Frierson: Voter participation is paramount

June 20, 2014 

Frierson

PICASA

— Registering to vote and actually showing up at the polls and voting is paramount.

Are you registered to vote? Do you know where your precinct is? Did you go vote on June 10? Will you vote in the run-off election on Tuesday?

Will you encourage your neighbors, friends, church members, book club, sorority, fraternity, drinking buddies and golf partners to vote?

To the underpaid, much-maligned clerks and poll managers who are accused every election of being unprepared and knowledge-challenged: In truth, a few of you fall in that category, but the operative word is “few”.

I will not reiterate the mistakes that were made on June 10, but I tell you from personal experience:

1. There is no such creature as a perfect election.

2. The majority of the clerks and poll managers in Richland County are well-trained, responsible and dedicated to ensuring that the election experience comports with the letter of the law.

My last point makes me as fiery as the cognac spice hair color I recently, ineptly, applied to my hair. Election officials in Richland County (and all are not guilty) shouldn’t dare insult any clerk or poll manager with reference to their preference for younger workers who are allegedly technologically savvy.

While the use of the laptops in some precincts proved to be challenging for some clerks and poll managers, facility in using a laptop is not the specific purview of the young. Some clerks and poll managers with silver hair like lamb’s wool are virtual computer whiz kids.

Richland County does need an infusion of new clerks and poll managers between now and the General Election in November, but that infusion is needed because we now have additional precincts.

Election workers, from teens to those of my generation and beyond, are needed. Training is available both online and in person. Further, there are a variety of election-related tasks to do on Election Day, and there is an appropriate assignment for all election workers.

On Tuesday, let’s make Richland County the beacon of voter participation and voting excellence.

Beverly Frierson

Clerk, Lake Carolina precinct

Columbia

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