JACKSON, Mo. (KFVS) - The 2020 presidential election is getting closer, and the Cape Girardeau County Clerk’s Office is preparing for a big voter turnout.
This is why its looking to hire more people to work the polls.
“This year compared to 2016 is much different because we have COVID-19 to deal with,” Allen Seabaugh said.
Allen Seabaugh supervises the elections and said there’s a greater need for poll workers due to the pandemic.
“We’ve had a lot of our poll workers who might be more in an at-risk category; they’ve declined to work for good reason,” Seabaugh said.
He said most of them are above 60 years old which puts them more at risk for coronavirus according to the CDC.
“Some still want to do it, they want to take part, they know that we’ve got precautions in place. They’re doing everything on their end to ensure their safety so they still want to participate,” Seabaugh said.
He said the clerk’s office is providing workers with a 50-dollar COVID-19 bonus on top of the usual 100 dollar pay.
“It’s important to let them know we appreciate them and what they’re doing and putting themselves out there to serve our voters,” Seabaugh said.
Claire Stadt has worked as an election judge for four years and she said she feels safe to work the polls again.
“The county has been really good about giving us the protection that we need,” Stadt said.
Protection like plastic shields and hand sanitizer.
“I’m not concerned really because I know we’re following all the safety measures,” she said.
Even though election day is long, she said its rewarding.
“It’s a fun thing to do, plus you feel like you’re doing a service to the country or town or county depending on what the election is,” she said.
Seabaugh also said there will be designated safety attendants to help with safety measures throughout election day so judges can focus on their tasks.
The Cape Girardeau County Clerk’s Office is looking to hire about 300 poll workers for the November 3 election according to Seabaugh.