For Immediate Release
Contact: Natalia Pérez Santos

AFSCME launches first-ever program to recruit 1,200 poll workers

Partnering with Power the Polls, the public service worker union is mobilizing member volunteers to become poll workers ahead of the November elections. The initiative is the first time AFSCME has launched a poll worker program to fill the need in key states and communities across the country.

During a tele-town hall Thursday, AFSCME president Lee Saunders addressed hundreds of AFSCME members as they participated in the union’s latest mobilization effort to recruit and educate members to volunteer to become poll workers, filling the void left in key states around the country.
Answering the call each day during the coronavirus pandemic, AFSCME members – nurses, EMS workers, public safety workers, child care providers, sanitation workers and many others – are yet again stepping in to keep their communities running smoothly. It is that same commitment to public service that fuels AFSCME’s program to recruit, train and deploy public service workers in their communities to ensure that all Americans can exercise their sacred right to vote, no matter where they live. AFSCME is partnering with Power the Polls, a first-of-its-kind initiative to recruit poll workers to ensure a safe, fair election for all voters. 
“Who better to perform this important public service than people who have made a career out of public service?” said AFSCME President Lee Saunders on the tele-town hall. “We’re doing everything possible to encourage people to make a plan to vote. Vote early, vote by mail, vote in person; you have options – especially given the pandemic. But to ensure that everything goes off without a hitch, we will still need to be well-staffed at the polls on Election Day, as well as at in-person early voting sites.”  
The non-partisan poll worker recruitment program is a unique part of AFSCME’s larger, robust political program to engage public service workers to protect the rights and freedoms of every American and make their voices heard in the November elections.  
Earlier this month, AFSCME launched virtual field offices in Arizona, Florida, Michigan, Minnesota, Nevada, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin. In addition to these states, AFSCME is providing its members with access to virtual field offices in every state across the country. The virtual field offices will serve as the main action hub for AFSCME’s 2020 political education, mobilization and GOTV operation to elect Joe Biden, Kamala Harris and pro-worker candidates up and down the ballot.
“Public service workers have a lot on the line this election, including their jobs and the services they provide, because of the corrupt and failed leadership of Mitch McConnell and Donald Trump, who have botched the pandemic response and refused to send aid to fund our states, cities, towns and schools,” said Saunders. “These everyday heroes, who have put their lives on the line to beat back this pandemic and step up yet again for their communities, don’t deserve to be thanked with a pink slip. Joe Biden understands that we need to fund public services needed to beat the pandemic and safely reopen the economy, and that’s why AFSCME is working to make sure he and pro-worker candidates up and down the ballot are elected in November.”