Jeramey Jannene

Want $130? City Needs Poll Workers

More than 50% of 1,800 poll workers are over 60, city wants them to stay home.

By - Mar 15th, 2020 06:55 pm
Voters at the Humboldt Park Pavilion. Photo by Jeramey Jannene.

Voters at the Humboldt Park Pavilion. Photo by Jeramey Jannene.

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.”

The city pays $130 for a shift that runs from 6 a.m. until polls close at 8 p.m. “Election inspectors,” as the job is known, do everything from handing out “I Voted” stickers and checking in voters to assisting with on-site registration and monitoring voting machines.

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.

An online job application is available on the Milwaukee Election Commission website. A printable PDF is also available.

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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More about the 2020 Spring Primary

Read more about 2020 Spring Primary here

More about the Coronavirus Pandemic

Read more about Coronavirus Pandemic here

Categories: Politics

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