Hackworth an election veteran

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Some of the most essential people during the election process are the ones who work the polling stations.

And Brenda Hackworth, owner of Brenda’s Styling and Tanning, has been spent the past 13 elections helping the senior citizens at Sherman Thompson Towers cast their votes.

She said she was asked to work the polling station because the Lawrence County Board of Elections needed more Democratic workers since they put at least two Democrats and two Republicans at each polling station.

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“It was something different and something interesting,” she said. “I just wanted to feel like I was part of the election process.”

And why has she done it for nearly a decade and a half?

“It’s because I can’t say no,” she said with a laugh. “No, I just really like the people I work with. And I work in a beauty shop four days a week. So this is one when I get to do something different. And when you feel needed, you enjoy what you do.”

This year, Hackworth will be the presiding judge at the Sherman Thompson Towers polling station.

“I’m nervous about that,” she said.

The presiding judge is in charge of all the paperwork at their polling station. He or she picks all of it at the courthouse in the morning and then returns it after the voting ends.

“It’s something new for me,” she said.

Hackworth said the transition from paper punch ballots to electronic ones hasn’t been too rough in the past two elections.

“It hasn’t been hard for me, but it has been harder for the seniors,” she said. “They are doing pretty good with it. Each time it gets easier for them and the machine tells them what to do. As long as they can see, they can read it off.”

She said if a senior has trouble filling in the circles or another issue, she and a Republican counterpart will help them. They are allowed to help with technical issues but can’t tell them how to vote.

Hackworth, like so many people in the election process, said she would like to see more voters come out on Election Day.

“There isn’t that many that bother to vote,” she said. “The presidential election gets more people out but the local office races, that’s when they should get out and punch the ballots. But you can’t force them.”