On Nov. 8, Nancy Sullivan’s alarm will go off at 4 a.m. – the start of a long day of work for her and Jetty Reese. That’s Election Day, and Nancy and Jetty are poll workers for St. Francois County. Both women are also members of the Farmington Presbyterian Manor Advisory Council.
Jetty has been helping elections run smoothly for 20 to 30 years (she’s lost count). Nancy became a poll worker about 10 years ago at the urging of a Presbyterian Manor resident who was stepping down.
“We were the same party affiliation, so he said, ‘Nancy, you gotta do this.’ And Nancy’s one not to say no,” she said. “I just enjoy the process. You see people that you know but that you don’t normally see.
”Nancy would like to see many, many more people than she normally does on Election Day. “Turnout has been very, very slim,” she said. “That just crushes me because people like to complain but they don’t get out and vote.”
Jetty agreed, adding that some people don’t believe their vote counts, and others just aren’t interested unless there is an issue that affects them directly. School elections and gun measures usually draw bigger turnout, she said. She recalled only one time that people were lined up around the block to vote – to the best of her memory it was a presidential election in the 1980s.
“It made your heart proud to see that many people coming out,” Jetty said. “To me, it’s a privilege to help out, either at the polls or at the manor.
”Nancy is politically active all year long. As vice president of the county’s Democrat Club, she helps with fundraising for local candidates. Regardless of affiliation, she urges everyone to exercise his or her right to vote, because every single one counts. Case in point: one recent local election actually tied.
“We had the second election, and then one of the candidates won overwhelmingly. It makes a difference if you vote,” Nancy said.
Make Nancy and Jetty proud. Make sure they see you at the polls on Nov. 8.