GREEN BAY, Wis. (WFRV) After dealing with a lack of poll workers in the primaries, the City of Green Bay says it now have a full contingent. But as Kris Schuller found out, if you still have interest, the city is encouraging you to apply.
Two weeks away from the general election, Celestine Jeffreys is no longer worried about a shortage of poll workers.
“Our immediate goal was 380 poll workers and we met and exceeded that goal,” said Jeffreys, chief of staff for Mayor Eric Genrich.
And that is the complete opposite of what the city faced in spring.
“We really needed people to sign up,” Jeffreys said.
When because of the pandemic only 19 poll workers were available to staff just two polling places.
That shortage forced people to wait hours in line to vote and the city got busy to make sure it never happens again. The solution – more polling places and more poll workers.
“Right now, we have 552 poll workers assigned to one of 47 wards,” she said.
Jeffreys says thanks to $1.6 million in grants the city increased poll worker compensation to between $350 and $390 for the 14-hour day. And with more poll workers they can now staff 16 polling places.
“We’re very pleased we have so many residents that have come forward and said yes, I’d like to serve for election day,” Jeffreys said.
The grants were also used to purchase drop boxes for absentee ballots and to help get the word out about early in-person absentee voting, currently underway here at Green Bay City Hall.
“Waiting in line for hours during the primary kind of nudged us in this direction,” said one man voting Wednesday morning.
“Because it’s safer and I know my vote is going to get in there,” said another woman at City Hall casting her vote.
“If people are concerned about voting for any reason, in Wisconsin we have in-person absentee,” Jeffreys said.
But Jeffreys says this November, city polling places are in good shape – ready for voter turnout expected to reach new highs. Jeffreys says if you’d still like to apply to be a poll worker – please do. They are compiling a list of alternates just in case anyone falls ill.