Ready to help other Americans follow through with their civic duty of choosing their local, state, and federal leaders? Working at a polling location is a great way to do your part as an American, according to Drexel Heard II. Here, he shares what to expect on your first day as a polling location worker.
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Check the Laws in Your State
First, it’s important that you check the requirements for becoming an election worker in your state, according to Drexel Heard II. In some states, it’s required that all poll workers are registered voters, and states also have different age requirements.
After you’ve determined that you meet the requirements to serve as an election worker in your state, you’ll need to sign up with your election office. You can do so here.
Learn About Your Role
There are many moving pieces when it comes to creating a flawless voting experience for citizens, and you’ll need to learn about the role that you’ll play to ensure that things go smoothly. You’ll work with your election office to determine your assigned location and the time at which you’re to arrive. It’s key that you’re on time, as you may be relieving other workers who have finished long shifts. You may also be assigned a backup role, in which case you’ll need to know the protocol that will be followed to call you in if the polls get busy.
Meet Your Manager
Your polling place will have a person who is in charge of the poll workers, and you’ll want to touch base with them as soon as you arrive at your location. They’ll go over any last-minute tips that you’ll need to know to help the day run well.
Pair Up With a Seasoned Worker
If it’s your first time working at the polls, you may want to pair up with a seasoned worker to help you understand your role. Let your manager know that it’s your first time working the polls so that they’ll be able to match you up with a worker who understands the ropes, recommends Drexel Heard II.
You can expect to work up to 12-hour days while working at a polling place, and it’s key that you arrive prepared. Bring your meals, talk with your manager about whether you’ll have scheduled breaks, and ask ahead of time if workers are to contribute to a potluck-style lunch or dinner (a popular choice among poll workers). You might not be able to leave the location during your shift, so it’s key that you bring everything you need to get through the day.