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Election Volunteers Needed

LWVOC Co-Presidents | Published on 6/4/2020

Memo from:Gloria Pickar and Sandi Vidal, Co-Presidents  

Date:June 3, 2020

Subject: Recruiting Volunteers for Adopt-A-Precinct for August 18 and November 3 Elections


Our league has traditionally adopted a precinct for each major election, and we intend to do so again if we can recruit enough volunteers. We are planning now to best assure the health and safety of our poll workers who will staff our LWVOC Adopt-A-Precinct location for both the August 18 Primary and November 3 General Elections. Some of our volunteers have opted out of staffing our Adopt-A-Precinct for the August and November elections for health and safety reasons. We sincerely respect their decision. We are recruiting for replacements by June 8.

 

You may recall that the March 17 Presidential Primary was right at the beginning of the pandemic. Most of our volunteers at the precinct we staffed were in the over-65 age group, which put them at high risk for the virus. Thankfully, none of them have been infected, that we know about. There was also the risk of our poll volunteers infecting others from their exposure at the precinct. Much of the precautions and protective equipment was provided and managed by those volunteers. It was a difficult situation. We believe in our mission: Empower Voters. Defend Democracy. But now we are more informed and have time to do this better with better planning, more protection, and more information. 


After the FL Primary, two poll workers tested positive for coronavirus in Broward County; https://www.miamiherald.com/news/politics-government/article241539451.html. Then came the Wisconsin Primary April 7 and we saw long lines of voters standing shoulder to shoulder, some in masks and some unprotected—all at risk. Wisconsin health officials reported that more than 50 poll workers or in-person voters tested positive for Covid-19 soon after that election; https://abcnews.go.com/Health/wireStory/52-worked-voted-wisconsin-election-covid-19-70406317. By that time, we were aware of the acute dangers of this situation and some Governors halted their primaries, but the WI Legislature and Supreme Court upheld the WI election. 


Guidance from LWVFL President Patti Brigham is, “We recommend that if you adopt the precinct that no one over 65 works the polling place nor should anyone with an underlying health condition work the polling place.” After consultation with our Supervisor of Elections Bill Cowles, we intend to honor our commitment to our precinct providing we can recruit enough volunteers. We understand from SOE Cowles that social distancing and disinfection procedures will be implemented for both training and staffing. But we respect our precinct volunteers who are over age 65, those who have underlying health conditions, or any others who do not feel safe to opt out of this work if they so choose. We are soliciting for more volunteers under age 65 and those who are non-compromised to fill their places.


Please reply to AAP Coordinator Mary Montanus mcmontanus@gmail.com by Monday, June 8 to let her know if you wish to volunteer. There is absolutely no pressure to work the precinct and we respect each person’s decision.

 

Thank you, Gloria & Sandi