After promoting his executive order raising poll worker pay from $200 to $300, Gov. Phil Murphy said today that he was open to further pay increases or taking other steps to make sure the state has a full complement of poll workers.
“Would we reconsider, whether it’s [calling in the] National Guard, raising the rate, or other steps? The answer has to be yes, because having a successful election and having democracy as strong as it can be is a core reality and pillar of our state and our nation,” he said. “So the answer is, you have to leave the door open for anything to make sure that we’re properly staffed.”
Murphy also highlighted a second aspect of his executive order, which temporarily cancels a prohibition on poll workers working at polling places outside of their home county.
“That has been lifted, at least for this election,” Murphy said. “So it’s those two steps together that have given us the confidence that this is the right package.”
Murphy and the Secretary of State’s office have both expressed confidence that the state is prepared for election season, which Murphy reiterated today. Their assurances come in spite of an apparent poll worker shortage and the debut of all-new voting systems and electronic poll books for early voting.
“I’m not a technologist, but the Secretary of State, I believe, is confident that our technology infrastructure is robust enough to handle the daily uploads from each of the 21 counties,” Murphy said, referencing the data that will have to be uploaded and downloaded after each day of early voting. “I don’t want to speak for her, but I believe she has that confidence, and I have that confidence therefore as well.”