At least four times a year voters head to the polls to cast their votes for our local and state leaders. There are the General, Fire District, School Board & Budget and Primary Elections. Each time you go you are greeted by a friendly face asking, "What's your district, What's your last name?" Did you know these poll workers earn at least $200 dollars for manning the polls? And an additional $50 for picking up and dropping off the voter slips.
I was a poll worker in last year's General Election, and while it was a long, long day (5am-9pm), but it was very rewarding. The highlight of the day was when a woman who had just become a US citizen showed up to vote for the first time. She came with her entire family and posed for pictures with all the poll workers. She even brought in her mother, who did not have the right to vote, into the booth with her. It was a moving moment, and I'm thankful I got to be a part of it. I plan on working again this year in my community.
So, how does it work?
To become a poll worker in Paterson you must be 16 years old or older, or live in Passaic County. (16 and 17 year olds may only work a half day for $100). Download the poll worker form here. Fill it out and mail it in to the Passaic County Board of Elections at 401 Grand Street, Room 123, Paterson, NJ.
The poll workers are selected by the local political party officials, they each get an equal number of spots to fill. If you are selected by either party, you must attend a 2 hour training on how to work the machines.