In light of widespread shortages amongst election workers, a large coalition dedicated to civics, veterans, and service members has stepped up to fill the gap in time for the highly anticipated midterm elections.
The coalition, which is widely known as “Vet the Vote,” was initiated by the nonpartisan organization We the Veterans. The organization aims to recruit upwards of 100,000 former service members, as well as other individuals within the military community, to volunteer their time and integrity at various polling places throughout the nation.
In recent months, a significant shortage of volunteers for working the polls has arisen, with the pandemic blamed at least in part for the inadequacy.
Some older retirees, who constituted a sizable percentage of volunteers in the past, have eschewed volunteering due to perceived risk from the pandemic.
In addition, other poll workers reported a high degree of harassment during the 2020 presidential election, which has further discouraged volunteers.
As a result, We the Veterans has vowed to amplify volunteering efforts within its targeted community, as detailed by Anil Nathan to Military.com.
“Our mission is to empower the seventeen million-plus veterans and millions more military family members to strengthen American democracy by reducing the impact of mis-, dis-, and mal-information, [as well as] countering anti-democratic forces and increasing positive civic engagement,” Nathan remarked.
Nathan also continued on to note that the current effort to enlist a higher number of volunteers is completely nonpartisan, with “zero connection or affiliation to any level of partisanship.”
He emphasized the importance of poll workers in the electoral process, noting that an insufficient number of volunteers can result in an array of issues, including “election site delays and closures.”
These issues can result in a “bad outcome,” Nathan observed, especially when that outcome inhibits “[people’s] freedom to exercise their right to vote freely and fairly.”