September 30, 2014
Most of the recent debate concerning voting problems has centered on the technology. Tuesday should remind us the most important element in the process is the unheralded poll worker. We've long depended on these volunteers, our neighbors, who are paid little and work a brutally long day.
On election day morning, a surprising number of this new generation of poll worker let the voting public down by staying in bed.
The input specialist at Sharon Davidor's polling place was a no-show and she says it made the day more difficult for everyone else.
Other experts think more would volunteer if the 16-hour day could be broken up. Although this might help, recruiting and training an even larger work force would be required. Poll workers who talked to News Channel 8 say the county should have known trouble was coming when voting materials for some precincts weren't picked up by Monday afternoon. Cross training would help others fill in for the no-shows.
Nonetheless, it should be emphasized that most poll workers, including many young people who turned up Tuesday, worked a long day for little pay and deserve our thanks. The 100 or so slackers who didn't owe them an apology too.
Ed Pearce, News Channel 8.