In this post, Andrew Goodman Foundation Fellow Jenna Santacroce shares several opportunities for students to serve at the polls.
There are more ways to get involved in the upcoming election aside from casting your vote. The Andrew Goodman Foundation Ole Miss Voting Ambassador Team encourages you to consider becoming a poll worker or a poll watcher!
Serving as a Nonpartisan Poll Watcher
If you are a student that wants to contribute to the election but are unable to work the polls in your home county or are not a Mississippi resident, you can participate by becoming a poll watcher.
The NAACP Legal Defense Fund is recruiting nonpartisan poll watchers to report activity that can threaten or intimidate voters and report barriers that limit accessibility to polling stations. Poll watchers can work in any county, but like poll workers, must receive training first. The final training date is Thursday, October 29th. Afterwards, LDF will be in touch with you about poll station assignments and further instructions about Election Day.
Sign Up to Be an Official Poll Worker
Mississippi’s Secretary of State, Secretary Michael Watson, is seeking the help of Ole Miss students to COVID-19 has inundated our lives with uncertainty since its emergence nearly one full year ago. Secretary Watson and other Mississippi state officials are determined to prevent the virus from affecting these next four years by ensuring a safe and secure 2020 Presidential election. The state of Mississippi is seeking to hire student poll workers to help keep the election process efficient and to maintain the integrity of our democracy.
Student poll workers may be tasked with a variety of responsibilities. As a student poll worker, some jobs you may be asked to assist with include setting up before the polls open, checking in and assisting voters, cleaning polling stations in between voters, or helping close the polls once they close.
Mississippi student poll workers must be at least eighteen years of age and a resident of Mississippi. Also, in order to work the polls, you must be a registered voter in the county you will work in on election day. It is a full day commitment and you are required to remain at the polling location for the entire time the polls are open.
To apply, you can complete a short application form found on Mississippi’s Poll Worker Portal. Completing your application does not guarantee that you will be hired, nor does it commit you to participate if you decide not to. By completing your application, your request to participate will be sent to your County Circuit Clerk and Election Commission. If your help is needed, these local election commissioners will contact you directly. If you are selected to become a student poll worker, you will be prompted to complete the required training before you serve on election day.
Here are several other opportunities:
- UM Campus Shuttles – We need volunteers to assist with shuttle service and check-in on Election Day. Sign up here to volunteer.
- Contact your local county clerk office and offer help. Local election commissioners may need assistance with setting up the polling locations or delivering personal protective equipment.
The 2020 Presidential election is one of the most anticipated elections yet. It is increasingly important, especially during the time of this pandemic, for this Presidential election to be safe, secure, and accurate as it will influence our lives for the next four years. Contribute to the 2020 Presidential election by doing more than just casting your ballot – apply to be a student poll worker or watcher!
For more information about county contacts, voter registration, and voter information, visit the Mississippi Secretary of State’s site, Y’all Vote. To stay up-to-date on Mississippi’s latest election initiatives, follow Mississippi’s Chief Elections Officer Secretary Michael Watson on Facebook and Twitter.
For your reference:
- Mississippi Today Election 2020 Guide
- Vote 411 League of Women Voters Guide
- Absentee Ballot Guide (MS)
- State by State Voting Directory
- Sign up for UM voting reminders by texting “@32h83c3” to 81010 or registering at linktr.ee/umoce.
- Sign up for Election Day campus shuttles for Lafayette County voting
- Subscribe to our OCE mailing list.