We Need the Youth to #PowerThePolls — A call to action from my 70-year-old father
Below are the words of my father, a man who’s lived in this country for seven decades.
“Ask not what your country can do for you, but what you can do for your country.”
In 1961, this was John F. Kenney’s challenge to the nation, out of which grew the Peace Corps.
Once again, it is our challenge to the young people of this country to sacrifice for the good of the nation. In my state of Texas, the average age of poll workers is my age: 70 years old. In normal times, this would not be a problem, but in the age of Covid-19, it is a clear threat to democracy as we know it.
This November, there will be less older volunteers to man the polling stations, forcing local and state agencies to cut down on the number of polling places for Americans to cast their vote. This, without a doubt, will suppress the vote, and the areas most affected will be in disadvantaged areas.
It is time for the college students and the young people of America to stand in the gap and volunteer to become poll workers so that we can ensure that everyone who wants to vote can. This is a chance for every young person to make a difference.
Power the Polls provides an easy, straightforward process for signing up to become a poll worker. Bonus: in most cases, you’re paid to work as a poll worker. So beyond bragging rights as an engaged citizen and a potential resume boost, you’ll probably get some $$ (never hurts, right?).
The lead article of the July 2020 Issue of The Canvass, “Poll Worker Shortages and Possible Solutions,” says,
“With older Americans less likely to serve as poll workers this November, many election officials have pinned their hopes on our country’s youth. In 45 states and the District of Columbia, people under 18 can become poll workers…
While many states have expanded their laws to allow youth to work as poll workers, a number of these programs are organized at the local level and may be run in conjunction with high schools or community youth programs.”