COLUMBUS – Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted awarded four Ohio Precinct Election Officials (PEOs) with “Red Carpet Awards” for their dedication to running elections in their communities. It takes approximately 35,000 PEOs, or poll workers as they are commonly known, to manage polling places on any given Election Day in Ohio. The individuals being recognized this year are among the best who serve voters.
The honorees include Donna Williams (Democrat) and David Seiss (Republican) from Ashland County, Nancy Shaffer (Democrat) from Highland County and Bev Truax (Republican) from Franklin County.
"There are those who have fought and died for our ability to have our voices heard on Election Day, which is why we encourage Ohioans to always participate and always exercise their rights during election season," Secretary Husted said. "Today's honorees have done more than just make a day for their democracy, they've gone far above and beyond in their service and have earned this recognition."
Donna Williams started as a poll worker more than 15 years ago when she allowed the Ashland County Board of Elections to use her basement as a polling location. Whether she’s testing election equipment or educating poll workers, Donna is always willing to help wherever she’s needed.
David Seiss is considered by the Ashland County Board of Elections as someone who can solve any problem and fix anything. On Election Day, he ensures all of the equipment is working properly, but the rest of the year he spends several hours of his own time fixing and maintaining anything the board needs.
Nancy Shaffer is not only a poll worker, but also works as the part-time clerk and volunteers when the board needs extra help. Between her great work ethic and her willingness to always lend a hand, Highland County Board of Elections is grateful to have her.
Bev Truax’s story is one that will always be considered an incredible sacrifice. Bev and her husband had both signed up to serve as poll workers, however, the day before Election Day, Bev’s husband passed away. Rather than asking for a replacement, Bev chose to fulfill her commitment saying, “I made a promise to serve, and I just needed to do it.”
Upon his election, Secretary Husted instituted the Precinct Election Official “Red Carpet Award” in an effort to recognize the service and dedication of poll workers throughout Ohio. This program is part of his ongoing work to aid Ohio’s 88 boards of elections with the recruitment, training and retention of good elections officials. Awardees are nominated by boards of election and chosen annually by the Secretary of State’s Office.
For more information or to sign up to become a poll worker, please visit www.DayforDemocracy.com.