The election in the eyes of a poll worker

Mariah Stewart | Lindenlink Contributor

The process of finding out who the next president of the United States is determined first with voters and ends with poll workers. Poll workers have the tedious task of enforcing order at the polling place and organizing any mishaps that occur during the voting day.

According to St. Charles County resident and Democratic supporter Charlene Stewart, her voting experience was pleasant. Stewart didn’t have to wait in a long line, the workers were nice, and the entire experience was no longer than 20-minutes. However, for several St. Louis County voters that attended the Berkley Middle School polling place, pleasantness was the furthest thought from their mind on voting day.

“This has by far been the worst election experience I have ever been through. The workers are unprofessional, there was a fight outside in the rain, and after my two-hour wait I still had to do a provisional vote. It was just sad.” Said Berkley resident and Democratic supporter LeMay Metts. Metts believes the poll workers at Berkley Middle School were not taking their responsibilities seriously.

There were a total of 12 poll workers at Berkley Middle School. Of them, there were only two supervisors (one of them being a first time worker). The voter to worker ratio was off balance, considering the middle school had gotten over 2,000 voters. Another situation to consider for the Berkley Middle School negative reviews was the new ID rule.

Never before have voters been asked to show a photo ID. Poll workers were instructed to look at there license and if the address was different from what was on the precinct roaster, the voter would then have to fill out an affidavit re-register to vote and then proceed to cast their vote.

Republican Head Supervisor for Berkley Middle polling place, Bernice Patrick, says the confusion on Election Day was not the poll workers fault.

“A lot of people thought they could move around the county, remain an inactive voter for years, and just walk in to vote like its no problem. Voters must educate themselves because the presidential election is a big deal and they should have been better prepared for it.” Said a frustrated Patrick.

According to St. Louis County Board of Elections Commissioner, Vicki Turner and the law, if a voter has not voted in two general elections within two years they are kicked out of the registration system and therefore must re-register to vote. The only exception to that rule is if the voter has not moved since the last time he/she voted and if that is the case they must fill out an affidavit to vote. The rule is not complex; however, a lot of the Berkley Middle School voters were unaware of that information and were frustrated by the inconvenience it adding to their voting process.

“They tell us to go vote, they tell us to get registered, I don’t understand why they wouldn’t tell us to double check if our names are going to be in the books.” Said Republican Berkley Middle School poll worker, Al Lewis.

From five o’clock in the morning to drop off time around nine at night, those are the  hours for election day poll workers. Within those hours they see the happiness of first time voters, the frustrations of inactive voters, and the process it takes to make sure every vote is counted. No one said it was going to be easy.