It is 30 seconds before the polls are to close. Meredith goes outside to see if there are any stragglers who need to come in. There is one couple. They are new US citizens from a war-torn African country. They know it is important that they vote. They want to vote. And they are not sure for what they are voting. Meredith says, “I need you both inside that door right now.” They go while the clerk is calling “30 seconds - we have 30 seconds”. Meredith, walking behind them, waves to the policeman to let them in. They walk through the door and the officer closes it behind them, takes down the “vote here” sign and locks the door. Meredith sits them down and explains she now has time to answer their questions.
She explains that this the election where they vote on who they will vote for in November. All is well and David hands them their ballots. Only then do they realize that the woman is blind and cannot see the ballot. Meredith sends the man with his ballot to the voting booth. She calls over the officer as a representative of the law and another clerk to witness. She tells the woman that there is a law officer standing there to witness that Meredith is marking the ballot as the woman says. She read the ballot to the woman, the woman told her whom to mark and Meredith said to the officer, “Do you witness that I am marking this ballot for __________.” He replied, “I witness that you are marking this ballot for ___________.” Both husband and wife were beaming. Not only had they mattered, their vote had mattered and had been taken seriously in their new country. Meredith and I both agree that it is for stories like these that the poll watchers are there. We were given a Constitutional right to a free and honest election and there are people who care enough about that process that they give a day to lay aside their politics to make sure we all - old citizens, new citizens, all races and genders - all of us, get to mark our ballots or pull the levers for the candidate of our choice.
Meredith and David have already requested to stay on the list of workers. Blessings to them and all those who spend election days this way.