Sec. Al Schmidt is looking for Pennsylvanians to work the polls

Al Schmidt

Secretary of the Commonwealth Al Schmidt addressing reporters about the 2023 election inside the Pennsylvania capitol media center on Oct. 19, 2023. (Photo: Sean Kitchen)

By Sean Kitchen

January 30, 2024

Pennsylvania is constantly looking for poll workers to help administer the upcoming primary and general elections. The commonwealth needs 45,000 poll workers for its 9,000 polling locations.

Pennsylvania Secretary of State Al Schmidt visited Harrisburg’s East Shore Area Library with local election directors and poll workers as part of the nationwide Help America Vote Day, and recruit residents to sign up and serve as poll workers for Pennsylvania’s primary and general elections.

“On Election Day, the most important people, it’s not the Secretary of State, it is not your county commissioner, it’s not even your county election director,” Schmidt said at a press conference on Tuesday.

“It’s the men and women who volunteer for essentially a 14-hour day to make sure that you can cast your vote and have your vote counted. And that’s really what we’re here to celebrate on Help America Vote Day. Poll workers are really the front lines of our representative democracy. If not for them, we would not be able to have our votes cast and have our votes counted.”

Schmidt was at the Harrisburg area library on Tuesday to spread the message about being a poll worker, as it takes 45,000 poll workers to staff Pennsylvania’s 9,000 polling locations. 

Chris Spackman, Dauphin County’s new election director, took time to thank poll workers for their service on Election Day, but told reporters that the county needs help finding Spanish and Nepalese-speaking poll workers to adequately serve those communities. 

“Elections wouldn’t work without our poll workers, so I’m very thankful for their service and all of our poll worker  service,” Spackman said. “It is a paid position, so we do pay you for the day and we are constantly in need of new poll workers. So if you’re interested, sign up, specifically if you speak Spanish or Nepalese. We would love to have you.”

After talking about the benefits of being a poll worker, Schmidt awarded two poll workers, Treva Aldinger and Diane Yorty, with certificates for their service to the county. 

Aldinger, who is 92, told reporters that she has no regrets becoming a poll worker and signed up to become one after losing her husband. 

“I will say I am never sorry that I have volunteered. It is an experience just being there with the people and seeing even the neighbors coming in to vote and even strangers that I have no idea who they are that live in our area,” Aldinger said. 

If you are interested in becoming a poll worker for the upcoming election, please go to the Pennsylvania Department of State’s website for more information.


  • Sean Kitchen

    Sean Kitchen is the Keystone’s political correspondent, based in Harrisburg. Sean is originally from Philadelphia and spent five years working as a writer and researcher for Pennsylvania Spotlight.

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