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Tennessee draws about 3,000 poll workers for Aug. 6 primary

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FILE – In this Nov. 6, 2018, file photo, people vote at a polling place in Las Vegas. Nevada, the third state to vote on the presidential primary next year, is supposed to offer Democrats something different. It’s more diverse than largely white Iowa and New Hampshire. Its population is working class, urbanized and increasingly blue. (AP Photo/John Locher, File)

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Nearly 3,000 people have signed up to be poll workers during the coronavirus pandemic for the Aug. 6 primary, and many Tennessee counties still need more, officials said Monday.

Secretary of State Tre Hargett’s office says it’s not too late to apply, with signups available online. Early voting starts Friday and runs Mondays through Saturdays until Aug. 1. Hargett’s office began a poll worker recruitment campaign last month.

Poll workers must be at least 16 or a registered voter if 18 or older. They cannot be a candidate or close relative of one, and must be able to read and write in English.

Poll workers must wear face coverings and will be trained on COVID-19 precautions, including social distancing. They will be provided personal protective equipment, including masks.

Local government employees can be poll workers unless they work directly under someone on the ballot. State employees are eligible. Federal workers should consult their human resources department beforehand.

Poll workers are paid for training, early voting and Election Day work.

Additionally, poll workers help count absentee votes.

A judge is giving all eligible voters the option to vote absentee during the pandemic. First-time voters can only vote absentee if they’ve shown ID at a county election office.

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