What Is It Like Working The Polls On Election Day?

Election Day for some means walking over 6 miles to help make sure Clinton County voters are taken care of and can exercise their right to vote.

Marilyn Chittick and Susan Davis shared with Frankfort Rotary Members what it is like to work the polls on Election Day. 

Marilyn Chittick (left) and Susan Davis share “A day in the life of a Clinton County Poll worker” at the Frankfort Rotary Club Thursday. Photo by Russ Kaspar

Clinton County currently has seven voting centers.  Each voting center needs at least five to seven workers. 

  • 2 judges (one from each party)
  • 2 clerks (one from each party)
  • 1 inspector from the party in Clinton County that cast the most votes for Secretary of State.

Voting hours start county-wide on Election Day at 6 am and continue until the last person in line at 6pm casts their vote.  22% of the eligible voting population in Clinton County cast a vote on May 3rd. 

Each poll worker needs to pledge on Election Day that

  • No relative is on the ticket (any candidate on the ballot cannot work the polls as well)
  • Must currently live in Clinton County
  • Poll worker pledges they have not waged any bets on the current election
  • Poll worker will not discuss with anyone how any one voter cast a vote.

The goal of every election worker on Election Day is “to make sure every qualified voter gets to vote”.  “If there is a problem, we work it out” said Marilyn Chittick. Sometimes address discrepancies occur or provisional ballots have to be cast and reviewed by the County Election Board.  At 6pm sharp, Marilyn stands last in the line. She then follows the line until it is inside and then the door is locked, making sure everyone in line by 6pm has the opportunity to cast their ballot.

”A good time to vote with no lines are on the two Saturdays before Election Day” says Chittick. “Voters needing accessible accommodations like to vote at the Frankfort High School Superintendents office” said Chittick.

Poll workers do not need to be the least bit active in politics.  Susan Davis worked 17 years at the Frankfort High School and enjoys working the polls even though she is not involved or active in local politics at all.  On Election Day politics are rarely discussed anyway, said Chittick. This year a written paper manifest was generated as each voter cast their ballot.  The paper comes from a long spool that can handle “thousands” of votes in each machine. “We wouldn’t be working the polls if there was an opportunity for fraud” Chittick said.

After the votes are cast results are taken to the Clerks office at the Courthouse to be processed for the final county-wide tally.  These results are then released to the Press and shared with the Republican and Democrat Headquarters.

Marilyn Chittick got her start in politics as a 17 year old High School Grad.  She went to work at the State Highway office. Back in those days 2% of all pay checks were collected from employees and sent back to the Party in charge.  If an election changed the party in control, everyone would immediately leave and be replaced by the newly elected party  in charge.  Sally Marshall was a mentor for Marilyn in her early years.  Marshall had a special relationship with Marilyn and prevailed on Marilyn to “Stay active in politics.  I marched on the Clinton County Courthouse grounds for Women’s right to vote and we don’t want to loose it!”  To this day, Marilyn is fulfilling Marshall’s wish.

The 19th Ammendment guaranteeing a woman’s right to vote was ratified August 18, 1920.



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