’13 law leads Forsyth to call for more poll workers

’13 law leads  Forsyth to call for more poll workers
August 20
00:00 2015

In above photo: Elections Board member Fleming El-Amin, left, and Chairman Ken Raymond listen to the discussion by other board members. (Photo by Tori P. Haynesworth)

By Tori P. Haynesworth

For The Chronicle

The Forsyth County Board of Elections (B.O.E. ) had its meeting on Aug. 18 in the Cooper Cardwell Elections Room at the Forsyth County Government Center on North Chestnut Street.

While the board members covered the topics on the agenda, the majority of the time was taken up on appointing chief judges, judges and recruiting more poll workers.

Chairman Ken Raymond agrees of possibly having more poll workers in the coming election in 2016.

“Any additional staffing we have will serve to help the voting process to run more smoothly,” said Raymond.

Among those present of the meeting were Secretary Stuart Russell, member Fleming El-Amin, and Lamar Joyner, newly appointed interim director.

Joyner was board-elected on Aug. 13. He has been serving as Forsyth County’s deputy director of elections. According to Raymond, the Board of Elections is still searching for a director while the hiring process has already started.

During the meeting, Joyner’s main objectives were having more staff and proper training for the 2016 election.

“Our job and the poll workers jobs are going to be extremely difficult,” said Joyner in reference to North Carolina House Bill 589, which has been called a “monster” law and the worst voter suppression law in the country. “They’re going to be made to make some big judgment calls. We’re definitely going to need to increase the staff.”

The General Assembly also passed another law this year that allows for special circumstances regarding voter IDs.

There has also been a call for early voting poll workers, while maintaining the B.O.E. budget for salary rates among all staff.

During the State Board of Election’s conference last week, Raymond suggested having an Election Day greeter.

“The greeter’s job will be to talk to any voters, standing in line, and prepare them to respond [to] questions asked by the precinct judges.

“We believe that the lines will move more quickly, if the voters know what to expect when they get to the tables,” said Raymond.

Steve Hines, former director of elections, has resigned his position. His last day was Monday, Aug. 17. Hines, who was board-elected in August 2014 after months of searching for the right candidate, will be moving in hopes of serving as the Greene County elections director near his hometown of Kinston.

“I certainly hate to see Steve leave us,” said Raymond. “He’s worked hard and has greatly contributed to the office running better than it has in the past.”

Fleming El-Amin stated that Hines’ intent was “honorable” upon his service to the Board of the Elections and to Forsyth County.

Stuart Russell gave further remarks regarding Hines’ departure.

“Sad to see Steve go,” said Russell. “I respect his decision. I wish he could still be with us.”

Other agendas during the meeting were about updating the electronic poll book to make the voting process quicker and better. Also, the Good Shepherd Moravian Church, which will be moving from 1474 Kerner Road in Kernersville, won’t be used for election purposes. However, the board will be trying to figure out what facility to use for Precinct 068 to vote by next year.

For further and additional information, go to the Board of Elections website at

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