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Press Release

Publish Date: 8/31/2020

State and Local Boards of Elections ask For Poll Workers During National Poll Worker Recruitment Day

ALBANY, N.Y (8/31/2020) – The United States Election Assistance Commission has proclaimed September 1st National Poll Worker Recruitment Day and the New York State Board of Elections is asking all registered voters to pitch in and Help New York Vote for the November 3rd general election.  

“By encouraging more people to become poll workers in their communities, National Poll Worker Recruitment Day aims to address the critical shortage of poll workers, strengthen our democracy, inspire greater civic engagement and volunteerism, and help ensure free and fair elections in November and beyond,” said Robert Brehm, Co-Executive Director of the State Board of Elections. 

“Amid COVID-19, New York is facing a critical shortage of poll workers,” said Douglas Kellner, State Commissioner of Elections. “Even as New York expands absentee voting options, millions of New Yorkers – especially voters with disabilities and those who lack reliable mail service – will continue to rely on in-person voting to cast a ballot.” 

“In New York State, 55 percent of all poll workers are over the age of 60, making them especially vulnerable to complications if they contract COVID-19,’ said Peter Kosinski, Co-Chair of the State Board. “This has resulted in a critical need for poll workers who are willing and able to assist with the administration of in-person during Early Voting and on Election Day.”

“Poll workers are critical to the success of an election,” said Todd Valentine, Co-Executive Director of the State Board of Elections.  “Having an adequate number of poll workers to staff polling places on Election Day and during Early Voting can ensure voters receive the assistance they need at the polls and can help provide a positive and smooth voting experience for all. By signing up to be a poll worker, you can Help New York Vote.”

As a poll worker, you will prepare the polling place for voting, set up voting equipment, sign-in and process voters, enforce social distancing, demonstrate voting procedures, sanitize voting equipment, assist voters, close the polling place, and canvass and report election results. 

To be eligible, you must be a New York State registered voter. If you are 17 years old, you may be eligible if your school district participates in a program under Education Law Section 3207-a.  Interpreters do not need to be registered voters.  You will be assigned within the county where you live. 

Poll Workers get paid for training and each election day they work.  Applying is simple.  If you live in Montgomery County, fill out the form found here.

If you have any questions, please contact your local board of elections or John Conklin or Cheryl Couser at the State Board of Elections at 518-474-1953 or by email at

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