A program that recruits volunteers to serve as poll workers has relaunched before the 2022 midterm elections as some jurisdictions face shortages, Politico reports.
Power the Polls, which previously recruited about 700,000 potential poll workers during the 2020 election, hopes to reengage those same people.
“We’re seeing already in the early primaries that there have been places that polling locations have been closed due to poll worker shortages, or there’s been the threat of closing polling locations,” Jane Slusser, the program manager for Power the Polls, told Politico in an interview released on Friday.
Politico notes that conspiracy theories surrounding recent elections have led to threats against poll workers and other election officials, which has hampered efforts to retain those who worked during the 2020 election and to recruit new workers. However, Slusser blamed the current labor market, saying that “I think election administrators, like every other employer in America, are having difficulty finding folks.”
She also noted that a drop in recruitment is expected in a midterm election year when compared to a presidential election year like 2020.
“It doesn’t matter if turnout is not as high as it is in those presidential years, we still need to have all those polling locations open,” Slusser said. “I think it really is an awareness issue.”
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