You may have noticed in the news lately that there is a major shortage of pollworkers for this coming Tuesday’s presidential election. According to USA Today, there is a shortage of half a million pollworkers right now. This shortage is bound to cause long lines, frustration, and potentially, ballot problems or delayed results in the election.
I’m a volunteer pollworker. I take a day off during regular elections, primaries, and, if necessary, special elections to work at my local polling place. And I’d like to ask you and your friends and family to join me.
It’s not difficult – you need to learn the processes and procedures so that the election rules are upheld, but they’re not complicated. You might be surprised by all the checks and balances that happen in an individual polling place to make sure all voters and ballots are properly accounted for. Don’t get me wrong – the hours are long, the pay is negligible, and dealing with grumpy voters who have been in line for an hour can be challenging. But you get the satisfaction of knowing that you’ve directly participated in and helped others with the electoral process – and I can tell you, it’s immensely satisfying.
This election promises to have one of the highest turnouts in recent history, and we need more pollworkers to help make sure it goes smoothly. I know we’re all busy, but I think that taking one day out of my busy schedule to help make sure something as important as a presidential election runs smoothly is something I can make time for.
The Los Angeles County Clerk’s office has information on volunteering as a pollworker. It’s not too late to volunteer – training sessions are going on right up until a couple of days before the election. No matter what your political affiliation or opinion, please take a look at your schedule and see if you can help. The integrity of the electoral process depends on volunteer citizens.
And if you can’t volunteer, please be nice to your volunteer pollworkers on election day. :-)