WASHINGTON – Today, Fair Elections Center released a new report entitled Poll Worker Recruitment: Recommendations for a Better Voter Experience naming best practices for reducing barriers to working at the polls and improving the experience for present and future poll workers. The report outlines key policy priorities to help election administrators meet their staffing needs and diversify the pool of poll workers ahead of the 2024 election.
Poll worker shortages can contribute to long lines, closed polling locations, and significant wait times. To combat these challenges, voting rights experts from Fair Elections Center, a nonpartisan voting rights organization, have identified solutions that help to:
Provide flexibility in recruitment by shifting from jurisdiction-specific to statewide residency requirements
Allow 16-year-olds to be poll workers
Launch accessible online poll worker applications in each state
Create opportunities for voters without party affiliation to serve
There are no “off years” when it comes to election preparation. Training skilled poll workers is a year round effort and vital to improving election administration nationwide. Even in non-federal election cycles, poll workers are key investments and play an important role in maximizing voter turnout.
In 2016, Fair Elections Center developed WorkElections, a project aimed at helping election administrators throughout the United States recruit new poll workers. This unique recruitment web portal has created the underpinning of recruitment efforts for national organizations and major recruitment strategies used by the U.S. Election Assistance Commission and Power the Polls since the pandemic driven shortages of 2020.
“Poll workers are essential to guarantee free and fair elections,” said Robert Brandon, President and CEO of Fair Elections Center. “Expanding poll worker opportunities to young people, veterans, and more people reflecting the communities they help should be the norm. Recruiting a more diverse, tech savvy and, where necessary, bi-lingual pool of poll workers who also have the proper training and support they need allows for a thriving democracy,”
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Fair Elections Center is a national, nonpartisan voting rights and legal support organization that works to eliminate barriers to voting and improve election administration across the United States.