Elections

County Supervisors Recognize Longtime Poll Worker

From left to right: Registrar of Voters Michael Vu,  Board Chairwoman Kristin Gaspar, Volunteer of the Month William Eade and Registrar of Voters Volunteer Services Coordinator Vanessa Perez.
From left to right: Registrar of Voters Michael Vu, Board Chairwoman Kristin Gaspar, Volunteer of the Month William Eade and Registrar of Voters Volunteer Services Coordinator Vanessa Perez.

After 16 years as a poll worker, 90-year-old William Eade is electing to call it a day. In appreciation for his years of service, the County Board of Supervisors recognized Eade as the Volunteer of the Month on Tuesday.

The Escondido resident has served as a poll worker since 2002. He acted as a precinct and assistant poll worker inspector managing and supervising poll sites. And as a bilingual speaker, he helped Spanish speaking voters cast their ballots.

Eade is a Korean War veteran and also worked as a weapons instructor for the San Diego Sheriff’s Department. But Eade says he’s been a volunteer all his life, and he figured it was his duty to serve as a poll worker.

“Poll workers do not do this for the money,” Eade said. “But it was a privilege and fun, and I enjoyed it.”

Eade also drew a laugh from the audience when he said he couldn’t take the long hours anymore. Despite his retirement as a poll worker, Eade says others who are considering it should go for it. He had a chance to meet a lot of people he had never met before.

His daughter-in-law, Julie Eade, said Eade enjoyed being part of the community.

The Registrar of Voters relies heavily on poll workers.

“They buttress and support the foundation of our democracy,” said Registrar of Voters Michael Vu. “They really give of themselves to make sure every eligible voter has the right to vote.”

Election Day begins early for poll workers. They start setting up at 5:45 a.m. so voters can begin casting their ballots at 7 a.m. The poll won’t close until 8 p.m. And then, the volunteers must still tear down the poll and make sure all the ballots get delivered to the Registrar’s office. The day may not be done until 10 p.m.

“It takes a special kind of individual to take on the task of a 16-hour day,” said Registrar of Voters Volunteer Services Coordinator Vanessa Perez. “Although it’s a long, tiring day, these individuals truly make a difference.”

Anyone interested in becoming a poll worker for the Nov. 6 election can still volunteer. The cut-off date is Friday, Nov. 2 so volunteers can attend the last training class on Saturday, Nov. 3. Prospective poll workers can apply online at sdvote.com. For more information, call (858) 565-5800 or email pollworker@sdcounty.ca.gov. The Registrar of Voters office is located at 5600 Overland Ave., San Diego, 92123 on the County Operations Center campus.

 

Tracy DeFore is a communications specialist with the County of San Diego Communications Office. Contact