As the 2022 general election in November gets closer with every passing day, there’s another poll worker shortage sweeping the country much like in 2020 during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Despite the nationwide effort in 2020 that brought younger workers to the polls, a majority of poll workers around the country remain elderly and retired. Many are also driven away from doing it because the pay is low and the work day long.
To help with another nationwide recruitment campaign ahead of the 2022 midterm elections, UnidosUS has partnered with the Power the Polls coalition to help recruit more Hispanic poll workers for the effort.
As the U.S.’s largest Hispanic civil rights organization, UnidosUS has a nationwide affiliate network of almost 300 community-based organizations to pull from.
“People are the lifeblood of democracy. In our elections, from casting a ballot to staffing polling sites, it’s people that make it work. We are proud to partner with Power to the Polls to inform our community about the critical role they can play in ensuring that polling locations are accessible and welcoming to all America’s eligible voters,” said Clarissa Martínez De Castro, UnidosUS Vice President of its Latino Vote Initiative.
Power the Polls was founded in 2020 to help recruit younger poll workers ahead of the 2020 presidential election during the pre-vaccine days of the COVID-19 pandemic. It is made up of a coalition of businesses and nonprofits from across the country.
Its initial goal was to recruit 250,000 poll workers ahead of the election, but it was able to enlist upwards of 700,000 workers in less than 100 days after launching.
Similar results are hoped for in the 2022 midterms.
“Our democracy relies on the robust and active citizen participation of our fellow Americans. Every election cycle, our local election administrators report poll worker shortages that threaten to disrupt voters’ access to the polls, and unfortunately the 2022 midterm election is expected to be no different,” said Jane Slusser, program manager at Power the Polls.
By enlisting the help of UnidosUS to recruit Hispanic poll workers, it’s also another effort to get more Hispanic voters to the polls in 2022.
Turnout in 2020 was historic for Latinos, with more than half of eligible Latino voters participating in the election that saw President Joe Biden beat Republican incumbent Donald Trump. Just north of 61% of all Latino U.S. citizens 18 and older registered that year, and 88% showed up at the polls in November.
Midterm elections have historically lower turnouts, those voting numbers will only continue in their upwards trajectories as more Latinos across the U.S. find their political voice.
One of the ways to do that is to become a poll worker.
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