WARE COUNTY, Ga. – Ware County is one of the areas in Georgia affected by a poll worker shortage. The county is down about 30 poll workers, and the Supervisor of Elections believes it’s because people are being shamed out of the position.
Carlos Nelson, the Supervisor of Elections in Ware County, is working on recruitment but said it’s hard with current poll workers receiving pushback from the community.
“We had poll workers that would come back and say they heard from people whether they’re at the supermarkets or whatever saying, ‘Hey, you know y’all are stealing elections,’” Nelson said.
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Nelson said public backlash is a core reason behind Ware County’s poll worker shortage.
The other contributing factor is the pandemic.
“You got people who come in and say, ‘Well, I hope y’all don’t steal my vote this time.’ Or, you know, ‘I hope y’all don’t throw away my ballot or hide my ballot,’ and a lot of poll workers don’t feel like it’s worth their effort and time,” Nelson said.
Nearly one in three local election officials know at least one election worker who has left the job, partly due to safety concerns, increased threats, or intimidation, according to a poll by the Brennan Center For Justice.
Multiple states, including Vermont, Illinois, Maine, New Mexico, and Washington have introduced bills to stop these threats and punish people who target any election official.
We’ve reached out to Brunswick and Camden counties to see what’s happening there.
The City of Brunswick said it is not facing a poll worker shortage at this time.
Camden County Elections Supervisor Shannon Nettles said this isn’t much of an issue but gave this statement:
“Here in Camden County, we have a pretty good-sized group of new and seasoned poll workers. Many of our poll workers are aging out of the job, though, so we are always looking for new electors in our community with a passion for serving the voters of Camden County. Election Day is a long day for poll workers and they are on their feet for 14+ hours! It is a tiresome and often thankless job but also very rewarding.”