Nearly 3,000 Tennesseans Have Signed Up to Work Polls

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Nearly 3,000 Tennesseans have signed up to be poll workers for the state’s August 6 primary election, Secretary of State Tre Hargett said.

“I am encouraged by how many students and young adults have applied to serve as poll officials,” Hargett said in a press release. “A successful election would not be possible without these Tennesseans choosing to serve in their community.”

He said it’s not too late to apply at and noted that many counties still need more poll workers.

Poll workers greet and process voters, answer questions, explain how to cast a ballot, and count absentee ballots. Poll officials are paid for attending training sessions, working during early voting, and Election Day work.

“For months, county election commissions have been working and planning for a safe and secure election,” said Coordinator of Elections Mark Goins. “But they can’t put these plans into action without poll officials to be the eyes, ears, hands and feet on the ground at polling sites.”

Poll workers must be at least 16-years-old and, if 18 or older, must be a registered voter. Candidates or close relatives of candidates are excluded from working as poll officials, all of whom must be able to read and write in English.

Most local and state government employees can also serve as poll officials, unless they work directly under the supervision of an elected official on the ballot.

A lot of the work this year could involve processing absentee ballots, since a judge ruled in June that the state must give all of its 4.1 million registered voters the option of voting by mail during the coronavirus pandemic. First-time voters, however, have to present an ID at a county election office before voting by mail.

Early voting for the August primary begins July 17 and runs through August 1. Election Day is Thursday, August 6.

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Anthony Gockowski is managing editor of The Minnesota Sun and The Ohio Star. Follow Anthony on Twitter. Email tips to [email protected].
Background Photo “Voting Booths” by Tim Evanson. CC BY-SA 2.0.







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