Those training sessions are happening this week.By Nicole Ford

BEAVER, Pa. (KDKA) – With 22 days to go before Election Day, training sessions for poll workers are well underway in our area.

“This year, due to COVID, we are only training our judge of elections. So that’s 129 different people, we are having five sessions,” said Beaver County Commissioner Dan Camp.

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Those training sessions are happening this week.

“There’s a little more information with how to protect with PPE, different rules and regulations when people are coming to the polling places, like do you need to wear a mask, do you not need to wear a mask?” Camp said.

(Photo Credit: KDKA)

It comes as a new study with local ties reports a nationwide poll worker shortage, especially in battleground states.

“I feel we do have enough poll workers to safely operate all our precincts on Election Day,” said Fayette County Commissioner Scott Dunn.

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A “voting risk assessment” map developed by researchers at Carnegie Mellon University and the Voter Protection Corps shows most southwestern Pennsylvania counties are in critical need. County leaders told KDKA that’s not the case.

“I don’t think I’d use the word critical. There is always a need to make sure you have enough people. We have a large elderly population and those are the people that are sometimes more at risk of COVID,” Dunn said.

In Beaver County, Camp said the map does not accurately reflect the situation for 2020.

“Beaver County has a rich history in people wanting to work the polls and making sure everyone can vote in person. It’s very unfortunate that message is being put out there because we don’t want people to think their polling places won’t be open due to the lack of poll workers or judge of elections. Like I said, all 129 of our polling locations will be open,” Camp said.

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KDKA reached out to the CMU team for a response to the study data but have not heard back. Fayette and Beaver counties told KDKA that while they have enough workers to staff the polls, they’ll always accept new applications.