Poll workers may be an endangered species in Bucks County. Last May’s primary was nearly two hundred poll workers short of about 1,700 needed.
Bucks County Commissioner Diane Marseglia says the shortage may stem from busy schedules and family demands. She’s forming a recruitment committee to brainstorm marketing ideas and incentives.
“I’m asking people to give me a call or an email and let me know if they’d be willing to put out some ideas of how we can recruit people,” said Marseglia.
One idea is to ask business owners to support employees who want to work at a polling station. She’s also hoping that pay and sense of civic duty will draw workers back.
“There is of course that internal perk that you’re doing something that is so basic to our country,” said Marseglia.
But a shortage of poll workers is only where the county’s election problems begin. May’s primary also showed the lowest voter turnout ever recorded in the county – just 9.86 percent.
“We just think that elections are the most important thing that happens twice a year and it’s shocking when people don’t vote,” said Marseglia. “Everybody seems to hold Memorial Day picnics and July fourth picnics – and then they don’t come out and vote.”
In May, county commissioners authorized a pay hike for poll workers, although the raise won’t be enacted until 2014.
To learn more about becoming a poll worker in Bucks County visit the website.