He may be too young to vote but 17-year-old Leo Kamin doesn’t want to sit on the sidelines. He helped create Poll Hero, a project founded by a group of students at Princeton University and Denver East High School whose goal is to connect young people interested in becoming poll workers with their local election officials.
“I’ve been interested in politics and our government for a long time,” Kamin said. “I think a lot of people are going to be looking to vote in person come November - and it’s important there are people there who can guide them through the process.”
The pandemic is causing a shortage of poll workers across the nation especially since the average poll worker is in their sixties - an age group more likely at risk for COVID-19 complications. The Poll Hero Project hopes to fill the gap - in just about a month, more than 70 volunteers recruited 11,000 poll workers nationally - and they’re on track to reach their goal of 15,000 by Election Day.
“It’s young peoples kind of duty to Civic engagement to take out this mantle because poll workers make elections possible and we can’t do without them,” said Ella Gantman, Co-Founder of Poll Hero.
While in some states you have to be at least 16 to be a full time paid poll worker, you can still help with the Poll Hero Project at any age by spreading the word on social media.
Sign up on pollhero.org. Volunteers say it’s a tangible way to protect and serve democracy while recognizing poll heroes as those who are helping make elections possible.
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