A big thank you to all those who worked in the primary election.
There is so much work that no one ever sees going into elections. Those of us in the election community live with the popular mis-conception elections only happen once every four years and maybe some people only vote once every four years. If so they are missing lots of important elections.
Take this year for example. The primary election is just passed but there will be a runoff election on April 13th. Filing for the college, school, water and city elections ended for an election to be held May 8th. Then the General Election will be held on November 2nd. All this between the presidential election which doesn't come around again until 2012.
Since every election is important those of us who prepare for these elections must work diligently to insure each voter's ballot is properly tabulated. The process starts months ahead of the day of election with ballot preparation, testing and programming of equipment.
Election workers spend hours in training learning all the special requirements unique to each type of election. Issues related to primaries require additional details be addressed for the political parties and the candidates. At almost the same time as the primary elections are underway the city and schools are also planning their elections. Special attention must be given to their differing needs.
Polling place workers cannot just show up on the day of election. They must spend time learning all they can about the election process to conduct the elections in an efficient manner. They also must prepare election forms according to the law and provide every qualified voter a ballot. They must also prevent people who are not registered from participating in the election.
The day for most election workers begins before 6 am and doesn't end until long after the polls close. While the polls are open 12 hours, those hours are continuous and many workers don't get much of a break during the day. Once voting has ended there are still the reports to be completed and the equipment to be secured before delivering the reports for tabulation. A 14 hour day is not uncommon for an election worker.
The next time you vote, thank those who are manning the polling place.
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