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The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

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The BattalionMay 4, 2024

Poll workers in a pandemic

Texas+Voting+Sticker
Graphic by Cori Eckert
Texas Voting Sticker

COVID-19 is not just a health concern for in-person voting, poll workers also are concerned about health risks as they supervise voting during election season.
Robert “Bob” McCurley, a University of Alabama professor with a specialization in elections, said he does not expect poll worker duties to change, but their perception will be adjusted.
“I don’t think their duties are going to change at all, but I do think their awareness is going to be,” said McCurley. “And in many states, they have to work long hours … so it’s going to be kind of nervy.”
Sanna Bhai, Class of 2020, will be a poll worker for the November election and said all poll workers are trained about requirements they will be expected to follow.
“What they’ve told us so far is mostly that we are going to wear face masks and face shields,” Bhai said. “We will try to maintain a six feet distance and have hand sanitizer at all the stations.”
Philip McDonald was a student poll worker for Dallas County in 2016. He said he expects the process to look different in 2020, but doesn’t expect it to deter voters.
“I think it will be different because of the social distancing guidelines, but it should not slow the process down that much,” said McDonald.
Elizabeth Compean, who is registered to vote in Brazos County, said she hopes people will wear face coverings and respect each other’s space.
“For in person voting, I hope poll workers find a convenient way to vote to limit the amount of interaction with others and to reduce risk as much as possible,” Compean said.


This story is a collaboration between The Battalion and upperclassmen in Texas A&M’s journalism degree. To see the online copy of the “All Things Voting” print edition, click here.

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