Aug 6, 2020

Axios PM

By Mike Allen
Mike Allen

Good afternoon: Today's PM — edited by Justin Green — is 494 words, a 2-minute read.

  • Follow PM and discover more Axios reporting in our app: Available on iOS or Android.
1 big thing: Young people needed on Election Day
Map: Danielle Alberti/Axios. Note: Colorado is a mail-in ballot state, but also offers in-person polls.

Another coronavirus effect: Local elections officials are sprinting to recruit younger poll workers ahead of November after elderly staff stayed home en masse to avoid the pandemic during primary elections, Axios' Danielle Alberti and Ursula Perano report.

  • Why it matters: A Pew Research analysis reports that 58% of U.S. poll workers in the 2018 midterms were 61 or older. Poll worker shortages can cause hours-long voting lines and shutter precincts.

The state of play: Officials in Milwaukee, which had just five polling places open for its April primaries due to labor shortages, are recruiting through high schools, colleges and youth organizations, per the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.

  • West Virginia Secretary of State Mac Warner has issued a call-to-arms for young people to staff November’s polling facilities, per the Weirton Daily Times.
  • A new poll-worker recruiting groupPower the Polls” is planning to fill social media with content incentivizing young people to staff elections.
  • Some states are counting on rules allowing individuals under 18 to staff polling places as a means to an end.

How it works: Poll workers generally receive training and compensation for their services. Common requirements for staff include...

  • Being registered to vote or a high school student.
  • Being a resident of the county you’re signing up in.
  • Not being a candidate or related to a candidate.
  • Fluency in English, but other language skills are very high in demand.
  • Ability to work long hours with intermittent breaks.

Between the lines: Strenuous wait times often disenfranchise low-income workers and people of color — both groups that are more likely to work in shifts or have limited access to child care.

  • The bottom line: Election Day isn't a federal holiday and young people won't have the day off of school, but many young people have been civically mobilized by recent events, including the Black Lives Matter movement.

Go deeper: America's rush for young poll workers

2. Pic du jour
Photo: Thibault Camus/Pool/AFP via Getty Images

French President Emmanuel Macron, surrounded by Lebanese service members, visits the devastated site of the explosion at the port of Beirut.

  • Macron pledged support after the explosion left 300,000 people homeless.
  • Go deeper.
3. Catch up quick
  1. 🚨 New York Attorney General Letitia James filed a lawsuit to dissolve the NRA, alleging the group committed fraud by diverting roughly $64 million in charitable donations. Go deeper.
  2. The Commission on Presidential Debates denied the Trump campaign's request to add a fourth debate. Go deeper.
  3. Twitter will begin labeling accounts belonging to state-affiliated media outlets from countries on the U.N. Security Council. Go deeper.
  4. More farmers are declaring bankruptcy, despite a $7 billion injection from the Department of Agriculture to mitigate losses caused by the coronavirus pandemic, the Wall Street Journal reports.
  5. Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine (R) has tested positive for COVID-19. He currently has no symptoms. Go deeper.
  6. 🎧 The "Axios Re:Cap" podcast is ready for your ears, focused today on America's middle-class pandemic. Listen.
4. 1 ⛈ thing

Flood barriers are placed on a street as Tropical Storm Isaias approaches New York City. Photo: Angela Weiss/AFP via Getty Images

This year’s hyperactive Atlantic hurricane season is about to get even nastier, the AP reports.

  • NOAA forecasters warned of the potential for an "extremely active" hurricane season in the Atlantic.
  • If there are more than 21 name storms in a year, meteorologists turn after Wilfred to the Greek alphabet — Alpha, Beta, Gamma and so on
Mike Allen