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Elections board mulls staff pay hike

Also increases poll workers’ pay.

Clark County elections staff may receive pay raises.

Board of Elections officials Tuesday began mulling possible raises for staff, which include a director, deputy director, four full-time and about 10 part-time employees after a unanimous vote to increase poll worker pay.

Director Matthew Tlachac said officials are considering pay hikes for staff of about 2 percent or higher, but no decisions have been made.

“There’s a feeling among the board that for the amount of work our staff is responsible for they deserve adequate compensation,” Tlachac said.

In 2013, Deputy Director Sally Pickarski received a 13 percent pay increase and now earns about $52,800, after the board voted unanimously in 2012 that her salary should match that of Tlachac’s.

Staff members also received a 2 percent pay increase after county commissioners voted to give non-union county employees pay raises last year.

Board of Elections and Republican Party Chair Lynda Smith said the board is considering pay increases in part because they want to retain employees.

“Our people put in a lot of time. We just think maybe we can compensate them for their time,” Smith said.

Smith and Board of Election member and Democratic Party Chair Dale Henry said they are also considering increasing staff pay to make sure elections staff salaries are on par with other elections departments.

“When considering where our staff pay is with other counties of similar size, we want to make sure we’re in line with other offices around the state,” Henry said.

Also on Tuesday, board members unanimously approved permanently changing the poll location for Precinct 2 in Harmony Twp. from the Harmony Twp. Building to the South Vienna Municipal Building, 149 W. Main St., and raising poll worker pay next year.

The move, if approved by county commissioners, would increase the elections budget by about $3,000 annually.

Commissioners must decide on the measure by Oct. 1.

Poll workers are currently paid $101.50 for the day and $5 per hour for attending training sessions. Voting location managers or presiding judges earn more, getting $111.50 on Election Day. The increase means that poll workers will earn an additional $7.25 for the day and location manager pay will increase by $10.

The county currently has about 400 poll workers who staff 90 precincts.

Poll workers can work about 15 hours on Election Day.

“They put in such a long day and they weren’t even making minimum wage. We felt they deserve to make at least minimum wage,” Smith said.

Officials also said they hope the pay increase will encourage more residents to work the polls.

“They deserve adequate compensation for their time. It’s becoming more and more difficult to find people who are willing to serve in that capacity,” Henry said.

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