NEW JERSEY – Senator Kristin Corrado, Assemblymen Kevin Rooney, and Christopher DePhillips called on Governor Phil Murphy to increase the pay of all poll workers to help address a statewide shortage as Election Day approaches.
“In-person voting is a critical part of our democracy and would not be possible without dedicated and committed poll workers,” Corrado said. “Sadly, our vital election workers have not received a consistent wage increase in twenty years. This is inexcusable and has helped contribute to a significant shortage of workers across the state. I am calling on Governor Murphy to address this problem by increasing the pay of all poll workers before the upcoming 2021 election.”
Poll workers commit to a 15-hour workday, from before the polls open at 6:00 a.m. until well after they close at 8:00 p.m. As compensation, they generally receive $200, the same rate since 2001, the lawmakers said.
An additional challenge in 2021 is early in-person voting, in which voters can visit certain polling places from October 23-31 to cast their ballots before Election Day on November 2, the lawmakers said.
“Towns across the state, including several in Passaic and Bergen counties, are having a difficult time staffing their polling places—especially with new, early in-person voting,” Rooney said. “We all know how important poll workers are. They are on the clock the entire day and are critical in ensuring the integrity of the election process. And yet, they haven’t received a raise in twenty years. It’s time for the Governor to do the right thing and give these people the salary increase they deserve.”
“Several factors are contributing to the shortage of election workers in our state and the most obvious one is the stagnant wage,” DePhillips said. “Think about all of the businesses that are starting to hire seasonal workers for the holidays. Why would any individual take a job as a poll worker over a seasonal job elsewhere if we are paying them the same salary as we did in 2001? The only way to attract more people is to provide them with a competitive wage.”