Petition: Vaccinate Philly Election Workers in Group 1C!

(Photo: Philadelphia Inquirer)

Primary election day is less than two months away on Tuesday, May 18th and the City Commissioners are expected to open all polling places once again, instead of consolidating like in 2020.

That means the city will need a full staff of thousands of election workers on Election Day, and these individuals will be interacting with tens of thousands of members of the general public who will be showing up to vote.

We’re still in the midst of a pandemic, however, and election workers are taking some risks with their health to serve on Election Day, and protect our sacred right to vote. The least we can do in return is move them up the priority list for vaccination!

The decision not to protect poll works puts us out-of-step with our neighbors. Poll workers are in group 1C in all Pennsylvania counties except for Philadelphia. New Jersey's Governor Murphy has included poll workers in group 1C, giving them priority for vaccination right behind people in the 1A and 1B groups. And poll workers were just added this week to New York’s currently-eligible essential workers cohort. But Philadelphia officials are still dragging their feet and won’t commit to moving poll workers up in line.

CBS's Pat Loeb reports that City Commissioners staff have been moved into 1B, but not the poll workers who actually interact with thousands of voters on Election Day. Election worker Ryan Godrey tells CBS:

"A lot of these places we're using as polling places can have poor ventilation, they can be small and cramped," he said. "We can have a lot of people in a small space."

And unlike many of the lower risk essential workers in the 1c priority group with them, they face an approaching deadline for getting the vaccine in time to stay safe on the one day they're most at risk."

Many of the city's election workers are senior citizens and may already be eligible, so it's unclear how many additional people would be affected by moving poll workers up, but the City's vaccination board should move quickly to add poll workers to group 1C.

People from all walks of life serve as poll workers, so we can’t make any assumptions that most are covered. Add your name to this action and call on elected leaders to allow poll workers to get vaccinated starting as soon as possible!

Sign the petition, and then share it with election workers, committee people, and advocates who you know to help spread the word!

Let's put this on the agenda, and make this important change to keep poll workers and voters safe going into Election Day! 

180 signatures

Will you sign?

Showing 144 reactions

  • Kelson Northeimer
    signed 2021-03-19 19:22:53 -0400
  • Fran Balamuth
    signed via 2021-03-19 18:38:23 -0400
  • Mary O. Reinhart
    signed via 2021-03-19 18:37:31 -0400
  • Ben Block
    signed 2021-03-19 18:15:36 -0400
  • Dwayne King
    signed 2021-03-19 17:28:49 -0400
  • Michael Swayze
    signed 2021-03-19 17:23:11 -0400
    Poll Workers are on the front line. Give them some help!
  • Fred Druding Jr.
    signed 2021-03-19 17:21:01 -0400
  • Ivy Gilbert
    signed via 2021-03-19 17:12:55 -0400
  • Michelle Papachristou
    signed via 2021-03-19 17:12:19 -0400
  • shawn berven
    signed via 2021-03-19 17:07:44 -0400
  • Doug O'Malley
    signed via 2021-03-19 16:33:10 -0400
  • Adams Rackes
    signed 2021-03-19 16:25:31 -0400
  • Madeleine Smith
    signed 2021-03-19 16:24:28 -0400
    I’m a committeeperson and this is necessary. My public health felt terribly threatened working the polls on election day.
  • Muriel Kudera
    signed via 2021-03-19 16:05:08 -0400
  • Kate Rivera
    signed 2021-03-19 15:54:50 -0400
  • Ilya Knizhnik
    signed via 2021-03-19 15:46:06 -0400
    As a committeeperson and poll watcher for many elections I strongly support all efforts to keep our election workers safe.
  • Pele IrgangLaden
    signed 2021-03-19 15:43:46 -0400
  • Steph Davis
    signed 2021-03-19 15:36:49 -0400
  • Josh Middleton
    signed 2021-03-19 15:27:39 -0400
  • Michael Toklish
    signed via 2021-03-19 15:24:28 -0400
  • Elizabeth Moore
    signed 2021-03-19 15:05:03 -0400
  • Katherine Rapin
    signed 2021-03-19 14:49:15 -0400
    I’m a poll worker—extra protection from Covid-19 on May 18 is crucial to our safety!
  • Andrea Kirsh
    signed 2021-03-19 14:43:55 -0400
  • Whitney Barnebey
    signed 2021-03-19 14:40:33 -0400
  • Michael Noda
    signed 2021-03-19 14:20:26 -0400
  • Kayla Brown
    signed 2021-03-19 14:03:20 -0400
  • Erin McLeary
    signed via 2021-03-19 13:51:25 -0400
  • Claire Adler
    signed 2021-03-19 13:51:23 -0400
    This will be my 5th year as a poll worker. This last year we scrambled to replace our dedicated workers who were high risk for COVID, but frankly, we’re all a high risk for spreading the virus. I’m less worried about myself and more worried about the hundreds of people I’ll be in close contact with that day since I am otherwise ineligible for the vaccine.

    Help me keep them safe while protecting their right to vote. Also by providing poll workers the vaccine, we will improve confidence in elections by showing that voting safety is a priority.
  • Annie McGuirk-Molina
    signed 2021-03-19 13:45:07 -0400
  • Sean Kearney
    signed 2021-03-19 13:44:28 -0400
    I started being a poll worker in the 2020 Presidential Election. I was in a small, unventilated room in a rec center from 6am until about 9pm. Most of the other poll workers and voters did not follow proper masking rules, which made the day incredibly stressful. I’m technically supposed to be a poll worker again this election cycle, but I have been considering withdrawing because of the safety concerns I have. A vaccination would certainly put my mind at ease a bit.