‘A good group to work with’


As she announced the polls were open at 6 a.m. Tuesday at the Dudleytown Conservation Club, Diana Stuckwisch saw about 10 people in line ready to cast their ballots.

Five hours later, nearly 200 people had voted.

Stuckwisch, the inspector for the Washington Township polling site, hoped to top 300 by the time polls closed at 6 p.m.

“We always have a line when we open,” she said. “We usually have a big amount when we first open regardless (of the type of election). People come in before they go in to work. I think this year has been pretty steady because it is a presidential election.”

At the Grassy Fork Township polling site in Tampico, inspector Linda Morrow didn’t have anyone waiting to vote at 6 a.m. But at 10 a.m., she was happy to report 80 people had stopped by the fire station to vote.

“I hope we break our record. We’ve had about 200 before,” Morrow said.

After opening the polls, inspectors ensure all of the paperwork is filled out correctly and take care of any problems throughout the day. When polls close, they are responsible for taking everything back to the courthouse in Brownstown so votes can be tabulated.

In between waves of people coming in, both inspectors said they pass the time by reading and talking to fellow poll workers. They, however, were glad to not have much downtime Tuesday.

Stuckwisch said she has worked during elections for several years at Dudleytown, and she also has assisted with city elections in Seymour.

This marked Morrow’s third time working on election day — twice as an inspector and once as a clerk. She also recently helped with absentee voting.

“I like to see how many people come out (to vote),” Morrow said. “I like to just catch up with (people) that you don’t normally see on a regular basis. My husband pastored out here for years, so I know a lot of the people.”

At each polling site, clerks check voters’ identification and help them sign in, while judges help them get set up to vote electronically and tell them where to place their ballot.

The inspectors agreed it helps to have good people to work alongside.

“They are just a good group to work with, and they are very helpful. Otherwise, I wouldn’t do it,” Morrow said.

“Two of the ladies and their husbands came (Monday) night and helped set everything up,” Stuckwisch said. “That made it a lot easier for us when we got here at 5 o’clock. We weren’t quite so stressed out. As long as you have good helpers, you don’t mind doing it.”

Dianna Wells and Wilbur Hoevener served as clerks at Tampico.

While Wells has voted for many years, this was her first time working on election day.

“I like politics to a certain extent,” she said of why she chose to switch gears this year. “And I love talking to the people. I’m a people person. I go to the grocery store, and I start talking to someone in line, and my husband says, ‘Who was that?’ I say, ‘I don’t know.’ He says, ‘Well, the way you were talking, I thought you knew them for years.’”

Wells said she liked being a part of the election day process.

“I’ve liked everything about it,” she said. “Now, I know what goes on behind the scenes. Before, I didn’t.”

Hoevener said he has worked during several elections in the past 10 years.

“My neighbor did it, and then my brother did it, and they talked me into starting,” he said.

Hoevener helps with the biggest draw to Tampico each year, the Grassy Fork Volunteer Fire Department Truck and Tractor Pull, and he sees a lot of people who attend that event come out to vote.

“You just get to see all of the people again,” he said. “I feel like this is one chance you get to do is vote, and this is a responsibility you should take.”

Nina Hackman and Joe Rorig served as judges at the polling site in Tampico.

Since retiring about five years ago, Hackman said she has helped with each election.

“I just think it’s a good responsibility to have,” she said. “I just like seeing the people. I’ve lived in Grassy Fork Township my whole life, and it used to be, I knew everybody. Now, I don’t, so it kind of gives me an idea of who all lives here.”

The only downfall, Hackman said, was having to get up at 4 a.m. to get ready to work at the polls. The upside was the steady stream of people coming in to vote to help time go by faster, she said.

“Two years ago in the primary, we were just wanting to get to 100,” she said of the number of voters. “We’ll easily beat that this year.”

Rorig said he was glad to see people getting out to vote.

“I just like to see the people, and I enjoy their participation,” he said. “I think (turnout at Tampico) will be a little over 200, maybe 250.”

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