National Poll Worker Recruitment Day: Old Navy encourages employees to help

Old Navy announced Tuesday that it will pay employees to work the polls on Election Day.

The company said in a news release that it has partnered with the Civic Alliance and Power the Polls in the ongoing movement to get the needed 250,000 new poll workers by Nov. 3.

The clothing retailer employs roughly 50,000 people at more than 1,000 store locations in the U.S

Old Navy said it will pay employees who work at a polling place eight hours worth of pay. The employees will also be eligible to be paid by their local jurisdiction.

Last week, LeBron James promoted More Than A Vote, a campaign aimed at making sure polls have enough workers, especially in Black communities.

Governments across the country have been scrambling to find people to staff polling places for the presidential election this fall as the coronavirus sows doubt about how safe it will be to cast a ballot in person, thinning out an already scarce pool of workers.

Recruitment efforts are increasingly targeting younger people, who are less at risk of developing serious illness from the virus, as officials and advocates aim strategies toward professional associations, students and sports teams to make sure election sites stay open.

Experts say finding enough poll workers is always difficult, even when there isn’t a pandemic killing thousands of people, forcing widespread shutdowns and spawning a series of evolving safety rules. Normally, long hours, low pay and high stress might keep people away. Now add face shields, protective barriers and fears of getting sick.

More than two-thirds of poll workers are over age 61, putting them at higher risk of COVID-19. Scores of workers dropped out during this year’s primary season, taking with them decades of experience as the pandemic stifled efforts to train replacements.

To learn how to help staff a local polling place, go to Power The Polls to learn more.

The Associated Press contributed to this story.

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