Be A Poll Worker

If you want to feel better about the future of this country, go to Poll Hero. They are  recruiting thousands of college and high school students to be paid poll workers on election day.

Elections can’t happen without poll workers. And most poll workers are older and at a higher risk of complications from Covid.

On primary day in Milwaukee, 175 out of 180 polling stations were closed because there weren’t enough poll workers. And in Philadelphia, where 8,500 poll workers are needed, only 2,500 signed up to work.

And Trevor Noah of The Daily Show has been promoting Power the Polls, another group trying to address the problem of aging poll workers.

We have fewer than 100 days to sign up poll workers who will:

  • Prevent staffing shortages that would result in closure of polling places
  • Ensure election technology functions properly and efficiently, minimizing lines and delays
  • Help voters in their communities navigate issues when voting.

From the Rhode Island Board of Elections:

Poll workers are hired and paid by the Board of Canvassers in each of Rhode Island’s 39 cities and towns. You may contact your local Board of Canvassers and inquire, or print the Poll Worker Application below and mail it into the Board of Canvassers in the city/town in which you desire to work as a poll worker.

Poll workers are paid by the Board of Canvassers for their service on election day. Pay varies by city/town.

According to the latest data posted in July for Providence, wardens and clerks will make $225 for the day, while supervisors and greeters will make $175. More info at their Poll Workers Manual. N.B. If you are receiving unemployment benefits, poll worker wages must be reported to the RI Department of Labor and Training. Contact the RIDLT for additional information.

Look, not just anybody can do this. The Board of Elections reminds us:

Under R.I.G.L. §17-11-12 and §17-11-15 you are ineligible to work as a Poll Worker if you are a candidate for public office, or if you have been convicted, found guilty, pleaded guilty or nolo contendere, or placed on a deferred or suspended sentence, or on probation, for any crime which involves moral turpitude or which constitutes a violation of any of the election or caucus laws of this or any other state.

In the mood for turpitude? Not this year . . . you’ve got a democracy to save!

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