Charleston, W. Va. — Secretary of State Mac Warner announced today that the United Way of West Virginia will join his office in participating in the first-ever National Poll Worker Recruitment Day set for Tuesday, September 1, to help recruit potential poll workers for the 2020 General Election.
In West Virginia, county executive committees provide the names of persons nominated to work the polls before each election. When nominated poll workers “call off” for any reason, such as the pandemic, county clerks’ offices must appoint alternates to fill the vacancies before Election Day. After learning from other states ahead of the primary election, West Virginia’s “Elective Service” campaign kicked-off to recruit alternate poll workers for the 2020 elections.
To assist with poll worker recruitment for the June Primary Election, the West Virginia Real Estate Commission encouraged its members to consider signing up to work the polls. The United Way is the second organization to join the Secretary of State’s Office to assist counties with identifying eligible citizens willing to serve as alternate poll workers.
“Poll workers play a critical role in ensuring free, fair and accessible elections,” Warner said. “We are proud to have the United Way of West Virginia as a partner in our Elective Service effort.”
The organization will join the Secretary of State’s Office on Tuesday, September 1, as West Virginia participates in the first-ever National Poll Worker Recruitment Day and encourages registered voters to sign up to work the polls on November 3.
“United Ways across West Virginia are so proud to work with the Secretary of State’s office to encourage citizens to give back as poll workers,” commented Brett White, chair of the West Virginia United Way Collaborative. “We recognize that helping people become active and engaged in our voting system is critical to creating strong, healthy, equitable, and resilient communities.”
Established by the U.S. Election Assistance Commission, National Poll Worker Recruitment Day aims to raise awareness about the benefits and importance of poll working and inspire more Americans to sign up.
To be a poll worker in West Virginia, a citizen must: (a) be registered to vote in your county; (b) be able to read and write the English language; (c) attend training; and (d) be available to work all of Election Day. Any interested voter can sign up at GoVoteWV.com.
“Poll workers are the unsung heroes of the democratic process, and right now we’re facing a critical shortage of these dedicated volunteers,” said EAC Chairman Ben Hovland. “Recruiting poll workers is a challenge for many election officials across the country and the COVID-19 pandemic has made this need even more critical. We encourage Americans, who are able and willing to serve, to sign up to help America vote and work the polls on Election Day.”
By encouraging more people to become poll workers in our communities, National Poll Worker Recruitment Day aims to address the shortage of poll workers, strengthen our democracy, inspire greater civic engagement and volunteerism, and help ensure free and fair elections in November and beyond.
More about poll working and National Poll Worker Recruitment Day is available at HelpAmericaVote.gov, or at the WV Secretary of State's website at GoVoteWV.com.