COLUMBUS (WCMH) — The city of Columbus has announced a new leave program for employees, that will allow them to work the polls on election day.  

“The election process in our country is sacred, and we must do all we can to ensure that residents can vote safely,” said Columbus Mayor Andrew Ginther. “I am pleased that city employees – every one of them a public servant – will be able to choose to participate as poll workers, if they so desire, without having to use vacation time.” 

The Precinct Election Official Leave Program will allow Columbus city employees to work the General Election on November 3, 2020. 

Ginther, Columbus City Council President Shannon G. Hardin and Franklin County Board of Elections Director Ed Leonard today made the announcement Friday.  

The program will allow any Columbus employee who is a registered voter of Franklin County, who resides in the City of Columbus, and who meets the other requirements established by the law and the Franklin County Board of Elections to request Election Official Leave with pay for the purposes of being a judge of an election engaged by the Franklin County Board of Elections. 

“Giving City of Columbus employees a paid day off to serve as poll workers will mean shorter lines and safer in-person voting,” said Hardin. “We’ve been pushing to ensure this election is accessible for our residents as a part of Council’s Vote Safe Initiative. As others try to spread disinformation, Council will continue to explore creative ways to protect this November’s election.” 

“I would like to thank Mayor Ginther, President Hardin, and City of Columbus workers for stepping up to answer the call to serve as poll workers during this important election,” said Leonard. “Poll workers play a critical role in administering elections here in Franklin County and across Ohio, and if ever there was a time to serve as a poll worker, that time is now.” 

Columbus City Council will vote on two Memorandums of Understanding, one with the Communications Workers of America, (CWA) Local 4502, and one with American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFCSME) Ohio Council 8, Local 1632, on Monday.