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August 11, 2020

6/18/2020 2:22:00 PM
Consider signing up to be a polling site worker this year

The last thing local elections officials want to see is an elections day fiasco similar to what Georgia primary polling places experienced this month,  or like what Wisconsin primary places saw in April.  Long lines, hours-long wait times are concerns  of MN Secretary of State Steve Simon, who has released a statement urging that anybody who is able to serve, should look into being an election polling place worker where they live.
Wages vary depending on the locale but most election judge wages around here are at $12 an hour.  AM or PM shifts are available.

“What happened in Georgia was a warning to Minnesota,” he stated. “We need Minnesotans to step up to become poll workers...it’s no secret that our usual pollworkers, some of whom have done outstanding work for decades, tend to be older. But, this year those friends and neighbors are the ones most susceptible to Covid-19. We need others to take their place,” Simon commented.

Chisago County Auditor/Treasurer Bridgitte Konrad has been spreading this message among Chisago County election judges.  

She said she just met last week with clerks for the townships and urban areas, and re-enforced the need to have a plan for extra poll workers in case there’s a shortage come primary and general election time.

We may need backup judges in case of last minute no-shows, Konrad said in an e mail interview.  She anticipates more than usual the number of election judges will be unable or just prefer to not be at a polling place for hours.

In Chisago County the election site workers are overseen by the governing body of where the polling place is located.  Election workers are appointed by their town board supervisors and city councils.  Please contact your township clerk or city clerk/administrator if you would be interested in getting more involved in the August primary or November general election.

Voting sites around the county are adding sanitizing and protection measures to normal practices for the upcoming voting season.  Plastic shields, wipes, masks and more are being provided.

There are trainings that begin in mid-summer so the earlier you can look into helping out, the better.

MN Auditor Simon also urges the use of absentee balloting. As of last week there had been 70,617 absentee ballots requested.  

There is an on-line tool to get an absentee vote identification number, at mnvotes.org.  You will be asked to provide a Minnesota drivers license or an I.D. card or the last four digits of a social security number which will be used to follow-up and you will be sent an e mail after the system verifies your identity for an absentee ballot.

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