DEKALB COUNTY, Ga. — DeKalb County is still looking for residents to help staff the polls on Nov. 3 for an anticipated busy election day.
To become a poll worker, residents of DeKalb County who are at least 16 years of age, speak and write in English, and have not been convicted of a felony may apply online on the DeKalb County website. Poll workers must also not be related to any of the candidates or hold a public office.
While there is no hard deadline, the DeKalb County Elections Office says it is looking to fill spots as soon as possible.
While COVID-19 has created some roadblocks, many polling sites faced issues during the June 9 primaries due to lack of poll workers and new machinery. In the 2018 general election, six in ten poll workers were over the age of 61, and 27 percent of those over 61 were over the age of 70, according to government data from that year’s Election Administration and Voting Survey. Previous years had seen similar demographics of older poll workers. Due to COVID-19’s effect on the elderly population, many of the usual poll workers are opting to stay home this November.
“Due to the pandemic, you never know what is going to happen,” DeKalb County Communications Manager Andrew Cauthen said. “Also, it is a good way to practice your civic duty.”
The DeKalb County Elections Office is working with various civic organizations, including the American Civil Liberties Union, Metro Atlanta Chamber of Commerce and the Georgia Secretary of State’s Office.
The county offers two other options for voting for those not comfortable with going to the polls. Citizens can request a ballot by email and send it in by mail, or they can take advantage of the 24/7 drop boxes at one of nine locations. Neither method requires interaction with the staff. Currently, voters can request an absentee ballot as late as Friday, Oct. 30.
Poll workers will be compensated $110 per election and $15 per training session. Minimum hours are 6 a.m. till closeout.