Our opinion: Local elections workers deserve our gratitude

Published 9:36 am Wednesday, November 7, 2018

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It has been a crazy election season, and that’s just for the voters. Imagine how it must be for those who are responsible for keeping the voting process safe, orderly, and legitimate.

The people of Crisp, Dooly, and Wilcox counties are blessed with capable — and caring — elections supervisors, staff members, and volunteers. They are truly dedicated to preserving our sacred right to choose our own government representatives.

In short, these people know their business, and they know it well.

The business of voting has done nothing but get more complicated over the past two to three decades.

Just a generation ago, voters gathered on a single day and pulled a lever or punched a tab on an actual paper ballot. If you liked to let others do your thinking for you, all you had to do was pull a single lever and vote a “straight party ticket.”

Those days are long gone. Now we have two weeks of early voting. We vote on computerized machines chosen by some bureaucrat in Atlanta. And we have detailed state and federal laws that can sometimes make it difficult to determine who can and can’t vote.

With each curveball thrown from Atlanta and D.C., our local elections workers have handled each additional task with very little complaint and a great deal of efficiency.

Now there’s a new element that elections workers must consider: public safety. The Department of Homeland Security briefed many local elections officials throughout Georgia on how to handle violent demonstrations or even domestic terrorist attacks.

At the Dispatch, we’ve not heard of any significant voting irregularities (and if you personally experienced any we want to know). Thankfully, we haven’t heard of any violence at the polls, either.

There are a lot of people we have to thank for that, but elections supervisors Becky Perkins in Crisp County, Brenetta Childs in Dooly County, and April Graham in Wilcox County are at the top of the list.