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| Arizona |

Need Cash? Get Paid to Help Maricopa County Finish Counting Ballots

Get paid to help this guy go through 104,000 very important pieces of paper.EXPAND
Get paid to help this guy go through 104,000 very important pieces of paper.
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If, at any point in the last nine days, the thought has crossed your mind that Maricopa County was too slow in counting ballots, don’t just sit there. Do something about it.

Now, you can earn $10.50 an hour helping the Maricopa County Recorder’s Office process ballots. Don’t wait! The sooner you act, going above and beyond your civic duty, the sooner we’ll all leave behind the misery of the torturous drip-drip-drip of daily 5 p.m. ballot drops.

Yes, this is for real.

Keely Varvel, chief deputy to Maricopa County Recorder Adrian Fontes, posted the job on Twitter mid-day Wednesday. As of Wednesday night, Maricopa County still had 104,000 ballots to process, all of them early, provisional, or out-of-precinct.

“Earn some holiday cash and help us close out this election as one of our Central Board Workers. Sign up here,” she tweeted, with a link to the job description on Eventbrite.

Central board workers work in teams of at least two, reading and processing ballots with stray marks. In groups of three, they record votes for write-in candidates.

Sophia Solis, spokesperson for the Maricopa County Recorder’s Office, confirmed that the office was indeed trying to hire more people over the next few days.

"We need about 200 people a day, and we need a mix of people belonging to different political parties," Solis said. "We are also asking people to join us because people don’t work regularly or come consistently to every shift," she added. As a result, the office needs people to fill vacancies and "keep up with processes."

"As long as there is work to do and the large number of people are needed, we keep hiring," Solis said.

For now, the county is looking for people to help with reading and processing ballots that have stray marks. Whenever a tabulator machine can't read a ballot because of these marks, two different partisan boards examine it. If they decide it cannot be read by machine, a Duplication Board will review the ballot and create a copy that can be read by the tabulator.

The county also wants to hire people to run ballots through tabulators, Solis said.

Solis said she did not know whether the Recorder’s Office typically looks to hire workers eight days after an election. “I wasn’t here during the previous election, but I do know that this election was different in that there was strong turnout," she said.

The Recorder's Office has struggled in the past to recruit election-day poll workers, the Arizona Republic reported ahead of the August primaries.

Only registered voters are eligible to work as central board workers, according to the job posting. Pay will be received in a single check in December. Workers can choose from two full-time shifts or a shift starting at 6 p.m. Although the dates for the job posting go only through November 16, we suspect that at the rate Maricopa County is processing ballots, it will still need workers after Friday.

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