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Gov. Phil Murphy. (Photo: Kevin Sanders for the New Jersey Globe)

Murphy can waive poll worker training requirements during emergency

Counties holding remote trainings amid COVID-19 crisis

By Nikita Biryukov, April 09 2020 12:43 pm

County election officials have been conducting electronic training sessions for poll workers in a bid to prepare for in-person voting amid the COVID-19 crisis.

The New Jersey Department of State said election officials may conduct smaller-than-normal in-person training sessions ahead the state’s primary if conditions improve in the coming months.

Gov. Phil Murphy on Wednesday announced he was delaying the state’s primaries by a little more than one month, pushing the date from June 2 to July 7.

While he’s declined to take an all-vote-by-mail primary off the table, the plan for now is to hold the primaries with in-person polling stations.

Assuming conditions improve quickly enough that New Jerseyans can safely vote at the polls and the state faces a shortage of election workers, Gov. Phil Murphy can waive training requirements for poll workers during a state of emergency.

It’s possible the state will face a shortage of poll workers in July, even with relaxed training requirements.

Many district board workers are elderly, and they may opt to stay home instead of sitting in high-traffic rooms for hours.

Murphy on Wednesday said it was too soon to say whether the state would face poll worker shortages and difficulties securing polling locations in July.

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