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Fenton Township offering hazard pay for election workers

All 50 poll workers will receive an additional $100 thanks to a grant
Published: Oct. 27, 2020 at 7:29 PM EDT
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FENTON TOWNSHIP, Mich. (WJRT) - Election workers in Fenton Township will be getting hazard pay for working the polls on Nov. 3.

Poll workers will receive extra pay and due to the coronavirus pandemic thanks to a grant that the township received. Local units of government are receiving other grants and donations to comply with COVID-19 safety measures on Election Day.

“A lot of what we had to purchase for the election and for COVID-related issues is being covered by the state grant or federal money,” said Fenton Township Deputy Clerk Tom Broeker.

But a second grant is allowing Fenton Township to pay its election workers a little something extra. Broeker said he and Clerk Bob Krug learned of a grant opportunity through the Center for Tech and Civic Life and decided to offer hazard pay for the election workers.

“We thought that was well deserved. So he put together the proposal and took it to the board where it was unanimously approved,” Broeker said.

The $5,000 grant is enough to pay the nearly 50 workers an additional $100 apiece for working Election Day.

“Many of our workers have done this for years and years,” Broeker said. “The amount you get for it, well you certainly don’t get rich. It works out to maybe $10 an hour at best.”

Any election day is long and difficult for poll workers. But with the added stress of COVID-19 concerns and expected historic voter turnout, Broecker said hazard pay is well deserved.

“I don’t think people realize what a long day this is,” he said. “They start at 6 a.m. -- an hour before the polls open -- and they’re there until 9 or 10 at night, sometimes later than that. So it’s a long, trying day even in normal times.”

Broecker said the township also has seen a record number of people applying to work the election. There are enough applicants to have people on reserve in case someone needs to back out.

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