By Rich Cholodofsky
Westmoreland County will hire as many as 1,800 poll workers for election day.
Elections Bureau Director JoAnn Sebastiani said recruiting has been underway for the last several weeks to have each of the county’s 307 voting precincts fully staffed on Nov. 3.
“We’re going to take as many poll workers as we can get. We’ll over schedule if we have to,” Sebastiani said.
Poll workers are responsible for overseeing all activities at each of the precincts, checking in registered voters, making sure the touch-screen computers and digital scanners are operational and are required to transport completed ballots back to the courthouse on election night.
The county is hiring judges of elections, inspectors and clerks. Judges earn $130 for the day and inspectors and clerks will be paid $95. Applications for the positions can be found on the county’s website or by calling the elections bureau at 724-830-3564.
Sebastiani said poll workers must be registered voters.
“Some might have to work out of their areas, if needed,” Sebastiani said.
Areas of need include Lower Burrell, New Kensington and Monessen as well as Rostraver and Washington townships.
The job will require training and workers will be paid to attend a 90-minute class at the courthouse prior to the election.
Officials struggled to find enough workers to man the polls for the June primary as the coronavirus pandemic surged, causing some who committed to work in the voting precincts to back out days before the election.
Sebastiani said the county wants to be sure it has enough staff on hand to handle what is expected to be a heavy turnout at the polls, even with as many as 100,000 ballots that could be submitted by mail. Presidential elections typically produce the most voters.
Turnout in Westmoreland County for the 2016 presidential election was more than 75% as more than 184,600 ballots were cast that year.
As of Aug. 31, there were 243,267 registered voters in Westmoreland County.
Rich Cholodofsky is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Rich at 724-830-6293, firstname.lastname@example.org or via Twitter .