Students Encouraged to be Poll Workers for Upcoming Elections

Poll workers staff precincts across the country, including Tech's on-campus one.
Image via Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Image via Atlanta Journal-Constitution

As election season approaches, districts across the country are looking to hire poll workers to staff their precincts. But because poll workers are typically older, and therefore at a higher risk of developing complications if infected with Covid-19, young people, including Georgia Tech students, are stepping up to fill those roles. In Georgia, they are volunteering for the Nov. 3 general election, as well as the potential runoff elections on Dec. 1 and Jan. 5. Being a poll worker is a paid position.

“We must usher in a new generation of poll workers,” said Samuel Ellis, poll manager for the McCamish Pavilion precinct. “Seeing people your age at a polling place matters. If you feel welcome on Election Day and see friendly faces that represent you, you’re going to become a lifetime voter.”

A poll worker’s day starts at 5 a.m., when they show up at their precinct and start setting up the polling machines under the supervision of the polling place’s manager. From there, they’ll do anything from helping voters check in to ensuring that voters’ ballots have been cast properly to handing out the coveted “I’m a Georgia voter” stickers.

Because poll workers are required to be there for the entire day, they’ll have to vote with a mail-in ballot or go to the polls on a day that they’re not working.

Students living on or near campus can apply to work at Georgia Tech’s on-campus polling place, which will be held at McCamish Pavilion starting with early voting on Oct. 21. Poll workers for the McCamish precinct must be a U.S. citizen and a resident of Fulton County; students who are living on or near campus — even if only for the academic year — are considered Fulton County residents. Those interested can learn more about the requirements and apply here. Those looking to be a poll worker somewhere else in Fulton County can learn more here.

Those who don’t live in Fulton County can visit the U.S. Election Assistance Commission for more information about how to apply to be a poll worker in their area.