BERKELEY COUNTY, S.C. (WCBD) – South Carolina plans to hold primary elections as normal in June, but many polls workers are needed at sites across Berkeley County.
Election officials are scrambling to gather enough poll workers to make sure the primaries run without issue.
Statewide primaries take place on June 9th.
“It’s definitely a challenge for us, a challenge for workers,” said Adam Hammons, Director of Elections for Berkeley County. “We’re expecting a decrease in the number of workers we normally use. A decrease in their willingness to work.”
Hammons said 20% of their workers say they will not be working this primary because of the coronavirus pandemic. They generally have about 300 total, so that’s at least 60 positions that are open.
“We’re actively recruiting new workers. We’re going to be able to provide hand sanitizers, masks, sneeze guards, gloves, those kind of things to the poll workers,” he said.
The pay is not bad either. Election Day is about a 13-hour day, but new poll workers earn $160 for the day. The manager of each site earns $220.
“We’re also working with the State Election Commission; they’re going to be able to get a little bit more pay, almost like hazard pay. They haven’t said what that number is going to be yet, that’s coming directly from the state.”
That will be in addition to the regular daily pay.
“It’s rewarding. It’s a good experience. Kind of do some civic duty, see your neighbors. Meet people you might not normally meet. We always try to keep you as close to home as possible.”
If you are interested in being a poll worker, call your county election commission office.