it is not a presidential election, it is a primary, meaning both parties choose their candidates for the fall election.

As I have explained to some people in the past, it's like the playoffs for a sports team. If you don't get past the first round, you don't get into the final game.

It's an important part of the process.

Workers aren't going to get off rich working one day, but it's a way to help government operate and make a few dollars at the same time.

• • •

Usually, only those who are registered as Democrat or Republican vote in the primary.

However, there are several "constitutional amendment" questions on this year's ballot, so all registered voters (no matter which party or even no party) can vote.

The key to remember, though, is you must be registered!

• • •

"It's a really quiet election," said a friend I saw while shopping the other day. She was comparing it with last year's election. Although it's quiet, I'm sure candidates are campaigning at local events designed for people to meet others.

The COVID-19 pandemic has made that more difficult, but candidates are aware of how to campaign.

• • •

Some people are using this campaign to call for combining the position of clerk of courts and prothonotary. Neither of those officials can make that call, so it's a little puzzling why that is an issue this year.

Of course, it was being quietly promoted two years ago when the prothonotary's office was up for election.

It will be interesting to see what could be proposed in the future for those two offices.

• • •

While some offices on the ballot are unopposed, it appears the school boards in the county have sparked some interest.

In Crawford Central and PENNCREST, there are more candidates than open positions. In Crawford Central, five candidates are on both party ballots for four positions. PENNCREST has six candidates vying for four positions. In Region 2 and 3 of Conneaut School District, there are more candidates than openings.

Apparently, more people want to be involved in the future of schools in those districts.

That position is considered one of the most thankless jobs with no pay, but councils in small boroughs also work for no pay.

Many feel their pay is the feeling of contributing to their community.

• • •

To my knowledge, there are no legal issues regarding Crawford County's ballot, but in Erie County, there is a dispute. Apparently the county judge ruled in favor of a candidate who claimed he couldn't get the required 250 signatures because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

However, the county board of elections has appealed that ruling to the Commonwealth Court, so the election office is waiting to print ballots for mail-in ballots with hopes that decisions will be made in time to send out ballots.

If not, the ballots will include the candidate's name. Should the court then rule against the candidate, new ballots would have to be printed. Or, I presume if the ruling comes too late for that, should the candidate be elected, he may not be able to be on the fall ballot.

Many people get frustrated with candidates who don't meet the rules about the required signatures. The "rule of thumb" is to always get plenty more than required, so if some are disqualified, there are still enough to go forward.

• • •

Condolences are being sent to Crawford County Commissioner Chris Soff and his family on the death of his mother and to Barb Emig, who is Judge John Spataro's secretary, on the death of her mom.

Both were active in the community and will be missed.

Jane Smith is a retired Meadville Tribune reporter who specialized in covering government and politics.


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