Chester County Commissioners, Voter Services staff and county chambers of commerce members meet to launch the county’s Professional Civic Partnership program. Front left to right: Commissioners Terence Farrell, Kathi Cozzone and Michelle Kichline; second row left to right, Mark Yoder, Greater West Chester Chamber of Commerce; Guy Ciarrocchi, Chester County Chamber of Business & Industry; Kara Rahn, Director, Chester County Voter Services; third row left to right, Bill Christman and Derek Rothenberger, Chester County Voter Services; Randy Christy, Exton Region Chamber of Commerce; back row left to right Mark Rimple, Judge of Elections for West Chester 7 polling place; Mike Brown, Governance Committee, Chester County Chamber of Business & Industry

Chester County Voter Services initiates Professional Civic Partnership Program

WEST CHESTER _Chester County is seeking help from the county business community to find poll workers for elections, including the upcoming presidential election in November.

“Chester County has 228 precincts and we need a small army of poll workers to make sure the voters of our county can efficiently cast their ballots,” said Chester County Commissioners’ Chair Terence Farrell. “The Professional Civic Partnership Program will help us find civic-minded individuals to assist us in making sure Election Day runs smoothly.”

The program was launched this morning at a gathering of the commissioners and representatives from the Department of Voter Services and chambers of commerce throughout the county.

“The concept for the program originated as part of Chester County’s first Leadership Development Program,” said Commissioner Kathi Cozzone. “The group of Chester County employees participating in the leadership program was presented with a challenge that faces our Voter Services department in the run up to Election Day each year. They researched the issue and proposed the idea of engaging Chester County businesses to find volunteer poll workers.”

“The partnership program is a non-partisan effort,” added Commissioner Michelle Kichline. “We look forward to working with the business community in this public-private partnership and are confident that the program will result in a great boost to the team of Election Day volunteers.”

Each year finding enough people to be workers becomes more difficult, according to Kara Rahn as Director of Voter Services. Volunteers will be trained by Rahn’s staff.

Guy Ciarrocchi, President and Chief Executive Officer of the Chester County Chamber of Business and Industry, contacted county chamber leaders about the program. “Elections are an especially important pillar of American democracy,” Ciarrocchi said. “Without the poll workers, the local precincts could not function efficiently.”

The county is asking local businesses to allow employees to act as poll workers without having to take a vacation day to do so. “This is a great way to show your support and commitment to the democratic process here in Chester County,” Ciarrocchi wrote to chamber leaders.

Companies interested in taking part in the program should contact Chester County Voter Services by calling 610-344-6410 or sending an E-mail to ccelectionofficials@chesco.org.

Chester County is the first county in Pennsylvania to initiate a strategic planning process and has a AAA rating on its bonds from Moody’s Investors Service as well as AAA ratings from Standard & Poor’s and Fitch Ratings. Established by William Penn as one of Pennsylvania’s three original counties, Chester County has been named by Forbes.com as one of America’s best places to raise a family and is ranked the healthiest county in Pennsylvania by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute.