October 07, 2021
People working at polling places in New Jersey for the Nov. 2 election are getting pay raises.
The increase is intended to attract more poll workers for the next month's election, which includes the race for governor between incumbent Democrat Phil Murphy and Republican Jack Ciattarelli.
Murphy authorized the pay increase earlier this week by executive order. It bumps up the Election Day rate for poll workers from $200 to $300, and the hourly rate for people working the state's early, in-person voting days increases a commensurate rate to $21.44 per hour. Poll workers also earn $30 for attending the required training by the county.
Election Day is less than one month away, but New Jersey's nine days of early, in-person voting starts Oct. 23. Next month's election marks the first time the state has offered early voting early-voting locations.
"Our poll workers are an essential component of our elections in ensuring our voters are able to exercise their right to vote," Murphy said. "Early voting coupled with an increase in pay for poll workers is critical to maintaining the accessibility, security, and safety of this upcoming election."
The state has had trouble filling the poll worker positions, and Murphy said if the pay raise doesn't work, he'll explore other options like training National Guard members to assist at polling places, KYW reported.
Another change included in Murphy's order: People are also now permitted to work at polling places outside their home counties.
To apply to be a poll worker in New Jersey, complete the form on the New Jersey Division of Elections website.
In the June primary election, with state facing a worker shortage at its voting booths, New Jersey state legislators rushed through a bill just days before the election that temporarily increased the pay rate of poll workers to $400.
That legislation also decreased the number of poll workers required and allowed National Guard members in civilian clothes to work the polls.