The novel coronavirus could make it difficult to staff polling places for elections this August and November. To guard against that, Connecticut Secretary of the State Denise Merrill has announced a campaign to recruit workers for this year’s primary and general elections.
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In Connecticut and nationally, Merrill said, poll workers skew older and may be more at risk of contracting COVID-19.
“One of the major effects of COVID-19 we have seen in other states is the struggle to staff polling places and local election offices,” Merrill said in a statement. “We are working with our local election officials to make sure that they have the resources they need for the elections in August and November, including adequate staffing. No Connecticut voter will have to choose between protecting their health and exercising their right to vote.”
People who are immunocompromised, over 60, showing symptoms of COVID-19, or live with or care for someone in any of those categories should avoid being in public, state officials said.
But if they're not, Merrill said, they can sign up online to work at a polling place.
Those interested in applying can sign up at myvote.ct.gov/volunteer. Opportunities are available across the state.
Merrill said her office will pay for towns’ additional expenses related to COVID-19 through federal CARES Act funds. Those expenses include the hiring of additional people to work in polling places, registrars’ offices and town clerks’ offices.