Editorial – Do your part for democracy: Work the polls

Published 4:58 pm Tuesday, September 12, 2023

Getting your Trinity Audio player ready...

Early voting for the November election begins Sept. 22 in Virginia. In a time when our democracy faces numerous challenges, one of the most meaningful ways to contribute to its resilience is by becoming a poll worker in Virginia. 

Gov. Glenn Youngkin is encouraging Virginians to sign up to serve as Officers of Election — Virginia’s title for poll workers — to ensure accurate and secure elections this November.

Each year, thousands of Virginia voters participate in the election process by casting ballots and working in their polling place as Officers of Election.

Email newsletter signup

“We are grateful to Virginia’s Officers of Election who staff polling places, check in voters, and ensure accurate and secure elections in the Commonwealth,” Youngkin said in an Aug. 21 news release. “But as some of our most reliable, long-serving officers are retiring, we need new officers to sustain our efforts. We are asking every eligible voter in Virginia to consider serving their community in this way.”

All Election Day polling locations and early voting locations need Officers of Election for every day they are open, requiring more than 15,000 election officers to staff voting locations across the commonwealth.

We all should value the democratic principles upon which our nation was founded. As such, we cannot emphasize enough the importance of the role of Officers of Elections in this process.

Recent events have highlighted the critical role poll workers play in maintaining the integrity of our elections. By volunteering, you become an essential guardian of our democracy, ensuring that every eligible citizen’s voice is heard.

Virginia offers numerous opportunities to get involved through the Virginia Department of Elections. Whether a seasoned voter or a first-time participant, your dedication can help ensure fair and transparent elections.

The City of Suffolk also offers an online portal for anyone interested in becoming an Officer of Elections. To do so, head to their website, www.suffolkva.us/1623/Officer-of-Election-Information, to apply.

In these times of change, our democracy depends on individuals willing to step up and serve as poll workers. Your contribution is a testament to your commitment to our democratic ideals. So, we encourage all Virginians to heed the call and volunteer as poll workers. 

Together, we can strengthen the very foundation of our nation — our democracy.