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This July Fourth reminds us that election workers are the backbones of our democracy

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As we have a good time the Fourth of July and suppose by way of the freedoms dwelling within the U.S. afford us, on the high of the checklist ought to be our skill to have free and honest elections. 

For the millions of Americans watching the Jan. 6 committee hearings, the real-life results of baselessly having our electoral course of attacked has been on full show. For sure, one of many teams of people that have been caught within the cross fires has been the one on the forefront of holding elections protected and safe: ballot employees. 

Election employees are dedicated to a good election course of, to not political agendas.

In 2020, American voters turned out in file numbers regardless of the coronavirus pandemic to make sure that their voices had been heard within the election of their authorities representatives. It will not have been doable with out the tireless effort of lots of of hundreds of election employees across the nation who helped individuals of their communities vote, which required going the additional mile to adapt to the influence of the pandemic. These civic-minded Individuals gave their time, typically working lengthy hours, due to their dedication to our democracy and dedication to the values all of us share as Individuals.

As somebody who works to recruit ballot employees across the nation by way of Truthful Elections Heart’s WorkElections  program, I’m aware that we have to proceed to recruit a various pool of ballot employees who replicate the communities they serve. Ballot employees are important to our elections.

Election employees are dedicated to a good election course of, to not political agendas. That sense of patriotic responsibility is what drives us to assist all Individuals to train their very own. The individuals who help us at our polling locations are our associates and neighbors whom we see at our grocery shops, homes of worship and workplaces day by day. In the course of the Jan. 6 congressional committee hearings, Georgia election employee Wandrea “Shaye” Moss gave highly effective testimony about how assaults from politicians and extremists in search of to problem the 2020 election outcomes disrupted her life. Nobody ought to must undergo these experiences when they’re merely making an attempt to do their job.

Covid-19 has already made it tougher for older Individuals, who’ve lengthy made up the majority of poll workers, and folks with well being circumstances to soundly work the polls — even when they’d been doing so for many years. 

Youthful, more healthy individuals have stepped up as ballot employees by way of such initiatives as Power the Polls. We should push again in opposition to those that would deter would-be ballot employees and proceed to guarantee that election employees come from all walks of life and political orientations.

I applaud the states which have responded to rising threats to our election system by advancing measures to crack down on harassment and intimidation by holding dangerous actors accountable with prison penalties and serving to ballot employees maintain their addresses and different private info personal. For instance, in Maine, such legislation handed the state Legislature earlier than being signed by the governor, demonstrating that defending election employees ought to be a standard sense, noncontroversial coverage.

The Justice Division additionally arrange an Election Threats Task Force final 12 months to research experiences of election employee threats and intimidation, which was a constructive step to handle this downside. However the federal authorities must do  extra to make sure that experiences to this process drive lead to tangible actions that depart election employees extra assured of their skill to serve safely.

Our nation’s democratic course of has lengthy served as an inspiration world wide. However that course of doesn’t run by itself. We want a big, various pool of ballot employees who replicate the communities they serve. We encourage individuals to enroll to function ballot employees at WorkElections.org. Being a ballot employee is likely one of the most essential issues that folks can do to ensure our democracy thrives. On the Truthful Elections Heart, we’ll proceed to advocate for continued security measures as we recruit extra individuals to get entangled in our election system. On this polarized political local weather, ballot employees assist strengthen and preserve the integrity in our system so elections can proceed to run easily with out interference.