Thousands of Pennsylvanians Recruited to Serve as Poll Workers For General Election

Thousands of Pennsylvanians Recruited to Serve as Poll Workers For General ElectionSecretary Kathy Boockvar of the Pennsylvania Department of State (Credit: Commonwealth Media Services)

HARRISBURG, PA — Secretary of State Kathy Boockvar announced that since the primary election on June 2, the Department of State has received approximately 35,000 applications from Pennsylvanians who want to serve as poll workers during the general election on November 3.

In addition, the Secretary announced that for the first time, certain professional licensees will receive continuing education credits for serving as poll workers on election day.

“Pennsylvania, along with many other states, faces a shortage of poll workers for the upcoming election,” said Secretary of State Boockvar. “As a former poll worker myself, I know how important it is to serve your community in this capacity, and I am tremendously grateful for the number of Pennsylvanians who have stepped up to volunteer to ensure the election runs smoothly on November 3.”

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To help fill this need and boost civic participation, for the first time, the Department of State’s Bureau of Professional and Occupational Affairs is encouraging its licensing boards to motivate licensed professionals to volunteer to serve as poll workers.

To date, nursing home administrators, physical therapists, social workers, marriage and family therapists, professional counselors, and speech-language pathologists and audiologists are eligible for up to two hours of continuing education credits for serving as poll workers on November 3, in addition to the modest pay received by poll workers for their time.

Licensees may provide their pay stub or other documentation from their service to their respective boards to receive their continuing education credits.

“Our commonwealth is home to hundreds of thousands of licensed professionals who serve their communities every day in various capacities,” said Secretary Boockvar. “By granting continuing education credits for poll worker service, we want to offer licensees the opportunity to be civically engaged while also fulfilling requirements toward their licensure.”

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Many communities still need poll workers on election day. Typically, 40,000 to 45,000 poll workers are needed statewide for the general election.

If you are interested in becoming a poll worker, you can find more information and fill out an interest form on votesPA.com/GetInvolved. In general, poll workers must be 18 years old and registered to vote in the county in which they wish to serve as a poll worker.

Exceptions to the age requirement exist for high school students who are at least 17 years old and who wish to serve as poll workers.

Poll workers receive training and payment from their county. Some counties need multi-lingual poll workers to provide language assistance at polling places to voters who have limited English proficiency.

If you are a licensed professional in another field and interested in receiving continuing education credits for poll worker service, please contact your respective Board to request consideration.

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To learn more about becoming a poll worker in Pennsylvania, visit votesPA.com/GetInvolved.

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