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Election Offices across region overcome poll worker shortages for Midterms

The Suffolk General Registrar said the office has more than 200 election officers. At least six will work each polling precinct.

SUFFOLK, Va. — Behind every Election Day is a group of workers who prepare and maintain polling locations.

“We send out all of the voting machines to the 100 precincts in the city of Virginia Beach,” said Jeffrey Marks, the chairman of the Virginia Beach Electoral Board.

Marks said about ten poll workers will man each location.

“So if you do ten times 100, you can see where those numbers add up,” Marks said.

But for some elections offices in recent years, a lack of poll workers became an additional stressor.

 Ahead of the election season, multiple election offices put out calls for help. 

The Suffolk Election Office was one of them.

“It was a task, because people have to be available," said Suffolk General Registrar Burdette Lawrence. 

"They have to be available for training. They have to be available all day election day.”

Lawrence said things became even more challenging with the addition of three precincts to the city. So, they reached out to the local leaders with the Republican and Democratic parties for help.

“Our Republican and Democratic chair people were paramount," she said. "They helped us a lot.”

Suffolk has between 250 to 275 election officers in total. Lawrence said each precinct will have a minimum of six to seven workers.

The Norfolk General Registrar said the office has secured enough election officers to work the polls. They will have between ten to 12 workers at each polling location. 

In Portsmouth, 197 officers will serve on election day. According to the general registrar, that’s only eight shy of the projected goal of 205.

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