Poll worker shortage in Jefferson County is over, according to Chief Election Official

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JEFFERSON COUNTY, Ala. (WIAT) — Only weeks ago, concerns were high that poll workers would be hard to recruit – mainly due to the many seniors who work at the polls being at higher risk of contracting COVID-19. Since then, poll working applications have been flooding in.

Jim Naftel is the Chief Election Official for Jefferson County and the Probate Judge for Place 1, and he said since they’ve announced they will be providing PPE for each worker, the application shortage no longer exists in the county.

“We’re going to have 2,000 to 2,200 workers this go around,” Naftel said. “Part of that is that we have this new express voting machine for voters who need assistance.”

Possibly adding to the increased interest is that each poll worker this year is earning an additional $100 stipend, announced by Secretary of State John Merrill.

A poll clerk will earn $200 for the day and poll chief will earn $250.

“We think we’re good,” Naftel said.

“The primary runoff on July 14th, we have some concerns, just because just about right up to the day of, some of our tried and true workers were dropping out because of COVID-19 concerns. We think that’s stabilized.”

Naftel said that since announcing poll workers would receive PPE, applications to work resumed pouring in.

“Now people know that we’re providing face shields and face masks, and hand sanitizer and sanitizing wipes and all that equipment, so I think people feel a little better. We’ve got 500-plus new applicants.”

You can submit your application to be a poll worker on Election Day here.


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