Poll workers are a vital part of the election process. They help with a variety of election-related tasks, including checking in voters at polling precincts, helping voters understand their ballots, and opening and counting mail-in and absentee ballots. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, there has been a shortage of poll workers this year. However, young people can make a difference by signing up to be poll workers! You can sign up to be a poll worker on Election Day, November 3rd. In most cases, poll workers receive training, free PPE, and even get paid for their time.
Requirements vary by jurisdiction. In most states, poll workers need to be registered voters in the jurisdiction in which they plan to work, but this is not always the case. Many jurisdictions also offer stipends to poll workers. In addition, you can be a poll worker whether or not you are registered with a party. Please help ensure a smooth 2020 election and sign up to be a poll worker in your area.
Feel free to use the following email template to ask your professors to excuse you from class on Election Day, November 3rd, so that you can be a poll worker:
Dear [insert professor name here],
My name is [insert name here] and I am a student in your [insert course name here]. Because the course meets on Tuesdays, one of our classes will fall on Election Day, November 3rd.
I [signed up/would like to sign up] to be a poll worker on Election Day, and this requires me to be at the polling place all day. Poll workers help ensure a safe and efficient Election Day by helping voters check in, making sure voters maintain social distancing, and counting mail-in and absentee ballots. Due to the ongoing pandemic, there is an extreme shortage of poll workers and I want to help serve my community.
I was hoping you could excuse me from class on November 3rd. The Faculty Senate has passed a resolution encouraging professors to treat Election Day like a religious or secular holiday by excusing students who plan to participate in election-related activities. I will make up any work that I miss and will watch a recorded lecture for the class [if you could provide me with one (some professors already make these available)]. I would really appreciate your flexibility in helping me to ensure a smooth and secure 2020 election.
Thank you and have a great rest of your day!
[Insert name here]