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The Poll Hero Project Works to Recruit Young People to Fill Poll Worker Shortage

In an effort to keep all polling locations open on Election Day, The Poll Hero Project is recruiting young people to work the polls. The COVID-19 pandemic has caused a poll worker shortage.
In an effort to keep all polling locations open on Election Day, The Poll Hero Project is recruiting young people to work the polls. The COVID-19 pandemic has caused a poll worker shortage.

With the General Election just six weeks away, many are concerned there won’t be enough people to work at voting locations. The average age of a poll worker is older than 60, which is also one of the age groups most impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Rana Yu is a senior at Jackson High School in Massillon. She is volunteering with the nonpartisan organization The Poll Hero Project to encourage young people to be poll workers. In Ohio, poll workers must be 18 years old and registered to vote, or 17 years old and a senior in high school. The national organization run by student volunteers has recruited 25,000 poll workers since August.

Yu says poll workers are essential to ensuring people can vote in person.

“If a lot of our polling places get shut down because we have a shortage of workers, some people might go see [and say], ‘Oh wow the line is so long,' and then be so discouraged that they just give up, go home and don’t vote,” she said.

Yu encourages anyone who is able to sign up to be a poll worker. 

Secretary of State Frank LaRose's office also has more information about becoming a poll worker in Ohio.

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