Milwaukee election worker shortage, 200+ needed

The Milwaukee Election Commission said it currently has 1,462 poll workers, but will need 1,700 to be fully staffed.

"They are the first people on the line helping voters out there," said Jonatan Zuniga with the Milwaukee Election Commission. "Without them, we wouldn’t have our 180 polling places opened, so they are critical."

In the past week, the commission has hired 100 poll workers. With the Nov. 8 election only weeks away, though, the city is coming up short – in need of 200 more.

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"Just a week ago we were down 300 poll workers," Zuniga said. "We have been reaching out to folks that have worked for us in the past, to new election inspectors, we are reaching out to colleges like UWM."

Zuninga said the commission feels confident it will fill the spots, but there have been issues in the past.

Milwaukee Election Commission

"We have seen anywhere from 100 to 200 poll workers cancel like the week of, or even the day of Election Day," said Zuniga.

This election, Zuniga said, the commission is having a hard time getting workers. It stems from election worker threats, but those threats have not been directed specifically at poll workers.

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"There's definitely questions from our poll workers on safety concerns," Zuniga said. "We have been working with law enforcement agencies to make sure that everyone is safe on election day."

FOX6 News reached out to other cities in the area. Waukesha said it needs 15 more poll workers, and Kenosha said it is all set.