American democracy runs on elections, and elections run on volunteers.
Every year, local county election boards across America must recruit more than a million citizen volunteers to administer election polling sites – and even more during presidential election years like 2024.
The COVID-19 pandemic and threats of political violence have significantly diminished election volunteerism among traditional poll workers – most of whom are older than 60.
Over the past three national elections, we have had a critical national shortage of volunteer election workers.
This lack of election poll volunteers forced county election officials in many states to make tough decisions – often resulting in fewer polling sites and longer lines at the ones that are open, making it harder for American citizens to exercise their right to vote.
In 2022, We the Veterans and Military Families recognized this crisis and committed to act.
We banded together with more than 30 veteran and military family service organizations, civic groups, and the National Football League to create Vet the Vote – a non-profit, non-partisan public awareness and civic recruitment effort to ask America’s 17 million veterans and their families to help close a 120,000 nation-wide poll workers shortage by volunteering.
More than 63,500 responded.
While we were proud of those results, we have more work to do.
Today, election officials continue to struggle to find enough volunteers to staff 2023 state and local elections. And many believe the 2024 presidential election will have a larger voter turnout than 2020.
Military veterans and their family members are ideal candidates to help solve this critical challenge.
While in uniform, we came from all corners of the nation – from every class and creed – and put aside our differences and joined together.
A 2021 study by The Mission Continues, Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America, and the National Conference on Citizenship found veterans are “more likely than non-military civilians to volunteer in their communities” and also more likely to vote.
Veterans are used to working together in teams, following orders and regulations, and are trained to be exceptionally security-minded.
We can think of no better, more trusted group within the American public to step up and fill this critical shortage and create a new civic tradition in the veteran and military family community.
Volunteering as a poll worker is serving our country at the level of civics – supporting Americans’ rights and duties as citizens and helping others understand how our government works.
This patriotic participation supports the political process of how our country makes decisions together.
Democracy is not a spectator sport.
And for all the public discussion about our rights as citizens, we hear too little conversation in the media about our duties as citizens – what we owe each other to continue to live in a free country.
We also believe veterans visibly serving in election polling sites will help increase public confidence in election outcomes.
We encourage all citizens – especially veterans and their family members – to serve our country as poll workers.
So please sign up today at www.VetThe.Vote!
We the Veterans is a non-partisan, non-profit, pro-democracy organization created by veterans and military family members, united for democracy and committed to building a more perfect union.
Vet the Vote is A national campaign to recruit veterans and military family members to become the next generation of poll workers.