Power the Polls

As you likely know, we are facing a nationwide poll worker shortage. Because of COVID-19, the older Americans who typically carry most of the burden of keeping our polling places open must stand down this year to protect their health. Unless younger Americans step up, the resulting shortage of poll workers could mean closed polling places and long delays in communities across the country. We believe that college students can play a critical role in protecting our election by serving as poll workers and educating their peers about the need.

We have received external funding to launch the Campus Compact Safe Elections Project, which will enlist and train 300 Student Recruiters during summer 2020 to recruit their fellow students as poll workers for the November 2020 election. Campus Compact will train Student Recruiters from our member institutions to be effective digital organizers and educators about the importance of poll workers for our democracy. Student Recruiters will direct interested students to register at Power the Polls.

Student Recruiters will receive a $500 stipend upon completion of their work, which will take place over 3 weeks during summer 2020. Per the funder’s request, our priority is enlisting Student Recruiters in the following states: California, Florida, Michigan, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin. However, this opportunity is open to students and recent alumni of all member institutions in every state, and the opportunity will be promoted to the Newman Civic Fellows.

Campus Compact’s board has endorsed the following statement:

“In support of efforts across the United States to address the critical shortage of poll workers in the face of COVID-19, the Campus Compact Board of Directors calls upon every college and university to enact policies identifying service as a poll worker as a legitimate reason for students to be absent from class on primary and general election days in the fall of 2020.”

For more information or questions, please contact Emily Bottie at ebottie@compact.org.