KANSAS CITY, MO (KCTV) — We’re just 26 days away from Election Day.
Across the country, jurisdictions are having a hard time finding enough poll workers. That’s also true for our area, where election workers are typically older or retired and at risk of COVID-19.
Now, a new Kansas City nonprofit wants to fill that void with veterans.
Former Army Sergeant First Class Vincent Morales completed several missions overseas. He helped to secure Iraq’s first democratic election back in 2005.
“My unit escorted individuals from outside and brought them on close to our gym, which they converted into the voting stations, and we secured them the entire time,” Morales said.
During that tour, there was a suicide bombing on the base and 23 soldiers were killed.
They died defending democracy.
Now, through Morales’ new nonprofit Mentoring the Force, he is urging veterans who made it home to continue that mission by securing our elections.
“The only way we’re going to make the change or make any changes in this country is if we do it together and if we exercise these rights that we have fought and died for,” he said.
So far, he’s helped about 20 veterans sign up to be poll workers on both sides of the state line.
“Poll workers are the foot soldiers of democracy on Election Day, so it couldn’t be a better match than to have veterans, who really are those people for our country, to have them out there staffing the polling places on Election Day,” said Connie Schmidt, the Johnson County, Kansas election commissioner.
Schmidt said poll workers are always needed, but this year more than ever.
“For every two that we sign on board, within the next week we could have one or two cancel because of concerns about COVID-19,” she said.
Jackson County, Missouri’s Election Board said they’re in need of computer-savvy poll workers.
Even if you can’t sign up to help on Election Day, Morales hopes you at least cast a ballot.
“It’s one of the biggest rights that we take for granted every single day,” he said.
For more information on how to become an election worker, click here to visit Mentoring the Force’s website.
All of our metro counties are still in need and they request you get your application in as soon as possible.
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