Any Election Day can make for a long day for clerks, election inspectors and other workers, but it’s apparent that the election next week will surely be a day for the record books.
For those of you who plan to vote in person Tuesday, Nov. 3, take notice of the many election inspectors working tirelessly to make your voting experience safe and quick. These workers, likely your neighbor or relative, tend to be retirees, since they can work this day into their schedule easier than those who work full-time. They have gone through training to be working that day and this year they have the added burden of face coverings and social distancing.
My mom is an election worker for Fenton Township. She’s been working elections for years and really enjoys helping and being part of the election process. Fenton Township will have nearly 40 people working at the polls at the high school and another 18 workers processing absentee ballots.
Tom Broecker, operations manager/deputy clerk for Fenton Township, said all workers must go through a COVID-19 health screening process before entering the buildings. Workers bring their own lunch, but the township will provide dinner. Whether the workers are at the high school or processing absentee ballots at the township hall, it will indeed be a long day.
Argentine Township Clerk Denise Graves said this election has been very busy. She has 21 election inspectors plus others to sanitize and direct voters to their correct precinct. Argentine Township has 10 trained election inspectors who will work with other inspectors. Workers will be provided with doughnuts, coffee and cider in the morning, while lunch and dinner will be donated by local restaurants. COVID-19 prevents their typical potluck this year.
Argentine workers will begin Election Day at 6 a.m. and work until midnight if necessary. They will be paid $14 per hour.
The clerk said she has issued more than 2,400 absentee ballots so far and she expects Argentine to have the highest voter turnout at 80 to 90 percent.
In-person voting will be available in every jurisdiction. Polls will be open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m.
According to the Associated Press on Sunday, Oct. 25, with nine days before Election Day, more people already have cast ballots in this year’s presidential election than voted early or absentee in the 2016 race as the start of in-person early voting in big states led to a surge in turnout in recent days.
For those of you voting in person Tuesday, be sure to thank the election worker as you pick up your “I voted” sticker and head back to your car and remember that their day won’t end until everything is processed and counted correctly.
Sharon Stone is the editor of the Tri-County Times. To contact her, email her at email@example.com or call her at (810) 433-6786.