WASHINGTON – U.S. Senators Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) and Deb Fischer (R-NE), Chairwoman and Ranking Member of the Senate Committee on Rules and Administration with oversight over federal elections, are honoring the service of poll workers in recognition of National Poll Worker Recruitment Day which encourages more people to volunteer to help Americans vote. The resolution passed the Senate by unanimous consent on July 27, 2023.
“Poll workers are essential to the administration of our free and fair elections. Without well-trained and well-staffed polling locations, voters pay the price. We’ve seen the chaos and disenfranchisement of past elections, where voters have been forced to stand for hours at a time to vote with lines wrapping around blocks across the nation. In a democracy, this is unacceptable. It is also avoidable,” Klobuchar said. “One of the top things we can do to ensure that future elections are administered successfully is to recruit and train new poll workers.”
Established by the U.S. Election Assistance Commission (EAC), National Poll Worker Recruitment Day aims to raise awareness about the benefits and importance of poll working and inspire more Americans to volunteer.
Klobuchar and Fischer are joined by their colleagues Senators Tammy Baldwin (D-WI), Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), Cory Booker (D-NJ), Katie Britt (R-AL), Sherrod Brown (D-OH), Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV), Bob Casey (D-PA), Catherine Cortez Masto (D-NV), Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), John Fetterman (D-PA), Bill Hagerty (R-TN), Tim Kaine (D-VA), Mark Kelly (D-AZ), Angus King (I-ME), Ed Markey (D-MA), Jeff Merkley (D-OR), Alex Padilla (D-CA), Tina Smith (D-MN), Chris Van Hollen (D-MD), Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), Peter Welch (D-VT), Roger Wicker (R-MS), and Ron Wyden (D-OR).
Klobuchar has consistently worked to expand voting access.
In July, Klobuchar reintroduced the Freedom to Vote Act, landmark legislation to strengthen our democracy, which included resources to recruit and train election workers as well as provisions to prevent the intimidation and harassment of election workers. All Senate Democrats cosponsored this legislation.
In May, Klobuchar, Senators Alex Padilla (D-CA), Jeff Merkley (D-OR), Sherrod Brown (D-OH), Bernie Sanders (I-VT), Tina Smith (D-MN), Mark Warner (D-VA), Peter Welch (D-VT), and Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) reintroduced the Protecting Election Administration from Interference Act.
In March, Klobuchar held a Rules Committee hearing on election administration, including the impact of increasing threats directed at election officials on the ability of states and local governments to administer elections.
This past April, Klobuchar and Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) reintroduced the Election Worker Protection Act to provide states with the resources to recruit and train election workers and to ensure their safety.
In June 2022, she and Durbin led 20 of their colleagues in urging the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) to notify state and local law enforcement of rising threats against election workers. Durbin also held a Judiciary Committee oversight hearing in August 2022 that included testimony from officials at the Department of Justice (DOJ) and the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) on threats to election workers and the first formal update to Congress since the DOJ’s announcement one year ago that it was launching a task force to address the rise in threats against election officials.
Klobuchar and former Senate Rules Committee Ranking Member Roy Blunt (R-MO) led a successful effort to call on the Election Assistance Commission (EAC) to expand the use of federal Help America Vote Act (HAVA) funding to protect election workers and officials against threats.
In October 2021, Klobuchar held a Rules Committee hearing on increasing threats directed at election officials and the ability of states and local governments to retain election officials and recruit workers to administer future elections.
In June 2021, Klobuchar and Senator Reverend Raphael Warnock (D-GA) led bicameral legislation to prevent local election officials from being removed without cause while protecting the safety and security of election workers and volunteers. U.S. Representatives John Sarbanes (D-MD), Zoe Lofgren (D-CA), Nikema Williams (D-GA), and Colin Allred (D-TX) introduced companion legislation in the House.
The Natural Disaster and Emergency Ballot Act of 2020, introduced on March 18, 2020 by Klobuchar and Senator Ron Wyden (D-WA) and with 35 cosponsors, would ensure Americans are still able to vote during the pandemic by expanding early in-person voting and no-excuse absentee voting by mail to all states as well as providing funding to train poll workers. Most of the provisions in her legislation have now been included in the HEROES Act, which was passed by the House of Representatives in May.
In April 2020, Klobuchar wrote an op-ed in the New York Times on the need to expand mail voting, early voting, and online voter registration. In March, Klobuchar and Wyden wrote an op-ed in the Washington Post, highlighting the need “to protect the foundation of our democracy by ensuring that every eligible American can safely cast a ballot in the upcoming elections.”
In May 2020, Klobuchar took to the Senate Floor to ask for unanimous consent to lift restrictions that prevent states from accessing election funding designated to help them safely carry out elections during the pandemic.
On June 2020, Klobuchar led her colleagues in a letter to Chairman Roy Blunt (R-MO) of the Senate Rules Committee, Ron Johnson (R-WI) of the Senate Committee on Homeland Security, and Lindsey Graham (R-SC) of the Senate Judiciary Committee, in calling for hearings on the threat coronavirus poses for elections.
Before the Senate considered the third relief package, Senators Coons and Klobuchar wrote a letter to Pelosi, McCarthy, McConnell, and Schumer, urging them to include funding to protect the 2020 elections.
More about poll working and National Poll Worker Recruitment Day is available at HelpAmericaVote.gov