September 1, 2012

Lawyer As Citizen: The Senior Lawyer’s Pollworker Public Service Project

By: John Hardin Young

The hours are long, the pay is low, but the work is critical to this November’s elections. The job? Official poll worker. Poll workers are also known as “election officials,” “elections judges,” “precinct officers,” and “polling officials.” Their job is ensure that on Election Day the election machinery is up and running, voters are checked in and permitted to vote, and, at the end of the day, the results are counted and accurately reported. The problem is that there are not enough volunteers to act as poll workers. This shortage of poll workers is not a new phenomenon. In 1934, it was observed that, “The greatest single problem of election administration is that of securing honest and capable precinct officers, who are essential to a satisfactory election administration.” Joseph p. Harris, election administration in the United states (1934).

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