Election judges sought for 11 of 16 Gasconade County voting precincts

By Dave Marner, Managing Editor
Posted 5/11/22

Gasconade County’s most ardent supporter of fair elections and voter access to cast their ballots urgently seeks citizen judges to staff all 16 precincts in August and November.

Lesa …

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Election judges sought for 11 of 16 Gasconade County voting precincts


Gasconade County’s most ardent supporter of fair elections and voter access to cast their ballots urgently seeks citizen judges to staff all 16 precincts in August and November.

Lesa Lietzow is planning three separate training seminars for those interested in serving as precinct judges — specifically in certain areas of the county.

Training for election judges is scheduled Monday, June 6 (9 to 11:30 a.m., second-floor courtroom at the Gasconade County Courthouse in Hermann), Wednesday, June 8 (9 to 11:30 a.m. (Swiss Evangelical and Reform Church, Highway 19), and Tuesday, June 14 (1:30 to 4 p.m., Assembly of God Church, Cuba Street in Owensville).

Potential election judges will receive $25 for the training sessions conducted by Lietzow and her staff. Table displays of all items used on election days will be available for inspection and use in practice sessions including mock election ballots which will be run through the tabulation machines. Training candidates will be instructed on set up and take down of all equipment used on election day.

“There will be a thorough review of all procedures from Monday set up through the end of election day on Tuesday and the transporting of ballots to the courthouse in Hermann after the polls close,” Lietzow said.

Lietzow said the state standard on election day procedures is a University of Missouri Extension training guide produced many years ago which is still in use.

“The Extension guide is a very generalized on election procedures,” said Lietzow. “We’re updating poll worker training to be very specific to procedures. We’re making it more personal to Gasconade County.”

Election workers are paid $105 a day for their service. Polls open at 6 a.m. and close at 7 p.m. at 16 sites in the county. Two Republicans and two Democrats are needed at each of the 16 precincts. A supervisory judge is required at each site and is paid $115 for the day plus mileage to deliver the ballots to the courthouse in Hermann.

“No matter what election it is, there has to be two Republicans and two Democrats regardless if its an April (Municipal) or (November) Presidential (General) election,” she said.

Lietzow said they hope to be able to cross-train election judges to handle all duties which may present themselves on an election day. If a supervisor is unable to report for duty due to an emergency, she hopes others on a team will be able to step in and handle any responsibilities which may arise.

“We’ll be cross-training all precinct workers,” she said.

Lietzow said many of the recent issues with staffing voting precincts is because election judges have become older or, in several cases, have died.

She has sent out 100 notices to those who have expressed prior interest in becoming an election judge. Now, she’s looking for the “new” judges, or those who might want to help on the “spur of the moment.”

She also has positions available for “traveling poll workers” willing to report for a last-minute assignment anywhere in the county as needed.

“I’ll take you for August. Or November. Or August and November. Both. It’s a pretty broad plea if you’re willing to help,” said Lietzow.

Democrat poll workers sought

There are several precincts around the county which have lost election judges due to age, infirmities, or death. In fact, said Lietzow, 11 of 16 county precincts currently have a shortage of Democrats to staff voting days.

Lietzow said there is a countywide need for registered Democrats as election judges. This is a predominantly Republican-leaning county so this is no surprise.

The Bland/Canaan precinct, with voting conducted at Zion Evangelical Church in Bland, is the second largest polling station in the county and is the one site where Lietzow said she “especially needs Democrats” to staff the next two elections — the Aug. 2 Primary and the Nov. 8 General election.

The Drake precinct, which votes at the county road department building along Highway 19 off of U.S. 50, needs two poll workers affiliated with the Democrat party. She has no backups at the site.

In both of Owensville’s wards, Lietzow said there is a “desperate plea” for Democrats. Democrats are also needed to staff the Redbird precinct (Gasconade Valley Baptist Association’s facility south of Bland along Route B) and both of Rosebud’s city wards also badly need Democrats to staff these upcoming elections.

Third Creek, a precinct on Route Y at the Woollam United Methodist Church outside Owensville, is another site in the county’s southern end which needs election workers.

Democrats are also needed at the Boulware precinct which provides voting services at the Bay American Legion Hall for members of the Mt. Sterling and Bay communities. 

She could also use Hermann Ward 2 residents who are Democrats to staff the precinct voting at the Gasconade County R-1 School District’s administration office in Hermann.

The Little Berger precinct, where voters casts ballots at Shepherd of the Hills Lutheran Church on Highway 100 West in Hermann, is the largest polling station in the northern end of the county. Democrats are needed.

And Democrats are also needed to staff the Morrison/Rural Morrison precinct at the Morrison Community Center in the northwestern corner of the county. Voters there include residents of the Pershing and Fredericksburg communities along the western edge of the county.

Republicans also sought

Republican party precinct judges are also needed at five polling stations. Three of those are in the northern portion of the county including the Gasconade/Stolpe precinct at First Baptist Church on Highway 100 in Gasconade.

Morrison and Rural Morrison also needs Republican poll workers as does the Swiss precinct based in the Hermann fire station at Swiss.

“I sure don’t have any Swiss Republicans,” she lamented.

Owensville’s Ward 1, which votes at First Assembly of God, needs Republican poll workers as does the Third Creek precinct at the Methodist Church on Route Y.

The loss of election judges over the past 10 years due to death, or age-related infirmities, is notable in conversations in recent years with Lietzow. It’s a growing problem as the population ages.

She enlisted a 90-plus-year-old neighbor to help with the April elections. 

She has placed an advertisement this week in The Republican and on the paper’s online platforms. Being a registered voter of Gasconade County is required to work at a polling precinct.

There is a form to fill out with your pertinent contact information which can be mailed to the Gasconade County Clerk’s Office, 119 East 1st Street, Hermann, Mo., 65041.

“I’m not asking for a commitment in perpetuity,” Lietzow said. “We’ll work with anyone who shows an interest in helping with the elections.”

Anyone who has worked an election previously is invited to participate again. Those who have gone through prior training sessions will not be required to do so again but will be welcome to, she said.