COVID-19 Causes Shortage of Poll Workers

Senior plans to spend her election day working at local polling station


Jharna Kamath

National poll worker shortages leads senior to volunteer at local polling station.

by Jharna Kamath, Assistant Editor

With Election Day drawing closer, many students are becoming eligible to vote for the first time. However, there is another way for students to contribute to the election. On Nov. 3, any person aged 16 to 18 is eligible to serve as a Student Election Clerk. Senior Bianca Schutz plans to spend her election day working at a polling station.

“This election is going to be a historical one with what is at stake for everyone, as well as due to the pandemic,” senior Bianca Schutz said. “Coronavirus already greatly impacted the runoff elections earlier this year in Texas, as it led to the closure of numerous voting locations around the nation, preventing people from voting in certain areas. One of the reasons they were closed is because a majority of poll workers tend to be elderly, a group that is greatly at risk with COVID-19.”

Student Election Clerks may help offset this shortage of poll workers. They will be paid hourly, can receive two excused absences from school, and can add the experience to their resume or college applications. Their responsibilities include checking in voters, distributing ballots, answering questions and serving as translators if needed. 

“I think that it’s really important to participate in a process that is so deciding of the future,” Schutz said. “I think it’s really important that, if you or a family member isn’t in one of the risk categories, us younger people step in to aid such an essential process during such an essential time.”

Along with aiding in the election, it is also important that those who are eligible to vote this year do so. 

“Since 2016, I’ve been greatly involved in politics and what’s happening in the country, and it was frustrating to have to just sit back and watch while my future was essentially decided for me,” Schutz said. “To finally be able to be able to participate in the election feels like I get to have a say in what happens to my future.”

Only about 60% of eligible voters voted in the 2016 election, and Schutz hopes that number can rise. 

“These votes are super important and could change the course of an election,” Schutz said. “Each and every vote is fundamental in deciding the future of the United States, and more importantly our generation’s future. If our generation goes out and votes, our voices would be heard and we could start to see real change.”

Find out more about voter eligibility and registering to vote at 

Sign up to participate as a Student Election Clerk at