Why You Should Be A Poll Worker

If you can’t vote this year, here’s an opportunity to make just as much of an impact


With the rise of coronavirus in the U.S. and the rest of the world, it’s no surprise that we’ve had to adjust the way we work both socially and politically. After the primary elections in S.C. earlier this year, it was quickly found out that the state, like many others, had more on their plate than they could handle regarding its polling places. Many polling stations were changed or moved at the last minute due to the mass shortage of election workers. 

What exactly does a poll worker do, you ask? Well, poll workers typically help to set up the polls, help the poll manager’s as needed on election day, and close out the polls. The job is pretty simple, with most of the responsibilities involving making sure that the poll procedures are followed and that everything goes smoothly. Anyone that is sixteen to seventeen years old can sign up to be an assistant poll manager, with the only requirements being that you are not related to any of the candidates involved, which shouldn’t be a problem for anyone currently at Magnet unless there’s some distant relation involved. 

If you’re on the fence and need more reasons on why you should sign up, look no further. Here are some key points as to why you should sign up to become a poll worker this November:

1. Money!

Being teenagers and generally greedy people as a whole, I thought it might be fitting to start with the amount of pay that you could be getting from working in the polls on Election Day. Who doesn’t love getting paid? Even though a majority of the people at Magnet have jobs already, for those who are currently unemployed or just looking for an easy way to earn some cash, this is the place for you. Poll managers and poll manager assistants get paid $60 for attending training, $15 for COVID-19 training, $75 for working on election day, and $15 more for COVID-19 related duties on election day, bringing the grand total to at least $165, as you can earn more for more hours that you work on election day. There is no set amount of hours that you will be required to work on election day as it largely depends on the amount of poll workers available, but it’s typically from around 6 A.M. to 7 P.M.

2. The process is simple!

Through my application process for the work, I have found that the overall process is easy to do and that the only difficult part in applying is having to wait for an email in response to the application. If you go to the South Carolina Election Commission website, http://noexcusessc.com, and click on Apply to Be a Poll Manager, it will take you to an application to fill out. Once it’s been filled out, all you need to do is wait for an email that will ask you to fill out a few legal forms about your employment status. After that, you’ll get another email regarding the online training, (which mainly consists of watching informational videos) that you can do either online or in person. It takes three hours total to complete, but if you do it online, you can save your progress as you finish it and spread out the work.

3. The number of people that can benefit from your work is significant!

If the simplicity or the pay that the job of a poll worker is involved with didn’t convince you, then more than anything else, being a poll worker this year is incredibly important to voters in your area. In past years, the typical election workers have been senior citizens, around the age of 70, but with the rise of the pandemic, many have started dropping out of fear for their health and safety. Poll workers are really the key to a smooth election, void of long lines, miscounted ballots, and mass confusion. Without enough poll workers, poll stations end up having to shut down or consolidate several stations into smaller areas, discouraging people to vote because of long lines or significant travel times to their “local” stations. Bilingual workers are also extremely important! If you speak another language then you can work as a translator in the polls, helping anyone who might need extra assistance while voting and making sure that every person has an equal opportunity to vote. 

Whether it’s for the money, the simplicity, or the desire to help others’ out and make sure that every person is given the equal chance to get out and vote, everyone that can should sign up to become a poll worker in the upcoming election. Even if a small number of people who read this sign up, it really will make a difference for the voters in your area. Sign up now at:  http://noexcusessc.com