Letter to the Editor: Thanks to Election Workers

To the editor:

Thank you to everyone who participated in the 2020 General Election–Westchester Board of Elections (WBOE) employees, poll inspectors, volunteers at all levels and, especially, voters! That the 2020 General Election happened as smoothly as it did is a tribute to all.

The WBOE implemented reforms (including early voting centers and expanded absentee voting) and use of new equipment (more tablets for the e-poll books, ballot-on demand printers, scanners) in an atmosphere of high voter anxiety over the vote count and over voting in the pandemic. This was a huge task. As voters, we need to recognize the complexity of the task and support the agency that makes it work, especially between elections when planning can be most effective.

Volunteers who monitored lines, answered voters’ questions  and observed inside polling sites during Early Voting and on Nov 3, and are now observing the absentee ballot count, deserve special thanks. The data these volunteers collect is extremely important for ensuring safe and secure elections, for building faith in the election process.

Volunteer data provides evidence of improvements that are still needed. Reducing lines and wait time for voters by adjusting hours of polling places and deploying machinery more strategically are two changes their data supports. Welcoming volunteers should be a standard part of inspector training. (For more information see smartelections.us/countthevote or protectthevote.net)

Catherine Ray
Ossining, NY 10562

 

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