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Shapiro Administration Encourages Voters to Serve as Poll Workers on Election Day

Secretary Schmidt promotes poll worker recruitment during Help America Vote Day

01/30/2024

HARRISBURG, PA – In honor of national Help America Vote Day, Secretary of the Commonwealth Al Schmidt today encouraged eligible Pennsylvanians to sign up to serve as poll workers for the April 23 primary election and Nov. 5 general election.

“Elections wouldn't be possible if not for the roughly 45,000 poll workers across more than 9,000 voting locations in the Commonwealth helping their friends and neighbors exercise their right to vote," Schmidt said. “I applaud these voters who take the time to work at the polls on Election Day and help make democracy possible."

The Shapiro Administration is committed to ensuring free, fair, safe, and secure elections in Pennsylvania. That commitment includes protecting Pennsylvanians' right to vote, improving the efficiency and transparency of our elections, and ensuring every eligible ballot is counted. Poll workers play a vital role in helping achieve all those priorities.

To recognize Help America Vote Day, a day of action designed to highlight poll worker recruitment efforts nationwide, Schmidt attended two events on Tuesday: one at the East Shore Area Library in Harrisburg and one at the Lebanon Community Library in Lebanon.

Schmidt met with library patrons, encouraging anyone eligible to register to vote to do so if they were not already registered, and discussing the importance of becoming a poll worker with those who are already registered voters.

“Serving as a poll worker is one of the most rewarding acts of civic engagement you can ever perform," Schmidt said. “I urge any eligible Pennsylvanian who wants to help strengthen democracy to become a poll worker."

Two long-time poll workers in Dauphin County – Treva Aldinger, 92, and Diane “Bunny" Yorty, 76, both of South Hanover Township -- joined Schmidt at the East Shore Area Library to talk about why they serve as poll workers. Three Lebanon County poll workers – Megan Schaeffer, 39; and Lebanon High School seniors Jahkeim Medlock and Jack Herr – did the same during the Lebanon library visit.

Schmidt was also joined at the libraries by Susan Banks, Deputy Secretary for Libraries and State Librarian.

“Our Pennsylvania public libraries are essential contributors to democracy," Banks said. “Libraries provide reliable information, individual support for folks who need help navigating voting processes, and they support civic literacy through materials, services, and programs that consider all needs and points of view. Pennsylvanians can trust their libraries to help."

During the Lebanon event, Schmidt added that many counties specifically need bilingual poll workers, especially those who speak Spanish or Mandarin.

“The Shapiro Administration is committed to removing barriers that might prevent eligible voters from being able to cast their ballot," Schmidt said. “While some counties – such as Philadelphia and Berks – are federally required to provide voting materials in certain other languages, some counties, like Lebanon, are proactively providing interpretation services for registered voters who need language assistance."

Pennsylvania's poll workers must be registered voters, which means they must meet voter registration eligibility criteria. Pennsylvania also allows 17-year-old high school juniors and seniors to serve as poll workers if they obtain permission from their school principal and their parent or guardian.

Benefits of becoming a poll worker include:

  • being paid for trainings and for Election Day work,
  • learning about elections in Pennsylvania,
  • gaining valuable experience, and
  • helping your community.

Registered voters interested in becoming a poll worker should fill out the Department of State's Poll Worker Interest Form. 17-year-old juniors and seniors who are interested should fill out the Department's Student Poll Worker Interest Form.

For more information about Help America Vote Day and becoming a poll worker in Pennsylvania, follow #ReadytoVotePA and the Department's accounts on social media:

  • Instagram/X: @PaStateDept
  • Facebook: @PADepartmentofState
  • LinkedIn: @pa-department-of-state

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CONTACT: Matt Heckel, ra-st-press@pa.gov


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