SPARTANBURG COUNTY, S.C. (WSPA) – Poll workers are needed in Spartanburg County for the November election.
According to officials, they need at least 700 to 750 poll workers and currently have a little over 430.
“The backbone of our democracy is all about voting,” said David Britt, on Spartanburg County Council.
“If we were fully staffed, we would have closer to 1,000. That would give us the ability to have people rotate on and off the floor, catch breaks during the day. For a comfortable level, we would have 700 to 750,” said Director of Registration and Elections, John Baucom.
Officials said the people they have signed up to work isn’t enough.
“With 436 poll managers and 101 polling locations, the math says that’s about 4 people per location,” said Baucom.
To become a poll manager, you have to go through in-person or online training.
“Anybody who goes through our training, can be approved to do it. They will earn $135, but more importantly, it’s an opportunity to have a piece of history,” said Britt.
People who work the polls will get $135 for going through training and their work on election day.
“We need at least 200 people to say: hey, I want to be a part of history, I want to make this election clean, spotless, as slick as glass,” said Britt.
There are around 350 people who said they’re interested, but officials said they will get around 100 workers from that.
“In the past, one of the ways we have been able to fuel these needs on election day is county employees have volunteered, and they get paid to do it. They’re off that day anyhow, so that may be the very solution,” said Britt.
The county is considering trying to get county employees involved, or to offer a supplement.
“I have reached out to administration to investigate ways that we can encourage county employees to serve as poll managers, because that would probably be a more budget friendly option,” said Baucom.
“Our commitment will be to help John and the board of registration to do whatever is necessary to get their 700 people to man those polls,” stated Britt.
Dipping into the budget can be expensive, according to officials.
“It was proposed in the budget initiative last year and rejected, because the total cost for only 5 elections, for a $25 supplement, was going to be in the vicinity of $125,000,” Baucom said.
It still is an option that could be on the table for county council to discuss.
“We have plenty of time to take action, we could always have an emergency meeting, if that was necessary,” said Britt.
The more workers they get, the smoother election day goes.
“It cuts down on wait times and voters don’t have to stand in line as long, it also helps with burnout with the poll managers that we have,” said Baucom.
16- and 17-year-olds can also help out as poll manager assistants on election day.
For more on becoming a poll worker, click here.
The deadline to register to vote online is October 8, if you want to go in person in Spartanburg County, the date is October 6 by 5: 00 p.m.