Pandemic, short election hinder recruitment at polling stations

A polling station in the 43rd federal election. October 2019. (BlackburnNews file photo)

Elections Canada still has a significant need for workers at polling stations across the country ahead of the upcoming federal election.

Thousands of workers are still needed for Canada’s election day polls, according to Elections Canada spokesperson Réjean Grenier.

“It will not prevent us from holding an election, obviously, but it might inconvenience the voters who might have to wait longer in line,” he told BlackburnNews.com.

Grenier said the short 36-day election and the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic are likely contributing to fewer interested applicants.

“The pandemic may scare some people, particularly some of the older people that have been doing this for many years,” he said. “Also, it’s a short election. We have much less time to do recruitment.”

Any Canadian citizen over the age of 15 can apply to work at one of their local polling stations before the federal election on September 20. The pay ranges from $17.22 to $23.44 per hour depending on the position. As well, workers will receive $54.65 for the short training session.

Grenier said he particularly likes to encourage teenagers 16 years and older to apply to get them involved.

“It gives them an inside look at how the electoral process works,” he said.

Anyone interested in applying can do so online by clicking here or by visiting their local Elections Canada office.