Most people will agree that voting is an important civic responsibility, but not everyone stops to think of the poll workers who make it possible for us to cast our votes.
Quite simply, without poll workers, there could be no elections.
Poll workers do not have an easy job. On Election Day, they must report to their polling places by 5:30 a.m. Polls do not close for another 14 hours, at 7:30 p.m., and then - because Elkins uses paper ballots - they must count the ballots. On election night, by the time all sealed ballot boxes and other election materials were returned to city hall, many of our poll workers had been awake since 4 a.m. and on the job for close to 18 hours.
During early voting and on Election Day, poll workers must politely and professionally assist all voters through a multi-step, manual process that they receive training on and experience only once every two years. Most voters are wonderful, but of course some are in a hurry or might be frustrated to learn that they are in the wrong polling place.
Regardless of any of these factors, poll workers must calmly and carefully take all of the steps required by law, to protect voters' rights and safeguard the integrity and accountability of the electoral process.
Therefore, I want to express my deep gratitude to the approximately two dozen local residents who served Elkins in various election-related jobs leading up to and during the March 5 municipal election, as ballot commissioners, early voting clerks, election commissioners and poll clerks. Please know that your community appreciates your hard work, and thank you for a job well done!
Sutton R. Stokes
Elkins City Clerk