As young, eligible voters who have been paying attention to the news know, this year's election will be historic in more ways than one. But there's one change to this year's election that could negatively impact the democratic process severely, and young people are the key to fixing that.
The coronavirus (COVID-19) will make in-person voting difficult this year, what with the social distancing and the threat of exposure. But these difficulties are only going to be exacerbated by the fact that most poll workers are older, retired members of our community, who are the most vulnerable to the virus. Understandably, many of these workers have decided to sit this one out, which could lead to personnel shortages and long lines at polling places this election day. This is where you come in.
This year, National Poll Worker Recruitment Day (September 1), has been organized to encourage young people to sign up to be poll workers. Celebrities and public officials like former First Lady Michelle Obama advocated for the movement on Instagram, emphasizing the role young adults will be able to play in the security and safety of this year's elections.
The eligibility requirements for poll workers differ from state to state, but poll workers generally need to be 18 years old or older, a registered voter, and a resident of the county or state they're working in. However, some states have exceptions for young people under the age of 18 who want to help. Here's a comprehensive guide to the state by state requirements so you can find specific information for your state and congressional district.
Now, if you're wondering what's in it for you, don't worry. Aside from the gratification of participating in the democratic process, poll workers in most districts are paid for their work. Poll workers will also be provided with effective PPE to keep themselves and others safe.
So, what are you waiting for? Now is the time to not only vote, but help make sure everyone has the opportunity to vote safely. Make a bigger impact on the 2020 presidential election and sign up to become a poll worker here.