Our First Line of Defense
Linda Pepper - I am a proud poll worker. I began in 2018, and worked at all three elections in 2020. The March Presidential Primary occurred as the pandemic hit and we were still struggling to understand this novel virus. In August when I worked the primary, and in November for the general election, I had a decision to make. There was no vaccine and only masks, shields and sanitizers to protect us. I considered this and chose to work in a potentially dangerous situation. I did this because without poll workers there is no valid election. I needed to bear witness to the carefulness of the process. There were poll workers in Michigan who made this decision, contracted Covid 19 and died.
During the fourth January 6th Committee hearing, I listened carefully to Lady Ruby Freeman and her daughter Shaye. I identified closely with them. They made the same scary decision I did, to serve as poll workers in a situation where they could be exposed to the Covid virus. They were unfairly targeted by the most powerful man in the world for doing their jobs correctly. Their courageous choice resulted in their lives being turned upside down.
There is an important way we can all acknowledge and honor these women. Volunteer to work the elections in August and November. Our county clerks will be training us soon. You simply call and offer to work. It can be a long day as we do not leave until all tallies balance. We know we have done our jobs to ensure that the election is fair.
The second way we can honor them is by voting, and by strongly urging our family, friends, and neighbors to vote. The basis our Democracy is free and fair elections. We must all work to make that happen.