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'Step Into History': Leon County Elections Supervisor Puts Out Call For Poll Workers

Joe Raedle\Getty Images
Color Lines

Leon County’s supervisor of elections is asking for more poll workers to sign up for the coming elections. Statewide, there’s uncertainty about poll worker turnout.

Elections supervisors are projecting a shortage of poll workers due to COVID-19, and Leon County is no different.

For elections in Leon, supervisor Mark Earley typically staffs “roughly 1,000, a little over 1,000” poll workers, “with knowledge that we start so far in advance that some poll workers will drop out. There will be natural attrition,” Earley told WFSU Monday. “We’re usually aiming for around 850, roughly, poll workers to be up and active on election day.”

Diana Mitchell, poll worker coordinator for Leon County, says there are about 900 people signed up now. But, Mitchell says, there’s uncertainty everyone will show up, and ideally she would like to have a surplus of poll workers.

“All they need to do is go to our website. We have an online poll worker application,” Mitchell said. “It’s a very short application, gives us some of the basic information so we can contact them, and start getting them the training materials.”

Mitchell says because of COVID-19, poll worker training for the primary and general elections will be done online. She says workers for the coming election will be part of something historical.

“This is a wonderful way to serve your community, get out from behind your desk and step into history,” Mitchell said.

Leon County poll workers get paid $150 per election.

Ryan Dailey is a reporter/producer for WFSU/Florida Public Radio. After graduating from Florida State University, Ryan went into print journalism working for the Tallahassee Democrat for five years. At the Democrat, he worked as a copy editor, general assignment and K-12 education reporter.