Sunday, January 21, 2018
News Roundup

For nonprofit groups, election season can pay off

Election Day has turned into a mini fundraiser for Boy Scout Troop 5.

The Plant City-based troop has earned more than $1,000 through Hillsborough County Supervisor of Election's "Adopt a Precinct" program.

Under the 2-year-old program, nonprofit groups provide members to be poll workers on Election Day. The money the members earn as individual poll workers goes to their organizations.

"It is a great way for them to raise money for that organization or to revitalize their community," said Travis Abercrombie, spokesman for the elections office.

Nonprofit groups are trained, along with individual volunteers, and then assigned to one of six different positions, from machine clerk to phone bank operator. Training takes up to five hours.

Poll workers earn from $140 to $220 per election, depending on the position. So an organization that had 10 members working could raise as much as $2,200.

The Supervisor of Elections this year has budgeted $485,245 for poll workers, said Abercrombie. There are nearly 300 polling places.

Since the Adopt a Precinct program began in 2010, 52 nonprofit groups have participated.

Troop 5 last year sent a handful of parent volunteers — workers must be at least 18 years old — to staff Precinct 345 during municipal elections.

The parents did everything from welcoming voters to enforcing the "no solicitation" policy, said Scoutmaster Mark Hamilton.

After last year's municipal elections, the troop earned enough money to help offset the cost of a summer camping trip to North Carolina, he said. He said the troop is hoping to get together even more parents — and grandparents — to work the polls in November.

"It's a great way to spend the day," he said.

Jodie Tillman can be reached at [email protected] or (813) 226-3374.

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