Today is National Poll Worker Recruitment Day! We are facing an unprecedented shortage of poll workers, but you can be part of the solution. Head to https://t.co/70gHiVzDaT to save granny, protect democracy + get paid to do it! pic.twitter.com/dmVoxV79qL
— The Daily Show (@TheDailyShow) September 1, 2020
I didn’t realize some states allow even teenagers to participate! At CNN, Jonathan Diaz on “Why you should be a poll worker this year”:
… [I]n the many jurisdictions offering early in-person voting for days or weeks prior to Election Day, the need for volunteers is even greater. Public health and elections experts are increasingly urging voters to take advantage of early options to reduce crowding on Election Day, but to make that happen, America needs more poll workers…
In response to this impending crisis, elections officials have turned to unusual methods to recruit volunteers. Gov. Tony Evers of Wisconsin authorized members of the Wisconsin National Guard to work the polls this fall. The Ohio Supreme Court, with support from Ohio Secretary of State Frank LaRose, is allowing attorneys licensed in the state to receive Continuing Legal Education (CLE) credit for working the polls — a call that has been echoed nationwide by the American Bar Association. The Tennessee Legislature lowered the minimum age to work the polls from 17 to 16 earlier this year, and Kentucky and California have set up new online portals to facilitate poll worker recruitment.
Voting advocates and nonprofit organizations have also stepped up to boost recruitment efforts. New organizations like Power the Polls and the LeBron James-led More Than a Vote are seeking to complement ongoing efforts by groups like the NAACP Legal Defense Fund and All Voting is Local (the latter of which I provide legal advice to in my capacity at the Campaign Legal Center) to add new names to the poll worker ranks. Many of these groups are focusing their efforts on bringing young people aboard to pick up the slack for older, vulnerable workers unable to participate this year. These outreach initiatives include Poll Hero, which was started by a group of college and high school students.
Becoming a poll worker isn’t difficult. The eligibility requirements and time commitments vary depending on where you live, but your state and county election officials should have all the information that you need to be able to sign up, and the EAC and Work Elections (a project of the nonprofit Fair Elections Center) have created a helpful online tool to help figure it out…