GREENVILLE, N.C. (WNCT) Poll workers are vital to a successful election. They are your neighbors, friends, or familiar faces that care about the same community as you. But this year many of them are staying home because of COVID-19.
That’s because the majority of poll workers are over the age of 60, an age susceptible to the virus.
Between COVID-19 restrictions and possible record breaking mail-in ballots, counties are looking to hire even more people than previous years.
Trey Cash, the Director of Greene County’s Board of Elections, says there are numerous safeguards in our mail-in ballot system.
He’s confident in the process, but says he’ll need more people to help with One-Stop Voting and at Polling Booths.
They usually hire about 50 workers, but this year they need about 70.
Already he’s had a 30% reduction in staff from last election.
“28 of the 48 poll workers we had were 60 years or older. Only six were under the age of 45. we’ve lost 30 percent of our poll workers, and we’re expecting to lose more.”Trey Cash, Greene County Board of Elections Director
Greene County, like other counties across the country, is calling for younger people to step up this election season.
Some responsibilities include staffing polling places during early voting and on Election Day, checking-in voters and issuing ballots, and setting up locations for voters.
There’s a pay incentive as well.
Dylan Potter has worked the elections in Greene County since 2018. He’s Chief Judge for the Walstonburg Precinct, the youngest in its history.
He says he enjoys helping his community, and believes during these times, seeing a friendly face at the polls can help instill trust back in the community.
“With the ways things are going, people are uncertain on the elections, it’s good to see people from your community that you know, that you know you can trust, and I think it helps people feel more confident when they come into vote.”Dylan Potter, Election Poll Worker
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