Undergraduate Poll Worker Essay Contest
The American Political Science Association’s (APSA) Electoral Assistance Task Force invites students who served as election workers in polling places to submit brief essays reflecting on the experience. In preparing an essay, please indicate where you worked and what you did. Beyond that, you are free to elaborate in whatever way seems most meaningful to you. For example, you might discuss what you learned from your experience; relate an incident or vignette that especially surprised, moved, or angered you; analyze how your experience modified your understanding of the state of democracy in America; or propose a change that would make voting procedures more efficient, more pleasant, or more democratic.
There is no single formula for a successful essay. Essays are expected to vary in their approach, perspective, and subject matter. However, judges will reward essays that stay true to what you personally witnessed and experienced in your polling place work and that use clear, forceful prose that tell a compelling story or reflect thoughtfully on electoral processes in contemporary America.
Essays should be no longer than 400 words.
The top three essays will each receive a $100 prize. Prize winning essays will be featured in a new magazine to be published by the American Political Science Association starting in 2021.
To receive due consideration, essays should be submitted here.
Current undergraduate students who are enrolled in a political science class or who have taken a political science class and who volunteered as a non-partisan poll worker with their county or state election board. Relatives of members of the APSA staff and the Election Assistance Taskforce are not eligible to participate.
Submissions due December 15, 2020 by midnight.