Women and Adversity: Judith Hall, Modern Suffragist
Judith “Judy” Hall taught children with special needs and early childhood education as an adjunct professor before she took the training for poll workers in 2016 in North Myrtle Beach, SC.
“I knew people at church who worked the polls and discussed it with them,” she says. “I felt it was an important way to contribute to our community.”
She sees challenges in the position because the security of each vote is paramount to a poll worker. Her duties include:
- making sure materials and equipment are set up properly.
- verifying the voter is in the correct precinct.
- verifying that each person who comes to vote is a registered voter.
- following procedures at the precinct according to state law.
- following rules for poll workers.
- returning equipment to the voter registration office.
“Voting is our privilege,” Hall says, but adds that only about 50 percent of the registered voters vote in the precinct where she is a poll worker. She and her husband, Gary, who works as a clerk at the polls, have voted in every election.
“Even while living abroad for six-plus years, I voted absentee ballot,” she says. “I have traveled extensively and have learned that the United States is unique in our freedoms and way of life. It is worth investing our time and knowledge and utilizing our right to vote.”
Hall believes voting for local officials is more important than voting in national elections because of the impact the candidates have on the people living in their districts. Unfortunately, though, only from 20 to 30 percent of voters turnout for these elections at the precinct where she works.
Hall, however, persists in being a poll worker. She must take the training before each election because the laws may have changed. “I believe everyone 18 years and older should exercise their right to vote,” she says. She adds that anyone needing transportation or has health or mobility issues should receive assistance in registering to vote and in getting to the polls or in getting an absentee ballot.
She recommends others investigate their states’ poll workers’ requirements. In South Carolina it’s SCVotes.org.
August 27 – Lina Mayorga, Modern Suffragist