This past election, as in every other election in recent years, I served on my division’s election board in Philadelphia. I joined in classes from the Board of Elections on how to open up, operate, and close the voting machines, and on the new digital pad to signing people in to vote.
On Election Day, I go to the polling site just after 6:00 AM, to open up the machines and turn them on, and set the table up with the sign-in pad, flag, hand sanitizer, masks, and the paper ballots to insert into the machine, along with my fellow board members. I show the people how the machine works, and I thank them for voting.
It get slow in the afternoon, but it picks up later when people get off work. At 8:00 PM, the polls close, and we gather the voting data and turn the machines off. We write down the numbers on the tags for closing the machines, we detach the hoppers with the paper ballots from the machines, and hand everything to the officer to be recorded.
It can be stressful on the job, but it’s important, citizens helping other citizens exercise their rights to vote. But, there have been incidents of election board workers throughout the nation being terrorized out of that job, and that’s not acceptable. Such people who use those tactics have given up on the democratic process as a way to affect their policies.
Therefore, I urge YOU to consider serving on your local election board; it’s a great service for your community.