North Carolina elections officials – including here in McDowell County – are looking for “democracy heroes” to work at polling places and early voting sites this fall.
These local heroes will protect democracy, learn about the elections process, serve their communities and get paid in the process. The State Board of Elections encourages voters of all ages to lend a hand to the democratic process in this important presidential election year. Election workers often consist of retirees and older members of a community – groups at higher risk during the COVID-19 pandemic, according to a news release.
Here in McDowell, the county Board of Elections usually needs around 110 workers at all 17 precincts on Election Day. But Elections Director Kim Welborn told The McDowell News her office will need much more for the upcoming general election.
“Our goal is to get as many as we can,” she said. “We will hire around 160 for Election Day this year.”
Welborn said the need for more precinct workers is due to the high-profile elections this year for president, governor and U.S. Senate which will result in big number of votes. In addition, this election will require more extensive cleaning and social distancing because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
To learn more and express your interest in working in the 2020 general election, go the state Board of Election's website, www.ncsbe.gov and search the term "get involved." That will bring up the form.
“Elections officials in many North Carolina counties are looking for election workers for the November 3 general election and the early voting period in October,” said State Board Executive Director Karen Brinson Bell. “Not all heroes wear capes. You can be a hero for democracy and our state in 2020.”
After completing the online form, your information will be forwarded to your county Board of Elections. You will be contacted if election workers are needed in your county, according to the news release.
The State Board is committed to protecting election workers’ health and safety. Appropriate protective equipment, including where applicable masks, gloves, face protection, and cleaning supplies, will be provided, and social distancing guidelines will be in place at polling places this year.
Election workers have an important role. They:
• Staff polling places during early voting and on Election Day
• Set up and close the voting enclosure
• Check in voters and issue ballots
• Assist voters upon request
To serve as an election worker, you must be a registered voter and serve in your county of residence. Other restrictions may apply. To check your registration status, go here: https://vt.ncsbe.gov/RegLkup/
In North Carolina, high school students may also serve as election workers. To become a student election assistant, you must:
• Be 17 years old by Election Day;
• Be a U.S. citizen;
• Reside in the district where you wish to serve;
• Be enrolled in a secondary educational institution with an exemplary academic record as determined by that institution;
• Be recommended by the principal or director of the institution; and
• Have the consent of a parent, legal custodian or guardian.
The Student Election Assistant application can be found here: https://www.ncsbe.gov/Portals/0/Forms/Student%20Election%20Assistant%20Guide.pdf
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