Are you ready to vote?
Did you hear about the big event coming up in November? It’s Tuesday, November 6th to be exact, the day of the general election. It’s already handily written for you on your paper calendar. Take a few minutes to add it to your calendar app too and set the little reminder bell to go off. Because for all of those good intentions, you may let it sneak up on you and I want to make sure you take the time to vote.
What it takes in Madison County
A friend of mine told me that it’s not just the fact of getting the little “I Voted” sticker to signify that you voted. She said it’s that the same man is always there to hand it to her. You see, her “I Voted” feeling is as much from that particular gentleman handing her the sticker as it is about the sticker itself. It’s recognizing the many people that it takes to make it all happen!
The workers, who mark our names, provide the ballots and markers, help us run it through the machine correctly and even make sure we don’t leave without that sticker make up part of the voting experience. They work hard to make our elections run smoothly.
Did you know?
Out of curiosity about who these election workers are, I spoke to the Madison County Elections Coordinator, Frank Barger.
- It takes 750 workers to run the 75 polling places in Madison County.
- Out of that, only 40 – 50 are brand new this year.
- Each worker has to complete training before every single election.
- Workers are required to work from 6 am on Election Day until after the polls close, at least a 14 hour day, sometimes much more.
- Workers start out by volunteering, but become official when they are appointed by the elections panel.
- Workers have to work in the precinct in which they are registered to vote and they are paid a stipend for their day.
- You can be a Madison County poll worker too!
Barger told me that most of the workers have served for many years, but his office welcomes inquiries and new people. If you are interested in becoming a poll worker, give him a call at 256-532-3332 or email him here.
He also gave me this inside scoop – Madison County has received approval from the County Commission and the Secretary of States’ office to launch a new and very in-depth voter information website. And starting in the 2014 election cycle, the new website will have online training. This will help someone who wants to be a poll worker but might work full time, to train from home prior to elections making it easier to schedule to work on election days.
What You Need to Know Now
There are some important deadlines coming up, so take a few moments to make sure you are registered to vote and that you know where your polling place is located.
- The deadline to register to vote is October 26. Click here to see the requirements and where you can go to register.
- November 1 is the last day to request an absentee ballot. November 5 is the last day to turn one in.
- Click here to see how your voter registration information is listed or to find out where your polling place is.
- Click here for a sample ballot. There are several important offices up for vote.
- Madison County polling places are open from 7:00 am – 7:00 pm, making it easy to vote before or after work if you can’t take time off to vote.
- There’s an app for that! Click here for the Madison County government mobile app for iPhones, iPads and Android phones.
Finally, I asked Frank Barger what was the one most important thing he wanted to say in this post.
His response – “Our goal is to provide the best voter experience that we can.” He also said, “I want to encourage everyone to vote.”
I second that. Please get out and vote!
Header photo credit (L-R): Chuck Welch, Mike Baehr