Two state officials are making an appeal to current and former Future Farmers of America members, urging them to consider being a precinct election official.
There are nearly 250 FFA chapters in Iowa, with 16,000 active members. Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Mike Naig, who is an FFA alum, says more than 10,000 poll workers are required statewide to ensure Election Day goes smoothly.
“Most years those positions are filled by Iowans 60 and older,” Naig says. “However, these are some of our most vulnerable Iowans as it relates to Covid-19. We need young Iowans, like you, to step up and fill in on November 3.”
Secretary of State Paul Pate says in addition to checking voter registration records and handing out ballots, poll workers this year are being asked to sanitize voting booths and ensure those waiting to cast a ballot are practicing social distancing.
“If you’re at least 17 years old and registered to vote in your county, you can apply to be a precinct election official,” Pate says.
One county auditor recently contacted state officials to say poll worker positions remain unfilled, but most county election officials are just looking for people willing to be on call if those who’ve agreed to work the polls can’t or don’t on Election Day. Precinct workers are paid, but the rate is determined by each county, and training is done by the auditor’s office in each county.