MERKLEY INTRODUCES LEGISLATION TO ADDRESS POLL WORKER SHORTAGE

MERKLEY INTRODUCES LEGISLATION TO ADDRESS POLL WORKER SHORTAGE

Senator Jeff Merkley has announced that he will introduce the Poll Worker Recruitment Act of 2020 to address the shortage of poll workers for the November general election.

The announcement Tuesday coincided with National Poll Worker Recruitment Day.

Merkley’s release said as the COVID-19 pandemic has spread across the U.S., the crisis has made it much more difficult to recruit poll workers at a time when in-person voting options are limited. The release said many of the volunteers that normally help staff polling stations are seniors who are at high-risk of COVID-19 complications and have been urged by public health professionals to stay at home.

Merkley said the legislation would make it easier to send recruits to where they are most needed by removing requirements that poll workers be registered to vote in the same county where they are volunteering. The release said poll workers would still need to be registered in the same state.

Pennsylvania implemented the change during its 2020 primary election. Merkley’s proposal would make the change national.