SPARTANBURG COUNTY, S.C. (WSPA) – Manpower shortages are a challenge companies all over are facing, including your local polling places. Poll workers are an essential part of elections.

The more workers, the faster the voting process. Anyone 16 years of age and older is eligible to help. Those 18 years and up have to be a registered voter.

“Without poll workers, we really can’t run elections,” said Adam Hammons.

On election days, poll workers are there from start to finish.  

“The ones that help you get checked in, help you get to the voting machines, and allow you to make your choices there on the ballots. So, you will be able to cast your ballot,” said Hammons.

Spartanburg County Director of Elections Adam Hammons said they need you.

“The less people there working on Election Day, it just kind of slows the process down. We can’t send out as much equipment if we don’t have people to run that equipment. So, the lines may be a little bit longer,” he said.

It’s not a position you work for free.

“You’re not going to get rich doing it, but $135 right before Christmas can never hurt,” said Hammons.

Anne Ring has been working at the polls in Spartanburg County since the mid-80’s. She said they need extra hands on deck.

“It is very stressful,” said Ring.

She said workers are responsible for setting up the machines and making sure they are registered.

“We need a lot more bodies to ensure that these elections are run the way they should be run and the way the people deserve to have them run,” she said.

Normally, she said a poll worker will work from around 6 a.m. to 8 p.m.

“Yes, we do need people, because there’s busy and there’s too busy,” said Ring.

Voter registration offices around the Upstate are largely in the same boat.

Spartanburg County:

  • Has around 400 workers
  • Looking for 600
  • Needs 200 more 

Greenville County:

  • Has around 700 workers
  • Looking for 1,400
  • Needs 700 more

Anderson County:

  • Has around 450 workers
  • Looking for 500 or more
  • Needs 50-100 more

“The person who comes at 3 o’clock is just as important as the person there at 10 after 7. I mean, everybody needs a good experience, they need an efficient process, and they need competent poll workers,” said Ring.

Ring said every worker can make a difference.

“I just think it’s great, regardless of who you are, come in, work the polls at least one time, find out what it’s all about,” she said.

Hammons said training is required. They will stop recruiting at the end of September, with training starting in October.

To apply to be a poll-worker in Spartanburg County, click here.

For Anderson County, click here.