For months, some leaders alleged the presidential election would be fraudulent. They continue to make accusations, questioning the integrity of millions of American poll workers. I am one of the accused.
Milford, NH’s polling place is one of the largest in the USA. 13,101 registered voters may use it on Election Day. You read that correctly. Four other New Hampshire towns have even larger polling places. We are frugal people in NH.
Ready for Voters
As Milford’s town moderator, I am responsible for the election. If a voter doesn’t like my response to their concern, their only choice is to call the Secretary of State.
NH also has some of the best practices for ensuring every registered voter’s ballot is accurately counted. We count the ballots we receive, the ballots left over, the ballots cast, how many voters checked in, and more.
But, in the end, it is the people, not the practices, that assure election integrity. I had 120 unpaid volunteers working on Election Day, with 40 people on each of three five-hour shifts. Another ten election officials worked all day, from 5:00 a.m. until 11:00 p.m., as I did.
Two-thirds of my poll workers volunteered for the first time, many because they knew other poll workers could not work due to COVID. The volunteers participated in training sessions and then did their best to fulfill their duties on Election Day. If they had questions, they asked. If they made a mistake, we fixed it.
Recount Validates the Result
Many people outside the USA don’t realize that the November election was about more, much more, than the Presidency. Milford’s ballot was 8.5″ wide by 14″ long – and printed with races and candidates on both sides.
One of those races, for state senator, was recounted after the election at a candidate’s request. Now, we use scanning machines to count ballots on Election Day. The ballots that the tabulators cannot read are counted by hand on the same day. But a recount of a statewide race is always done by hand and is performed by volunteers from both political parties.
9,529 of Milford’s voters cast their ballots on Election Day. The difference between the count that I announced that night and the recount a few days later was 20 votes.
You may be wondering why there was a difference. One reason is that voters occasionally do not fill in the ovals so the machines can read the vote. But when a human looks at the ballot, they can determine the voter’s intent. I have seen ballots where the voter filled in the “o” in “No” instead of the oval. The machines don’t read “Yes” or “No.” They read filled-in ovals.
Months of preparation went into what I called “the election of a lifetime.” We moved to a larger building and reworked the layout to make the election as safe as possible. We had many more volunteers than usual. We implemented election procedures that the state developed over two hundred years.
When people question the integrity of the elections, they cast doubt on millions of poll workers’ integrity. Sure, there may be a handful of workers who have an agenda. Nevertheless, almost all election volunteers work with impartiality, a sense of purpose, and great pride.
I say to the so-called leaders who question the integrity of my poll workers, “Come here.” Sit beside them, observe, and you will learn that without regard for the result, poll workers strive to ensure a safe, secure, and trustworthy election.