By: Tim Intelisano
Earlier this year, New Jersey expanded in person early voting in the state. Now, that legislation was put to the test in the 2021 general election in early November.
Thus far, it has not been smooth sailing. For one, many counties struggled to recruit enough poll workers. This is an issue that other states, including Ohio, also bemoaned this year. The concern in New Jersey was so severe that newly re-elected Governor Phil Murphy used an executive order to raise the pay of election workers. The pay raise was modest—going from $200 to $300 dollars for a day’s work. It did not escape notice that workers in the June primary were paid $400 dollars for a day of service, though that higher award was attributed almost exclusively to the dangers and uncertainty around coronavirus. Additionally, Governor Murphy’s executive order also permitted poll workers to work outside of the county where they resided. Officials felt that this would be a useful tool for municipalities, since for unknown reasons some towns and counties just had an easier time signing up the requisite number of poll workers.
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