Our story on the NC Board of Elections’ call for young people to staff polls instead of older folks sparked discussion about voting and COVID-19. Plus, we get taken to task for what one reader deemed our insufficiently critical framing of a new federal ruling on ICE.
“I wondered when this topic would bubble to the surface,” commented LIZ R., who said she’s been staffing elections for several years. She stressed that it’s taxing work all the time, not just this year: “Remember that when you walk into a precinct as a worker, you do not walk out for 16 hours. Locked in, unable to leave, no shift changes, few/no breaks, constant contact with the public. Difficult for a 30-year old, it takes days–a week to recuperate for an elder. Without pandemic.”
Facebook user BETSY SCHOLL also wants the state to consider shorter shifts for poll workers so that more people are able to help.
“For years I’ve been saying I wish the State would change the rules so a poll worker can work shorter shifts,” Scholl wrote. “Last I checked, you had to be there the whole day the polls were open. If they split the days into shifts, I think they’d get more volunteers willing to do multiple 4 or 8 hours shifts, rather than needing people who are able to take a full 12+ hours to volunteer.”
Another Facebook user took the chance to point out some of Wake County BOE’s faults from the March primaries.
“They need competent, efficient people who can follow (very clear) written procedure,” RACHEL MONINGER writes. “So, if you are someone who can easily follow instructions, can be pleasant to the public for 12 hours, and can spare the time, please sign up!”
On another topic, VICTORIA BOULOUBASIS took issue with our characterization of a new federal ruling—that ICE has to release detained children after 20 days—as “good” in last week’s “The Good, the Bad & the Awful.”
“What ICE is doing is not inherently good news. That ‘hot take’ graf is detrimental without any context. And it feeds into ICE’s PR. What they are doing is what immigration journalists are calling ‘pandemic-era separation,’” Bouloubasis wrote in an email, linking to Jack Herrera’s New Republic story “The Pandemic-Era Rebrand of Family Separation” for context.
On a Twitter thread about the story, Herrera had expressed concern that “ICE will weaponize this human rights ruling to separate families.”