Democracy is calling: Poll workers desperately needed for 2020 Election


Add this to your list of critical essential workers during this pandemic:

Many county elections directors started recruiting poll workers earlier than normal, are using new recruitment strategies, have increased pay and are partnering with the North Carolina State Board of Elections, political parties and voter rights groups to find people to work the election.

Officials anticipate a shortage of poll workers could cause longer lines, last-minute precinct closures and voter confusion. That was the case in Georgia and Wisconsin, where poll worker shortages during primaries caused precinct closures, hours-long lines and disenfranchised voters.

While it's true that absentee by-mail voting is going to increase substantially this year (the more the better), we're still only talking about maybe 1/3 of all votes. We need, now more than ever, properly-staffed and prolific early voting locations, and poll workers for all the precinct voting sites. The fact that many county BOEs have had their budgets cut due to a major drop in local revenues merely exacerbates a problem we knew we were going to have, since elderly volunteers usually make up the bulk of election workers, people who are extremely vulnerable to COVID 19:

Friday News: Environmental injustice

MASSIVE GROWTH IN POULTRY FARMS PLAGUE NC'S MINORITY COMMUNITIES: Environmental groups that mapped poultry operations in the state found the quickest growth in poultry operations from 2012 to 2019 was in counties with substantial Black, Latino and Native American populations. A report released Thursday by the Environmental Working Group and the Waterkeeper Alliance estimates that numbers of chickens and turkeys in Robeson, Sampson, and Duplin counties grew 36%, from 83 million to 113 million, with the fastest growth in Robeson. Excluding those three counties, the number of chickens and turkeys grown on industrial farms grew 17%, the report said. The environmental groups called for more oversight of poultry operations, starting with how they manage the millions of tons of waste produced each year.

Thursday News: Shedding racist icons


UNC-CHAPEL HILL TO RENAME THREE BUILDINGS CURRENTLY NAMED AFTER SLAVERS: UNC-Chapel Hill is removing the names from three campus buildings that honor individuals who are tied to white supremacy and racism. A fourth building will keep its name, but signs will clarify which members of a family it honors. The campus Board of Trustees voted Wednesday to remove the names of Charles B. Aycock, Julian S. Carr and Josephus Daniels from their respective buildings. The name of Thomas Ruffin Sr. will be stripped from that residence hall, but it will still honor his son, Thomas Ruffin Jr. These men “occupied high positions of influence and public trust” and used that power against Black people, according to the university’s Commission on History, Race & A Way Forward, which made the recommendation to remove the names.


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