Like many people after the 2016 Presidential election, I’ve been following politics and the news a lot closer. Short of volunteering for a campaign however, my ability to create the change I want to see is limited, since I’m not allowed to vote as a Permanent Resident.
Looking for a way to give back to the community I’ve been calling home for the past six years, I learned about the possibility to serve as a precinct board member (more commonly known as a poll worker) on Election Day. In order to promote civic engagement among residents of the state and to provide additional members of precinct boards, California allows non-citizen permanent residents and high-school students 16 and over to serve as precinct board members.
Ventura County, where I live, offers an online application form for volunteers to get started, though in my case it wasn’t until I picked up the phone that I was accepted and assigned a precinct. So far there has not been a ton of communication or guidance from the Registrar’s Office, but there is a mandatory training and lab class that I’ll have to attend before Election Day.
Admittedly, I’m not exactly sure what to expect and how I’ll be able to stay sharp for the 14+ hours that I’m expected to be there. But I am looking forward to be working the polls during this year’s midterm election and contribute my small part to further democracy in the world!