Simon calls for poll workers

Secretary of State Steve Simon is calling on Minnesotans to become Poll workers for this year’s elections.

“What happened in Georgia this week was a warning to Minnesota. Voters in many areas of the state found themselves waiting in line for multiple hours and faced with voting equipment difficulties, caused mostly by a shortage of poll workers. We saw similar problems in April, as the voters in Wisconsin’s primary were faced with no choice but to wait in long lines because there simply weren’t enough people to staff polling places,” said Secretary Simon.

According to a release, Simon says the usual poll workers tend to be older, and this year they are the ones most susceptible to COVID-19, and others are needed to take their place.

“We need Minnesotans to step up to become poll workers this year. It’s no secret that our usual poll workers, some of whom have done outstanding work for decades, tend to be older. But this year, those friends and neighbors are the ones who are most susceptible to COVID-19. We need others to take their place. The polling places will be safe and clean, with masks, wipes, and hand sanitizer for every poll worker.”

Minnesota needs about 30,000 poll workers to work at over 3,000 polling places around the state. Individuals can apply from age 16, and some counties pay up to $20 per hour. Training for poll workers begins in mid-summer. Contact your local county elections office to sign up.

Beltrami County residents interested in participating as poll workers should contact their local county elections office, within the Auditor-Treasurer’s office, to sign up.

Secretary Simon continues to encourage eligible Minnesota voters to apply for absentee ballots. As of June 11, 70, 617 Minnesotans have requested ballots. Use the online absentee ballot request tool to be able to vote from home.


Larissa Donovan is the News Director for the stations of Paul Bunyan Broadcasting and has been, almost without interruption, since Election Day 2016. She covers events and issues in north central Minnesota, which include local government, crime, courts, education, environment and social issues. She studied communications at Bemidji State University and received her degree in 2018. Larissa, native to the great state of New York, grew up in Bemidji, and enjoys spending her spare time with her family and pet cat. She also loves Star Trek, punk rock music and the theater.


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