Seeking a younger generation of poll workers
Poll workers are a crucial part of the election process and one student hopes young people step up
ROCKINGHAM COUNTY, Va. (WHSV) - Early in-person voting began in September. Since then, many have gone to their polling locations to vote. With exactly four weeks until Election Day, poll workers have been on the ground running making sure every vote gets counted in this unique voting season.
“If they could just come and work the polls, they can really see how much work it is. There’s a lot of work that goes in to preparing for it,” said Betty Owens, the Chief Election Officer for in-person voting in Rockingham County.
Owens has been an officer of elections for about 18 years. She said they have seen a lot of poll workers signing up this year and are trying to train as many people as they can as early as possible.
“We’re training, you know, sometimes 2 and 3 a day,” Owens said.
Owens said they have seen a lot of early voters, but still expect crowds on November 3rd.
“We strive to have a good election for people to feel that their vote is really counted and I feel like with the way we got it set up, it is counted," Owens said.
James Madison University student, Charles Conner, is working for Campus Vote Project, a subsection within the Fair Elections Center.
“My goal is to recruit a lot of younger poll workers because they are the ones least affected by COVID,” Conner said. “I think it’s a necessity for younger people to step up at this time so that we can have a better and safer election process this year,” Conner said.
Conner also hopes having younger generations in the voting precincts will help them get more involved in civic engagement.
“It helps foster civic engagement in younger people and it helps build, I think, a better relationship towards civic engagement and a higher willingness to participate,” Conner said.
For more information on becoming a poll worker you can go to “Power the Polls” website run by the Campus Vote Project. The website will show you the elections officer or registrar page for your city or county and answer any frequently asked questions.
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