Poll worker pay increase passes Assembly

Poll worker pay increase passes Assembly

Kevin J. Rooney

TRENTON, N.J. – Assemblyman Kevin Rooney’s bill addressing poll worker shortages by increasing their pay to $300 a day passed the full Assembly on Thursday. Election worker pay has remained stagnant since 2001 when it was raised to $200 from $75.

“Poll workers are important to the integrity of our elections. We need to attract good people with competitive wages,” Rooney (R-Bergen) said. “Addressing their pay through legislation, rather than executive order, ensures a permanent higher pay rate is in place for future elections and allows counties to recruit workers with the promise of better compensation.”

Back in October, Rooney called on Gov. Phil Murphy to increase the pay for poll workers in a joint statement with Senator Kristin Corrado and Assemblyman Christopher DePhillips. The governor heeded their call and issued an executive order, which added a $100 supplemental payment to all poll workers who worked Election Day Nov. 2.

The bill (A1527/S598) would require the state and counties to split the reimbursement, with the state paying $225 and counties paying $75. It appropriates $7 million to reimburse the counties for the costs of implementing the law. If adopted, the pay increase would take effect immediately and apply to general, primary and special elections.