Tuesday, April 12, is the Thank Election Heroes National Day of Action. With more than 40 events and counting, the day is a way to acknowledge election workers as local heroes and bolster support for their work in this year’s elections and beyond. Activists will write letters to election workers, drop off food, or have celebrations in front of county election offices in localities across the country.
These events are an important reminder that poll workers and election officials are our neighbors. Their children attend schools with our children. They are trusted members of our communities. They help keep our elections free, fair, and accessible. When you take part in elections, as a poll worker or a poll observer (partisan or non-partisan) you are directly impacting and helping your community. You are participating in democracy on its most fundamental level.
In addition to thanking your poll workers by finding an event near you, here are some other ways you can help your local elections continue to be safe and fair.
Become a Poll Worker
Every election season, local election offices hire people like you to work at polling locations. You, too, can help check voters in and hand them their ballots. You too can hand them the coveted “I voted” sticker. By entering your state and county on this website, you will receive the direct contact information of your local election office. Reach out and see if they need help. You will receive training and everything you need to do the job.
Become a Poll Observer
Every state has different rules about who is allowed to be a poll observer. These rules run from how many people are allowed inside versus outside the polling location to where you can stand or sit and what exactly you’re allowed to do. In most states you will find both partisan and nonpartisan observers at a polling site and different regulations for each. There are many organizations that run nonpartisan poll observer programs. A national organization that can help you begin your search is 866 Our Vote. For more information on becoming a partisan poll observer, contact your local political party office directly. You will receive training on your roll and state specific regulations and be able to sign up for shifts.