When you and I go to the polls next Tuesday*, we’ll zip in and out of there in a few minutes.
It’s a wonderful ritual: We exercise a right countless Americans have fought and died for. We buy coffee and cookies to support the PTA. Then we’re gone, to take care of our usual business.
But Election Day doesn’t just happen.
It works like clockwork** only because of the hard work of dozens of men and women.
We see some of them: the poll workers — Democrats and Republicans — who spend 14 hours sitting at a table, methodically checking (and double-checking) every voter who comes in.
A soothingly familiar scene, year after year in Westport.
They solve problems. They thank us for voting. And they do it thoroughly, professionally, and with great good humor.
Their own spouse might come in. The routine does not vary. “ID, please,” they say.
They’re aided by ballot watchers. It’s mind numbing. They stare intently as voter after voter walks up, pushes a ballot into the machine, and leaves.
Some folks need help. Others need reassurance that their vote will be counted. Hour after after, the ballot watchers are there.
Of course, the backbone of the operation is the Registrar of Voters office. There’s a ton of work that goes on behind the scenes. Republicans and Democrats work side by side to make it happen.
Registrars of both parties work together to enroll new voters.
So next Tuesday, when you vote***, take an extra second or two to thank all the often-anonymous, always-conscientious, vitally important people who make it happen.
You might even buy them a coffee or cookie.
* You are voting, right?!
** In Westport, anyway
*** Polls are open from 6 a.m. to 8 p.m.!