Georgia's battle over paper at the polls has taken another turn, and much longer waiting times on Election Day look to be the result.
At issue is whether up-to-date printouts of voter registration and absentee voting information need to be on hand at every polling place in the state next week, to backstop a new generation of computerized tablets. A federal appeals court on Saturday ruled against the paper poll book requirement, which a trial court judge had set last month.
The issue sounds nerdy. But if the decision is not changed in the next week, which seems unlikely, it could prove crucial to depressing turnout in one of the nation's essential battlegrounds, with the winner of 16 electoral votes and two Senate seats too close to call.
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For many years, the U.S. election system has been plagued with shameful disparities in voter access. Too often, people of color and students wait in much longer lines to vote. This depresses turnout — and representation — in those communities. Throughout the pandemic, we have seen shockingly long lines in communities from Wisconsin to Pennsylvania to Georgia to Nevada and beyond.
Today the Voter Protection Corps released new, actionable, data-informed information in partnership with Carnegie Mellon University about where the risks of long lines are the greatest, and where the most work needs to be done over the next four weeks to recruit poll workers.
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Petrow-Cohen and Deal are on the staff of the Leadership Now Project, a membership group of mostly business leaders that invests in nonprofits and candidates that "advance a modern, effective democracy."
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More Than a Vote, the group of Black athletes and artists headed by LeBron James, has announced its latest major initiative: a multimillion-dollar effort to increase the number of poll workers in majority-Black polling districts in preparation for the November election.
The project, being done in cooperation with the NAACP Legal Defense Fund, hopes to recruit young people to serve in Black communities in swing states such as Michigan, Wisconsin and Florida.
The effort will focus on poll worker recruitment through an advertising campaign and a corporate partnership program where employees are encouraged to volunteer as poll workers.