In the months leading up to the 2020 General Elections, so many conspiracy theories and reckless statements were being made that I found myself generally concerned about the safety of our democracy. Then one evening, while watching the local news, a report came on talking about the lack of available poll workers due to COVID concerns. I took it as a sign, and the next day went to my local county elections board and asked to volunteer. To my surprise, the lady handed me an application and said, “We’re hiring and need someone healthy enough to take equipment to polling locations around the county and work the polls as well.” So, I filled out the application and went and took my drug test. She pretty much hired me as part-time help on the spot.
Election Day for Me Is Three Days
Election Day for me starts that Monday. I and two others check the equipment, ensuring it’s all in good working order; inspect all the security tags; load up all the equipment and haul it to each polling location. We leave it all secured in the places. All the equipment is cabled and padlocked. The key is issued to the poll manager at the office later that afternoon.
My Second Election Day
My second Election Day is Tuesday. The actual day of voting. I must be at my polling spot at 6 AM. There we all swear in, take all the equipment out and set it up and have it running by 7 AM when the polls open. On a busy day, I’ve sat at a polling pad checking voters, only getting up twice. Once to go to the bathroom, and once to go to lunch for 30 minutes. Polls run from 7 AM to 7 PM, by the way.
My Third Election Day
On my third day of elections, I do everything in reverse of the first day. I go to each polling place and pick up equipment and take it back to the election board office. As I put all the stuff up, I make sure that everything is good, and if there are any defects in the equipment, I have to report it to the elections board supervisor.
I want to say this. I work elections for the state of Georgia. One of the states involved in the controversy of the 2020 election. All those allegations you may have heard made by the loser of the election and the losing party are all bullshit. The election process is secure — bottom line. Donald Trump was a one-term President. That’s just the reality of it all.
A Bright Side to The Election
On Election Day, I had an experience that moved me to the core. It was late in the day. Well after 5 PM, an elderly black lady, no younger than 80, with a walker, entered the polling station. She was being escorted by her daughter, who was a little older than me. She came to my table and wanted to cast her vote. Her daughter informed me this was the first time in her life she had voted and that she would be assisting her. I sat it all up to where she could vote. I turned the pad and moved it as far as I could on the table to get it to where she could sign it. She said, “Thank you.” and scooted on over to her voting station. I took a lot of pride in helping that lady. I also realized when I was doing this, for so many years, it had been white men, like myself, who had suppressed this lady’s vote. And now, at 80 or maybe older, she has finally been empowered to cast her vote. I still think about that moment often.
Making It a Fair Fight
When I got home that night, I told my wife Donald Trump lost this county. And he did, due to the African American vote. Those voters came out because Stacey Abrams’s non-profit, Fair Fight, put in the work and mobilized the black community to come out and vote. Everybody should feel free to cast their vote, regardless of their color, political affiliation, or whatever. If you are an American citizen, you shouldn’t have any apprehension about going and voting.
A few days after the election, I contacted Fair Fight and told them about the elderly black lady and praised their work. I also encouraged them to continue their fight and take it nationwide if need be. With all the changes in voting laws, they need to stay vigilant in mobilizing voters. It’s our right as a citizen to have proper representation of the areas we live in, and we can only reach that if everyone goes to the polls.