SARASOTA — The Sarasota County Supervisor of Elections is seeking bilingual residents who can assist with working Election Day.
Orientation sessions for people interested in helping take place in September, including in North Port, Venice and Sarasota.
Supervisor Ron Turner needs registered voters who can read and speak English and Spanish fluently to assist his office on election days.
“Bilingual poll workers are needed at the polls to ensure that Spanish-speaking voters are able to exercise their rights to vote without any language barriers,” Turner’s office stated in a news release.
The office noted a federal court order and state directive will “require supervisors of elections to provide Spanish language election materials, including ballots, and translation assistance at the polls,” starting with the presidential primary on March 17, 2020.
“In anticipation of large voter turnout in the 2020 election year, it becomes ever more imperative to ensure that all voters have access to the ballot,” Turner said in a news release.
The bilingual employees would be needed at designated precincts for the March 17 presidential primary, Aug. 18, 2020 local primaries and Nov. 3, 2020 general election — along with early voting days prior to each election, the news release stated.
The county noted qualifications for poll workers include:
• U.S. citizen and registered to vote in Sarasota County.
• ability to read and speak English.
• completing at least three to four hours of training before each election.
• transportation to and from training classes along with polling places.
• ability to work at least 14 hours on election days starting at 6 a.m. to help “set up the polling place for voting, and helping to close the polling location after the polls have closed and all voters have voted.”
There are several opportunities for people interested in learning more about how to work at the polls for the 2020 elections if they are bilingual.
They are taking place in September.
They are scheduled for
• 6 p.m. Sept 10: Selby Library, 1331 First St., Sarasota
• 1 p.m. Sept 11: William H. Jervey Library, 300 Nokomis Ave. S., Venice
• 6 p.m. Sept 18: Shannon Staub Library, 4675 Career Lane, North Port
• 1 p.m. Sept 19: Selby Library, 1331 First St., Sarasota
“If you are bilingual and registered or pre-registered to vote in Sarasota County, this is an excellent opportunity to serve your community and help maintain the integrity of the election process,” Turner said in the news release.