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High demand fills poll worker positions leaves many out of the process

Posted at 6:43 AM, Oct 19, 2020
and last updated 2020-10-19 09:51:11-04

LAS VEGAS (KTNV) — Long lines greeted excited voters on the first weekend of early voting in Clark County, and the thousands of workers picked to make the process run smoothly were all in place at the 35 open ballot sites.

RELATED: How do I register to vote in Clark County?

Clark County Registrar of Voters Joe Gloria said they were able to fully staff nearly 1,600 early voting positions and 3,500 Election Day positions prior to the first day of voting.

“We’re in a good position right now, ready to serve,” Gloria said.

Some applicants were left out of the process, however, as demand for work outstripped the available positions in August.

RELATED: What you need to know about mail-in ballots, voting in Clark County

Jennifer Villa was one of several confused applicants who reached out to 13 Investigates for answers about why they weren't selected or told whether they would be working when the election began.

Villa was one of the thousands of Strip workers left without work because of the coronavirus' impact on the economy.

“I’m not working right now," she said. "I could definitely use the money, and why not? I love to get involved in anything that I can.”

Villa said she was passionate about making the election run smoothly when she applied in early August. She's bilingual, available and at a lower risk if exposed to the coronavirus than many older poll workers.

RELATED: Clark County polling locations

She said the only communication she received from the Election Department was a brief text survey, and only learned she hadn't been chosen two weeks before early voting began when she called the Election Department for confirmation.

“Why didn’t I receive a call or an email saying, oh, you weren’t chosen?”

Gloria apologized to the people who weren't chosen and weren't contacted in the following days.

“We had to focus on getting those who were working staffed up,” he said.

Gloria said the focus was on getting the chosen staff trained and ensuring the framework was in place to get ballots and votes processed quickly.

INTERVIEW: Clark County Registrar of Voters Joe Gloria talks about election season

“We have to focus our resources on making sure we get the job done," he said.

"Again, I apologize to those who didn’t get a return phone call," said Gloria. "We did the best we could.”

Gloria said the Election Department is still accepting applications despite having a full staff to attract translators.

He said the department prefers to have extra translators, specifically in Spanish, Filipino, and Mandarin, as a proactive measure to help voters.

To learn more visit clarkcountynv.gov.