Poll workers get a lot of guff. They’re sometimes the butt of jokes. But I was reminded today as I voted in the Cedar Rapids mayoral election that they are part of the backbone of our democracy. They’re like the fifth thoracic vertebra.
Poll workers are often, if not always, older Americans. I honestly have no idea how one becomes a poll worker, but I sure am glad there are people in their dotage willing to perform this precious service for the rest of us. It’s probably best to have older-than-the-median-age folks doing this stuff. They’ve been around the block. They’re not some young whippersnapper who might be more tempted to engage in skullduggery.
We have been given a tremendous gift, those of us who are citizens of the United States. Every so often, we get to have our say as to whether we like the people we have chosen to lead us, or, as is the case in the CR election today, who among a field of newcomers we would like to do so. This process doesn’t happen by magic. Someone has to make sure it all stays on the up-and-up, and these oldsters are just the people to do that.
So today, I salute you, dear poll workers. Thanks for making sure I am who I say I am, handing me a pen, and telling me how to stick the ballot in the machine. These sound like little things, but without them, we have nothing.