With Election Day less than 80 days away and poll worker recruitment deadlines approaching in many states across the U.S., Power the Polls’ efforts to address poll worker shortages are more urgent than ever.
August 22, 2022 — Less than a week after celebrating Poll Worker Recruitment Day, Power the Polls – the first-of-its-kind, nonpartisan initiative for recruiting the next generation of poll workers – announced it has recruited more than 50,000 potential poll workers since it re-launched in May 2022, reaching a major milestone in recruitment efforts ahead of the upcoming election. With poll worker recruitment deadlines approaching in many states across the country and shortages persisting across the U.S., Power the Polls is doubling down on recruiting thousands more poll workers and continuing its work to ensure every polling place across the U.S. is fully staffed.
While the COVID-induced poll worker shortages that characterized the 2020 election have eased, election administrators continue to report the need for more poll workers due to new recruitment challenges, from navigating new election laws to health and safety concerns to a rise in in-person voting relative to the last election. Many localities are also reporting the need for poll workers who are bilingual or have more tech skills. Power the Polls is working with hundreds of organizations, businesses, and election officials from across the political spectrum to recruit younger, more diverse, and non-partisan potential poll workers, and ensure that local elections officials’ needs for poll workers are identified and met.
“Recruiting 50,000 new potential poll workers is a huge milestone in this effort – and we’re looking forward to signing up the next 50,000, so every person who wants to cast their ballot this election can do so,” said Jane Slusser, Program Manager at Power the Polls. “Thanks to the energy and commitment from all of our partners as well as Americans excited to help their communities this election season, we are well on the way toward ensuring a safe and accessible election – but we can’t stop now. With fewer than 80 days until the general election, we need all hands on deck to help recruit a new generation of poll workers who will power elections to come.”
On August 16, Poll Worker Recruitment Day, hundreds of businesses, organizations, celebrities, elected officials, and others activated together to inspire people to sign up as poll workers through Power the Polls, leading to the new wave of recruitment. From former President Barack Obama to Billie Eilish, Mariah Carey, Alicia Keys, Trevor Noah, Kerry Washington, and Glennon Doyle, elected officials, celebrities, and influencers reached out to their millions of followers to urge them to sign up as poll workers. They were joined by businesses like Salesforce, organizations like the American Federation of Teachers, professional sports teams like the Milwaukee Bucks, and many, many more to recruit poll workers who are desperately needed ahead of the general election.
“We only have a few more weeks to sign up enough poll workers to ensure a safe, fair, and accessible election for all,” continued Slusser. “Without enough poll workers, polling locations could close or face long lines, making voting more difficult. Poll workers are essential to our elections – period.”
In 2020, Power the Polls and its founding partners – Civic Alliance, Civic Responsibility Project, Comedy Central, Fair Elections Center, Pizza to the Polls, MTV Entertainment Group, and Center for Secure & Modern Elections – met its initial goal of recruiting 250,000 potential poll workers during Poll Worker Recruitment Day alone, contributing to the more than 700,000 potential poll workers signed up by the effort over the course of that election cycle.
To sign up to be a poll worker during the midterm election this year, please visit www.powerthepolls.org/signup.
About Power the Polls
Power the Polls is a first-of-its-kind, nonpartisan initiative for recruiting poll workers to ensure a safe and fair election for all. Power the Polls was launched in June 2020 by a coalition of businesses and nonprofits, including Civic Alliance, Civic Responsibility Project, Comedy Central, Fair Elections Center, Pizza to the Polls, MTV Entertainment Group, and Center for Secure & Modern Elections. Power the Polls relies on objective data about poll worker requirements and applications collected from over 5,000 jurisdictions assembled by the non-partisan Fair Elections Center.
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