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Record number of volunteers apply to work polls in Monterey County

Monterey County Elections Office

SALINAS, Calif. (KION) This election, a large number of youth have stepped up to help out at the polls, taking the place of a traditionally older group.

The Monterey County Election Office put out a message online a few months ago. Officials called on a younger crowd and asked that they volunteer to work the polls this year.

The elderly were encouraged to stay home this year. According to health officials, older populations are more susceptible to COVID-19.

"I think the culture has shifted a little bit. Youth are paying more attention now. Maybe before politics just wasn't their thing, but now there's social media and they can get information from so many different places," said Monterey County Elections Office Program Manager, Ayna Gutierrez.

Gutierrez said the elections office was worried about having a shortage of volunteers this year. Instead, over 1,000 applied.

Volunteers are stationed throughout the county's many polling locations. Additional help is on standby if a volunteer gets sick or has an emergency.

All volunteers were trained in the beginning of October through virtual and in-person sessions.

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Megan Meier

Megan Meier is a multi-media journalist at KION News Channel 5/46.


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