The Civic Alliance activated its network of corporate members and encouraged all companies to address the country’s urgent need for poll workers and safe, accessible elections in 2020.
Through our Election Day of Service initiative, the Civic Alliance, in collaboration with our partners, identified hundreds of thousands of new poll workers, contributed physical space to vote, and donated PPE to support safe and secure elections.
Across the country, elections officials sounded the alarm about potential poll worker recruitment shortages, shuttered polling places, and the need for PPE to protect poll workers.
Four simultaneous challenges threatened access to safe in-person voting in 2020:
Social distancing reduced the capacity of existing polling places. Health concerns made many buildings - including senior centers, nursing homes, and some schools - unavailable as voting sites.
The need to provide personal protective equipment (PPE) and other services (i.e., masks, sanitizer, etc.) to poll workers and voters will required a large number of additional resources and volunteers at polling sites.
Historic turnout increased stress on all levels of the election system.
Many poll workers who served in previous elections chose to opt out in 2020 due to heightened health risks associated with COVID exposure. Nearly half of the 1,000,000 poll workers in the 2016 election were over the age of 60, and a quarter were over 70.