We’ve asked some of our long-time poll workers to share their stories as part of our poll worker spotlight series. Traci Schmidt has worked the polls for eight elections and continues to come back to fulfill her civic duty and help her neighbors. Continue reading to learn more about her experience.
The following responses have been paraphrased.
How long have you been serving as a poll worker?
Four years (eight elections)
What brings you back each year?
I am fulfilling my civic duty.
What are some of your most memorable moments as an Election Official?
I have had the pleasure to work with some very interesting and accomplished people over the years. Three of my children have also been poll workers, including two that went through the Parma High School student poll worker program.
What is your favorite part about being an Election Official?
I enjoy working the polling location that I vote in. It provided a sense of community by meeting and serving my neighbors.
Describe the energy at polling locations on Election Day.
The amount of energy really depends upon the type of election; Primary vs. General Election or Presidential Election. I think poll workers do a great job trying to make Election Day a positive experience for all voters.
Why is being an Election Official important to you?
When I first became a poll worker, it was important for me to see the electoral process from the inside. I really value all the security measures in place to ensure our elections are fair.
Did you feel a sense of accomplishment at the end of the day? Can you describe this?
I used to like balancing the ballots, stubs and poll books, and felt a sense of accomplishment at the end of the day when everything balanced. We don’t have to do this anymore, though. I also enjoyed working as a Voting Location Deputy (VLD) and felt a sense of accomplishment after a successful Election Day.
What is it like to know you made a difference in our electoral process?
I am proud to serve is this small way.
Why, in your opinion, should others become Election Officials?
I think working an election can really increase your confidence in our electoral process.
We are now accepting applications for poll workers for the May 8 Primary Election. To be considered for this honorable service, please apply online or call 216-443-3277 for more information.
To view all of the stories in our poll worker spotlight series, click here.