Volunteering at Poll Stations

There is a national poll worker shortage. Most poll workers are over 60 and need to stay away from large crowds to reduce the risk of getting sick. As a result, many polling stages are left understaffed or even empty. This can lead to voter suppression, long lines, low voter turnout, and higher risk of community COVID-19 transmission.

Young, low-risk people who are comfortable working in-person with proper personal protective equipment can fill in to keep polls staffed. This would help ensure voting functions properly to minimize lines and delays. Please consider signing up here to be a paid poll worker on Election Day.

NOTE: To be a poll worker in Connecticut, you must be registered to vote in CT. If you are not registered in CT, but would still like to volunteer, please reach out to yalevotes@yale.edu.

What happens in a shortage?

  • In a shortage, polling places will face long delays, making it difficult for low-income and/or rurally located people to vote.
  • Polling places may shut down when there aren’t enough workers, leaving communities with fewer locations to vote and longer transit times.
  • When fewer polling places are open, larger crowds have to gather at single polling places, increasing the risk of spreading COVID-19 for everyone.
  • With vote-by-mail systems in jeopardy, safe in-person voting is critical.

What are the responsibilites of a poll worker?

  • A poll worker is the official responsible for overseeing voting stations. Their work includes:
  • Setting up stations & answering questions
  • Updating voter registration information
  • Passing out “I Voted” stickers
  • Ensure ballots are correctly deposited
  • Help voters understand their rights
  • Protect ballots and voting equipment

Please feel free to reach out to yalevotes@yale.edu if you have any additional questions.