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Stories of Local Election Workers and Why They Choose to Serve

Across the country, everyday Americans are stepping up to work our polling places and ensure we have another safe and secure election in 2022. These workers come from all different walks of life but they share a commitment to making sure American democracy endures. 

 

Several around the country have shared their reasons for working our elections. 

James Hardaway

Retired Veteran, North Carolina

Hardaway decided to sign up after hearing the call for election officials from the campaign Vet the Vote, a project of the nonpartisan nonprofit organization We the Veterans, a group founded to organize veterans and military members around democracy building at home. 

 

As a veteran, “It’s kind of well within our wheelhouse,” Hardaway says. “The vast majority of veterans that I know are apolitical and nonpartisan and are able to—whatever their political leanings or beliefs are—keep those at bay, and not let those sorts of ideas influence how they do this job. Veterans are absolutely well equipped to do this.”

Maria Starr-Van Core

Greater Lansing Area chapter of the Labor Council for Latin American Advancement (LCLAA)

Maria Starr-Van Core volunteers as a poll worker to inspire the younger generation to become involved in their communities.

 

“Polling and election work means that I am able to help educate and inspire a generation of young people to get involved, to express their opinions and ideals by voting, and to stay engaged in their community,” she said about volunteering to be a poll worker. “An educated voter is more likely to engage others to be involved as well.”

Spencer Colish-Patrick

Sophomore at Ohio State

Spencer Colish-Patrick  has been working the polls since high school, when she was inspired to step up after seeing political ads on TV during the pandemic. 

 

“I thought it was interesting to get that experience and help out as much as I can, based on the fact that I know that a lot of people in my community were not able to help anymore in that age range, due to the fact they had health issues,” Colish-Patrick said.

Claude Fields

National Air Guard, Michigan

Claude Fields chooses to work as a poll worker for love of country and duty to step up. 

 

"​​It's something you do because you love your country and want to give back," said Fields, a former poll worker in Michigan who served in his state Air National Guard. "Like serving in the military. I took an oath then and took one as a poll worker."

Barbara Hughes

Ohio

Barbara Hughes chose to become a poll worker to see the process first hand and be a trusted voice to combat fraud conspiracies. 

 

“I wanted to be able to be able to dispel what people said about fraud in the election, so I wanted to see what the process was,” Barbara Hughes said.

Raquel Padron

Retired Real Estate Agent, Florida

Padron signed up to work the elections in 2022 for the first time. She wanted to see for herself how elections work after hearing news that something went wrong with the last election.

 

"I cannot talk about something that I do not know, therefore I have to be a part of the system to make sure that yes, everything is being done correctly," said Padron.