Phelps County Clerk Pamela Grow is urging employers to consider whether they have employees who would serve ably as election judges.

Grow said due to concern about the SARS-CoV-2 viral strain circulating; the upcoming Nov. 3 General Election is going to depend on engaging a wider population.

“I personally feel in-person voting is to be encouraged. But the demands for in-person voting in our current circumstances, at 19 polling places, are going to require us to pull from a broader swath of the population,” Grow said. 

Grow added it has also taken her by surprise to hear that employed individuals in Phelps County are afraid their employer would sanction them if they worked as an election judge.

Grow cited Missouri statute (RSMo 115.102), which prohibits an employer from terminating, disciplining, threatening or taking adverse action against an employee based on the employee’s service as an election judge.  

The law further states that the employee who is appointed may be absent on election day for the extent of time that the election authority requires. Employees must notify employers at least seven days before an election that they will be absent from work on election day to serve as an election judge. Employees discharged in violation of the law may bring civil action against their employer, Grow said. 

“Please, if you are an employer, consider whether you may have employees who would serve ably as election judges,” Grow said. 

Election judges are paid a stipend of between $120 and $150 for the full day and compensated for the statutorily required training.  Grow said mileage to and from training and polls is also reimbursed. 

Grow asks members of the public who are interested in serving as an election judge to contact the county clerk’s office at 573-458-6115.