First and most importantly, I am writing this post on my own and as a private citizen.
During elections, I volunteer for the Board of Elections, where I help administer whatever Election is going on at the time.
A few things strike me and impress me immensely each and every time:
The dedication of the regular employees of the Board of Elections is one – this is a dedicated bunch who spends countless hours ensuring that all laws are followed. By “countless hours” I mean many, many more than 8 to 5…
Then there are people like me. During early voting we spend a lot of time training (to bring us up to speed with any possible changes in election laws as well as refresh our knowledge) and then two weeks manning early voting sites and facilitating citizen’s voting. Then on Election Day (for us easily a 16 hour or more day) we man our regular voting sites and do it all over again. Many of us have been doing this for a number of years; we do it because we believe in the process.
It takes people with a calm, open and friendly demeanor to do this job. We encounter distrust, hostility and suspicion on a constant basis, from voters from every walk of life. We get accused of “deleting voters from the rolls”, “rigging voting machines”, “changing results”, “pushing candidates” and generally employing all means one can think of to influence the results of any given election! Just for the record – none of that is true. We go out of our way to make sure that all rules are followed and each and every citizen has the opportunity to vote. It is hurtful, unfair and untrue to be accused of such things on a constant basis.
I wish some of these suspicious souls spent a lot more time trying to influence their friends and family to go vote instead of thinking about conspiracy theories……maybe then we would have a larger turnout at the polls and a more representative government!