CLEVELAND - August 21, 2020 - The right to vote and to have that vote counted is a cornerstone of American democracy. Ensuring the integrity of the entire election process, from voter registration to the certification of election results, is of paramount importance both locally and nationally. Those on the frontlines of every election – poll workers – are one of the most vital assets to the functioning of our system.
In late July, the Supreme Court of Ohio approved a one-time rule change designed to encourage attorneys to serve as poll workers. In an email to every member of the Ohio Bar, the Ohio Supreme Court, Commission on Continuing Legal Education wrote:
“Due to the COVD-19 pandemic, there is an extreme shortage of precinct election officials (poll workers) across the country. In light of the dire need for new poll workers, the Supreme Court of Ohio issued an order granting CLE credit to volunteer attorneys and judges who serve as poll workers in Ohio during the November 3, 2020 Election.”
In response to the Supreme Court’s action, the CMBA Board of Directors issued the following statement to its members:
“The Cleveland Metropolitan Bar Association endorses the Ohio Supreme Court’s call to action requesting that members of the Ohio bar volunteer to serve as officials at the polls on Election Day. The CMBA urges its members to answer that call to volunteer as poll workers. It also encourages members to assist in other activities to help ensure that all eligible citizens have an equal opportunity to participate in the November 2020 election.”
Poll workers play a variety of essential roles. They open and run the polls on election day so that every registered voter has the opportunity to cast a ballot. With a welcoming smile, they hand out ballots, help navigate the voting booths and distribute the coveted “I Voted” stickers. Our communities rely on their faithful and diligent service, election after election. They make elections possible.
“Because of our training and experience, lawyers are particularly well-positioned to help ensure our election goes well this fall,” said CMBA President Joe Gross.
Now is the time for CMBA members to heed the call to serve during the upcoming election, and encourage your family, friends and peers to do the same. To become a poll worker, sign up with your county’s Board of Elections:
How will voting happen this year?
Not yet registered to vote? You can take care of that immediately by visiting the Ohio Secretary of State’s website at: https://olvr.ohiosos.gov.
For CMBA 2020 Election information, visit clemetrobar.org/2020Election.
About the CMBA
The nonprofit Cleveland Metropolitan Bar Association operates as a center for legal professionalism in the region, promoting the highest ethical and professional standards. The CMBA strives to be an indispensable resource for its 5,200 members and the go-to organization on issues of law and justice in Northeast Ohio. Learn more at clemetrobar.org.