State ag leaders encourage FFA alums to be poll workers

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FRANKFORT, Ky. (WTVQ/Press Release) State Agriculture Commissioner Dr. Ryan Quarles is asking members and alumni of Kentucky’s youth agriculture organizations to fulfill Secretary of State Michael Adams’ call to recruit poll workers for the November 2020 election.

“Kentucky FFA has a long tradition of civic engagement,” Quarles said. “As Secretary Adams has made clear, we need young people to serve as poll workers so that we can put on a fair and safe election this fall. I am asking eligible members – and young alumni – of Kentucky FFA to respond to Secretary Adams’ call to serve.”

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Adams is using a variety of techniques to try to recruit young people to fill the voids left in an aging poll worker population that is thinned even more this year by concerns over the coronavirus among that high-risk age group.

Those efforts include everything from promotions on beer cans to social media blitzes.

In a normal election, it takes about 15,000 poll workers to man all the state’s voting precincts. Although that many may not be needed this year, even with what is expected to be a record turnout, Adams and local election officials are trying to fill the ranks for future years.

“I thank Commissioner Quarles and Kentucky FFA for joining my effort to recruit poll workers for the November election,” Adams said. “We cannot have a robust number of in-person voting locations without poll workers to run them. We particularly need young people, as most poll workers who volunteered in the past are elderly and thus deemed uniquely at risk from coronavirus. Please visit govoteky.com to sign up.”

A precinct election officer works the polls all day on Election Day to ensure voting is conducted fairly and orderly. Each precinct is required to have four precinct election officers serve on the day of the election.

“Although FFA is a non-political organization, we do encourage our members to be educated about issues that affect them and their families and to take part in the political process as individuals who will be personally affected by governmental decisions,” FFA President Malory White said. “In order for our organization to reach its goal of ensuring members achieve personal growth, we must encourage them to take part in activities that will help them to shape their values and define their goals. Serving as a poll worker would be a great opportunity for our members to apply what they have learned in FFA in serving their local communities.”

In order to become an election officer, an individual must be a qualified, registered voter. Individuals who will be 18 years old on or before November 3, 2020 are eligible to serve as officers. Other qualifications can be found online by visiting the State Board of Elections webpage at elect.ky.gov.