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Nueces County clerk says to have patience as polls open on Monday

Despite the statewide shortage of poll workers, Nueces County clerk Kara Sands said the county is in good shape.

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — Early voting is just days away and some county officials throughout the state continue to struggle to find people willing to work election sites. 

There's a variety of reasons for the poll worker shortage including a rise in reported threats against workers following the 2020 election.

To help navigate the thousands of voters expected at Nueces County, polls will take an army of workers. Nueces County Clerk Kara Sands said the county is in good shape despite shortages popping up in other parts of the state. 

She said her office has enough workers to be positioned at each of the 24 early voting locations.

"I think we are doing a lot better than other counties but it's always a struggle," she said. 

A struggle because the job itself can be demanding and time consuming. In North Texas, counties like Denton for example are still in need of 200 poll workers.

"Long hours the polls are open for the voters, but keep in mind the poll workers come 30 minutes prior to the polls opening to set up and they have to stay later," she said. 

Sands said while her office is ready for Monday the county does still have positions open for election workers. Especially, substitutes who can fill in at a moment's notice if someone calls in.

"Subs, that's a hard position to fill because you have to be flexible, have some people who say yeah I can do it, that is also difficult," she said. 

Poll workers in Nueces County can make anywhere from $12-14 an hour, but more importantly Sands said the workers help protect the integrity of the election.

"Setting up the polling locations are checking the ID when the voter comes in, making sure the line moves smoothly," she said.

Knowing first hand how stressful the job can sometimes be, Sands tells residents that she has one request when the polls open.

"Be sweet to the poll workers, I know it gets frustrating if they are not going as fast enough as you want them to go, but you know what, they are there to serve you," she said.

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