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Guyton, Rincon gear up election machines
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Announcements and appointments were made at both Rincon and Guyton city council meetings as the cities look ahead to the Nov. 6 election.

The Guyton City Council has approved the appointments for its poll workers.  Most of the appointees will hold more than one position. City Clerk Debra Scruggs will serve as the election superintendent, absentee ballot clerk and chief registrar. Assistant city clerk Peggy Gordon will be the assistant absentee clerk, assistant manager and registrar. Glenda Grizzard will be the chief manager and Elizabeth Akins will work as the assistant manager.

Scruggs has the authority to appoint other poll workers, if necessary. However, she does not believe the city will need any more.

Rincon City Clerk Wanda Hendrix informed the city council that police clerk Kia Westmoreland will be the elections manager this year. Last year’s manager, Annie Tolbert, retired. Hendrix will work as the elections superintendent.

This is Westmoreland’s first time supervising the election. She said she was offered the position and agreed for civic reasons.

“I’m really interested in all aspects of the government,” she said.

Because of age issues, Hendrix warned there will be a lot of new faces working the polls this year. She estimates that about 50 percent of those working the polls will be new this year.

A lot of last year’s workers were elderly and because of health issues, many of them have left the area to move in with relatives or enter a nursing home.

“We are looking for a lot of new poll workers this year,” Westmoreland said.

Fortunately, there’s no shortage of residents ready to tackle the job.

“We have a lot of people interested,” Hendrix said.

The number one requirement for the position is experience.

“We try to use people who have worked in the polls before,” Hendrix said.

She noted that the major change for this year is that candidates will no longer file their campaign finance reports with the city, but rather directly to the Secretary of State’s office.

“Everything else will basically be the same,” noted Westmoreland, including the voting machines.

While Guyton’s council agreed on its appointments, they could not make a decision on the pay rate for these workers.

Last year the poll workers were paid $9 an hour. The council debated whether that wage should be increased.

Alderwoman Brenda Lovett suggested the council table any action until they find out what other cities are paying their poll workers this year.

Guyton has three candidates up for re-election this year — Mayor Michael Garvin, Alderwoman Brenda Lovett and Alderman Les Pevey.

Rincon has three candidates who are facing re-election — Councilmen Reese Browher, Paul Wendelken and Lamar Crosby.

Anyone interested in working the polls in Rincon should visit city hall and speak with Hendrix.