Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger, along with numerous partners, has recruited over 10,000 Georgians to help staff the polls in November. Georgia crossed this significant milestone the day after recognizing National Poll Worker Recruitment Day, when the Secretary joined Power The Polls as they helped recruit 250,000 poll workers nationwide.
“Together with the Metro Atlanta Chamber of Commerce and numerous other partners around the state, we have been able to recruit more than 10,000 Georgians to serve as poll workers in November,” said Raffensperger. “After we saw how the pandemic-related shortage of poll workers contributed to long lines in June, we set out to mobilize an all-hands-on-deck effort to make sure county elections officials had the staff they need in November. Thanks to the great work of our partners and the dedication of Georgia voters, elections in Georgia will move more smoothly and efficiently in the future.”
Georgia poll workers were on average above 65 years old. When the COVID-19 pandemic swept through the United States, this particularly vulnerable population understandably opted to stay home and avoid the risk of exposure to the virus. As a result, polling locations across the state were short-staffed on election day and limited in their ability to train new poll workers due to the constraints of the pandemic.
To fill this gap, Secretary Raffensperger is partnering with numerous organizations in the state to help recruit younger, less-at-risk populations to staff the polls on election day. By working with a wide array of private and nonprofit organizations, Raffensperger is hoping to reach new areas of Georgia to pull people off of the sidelines.
On June 9, Georgia saw record turnout for a statewide general primary election. Notwithstanding a state record for absentee ballots cast by mail, Georgia saw over 800,000 people vote on election day itself. More than 300,000 voted early, in person, during Georgia’s three weeks of early voting.
In-person voting remains as important as ever. Looking forward to November, turnout is expected to be as much as three times as high. This means, county officials need a stable of young poll workers to step up and help their communities on election day.