Long lines could bring a long night for poll workers


Moss Brennan, Reporter

As the polls come to a close at 7:30 p.m., those in line can still vote even if the deadline passes.

“Even if they’re all the way out here, we put somebody at the end of the line and they’re allowed to vote,” Gary Moorman said.

But even after the polls close, Moorman, the site manager, and the other volunteers, who have all been at the voting site since 6 a.m. have work to do.

“Once everybody’s voted, we began to pack everything up. We account for all of the ballots. You know voted ballots, non voted ballots, provisional balance and you know, every kind of ballot that there is,” Moorman said. “And we pack everything up.”

Once everything is packed up, the volunteers take equipment to the board of elections or leave it in the room to pick up at a later time.

“If everything goes smoothly, I could probably be done by 8:30 p.m., but I expect it’ll be in later than that,” Moorman said.

He said it could be later if it starts to pick up toward the end of the voting period, at 7:30 p.m.. Poll workers cannot start to pack up until everyone who was in line has voted.

“All of us have been here since six o’clock this morning and everybody has to be here until 7:30 p.m. at least. Most people would be here til 8 or 8:30. So it’s a long day and it can get kind of tense,” Moorman said. “All of the people that are here have demands and you hate to see them waiting so long.”

It took over an hour to get through the provisional ballot line during high traffic times in the afternoon. Moorman said he thinks the student union locations has more provisional ballots than most others because of students.

“The biggest reasons is that students often change location without changing their voter registration. Most of those people have to vote provisional,” Moorman said. “Some of them are not even registered Watauga County. So if they wanted to cast a vote, it has to be provisional.”

This is Moorman’s first time being chief judge of Super Tuesday.

That means he is in charge of accounting for all ballots and ensuring all procedures are followed. He also makes sure the volunteers have periodic breaks to eat. It is his responsibility if any problems come up.

“I’m in direct contact periodically throughout the day with the board of elections to make sure that nothing really disastrous has happened,” Moorman said.