The Lord is good and gracious unto me.
Yesterday I was the Chief Officer of Election at a precinct in Arlington. It is a tiring day, which begins with unlocking the polling place at 5:00 a.m. and setting up the machines in time to open the polls at 6:00 a.m. We finished our tally and packing up everything before 9:00 p.m. I was home about 10:00.
At our location we were visited by a delegation from Argentina who wanted to observe the voting process. They wanted to know if the polling place was a government building (No) and if we Officers of Election were government employees (No). They were impressed that there were no police or army personnel at the polling place. It was a reminder of how different the conduct of the process of voting is here. In all the years I’ve done this I’ve never detected the slightest whiff of the political affiliation or inclination of any other Officer of Election. Everyone’s whole focus has been 100% on running an error-free, friendly and efficient voting process.
It is a blessing that there isn’t any violence, intimidation, or even subtle attempts by election officers to influence the vote. It is an honor and a privilege to be part of democracy in action on these occasions. I’m thankful for it.
Ron Hicks, Parish Verger, St. Alban’s Episcopal Church, Washington DC, 04-November-2014.