Poll workers still in high demand in Pennsylvania with election 5 weeks away

Walter Perez Image
Monday, September 28, 2020
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Philadelphia will open seven early voting centers at satellite election offices across the city.

PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- Beginning Tuesday, Philadelphia will open seven early voting centers at satellite election offices across the city.

The offices will allow voters to register to vote, request a mail-in ballot, vote and return it all at the same location.

David Thornburg, president and CEO of the Committee of Seventy, a nonpartisan advocate for better government, says it is just one more example of how voters across the state have more options on how to vote than ever before.

"Most counties will give you the option of bypassing the post office and depositing your ballot in either a secure dropbox or in your county or city offices," said Thornburg.

Meanwhile, there are heightened concerns over the need for poll workers on Election Day.

READ MORE: Vote 2020: Election Resources for Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Delaware

A chronic shortage of poll workers is expected to be exacerbated by fears of exposure to COVID-19. Especially when you consider that, historically, the majority of poll workers are older than 60.

That's why the Committee of Seventy is working overtime trying to get people, from all backgrounds, to step-up and be a part of the democratic process.

"We've been encouraging people to consider working the polls and you get to feel like you're doing something good for democracy and you make a couple of bucks and you get to meet your neighbors," said Thornburg.

And the icing on the cake of an election season like none other has been the legal battle over accessibility to mail-in voting, now available to everyone in Pennsylvania. It's a process that some voters describe as a bit confusing, adding to concerns that results from across the state will remain unconfirmed for days after the election.

But Thornburgh says the important thing is to not be deterred by what might happen and take advantage of the new ways to cast your ballot. In other words, he says, just vote!

"We believe the system works when everybody shows up and everybody gets to vote. The other way to put it is, there are fewer and fewer excuses not to vote in this election," said Thornburg.