Well-trained poll workers are a critical component of a smooth, secure Election Day. Across the country, poll workers manage the voting processes, answer voter questions, and explain voting procedures. And each Election Day, about 2 million people take on this role across the nation: collectively, with the scope of their duties, poll workers play a huge part in the accessibility of our election system. Given how integral these poll workers are to the voting process, it is essential that our election system has enough smart, qualified workers for each election.
And yet, while poll workers are a critical part to the election process, election after election, states across the nation fail to adequately train enough poll workers to run smooth elections. Since there are no uniform poll worker requirements across states, the pay, training, and recruitment processes vary across the country. As a result, poll worker recruitment suffers and poll workers may not be adequately trained to solve problems that arise on Election Day. Ultimately, poorly trained poll workers lead to more confusion, longer wait times, delays, and more frustration.
And while there is a reliable group of senior citizens — averaging about 75-years-old — willing to work the polls, many of those individuals are uncomfortable with new equipment and procedures and will soon be aging out of the process. We need to get more people involved.
Take action and volunteer to become a poll worker. First, find your local election officials contact information. Typically, poll worker recruitment is managed by either county or municipal officials — contact your local officials and ask them how to become a poll worker. Here’s a script you can use when you call.