Georgia still needs 3,000 tech workers for electionsGeorgia received a top credit rating to make purchases including new voting equipment File/Credit: Jessica McGowan, Getty Images, via fortune.com
By Raisa Habersham
With less than a month before Election Day, Georgia is still in need of technical workers to assist with any hiccups that may lead to problems at the polls.
Much of the state’s focus has been recruiting poll workers this election season, but technical workers play a crucial role in helping poll workers become more familiar with the state’s new voting system.
Georgia is “more than halfway” to its goal of recruiting 3,000 field support technicians (FST), Voter vending machine vendor Dominion’s Vice President of Governmental Affairs Kay Stimson wrote in an email to SaportaReport. The vendor has partnered with nonpartisan group GaVotingWorks to help recruit for the jobs.
The technicians will work for Dominion, who will provide training and pay a $400 stipend to those that work on Election Day. A tech worker’s job can include setting up the equipment, activating the devices at precincts, and troubleshooting minor issues such as connectivity or switching out cables, Stimson wrote.
Dominion plans to hold 300 training sessions statewide with 10 people per session to allow for social distancing measures, Stimson wrote. Training includes a 4.5-hour, hands-on session to learn the setup and operation of polling place equipment and a 4-hour training on the Monday before Election Day for issuance of credentials and support materials.
Ultimately, Dominion wants technicians to be prepared for anything. “An important goal is to encourage FSTs to visit their assigned polling site ahead of time for familiarity, if possible,” Stimson wrote.
With COVID-19 still a threat and flu season on the horizon, there is also increased concern about safety for election workers. Stimson said there will be masks, gloves, and other supplies provided to those who work election day. Should a tech worker fall sick day-of, officials will have to evaluate their options for filling the spot.
“It might be subbing another field support technician, if possible, or opting to set up ‘shared’ support with a neighboring jurisdiction,” Stimson wrote. “We can supplement that with help from our statewide call center support headquarters.”
Residents interested in being a field support technician must be 18 or older, have reliable means of transportation to attend the training, pick up their credentials, and arrive at their assigned polling location by 6 a.m.
Tech workers cannot have felony convictions and cannot be actively involved in a campaign or work for a candidate on the ballot this election season. They cannot be involved with or be a member of a PAC or advocacy group with a ballot issue, either.
High school students seeking service credit for graduation are encouraged to apply. Residents can apply to be field support technicians for Dominion by clicking here.