Election Clerks

Early Tuesday morning at the polls in West Tisbury a young woman carrying a box of muffins politely threaded her way through the line of voters that snaked out of the public safety building onto the sidewalk. The muffins were for the poll workers who had been there since before seven o’clock. As if reading the minds of all who stood outside on this mild autumn morning, most on their way to work, one voter turned to another and said, “Aren’t we lucky to live here?”

An apt sentiment for the moment. Town clerks across the Island and their teams of volunteers were the unsung heroes of the Island on election day, which saw a record turnout of voters. And in contrast with many urban areas where polls were jammed, waits were long and voting machines cranky, all went smoothly. In every Island polling place there were plenty of people on hand to check in voters, collect ballots and answer questions.

Most of these people worked throughout the day and well into the night with little break.

And so we send out thanks to the muffin lady and to all the town clerks and their teams of poll workers who made election day 2008 on the Vineyard, a day that history will remember, so easy.