By Pollworkers for Democracy
September 23, 2006
In light of a national pollworker shortage of 500,000 and persistent controversies around polling, citizen action groups have joined forces in a new national “Pollworkers for Democracy” campaign. VoteTrustUSA, along with our partners Mainstreet Moms, and Working Assets launched last week with a call to “give a day for democracy” by signing up to work the polls. In its first days, 1435 new pollworkers have signed up nationwide.
“It’s time to give a day for democracy and sign up to work the polls.” said Megan Matson (pictured at left), of Mainstreet Moms, “The only way our democracy can truly work is by turning concern into action and becoming part of the solution. Helping voters and assisting elections officials is a simple, supportive and paid way to do this.”
At present pollworkers are hired, trained and paid by their local election officials to work in their county on Election Day – the average age of a pollworker is 72. Pollworkers for Democracy is recruiting pollworkers to help with the kind of problems seen in recent primaries: thousands of frustrated would-be voters, long delays, and confusion generated by failing voting machine systems. These problems, combined with a recent flurry of lawsuits and a growing stack of government and institutional reports against electronic voting machines have lead to low public confidence in the American electoral system. Pollworkers for Democracy aims to encourage citizens to get informed and get active in response. Visitors to pollworkersfordemocracy.org can pledge to work the polls, look up local officials information, and learn how to apply for pollworker positions. They are further supported with online materials and weekly teleconference calls offering pollworking resources and advice.
“For the first time in a national election this year, new, computerized equipment will be used in most polling places across the country.” said Joan Krawitz, Executive Director of VoteTrust USA, “Our goal is to bring citizens into the process to work the polls and to help both new and experienced pollworkers ensure that the November election runs as smoothly as possible for the voters at their polling places.”