Secretary of State Raffensperger Continues to Help Counties Recruit Poll Workers

Staff Report

Tuesday, June 30th, 2020

Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger’s office announced Friday it is continuing its poll-worker recruitment campaign ahead of the Aug. 11 runoff and Nov. 3 general election.

Before the June 9 primary, the project sent to county election officials across Georgia the names of more than 1,000 people who came forward to get trained by them as poll workers. For instance, 222 were sent to Fulton County, 139 to DeKalb, 70 to Cobb and 67 to Henry.

“Counties have had to replace poll workers who backed out because of the global pandemic and then train those replacements on everything involved with setup and operation of a polling place. I’m glad we have been able to find so many Georgians willing to pitch in,” Raffensperger said. “The counties need more good people, and I urge individuals and groups to step up.”

County election officials are responsible for recruiting, training and assigning the paid workers at more than 2,600 local polling places. Recruitment has become increasingly difficult in recent years, and the COVID-19 infection raised the challenge to a critical level because the average poll worker is in the high-risk age group.

Raffensperger took multiple steps to help counties cope with their recruitment challenge, including delaying the primary twice, distributing personal protective equipment and providing supplies for sanitizing polling places.

A sign-up form on the Secretary of State website, and on brought contact information for the thousand-plus willing poll workers. That information was distributed to each person’s home county election office which could arrange interviews and training.

People interested in being a paid poll worker can sign up on those websites or contact their local elections office.

Legislation Raffensperger proposed would have allowed counties to hire poll workers who reside outside of their county, but the General Assembly did not bring it to a vote. That would have helped some counties address acute worker shortages, he said.

The Secretary of State’s Office will also support counties in their training of these newly recruited poll workers.