RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) – With Election Day in less than three months, the State Board of Elections say they are missing a key piece of the voting process.
Election officials say they need thousands of poll workers for November.
“These are the local election officials who process your ballot, greet you at the election precinct and make sure everything runs smoothly,” said Damon Circosta, chairman of the State Board of Elections.
Circosta said election boards usually rely on older populations to serve as poll workers, but they are a high-risk group for contracting COVID-19.
“We know that many of those folks who’ve done it years in the past will choose to do it again, but some won’t,” said Circosta.
The State Board of Elections needs 25,000 poll workers.
Circosta said this is a paid position and workers will be trained.
Applicants must be registered to vote in the county they wish to serve.
“We’ve already received 4,000 folks who want to join us and we need a lot more than 4,000. We need 25,000 so we hope people will sign up soon,” he said.
There are also opportunities for high school students who aren’t yet of voting age.
In 2003, the North Carolina General Assembly passed a law allowing high school students to work in the polls on Election Day, if they meet certain requirements.
“It’s a great way for high school students to learn how democracy works,” Circosta said.
Due to COVID-19, Circosta said election officials are taking extra steps to make sure precincts are safe for anyone working the election, or casting a ballot.
“We have PPE for all of our voters and all of our election workers. We’re going to be maintaining social distancing and we’re going to get you in and out of there quickly,” he said.