NASHVILLE, Tenn. – More than 19,000 Tennesseans have applied to serve their communities as poll officials since the Secretary of State’s office launched its Be a Patriot. Be a Poll Official. statewide recruitment campaign.
“Thousands of Tennesseans, especially young adults, have stepped up to help run a safe and secure election by serving their communities as poll officials,” said Secretary of State Tre Hargett. “We would not have had so many applications without the help of the Memphis Grizzlies, Nashville Predators, our corporate and community partners and Tennessee’s county election commissions.”
Presidential elections require roughly 17,000 poll officials statewide. In some counties, the response was so overwhelming that election administrators filled all their positions and have not yet had a chance to follow up with the numerous additional applicants.
Many of the poll officials in this election are serving for the first time. Secretary Hargett hopes the increased awareness and interest in serving as a poll official, especially among younger Tennesseans, will help election commissions across the state build a bench of poll officials ready to serve in future elections.
“Some states have had to close polling locations because they do not have enough poll officials,” said Coordinator of Elections Mark Goins. “That is not the case in Tennessee. Here we are seeing voters have a smooth voting experience because of the many dedicated people who are serving their communities.”
The Memphis Grizzlies and Nashville Predators expanded on their work with the Secretary of State’s Your Vote Matters campaign to recruit poll officials. The Grizzlies encouraged fans to apply to serve as poll officials on their website, through newsletters and social media. They also recruited staff members to serve and created a PSA with Head Coach Taylor Jenkins. The Predators promoted serving as a poll official on their social media channels and are closing their virtual office on Nov. 3 so staff can work as poll officials in their communities.
The Secretary of State’s office also worked with corporate and community partners across Tennessee to recruit poll officials. Some of these partners informed their employees of the opportunity to serve as poll officials, while others encouraged members and customers to serve through social media and in-store promotions.
Secretary Hargett would like to thank the corporate and community partners who helped recruit or made their employees aware of the opportunity to serve as poll officials, including the Austin Peay State University Alumni, Austin Peay State University Athletics, BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee, CVS/Aetna, Dollar General, ETSU National Alumni Association, HospitalityTN, Nashville Area Chamber of Commerce, Nashville Junior Chamber, National Federation of Independent Business, Pellissippi State Alumni Association, Publix, Roane State Community College Alumni, Target, Tennessee Bankers Association, Tennessee Business Roundtable, Tennessee Craft Brewers Guild, Tennessee Grocers and Convenience Store Association, Tennessee REALTORS®, Tennessee Retail Association, Tennessee Society of Association Executives, The Home Depot, University of Tennessee Alumni Association and Walgreens.
“A huge thanks to all of the Tennesseans who applied to serve as poll officials. Whether you are serving or not, your willingness to help your community is appreciated. There is a reason Tennessee is the Volunteer State,” said Secretary Hargett.
Although most Tennessee counties have hired the needed poll officials, some are still recruiting poll officials to work Election Day. To find out if your county still needs workers, contact your local county election. Find your local county election commission at tnsos.org/elections/election_commissions.php.