Get Involved: A Guide for Election Day

By Debora Aberastury on August 6, 2018

With less than 100 days until the midterm election, It is a good time to consider spending your Election Day volunteering your time. There are many ways that you can do that – from working at the polls to shuttling people to and from the polls – there is something for everyone, no matter your time availability.

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https://pixabay.com

Work as an Election Worker

While not everyone can do this — especially if you work a Monday to Friday job, or have classes on Tuesday — it is a worthwhile opportunity if you are able to do so.

The job is relatively easy, and you do get job training either the week before or hours before. You normally help check voters in, hand out ballots, help with curbside voting and generally make sure that the voting process runs smoothly.

And even though it is often seen as a volunteer opportunity, it IS a job! You do get paid some for your time and commitment, depending on the election jurisdiction – normally around $100 for the day. You do have to stay the entire day, normally from 5 a.m. until the polls close around 7 p.m. On occasion, there is food available for workers, but again it does depend on the election jurisdiction.

For more information on how to become an Election worker, go to https://www.eac.gov/voters/become-a-poll-worker/

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Shuttle Voters from and to Polling Places

Not everyone can reliably and easily get to the polls. This is where you can come in! Many campaign offices – both local and national – and senior communities look for volunteers to help volunteers get to and from the polls. All it takes is a call to the local campaign offices and senior communities to see what you can do, as well as seeing if your family members or neighbors need a ride as well. Every citizen has the right to vote, so making sure that they can get to the polls can help them exercise their right.

And on the topic of campaign offices….

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https://pixabay.com

Volunteer with a Campaign

They are hard to find in some places, but they ARE there. There are offices for both parties – democratic and republican – who are always looking for volunteers. Campaigns normally start around June and end in November. Duties normally include making phone calls and going door to door. Contact whichever candidate or campaign you feel strongly about now if you do have free time to dedicate your time. Otherwise, contact them to, at the very least, help get out the vote on Election Day.

At the very least, they will very much appreciate a donation of water bottles or any type of food from now until Election Day! (Especially water bottles in the summer heat). These offices run on donations, so if you are unable to dedicate your time, the next time that you are in the store, pick up an extra water to drop off. Or drop off some home cooked food or snack foods. While you’re there, make sure to pick up some bumper stickers and signs as well. They will greatly appreciate it!

Do remember that although the national elections in November are heard about more frequently, there are elections on the local and state level! They do need poll workers for ALL elections, not just the major ones. Voters want to get the polls for ALL elections, not just the ones that “matter.” And while there may not be as many election campaign offices during smaller elections, do make sure to find out what offices are out there for the local elections. You never know how you may be able to help.

Graduate student in International Relations at Webster Vienna Private University. Research Assistant at Webster Vienna Private University. Assistant Editor at Voy Abroad. Federal Affairs Senior Correspondent at Pasquines.

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