America’s Youth Steps Up to Volunteer as Poll Workers in Place of At-Risk Seniors

America's Youth Steps Up to Volunteer as Poll Workers in Place of At-Risk Seniors

  • In the past years, the elderly people used to volunteer as poll workers during election days.
  • However, with the COVID-19 still around and the elderly considered high-risks, there is a need for new volunteers.
  • The response of the youths to volunteer was overwhelming: almost half a million volunteers signed up!

Typically, it’s the elderly people who volunteer as poll workers during election days. But that seems to be a thing of the past now, especially amidst the global pandemic. The elderly have to stay safe at home. Needless to say, it’s the youth’s turn to take over the elections.

A developer from San Francisco, who originally created the website called Pizza to the Polls — which recruits people to buy pizza for voters — has now been converted to Power the Polls to help hire volunteer poll workers.

Photo Credit: Power the Polls

So far, they have recruited 450,000 in the younger age range. Majority of them are aged 18-35 years old, which is the total opposite end of the line compared to the typical past election days wherein poll workers were mostly aged 60-70.

The elderly are considered high-risks, that’s why in many places across the country, many of them declined to become poll workers this year. In Anchorage, Alaska, 95% of the volunteers from previous years decided not to participate in this election.

Photo Credit: Julia Reihs

The website Power of the Polls helps unite the youth, associations, and corporations to ensure the safety of the volunteers, PPE provisions, training, and in some cases, some compensation.

They partnered with the AARP or the Association of Young Americans, a civic association that helps educate voters and make sure they show up if they signed up.

“There is a need for us to sound the alarm,” says AARP’s senior vice president of campaigns to Fast Company, John Hishta. “And that’s why we’re working intergenerationally with these other folks.”

Volunteers this year will be working with full PPE gear on and constantly sanitizing the operations area.

Source: Good News Network


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