Next Tuesday is National Poll Worker Recruitment Day and the need for workers extends to West Virginia.
Secretary of State Mac Warner said West Virginia has about 1750 election precincts requiring five poll workers each. That comes to about 9,000 poll workers needed statewide on November 8th.
Established in 2020 by the U.S. Election Assistance Commission, National Poll Worker Recruitment Day is a day of action with the goal of encouraging potential poll workers to volunteer to work on Election Day. Some poll workers are also used for early in person voting.
In West Virginia, democrat and republican executive committees nominate poll workers. There are always representatives of both parties at each polling location. When nominated poll workers “call off” for any reason, county clerks’ offices must appoint alternates to fill the vacancies before election day. Warner said there are always vacancies.
“The best thing is to have those alternates already,” Warner said. “We had a situation a year or two ago where a woman delivered a baby the night before the election. That’s a pretty good reason to not show up to support the polls the next day.”
Poll workers get paid anywhere from $150 to $230 including training sessions. Warner said key reasons to volunteer include performing a civic duty and gaining confidence in a politically scrutinized election system.
“We have so much concern over the factions right now across the nation,” Warner said. “Be a poll worker and you’ll see the working on the inside – you’ll see the checks and balances in the system.”
Poll workers must be registered voters, 18 years old or above. To volunteer, go to your county clerk’s office or go online at the Secretary of State’s website.