Tarrant County needs lots of poll workers to ensure the March 6 primary runs smoothly, newly hired Elections Administrator Nathan Neblett says.

Early voting for the primary begins Feb. 20, and throughout the primary season about 1,600 people will be needed to serve as election judges, clerks and other workers. Most of the positions are paid.

Having good people in those jobs not only ensures that the election is fair to all candidates and complies with all laws, it also leaves a lasting impression on voters, making it more likely they will return to vote in the future, including in municipal elections in May and the general election in November, he said.

On the other hand, if the lines are long and election workers struggle with basic tasks such as checking identification, looking up names, handing out ballots, translating information into languages such as Spanish or Vietnamese and keeping demonstrators away from the polling site entrance, then voters will be less likely to make the return trip.

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