LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- Baptist Health is stepping up to help fill a critical need for poll workers in Kentucky and Indiana.

According to a news release, the health care company will pay its employees to work at the polls in the Nov. 3 election.

The company says the decision was prompted by requests from Baptist Health employees, as well as civic leaders.

"Poll workers are crucial to make democracy happen," said Gerard Colman, chief executive of Baptist Health, in a statement. "We encourage our employees -- and all those in our communities -- to volunteer on Election Day, to educate themselves about the candidates and to vote."

Poll workers typically greet voters at their local precinct, check their registration and direct them to voting booths.

More than one million election workers are required nationwide. The company says that, traditionally, the majority of those workers are senior citizens -- and many may not want to serve this year because of health risks posed by the pandemic.

"I'm grateful to Baptist Health for allowing their employees to serve as poll workers while still getting paid for their day jobs," said Kentucky Secretary of State Michael Adams, in a statement. "Democracy is a team sport and we need to help the private citizens and the private sector. Baptist Health has set a standard that I hope others will follow."

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