Nearly 47,000 sign up to work polls in North Carolina

Posted October 8, 2020 5:06 p.m. EDT
Updated October 8, 2020 5:27 p.m. EDT

 Election sign.

— State election officials worried that, with the coronavirus pandemic, they might have a hard time finding enough people to work the polls this year.

Now it looks like there's one less thing to worry about.

State Board of Elections Executive Director Karen Brinson Bell said Thursday that she figured the state would need 25,000 poll workers. Just under 47,000 signed up through an online portal.

"That is just phenomenal," Brinson Bell said, during a late afternoon State Board of Elections meeting.

This was the first meeting for a pair of new board members following a string of controversy, some of it involving the multiple lawsuits that will eventually finalize North Carolina's absentee ballot rules for this election.

Brinson Bell said the state has enough volunteers to form a "reserve corps."

The poll workers can be used on Election Day or during in-person early voting. They get paid, with the rate varying by county.

Some counties may still need workers, but most of them, including Wake County and surrounding areas, are set, board spokesman Patrick Gannon said.

“We sought the public’s help to make sure in-person voting could go on, despite the pandemic, and we are extremely proud of the response from across North Carolina," Gannon said in a statement Thursday. "So voters, please thank your poll workers for making sure your vote counts.”

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