How Georgia is trying to recruit poll workers ahead of November election

This was primary election day in Richmond County.
This was primary election day in Richmond County.(WRDW)
Published: Aug. 31, 2020 at 10:18 PM CDT
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ATLANTA (WRDW/WAGT) - Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger is partnering with the Georgia Department of Transportation to recruit poll workers for elections in November.

The secretary said this partnership with GDOT is to ensure county elections officials have the staff they need on and in the weeks before Election Day.

“When COVID-19 swept through Georgia, Georgia’s elderly poll workers stayed home to minimize their exposure to the pandemic,” Raffensperger said in a statement. “Through these partnerships, like the one with the Georgia Department of Transportation, we will be able to recruit younger poll workers and help provide a safe and easy experience for Georgia’s voters in November.”

Georgia poll workers historically have averaged above 65 years old. When the COVID-19 pandemic swept through the United States, this particularly vulnerable population mostly opted to stay home and avoid the risk of exposure to the virus.

As a result, polling locations across the state were short-staffed on Election Day and limited in their ability to train new poll workers due to the constraints of the pandemic.

To fill this gap, Raffensperger said he is partnering with numerous organizations in the state to help recruit younger, less-at-risk populations to staff the polls.

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