NORRISTOWN County officials have voted to raise poll worker pay for the first time in at least eight years, increasing the stipend by $20 per day.

The new rate for judges of election is $120 per day, and for majority/minority inspectors, $110 per day.

Election board chairwoman Leslie Richards said the increase was long overdue and should help fill vacancies.

"It has been difficult to fully staff our polls," Richards said. "Working a poll is difficult. The polls open at 7 a.m. and close at 8 p.m. You have to be there all day long," vigilant during both busy times and down times, she said.

Even with the raise, Montgomery County is on the low end of the regional pay scale. For a 14-hour day, it works out to under $8 an hour.

In 2014, Bucks County will start paying inspectors $115 per day. Chester inspectors will get $124, judges $170 per day. In Philadelphia, inspectors get $95 for election day, plus $20 for an optional training session.

Poll worker pay can be changed only once every four years, according to Uri Monson, county chief finance officer. The increase is expected to cost the county $108,000 more per year, he said.

- Jessica Parks