Letter to the editor: How to find poll workers
Regarding the article “Election officials campaign for poll workers in Allegheny, Westmoreland counties”: There are many ways to find poll workers that our counties don’t use, For instance:
•Allow split shifts. The 15-hour day currently required of poll workers is just not possible for many people. However, allowing split shifts will require a change in the Pennsylvania’s 1937 election code. This code desperately needs updating.
• Partner with local companies. In many parts of the United States, companies encourage employees to volunteer to work the polls as a “civic day.” It’s good for companies, employees and election administration.
These are only two examples of improved practices used to recruit poll workers. Many poll workers do this job because of a deep commitment to democracy. Pay is not the central issue, and focusing on pay alone misses the point that many election administrators, as well as state legislators who control the laws governing elections, have simply failed us by not adapting to change.
Election administration is a professional field, just like medicine, communications and retail marketing. The way these other professions operate has evolved over the last quarter-century, but somehow, election administrators are still trying to recruit poll workers the way they did in the 1970s.