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State Sen. Joseph Cryan. (Photo: Kevin Sanders for New Jersey Globe)

Senate approves poll worker pay to $400

By David Wildstein, June 30 2021 2:14 pm

The New Jersey State Senate today passed a bill to raise the pay of Election Day workers from $200 to $400 after amending a version approved by the Budget and Appropriations Committee last week that set the new compensation at $275.

The legislation, which effectively raises the hourly rate from $14.28 to $28.57, was introduced by State Sens. Jim Beach (D-Voorhees) and Joseph Cryan (D-Union) and co-sponsored by lawmakers from both parties.

Poll workers will also receive $50 for training on early voting-capable machines.

“Each year on Election Day, our poll workers are tasked with ensuring that the day goes smoothly and efficiently as we cast our votes to elect our new local, state, and national representatives,” said Beach, the Camden County Democratic Chairman. “Polls are open from 6 AM to 8 PM., but poll workers are oftentimes there much earlier and later than those times. The increased wages proposed for our poll workers is more reflective of the work they are tasked to do, including setting up and closing polls, signing in voters and helping them operate the machines.”

For April school board elections, Election Day workers will see their pay increase to $19.64 per hour.

The bill also includes an automatic trigger to increase poll worker pay if the minimum wage goes beyond the $400.

“The poll workers put in long days to make our elections function effectively so that every voter has the opportunity to participate in the democratic process,” said Cryan. “They should be compensated fairly for their service. It is difficult to recruit citizens to become poll workers, but this pay increase will be a great incentive to encourage citizens to take a more active role in our elections.”

New Jersey had a shortage of poll workers for the primary election, forcing officials to offer $400 for the 14-hour day.

The Senate panel approved a similar bill in 2019, but the Assembly never considered the measure.

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