Commentary

COMMENTARY: Poll Workers are the Backbone of our Democracy

Francisco Diaz writes about unsung heroes who rise to the challenge.

This commentary was contributed by Francisco Diaz, Assistant County Clerk-Recordert. The opinions expressed do not represent BenitoLink or other affiliated contributors. BenitoLink invites all community members to share their ideas and opinions. By registering as a BenitoLink user in the top right corner of our home page and agreeing to follow our Terms of Use, you can write counter opinions or share your insights on current issues.

 

Every election, our county Department of Elections recruits members of our community for one of the most challenging yet essential assignments: being a poll worker. And every election our poll workers rise to that challenge and provide excellent customer service and vital support to the voters of San Benito County.

They check voter names and voter registration when you arrive at any voting location, provide voters with the correct ballot for your precinct, and hand voters an “I Voted” sticker after each voters drop their ballot into the ballot box. Poll workers truly are the backbone of our democracy.

Without these unsung heroes at our vote centers, our electoral system could not function. And on September 14, 2021, in a climate of uncertainty and high expectations, our San Benito County poll workers met those challenges head-on and made democracy happen.

Their job is not an easy one, particularly on Election Day. Poll workers can expect to work a 16–18-hour days, never knowing when groups of voters might show up all at once or how many voters will want to use a touchscreen or ask for a paper ballot to mark by hand, or which voters might need accessibility or language options. They manage all of this with a smile and a cheerful determination to make every vote count.

Election Day, and the entire election cycle, is a large accomplishment that is a result of the hard work of our poll workers. They play an integral role in ensuring that elections in San Benito County remain free, fair, and transparent. Their time, talents, and efforts are much needed, and we need to thank them.

Those of us working for County of San Benito and the Department of Elections express our sincere gratitude and appreciation for all our poll workers who continue to work to ensure a safe, secure, and accessible voting experience for our community.

Francisco Diaz