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Need poll workers? Try paying the jobless. | READER COMMENTARY

A poll worker counts provisional ballots for the New Jersey primary in Paramus, N.J., on July 7, 2020. The pandemic has increased unemployment and made it more difficult to fill these temporary positions. Might there be a mutually beneficial solution?
A poll worker counts provisional ballots for the New Jersey primary in Paramus, N.J., on July 7, 2020. The pandemic has increased unemployment and made it more difficult to fill these temporary positions. Might there be a mutually beneficial solution? (Erica Lee/The New York Times)

During these very strange times, two problems with perhaps a common solution have arisen. The first is the critical unemployment situation. The second is the very definite need for people to work at the polls this November (”Maryland election board told state faces ‘emergency,’ is short 14,000 judges due to pandemic,” July 23). So far, I have not noticed any mention of how these two crises might have this common solution.

Although the work is obviously temporary, a typical worker who does early voting and Election Day might earn in the area of $900. Not only would this supply some needed cash but it would involve more people in this important civic process. I am not sure what the ramifications for unemployment insurance would be for this sort of temporary work, but perhaps a special exception could be made. Maybe the various election boards could work directly with the unemployment people to see if this possible. Could this be a win-win in these difficult times?

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Charlie Day, Glen Burnie

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