Registered voters of Schuylkill County are being asked to serve as election officers in voting precincts of the districts they reside where vacancies have occurred.

The call was placed by President Judge William E. Baldwin to fill vacancies which exist on a number of voting boards which were either consolidated with other boards are newly formed under consolidations approved by the court effective Dec. 31, 2009.

To be filled are one judge of election and two inspectors for 60 districts, including four newly established precincts in Tamaqua, three in West Penn Township, three in Rush Township, Coaldale, East Union Township, Blythe Township and Kline Township.

The board presides over the election in its district. Its job begins early in the morning of election day to prepare the polling place for the voters when the polls open at 7 a.m. and serve all day until the polls close at 8 p.m.

A judge of election is paid $105 plus $20 in making the returns of the votes cast in his district to the election center in Saint Clair. The inspectors are paid $100 plus $20 if the inspector accompanies the judge with the returns.

Baldwin invites interested registered voters who wish to serve as judge or inspector to send their name, address, district they reside and party they are registered. The letters should be mailed in care of President Judge Baldwin, Schuylkill County Courthouse, 401 N. Second St., Pottsville, Pa. 17901. On Friday, March 19, beginning at 9 a.m. in Courtroom 4, Baldwin will begin appointing people to fill the vacancies on the 60 boards. A interested person does not have to be present, unless you chose to do so, to be selected.

Those selected will serve a term of four years, Jan. 1 to Dec. 31, 2014. If they wish to continue to serve they have to run for re-election in the 2013 election.

Duties

Under the Pennsylvania Election Code all elections shall be conducted in each election district by a district election board consisting of a judge of election, a majority inspector of election and a minority inspector of election, assisted by two clerks. Each inspector can select a clerk of his own party to serve on the board. Clerks are paid $100 each. The majority and minority inspector is determined by the number of votes each received in the election.

Election officers must be qualified registered electors of the district in which they are elected. The elected officers shall meet 30 minutes before the hour for opening the polls on the day of the election and take an oath of office. The judge of election shall assign the duties of the election board. Since the county had voting machines the duty of the judge will be to designate an inspector to have custody of the voter registration list and to make entries as the voters come forward to cast their ballot. The other inspector or clerk shall have charge of the voters' certificates.

The judge should make sure that the correct voting machines have been delivered to his or her polling place, set up and position the machines, activate the machines, cut the seal and print the zero tape to show no votes have been recorded.

Selections

Baldwin said he will give preference to persons who were elected to judge or inspector in the last election and whose districts have been consolidated with another district. Those who received the highest vote will be selected. "This is the fairest way to select," Baldwin said, "because these people who ran want to serve."