Daily Star photo/AARON MUELLER More than 50 volunteer election workers were on hand Monday at the Niles City Council Chambers for training from municipal clerks. The primary election is set for next Tuesday.

Archived Story

Election workers train for logistics

Published 10:12pm Tuesday, February 21, 2012

President’s Day wasn’t a day off for about 50 election workers Monday.

The volunteers, from Niles, Buchanan and Niles Township, received two hours of training from clerks of those municipalities in preparation for the primary election Tuesday.

There was a bit of a learning curve for some of the volunteers, according to Niles Township Clerk Marge Durm-Hiatt, due to a relatively new electronic poll book system.

The system ditches the three-ring binders and highlighters in favor of laptops equipped with software that allows the election officials to process voter information with the click of a button.

In Buchanan and parts of Niles Township, in addition to the presidential primary election, there is also the Buchanan Community Schools bond issue.

Durm-Hiatt says every year there are voters who are surprised or upset they have to declare themselves a Democrat or Republican before voting in the primary.

“People are not always happy to say what party they are,” she said. “But it’s a requirement to vote.”

Voter turnouts are typically low for presidential primaries, Durm-Hiatt said. In the 2008 primaries, Niles Township drew 7 percent of registered voters to the polls, while in Niles 13.5 percent cast their ballots.

Voter turnout may be higher in precincts with the bond issue, she said.

Poll locations

City of Niles

Ward/Precinct 1: Niles High School, 1441 Eagle St.

Ward/Precinct 2: Niles High School, 1441 Eagle St.

Ward/Precinct 3: Niles Fire Station, 1345 E. Main St.

Ward/Precinct 4: Westside School, 111 Spruce St.

Niles Township

Precinct 1: Fairland Church, 1811 River Bluff Rd.

Precinct 2: Niles Law Enforcement Complex, 1600 Silverbrook Ave.

Precinct 3: Nile Charter Township Department of Public Works, 322 Bell Rd.

Precinct 4: Community Evangelical Free Church, 120 E. Bertrand Rd.

Precinct 5A: Morris Farm Fire Station, 2001 Morris Drive

Precinct 5B: Morris Farm Fire Station, 2001 Morris Drive

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