Well…I did. See, awhile back the County Clerk’s Office put out the word that they were looking for people to work the election. What were the requirements for this job? Be a registered voter, show up for training, work the polls from 5:15 am till closing duties were done.
So I signed up not knowing what a moving experience it would be.
A couple weeks later I got a postcard in the mail telling me I was chosen to work as an Election Officer. My office was designated as “Judge” which sounded very important. The weight of my responsibility hit home later. My friend Laura was chosen as a “Sheriff,” a job which, sadly, does not come with a badge when it is for an Election Officer.
The day of training I raised my right hand in a room with a few hundred others to take the Oath of Election Officer. It was formal. It was solemn. And it was beautiful.
At training I learned a lot of interesting tidbits. Each voting place had one Clerk that checked everyone’s ID against the registry book, took their signatures and kept official tallies of who voted. Each place also had two judges, one a Republican and one a Democrat, who passed out ballots, gave directions on how to scan your ballot, passed out “I Voted” stickers, and answered the questions we were allowed to answer—which wasn’t very many, by the way. We also had a Sheriff who opened the doors on time and closed them right on time, who made sure no Electioneering was done on or near the premises and ensured orderly lines and movement. We all had other duties as well, but these were the highlights.
Near the end of the day our Election Officer Sheriff reminded me not to get ahead of myself tearing the ballots off the pad they were attached to because sometimes even when a person was in line with the Clerk with their ID out that person wasn’t eligible to vote at our location. Good reminder when every ballot torn from the pad or left attached had to be accounted for.
At about 7 pm when the other Judge and I drove with the Green Bag and the Black Bag to the county courthouse where the County Clerk’s Election Officer took our signed, team tallies from the sealed envelopes and passed them on to be added to others, the heart of the election process of government-by-the-people really struck home.
When we took our oath, the words we said were not the message our raised right hands actually carried. We were really saying we believe in our system of government. We support fairness. We uphold each person’s right to vote anonymously in whatever way they see fit. We will work together without regard for party even if our party designation was why we were given our position. We are the people, and we will vote. We will work. We will uphold the Constitution for every American.
Who ran the US election?
Alongside millions of others like me and different from me across our great nation.