A potential shortage of poll workers in PA could be problematic in November

January 31 — Pennsylvania Secretary of State Al Schmidt announced yesterday that there could be a shortage of poll workers in Pennsylvania. 

Schmidt also oversees elections in PA and was speaking at an event in Dauphin County at a public library. 

He was encouraging county officials to get the word out that poll workers are needed for the November election. 

Attorney Clint Barkdoll said, “I don’t think we have a problem so much with this locally, but it sounds like some counties in Pennsylvania, they’re struggling to find people to come in and work that day. Those are really important positions. He made that pitch yesterday that they’re some of the most critical people in the election process. So I think you’re going to see some efforts from the state and the county to try to incentivize people to do those important jobs.”

“Elections wouldn’t be possible if not for the roughly 45,000 poll workers across more than 9,000 voting locations in the Commonwealth helping their friends and neighbors exercise their right to vote,” Secretary of State Al Schmidt said at an event yesterday. “I applaud these voters who take the time to work at the polls on Election Day and help make democracy possible.”

Pat Ryan of NewsTalk 103.7FM suggested, “What a wonderful place to go do some recruitment. There are these churches, any of these folks that would say listen, we are in a couple of different wars for the hearts and minds here. This is an excellent opportunity. My church leadership is out there.”

Could this be a national issue? 

Barkdoll said, “He’s suggesting that it’s statewide. Again, I’ve not heard of it in Franklin County, but the secretary must have some data that he believes that they need to get in front of now. What does this job pay? On average, it pays between $130 and $170 for that day. If you’re new to it, there’s also some money available for training. You could contact your county administration office or the county voter registration office and they could give you more information if you are interested in doing that.”

Registered voters interested in becoming a poll worker should fill out the Department of State’s Poll Worker Interest Form. 17-year-old juniors and seniors who are interested should fill out the Department’s Student Poll Worker Interest Form.