Pima County offers higher pay as it still faces poll worker shortage

Pima County offers more pay as it still faces poll worker shortage
Published: Nov. 1, 2022 at 8:08 PM MST
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TUCSON, Ariz. (KOLD News 13) - Pima County still needs more Republican poll workers for next week’s general election.

“121 vote centers are fully staffed,” Pima County Administrator Jan Lesher told the Board of Supervisors Tuesday morning. “Eight vote centers need either one Republican or one Democrat to be fully staffed.”

Under state law, vote centers need to have an equal number of workers from both parties but it’s been having a difficult time finding enough Republicans.

More pay could do the trick.

Constance Hargrove told the board she is increasing the pay of poll workers by $75. They get $150 now.

“I will be back before the board to ask for permanent increases for the poll workers since I am requiring them to come to additional and longer classes,” she told the board.

As the focus continues to be on elections, it has become apparent to get the clean elections some voters are demanding will cost more money. Just giving the poll workers another $75 for the day will cost the county an additional $119,000.

Because Pima County switched from precinct voting to vote centers and e-poll books, the process is becoming more technical and that will require more training.

The transition from paper to electronics was a bit more complicated than first thought, even catching Hargrove a bit off guard.

“I did not, at the time, I didn’t know there was so much work that needs to be done to actually implement the election poll books,” Hargrove said.