Poll workers are a crucial part of the U.S. electoral process, and key to helping our democracy thrive. Poll workers ensure that each and every person who wants to cast their vote in person can do so safely and securely. No one should ever be denied their chance at the polls, and we should never have voters leaving a polling place due to long wait lines, confusion, or lack of accessibility. Poll workers are also needed to help process absentee ballots prior to Election Day (depending on state law) and may be needed if an election results in a contest or recount. Lawyers and law students are particularly primed for these roles–and will be needed since the usual work force, elder Americans, are likely to be unavailable as pandemic conditions persist.
Poll workers are the lifeblood of our democracy. By aiding in the operation of polling sites, they serve to ensure that polling locations are open, prepared, and running smoothly throughout Election Day so that every person is able to cast a ballot. They provide assistance with voting technology and answer any questions voters may have about the voting process. Essentially, poll workers ensure that each voter is able to exercise their right to vote on Election Day. They act as a safeguard to the integrity of our elections.
Our voting landscape is changing. The rules have become more complicated, more precincts are using new technology in order to collect ballots, and with the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, states are adapting to new safety concerns surrounding in-person voting. A new generation of poll workers is needed to meet these new challenges. Poll workers are key to free and fair elections. It is time for a new generation—our generation—to ensure accessibility and equity to the voting process.