Who helps count your vote?

Medford, Ore. — Each year dozens of Jackson County citizens are invited to take part in the local election process. They verify signatures, prepare the ballots, and tally the votes. But who are they? And how did they get involved? NBC5 went to find out.

Election boards account for about 40 of the 60 or so temporary workers who help make the elections process as seamless as possible. Each board is made up of 2 Jackson County citizens, who are registered to different political parties.

“Mothers, fathers, grandparents they are loved ones, and they’re people who really care about their community,” Jackson County Clerk Chris Walker says.

David Vandenberg has been an election board worker since 1995. Following a long career at the Medford Bureau of Land Management he wanted to see the elections process first-hand.

“There’s a lot of urban legends out there about what goes on with ballots,” Vandenberg says, “and really the best way to find out is to do it.”

In his 2 plus decades of service, Vandenberg has seen a lot.

“Sometimes there’s ballots in the envelopes from previous elections,” Vandenberg says, “people had them laying around the house.”

And while he’s been through a lot of changes, including the transition from in-person polling to vote by mail, Vandenberg says the work has stayed pretty much the same although there’s a lot more envelope opening now.

The longest return election board worker has been coming for 37 years. It is a paid position, and people are recruited through a temp agency. If you’re interested in getting involved contact Personnel Source on Hawthorne in Medford.

 

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