Poll judge Anna Johnson returns an ID to a voter on Election Day. Emma Rogers // DN
Poll volunteers keep the elections running smoothly
Election Day is a crazy time for everyone involved, especially those volunteering at the polls.
The days are long, and they often get no thanks for the work they do. But the election wouldn't be able to go on without them.
The Class Clown
Working at the polls for the past 30 years, Carl Murphy has had his fair share of Election Day experience.
The 60-year-old Muncie man is on his last year, but he still enjoys volunteering for what he calls his civil duty. He's spent all day today at the Gillespie Towers.
“People should take part,” Murphy said. “It’s our country, and I believe in our country. And if you don’t vote here, you don’t get the right to be in it.”
There aren’t any shifts for the volunteers at polling places — it’s an all-day obligation.
But Murphy doesn’t mind.
“You do the best you can,” he said. “It’s sometimes good, sometimes bad. When it’s steady, it makes the time go quicker.”
Murphy uses humor to get through the day. He was voted the class clown in high school, so it’s fitting for him to laugh through his shift.
“I interact with everyone — I’m a people person,” he said.
When asked what he does to keep sane during the long shift, he just laughed.
“Who says I’m sane?”
Larry Rees is the inspector at the 25th and 26th precincts at the First Presbyterian Church, and has volunteered during the elections for more than 20 years after someone asked him to volunteer.
“Our day is about a 14-hour day.” Rees said. “I live in this precinct and a lot of them are my neighbors, so I see them every year this way.”
Rees was able to get his wife, Sonja Rees, to join him.
“We feel that it is our civil duty and we have done it for many years. We enjoy it because we get to see a lot of our neighbors and a lot of our friends," Sonja said.
Anna Johnson has been volunteering at the polls for the last five elections. Johnson was working at the 25th and 26th precincts at First Presbyterian Church.
“I was curious. I wanted to get involved to see what it took to do this,” Johnson said.
She says she really enjoys being around the people and being able to help the community.