Secretary of State prepares for election worker shortage

State launches election worker recruitment site.
Election workers needed for November.
Published: Sep. 1, 2020 at 5:26 PM EDT
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LANSING, Mich. (WILX) - Michigan Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson said there is a nationwide shortage of election workers.

This comes as the COVID-19 pandemic sweeps through the nation calling for elderly and compromised workers to stay home on Election day.

Secretary Benson said, “More than ever before we have had a lot of vacancies because of the pandemic. Rightly so, we don’t want any elderly workers or anyone compromised to feel obligated or responsible to fill their role as a poll worker this year.”

To make up for potentially thousands of poll workers to drop out, the state has launched a poll worker recruitment site to encourage voters to sign up to help, but it will be tough work.

Secretary Benson said, “You also have a significant responsibility to protect the security and integrity of elections. You’re on the frontlines of doing that throughout the day. So it can be tiring. It can be tedious.”

So far 11,000 people have signed up to work Election day.

Although there is a shortage, Secretary Benson said the state is more concerned with big cities like Detroit and Flint than Lansing.

“I don’t think you should expect in Ingham County, with great leadership with Barb Byrum or in Lansing specifically with shortages. The city of Detroit will need about four thousand poll workers to work the polls on election day and about two thousand to actually count and process those absentee ballots in various shifts,” said Benson.

Secretary Benson said she would like voters to sing up at least two weeks before Election Day to understand what is expected of them and become familiar with any technology or processes they will use.

Election workers will be given proper PPE on Election Day to use.

Election Day is Tuesday, November 3.

CLICK HERE to sign up to become an poll worker.

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