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County Election Offices Need Poll Workers

Doug McKnight
Early voting booths at Monterey County Election Office.

Monterey and Santa Cruz counties still need 100 poll workers each for the March 3rd California Primary. 

According to Monterey County Elections, the number of poll workers has been declining over the past few years.

With this year’s early primary in California, the situation is even worse. It forced the office to begin recruiting during the holiday season, generally a difficult time to find workers. With less than a month left, they are still short.

Gina Martinez, Monterey County assistant registrar, says almost anyone has the necessary qualifications.

“You have to be 18 years of age and a US citizen. If you're a U.S. citizen, you have to be registered to vote in the state of California. If you're 18 and a lawful permanent resident, we'll also have you work,” said Martinez.

Even if you are under 18, you can still help out.

“And our high school students who are 16 years of age and in good academic standing can also volunteer,” Martinez said.

Poll workers take a two-and-a-half-hour training session, and are paid for their work.

Credit Doug McKnight
Phone bank at the Monterey County Election Office

Martinez says the workers are on-duty from 6:00 a.m. until about 9 p.m. They set up a polling place and help voters throughout the day.

In Santa Cruz County, Gail Pellerin says they need poll workers for the three days leading up to the election, as well as election day itself. Pellerin is the registrar of voters. 

“So this is definitely an all hands-on deck kind of operation where we really do need hundreds of people to make sure that democracy happens in Santa Cruz County. So, any time you have available, we have a job for you,” said Pellerin.

Both offices are particularly looking for workers who are bilingual. Santa Cruz needs workers who speak English and Spanish. Monterey is looking for workers who speak English and either Spanish, Tagalog, Vietnamese or Korean.

In Santa Cruz you can apply for a poll worker position online or by calling 831-454-2416. In Monterey County the number is 831-796-1485.

Doug joined KAZU in 2004 as Development Director overseeing fundraising and grants. He was promoted to General Manager in 2009 and is currently retired and working part time in membership fundraising and news reporting at KAZU.
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