Elections boards across New York state say they are hoping to recruit more people to the polls. Jeremy Zellner, the Democratic elections commissioner in Erie County, said they need thousands of people every election and always need more.
“They’re critical. We simply can’t run our elections without good poll inspectors,” Zellner said. “They are actually the people who are at the table signing people in. They’re the people giving you your ballot. And you know there’s thousands of them that work that one day who keep the election going every year.”
Brian Abram, the Republican elections commissioner in Chautauqua County, said a full roster would be about 400 people but they have around 330 right now.
“It just seems like right now we’re all in the same boat of trying to find, you know, individuals that are willing to be part of what we’re all about,” Abram said.
The training and job are paid, but may come with long hours on election days and sacrifices like taking the day off from work. Erie County offers $25 for attending the training class and $190 for working Election Day from 5:30 a.m. until after 9:00 p.m.
Anyone interested in working the polls can contact their county’s board of elections. The last day to register to vote is Oct. 28, the same day early voting begins.