SACRAMENTO – As some county elections officials face challenges in staffing more than 22,000 polling places across the state for an election just 35 days away, Secretary of State Debra Bowen today encouraged Californians to join the poll-worker workforce.
“Poll workers are truly ambassadors of democracy because they are the most important people voters deal with on Election Day,” said Secretary Bowen, the state’s chief elections officer, said in a news release. “By protecting voters’ rights, securing ballots and ensuring accessibility to the polling place, poll workers are key to the success of every election.”
Poll worker recruitment can be challenging for summertime elections, and is made even more challenging when special elections are scheduled on separate days, the release said.
The average stipend for a poll worker is $100 for the day’s work, though rates vary among counties. Interested people may call their county elections offices to sign up, or visit www.sos.ca.gov/elections/pollworker.htm for more information.
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A Californian can serve as a poll worker if he or she is:
§ A registered voter, or
§ A high-school student in good standing who is a U.S. citizen, at least 16 years old, and has a grade-point average of at least 2.5.
Secretary Bowen also highlighted updated poll-worker training standards, which debuted this election season to reflect lessons learned from past elections and changes in state law. Developed in collaboration with county elections officials, the 31 pages of standards address voting rights laws, assistance for voters with disabilities, cultural competency, and more. The standards do not replace poll-worker training materials or resources; rather, they supplement information already provided by county elections officials. The revised standards can be found at www.sos.ca.gov/elections/pdfs/poll-worker-training-standards-final-031210.pdf.
The last day to register to vote in the June 8 primary election is May 24. The last day to request a vote-by-mail ballot is June 1.