As the sun rises over Campbell County on Tuesday, November 8, many residents will be rolling out of bed and preparing to embark on a new day. Except for the election workers. They will have already been busy setting up their voting locations, and eagerly awaiting voters.
According to the Campbell County Clerk's office, there will be approximately 300 precinct officers stationed throughout the county to make sure that election day runs smoothly. Fort Thomas will be home to sixteen precincts for the election.
All poll workers must be on duty at their designated polling locations by 5:15 a.m. the morning of the election. Workers will then work together to make sure the location is set up for voters, and the voting machines are all working properly in order for the precinct to open at precisely 6:00 a.m.
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Four precinct officers are assigned to each voting location: one “Clerk”, two “Judges”, and one “Sheriff.” The four workers each have specific duties to perform in accordance to their role for the day. The workers are fully prepared to provide assistance for voters while also administering all election laws. Every precinct officer participates in a mandatory training session prior to the election, which prepares them for their individual and group precinct duties throughout the day.
When the voting booths close at 6:00 p.m., the workers are then responsible for packing up all the voting materials and equipment to be delivered to the Campbell County Clerk's office. They have several reports and various forms that have to be completed before calling it a day.
The 300 locals working as precinct officers make up a wide variety of demographics. There are people who have worked elections for decades, and others who only work a few elections when possible.
Fort Thomas resident Tracie Gibson has been serving as a precinct officer for at least 20 years alongside her husband, Phil. Gibson first became interested in serving as a poll worker after seeing a newspaper article about Campbell County's need for workers. Gibson recalls seeing the article during a major election year, and the county was expecting a record turnout.
“So Phil and I called up and the rest is history. We believe in giving back to our community. This is a way to help civically,” said Gibson.
Gibson and her husband continue to work at the same precinct each year, and look forward to spending the day with their fellow precinct officers. “The first year we worked at the precinct we voted at, so it was fun seeing our neighbors and friends,” said Gibson. “Since then, we have been at the same precinct for the last 20 years. We don't know as many, but I think it helps seeing the same faces every year. I enjoy the group we work with and am happy to have a small role in the electoral process.”
See you at the polls, Fort Thomas! And don't forget to thank your poll workers when you grab that “I Voted” sticker.