GREEN BAY AREA REGIONAL NEWS: Brown County

City of Green Bay inviting residents to become poll workers

Election

GREEN BAY, Wis. (WFRV) – Interested and willing Brown County residents are being called on to serve as poll workers for the August 11 and November 3 elections.

Green Bay City Clerk Kris Teske says those residents will assist in replacing poll workers who are unable to serve due to age and health concerns due to COVID-19.

Related: Green Bay alderman requests investigation into city’s election day

The city has about 240 poll workers, known as election inspectors, who serve at polling places. Officials say a significant number of them are in their 60s and 70s.

In Wisconsin, election inspectors are appointed at the municipal level. Anyone who is interested in working should contact the clerk’s office immediately at 920-448-3010 or ClerkInquiries@greenbaywi.gov.

Related: “It was painful to watch:” Mayor Genrich, alders discuss what went wrong with Tuesday’s election

Green Bay says it will provide virtual training for any new election inspectors before the election through its Clerk’s office.

Here are some frequently asked questions the City of Green Bay included in its release:

What are the responsibilities of a poll worker?
Poll workers conduct assigned duties at a polling site on Election Day.  Duties can include issuing ballots to registered voters, registering voters, monitoring the voting equipment, explaining how to mark the ballot or use the voting equipment, or a greeter who assists with answering questions and directing voters to the voting area.

What are the hours of work?
Polling places are open statewide from 7:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Poll workers can work a full day, generally from 6:30 a.m. until approximately 9:00 p.m. or later in the case of November elections. 

Are poll workers (election inspectors) paid or volunteers?
Poll workers are compensated for working at polling places at a rate determined by the appropriate municipal governing body, and, in some municipalities, are also compensated for attending any required training sessions.  Poll workers may also choose to volunteer their services by filing a written declination of compensation with the municipal clerk

What are the training requirements for poll workers?
The City of Green Bay will  provide virtual training for all poll workers in July 2020. This training provides all of the necessary information and knowledge to be a successful poll worker.  An experienced chief inspector who has been certified by the Wisconsin Elections Commission must be present at each polling place for each election. Chief inspectors must receive six hours of continuing election education training during each two-year period.

What length of commitment will be expected?
Poll workers are usually appointed to two-year terms and are generally asked to make a minimum two-year commitment.   However, given the current circumstances volunteers for only the August 11 and November 3 elections are appreciated and should not be expected to meet the full two-year commitment.

What are the qualifications to be a poll worker (election inspector)?

To be a poll worker, a person must:

  • Be a qualified elector of the county in which the municipality is located (i.e., an adult citizen of the United States who has resided in the election district for 10 consecutive days and is not otherwise disqualified to vote)
  • Be able to read and write fluently in the English language
  • NOT be a candidate for any office to be voted on at the polling place at that election.

A poll worker may also:

  • Have strong clerical skills
  • Be able to solve problems
  • Be an effective communicator

How do I become a poll worker?
If you are interested in becoming a poll worker you should apply directly at https://greenbaywi.gov/1047/Poll-Workers.

Can I be excused from my regular job to be a poll worker?
Wisconsin law requires every employer to grant an unpaid leave of absence to each employee who is appointed to serve as an election official, if the employee who serves as an election official provides their employer with at least seven days’ notice.  The leave is for the entire 24-hour period of each election day in which the employee serves in their official capacity as an election official.   Upon request of any employer municipal clerks must verify appointments.

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