Beer cans may help recruit younger poll workers

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FRANKFORT, Ky. (WTVQ) – The state so badly needs poll workers for the November general election it is pulling out all the stops to recruit them.

And it hopes to recruit a younger generation to replace the hundreds of older adults who now serve as workers and are retiring.

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Secretary of State Michael Adams, on National Poll Worker Recruitment Day, announced a new initiative Tuesday to promote poll worker recruitment and voter registration.

A normal election requires 15,000 poll workers in Kentucky. During the primary in June, many voting precincts were unable to open because counties didn’t have enough poll workers to man them.

In response, the Secretary of State’s Office formed a partnership with the Kentucky Guild of Brewers to help get the word out. Together they designed beer labels that solicit volunteers to work the polls and encourage Kentuckians to register to vote.

The labels have QR codes directing to govoteky.com where imbibers can register to vote and apply to be a poll worker.

“Last year I testified to the legislature that we had a poll worker crisis in Kentucky,” Adams said. “COVID-19 certainly hasn’t helped. We need younger generations to step up and be good citizens, and so we enlisted the help of Kentucky’s craft breweries to reach them.”

Adams started his push in earnest six weeks ago and since then, 3,181 people have registered on the state’s web portal to be poll workers. But the state still nees more.

The campaign, SOS From Your SOS, is now being carried by four Kentucky breweries.

“When we are asked to help the Secretary of State with the ‘SOS From Your SOS’ project, Dreaming Creek Brewery jumped at the chance,” Charley Hamilton, owner of Dreaming Creek Brewery, said. “We along with several other microbreweries around the Commonwealth were eager to help support the initiative by getting custom labels to help promote and make the information easily accessible through QR codes. With COVID-19 still a strong concern going into voting season, poll workers are in short supply. This initiative will hopefully bring attention to this and get some new folks to help out working the polls come voting time.”

Pick up the different beers at:

  • Monnik Beer Co. 1036 E Burnett Ave, Louisville, KY 40217,
  • Pivot Brewing Company 1400 Delaware Ave, Lexington, KY 40505
  • Dreaming Creek Brewery 109 E Irvine St, Richmond, KY 40475
  • Wooden Cask Brewery 629 York St, Newport, KY 41071.