After two weeks of serving as an early voting election judge, I’ve come to realize what it means that each citizen is entitled to vote. Part of what I’ve imagined as true: Voters have a backstory that motivates them to cast their ballots. When taken together, those stories can have profound meanings.
During these days, I’ve interacted briefly with voters as they entered the polling place. Voters who were voting for the first time and individuals who vote regardless of significant physical and cognitive handicaps. People who needed assistance and experienced voters who would never miss an election. Recently naturalized voters. Folks whose first language was other than English. Individuals who needed our special efforts to find them in the county’s voter data base, so that we could ascertain their eligibility to vote. People from many walks of life and ethnic origins. Family groups and couples. Young children watching their parents vote.
Tt was apparent that voters came to early voting with purpose, maybe even high motivation. They appreciated the ease and integrity of the voting process and our work as election judges. Their demeanors were consistently earnest, positive and grateful. No partisanship was evident. For those brief moments, we were at one with each other.
Each of them walked out of the polling place with their I VOTED sticker proudly displayed, a sign that they were grateful for the privilege to live in a democratic society where citizens eventually determine their own fates, their own governance, their own well-being.
I saw God in many of these people. Their efforts were an inspiration to me when I needed it. Your voting presence may have the same effect. However brief, your witness may hearten those around you.
Among them will be election judges….
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