The issue of election integrity took the nation by storm in 2021. As the midterms approach in 2022, I have a feeling that the spotlight on election integrity is only going to get brighter from here. As you think about what your New Year’s resolution might be, would you consider being on the front lines of the election integrity fight by serving as a poll worker or poll watcher?
A poll worker is someone who works on behalf of the local election authority to staff polling places. Laws regarding the duties of poll workers vary from state to state, but they all play an important role. As you can imagine, it takes a lot of people to staff polling places on election day. Most people do not have any trouble getting a position as a poll worker. Having upstanding citizens who can operate from the inside to report any unethical or illegal conduct is a valuable service for anyone interested in protecting our elections.
While a poll worker operates on behalf of the election authority, a poll watcher is someone who watches a polling place on behalf of a political party. If the poll watcher notices any irregularities, they act as a witness and report back to the local party office. Again, laws regarding poll watchers vary from state to state, but your local party office can give you all the training you need to be effective and in compliance with the law.
If you are interested in being a poll worker, contact your state or local election authority. In most states, the secretary of state is the top election authority and can point you in the right direction. If you are interested in being a poll watcher, contact your local party office.
Poll watchers and workers play a huge role in protecting the vote of every citizen. November’s elections might seem like a world away, but don’t make the mistake of waiting until Halloween before volunteering. Being ready and available for training early is important. In 2022, make it your New Year’s resolution to be a poll worker or poll watcher.