Elkhart County election officials still looking for alternate poll workers ahead of primary
ELKHART COUNTY, Ind. - Elkhart County election officials are looking for substitute poll workers for Tuesday's primary election. One election official said, "You can't have too many alternates." For a while, it looked like Elkhart County would be short-staffed for Indiana's primary, but thanks to an influx of new poll workers, both the Republican and Democratic parties in the county said they have full staffs for Tuesday.
"Normally, it's (finding poll workers is) difficult," said Elkhart County Democratic Chairman Chad Crabtree. "With COVID-19, (it's) extremely difficult. A lot of our poll workers are in that bracket of over 65 years of age, and it's difficult. 'I think we're going to sit this one out. We're not comfortable being at the polls, dealing with the number of people, working.'"
The county has 29 polling stations that will be open on Tuesday. Some had to move because the original locations did not want to or could not open to voters and poll workers out of pandemic-related concerns. Some churches have not opened up to their congregations and, therefore did not feel comfortable opening as a polling place.
Elkhart County's polling places are listed below. Those marked with "**" are new locations. Those marked with "##" have relocated, and those marked with "&&" have moved.
Bristol United Methodist Church - 201 S. Division St., Bristol, IN 46507
First Baptist Church – 53953 CR 17, Bristol, IN 46507
## AMBS – Lambright Center – 3003 Benham Ave., IN 46517
Calvary United Methodist Church – 2222 W. Indiana Ave., Elkhart, IN 46516
Jimtown High School – 59021 CR 3, Elkhart, IN 46517
## Mary Feeser Elementary – 26665 CR 4, Elkhart, IN 46514
North Side Gym – 300 Lawrence St., Elkhart, IN 46514
FOP #52 Nagy Hall – 1003 Industrial Pkwy., Elkhart, IN 46516
River of Life Community Church – 2626 Prairie St., Elkhart, IN 46517
St. James AME Church – 122 Dr. MLK Jr. Dr., Elkhart, IN 46516
Tolson Center – 1320 Benham Ave., Elkhart, IN 46516
Trinity on Jackson Church – 2715 E. Jackson Blvd., Elkhart, IN 46516
Osolo Township Fire Station – 24936 Buddy St., Elkhart, IN 46514
Granger Community Church – Elkhart Campus – 2701 E. Bristol St., Elkhart, IN 46514
Elkhart County Public Services – 4230 Elkhart Rd., Goshen, IN 46526
Sugar Grove Church – 58512 Old CR 17, Goshen, IN 46528
Grace Community Church – 20076 CR 36, Goshen, IN 46526
Greencroft Community Center (Restricted Addresses) – 1820 Greencroft Blvd., Goshen, IN 46526
Maple City Chapel – 2015 Lincolnway E., Goshen, IN 46526
Pleasant View Church – 58529 CR 23, Goshen, IN 46528
## Goshen Church of Christ – 61073 SR 15, Goshen, IN 46528
## Model Elementary School – 412 S. Greene Rd., Elkhart, IN 46526
&& Middlebury Church of the Brethren – 507 Bristol Ave., Middlebury, IN 46540
Millersburg Fire Station – 500 Carriage Ln., Millersburg, IN 46543
First Brethren Church – 1600 N. Main St., Nappanee, IN 46573
## New Paris Sunnyside Park Pavilion – 68546 Clinton St., New Paris, IN 46553
Bible Baptist Church – 205 E. Waterford St., Wakarusa, IN 46573
** First Presbyterian Church (North 5th St. Parking) – 215 E. Lincoln Ave., Goshen, IN 46528
** Lincoln Center - Health Department Building – 608 Oakland Ave., Elkhart, IN 46516
With most people over the age of 65 staying home on Election Day because of the pandemic, both party chairmen said Tuesday's poll working staff will be younger.
"This year has been different," said Elkhart County Republican Chairman Dan Holtz. "I think people understand that the times call for a little bit more commitment. So, I've been gratified that we've had a number of mostly younger people step forward and be willing to serve in this capacity."
"So now, we're focusing on trying to get younger people, those not in that health bracket to be able to work the polls," Crabtree said.
Training for these new poll workers has been more intense, but not necessarily because of the inexperience.
"In terms of intense, yes, I'm glossing over some of the things that I would normally cover a little more in depth because I've got the additional coronavirus precautions that we are taking as we staff our early voting locations and our vote enter locations on Tuesday," Elkhart County Election Administrator Christopher Anderson said.
Anderson and his staff will be going through a record number of absentee ballots for Tuesday's primary. He said his office has gotten 11,000 of them, more than twice the previous record of 4,600.
Both Democratic Chairman Chad Crabtree and Republican Chairman Dan Holtz said the poll working staff for Tuesday is now full, but they are still looking for alternates "just in case." If you are interested in working as an alternate poll worker on Tuesday, contact Crabtree and the Elkhart County Democratic Party at 574-607-3241 or email email@example.com or you can contact Holtz and the Elkhart County Republican Party at 574-238-6239.