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AARP Idaho Collaborates to Address Poll Workers Shortages for 2020 Elections

Voters voting in polling place
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AARP Idaho announced a new initiative to enlist poll workers of all ages this November, working in collaboration with the Association of Young Americans (AYA), Power the Polls, and New Leaders Council (NLC).  The groups aim to enlist more poll workers to ensure that in-person voting is still an accessible and safe option this fall.

“Most poll workers are over 60 years of age. Even during the best of times it’s always been challenging to staff voting centers, but with the current pandemic the need is even greater. It’s important that in-person voting is still an accessible and safe option and we’re working towards that goal,” said Lupe Wissel, AARP Idaho state director Lupe Wissel.

For more information on how to serve as a poll worker in your community, visit www.powerthepolls.org/AARP.  According to a Pew Research Center analysis of government data, nearly six-in-ten (58%) poll workers were ages 61 and up in 2018 and 56% in 2016. Many communities faced poll worker shortages prior to the pandemic. The 2016 U.S. Election Assistance Commission found that two-thirds of jurisdictions already had a difficult time recruiting enough poll workers on Election Day.

AARP will work to engage with younger audiences to work alongside 50-plus Americans to help ensure the availability of safe voting options. By partnering with Power the Polls, AYA, and NLC, AARP will raise awareness about the need for additional poll workers of all ages to ensure the continued accessibility and safety of in-person voting.

The Power the Polls initiative is also working with local organizations and partners to help election officials provide the necessary PPE to keep poll workers and voters safe. For more information reach out to your local officials through workelections.com.

In August, AARP launched “Protect Voters 50+,” a comprehensive voter engagement campaign to support and protect Americans 50-plus as they vote in the 2020 elections. The campaign will help Americans over 50 votes safely, whether at home or in person. The “Protect Voters 50+” campaign will provide people with the information they need about this year’s elections, including video voters’ guides, issue briefings, direct mail, text messaging, social media and paid media.

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