SYRACUSE, N.Y. (NCC News) — At an East Syracuse polling site for the 2020 election, polling inspector George Kramer said there have been more polling volunteers this year. In a year where more retirees, who are generally poll workers, are staying home due to the coronavirus, more young people are volunteering. Kramer believes there’s one key reason why younger people are becoming more involved in the political system.
“Because they’re smart,” Kramer said.
Kramer noticed an increase in younger people taking an interest in political issues. While he has been a poll worker for 38 years, he didn’t notice many people paying attention to politics in his youth.
Jamie Reynolds-Diaz is one of those first-time poll workers. In the past, Reynolds-Diaz said she didn’t pay as much attention to politics as she should have. But now, she has a two-year-old daughter and feels more compelled to pay attention.
While she thought that it was important to fill in for retirees as a poll worker due to the coronavirus, Reynolds-Diaz wanted to become more informed about the political system as well.
“I don’t think I really cared about the election as much as I have the last year or so,” Reynolds-Diaz said. “I haven’t really gotten myself informed as much up until this year.”
Now that she has a daughter, Reynolds-Diaz said she is paying much more attention to political issues, such as women’s rights. Being a poll worker has allowed her to become more aware of political issues the country is facing.
Reynolds-Diaz also said that she would love to be a poll worker again. While the workers are paid, Reynolds-Diaz said that’s not the main reason she would once again participate. Instead, it’s due to the information gained.
That knowledge is important to Reynolds-Diaz, but it’s also valuable for her two-year-old daughter.
“Especially now that I have a daughter, this is going to affect her life,” Reynolds-Diaz said. “So it’s a big deal for me, it’s a big deal for her.”