Kerry Washington, Adam Kinzinger to help lead poll worker recruitment effort

Kerry Washington and former Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R-Ill.) are teaming up to help lead an effort to recruit election poll workers ahead of November.

The former “Scandal” star and the ex-congressman will be among the co-chairs on an advisory council for Power the Polls, the nonpartisan organization announced Thursday.

They are part of a 14-member “diverse roster of prominent cultural, political, veteran, and advocacy leaders” whose aim will be to urge more Americans to volunteer at the ballot box.

“Poll workers are frontline heroes of democracy! Their work helps to ensure that ALL Americans are able to cast our votes safely and securely,” Washington said in a statement.

“By recruiting poll workers who are excited to serve their communities, Power the Polls has proven its ability to preserve trust in our electoral system, especially when democracy is under threat,” the 47-year-old actor, who campaigned for President Biden in 2020, said.

Kinzinger, who left Congress last year after choosing not to run for a seventh term, said, “At a time when our democracy is facing unique and historic threats, the role poll workers play in keeping our elections free and fair has never been more important.”

The ex-lawmaker was one of 10 House Republicans to vote to impeach former President Trump for his role in the Jan. 6, 2021, riot and was one of two Republicans who served on the committee investigating that day.

Other figures on Power the Polls’s bipartisan advisory council include: Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger (R), Nevada Secretary of State Cisco Aguilar (D), Civic Responsibility Project founder Ashley Spillane and Florida Rights Restoration Coalition president Desmond Meade, among others.

Officials have warned for years that the U.S. is facing a shortage of election workers due to a rise in threats that experts have linked to false claims of widespread fraud in the 2020 presidential election. A Brennan Center survey conducted last year found that 11 percent of local election officials said they were likely to quit before the 2024 election due to an uptick in harassment and threats against them.

“By recruiting potential poll workers, supporting election administrators, and housing a centralized hub for localized poll worker information, Power the Polls is filling in the gap between informed citizens who want to engage in civic life and the election officials who need their help,” Power the Polls national program manager Marta Hanson said in a statement about the initiative, which was first launched in 2020.

“I am tremendously excited to be able to partner with these important voices from across the political spectrum to recruit poll workers and ensure a safe, secure, and accessible election this fall,” Hanson said.

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