In 2020, Evan Malbrough started the Georgia Youth Poll Worker Project as a student at Georgia State University and an Andrew Goodman Ambassador. In just four months’ time, he had successfully recruited over 1,000 young people in Metro Atlanta to be trained to work the polls in the 2020 election. Based on Evan’s success with the Georgia Youth Poll Worker Project, The Hitchhiker’s Guide to Building a Youth Poll Worker Project captures how other young people can build their own poll worker projects on their campuses and in their communities across the country. In sharing the lessons he learned along the way, Evan hopes to move America closer toward finally realizing a free, fair, and accessible democracy for us all.
This guide was produced by Andrew Goodman Puffin Democracy Fellow Evan Malbrough in partnership with The Andrew Goodman Foundation and Democracy Works, with generous support from the Puffin Foundation.
pillars of democracy: voters, elected officials, and poll workers
poll workers recruited by the Georgia Youth Poll Worker project for the 2020 election
campuses piloting youth poll worker projects with The Hitchhiker's Guide
There are three pillars of American democracy: voters, elected officials, and poll workers. While the third pillar is often taken for granted, our democracy simply cannot function without it. Free and fair elections can only be achieved with equitably staffed and resourced polling sites. Without them, communities who are already disproportionately affected by voting restrictions — like students, People of Color, people with disabilities, and the elderly — face drastically increased limits to voting access and civic participation.
For students looking to do their part, I wholeheartedly believe launching a youth poll worker project on your campus is the most effective strategy for recruiting and training young poll workers and making our democracy more equitable and efficient.
2020-2021 Andrew Goodman Puffin Democracy Fellow
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