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City clerks in western Mass. making sure they have enough poll workers for November and beyond

Inside the polling place at the Berkshire Athenaeum, the city's library, on Sept. 19, 2023, for a preliminary election.
Adam Frenier
Inside the polling place at the Berkshire Athenaeum, the city's library, on Sept. 19, 2023, for a preliminary election.

Elections officials in some western Massachusetts towns said they have an adequate supply of workers to staff polling places for upcoming municipal races, but they can always use more help.

In Greenfield, City Clerk Kathy Scott said she is on the lookout for more people willing to work on Election Day, to check in voters and assist them. Scott maintains a list of people who can work, sometimes with little notice.

"In the world of COVID, which we are still living, if someone gets sick the day before the election, they obviously can't work, so we need to go back to our list and hustle and find someone else to be able to fill that seat," she said.

Scott said there are minimum staffing requirements for elections, under state regulations. She added that those who do work at voting sites play a critical role in assisting her, in making sure elections are run smoothly, and with integrity.

"These poll workers, the first line of defense for us, they're the ones who need to determine you are who you are and you're registered where you're living," she said.

In Holyoke, City Clerk Brenna McGee said she has enough poll workers for this year's city election. But she, along with Scott say they're already looking to add to their supply for next year's presidential election, which will require a larger staff.

In Springfield, one of several communities which has a municipal election this year, the city’s election commission has a positing on its webpage calling on people who are interested to apply to be a poll worker.

Springfield, along with Greenfield, Chicopee, Westfield, Agawam, Pittsfield and North Adams all have mayoral contests in November. Other communities, such a Holyoke, Northampton and Easthampton are in the middle of their mayoral cycles but have mid-term elections for city council and other offices.

Adam joined NEPM as a freelance reporter and fill-in operations assistant during the summer of 2011. For more than 15 years, Adam has had a number stops throughout his broadcast career, including as a news reporter and anchor, sports host and play-by-play announcer as well as a producer and technician.
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