Poll worker recruitment and retention were among the main concerns facing election officials in advance of the 2020 general election. As the coronavirus pandemic arrived in the United States in the spring of 2020, many poll workers, who historically have skewed older, declined to staff in-person voting locations. This led to major staffing shortages in the early 2020 spring primaries. However, herculean recruitment efforts and creative partnerships mobilized by election officials and organizations across the country produced a sufficient number of volunteers in most jurisdictions for the November election. As a result, most in-person voting locations were able to stay open and process ballots efficiently, contributing to a smoothly run general election.
Authors: Evie Freeman, Jacob McCall, Maia Brockbank, and Anastasiia Malenko