MADISON, WI (WAOW) – Wisconsin clerks are at least 900 poll workers short statewide for the August 11 Fall Partisan Primary, according to the Wisconsin Elections Commission.
“We know there are Wisconsinites looking for ways to serve their communities through this difficult time,” said Meagan Wolfe, Wisconsin’s chief elections official. “If you are a state, county or municipal employee, a teacher, a student or someone who is looking for temporary work, municipal clerks need you to step up and help right now.”
Wolfe said the WEC is working closely with Wisconsin National Guard leadership on a request for soldiers and airmen to serve as poll workers in municipalities where critical shortages have been identified. The Governor’s office has not yet officially activated the National Guard to serve as poll workers.
“We know and appreciate that the National Guard is working on our request, but there is no guarantee they will be able to provide all or even some the personnel clerks need,” Wolfe said. “We understand the Guard is needed for other critical missions as our state deals with the COVID-19 pandemic.”
Wisconsin municipal clerks typically need between 25,000 and 30,000 poll workers to serve at polling places for an August primary.
Because significant numbers of existing poll workers are in their 60s, 70s and 80s and have health conditions, clerks are experiencing shortages, Wolfe said.
The WEC has been surveying municipal clerks for the past month about their poll worker needs. Currently, clerks have identified serious or critical shortages of 938 poll workers in 153 municipalities. A spreadsheet containing clerk requests is attached to this news release.
Wolfe said the WEC staff has been working with clerks to refine and justify their requests for National Guard personnel.
Last week, the National Guard assisted the Elections Commission by distributing sanitary supplies, personal protective equipment and other polling place supplies to all 72 Wisconsin County Clerks, who are distributing them to the 1,850 municipal clerks.
Enough surface disinfectant, hand sanitizer, and masks for poll workers have already been distributed to each polling place for both the August Partisan Primary and the November General Election.
Anyone who is interested in working should contact their municipal clerk’s office or visit the MyVote Wisconsin website: https://myvote.wi.gov/en-us/PollWorker.