Washington, D.C. — With growing threats to fair and free elections, a new column from the Center for American Progress argues that it is more important than ever to recruit and retain impartial poll workers to help run elections.
Up to 1 million poll workers will be deployed for the November elections, and these volunteers play a vital role in staffing polling stations, checking in voters, helping with voting machines, and even processing and counting ballots.
As Commissioner Benjamin Hovland of the Election Assistance Commission told CAP, “Poll workers are the customer service face of our democracy.” They strengthen communities, spur civic engagement, and reduce harmful disinformation about election processes.
“A healthy democracy, where all Americans are fairly represented, depends on free and fair elections,” said Michael Sozan, a senior fellow at CAP and author of the column. “Poll workers are democracy champions on the front lines of elections. A diverse and reliable cadre of community-based poll workers helps ensure people can fully exercise their hallowed right to vote and have their voices meaningfully heard in the political process.”
The column argues that more must be done to recruit and retain poll workers. A recent CAP report recommended numerous ways to recruit and retain the next generation of poll workers. State and local governments, professional associations, political parties, high schools, colleges and universities, philanthropic organizations, and religious communities can all play a role in making this happen.
Read the column: “Poll Workers Are Indispensable to the November Election” by Michael Sozan
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