Punching the Clock: Poll position

Working at the polls on Election Day can be a long, tireless job, but the coffee and goodies help. Thatís what I found out on Tuesday when I arrived at the Guernsey Memorial Library to help the four workers at the Ward Two voting location man the polls and prepare for a long night.

At 7 a.m., I arrived at the Chenango County Board of Elections. Of course, by then, elections officials had already been working for hours. According to Republican Commissioner Caolr Franklin, calls had been coming into the office since shortly after 5 a.m. She took the time to walk me over to the Second Ward polling place, located for the first time in the Guernsey Memorial Library. On the way, Jenkins explained what information the board can and cannot give to potential voters. ďWe canít influence them in any way,Ē Franklin said. She explained that if a person has questions about a specific candidate or policy, they can refer them somewhere to find the answers to their questions, but they cannot directly influence them by answering specific questions.

After informing the four elections officials at the location that I would be working with them for the day, Franklin returned to work.

Carol Titus, Anna Kirchbaum, Mary OíNeil and Pete Hesse were already at the location, and knew they were going to be staying there until all the votes were tallied around least 9:30 that night. It was still early for many people, but voters began to trickle in a couple at a time. The officials would ask for their name and have them sign the register before they entered the voting booth. The voters were numbered in the order they entered, and once they exited the booth, one of the officials would press a button on the side of the booth to allow the next voter to cast their ballot.

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