Rooney bill addressing poll worker pay clears committees

Rooney bill addressing poll worker pay clears committees

Kevin J. Rooney

TRENTON, N.J. – Assemblyman Kevin Rooney’s bill increasing election worker pay to $300 a day and $50 for training cleared the Assembly Appropriations and State and Local Government committees Monday.

Poll worker pay has remained stagnant at $200 since 2001. Back in October, Rooney called on Gov. Phil Murphy to increase the pay for poll workers in a joint statement with Senator Kristen 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.

“Poll workers are important to the integrity of our elections. We need to attract good people with competitive wages,” Rooney (R-Bergen) said. “It is well past time for them to be more fairly compensated.”

The bill (A1527) would require the state and counties split the reimbursement, with the state paying $225 and counties paying $75. If adopted, the pay increase would take effect immediately.

The State legislature in June passed a bill that raised only primary election pay to $300 and allowed plain-clothed National Guard members to serve on district boards of election to plug the severe poll worker shortage.

“The legislature and governor recognized the severe shortage in poll workers and did the right thing by adding the supplemental payment this election cycle,” Rooney said. “Let’s do the right thing and make the pay increase permanent.”