Want $130? City Needs Poll Workers
More than 50% of 1,800 poll workers are over 60, city wants them to stay home.
When it comes to democracy, the show must go on. Wisconsin’s April 7th Presidential Primary and Spring Election will still be held despite the Coronavirus pandemic.
Mayor Tom Barrett and other city officials are expecting a dramatic shift to mail-in, absentee ballots, but the in-person polls will still be open. And with that, the city is set to deploy its crew of approximately 1,800 poll workers.
But there is one looming issue with that part-time workforce: over 50 percent are over the age of 60 and over 30 percent are over the age of 70. “We want those election workers to be able to sit out this election,” said Milwaukee Election Commission Executive Director Neil Albrecht during a Sunday afternoon press conference.
“We need you to do a little more than vote this election, we need you to be an election worker,” said Barrett. “With the schools closed, this is an excellent chance for high school and college students to get involved.”
Workers will be required to attend a paid ($21.75) training class. “We are not going to throw these people out of the nest and say ‘fly,'” said Barrett.
To work at the polls, individuals must be at least 18 years old, qualified to vote in Milwaukee County, be a US citizen, never have been convicted of a felony and not be a candidate for office.
Workers can expect not to have to travel far. “Most people will be able to work at a polling site very close to their home,” said Albrecht.
Polling Site Changes
In response to concerns about high-risk populations and closed facilities, a handful of city polling sites are being relocated. A polling site at the Wilson Commons senior living center is being moved. A site at UW-Milwaukee’s Sandberg Hall is also being moved.
Affected, registered voters will receive a postcard in the mail notifying them of the change said Barrett. All voters are encouraged to confirm their polling place on the My Vote WI website before voting.
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