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Lane County Elections office seeks temporary workers for May 21 primary

Lane County's Election Office front doors
Rebecca Hansen-White
The Lane County Elections office is hiring temporary workers for the May 2024 primary.

The Lane County Elections office is hiring a new pool of election workers for the May 21 primary.

Lane County Clerk Dena Dawson told KLCC they have a handful of full time workers and for each election they hire about 95 temporary employees to assist. She’d like to hire a diverse pool, including students, stay-at-home-parents, or folks looking for gig work.

“It’s something that I’d like more people to consider doing,” Dawson said. “I’d like to change the narrative and the approach, that people may consider that it's all retired grandparents who are doing this work. Because it’s so exciting.”

"It might sound cheesy, but we are defenders of democracy."

Dawson said the team is proud of the work they do.

“It might sound cheesy, but we are defenders of democracy. And I think that this is the work that you can be so proud of,” said Dawson. “And when you go home on election night and know that you were part of counting that ballot or making sure that ballot was processed, it’s just an incredible feeling.”

Dawson said there are a variety of different ways to help and time commitments involved.

“We even have some positions where we’re just collecting ballots from drop boxes on election night,” said Dawson. “That’s just one night of work and some training.”

The elections office will open up the pool again for the November presidential election.

Dawson said that since the 2020 election, there has been more concern about the safety of election workers.

“It is something in the back of our minds that we prepare for, but it isn’t something that we allow in to disrupt us from doing the important work that we do,” Dawson said. She added that Oregon laws protect election workers, and they do their best to keep the facility secure.

Detailed job descriptions, instructions, and more details for applying can be found at www.LaneCountyOR.gov/elections under the “Election Temporary Jobs” section.

Rachael McDonald is KLCC’s host for All Things Considered on weekday afternoons. She also is the editor of the KLCC Extra, the daily digital newspaper. Rachael has a BA in English from the University of Oregon. She started out in public radio as a newsroom volunteer at KLCC in 2000.