Pandemic Concerns Could Lead To Poll Worker Shortage In North Carolina
As pandemic concerns reverberate in a presidential election year, North Carolina may be facing a shortage in poll workers.
State and county officials are working hard to make sure Election Day runs smoothly as they take into account the need for social distancing and sanitation conditions. But there are worries that a shortage of poll workers could sow voter confusion, along with the potential for long lines and precinct closures.
The News & Observer reports elections directors have already begun enticing workers with increased pay, and have aligned with the State Board of Elections and voting advocates to help counties with recruitment efforts.
One concern is that the average age of poll workers is around 70, a demographic considered especially susceptible to COVID-19.
Counties are making a concerted effort to hire younger workers, who may also be more comfortable navigating new technology. And state lawmakers have passed a bill saying people can work the polls without losing unemployment benefits.