With the primary and general elections inching ever so closer, local officials are looking for some extra help.
Palm Beach County Supervisor of Elections Wendy Sartory Link says her office needs poll workers for both the primary on Aug. 18 and the general election on Nov. 3.
“The virus does make things uncertain because it’s one thing we don’t have control over,” Sartory Link explains.
It takes around 4,000 poll workers to staff more than 400 Election Day polling locations and phone banks, according to elections officials.
“We are hoping to keep as many locations open as possible. We have replacement sites for most of the polling locations that have pulled out, but we need poll workers to staff those and others,” Sartory Link adds.
She goes on to say that the more locations they can keep open, the fewer lines and wait times voters will experience on Election Day.
“We have PPE and are instituting many safeguards to protect our poll workers and voters,” according to Sartory Link.
Many people who typically work at the polls are in the age group of those who are most vulnerable to coronavirus, prompting the demand for workers.
To that end, the elections office is also recruiting younger poll workers, after more than 1,500 poll workers failed to show up for last March’s primary, as the outbreak started.
Are you Ready to Vote? Register to vote or update your party affiliation by July 20th! Request your vote by mail ballot by 5 pm on August 8th! #BeElectionReady https://t.co/v4XPc42wcv pic.twitter.com/FWJylvhpZ3
— Wendy Sartory Link, PBC Supervisor of Elections (@pbcelections) July 1, 2020
“The school district is sending out an email to all juniors and seniors in high school because if you’re pre-registered or registered to vote, you can be a poll worker,” says Sartory Link. “Those students tend to be very tech-savvy, and they need hours and money.”
So far, about 200 students have indicated they want to train to be poll workers. The office has already 4,300 committed poll workers.
The goal is to train more poll workers than are needed, in an effort to prepare for any unforeseen circumstances.
All poll worker jobs are paid positions.
If you are interested in working the polls, visit www.pbcelections.org, email email@example.com or call the Palm Beach County Elections Office at (561) 656-6200 and ask to speak with the Poll Worker Department.
Meanwhile, Palm Beach County is still urging the public to vote by mail. Ballots must be requested by Aug. 8 for the next month’s primary election.
There have been more than 280,000 requests for mail-in ballots for the August and November elections.