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Know to Vote: how to be an election poll worker

Click the link for the full story: ST. LOUIS — With high voter turnout expected for Election Day, election authorities are concerned they might not have enough poll workers due to the pandemic. Many election judges are already opting out. “A lot of them right now are reaching out to us saying, 'You know, I just don't feel comfortable. Even though you're telling me you've got all of this a PPE available to us, I'm just not comfortable,'” said Debbie Ming-Mendoza, Madison County Clerk. “And so they're calling off for November. And, of course, that rings a bell for us that we need to start working more heavily on recruitment.” Sherri Pogue has been a poll worker in St. Charles County for 10 years. She said she'll work, but said a lot of other veteran poll workers won't be able to this year. “If we old people can't pull it off, young people can,” she said. Along with getting polling places ready, a team of judges staffs each polling place to verify registration, get people their ballots, and ensure the vote is cast successfully. This year, judges will be on cleaning duty, too. Those who are interested in becoming a poll worker will receive training. They'll also receive a paycheck. It varies by county, but it is around at least $100 for a day's work. Poll workers must be prepared for a long day. Election judges need to be able to help get polls ready to open by 6 a.m. on Election Day, and serve until after the polls close at 7 p.m. -- as long as it takes to get all the precinct's ballots certified and tallied. Missouri allows for half-day workers, so you may sign up for a shorter day in some places, like St. Charles, St. Francois, and Warren counties. The Missouri Secretary of State’s website offers the following tips for making the day “more enjoyable”: Wear comfortable shoes Dress appropriately for the weather, keeping in mind the polling place temperature Check with your election authority on when to take lunches and breaks Get a good night’s sleep before Election Day – it’s a long day! If you have any questions – just ask your local election authority! In Missouri and Illinois, you will have to sign up as either Republican or Democrat, so polling places are staffed up to represent both parties. In Missouri, judges must be registered voters; they must be 18 years old by Election Day. In Illinois, this year, qualified 16 and 17-year-old students can be election judges, too. If you're interested in serving, reach out to your election authority as soon as possible to help them plan out polling places. “If you can at all give your time, please do so,” said Pogue. Here's information on signing up to work as an election judge from the Election Assistance Commission: for jurisdictions not listed, visit their website. Know to Vote: New Illinois law invites voters to vote by mail Know to Vote: These are the safeguards in place to ensure voters only vote once Know to Vote: Haven't registered to vote yet? Time is running out City of St. Louis Phone: 314-622-4336 Email: or Office Address: 300 N. Tucker Blvd., St. Louis, MO 63101 Voter registration requirements: You must be registered to vote in Missouri to work on Election Day. Hours and compensation: Start time: 5:00 a.m. End time: 7:00 p.m. Compensation: $75 to $150 You must work the full day. Work requirements: Minimum age: 15-year-old students Attend a training session. Complete training for each election. Training details: In-person training typically lasts 2.5 to 3 hours. Poll workers must be able to read, write, and speak English. They must declare a political party (Democrat, Republican, or Independent). Technical specialist poll workers may have different requirements. High school student poll workers must receive a recommendation from their school to participate in the program.
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