Friday, November 28, 2003
Town Clerk seeks volunteers to help during Town Elections
To the Editor:
As Acting Town Clerk, I was actively involved in the recent Special Town Meeting and subsequent Election. After 14 years participating as a town resident at Town Meetings and as a voter in elections, I had the chance to experience these events from a different vantage point. Year after year, as I checked in to Town Meeting or at the polls, I recognized many of the same faces working as tellers and election officials. Until this most recent pair of events, I was unaware of the intense level of volunteer effort that is selflessly donated to facilitate these important town functions.
Prior to the election, the wardens organize volunteers to work in shifts during the election. The poll workers begin assembling at 6:15 a.m. for a 7 a.m. poll opening and work in shifts throughout the day; many of these same workers stay through the vote count that usually extends well into the night. The wardens supervise the seamless transition from one shift of workers to the next and they organize the counting teams that begin work as soon as the polls close. Only two workers receive any pay for this effort and the amount is nominal. The tellers working at Town Meeting are organized in a similar manner. There is sincere belief among these volunteers that their efforts are their responsibility as town citizens. The professionalism, commitment and tireless service of this group should make you proud to live in a town that has such respect for the democratic process.
Many volunteers have been participating for decades and they speak of the need to get new people involved, since some are approaching "retirement" age. I encourage anyone with an interest in supporting our election process to contribute a few hours a year as a poll worker. I am grateful to have the opportunity to oversee the election process and I am most thankful for the hard work and dedication of our loyal group of poll workers. Interested parties may contact me at the Town Clerk's office in Town Hall for information on how to participate.
Charlene M. Hinton
Acting Town Clerk
© 2003 The