South Carolina Needs More Election Workers
Many election workers from past years are in high-risk categories for COVID-19 and understandably do not feel safe participating in person this year. The South Carolina Election Commission has posted this plea on its website:
“If you are willing and able to serve, South Carolina needs you. The fact is we must have poll managers to have elections. Unless new poll managers step up to serve, we expect counties will have to close and consolidate polling places, which can cause large crowds and longer lines for voters.”
The American Bar Association (ambar.org/vote) and the South Carolina Bar (@SCBAR) also encourage law students and lawyers to step up and ensure voters can cast their ballots on Election Day.
What Do South Carolina Election Workers Receive?
The SC Election Commission specifies this pay breakdown, which does not include the supplement that some counties offer:
Poll Managers (and poll manager’s assistants): $60 for attending training + $15 for COVID-19 training + $75 for working on election day + $15 for additional COVID-19 related duties on election day = $165 Total
Clerks (the lead poll manager): Poll Manager Pay + $60 for additional training and responsibilities = $225 Total
For everyone’s safety this year, the SC Election Commission will provide:
- hand sanitizer
- sanitizing wipes
- disposable cotton swabs for making touchscreen selections
- an online election worker training option
No Class on Election Day
University of South Carolina School of Law’s academic calendar has no classes scheduled on Election Day—Tuesday, November 3, 2020.
How Can Law Students Be Election Workers?
Law students who meet the necessary criteria are encouraged to apply to be election workers. Poll Managers must be registered to vote in South Carolina. A Poll Manager may not serve at any polling place where they are a candidate or the spouse, parent, child, or sibling of a candidate on the ballot. A Clerk (the lead poll manager) must serve either in the county where they are registered to vote or an adjoining county.
More on South Carolina Elections
Laws governing South Carolina elections can be found in Title 7 of the South Carolina Code of Laws. To do further research on these laws, try starting with an annotated version of the South Carolina Code (such as through subscription providers Westlaw, Lexis, or Fastcase), or ask a law librarian for help navigating free online or print resources related to Title 7.