Poll workers

Students can become poll workers in the upcoming election and receive pay for their time volunteering. 

According to the Secretary of State website for Missouri, poll workers in Missouri can receive pay of up to $64 to $100.

Assistant Professor in the Department of Communication Dr. Jennifer Jackson shares that because there is such a shortage of volunteers the board of elections offers this pay.

“Without poll workers, more polling sites are closed, longer lines exist, and more chaos in what we’re experiencing in modern elections," Jackson said.

Jackson also shares that when poll workers receive compensation, the money comes from your local board of elections. Poll workers don’t need to fill out anything past the form on the website to receive a payment.

 With the COVID-19 pandemic and the 2020 elections occurring simultaneously, young adult poll volunteers are more important than ever. As many know, older populations are at high risk of contracting the virus and less likely to spend the allotted time at a polling place this election.

Upholding a civil responsibility like becoming a poll volunteer consists of checking IDs, giving out ballots to voters, collecting voter ballots, maintaining lines at poll places, handing out “I voted” stickers and an array of other small objectives. Students who sign up to become poll workers are required to attend “spot training” of up to 2-8 hours to be readily equipped with knowledge about your assigned polling place. 

Jackson gives voice to the possibility of losing such an important liberty of voting in public and being a helping hand possibly being taken away in the future if citizens don’t volunteer their time to help. She also sheds light on the importance of young voices in this year’s elections and those to come.

“The more we get young people involved the more their voices are heard and the less they feel silenced by the older population," Jackson said.

Students should feel comfortable to share with their professors this semester that they're going to be missing class for volunteering and even just missing class to vote.

Students don’t have to identify with either party to volunteer and will be allotted time to cast their own ballots on election day as well.

If interested in becoming a poll worker, students can visit sos.mo.gov/pollworker/signup.


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