To the Editor:
Yes, your vote was counted.
By 11:00 p.m. Tuesday night, the Island’s count was in. Every single vote that was not scanned in the morning was scanned after the polls closed.
In the end, 2,421 votes went through the scanners and were counted. It took over an hour for three bipartisan poll workers and their coordinator to put every ballot in the scanner.
Tallying up the voids and affidavit ballots after 15 hours of work was mind-numbing.
Yet, it got done. By 11:00 p.m., our officer, P.O. Vasques, took our signed and sealed documents to the precinct to go for final tallying.
I thank the 99% of our neighbors, great voters, who did not abuse the staff, understood our predicament (two scanners were out for part of the day), and patiently stood in line to register, mark their ballots, and finally scan their ballots. (I am keeping the Trader Joe’s “End of Line” sign as a souvenir.)
For a lot of the time during the day, I was on the phone begging for a repair person to fix the jammed machines. They did come, twice, and by 11:00 a.m. our morning breakdowns had been repaired. A simple paper jam can block the scanner, just like in your home printer.
I have worked for at least four presidential elections, and few ever wanted “I Voted” stickers before. This time, they were the hottest commodity on the Island. In the evening, we took abuse because stickers had run out. “If you want one, go on Google Images and print one,” was my answer to an annoyed voter.
I am sitting here this morning with a stack of paperwork. Election Day does not end at 9:00 p.m. We had a full, free, democratic vote. No one was injured at our site, physically. No one was denied their right to vote, by scanner or affidavit.
I must thank my great team who worked all day. Those of you who live in Rivercross, Island House, and Roosevelt Landings always have the busiest tables. Lorraine, with her great sense of humor, told thousands which Election District table to go to. Our interpreters, Emily and Sui, patiently explained the ballot to many. Our BMD (Ballot Marking Device) team helped many see the ballot in large print, by voice, and in braille.
Thanks for not taking photos of your ballot. No matter the result, democracy succeeded, you had a vote in private, the system worked.
Our 26 exhausted staffers are recovering! My thanks to: Carolyn, Gloria, Xiaoxu, Karimata, Lorraine, Margarita, Emily, Linda, Dorothy, Olga, Elizabeth, Victoria, Jeannette, Claude, Maggie, Beverly, Sara, Nathan, Irene, Andrea, Russell, Vicki, Hope, Diana, Joshua, and Jon.
Thanks to my friends for the coffee, won-ton soup, and falafel that kept me going all day!