MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WHNT) — Recruiting is underway for poll workers at the 1,980 polling sites in Alabama, and one probate judge says his county will be ready to go in November.
Coosa County Probate Judge Richard Dean said in April they were struggling to get workers ahead of the primary, but this time around is different.
“So far, things are going pretty good with us. We’re not having a lot of people tell us they can’t work the polls this election,” Dean said.
Dean says he has heard from some poll workers who don’t want to return after negative experiences in the role. He says some voters would show up at the wrong precinct or refuse to show ID.
“Some of our poll workers have expressed that it’s not worth the hassle to them, to be out there, and for these people showing up trying to do things they know are not right from the get-go,” Dean said.
He says COVID hasn’t been much of a concern this election, but a little more pay might make the recruiting process easier for some working 14-hour days.
“We would like to see the state increase that obviously,” Dean said.
Secretary of State John Merrill says poll workers aren’t in it for the money.
“They will be compensated at a small rate: either $100 or if they’re inspectors $125 for a day of service, but it’s a way for them to contribute to the betterment of the community,” Merrill said.
Merrill says he hasn’t heard of any worker shortages in Alabama, and says judges have done a good job so far of reaching people to staff the polls. He says a program that started from a 2019 law to allow high school students to work the polls has also helped.
“One of the reasons why we’re advertising for poll workers is because we want to make sure we have enough poll workers in every one of our 1,980 polling sites in all 67 counties. We really haven’t seen a shortage of poll workers in Alabama, but we always want to be prepared,” Merrill said.
Election day is Nov. 8, and the last day to register to vote is Oct. 24.