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Board of Election expresses need for up to 5,000 election workers

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ST. LOUIS – Election directors in St. Louis are making an urgent call for election judges and poll workers this year.

“In 2022, the legislature changed some of the election’s laws,” St. Charles County Director of Elections Kurt Bahr said. “One of the changes they made is allowing poll workers to work in a county that they don’t live in. So, this is a great way if Republicans in St. Charles County want to work in St. Louis County or city, they can do that. Or if Democrats in the city want to come to St. Charles County and work in our elections, they can do that.”

The Board of Election Commissioners said up to 5,000 poll workers and judges are needed immediately for the upcoming elections in April, August, and November.

“I have a 19-year-old daughter and she’s done it multiple times,” Ben Borgmeyer, Democratic director for St. Louis City Board of Elections, said. “She has had a good experience being a poll worker in north St. Louis and south St. Louis. I think you get this mindset of it’s an age and demographic kind of thing, (but) anyone can do it. It’s a good way to see your community in action. I think everyone should do it once in their lifetime.”

Poll workers in St. Louis City, County and St. Charles County must be at least 18 years old and a registered Missouri voter. Workers can earn up to $300 for their service.

“There’s so much information on social media and it’s hard to tell what’s correct and what’s not,” Gary Stoff, Republican director for City of St. Louis Board of Elections, said. “If you’re at all concerned, if you sign up to work, you’ll see firsthand and see that everything is done in a bipartisan manner and it’s almost impossible for someone to manipulate the results.”

The call for help coincides with Help America Vote Day on Jan. 30, aiming to address the need for thousands of workers to staff polling locations throughout the area.

“There’s always a need for more poll workers because every election we lose poll workers through retirements and other reasons,” Rick Stream, Republican director of elections for St. Louis County Election Board, said. “So, on any given election season, we lose about 20% of our workers, so we need to get new workers.”

To learn how to become an election judge or poll worker, click here.

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