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'They put a lot of time and energy into it' Fond du Lac increases wages for election workers

Posted at 6:11 PM, Oct 13, 2023
and last updated 2023-10-13 19:37:28-04
  • City council voted to increase the election budget
  • Fond du Lac election worker wages will increase.
  • The move is to show appreciation for the hard work and long days that election workers put in.

The Fond du Lac City Council voted to increase the election budget by $11,070, which will go to higher wages for election workers. It’ll help workers like Pete and Deb Doll, who have been serving as election workers for about 20 years.
“Me a little less, but I’ve always been his partner,” Deb said.

They initially got involved because of their love for community service.

“There’s a lot of good benefits to volunteering, and you meet so many new people and your help out your county,” Deb said.

They kept coming back every year— eventually serving as election chair and co-chair in 2020.

“You just meet a lot of different people and you have a lot of fun with them,” Pete said.

They said they enjoy seeing the voters' familiar faces year after year.

“The funny thing is that they look for us now and not the ward number, because they know where they are because they’ve been here every year!” Deb said.

The city council’s vote means the wage of election workers will increase from $125 to $150, co-chairs’ wages will go from $150 to $175, and chief inspectors’ wages will go from $200 to $225.

City clerk Maggie Hefter says most people don’t do it for the money— but this is one way for the city to show appreciation.

“Our city council recognizes the long day and hard work that it does take to run an election,” Hefter said.

Pete and Deb said they’re glad that they and other election workers are being recognized for their hard work.

"All the volunteers that do the elections, they put a lot of a lot of time and energy into it and we all have to be trained all the time," Deb said. "So I think a raise is good for the people."

As chair and co-chair, they work a 15-hour day during the election.

“[In 2020] we didn't get home till like nine o'clock, and we were there probably six o'clock. . . so it was a long day,” Deb said.

They said recent elections have presented some different challenges.

“In the last presidential. . . it was a little hairy there,” Pete said.

There was no violence, but Deb and Pete said there was an added level of stress.

“It was really hard then,” Deb said. “Yeah, it was more nervous and people were questioning more things and so yeah, and I think some of the election workers decided not to do it after that.”

But that won’t deter workers like Deb and Pete.

“We'll be back,” Pete said.

There will be four elections in 2024— including the presidential election.

Those looking to become election workers can contact the city clerk’s office.