A Thank You to our Poll Workers

The following appeared in the Letters to the Editor in the November 22, 2016 edition of the Ashland Daily Press: 

By Dianne Judd, President League of Women Voters of Ashland & Bayfield Counties  

Ballots have been cast. Votes have been counted. Results are in. Speeches have been made. The dust has settled.

There’s one more thing to say before we let it go – Thank You! Thank you to all the election officials at each local polling place. Poll workers start early and end late. They track data, work with electronic voting equipment, and are the face of our system to the individual voters. Election officials must uphold the rules, and smile while assisting voters. Election officials only work a few times each year yet must be up to date with all the latest in election policy and procedures. They must do their utmost to explain procedures for the sometimes uninformed voter. They attend trainings and test equipment. Poll workers often are paid a nominal wage. Some take unpaid time from regular employment to work at an election.

Our election officials do so much; yet the most important thing has not been named. Poll workers are responsible for ensuring that each and every voter is treated fairly and is able to fully exercise their rights to vote. Our election officials are some of the most important people at an election. Poll workers are the people who safeguard the election process. They set aside their personal preferences and party allegiances. They guarantee that each vote is counted.

A poll worker recently shared her reason for serving. As a young woman she had imagined going into the military. Other opportunities opened up and she took a different path, but she still has a strong commitment to our country. She works as an election official as her form of service. This woman is a patriot; each election official is a patriot.

Thank you to each poll worker for serving our country and for defending our voting rights!