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New, more flexible poll worker appointment requirements are now in effect

Poll worker appointment requirements have changed to allow election officials the latitude to assign the most qualified poll workers in the county to each precinct.

The Alabama Secretary of State’s office on Tuesday said that legislation that gives election officials greater flexibility and latitude in the recruitment and assigning of poll workers to precincts is now in effect.

The legislation was sponsored by state Rep. David Wheeler, R-Vestavia Hills, and carried in the Senate by Sen. Will Barfoot, R-Pike Road. The new rules allow precinct election officials who are registered to vote in a given county to now serve in any precinct in that county rather than requiring that every poll worker served in the precinct in which they are registered to vote at.  This legislation will allow election officials the latitude to assign the most qualified individuals to any polling location in the county in order to ensure that Alabama elections are safe and secure.

The legislation provides that first priority may still be given to those who are registered to vote in the precinct they wish to work at as long as they are qualified for the position.

“Poll workers protect the election process and the rights of each and every eligible voter,” said Secretary of State John Merrill. “These citizens are a vital part of election administration, and we want the best people working in all 1,980 polling locations in the state.”

Poll workers are paid election officials who staff local polling places to carry out assigned duties on election day.

The requirements to be a poll worker are:

  • Must be a registered voter in the State of Alabama
  • Must be registered to vote in the county in which they desire to act as a poll worker
  • Must attend a mandatory poll worker training
  • Cannot be a member of a candidate’s immediate family or the second degree of kinship, and cannot be a member of a candidate’s political committee

The application to be a poll worker should be returned to the county probate judge for consideration.

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For questions or concerns, please contact the Office of the Secretary of State at (334) 242-7200 or your county probate judge.

This legislation was part of a package of bills that the Legislature passed intended to protect the integrity of Alabama elections.

Brandon Moseley is a former reporter at the Alabama Political Reporter.

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