Elections don’t just happen.
It takes a lot of people working behind the scenes to make sure we all get to exercise our right to vote.
Let’s start with the employees at the various local boards of elections, the people who prepare the machines and the ballots, and set up the tables and organize the rooms, and set up the pylons and ropes outside to make sure that people can get through the process as quickly and efficiently as possible.
Early voting really took off in popularity this year, requiring more preparation and more time and effort by the staffs.
In many places, the local elections commissioners personally oversaw the balloting, making sure voters were comfortable and that those who couldn’t stand for long periods, for instance, got to the front of the line.
Elections need people to collect and count ballots and to stay after the polls close to lock up. Voters don’t see these people in action, but they’re crucial.
Also helping keep the process going are the thousands of poll workers who signed up to work the early-voting periods and the 15-hour Election Day.
For them, Election Day actually started well before the polls opened at 6 a.m. and lasted until well after the polls closed at 9 p.m.
Many of these workers are dedicated citizens who do this every year. But this election also attracted many first-timers, people who just wanted to contribute in some way.
These individuals sat at registration tables and checked signatures, guided voters to voting stations and voting machines, answered voters’ questions and helped ensure that polling places were kept sanitary. Thank you to all.
Throughout the election process, many people volunteered to help individual candidates, by collecting signatures, putting up signs and helping get the word out.
Some are members of the various political parties. But others are just ordinary citizens who came forward to help elect a candidate they believed in.
And don’t forget the candidates themselves. Most candidates get in it for no other reason but to help their communities and the people who live in them.
They don’t get enough credit for the tremendous effort and time commitment it takes to run for office — the time away from their families, the personal financial expense, and the time away from work and recreational time.
Win or lose, these candidates deserve our thanks for being willing to serve.
For all the other people not named here who contributed to making this important election happen, thank you.
Democracy doesn’t work without you.