About 100 people helped out at polling stations at Albany on the election day. They started at 6:30 a.m. and worked till late into the night. I talked to some of them at a polling station at the University Village on the election night, asking them why they did the work.
22-year-old Alana Ingram said she was proud that she worked at the polls at a historical election. “I want to be able to tell my kids that your mother was there at that historical moment, ” she said.
Ingram voted at the presidential election for the first time in her life, for Barack Obama.
17-year-old Jennifer Breunig is a senior at Albany High School, and applied to volunteer at the polls after her Government class teacher told her about the opportunity.
“Even though I can’t vote, at least there is a way for me to get involved, ” she said.
Another senior at the high school, Richard Zhang, said he came for the working experience, and he had learned a lot from it.
“I didn’t realize that so many people whose name I’ve never heard about before are running for positions, ” he said, and added that he would pay more attention to public issues in future to get ready to vote.
16-year-old Donmonique Daniels, a high schooler from Richmond, said she came to work at the polls because it pays well.
“I can earn $95 for the day’s work, ” she said.
46-year-old Norma Moss, the inspector at the polling station, believed that she was contributing to an election that would bring fundamental changes to the country.
“It may not achieve all what we want, but it will open opportunities for more things positive. It’ll make a difference, ” she said.
She wished she would be able to get a business loan with Obama leading the country .
“I want to give back to my community, ” said 26-year-old Jessica Kim, who has just come back to her hometown Albany, after graduating from a law school in New York City. “It’s cool to see democracy in action, and to be part of that.”
63-years-old John Patrick was the voting judge at the polling station. He had worked at polls during the previous two elections, and he was especially emotional about the current one.
“I am very excited that we can finally get rid of Bush, ” he said.