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Texas Politics

Poll workers still needed for election day in El Paso

EL PASO, Texas (KVIA) -- Election day is less than three weeks away and early voting is already underway.

Thousands of El Paso voters have already cast ballots at polling sites this week. Both the El Paso County Republican and Democratic parties are still recruiting workers to help manage the surge on the ground.

"You're overseeing when voters come in, you'll check them in on the poll pad, make sure they're registered, verify whether or not they have an ID," said Lisa Wise, El Paso County's elections administrator.

Safety is a top concern this election, as voters cast their ballots in the middle of the Covid-19 pandemic. One job poll workers will not have this election? Cleaning.

"Each location, a little different than July, will have what we're calling a 'clean team' and that's personnel for every location whose sole responsibility is just disinfecting and making sure the polling site is clean after every voter," Wise said.

Workers will be provided with personal protective equipment and voters will be given one 'Vote Safe El Paso' kit that includes all necessary voting items. The goal of the kits is to minimize contact between voters and workers.

The pandemic has made recruiting workers harder, according to Dora Oaxaca, Chair of El Paso's Democratic Party. She said the parties are seeking more workers in the event someone tests positive for the virus and is unable to perform his or her duties.

"It's been a challenge because we would love to have 10, 12 people on an emergency list. We haven't had that success," she said. "We're constantly generating interest from anyone that wants to come in to meet the qualifications in order to be able to get them on the list."  

To qualify, you must be at least 18 years old and a registered voter in the county. Wise said positions generally pay $12.50 per hour. Shifts on election day can run between 12 to 14 hours.

Despite the challenges from the pandemic, Wise said interest remains high overall.

"I would say more interest than we have had before," Wise said. "We have the pandemic, but we also have a high interest in this election, like we do every presidential election."

El Paso Republican Chairman Rick Seeberger said the job offers voters the opportunity to get more involved in the political process.

"I think it's a great way for people to learn about the voting process besides being a voter themselves," he said. "They get a chance to see the process in action. They get a chance to meet a lot of the folks that they may never have met."

Those appointed as a judge or Alternate Judge will help oversee a polling site, while clerks will help out too with ensuring voters are checked in. To apply, you can fill out an interest form here.

El Paso / News / Video

Madeline Ottilie

Madeline Ottilie is a reporter on Good Morning El Paso and co-anchors ABC-7 at noon.

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