Very proud of  election process

Published 3:43 pm Tuesday, November 16, 2021

Editor, The Smithfield Times:

With all the recent discussion of elections being “stolen,” I decided that I would try to see firsthand how our election process worked. I signed up to be a poll worker and was accepted.

This first step was to receive training, and by the end of the training I felt confident that I could accomplish the tasks. On Election Day I checked into Isle of Wight Precinct 406 at 5 a.m. and was warmly greeted by the team. They were like a fine-tuned machine in the setup and preparations. They were also very helpful to the “new guy” in explaining everything that had to be done. I was impressed with their enthusiasm and dedication to the task at hand.

Before voting commenced everyone was sworn in to follow all the Virginia voting laws and to prevent any fraud or abuse. The polls opened precisely at 6 a.m. and we commenced checking in voters, handing out ballots and ensuring all ballots were entered and registered into the counting machine. The ballots were delivered to us in packages of 100 each. As each package was opened, two separate people would count them to verify that each package contained precisely 100 ballots. These ballots were placed at a table away from the pollbook check-in computers.

As people came in they were directed to the pollbook check-in computers, their IDs were checked, their names were compared to the master list and when all was verified they were given a card to go to the table to receive their ballot. They then went to a voting booth, marked their ballots and put them into the counting machine.

Once the machine indicated the vote was counted, we gave them the coveted “I Voted” sticker. The polls closed at 7 p.m. and by 7:45 all the paperwork had been done, our reports had been submitted, and we were all packed up and ready to go.

In 15 short hours I learned an awful lot about our voting process, and based on my experience I’m even more convinced that no one “steals” an election. Regardless of your candidate of choice, I’m certain the will of the people resulted in a fairly and accurately counted election. I’m content and satisfied with that result.

 

Andrew “Russ” MacConnell

Retired Navy captain

Smithfield