Volunteers are stationed in polling places nationwide in order to ensure safety and bring joy to voters on Election Day.
You may encounter some people in gold sweaters and beanies near polling areas. They are Election Defenders, and they are there to help you with whatever you may need at your polling place. With so much divided rhetoric from President Donald Trump about possible polling intimidators, the Election Defenders are, in essence, the antithesis to that type of negative discourse.
“Election Defenders are the people at polling locations who are observing polls, engaging media, and de-escalating harassment on Election Day,” their statement says. “Voting must be as safe as possible—with PPE, social distancing, and a lack of intimidation.”
In Georgia, Election Defenders volunteers such as Kevin Joachin are helping Latinos cast their ballots. Joachin is also a member of the Georgia Latino Alliance for Human Rights (GLAHR) network, which educates, organizes, and trains the Latino community in Georgia to defend and promote their civil and human rights.
One of the people Joachin helped was an older Latino resident of Georgia, who was voting for the first time.
As many may be experiencing anxiety or stress about voting in person, the Election Defenders also aim to make people smile.
Nelini Stamp, the 32-year-old director of strategy for the Working Families Party, is the campaign director for Election Defenders, a nonpartisan coalition to make sure voters are “staying safe and healthy outside of polling places across the country and bringing them some joy.”
To see more images of the work Election Defenders is doing, click here.