The People

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Doris Anne Sadler
Marion County Clerk 4 elections, First Presidential Election

“Most people don’t realize that elections are run almost exclusively off of volunteers. Think about Marion County, I think we’re the 11th largest city in the United States, and we basically have 6 full-time people running the elections. It requires people who want to help. Without those people the election just does not happen. People used to do it as a matter of course, but those folks are getting old and some of them are passing away…the problem is we’re just not replacing those people very quickly. There’s not the same sense of civic duty in terms of running elections.”

David Woo
Marion County Election Board Service Center Supervisor
37 Elections, 17 Primaries,
17 General/Mayoral/Presidential and 3 special

“We put out 946 voting machines. Each machine is precinct specific,
precinct specific with a precinct specific ballot. We keep track
of every ballot that’s printed. So once the printer has printed the ballots,
we keep track of the number of ballots he has printed, the number
of ballots he’s spoiled, how many ballots he has delivered to us,
how many ballots we deliver to the precincts. We check and double-check
until each and every item has been completed.”

Robert Vane
Election Board Administrator.
Fourth election, First Presidential election

“You cannot open a precinct without an inspector—so if I’m the inspector
for ward one, precinct one and I don’t show up—you can’t
vote. You can’t get any more important than that.”

Wendy Orange
Traveling Board Coordinator (former Election Board Administrator)
19 Elections, Third Presidential Election

"I do believe that living in a Democratic society comes with great responsibility, but that’s because I want things—I want to have a say—those people who say, it’s a Democratic society I’m free to do what I want, I don’t have to participate if I don’t want to---you’re exactly right, you don’t have to participate if you don’t want to—but you may not get what you want, if you don’t participate."

Valerie Hurd Washington
Financial Analyst for the Clerk’s Office and Election Board
Six Elections, First Presidential Election

“The public makes a lot of assumptions regarding their voter registration. For example, when a person’s information has changed—they’ve moved, or gotten married— most people assume we should just know that. If you don’t tell us—we don’t know.”

Tony Schaffer
Chief Deputy Clerk
Fourth election, First Presidential election

"Elections are a very complicated ballet of man and machine. The public does not understand the great effort that is expended in running an election. Too many people believe that it takes about a week to prepare, conduct
and wrap-up an election. Hopefully if the public understands the complications of running an election, they will be more appreciative of the people who sacrifice to sustain the election process."

Chari Burke
Deputy Clerk of Court Administration
Two elections, First Presidential

“One of the major misconceptions I had was, I thought the poll workers worked for the government—that they were sent here by the President—to ensure that I could cast my vote and they’re not—they’re average people like my parents who volunteer and give their time so that everyone else can vote.”

Tim Fickle
Deputy Clerk
Fourth Election, First Presidential Election

"I don’t think the public realizes the enormous amount of manpower needed to put on an election. We need volunteers! If we don't have the bodies to open all of the polling places, guess what . . . they won't open! If they don’t open, people can’t vote. It’s that simple."
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