published Sunday, July 1st, 2012

Marion County sets $88 a day pay rate for election workers

JASPER, Tenn. -- Marion County has paid its election workers, but it never had an official decree to do so.

Now the Marion County Commission has voted unanimously in favor of a resolution that establishes a pay rate for part-time workers and election day officials.

"It was discovered ... that our County Commission has never passed a resolution establishing the rate of pay for election workers," County Attorney Billy Gouger said.

Part-time workers and early voting workers now are compensated at a rate of $8 per hour in Marion County.

The election registrar and election day poll officials make $88 per day, officials said.

"From start to finish on election day, those election workers are working an 11-hour day," Gouger said. "It's what they've been being paid, but we just have it in resolution form to satisfy the requirements of the state."

Tennessee law requires a minimum wage of $15 per day for election workers.

"State law says that you can pay more than the minimums required and outlined by the state, but it has to be done by passing a resolution through the County Commission," Gouger said.

Officials said potential election employees are required by state law to attend a training session if they have never worked an election before.

"[The workers] are not compensated [by the county] for attending that workshop," Commissioner Jane Dawkins said.

Workers who already have attended the training and are certified do not have to be retrained, Gouger said.

Ryan Lewis is based in Marion County. Contact him at ryanlewis34@gmail.com.

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