Long lines. Equipment issues. Requested ballots that never arrived. These are some of the many problems surrounding the now infamous, June 9th elections in Georgia. In response to the chaos, recent Georgia State graduate Evan Malbrough didn’t just talk about it, he got to work and The Georgia Youth Poll Worker Project was born.
“Poll workers are very important. Their role helps ensure free and open elections. A poll worker’s responsibilities include signing in registered voters, explaining voting procedure, helping voters use voting equipment, providing ballots and monitoring the election process. In states with same-day registration, they also register voters,” Malbrough said in an op-ed on blavity.com
Did you know? A poll worker is a paid position. Poll workers in some states make $250 for working election day. Even more, if you are available during early voting!
Despite these benefits, the U.S. Election Assistance Commission reports that almost 77% of poll workers in the United States are over the age of 61. The commission also states that “nearly 65% of jurisdictions reported that it was ‘very difficult’ or ‘somewhat difficult’ to obtain a sufficient number of poll workers.”
The pandemic has only made it worse but Evan remains optimistic. As he told forbes.com, “COVID-19 isn’t a setback, it is an opportunity to establish a new normal of young people being involved in all aspects of democracy.”
Pandemic conditions, along with the technology gap experienced as counties upgrade their voting systems, have encouraged Evan to rally the troops.
He says, “Older generations have set an example of what it means to go above and beyond to ensure our democracy is fair and accessible. It is time for our generation to take up that mantle and push it forward. We cannot just turn out the vote; we need to put in the work. The 2020 presidential primary and general elections will be some of the most consequential elections in American history, and it is up to millennials and Gen Zers, the largest voting block, to make our voices heard.”
To date, over 500 poll workers have been recruited!
Want to get involved? Sign up to be a Poll Worker today!
Did you know that the public can attend Board of Registration and Elections meetings?
These meetings are open to the public by Georgia law. Georgia Open Meetings Act.
Become a Peanut Gallery Volunteer Monitor at our next training on the 4th Tuesday of the month at 6 pm. Sign up Here