On the Hill: Congress addressing polling place staffing on Election Day

Politics

(NewsNation Now) — Democrats say they want to give states more flexibility to staff the polls come Election Day. Several Democratic senators have introduced legislation that would allow volunteers to work outside their home counties.

If passed, the measure would allow states to fill needs at busier polling spots.

Senator Ron Wyden of Oregon says he and fellow Democrats want to ensure polling locations are fully staffed—a difficulty during the pandemic.

“This just gives local governments and states more flexibility to, within a state, be able to move poll workers to where they are most needed,” Wyden said.

Some states, though, say they’re going to be fine on Election Day. Alabama’s Secretary of State, John Merrill, a Republican, is allowing high school students to volunteer at the polls.

“In Alabama, we’re not concerned about having enough poll workers,” Merrill said. “We could have a maximum of approximately 4,000 students available.”

It’s unclear if there will be time to take up the legislation. The Senate only has 16 more days in session before the election; the House has even fewer days.

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