Letter: Politicians and poll workers
On Aug. 24, I was able to see and participate in the job of an elections poll worker. It is a demanding job. Workers are given four hours of training, spend at least two to four hours setting up the polling site the night before the election and then spend 16-plus hours working the polls.
Poll workers catch fire from disgruntled voters who either find themselves at the wrong polling place because they weren't informed that the poling place has changed or because the voter might have been the victim of a computer glitch that has left their name off the voter register list. The poll worker bears the brunt of the voter's ire.
Conversely, poll workers get to see the pride of an octogenarian who has voted all of his or her life to the pride in a young person voting for the first time. Voting is a privilege and it is wonderful to see that privilege being used.
What many people don't know about poll workers is that they must be non-partisan as they help the voting public cast their ballots. Republicans, Democrats, Independents and Libertarians work together to make sure that the voting public is treated fairly and without political pressure at the polls.
The poll worker spends the entire day making sure that the ballots are protected and that voters from all parties are treated with respect no matter what comments are made by the voter.
Can you imagine how hard it is to hear a voter putting down candidates for other parties or even their own candidates without commenting? Elections poll workers do it all day!
So I'm asking that the politicians who refuse to work with the "opposition" to think about election poll workers as poll workers carry out the wonderful and sacred duty of protecting the voting privilege and the ballots cast by the voters.
Remember this: This is the United States of America. United because if we continue to divide by not working together, we fall. I remembered this ideal while watching and participating as an elections poll worker. I served all those hours with my counterparts knowing that some of our personal political views may be different, but we all believe in our country and the privilege of voting. It was an honor to serve with my fellow poll workers and see what non-partisan really means.