Thanks to election officers

Published 9:46 pm Friday, June 28, 2019

An event held earlier this month honored a group of people who go unnoticed most of the year.

They have an important job, but it only happens one, two, maybe three times a year. On those occasions, they have to wake up before dawn, transport a lot of heavy equipment, spend 13 hours helping people, tally a ton of numbers, report those numbers to authorities and then transport all that heavy equipment yet again, well after dark — not to mention numerous other responsibilities.

We are talking, of course, about election officers. And while their job may take place only a handful of times per year, it’s a very important one.

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At about 27 precincts across the city, officers of election work hard to make sure the election runs smoothly, whether it’s a party primary or a presidential election. Anyone who has done that job can tell you that turnout is abysmal during the primaries, and there isn’t a lot to do — which is hard when you’re cooped up in the same place for 13 hours. They can also tell you that working the general election in presidential election years is 13 hours of helping voters non-stop.

These are the people who direct voters to the right place, check them in, direct them how and where to cast their ballot and give them a sticker on the way out. During that process, they are working hard to ensure a large set of laws is followed, every registered voter is able to cast a ballot, and nobody is disenfranchised for any reason.

These officers of election work hard not only on the day of the election but also for training throughout the year. They do receive a stipend for their work, but it’s a small amount for everything they must do and the long hours for which they must do it.

We add our thanks to the ceremony that was held on June 13 for those who have served 10 or more years, and we hope these fine people, and others like them, will continue to be willing to serve in the future.