Assemblyman Kevin Rooney’s bill addressing poll worker shortages by increasing their pay to $300 a day passed both the General Assembly and Senate on Thursday, March 24, 2022 and was signed into law by Governor Murphy on Friday, March 25, 2022. Election worker pay has remained stagnant since 2001 when it was raised to $200 per day, up from a $75 daily rate.
“Given the hardships that County Boards of Elections face in recruiting poll workers, my bill serves as aid to staffing the countless polling places around New Jersey for elections of all sizes and scopes,” said Rooney (R-Bergen). “These election workers sometimes work upwards of 14 hour days and should be paid a fair wage to entice them to step up to this civic duty.”
Last year, poll worker pay for the General Election was increased to $300 by Governor Murphy’s Executive Order no. 266, which was signed on October 5, 2021. Rooney’s bill offers a permanent increase in daily compensation for election workers, who are on the front line ensuring election integrity and voter enfranchisement.
“Poll workers are critical to the integrity of our elections, as they monitor the entirety of Election Day activities in each and every polling place around our state,” said Rooney. “We need to attract competent poll workers by offering competitive wages. Addressing their pay through legislation, rather than executive order, ensures a permanent solution to this issue instead of waiting around for an executive order to be extended or issued.”
Rooney’s bill (A208) increases the state’s reimbursement to $225 for poll worker pay while counties remain responsible for $75. It appropriates $7 million to reimburse the counties for the costs of implementing the law. The pay increase outlined by Rooney’s bill takes effect immediately and applies to all general, primary and special elections moving forward.