Election days can be long and filled with their fair share of chaotic moments, but for Novi’s election workers it’s all worth it.
Harry Mingle just started working elections in Novi about two years ago and he is hooked. He loves the people he meets and the role he plays in the election process.
“I am a firm believer it’s such a privilege we have a voice,” the 18-year Novi resident said. “I want to support that people vote and encourage people to vote. It’s irrelevant if you share the same political views or positions, it’s primarily that we have a voice and need to exercise that.”
The role of an election worker is “vital,” says City Clerk Cortney Hanson. They start the day around 6 a.m. with setup before the polls open at 7 a.m. Once polls open and voters start to file in they have are variety of checks and balances they must follow to ensure all ballots are accounted for. When the polls close at 8 p.m., everything must then be delivered back to the Civic Center while results are tabulated.
For Northville resident Alexa Patsalis, the behind-the-scenes look at the election process is what keeps her coming back.
“I think elections can be a very abstract thing where you go in and put this paper ballot into a machine and it’s done,” she said. “I think actually knowing the process of it and knowing what happens from beginning to end is very interesting.”
Patsalis starting working elections in Novi a couple years ago, starting as an election inspector before transitioning to her current position as a precinct chair. The 2015 University of Michigan graduate said she was
drawn to working elections because “every day citizens are the ones who help make sure elections run smoothly.”
For Patsalis and Mingle, the other major perk to the job is all the residents they get to meet...from their fellow workers to voters coming to cast their vote.
“One gentleman even came up to me and thanked me for being here and for serving the community,” said Mingle. “That really touched me.”
“We live in a country where we have a voice and the privilege to vote, the privilege of expressing our opinions and I think the citizens should support that.”
Workers are needed for the upcoming November election. Qualifications are that you must be a registered voter or a 16-17-year-old student. A paid training session is required prior to the election, and election day hours are typically 6 a.m. to 9 p.m. Election inspectors are paid $190 for the day, precinct co-chairs $215 and precinct chairs $240.
For additional information and to apply, visit cityofnovi.org
or call 248.347.0456.