Show your patriotism, work the polls

Published 11:46 pm Wednesday, July 18, 2007

To all registered voters of Adams County, I write this letter in hopes of compelling you to show the patriotism of the pins of flags on your lapels, the magnetic signs on your vehicles and the flags flying on your porches in a more active manner.

This is a very personal matter to me because my husband was recalled to active duty with the U.S. Coast Guard in January 2003 in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom. He is still serving his country.

Both political parties in Adams County need individuals to work at the 20 polling sites located throughout the county. People are needed to refurbish the lists of workers both political parties call on year after year.

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Did you know the average age of a poll worker nationwide is 75? With no disrespect to our seniors, some of these dedicated individuals will not be with us much longer. Many perform this necessary public service year after year. Poll workers are paid $75 and can expect to work a 14-hour day. This amount is the highest pay allowed by Mississippi law and county supervisors authorize this pay. Workers bring a lunch, snacks; and sodas to the polling station because they cannot leave the polls due to the workload. Each polling site requires a minimum of six workers while some require nine workers. The 20 polling sites require 130 workers per each political party. As one of two people working phones to hire workers for the one of the political parties, we had to start in mid-May, and we still have some slots available. Also, backup poll workers are needed in case individuals are unable to work; i.e. one year a worker passed away the night before the election.

I know each of us wants to help. I know each of us wants to “give something back” to the community. The political process needs your help. If you wish to honor a veteran (I had four uncles serve in World War II, one did not return) by working at the polls, and especially if you want to honor a service member in Iraq, Afghanistan, or any place in the world, contact me at 601-597-1246 or leave a message at 601-445-2026. You can also contact me in Texas at 409-721-6214 or leave a message. You may also call Sue Stedman at 601-442-2286.

The most important point I want to make is there are more than 3,000 veterans who will never get the chance to cast a vote for anyone again. Honor their ultimate sacrifice to God and country. Sit at a polling place for little pay and long hours. You won’t have to carry a weapon, be shot at, wear a flack jacket, eat MREs, or have sand blowing all around you. It fact it will be the easiest patriotic and civic-minded duty you can ever perform.

Beverly Merrill

Natchez resident