Election volunteers say they have fun while serving country


Election worker Carmen Oswalt has been volunteering since 1971, after being asked by a friend on an election board. Photo by Andre B. Laird.

Being a part of the voting process and the ability to exercise their right to vote is the common bond among Eleanor Smith, Margaret Schnepp and Carmen Oswalt.

The three women have been volunteering at the polls on Election Day for quite a while and, for each, it's a special event.

Oswalt says she was bit by the election bug a long time ago.

"I was approached by a friend who worked on an election board and that's how I got started," she says. "I've been volunteering since 1971."

Oswalt adds that being a part of the process is why she keep coming back.

"I like working with most of the people and helping them voice their opinion," she says. "Whenever someone starts complaining about the country or politics, the first question I ask is whether or not they vote."

Oswalt says that considering how many people in other countries don't have the privilege of having their voices heard, she doesn't understand why more people don't exercise their right to vote.

"I don't think it's too much to ask of someone to take some time out of his or her day to help make a difference," she says.

Smith is a 10-year volunteer and loves the voting process.

"Helping that process happen is important to me," she says. "That's why I continue to volunteer."

Although she has been volunteering for only six years, Schnepp says that after being called by a neighbor to help out the first time, she was hooked.

"I enjoyed volunteering," she says. "It's a worthwhile process and one that is important to our country."

She adds that she feels that it is necessary for citizens to exercise their right to vote, not just in local elections, but on the national level as well.

"Today, more than ever, it is important that people vote as it determines the future of our country," Schnepp. "And we all need to have our say in that."