Inspector Recruitment Cards

As election administrators, we are all well aware of the growing problem of recruiting and maintaining inspectors. One of the biggest challenges is availability. The trend in society now leads us to two family incomes with little flexibility. Our average age of inspectors in Tompkins County is 62 years old. This is why we must start immediately in January to recruit inspectors through our party members, current inspectors, and the community for the year. Training is required for inspectors once every three years and is scheduled during the summer months for approximately two weeks. We also offer this training for new inspectors or as a refresher course as well.

It has now come to the point where we are training at night the last two weeks before election because of all the cancellations that we have between August and October. This is very cumbersome due to the timing of elections. It seems the harder we try, the harder it is every year. The biggest complaint from our election inspectors is the long hours of the General Election. Their day starts at 5:30 a.m. and ends around 10:00 p.m. Since this is not an option to change, we are trying new ways to recruit new people by using an "Inspector Recruitment Card" that explains our requirements and expectations.

The card was specially designed by us containing highlights on this position. In order to get our message out, we wanted an easy handout, which we set at a special size: 4 x 9 inches with an ivory background, which we hope, will grab their attention. This can be distributed by us or current inspectors at local clubs. For example: the Senior Citizens Council, the Garden Club, Lions, Rotary, bowling leagues, etc… To inform the public, we try to convey that this is a community service with the benefits of earning some extra cash as well. Many times we have scheduled inspectors to work, but last year alone, we replaced almost half of our inspectors before the election even occurred. The concept of this card is to let them know exactly what the requirements are before they make a commitment.

This is the first year we have used these cards, and we have sent them to all the town clerks, post offices, local colleges and new inquiries. Our web page also includes a spot for "employment opportunities". So far we have received responses and a few new inspectors, but as a new endeavor on our part we do not have a reading of our success rate as of yet. Wish us luck and we hope that this may help other Boards of Elections as well. We have included a copy (click here) for your utilization and suggestions.