Young people wanted to fill dozens of election day poll worker positions

Typically seniors are the ones filling that role, but with the COVID-19 pandemic, many are unwilling to do the job this year.
Published: Oct. 1, 2020 at 6:18 PM EDT
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FLINT, Mich. (WJRT) - (10/1/2020) - We are now pushing the one month mark until November’s General Election. And, your help is needed to ensure Election Day goes smoothly.

Cities and townships across our state are seeing a shortage of poll workers.

“This is critical to our democracy, that’s what -- that’s what makes us, you know, who we are. It’s our democracy,” said Flint’s former Mayor Karen Weaver.

She explained the state is down 500 poll workers.

With just one month left before Election Day, she made a plea on social media for the community to get involved.

In the video, she shared, “We also want a new generation of poll workers. Young people, we need your help. Come be part of the process because you’re important to the process. We’re looking for fair, safe and efficient polling sites. And with your help, we know we can make this happen.”

The push is part of greater movement on social media -- #powerthepolls -- encouraging young people across the country to help.

Weaver said typically seniors are the ones filling that role, but with the COVID-19 pandemic, many are unwilling to do the job this year.

“And, I don’t blame seniors, you know, you can’t blame them for being fearful about coming out when you have a pandemic and they’re such a vulnerable population,” she added.

So what does signing up entail?

Genesee County Clerk John Gleason said all poll workers will go through a one-day training, where they’ll be certified to work on November 3rd.

They are asked to work the entire day, from 6 a.m. until the last ballot is cast. During that time, poll workers will assist clerks, count ballots and help maintain a clean voting location -- adhering to public health guidelines put in place.

“You know, with the social distancing, that makes the lines a lot longer,” Weaver said. “It makes things move a little bit slower. And so, it’s really crucial that we have enough poll workers to be there and help move this process forward.”

If you’d like to sign up, click here.

Gleason said they’d like to have members of both political parties involved.

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