The United States of America is facing a shortage of poll workers. It is in desperate need of people–particularly younger people–to help people vote this year. Working the polls for an election is a concrete way to ensure your local race goes smoothly.
And with the historic turnout in the primary elections this previous spring, working the polls will be more important than ever before.
All of following facts are examples of why you should register to work the polls this November. If you need more reasons for why you need to work the polls, please read my reflections on working the polls last February.
1. A New York Times editorial from two weeks ago read: “No One Should Have to Stand in Line for 10 Hours to Vote”. In it, the author writes about the usual complaints we hear about voting lately: long lines, voter intimidation, and confusing or out-of-date voting machines. He looks to the 2004 elections in Ohio and shows how understaffed voting precincts coincided with the largest number of voter irregularities.
2. The Virginia Pilot reports how the state of Virginia–destined to be a battleground this election–is short some 2,000 poll workers this year.
3. Minnesota, also classified as a swing state this year, is scrambling to find enough poll workers.
4. Jackson County, Missouri has a shortage of 500 workers for their 250 polling locations. That is an additional two people per polling place in order to be fully staffed.
5. The progressive news source, AlterNet.org, lists a shortage of poll workers as one of the “Seven Ways Your Vote Might Not Count This November“. Along with voting machine allocations and voter purges, alternet fears that a shortage of poll workers can result in flawed ballots and slow lines.
And don’t forget to get our election preparation resources called Faithful Democracy.