By Pat Loeb

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Tuesday is election day and among the choices voters will make are very, very local races for election officials: a judge and inspector for each polling place.

They’re supposed to serve for the next four years, but some will also be elected, early Tuesday morning, to serve for the day.

They’re called “curb side” elections and, though that may sound improvised, they’re outlined in the state election code.

City Commissioner Lisa Deeley explains every one of Philadelphia’s nearly 1700 divisions needs at least five people to run it. The day is long, the pay is low, and it’s hard to find volunteers.

“It’s mostly older people that have been taking these positions,” Deeley said.

So if a poll worker doesn’t show up, the officials who are there find someone who can do it on the spot.

“The qualified electors that are present before 7 a.m., waiting for those polls to open, they’re voting for the person that has accepted that role,” explained Deeley.

Since it’s early, it’s often done outside the polling place, or at curbside, though Committee of Seventy President David Thornburgh thinks it’s not the best way to run an election.

“It sounds charming and quaint, but I don’t think this is actually how life at the polls takes place,” he said.


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