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County commissioner pressed into duty as poll worker

June 2, 2020 Digital Media Exclusive

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Trish Lindsay was the judge of elections at Buffalo Township Precinct 3.
Betty Strobel and Donald Strobel walked out after voting at the Winfield Township Building at 194 Brose Road. BUTLER EAGLE/ERIC FREEHLING

Butler County’s primary election during the COVID-19 pandemic seemed to go smoothly enough, although one county commissioner was pressed into service as a poll worker for a short time.

Trish Lindsay, who served as judge of elections for Buffalo Township Precinct 3, said her fellow workers didn’t turn up Tuesday morning, which delayed the 7 a.m. opening of the polling station at the White Star Club.

“What happened is we did not have a full contingent. I couldn’t be sworn in, and I couldn’t swear in anyone else,” Lindsay said.

Poll workers need to be sworn in for security purposes before they can open voter rolls or set up voting machines. Lindsay called County Commissioner Leslie Osche.

“When she arrived, she was the only person there,” Osche said. “I think there was some confusion as to where they should show up. I went down and we were able to get County Chief Clerk Lori Altman to swear her (Lindsay) in by phone.”

Signs outside the Winfield Township polling place remind voters to observe pandemic precautions. ERIC FREEHLING/BUTLER EAGLE

Then, Lindsay was able to swear in Osche and another poll worker, and they were able to set up the polling station.

Lindsay said they were open for business by 9 a.m., and that a dozen would-be voters had to be turned away until the voting station was ready.

Osche said she put in about an hour as a poll worker until replacements arrived. She said she and her fellow commissioners had been traveling the county Tuesday “putting out little fires all day” at polling places.

This is an excerpt from a larger article that appears in Wednesday’s Butler Eagle. Subscribe online or in print to read the full article.

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