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Buffalo, NY | Local News, Weather, Traffic, Sports | WGRZ.com

Poll workers needed to address severe shortage

New York is facing a critical shortage heading ahead of Election Day, November 3, due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

ALBANY, N.Y. — Boards of Elections around the state and country are facing a serious shortage of workers to staff the polls this fall due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The US Elections Assistance Commission is proclaiming September 1 'National Poll Worker Recruitment Day'. 

“Amid COVID-19, New York is facing a critical shortage of poll workers,” said Douglas Kellner, State Commissioner of Elections. “Even as New York expands absentee voting options, millions of New Yorkers – especially voters with disabilities and those who lack reliable mail service – will continue to rely on in-person voting to cast a ballot.”

Poll workers responsibilities include preparing the polling place for voting, setting up voting equipment, signing in and processing voters and demonstrating voting equipment, closing the polling place and reporting results. In light of the virus outbreak, workers this year will also be responsible for sanitizing voting equipment and enforcing social distancing. 

“In New York State, 55 percent of all poll workers are over the age of 60, making them especially vulnerable to complications if they contract COVID-19,’ said Peter Kosinski, Co-Chair of the NY State Board. “This has resulted in a critical need for poll workers who are willing and able to assist with the administration of in-person during Early Voting and on Election Day.”

To be eligible, you must be a registered voter. You will get paid for training and for each election day you work and be assigned to a polling location within the county where you live. 

An application can be found here. If you have any questions, you can contact your local Board of Elections or send an email the NYS Board of Elections.