Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Mike Naig and Secretary of State Paul Pate are encouraging Iowa FFA members and young alumni to take an active role in the Nov. 3 election by helping to staff polling locations.
Polling places around the state rely on precinct election officials to help ensure the election runs smoothly. This year the pandemic is creating recruiting challenges because most precinct officials are over 60 years old and at increased risk for complications from COVID-19. A week ago, Naig and Pate issued a press release calling for young Iowans to consider helping staff the polls on Nov. 3 to help protect high-risk populations.
Helping serve community
“Now more than ever, it’s critical for our young leaders to play active roles in the election process,” said Naig, who is an FFA alum. “I’m challenging Iowa FFA members and young alumni to assist in some way at their local polling places on Election Day. Not only is this a great way to help protect the most vulnerable Iowans, but it’s also an opportunity to serve your communities while witnessing democracy in action.”
“This is a great opportunity for FFA members to serve their community, state and nation. It’s an important job,” Pate said. “They’ll be helping ensure Election Day runs smoothly across Iowa. I hope many FFA members will step up and help.”
Each precinct has an election official who checks in voters, answers their questions, guides them through the voting process and guards the integrity of the election. To be a precinct election official, an individual must be a registered voter in Iowa, at least 17 years old and a resident of the county in which they are working. Precinct election officials will also participate in a training session before Election Day to learn more about voting rules and setting up the venues.
How to sign up
Iowa FFA members and alumni who are interested in serving as a precinct election official can sign up at pollworker.iowa.gov, and a representative from the County Auditor’s office will follow up with more information.
“All Iowans who are eligible to vote should make their voices heard in the 2020 election,” Pate said. “And the help of poll workers is needed. There are 250 local FFA chapters in Iowa, with a total of 16,000 active members in the state. More than 10,000 poll workers are required to help ensure Election Day goes smoothly.”