Letter to the Editor: Election poll workers needed

There is an urgent need for more poll workers this election, including people 50-plus as well as those younger. We need to ensure that in-person voting is still an accessible and safe option, so that Delawareans can choose how they want to vote this year.

That’s why AARP announced a new initiative to enlist poll workers of all ages in November, working in collaboration with the Association of Young Americans (AYA), Power the Polls and the New Leaders Council (NLC). The groups aim to enlist more poll workers to ensure that in-person voting is still an accessible and safe option this fall.

According to a Pew Research Center analysis of government data, nearly 6 in 10 poll workers (58%) were ages 61 and up in 2018 and 56% in 2016. Many communities faced poll worker shortages prior to the pandemic. The 2016 U.S. Election Assistance Commission found that two-thirds of jurisdictions already had a difficult time recruiting enough poll workers on Election Day that year.

The Power the Polls initiative is working with local organizations and partners to help election officials provide the necessary personal protective equipment to keep poll workers and voters safe. For more information, reach out to your local officials through workelections.com.

AARP has launched “Protect Voters 50+,” a comprehensive voter-engagement campaign for Americans 50-plus as they vote in the 2020 elections. The campaign will provide information about this year’s elections, including voter safety, video voters’ guides and issue briefings.

We encourage everyone to communicate with their younger relatives and friends about the importance of voting and how to participate as a poll worker..

For more information on how to serve as a poll worker in your community, visit powerthepolls.org/aarp.  

Lucretia Young
AARP Delaware state director