County raises election worker pay

Published 5:50 am Wednesday, January 26, 2022

The Harlan Fiscal Court approved a pay raise for election workers during a recent meeting, raising the compensation an additional $50 per election.

Harlan County Judge-Executive Dan Mosley and the county magistrates took action on the issue that began with discussions at last month’s Fiscal Court meeting.

“We talked about this last month,” Mosley said. “Right now, the election worker pay has been $125 per day on the election days and $25 for the school. We raised that from $100 to $125 back in 2016, so it’s been about six years.”

According to Mosley, the county has had difficulty finding election workers for the last few years.

“It’s been a challenge,” Mosley said. “Then, the pandemic has complicated that even more.”

In the past, many election workers have been senior citizens.

“We’ve had people that have done this for years upon years and have really enjoyed it,” Mosley said. “A lot of them weren’t willing to do it during 2020 due to the pandemic out of concerns for their health. The election in 2020 occurred before the vaccines were made available.”

At a Fiscal Court meeting in December, the court heard from a Harlan County citizen who requested a pay raise of at least $25 for election workers, Mosley said.

“I feel like it needs to be increased more than that,” Mosley said. “We should look at going to a $50 raise. That way, by the time you factor in the $25 election school, that gives them $200 for their service on election day.”

Mosley presented a motion the court to increase election officer pay from $125 to $175. The motion was seconded by Magistrate Bill Moore and passed by the court with no objections.

Mosley pointed out before the pay increase, the election worker pay amounted to approximately $10 per hour.

“It’s just two days of the year,” Mosley said. “It needs to be elevated. This will get that hourly rate up to something a little more valuable and hopefully will help in the recruitment of election workers.”